*All times read for Eastern Time; for Pacific, subtract 3 hours.
Most people have heard of Mercury retrograde. But what isn’t as widely known is that all planets have retrograde cycles. As Venus’s orbit around the Sun is similar to Earth’s, her retrograde is the rarest, only occurring once every 18 months for 40-43 days. On March 4th, 2017, Venus will station retrograde in the sign of Aries and retrace her steps back into Pisces.
During Venus retrograde, we review what’s in our heart: our desires, priorities, relationships and the things we enjoy. Venus also rules our money, values and resources. Where are we directing our energy and how is it serving us? While Venus usually loves to share, but in Aries we are all going to be more self-focused. Restoring our vitals is important so that we can show up more fully and authentically in our lives.
Independence: Those born with Venus in Aries are fiercely independent and it’s very natural for them to put their needs first. Other people’s needs are often an afterthought and it’s not to be mean! Venus has been in Aries since February 3rd. I noticed right away how much more forward and feisty people became. So when Venus changes direction, this willful spunk turns inward. Everyone is going to be more focused on their own path and making changes to what we began in November 2015. Aside from the Moon, Venus remains unaspected for the first two weeks of her retrograde, further asserting her independence by taking space (many of us will do the same).
Getting clear: this is an optimal time to find one’s center. In a world so chaotic, compassion fatigue is a very real thing. It’s okay to take this time to be mindfully selfish because Venus will return to the selfless sign of Pisces in April. I’m already seeing people resign social media or announce they are refraining from political posts. Taking a media fast might be just what you need to reconnect with your center. However, Aries is also the sign of the warrior, so this can also help clarify your cause. This is a great time to do a cleanse of any kind or make new habits. Venus retrograde lasts for 40 days; after 40 days, we have a whole new set of blood in the body and can be an entirely new person.
Change of Heart: Getting clear with oneself may alter our course. Just as Venus appears to be catching up with her counterpart Mars, she puts on the brakes. Venus and Mars have a unique relationship (mythology aside) in that Mars is the action principle, and unless the action is impulsive and instinctual, it is Venus who governs the actions of Mars. This is because Venus represents preferences. If Mars is the warrior, Venus is the one who sends him to fight.
So before we fully commit to our course of action, Venus changes her mind! This is a time when our priorities may change and we decide to alter our path in ways big or small. Again, the value of getting really clear with oneself during this time must be reiterated!
Venus and Mars can also represent partnership. Their celestial motion suggests that each partner has some personal work to attend to before uniting more fully. Just one week after Venus turns retrograde in Mars’ home sign of Aries, Mars enters Venus’ domicile of Taurus. Therefore, although on their own paths, they ARE conversing; they ARE working together. One couple I know uses the term “divide and conquer.” Each player on the team must do their part to condition before descending onto the court.
Let’s recall that Jupiter is in Libra (answering to Venus), emphasizing the quality of partnership and growth that comes from relating with others. To fully show up in a partnership, we must be honest about our needs and desires; and for a relationship to be healthy, it needs to be mutually beneficial. Jupiter in Libra seeks to make fair. In taking this time to get clear and put ourselves first, we may realize that certain relationships are imbalanced. If it’s been you who hasn’t been putting in your fair share, you may be able to redeem yourself. Venus retrogrades into Pisces on April 2nd, where compassion and understanding is heightened.
However, you may also realize that a relationship is not healthy, stale or simply toxic and beyond repair. This is a time we will see breakups.
More on Healing: Venus dips back into Pisces, stationing direct on April 15th with an exact conjunction to Chiron. Chiron represents our relationship with the wound, the healing process, and wisdom accrued through difficult times. Tremendous healing can occur when the heart opens. The universal world view of Pisces assists us to see things from a cosmic perspective, alleviating grudges and finding understanding. None of us are perfect and we don’t always mean to hurt one another. It is here that we can discover compassion for our enemies. Once we forgive, we stop carrying baggage and our heart is more free to let people in.
