The Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain: Venus Opposite Pluto

If you have Venus opposite, square or even inconjunct (150 degrees) Pluto you know all too well the challenging aspects of this planetary combination—likewise if you have Venus in Scorpio, or, to a lesser degree, Pluto in the 7th house or Venus in the 8th. But Venus-Pluto doesn’t only promise a world of pain—it can also lead to transformation.

The Venus-Pluto Personality

Venus-Pluto people are passionate and intense. They can be controlling, possessive, obsessive and jealous. They can manipulate their partner using love and sex. They can be transformative and they can be dark indeed. They are also brutally honest.

With these more challenging aspects, there may also be a difficulty in controlling desires. You want something or someone so very badly, so intensely, so extremely and so completely that all rational thought can fly north for the winter. It doesn’t matter whether what you want is free to come to you or whether it belongs to someone else—you can’t help craving it. You manipulate and play games until you get what you want—but have you really? Love and power become confused to the extent that your biggest fear may be in letting yourself be equal to another; only self-confidence will allow you to completely trust another.

(For the record, I have Pluto in the 7th and Venus and Pluto exactly inconjunct. I admit it—I have control issues and difficulty in detaching or letting go and I do have a weird attraction to power plays. Venus-Pluto is absolutely at play in my relationships.)

Venus-Pluto in Relationships

When you are in a relationship, your expectations can be ridiculously high, especially in regards to your partner’s honesty, fidelity and loyalty—your own faithfulness may be a little more questionable. Quite often, your dark side emerges sometime into the partnership (although partnership is not often a word associated with Venus-Pluto). Be careful not to let the power games ruin what is actually a good thing. The crappy stuff you see and obsess over is more than likely coming from within you, not him.

And when it is over? Regardless of whether it was unrequited lust, a single night of guilt-ridden passion or a long-term relationship, letting go is something that does not come easily to you—even when you are in pain. In some cases, it is the pain that reminds you that you feel, and the pain which you find yourself coming back for again and again.

I have Venus in Aries inconjunct my 7th house Pluto, and I can obsess and hang on to the fantasy long past its end date and then suddenly wake one morning and it will be gone. If, however, your Venus is in a fixed sign (especially Scorpio or Taurus) you may constantly be holding onto something that is no longer true or seeking a closure that simply doesn’t come.

You hate with as much passion as you love—Venus-Pluto revenge fantasies are as colorful as their sexual fantasies can be. There is indeed a fine line between pleasure and pain. In fact, your need for intensity can push you into relationships which you know are no good for you. The temptation may be to search for passion in a secret or forbidden way—perhaps with someone who is out of bounds or otherwise attached.

Venus-Pluto Transformative Potential

The upside of all of this intensity and passion is the potential for creativity and transformative experiences that comes from Venus-Pluto challenges. You know only too well what pain is like, and appreciate real love and pleasure all the more. When you are able to give yourself over completely, that is when the healing can start.

How Pluto-Venus Transits Will Impact You

When Pluto meets up with Venus by transit (Venus transits are normally quicker and are therefore unlikely to have long-term impact), even if you are not by birth a Pluto type, you will be over the duration of this transit. You may find yourself yearning after a married man, involved in power plays, or indulging in something intensely secretive. You may also find it more difficult to control your thoughts, with desires for a person, relationship or something else never far from your mind. If you already have Pluto-Venus contacts, the impact of this transit will magnify these.

As an example, a few years ago, Pluto (in Sagittarius) was trine my natal Venus. My natal Venus-Pluto aspect was activated, and the trine by transit just made what was happening happen more easily (and by “easily,” do not read “pain-free”). All the barriers were removed.


Don’t just look at your own chart here. Think about the chart of those with whom you are in relationships. A Venus-Pluto contact can happen through synastry. It can occur if you are involved with someone who has a Venus-Pluto signature. There may be someone in your life who forces you to see something about yourself that you wanted to keep hidden. There may be someone in your life who transforms you, brings you to life. There could be someone who helps you destroy something which is no longer good. There may be someone whom you allow to control you, or manipulate you or possess you. If you look at the charts of these people, it is likely that you will find a Scorpio or Venus-Pluto aspect there … or even an 8th house contact by synastry. Have a think about it.

›› Astrological compatibility reports can offer insight into how the planets play out in your relationships.

With Venus-Pluto oppositions in synastry (i.e., your Venus is opposite his Pluto or vice versa) the attraction can go between love and hate and right back again super fast. The relationship will definitely be volatile, possibly unrequited, but, if sexual in nature, undeniably and addictively intense. This is the sort of passion that will never be forgotten, the affair that you will compare all others to.

