Venus in Aries: Icons

Thursday May 15th 2014
Audrey Hepburn. Taurus Sun, Aquarius Rising (allegedly,  although it’s 2° from Pisces and I’d bet the Pisces is right — just look at those eyes.)

Audrey Hepburn. Taurus Sun, Aquarius Rising (allegedly, although it’s 2° from Pisces and I’d bet the Pisces is right — just look at those eyes.)

The word icon is applied haphazardly to every passing celebrity these days, but there are some modern faces that have unarguably become iconic. It might not be what you expect from Venus in Aries, but there are more icons in this group than any other. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney: these actors have, and had, faces that have been imprinted in the popular imagination. Then there’s Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Bob Marley. You think of their faces right away don’t you?

It’s so interesting – and not what I expected. I imagined that a search for Venus in Aries would turn up a crop of flame-haired beauties — say Rita Hayworth, Julianne Moore and Amy Adams. Nope.

teodora2

The word icon originally referred to religious images – like this one from Ravenna of the Empress Theodora. These images were, and still are in some churches, integral to religious worship. During the Easter break, I watched Greek Orthodox worshippers reverently kiss their icons.

The penetrating gaze of Byzantine icons and the way they are revered in the Eastern Mediterranean to this day reminds me of Hindu practice also. Darshan, seeing the god, maybe in a vision but also a statue or picture of the god, is an important part of the Hindu religious experience. A pilgrimage is not complete without Darshan, which is almost like an exchange of energy with the god. You see the god, and the god sees you.

The gods have often been embodied by real people — look at Empress Theodora there. In earlier times, our kings and queens did this for us, but now we look at celebrities. And maybe from these photographs, the gaze is returned.

Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and, as such, rules the head, the face, so Venus in Aries is likely to give someone a beautiful, or at least a charming or alluring, face. It’s also the sign of the baby, and there are quite a few baby faces here: sweet round foreheads, wide apart eyes.

Marilyn Monroe. Gemini Sun, Leo Rising (golden halo).

Marilyn Monroe. Gemini Sun, Leo Rising (golden halo).

Rihanna. Pisces Sun, Gemini Rising.

Rihanna. Pisces Sun, Gemini Rising.

Elizabeth Taylor. Pisces Sun, Sagittarius Rising.

Elizabeth Taylor. Pisces Sun, Sagittarius Rising.

There’s also a thing going on here with eyebrows and heart-shaped faces.

Christina Ricci. Aquarius Sun, Virgo Rising

Christina Ricci. Aquarius Sun, Virgo Rising

One of the charms of Aries is innocence. Aries comes to the world fresh and unsullied, eager for experience. This brings with it a certain vulnerability and openness, which seems to show in the Venus in Aries face.

Jean-Paul Belmondo. Aries Sun, Gemini Rising.

Jean-Paul Belmondo. Aries Sun, Gemini Rising.

Of course, for looks, the Sun sign is important and so is the ascendant. George Clooney and Audrey Hepburn have birthdays a few days apart and they certainly share a warm, doe-eyed, strong-boned Taurean beauty.

George Clooney. Pisces Rising, Taurus Sun.

George Clooney. Pisces Rising, Taurus Sun.

Robert Downey jr. Aries Sun,  Leo Rising

Robert Downey jr. Aries Sun, Leo Rising

Young Jack Nicholson, Leo Rising, Taurus Sun.  Wide-set eyes, round forehead, pointy chin again.

Young Jack Nicholson, Leo Rising, Taurus Sun.
Wide-set eyes, round forehead, pointy chin again.

Now there’s definitely another look for Venus in Aries which is not the one that Jack Nicholson exemplifies here. The penetrating gaze is the same though.

A clutch of the most successful female TV character actresses from the late 90s have Venus in Aries. All of these women will forever be identified with one particular part.

Sarah Michelle Gellar. Aries Sun, Aquarius Rising. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar. Aries Sun, Aquarius Rising. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Jennifer Aniston. Aquarius Sun, Libra Rising. “Rachel”

Jennifer Aniston. Aquarius Sun, Libra Rising. “Rachel”

Sarah Jessica Parker. Aries Sun, Gemini Rising. “Carrie”

Sarah Jessica Parker. Aries Sun, Gemini Rising. “Carrie”

Aniston and Parker do look similar — narrow faces, long noses, bright blue eyes — but they don’t look much like any of our earlier icons, nor do they seem vulnerable or innocent. Parker’s character Carrie in Sex in the City did exemplify a kind of Aries in Venus quest for love though… always willing to try again.

On the other hand both Aniston and Parker have had long post-TV careers as cover girls (or women). There was a time in this country when you couldn’t walk past a magazine rack without having darshan with either Aniston or Parker or possibly both at once. They certainly have the gaze.

And here is blue-eyed, long-nosed Abe, giving us the look again.

Abraham Lincoln. Sun and Ascendant in Aquarius.

Abraham Lincoln. Sun and Ascendant in Aquarius.

Speaking of bone structure – a gift to Abe from Aquarius Rising and Moon in Capricorn — both ruled by bonemeister Saturn – how about our first genuine redhead.

Katherine Hepburn. Taurus Sun, Scorpio Rising.

Katherine Hepburn. Taurus Sun, Scorpio Rising.

She was played in a recent biopic by Cate Blanchett — back to the long, piercing blue eyes.

Cate Blanchett. Taurus Sun, Rising sign unknown.

Cate Blanchett. Taurus Sun, Rising sign unknown.

Finally, a couple more genuine 20th century icons.

Albert Einstein. Pisces Sun, Cancer Rising.

Albert Einstein. Pisces Sun, Cancer Rising.