That said, Venus and Chiron square Saturn, which speaks of boundaries and maturity. Many of the hearts’ lessons teach healthy boundaries to protect ourselves. Know the difference between a boundary and a wall! Maybe this means having the courage to be the big person and apologize and to make strides to improve the relationship. To me, this also speaks of closure or an ending.
I see this as in immense opportunity for healing, both collectively and personally. Venus is especially exalted at this degree, and all planets disposit to Neptune, the Great Dissolver. Herein, the utopian ideal of a peaceful, thriving, cooperative world can be seen. Love, in its highest form is the ecstasy of Creation. “Love is all you need…”
Once Venus moves forward, there may be a revitalized desire to give back and make the world a better place. Venus will once again return to Aries on April 28th, but with a more refined edge. Still spunky, still direct, but well rested, contained and pointed. We now have some to give to ourselves and some to give to the world; it’s a balanced give and take. With our energy restored, we can be more present with ourselves and in the world─ and hopefully more kind, patient and loving.
Recap of Dates:
Venus entered shadow: January 30th (first clue)
Venus retrograde: March 4th, 4:09 am, at 13⁰ Aries
Venus reenters Pisces: April 2nd, at 8:25 pm
Venus direct: April 15th, 6:18 am, 26⁰ Pisces
Venus reenters Aries: April 28th at 9:13 am
Venus clears shadow: May 19th (resolve)
Venus and Mars, officially combine on October 5th, 2017 in the pure and practical sign of Virgo. So we have plenty of time to prepare before we begin a new cycle around going after what we want.
Elaboration on general Venusian themes:
Beauty and Aesthetics: Now is not the best time to dramatically change your appearance, because during a Venus retrograde everything looks more beautiful and appealing. Hold onto your ideas for tattoos, cosmetic surgery, chopping bangs or painting the kitchen for now. If the desire still sticks by mid-April, go forth! As a hairstylist, I will exercise caution when a client wants a big change… returning to a style from the past is ok!
Big Purchases: Venus rules luxury items, like cars, furniture, art and jewelry. Again, the heart overpowers the mind, so we must try to use extra caution when it comes to spending money (aside from everyday necessities). If you see something that you simply can’t pass up, keep the tags on. Just in case.
Investments: When you make a big investment in something that isn’t paid off in one day, you are creating a business relationship with a bank, the company you are purchasing from and perhaps another individual. This is a triple caution. But life won’t wait. Often people purchase homes this time of year, so if the dream home falls into your lap, just remove the fairy dust from your eyes, get a thorough inspection and really ask yourself if this is truly what you want.
On the flip side, this is an excellent time to sell; chances are optimal for a higher profit since people are extra willing to spend.
Resources and Values: The biggest resource we have is how we allocate our energy. Review your energetic investments. What is most important to me right now? How do I meet my priorities? “Relationships are for a reason, a season or a lifetime”
Relationships: Generally, we want to feel like we are moving forward in our relationships. But with Venus appearing to move backward in our sky, this is about reviewing our current relationships rather than beginning new ones. If a new relationship seems to be budding, try to keep it casual until mid-April. Hook-ups will be hook-ups.
If you really want a break up to be permanent, wait until after the retrograde if you can.
Venus retrograde can revive past relationships. Expect to hear from past lovers and friends. Even if you don’t actually hear from them, it’s a time when past relationships are in the forefront of our consciousness. We always continue to learn from them. So now we REflect, REmember and REalize. Grudges can be healed and growth can occur.
Venus retrogrades occur in an 8 year pattern: Looking back to previous Venus retrogrades in Aries/ Pisces can give us even more clarity as to certain themes that might reemerge. Think back to March/April of 2009, 2001, 1993, 1985, 1977…
Retrogrades allow us to slow down and gain the clarity we need, so that we can adjust our direction. These brief periods of reevaluation are so important on our path.
May we all find the courage to connect with our hearts’ true desires in a way that helps us feel more supported in our spiritual and human existence...