In any Venus-Pluto relationship, each partner’s deepest fears, insecurities and fantasies are dragged kicking and screaming out of the closet. In healthy relationships, this is change your life stuff. Where the motivations of one or the other are not so “pure,” passion can very quickly turn to pain and power struggles … and the Pluto person will usually hold the power, with the Venus person the “submissive” partner. This in itself can cause frustrations, jealousy and manipulation—staying together is as much a challenge as letting go.

So when Venus and Pluto hook up by opposition, it is very like a one night stand (the opposition often implies a coming together and pulling apart) or blazing short term affair that changed you in some way. The sex may have been incredibly good or incredibly bad—it doesn’t matter. What is important is the transformative experience: what you learned from it and how it has changed you. Because it will have … changed you, that is!

How is Venus-Pluto impacting your relationships? Let us know in comments below.

This post is republished by permission of the author and originally appeared at Jo Tracey Astrology.

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About Jo Tracey

Jo Tracey is a Sydney based Astrologer, Blogger and Change/Project Manager — in no particular order. Although overloaded with 1st house Pisces planets, Jo’s 8th house Mars in Scorpio is tempted by the occasional excursion into the “dark side” of the zodiac. Jo can be contacted at


  1. This article is so on point!
    I have Venus in Taurus in the 8th, opposite my Pluto in Scorp.
    I also usually date guys born in my same year so I almost always have Venus opposite Pluto in synastry.

    It leads to very intense, volatile, and usually brief encounters. Which can also be attributed to my having been born under a balsamic moon.

  2. You hate with as much passion as you love—Venus-Pluto revenge fantasies are as colorful as their sexual fantasies can be. There is indeed a fine line between pleasure and pain. In fact, your need for intensity can push you into relationships which you know are no good for you. The temptation may be to search for passion in a secret or forbidden way—perhaps with someone who is out of bounds or otherwise attached.

    yesh! 🙂

    i have venus in taurus conj dc opposite pluto in scorpio conj asc. both are my top 2 dominants in planet and signs. ack LOL!

  3. How would a natal Venus-Pluto trine feel for a person or work out in a relationship?

  4. I ask because I see more posts about Venus-Pluto squares and opposition then I do trines.

  5. I am a Venus in Taurus in house 4 and Pluto in Scorpio house 10….. Lol

  6. @Marisa

    Good observation! Since reading this article, I have discovered several Venus Trine Pluto aspects and am curious about how this manifests in a natal chart/relationship, as well.

  7. Not my current boyfriend, but the past 2 in-a-row boyfriends have ALSO had a venus opp or square pluto. I do, too. So, if both people have them in the relationship – is it safe to say that the relationship will be filled with ludacris possessiveness and idealism which would eventually lead to personal growth for the future? Cuz uh… I’ve seen this and I, personally, try and to keep myself from feeling or acting out on certain things, but love and hate FOR SURE. These days, I choose only to love. I do not want to let myself hate anyone. Especially if a lot of stuff is only real in their head and not in the physical plane.

  8. @Jo:

    In the article, you stated that, “In some cases, it is the pain that reminds you that you feel, and the pain which you find yourself coming back for again and again.” Is that what venus opp. pluto stands for? Coming back for the pain? Again and again? And if a person keeps coming back for the pain, what’s the deal behind that?

    Just an fyi, I have my Venus in Taurus in my 11th house. And I have my Pluto in Scorpio in the 5th house.

  9. Alritey, know too well about the venus-pluto madness, the potency of which has pretty much defined my relationships. For starters, I was always obsessed with love, since I was a kid, and like a typical scorpion venus hankered for the profound union, that which is eternal and soul-shaking, so while I pretty much stayed single for a long time to find ‘the one’, meeting a fantastic mind-player who left after his idiocy led me to the path of a chaotic, never again single, full of yearning and soul-shattering disappointments. For anyone with the pluto-scorp power play knows what a black bottomless pit , a heart-break is for them. So while I charmed and chased and claimed what I couldn’t have and pined for it, having it brought hopelessness, coz it was neither good enuf and guess what, I was betrayed, another high which the venus-scorps cant describe well enuf. So while my libran saturn has been forcing down relationship lessons down my throat for a while now, I’ve stopped trusting what I want. Attracted helplessly to this man who I cant date, dont know if I want to date but cant deny the attraction, as if he were my magnet but seriously m so confused that I dont know if i can handle the pain of being a disappointed lover again. And that’s not all, I donno how I tend to attract intense feelings which starts out as a harmless friendship… so while I never lack attention, the math just never adds up….pretty f***ed up lol

  10. @liz s

    So, do you feel many of your love lessons have to do with your Saturn in Libra, too?

