A little about Venus' exaltation in Pisces...
* Venus is exalted in the sign where Mercury is depressed (Pisces).
* Mercury is exalted in the sign where Venus is depressed (Virgo).
Why is this the case?
An ancient Hellenistic astrologer named Antiochus explains as follows, "We say that it is because Hermes is the master of arguments, while Aphrodite is the overseer of desire and intercourse (here meaning social, not merely sexual intercourse). Then, at the place where the intellectual increases, there the desire and the pleasurable in intercourse is depressed. And where the appetitive and pleasurable is exalted, there the intellectual is depressed."
Venus is exalted, or lifted on high, in the zodiac sign that anticipates the Spring Equinox, whereas Mercury is exalted, lifted on high, in the sign that anticipates the Fall Equinox. The idea being that the increase or anticipation of spring energy rouses Venus and exalts its qualities, whereas the Fall energy rouses and exalts Mercury and its qualities. Conversely, Venus isn't as happy in the sign where the light is waning and we approach a more mental/reflective time of year, and Mercury isn't as happy when we approach more sensual/outgoing time of year.
Understanding these combinations helps us decipher what is meant by a planet being in its "fall" or "exaltation." For example, Martha Stewart was born with Venus in Virgo and you can sense or feel that she is both Venusian but also highly mental and analytical. At times we often see planets in the sign of their depression or fall being torn between or suffering from the tension of the qualities listed above. For example, in Stewart's life the highly mental and calculated approach to her Venusian art work has been mocked by Saturday Night Live who has impersonated Martha as being uptight with a flat affect. Think for example of the "Topless Christmas Martha Stewart Special," that SNL did years back. The humor of such a sketch rests on the fact that though there is the well recognized appearance of beauty within Stewart's work, there is simultaneously a kind of dry and mental/technical or conservative quality that makes the beauty seem somewhat flat and dry, or even boring.
Stewart was also mocked by SNL for being somewhat cold and ruthless while simultaneously a masterful chef and craftswoman even while in prison for insider trading.
These aren't meant to be judgments against Stewart but rather simple illustrations of how and why ancient astrologers classified the planetary placements into categories like exaltation and fall.
Venus in her exaltation right now speaks to some of the following themes:
* Those things that we desire most
* The images or appearances that we are most attracted to
* What we long for but may not be considering rationally
* The elevation of feminine issues in general
* The empowerment of women and the goddess
* The repression, oppression, suppression of what we desire or the feminine (Venus has been in a square to Saturn since she ingressed into Pisces)
* The potential for image, appearance, and desire to lead us astray
* Adornment, decoration, style, and aesthetic
* Famous people, the voice or power of beauty or fame
* Friends or allies with great resources or abilities
* An increased desire for friendship, commonality, unity
* Appearance outweighs cost/benefit analyses
* Glamour and the intoxication of beauty or desires
* Those things we crave that are never truly obtained
* The romantic, poetic, artistic impulse
* Visitations from the muse
* Erotic interactions, subtle cues, powerful feelings transmitted through body language
The list could go on...
In Venus' exaltation we always have to be careful of losing our heads, but it's also a great time to let the sensual power of Venus adorn us and open us to deeper pleasure and beauty in general.
Prayer: That which ascends to the highest will in time descend to the lowest, and from the lowest ascend again. Show us right now the majesty of the goddess enthroned on high in the western sky.