On July 25th, 2015, Venus turns retrograde at 0⁰46’ Virgo. She will retrograde back into Leo until she hits 14⁰25’ on September 6th, when she will station and return to direct motion. Venus retrogrades about every 18 months for 40-43 days.
Venus rules beauty, aesthetics, relationships, values, resources and money. It’s generally not recommended to begin anything *NEW* that pertains to Venus’ rulership. When the Goddess moves backwards in the heavens, nothing in her domain moves forward.
“As above so below.”
(Of course we all have free will; if you want to go ahead and make a big purchase, you can. Just the same, if you want to plant flowers in the snow, you can. It’s just that the timing isn’t on your side.)
Beauty and Aesthetics: This is not the best time to dramatically change your appearance. Don’t chop your long hair into a pixie on a whim. You might later regret that you didn’t consider your choice more thoroughly. This is because during a Venus retrograde, everything is going to look beautiful and more appealing. We just aren’t thinking as clearly. The same goes for tattoos and cosmetic surgery, for obvious reasons. Use the retrograde period to meditate on the idea and if it still sticks come September, go forth! As a hairstylist, I expect that I’ll have to overemphasize the risks of my client’s bold ideas. I would hate for them to find that their new hairstyle doesn’t work for them after all.
Big Purchases: This is also not the best time to go on a giant shopping spree. We are enamored by everything we see during this time. If you see something that you simply can’t pass up, keep the tags on. Just in case. Venus rules luxury items. This doesn’t mean that you can’t buy anything at all! Just beware of the big price tags. The reason being is that often during this time, prices are a bit inflated. You may later realize that you paid way too much for something, that it’s cheaply made or that it becomes a money pit. You may also later decide that the expensive, stunning dress that you bought is now hideous.
Investments: When you make a big investment in something that isn’t paid off in one day, you are creating a business relationship with a bank, the company you are purchasing from and perhaps another individual. This is a triple “no-no” as Venus rules relationships and money. It’s best to wait until after the retrograde to purchase a home or vehicle, or to invest with a friend. Use this time to plan and research. If you decide that you can’t wait, you may come to find that your big purchase turns into a bigger headache than it’s worth. Either the car goes on sale soon after you bought it, or your car becomes a lemon.
But is it a good time to sell your house? It sure is. But you would still have to find another place to live, which rehashes the issues stated above. It’s best to wait until September.
Resources: We’ve already discussed a bit about spending, but the biggest resource we have is our energy. Where are we distributing our energy and with whom? This is a great time to evaluate how we allocate ourselves in the world. Perhaps you have an affiliation that’s become outworn or even draining. In life, we hope to get back what we give in. If the exchange of energy is disproportionate, then we need to reconsider how much we are giving.
“Relationships are for a reason, a season or a lifetime”
Also, since we are talking about Venus, it’s worth considering if we are giving enough of our time to things that we love. Often we end up choosing the option that pleases others. Venus conjoins Jupiter in Leo 3 times this year! It’s important that we connect with our passions enough to feel like we are shining in the world.
Relationships: This is NOT the best time to begin a new relationship. Generally, we want to feel like we are moving forward in our relationships. But with Venus appearing to move backward in our sky, this is about reviewing our current relationships.
Any relationship takes work. We are all growing. And we don’t always grow together. Whether the relationship is new or old, this is a good time to express any feelings of dissatisfaction. See if there is a compromise that you two can make that would improve the dynamic for everyone. It may just take a few minor adjustments.
Also ask yourself, “does my end of the compromise fit with my value system, or have I already overextended myself?” Conversely, you may also become aware of things you could improve on your end of your relationships.
If you end the relationship during the retrograde, it may come back to life later on. So if you really want this person out of your life for good, wait until the end of the retrograde to sever ties.
Expect to hear from a past lover. Venus retrograde doesn’t promise that they will stick around, but she does promise closure one way or another. “Oh, that’s why that didn’t work out…” If you are single, it might be fun to reconnect with an old flame; especially since it’s not the best time to begin a new relationship.
