In every relationship there is a power equation: someone has more control than the other person. The power in a relationship at any given moment resides in the hands of that one of the partners who has the least stake in the continuance of the relationship. Typically, therefore, the power equation in a relationship will teeter-totter back and forth over time (and over different lifetimes) – now this person, now that one, being the one presently calling the shots.
There’s no astrological way of determining who’s on first in a relationship at any given moment. What horoscopes do reveal, however, is how the individual partners wield the power when it teeters their way; and this is shown primarily by the planet Venus. When Venus is a morning star, when she rises before the Sun in the east – the desire nature is said to be possessive; and when Venus is an evening star, setting after the Sun in the west – the desire nature is said to be dispassionate.
To find out which type you are, download the free Venus table from Astro.com (http://www.astro.com/swisseph/ae/venus1600.pdf); scan the table to find your birth year in the table; and then see whether your date of birth occurred between inferior conj and superior conj (in which case you are possessive); or whether your birthdate occurred between superior conj and inferior conj (in which case your are dispassionate). If your birth occurred within two weeks of greatest brilliancy, then you’re in really great shape – you’re super-popular and everyone loves you. But that’s another story for another day.
Possessive Venus seeks a sense of owning and being owned, and is primarily concerned with alliances and matters of community belonging. Dispassionate Venus seeks a sense of personal privilege and prerogative, and is primarily concerned with preserving individual liberty against encroachment.
The differences between the possessive and dispassionate Venus types show up most clearly in each one’s expectations of marriage. Possessive types are interested in commitment to relationship as an end in itself, to which all else is subordinate; hence, they are less interested in the question of whether or not there is a sharing of philosophies, hobbies, interests, etc. Possessive types bring to marriage expectations of mutual self-sacrifice (especially by the other person), fidelity, and the belief that marriage is above all else a task, which should entail a common purpose, as opposed to mere common interests. The wedding ring is a possessive invention: a pledge of undying constancy; a sign of ownership more humane than a brand.
Dispassionate types, on the other hand, bring to marriage expectations of mutual self-sufficiency, little diminution of individual choice for the sake of the relationship – i.e., the belief that marriage is, above all else, a friendship and should entail nothing more than benevolent interest and good faith. Marriage is viewed as a pooling of common interests insofar as such interests can be shared, with only a generalized feeling of goodwill and well-wishing beyond this point. The dispassionate types prefer relationships with a minimum of clinging, self-adjustment, or inconvenience. Where people happen to meet, they meet; and where they don’t, they go their separate ways. They will never permit any relationship to become the centerpiece of their existence, nor permit themselves to critically depend upon anyone if they can help it. The wedding ring is a dispassionate invention – something the woman can sell after the divorce.
Marriage between two possessive Venus natives or between two dispassionate Venus natives is in some ways easier than a “mixed” marriage, because then the partners possess a like spirit of cooperation and can take the same assumptions about marriage for granted: they at least share the same basic map of marriage. However this is no guarantee of success because even in this case one usually finds the other partner reading the map upside down. Even though their basic expectations of marriage may be in accord, this does not mean that the common interests that bring two dispassionate natives together at the beginning will be enough to sustain them through the years; nor does it mean that the total union which the two possessive natives seek will be harmonious in all its specific implications.
Both possessiveness and dispassion can be strategies for avoidance of intimacy: possessiveness a strategy of control and dispassion a strategy of escape. The right strategy is to be willing to make a total commitment (as the possessive types do), while also maintaining one’s own individuality (as the dispassionate types do). It’s up to the dispassionate types to keep things on an even keel – to keep things light and in perspective; and it’s up to the possessive types to keep things grounded and take a long-term view. Then the types can work in collaboration instead of competition.
(excerpted from Topics in Astrology - amzn.com/1519765878)