A Treatise on Astrology, Liber 536 by Aleister Crowley, 1917

Neptune and Venus

The combination of Neptune with Venus is as generally evil as that with Mars, but for precisely opposite reasons. Venus, it is true, means love, beauty and grace, tenderness and the rest: but unless these qualities are stiffened by some male element, they mean in practice, mere weakness, sloppiness, sentimentality. The old alchemists described Venus as having ‘external splendour and internal corruption’ and astrology bears this out. Venus is the false gold, the corrosive and poisonous copper. We shall find this dictum amply confirmed in our exemplifications. Venus is too like Neptune to be a good male for him; she is the ‘visible soul of Nature’ of which he is the invisible; and (as we learn in The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz it was forbidden to the seeker to look on Venus. Hence even the best aspects of these two planets declare a soul so passive and impressionable that the rest of the horoscope has too much power; and even if this power be ‘good’, it is not well in the end. Only actual strength from some steadier planet joining in the combination itself, can assure a real success. In other words there must be something so to dominate that the Venus aspect becomes but a junior partner in the firm. Hence in the horoscopes of such brilliant men as Zola, Goethe, Brigham Young. and Theodore Roosevelt we find the aid of Jupiter; in that of Coleridge we find Mercury and Saturn coming to the rescue. Copernicus was saved by a trine of Sol. Where Venus alone with Neptune means success, it implies Hypocrisy or Sentimentality. For example, Queen Victoria had these planets trine and her age is still a byword among men. Swedenborg had them sextile and his religion is back-boneless, a cult of cranks without virility. Backhaus has them conjoined and we find a pianist whom one can only call ‘accomplished’. Kruger had the trine aspect and no viler old humbug ever ruled though the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter not far off made him also vigorous, astute and brave. Wilhelm II, with the quartile, risked the very existence of his country again and again by his culpable determination to keep the peace of Europe; Louis XVI with the sextile lost his throne and his head by refusing to sweep away the mob with a ‘whiff of grapeshot’. Tolstoy had the conjunction, and was a sentimentalist to the point of lunacy; Dickens with the square, ruined his magnificent genius for satire (Saturn on the cusp of the third, in his own Capricorn square ~Mars in his own house Aries) by the worst kind of Victorian squeamishness and imbecility. Theodore Roosevelt once more, in spite of the brutal force of realism given by the square of Jupiter, and the violent energy supplied by the sextile of Mars, has the square of Venus, and his catchwords, his appeals to the cruder and baser idealism have ultimately choked him. Sir Alfred Harmsworth (Lord Northcliffe) has the sextile aspect, and he is but the statesman of the street corner, the purveyor of mental sewer-slush to the gutter-mind. Undoubtedly these aspects give persuasive power; but it is only the foul power of hypocrisy. It rests upon illusion. All that is dim and faery in Neptune, instead of being confined is made horrible by the essential falsity and worthlessness of the unredeemed and vampire Venus, who is not Venus· Urania, but that Lilith that haunts the dreams of evil men, that feeds on sleeping children, the first and most fatal of all the demons of the pit.