However, if you do meet someone that piques your interest, what you’ll want to do is just take things slow. Keep it very casual. Use this time to make sure that this person fits your set of values. Sometimes Venus retrograde will invite you to overlook your deal-breakers. Beware of getting wrapped up in a fairytale that this might be “the one,” and then several months later you’ll wonder, “What was I thinking!?”
So even if your past lovers don’t call you, they can at least come to mind. There is a reason for this. We are reflecting on our growth. We grow through intimate experiences with others. We are reminded of our lessons so we don’t make the same mistakes twice.
It’s a good time to review what went wrong in our past relationships, and to face any unresolved feelings. You may realize that although the experience was unpleasant, that it taught you a lot, and that it narrowed in your checklist for what you value in another person. Look at things in a new light so that you may bring healing to your heart. Try to find understanding. What was the “reason or season” truly about? Make peace with the past.
Marriage: Generally, this is not the best time to plan a wedding. So if you realize how perfect your mate is, and you want to go to Vegas and get married next weekend, hold off until after the retrograde. Your heart may still be clouded; you get so wrapped up in your love for your partner that you forget how badly your family wanted to be a part of this moment. Now you’ll never hear the end of it!
But don’t call off the wedding if you have already planned it! August is a beautiful time of year for weddings. It doesn’t mean that a marriage is doomed when commenced under a Venus retrograde. All it means is that the heart is telling you what to do, and Mercurial mind is taking a backseat. It’s wonderful to listen to your heart! But your heart might be overlooking a few things, telling you, “everything will be perfect,” but then you come to realize that one person wants a life in the city and another person thought that you two would escape to the country to settle down. These issues aren’t deal-breakers, but they are hurdles. During a Venus retrograde, the hurdles are invisible until afterwards.
Values: To sum up all of the above: What are our values? What do we value in any type of relationship? What is important to us?
The Relationship of Venus and Mars:
Venus and Mars are closely related. Venus is the goddess of love and war, while Mars is the warrior. The allegory is simple: If Venus is what we love and what we value, she is also responsible for what we dislike, or even hate. It’s these strong feelings of love and hate that drive us into war.
Without these Venusian preferences, Mars would have no direction. Mars takes action because of Venus. We do what we love. Or even if we are working at a job that is only tolerable, it’s because we still put value on keeping ourselves afloat and therefore, the job is valuable…
What makes this Venus retrograde unique is that she makes 3 conjunctions to Jupiter (July 1st, august 4th, October 25th, 2015) and to Mars (Feb 21st, September 1st, and November 2nd, 2015). Mars is what drives us to work hard. Sometimes we get so caught up in the work that we forget why we are doing it. Venus retrograde is a great time to get back in touch with why we are invested. Venus is the why behind what we do (Mars).
And with Venus travelling so closely to Jupiter, we are reminded to play, to rediscover the joyous side of our Venus. Jupiter is inviting us to shine more! If the job is only tolerable, open the door to search for something more aligned with your essence.
This retrograde also has to do with HEART HEALTH. Physically and spiritually. Leo rules the heart and creative self-expression; Virgo rules intestines, diet, and discernment. We must follow our heart’s desire, but still be practical about it. Virgo wants us to have a plan. Don’t just quit your job and move to a commune on a whim. Do your research and consider the details. When it comes to diet, Jupiter wants all the fatty, delectable, indulgences. Virgo has to digest it, so she is asking us to be mindful! Create a balance. Ideally, we can find a love for honoring our health.
Venus retrogrades occur in an 8 year pattern: Looking back to previous Venus retrogrades in Virgo/Leo can give us even more clarity as to certain themes that might reemerge. In July 2007, Venus went retrograde from Virgo back into Leo in July of 2007, 1999, 1991, 1983, 1975, 1967.
Retrogrades allow us to slow down and gain the clarity we need, so that we can adjust our direction. These brief periods of reevaluation are so important on our path.
May we all find the courage to connect with our hearts’ true desires in a way that helps us feel more supported in our spiritual and human existence…
Catherine Urban, Astrologer
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