    I have read this position is exalted and have wondered if an exalted position in Saturn helps with the lesson learning.

  11. @jo tracey
    What happens when the venus and pluto are in mutual reception?
    Would a Venus in Scorpio with a Pluto in Libra pose more challenges or ease the tension.

    @Jeffrey Kishner
    Generally speaking, are there any Sasstrology articles on mutual reception? They are scare on the web.

  12. @jo tracey
    What happens when the venus and pluto are in mutual reception?
    Would a Venus in Scorpio with a Pluto in Libra pose more challenges or ease the tension.

    @Jeffrey Kishner
    Generally speaking, are there any Sasstrology articles on mutual reception? They are scarce on the web.

  13. Great article, thank you Jo!

    I have Venus opp Pluto and Pluto in the 7th house. This article is spot on! Especially this:

    Quote: “You manipulate and play games until you get what you want”

    There is a dark side to it and it takes so much to get over the games of seduction to get to something real. I could get anyone I wanted to submit to my demands but ended up not knowing what to do with them once the game ended. Unrivaled power and control over who I wanted was the goal but it never really satisfies Pluto and Venus is left still feeling unloved.

    No, it’s when we lay down our arms and become bare do we really find love. We don’t have to fight or strategize for it, just be open and let it in. Allow it to heal our wounds and give in to the beauty and surrender of true love.

    You know, the most common theme here is how to get someone to love you by astrological sign. Well, been there and have manipulated it to my advantage enough to know that ‘getting someone’ will never work in the long run. My advice to many is basically, “You shouldn’t even want to do this, let he/she love you willfully or let it go” When a Venus/Pluto hard aspect natal realizes that, only then can we truly receive what the universe offers us and then can we only graciously accept.

  14. Hi guys. Loving the discussion. Firstly to the trine. The trine aspect doesn’t seem to have the same tension that you get from the conjunction, square & opposition. It is an easier (if there is such a term when we’re talking about Pluto!) integration of the energy, with less of the struggle. Having said that, any aspect with Pluto can’t ever ever ever be ignored.

    The mutual reception? Yep, I would also see that as being an almost 2nd nature sort of easing of tension. Venus in Scorpio, whilst Venus is in her fall in Scorpio, she can also be empowered, very sexually aware. I think (& I know some astrologers might disagree with me & there is nothing wrong with that) the mutual reception would add strength. Bear in mind though, there is no actual aspect or connection between the two planets. Venus as dispositor of Pluto and vice versa…

  15. @Vivienne Venus opp Pluto is often about a coming together and pulling apart- and that means pain. It is also often seen as falling for someone you know you can’t have, who may be unattainable in some way. These comments are also very true of the inconjunct. Pain is, as we know, always associated with unrequited love/lust/whatever and seriously ouchy. Look at what else is happening in your chart. Someone with a strong sense of boundaries may not allow themselves to be pulled into the deep- this is usually signified by a super strong Saturn. This aspect,as with all of them, can’t be looked at in isolation. Where pain is involved, though, there is always a lesson there about healing and about dealing with it and coping mechanisms. I’m a triple Piscean though, so all too often stick my fingers in my ears, sing lalalalala & go back for more.

  16. ooops, I forgot to say, I write quite tongue in cheek, but the dark undertone of Venus/Pluto can be abuse- & that is never OK. Never ever ever.

  17. @JO,

    who feels the unrequited love? Pluto or Venus?

    I have Pluto sq Venus natally and im a scorp moon and mercury, they conjunct my sun and uranus. you were talking about how someone with strong saturn in their chart may have a better sense of boundaries. i have venus sq saturn and im a venus in cap. Saturn certainly puts the brakes on my reaction to Pluto’s advances (he is a scorp sun). In synastry, we form a tight pluto sq venus aspect. despite saturn, sometimes this lunar scorpio feels compelled to look, but dont touch…..touch, but dont taste……..taste, but dont swallow.

    how long could this tug of war go on for between Pluto and Venus in synastry?
    how do you yourself handle your own manipulation and the need to “win”?

  18. @Jo Tracey

    I know its slightly off subject, but…

    Do you know much about Saturn in Libra with a Venus in Capricorn as a mutual reception?
    Saturn in Libra would indicate relationship lessons; but does a mutual reception ‘ease the tension’ as you say since Saturn is exalted in Libra? I also have Saturn conjunct Jupiter and Pluto (all in Libra).

