In one of Rilke’s letters, there is a profound insight about what we crave in time of loneliness: to come in agreement with another person, never mind who. This gives us another way to look at Venus and the 11th house of “friends.”
The book “Social Animal” points out that one of our core need is to be right. In a Venusian sense, this need is fulfilled through coming into agreement with others around us: it feels great to be with a large number of people, cheering for the same team, band, or political party. Everyone around you is confirming and agreeing with your view, so you feel affirmed and right.
To describe a likable or pleasing person, we say he/she is an “agreeable” person. We can see from this that one of the key quality of Venus or Libra is to come into agreement with the other person. This subconsciously lets the other person know that he/she is okay, right, and therefore lovable.
Now this does not mean you need be a “yes-man (woman)” in order to be liked. To agree and align yourself to others does not mean you become phony and unauthentic. Rather, you cultivate a skill to assert your perspective while maintaining the feeling of agreement and approval of the other person.
The “friends” or groups, which is represented by the 11th house, come together according to some shared purpose – so there is an implicit agreement about the purpose of the gathering. This gives everyone in the group the feeling of “being in agreement”, which positively reinforces the self image (11th house is sextile to the 1st house.)
When the 11th House is Under Tension
There are many ways that the 11th house expression can be challenged: having an assertive, individualistic planet such as Mars or Uranus signifying (i.e. occupying or ruling) the 11th house suggests that you aren’t a follower. You need to assert your own views in a group, which necessitates that you either become a leader or a misfit.
Same with Saturn in/ruling the 11th house: there is a lack of ease in relating (to come in agreement with) the group in a emotional way. Here you need to earn authority, or the right to lead people, through your work and wisdom.
Pluto associated with the 11th house suggests great need to connect with the group, for empowerment. Neptune here suggests sharing of the ideals and grand vision with others.
When thinking about how to activate your Venus or 11th house, it may help to think in terms of “coming into agreement” with others. If your Venus, 7th or 11th house is under tension, you might want to check to see where you tend to create unnecessary conflict or disagreement with others in a relationship.
I notice that some people do this out of habit – they can’t help arguing or mentioning negative things, which inevitably turns others off. There are ways to be authentic , assertive and still be accepting of others. Accepting yourself is a good start.