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Traditional Rulerships of the Planets
saturn Saturn
jupiter Jupiter
mars Mars
the sun Sun
venus Venus
mercury Mercury
the moon Moon

This work is intended to act as a supplement to Lilly's original text.
The section of the manuscript to which these notes refer is reproduced for study on the CA downloads page.

The external links below lead to suppliers of William Lilly's Christian Astrology,
retyped & annotated by Deborah Houlding


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Of the planet VENUS, and her several Significations

Adapted from William Lilly's 17th century text Christian Astrology, pp.65-68

Adapted and annotated by Deborah Houlding
References in the footnotes include explanatory remarks
and modern translations of Lilly's terms

Cytherea, [1] Aphrodite, [2] Phosphoros,[3] Vesperugo,[4] Ericina.[5] She is well known amongst the vulgar by the name of the Evening Star or Hesperus; [6] and that is when she appears after the Sun is set: common people call her the Morning Star, and the learned Lucifer, [7] when she is seen long before the rising of the Sun.

Rulerships by signTaurus (by night) / Libra (by day)
Signs of detrimentAries & Scorpio
Exaltation (sign & degree)Pisces - 27
Fall (sign & degree)Virgo - 27
Triplicity rulershipEarth triplicity by day
Associated terms
Ariesdegrees 7 - 14
Taurusdegrees 1 - 8
Geminidegrees 15 - 20
Cancerdegrees 21 - 27
Leodegrees 14 - 19
Virgodegrees 8 - 13
Libradegrees 7 - 11
Scorpiodegrees 15 - 21
Sagittariusdegrees 9 - 14
Capricorndegrees 1 - 6
Aquariusdegrees 13 - 20
Piscesdegrees 1 - 8
Rulership by face (or decanate)
Ariesdegrees 21 - 30
Cancerdegrees 1 - 10
Virgodegrees 11 - 20
Scorpiodegrees 21 - 30
Piscesdegrees 1 - 10

Feminine, nocturnal, temperately cold and moist; the Lesser Fortune, author of mirth and jollity.

People Signified:
Musicians, gamesters, [8] silk-men, mercers, [9] linen-drapers, painters, jewellers, players, lapidaries, [10] embroiderers, women-tailors, wives, mothers, virgins, choristers, fiddlers, pipers, when joined with Moon, singers, perfumers, semsters, [11] picture-drawers, gravers, [12] upholsterers, limners, [13] glovers, all as sell those commodities which adorn women either in body (as clothes) or in face, (as complexion-waters.)

Anatomy and Illnesses:
Diseases signified by Venus are principally in the matrix [14] and members of generation; in the reins, [15] belly, back, navel and those parts; the gonorrhoea or running of the reins, French or Spanish pox; any disease arising by inordinate lust. Priapismes, [16] impotency in generation, hernias, etc, the diabetes or pissing disease.

Colours and savours:
In colours she signifies white, or milky sky-colour mixed with brown, or a little green. In savours she delights in that which is pleasant and toothsome; usually in moist and sweet, or what is very delectable; in smells what is unctuous [17] and aromatical, and incites to wantonness.

Herbs, Plants and Trees:
Myrtle always green; all the herbs she governs have a sweet flavour, a pleasant smell; a white flower. They are of a gentle humour, whose leaves are smooth and not jagged. She governs the lily, [18] white and yellow, and the lily of the valley, [19] and of the water. [20] The satyrion or cuckoopint, [21] maidenhair, [22] violet, [23] the white and yellow daffodil. [24] In trees and plants she rules Sweet apples, the white rose, the fig, [25] the white sycamore; [26] wild ash, turpentine-tree, [27] olive, [28] sweet oranges, mugwort, [29] ladies mantle [30] , sanicle, [31] balm, [32] vervain, [33] walnuts, [34] almonds, [35] millet, [36] valerian, [37] thyme, [38] amber, [39] laudanum, [40] civet or musk, [41] coriander, [42] French wheat, peaches, apricots, plums, raisins. [43]

Gardens, fountains, bridal-chambers, fair lodgings, beds, hangings,[44] dancing schools, wardrobes.

Minerals & Stones:
Copper, especially the Corinthian and white; brass, all lattenware. Stones include Cornelian, the sky-coloured sapphire, white and red coral, marcasite, alabaster, lapis lazuli (because it expels melancholy), the beryl, chrysolite.