Bob Marley. Aquarius Sun, Sagittarius Rising.

Bob Marley. Aquarius Sun, Sagittarius Rising.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Feeling great after reading this article 🙂
    Venus in aries conjunct mars in 10th house here.
    I have the innocent looking eyes but I would have attributed that to my pisces sun cancer rising?! But people tend to describe as striking rather than pretty. I am definitely very arian (is that a word?) in matters of love, direct independent bold and passionate. Also have lilith mashed in with that venus/mars conjunction at 19-20 degrees.

    • Christina says:

      Pisces Sun can have beautiful eyes but not alway so innocent! I took another look at Marilyn, Rihanna, Liz and Christina and was struck again by how their eyes are set. Liz Taylor in particular almost has the Aries symbol ♈ written on her face.

      As for the love style, I agree about that and think it’s an awful lot easier to be a Venus in Aries woman now than back in the 1950s and 60s and that’s reflected i the public personae of these women. We went from child-woman to Buffy — although Rihanna is a bit of a throwback.

  2. Pisces says:

    Thank you for this really unique and fresh study on Venus in Aries natives! It’s interesting to consider the Venus aspect directly through appearance and from the face/head Aries perspective. which makes perfect sense of course, but so often the descriptions talk about how quickly we are prepared to jump someone (without considering other factors!). Flattered to be a member of such a distinguished club 😀

  3. Elliot Lewis says:

    i was just on a youtube free-fall and ended up watching audrey hepburn speaking five languages fairly fluently and went to her chart to satisfyingly discover a 0 degree gemini mercury in her 3rd house. then i noticed her aries venus and it didn’t sit well for me with her being one of the ultimate style ‘icons’. so i googled and your article came up. and i love it, it makes so much sense. but a question remains for me. and given it’s six years since you published this article, i wonder if it’s likely you’ll read, but my logical virgo planets would like to understand why audrey hepburn emerges as one of the defining style/beauty icons despite an arian venus. her love life is not particularly out of the ordinary. two marriages of over ten years each. it’s unremarkable. but her status as style/beauty icon is remarkable. i guess she was more waif and gamine than sexy or womanly, but perhaps venus in virgo would describe that better than aries. either way, i would want a near-mythical grade style/fashion/beauty icon, known for her delicacy and gracy, to have a strong or at least feminine venus. in aries, hers is masculine, debilitated and ruled by a fallen mars.

    i mean, neither gellar, anniston nor parker embody archetypical ideas of feminine grace or delicacy, even if their careers propelled them towards pin up or cover girl status. even the quality of their roles in gellar and parker’s cases match out (angsty demon hunter/chain-smoking sex-columnist), while anniston’s real-life role as “poor jen”, the ‘woman spurned’ is perhaps more crucial to her public persona than ‘rachel’. though interestingly from the icon perspective, the notion of image is common to carrie and rachel since both work in and are obsessed by fashion, carrie even saying she would buy vogue instead of dinner, nourished more as she was by the glossy images than food.

    we’ve all seen the pictures of what chris brown did to rihanna’s face, and ever since her love life has been sufficiently featureless as to become a component in her public image. monroe was famously eluded by love, and katherine hepburn, (while also famously noted for her temper – a debilitated venus being completely useless against an exalted chart ruling mars?), had one single brief marriage and, so says wiki, determined never to remarry as in her own words she was a profoundly selfish human being. even blanchett (who is herself married since 1997) has something of the ‘handsome’ and ‘statuesque’, rather than overtly feminine and delicate, her version of elf-queen galadriel was almost androgynous (mostly due to the voice) while she’s had several roles portraying ‘forbidden’ love. i find all this computes with a traditional reading of what venus in aries should mean if one is to accept that a debilitated planet expresses weakly or negatively. and while the notion of dignity and debility is somewhat lessened by the psychological tradition of today, in the traditional astrological world, surely this is how it goes? if venus is the engine of attraction, then debilitated, the ability to attract is compromised, bearing out in a woman as less feminine features, a rocky love life, a self defined refusal of love, etc etc. (elizabeth taylor, the most prolific divorcée of all?).

    would you agree with any of this, or be able to lead me to clarity? many thanks if so. and many thanks for your website which has long been one of my favourites for good astrological writing 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Oh hi — I just saw this, so not sure you will see my reply. I do agree with you, and I think it’s important to refer to traditional rulerships etc.

      I always pay attention to a planets traditional debility or whatnot, but I also tend to keep in mind that these ideas come from a profoundly patriarchal culture. Women in second century Alexandria or 16th century London were not highly thought of, and independent, fierce women even less so. So a feisty Venus in Aries would, of course, be considered a lousy placement. Rob Hand has some interesting thoughts on debilitated planets, and I have found this to be true. They start off as a weakness and they end up as a strength.

      It’s interesting to note where Rihanna has gone since I first wrote this piece. In fact, she has gone from strength to strength, the more independent she has been.

      • Elliot Lewis says:

        Thank you so much for this tip!!! I hadn’t come across Hand’s thoughts on the matter before. It really makes so much sense and finally explains why debilitated planets seem to offer talent/distinction in the same way as dignity does – it’s long been an issue of frustration to me to observe them in the charts of notable people. I guess its a similar logic to why the square can propel people further than a trine.. Do you think/have you observed, in corollary, that like a trine, dignified planets may stagnate or rest on their laurels?

        • Christina says:

          Yes. I think that’s true of dignified planets sometimes.

          On this subject, the thing I observe a lot is Mercury Rx in the natal chart. These people seem to be unusually smart in my experience, not the other way round. It’s often because they are self-taught though.