*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...
Catherine Urban, Astrologer
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