  19. @Sag24/7

    How’s it going?
    What is your Saturn sign?

  20. @Nov lady – hmm, I donno if its the planets or my own trail of relationship drama that has made me sit up and take notice but to be honest, ever since the saturn transit started, my relationships took center-stage and I’ve felt imprisoned since I could not walk away from my primary relationship which I would have otherwise since Its all or nothing for me. So yea, the past 2 years have actually kind of forced me to seek middle ground which I read is saturn’s work in libra. I’ve noticed a few other librans forced to finally acknowledge relationship issues too, kind of u know, not knowing what side were they on – in or out. Also one other aspect that has been common is the presence of a third party, and sort of challenging beliefs about loving just one person coz after all these years of being sure of what I wanted, I suddenly found myself not being able to turn away from two men, like being pulled in opposite directions. I’ve reached the brink though; always thought relationships were about love and not the math that I’m just not able to solve 🙁

  21. @Novlady,

    ive been good. going through my saturn return. My Saturn is also in libra and conjuncts Pluto. Juipter conjuncts my pluto as well.

    are you going through your return as well?

  22. I have a natal Venus-Pluto trine (Venus in Aquarius 10th Pluto in Libra 6th), Scorpio Moon and Uranus in 7th and Sagittarius Sun, Mars, Neptune in 8th. The feelings of jealously, passion and wanting to possess are definitely inside me and I feel them with such an intensity I’m surprised I haven’t burned myself from the inside out. I attract those type of people as well. What I also know and feel inside with as much intensity is that I was not born to this Earth to control or possess anyone, or be controlled or possessed by another. The knowledge has always been inside me. I had to do a lot of digging to find and release that knowledge. Past relationships have also been lessons learned.

  23. @novlady there are mentions of mutual reception in passing on the blog and forum (you can search for it in the google bar at the top of the sidebar) but no articles devoted to it.

  24. @Jeffrey Kishner

    Same here. We have similar conjunctions. I’m very curious about the Venus/Saturn mutual reception.

  25. This is so crazy! That part where it mentions about how venus-pluto opp in synastry, because i had that happen with one of my closest guy friends! He has a Venus Taurus and Scorpio Pluto, I myself have a Venus Pisces and a Scorpio Pluto that sits in the 8th House.

    We’ve had a few life changing situations that have really brought us very close over the years. It was kind of like a light bulb moment for each. It made us understand one another and really open up to the point in being able to confined about things we couldn’t with some people.

    I’ve got to say this article was a real eye opener about things. Thank you so much for writing this one Jo Tracey!

  26. I can relate to all of this, although I have Venus trine Pluto. Venus is in Pisces in my 7th house while Pluto’s in Scorpio in my 3rd. I like to think the wateriness of both plus the nature of my trine make my obsessiveness more subtle, because I easily get obsessed shamelessly and letting go is a case of emotionally handling the aftermath (I overthink it; that might be the air houses doing thier thing)

  27. @Jo Tracey – any insights on venus conjunct saturn in scorpio while my sun sign is libra and saturn is currently doing rounds there…could this all be leading to some relationship grand-finale in the coming year…I have this strong feeling!

  28. Braveheart says:

    Someone please give me advice {: [
    I have venus in Aries 9* (3rd house), opposition Pluto in Libra 8* (9th house)
    Capricorn ascendent 5*, Saturn in Cancer 12* (7th house)
    My sun is 12* Pisces squared by Neptune in Sag 11*
    If you look at the position and degrees of the planets right now, you’ll see why I’m asking for advice!
    My grand cross is directly involved with this planetary battle zone, no letting up for the next few years!
    My biggest issue, of course is my marriage of 8 years falling apart. Currently separated, by his choice
    I want more than anything to make my marriage work as I love my husband, but with all these transits I want to be sure I’m not holding onto something for the wrong reasons, like the inability to let go.
    Venus opposition pluto, square saturn has plagued me since I’m a teenager and now these planets are facing me, even when I try to sleep
    I do feel so sure that this is my golden opportunity to transform and show my husband how deeply I love him, but I fear he has too many scars from me 🙁 and he’s done
    He says he’s felt unappreciated, unloved, controlled and criticized for the last 15 years ( 7 years living together, 8 years married)
    He has Mars in Cancer 9* so he has Pluto transits as well and we both have moon is scorpio adding to the intensity
    How do I know if this is truly the end of our relationship and marriage, or what I hope, the opportunity for deep transformation and true happiness together?
    I HATE to think that transits can rip relationships apart but I know these are divorce transits and we’ve been saying divorce for the last two years already
    My Saturn is not liking this and ready to do the work required but Venus in Aries wants love here and now, not getting it with the separation
    Pluto seems to be bringing on power struggles between us, clashing of wills, emotional explosions so the separation is definitely necessary at this time
    But I know enough about astrology that the transits are here to bring about necessary change
    What do these transits want me to do????