Attributed orb:
7 degrees

Anael [45]

Day of the Week:
Friday, and the first and eighth hour of that day [46]

Physical descriptions offered:
Venus represents a man of fair, but not tall stature, his complexion being white, tending to a little darkness, which makes him more lovely; very fair lovely eyes, and a little black; a round face and not large, fair hair, smooth, and plenty of it, and it usually of a light brown colour; a lovely mouth and cherry lips, the face pretty fleshy, a rolling wandering eye, a body very delightful, lovely and exceedingly well shaped, one desirous of trimming and making himself neat and complete both in clothes and body, a love dimple in his cheeks, a steadfast eye, and full of amorous enticements.
When Venus is oriental, [47] the body inclines to tallness; or a kind of upright straightness in person, not corpulent or very tall, but neatly composed. A right venerian person, is such as we say, a pretty, complete, handsome man or woman.
When Venus is occidental [48] the man is of a shorter stature, yet very decent and comely in shape and form, well liked of all.

Manners when well dignified:
Venus signifies a quiet man, not given to law, [49] quarrel or wrangling, not vitious, [50] pleasant, neat and spruce, loving mirth in his words and actions, clean in apparel, rather drinking much than gluttonous, prone to venery, [51] often entangled in love-matters, zealous in their affections, musical, delighting in baths and all honest merry meetings, or masks and stage-plays; easy of belief, and not given to labour or taking any pains, a company-keeper, cheerful, nothing mistrustful, a right virtuous man or woman, often had in some jealousy, yet no cause for it.

Manners when badly placed:
When Venus is ill-placed, then the man is riotous, expensive, wholly given to looseness and lewd companies of women, not regarding his reputation, coveting unlawful beds, incestuous, an adulterer; fanatical, a mere skip-jack, of no faith, no repute, no credit; spending his means in alehouses, taverns, and amongst scandalous, loose people; a mean lazy companion, not careful of the things of this life or anything religious; a mere atheist and natural man.

Notes & References:

  1] Venus Cythereia: 'Of Cythera', a name applied to Aphrodite, referring to either a city in Crete or to an island off the Peloponese, both cults centres of the goddess.
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  2] Aphrodite: Greek for Venus.
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  3] Phosophoros: 'Light-bearer', the secular Greek name.
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  4] Vesperugo: Latin for evening star.
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  5] Erycina: 'Of Eryx', a name applied to Venus, referring to a city in Sicily with a famous temple.
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  6] Hesperus, or Vesper, was the God or Goddess of the evening star. As the morning star Venus was known as Phosphorus, or Eosphorus, which is latin for Lucifer, 'the bringer of light'.
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  7] Lucifer: 'bringer of light'.
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  8] Gamblers
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  9] A dealer in textiles, fabrics and fine cloth.
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  10] A person who cuts, polishes, sets or deals in gemstones.
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  11] Seamstresses.
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  12] Engravers.
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  13] Someone who illuminates manuscripts.
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  14] Womb.
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  15] Loins (or kidneys).
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  16] Priapism: prolonged and painful erection of the penis; derived from 'priapus', in classical antiquity the god of male procreative power.
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  17] Greasily charming.
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  18] Culpeper says Moon.
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  19] For details, link to external link
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  20] Culpeper says Mercury for Lilly of the valley, the Moon for water lilies.
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  21] Commonly known as 'lords & ladies'. Culpeper says Mars. For details, link to external link
  22] A fern. For details, link to external link
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  23] Also listed under Jupiter.
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  24] For details, link to external link
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  25] Also listed under Jupiter, to which Culpeper agrees. For details, link to external link
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  26] For an article about the Sycamore in Druidic lore link to OBOD Tree Lore external link
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  27] Terebrinth.
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  28] Also listed under Jupiter. For details, link to external link
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  29] For details, link to external link
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  30] For details, link to external link
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  31] For details link to external link
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  32] Also listed under the Sun. Culpeper says Jupiter, which Lilly gives to 'balsam', a type of balm.
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  33] The herb of grace. Also listed under Saturn. For details link to external link
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  34] For details link to external link
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  35] Also listed under Jupiter. For details link to external link
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  36] For details link to external link
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  37] For details link to external link
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  38] For details link to external link
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  39] A crystalized mixture of resins from the amber tree. Also listed under the Sun. For details link to external link
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  40] A tincture made of opium.
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  41] For details link to external link
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  42] For details link to external link
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  43] Culpeper says Venus. Also listed under Jupiter
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  44] Furnishings
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  45] Or Haniel: the name 'behold God' shared by the archangel and angel. For details link to Marshall Mint external link
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  46] The first and eighth astrological hour of the astrological day, which begins at sunrise, not midnight.
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  47] Rising before the Sun.
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  48] Rising after the Sun.
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  49] Ie., minds their own business.
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  50] Vitious: corrupt
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  51] Flirtation; love-making
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© Deborah Houlding


More on Venus:

Venus the two-faced goddess

Venusian herbs






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