  29. My Venus is trine my boyfriend’s Pluto, and he has Venus opposite Pluto natally, as well as his Moon opposite his Pluto.
    I have Moon conjunct Pluto natally, so together we are quite intense. And he can be quite difficult quite often. But we always come back together 🙂

  30. I have my Venus in Aries opposing his Pluto in Libra, and in return his Venus is Libra is conjunct my Pluto in Scorpio. It was an intense relationship but I could not figure out for a long time if his Venus conjuncting my Pluto is causing that obsession or if my Venus in Aries wanting him so much but having differences due to his Pluto opposing my Venus. It is just such a mess to understand and rationalize if this is a good transformative deep connection that should be pursued and faced. Or if it is a bad transformative connection that will only bring pain and suffering to one or both people involved. Any thoughts or comments would be really appreciated.

  31. if this opposition is that bad, so i advice you guys who born in 1983-1995 with venus in taurus, you HAVE TO date or mary anyone who wassnt born in those years hahahaaa

    i was in relationship with a guy with sun/pluto in scorpio, it was very good till i thought my heart would just explode, until he decided to separate, but he keeps coming back, he always manipulated me, lied to me, i just let him having fun, he never noticed im so intuitive, maybe because i have pluto dominant and scorpio rising, its kinda cute when he was trying to look very good in front of me, sent some pictures that will drive me crazy, i hate him for doing that to me, he acts like hes faithful, yet he doesnt want commitment, i hate hiiiimmmm, yes he controls me, indeed, till now… ohh btw im taurus sun/venus, scorpio pluto, you can imagine how intense this relationship was hahaaa

    Jo, you are right about how it changed me..

  32. I have Venus in Taurus opposite Pluto and for the last year and a half have been experiencing a complicated relation with one girl. What I learned is I have to let go of expectations. I was expecting, maybe not even too much, that the things would manifest in the way I wanted, but they did not and that drove me crazy, especially because she was very volatile and didn’t want a relationship despite her liking for me. We haven’t communicated in 4 months, and I’m still burning. I learned my lesson, my advice: let go of expectations. If you want to keep expecting, you can cosole yourself with quantum physics, by it your expectations are both right and wrong… at least they’re right.

  33. Can a successful marriage be built on a relationship like this. Me and this girl I like have multiple pluto connections.

    venus trine
    moon sextile AND trine
    mercury/uranus/NN(x2)/vesta/psyche/MC square
    mars/jupiter/saturn/eros opp
    uranus semi-sextile

    Altogether about 15 connections between our plutos.

  34. Also, since this is a generational thing, wouldn’t that mean she’d have the same reaction to everyone born within three years of my bday(+/-)?

  35. Donna Stanford says:

    I have Pluto in Virgo (1st house) square my Venus/Mars exact conjunction. Consequently Uranus is conjunct my Pluto almost exact also. NO FUN! The man I am currently sexually involved with after a 4 year hiatus from any kind of relating with anyone I might add. He has Pluto in Virgo tightly conjunct his Virgo Venus. INTENSE? Yes! Controlling? Not so much. He also his Uranus conjunct Pluto and Venus. We are 52, born 2 months apart. We began talking 2 years before actually becoming sexual. Very strange and addictive dance. Also, transit Pluto is trining his Venus while also trining our individual Plutos. We spent 2 years obsessing and avoiding any kind romantic contact. It was quite entertaining. ? I have no idea where this is headed. We are having fun and it’s not all encompassing. We both live our lives and get together when we can. But the pull for both of us is like a moth to a flame and we dive into some pretty risque activities. SO LIBERATING. I should mention that we went to High school together and were friends for most of our lives so this came as a surprise to both of us. It is alos interesting that we have an exact Sun conjunct Pluto in our composite with Uranus looming ever so close. With all of that being said, we have a TON of tight Saturn between us (Good and bad) which is the reason for the hesitations and delays and perhaps the glue that may very well bind us together for an eternity. We shall see. GREAT ARTICLE! Thank you again!

  36. Donna Stanford says:

    Forgot to mention that my Pluto makes an EXACT conjunction to his Venus. 11 minutes. Uranus at 33 minutes. And his Pluto/Uranus squares my Venus/Mars conjunction although wider at 4 and 5 degrees.

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