Venus Retrograde

Waxing Moon & Venus Trine Mars

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Venus retrograde is making a trine to Mars in Aquarius. Venus has been retrograde since early October. Venus retro is a fertile period for significant creative, financial, and relational shifts and changes. With Venus back in its home sign Libra, it carries a more harmonious, friendly, artistic, and auspicious flare.

Venus trine Mars is a notable sexual stimulus. Combined with Jupiter's recent ingress into Sagittarius, there's a powerful surge of adventurousness and excitement currently filling the air. The next few days can intensify desires. Yes, both creative and sexual powers gain leverage and leading into Venus' direct station next week (Nov. 16), there will be a gradual amplification of the heart center once again.

As we move beyond the deeply intense New Moon in Scorpio, the astrology this week opens us to new possibilities. It can feel like a switch has been flipped, a burden rapidly lifted, or a new potential is gaining more traction. Venusian, heart-centered vibes in trine aspect to Mars can provoke a longing to bond, connect, or indulge in carnal pursuits.

Consider that getting what you want may come more accessible, but as always, be mindful of its relevance. With both benefic planets in their home signs, the mood might suddenly feel lighter and hopeful the remainder of this month. And at least until Mars shifts into Pisces Nov. 15, our self-assertion and willpower flow with an unusual sense of ease. Social harmony and charismatic persuasiveness make for a valuable building of rapport and resolution of conflict.


Samhain & Venus/Uranus Opposition

By Jonathan Thorne [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

By Jonathan Thorne [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

As always, October ends with Samhain (aka Halloween), but unlike usual, Venus is retrograde, in Scorpio, and in opposition to Uranus. This is an aspect that suggests breaking with normalcy, routine, or tradition and embracing newness. With Uranus opposing Venus, this is more likely to show up in the context of relationships. But also, it can represent a sudden, unexpected shift of values, attraction, or creative vision.

Venus retrograde brings up the topic of the past, such as perhaps a sudden re-emergence of a "past life" connection, memory, or passion. Considering that the barriers between realities become malleable on Samhain, we can more easily gain access to esoteric perceptions. Under this Venus/Uranus opposition, anticipate something unusual to show up and change the current narrative.

In romantic, platonic, or marriage type arrangements, Venus/Uranus can shake us out of a predictable mode of relating or engaging with life. Whatever shows up for you, however notable or subtle, embrace the wildcard possibilities and try something different. This is the second of three Venus/Uranus oppositions this year, the last occurring on Nov. 30. This opposition during Venus retrograde can represent the most radical, emotional shift.

Venus is currently closer to the Earth, the heart is louder than usual, and connecting with Uranus can emancipate repressed desires or creativity. For the next few days, reach beyond your comfort zone, seek an adventure, or meet up with new (or some familiar) souls. Relationships of all kinds will likely be the conduit of change. And just past Venus' inferior conjunction, something fresh is emerging from the heart, so take some time to listen.


Mercury, Venus, & Scorpio

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2018

Mercury in Scorpio makes a conjunction with Venus retrograde at the start of the week. Mercury/Venus makes for unusually smooth verbal and financial transactions. Venus' retrograde cycle is increasingly amplifying desires, attractions, and all heart-related themes clear up to its inferior conjunction Oct. 26.

So yes, the heart is getting louder, and Mercury can help us speak up about what we're profoundly feeling, especially anything that's been hard to say. Mercury is fleeting, and so this heart/mind connection won't last long. The first few days of this week can be extra synchronistic/serendipitous, potentially magical in various ways.

Conversations/dialogues can feel especially infused with intensity and brute honesty. For clearing the air of pent-up and repressed emotional content, Mercury/Venus can work beautifully to smooth things out and accentuate receptivity. And those potentially challenging, distressing, or otherwise objectionable topics can fit more easily into discourse and examinations.

Also, elements of the past can come powerfully forward this week. Unresolved discussions, past-life muses, unfinished creative works, and insightful facts/information can be dominating points of focus. Pay close attention to any brief yet poignant interactions and still, look beyond what's said. The mind isn't always this lucid or intuitive, so note the deeper complexity beneath the words.


Tipping the Scales: Venus Square Mars & Mercury Opposition Uranus

Arches National Park; photo by John Sullivan

Arches National Park; photo by John Sullivan

Mercury's ingress into Scorpio this week triggers its opposition to erratic and electrifying Uranus. While a brief and fleeting event, it just might send waves until the remainder of the week. Of course, far more is going on. Mercury is now in Scorpio, discussed here. Venus is retrograde and is now reaching its square to Mars and the Sun squares Pluto.

Mercury's opposition to Uranus can correlate with a breakthrough in dialogue or perception. Occurring in fixed signs, Mercury/Uranus seeks to radically alter a static view of reality or impulse an innovative train of thought. On the material level, techno/mechanical aberrations are likely (but can resolve as quickly as they manifest).

Sudden flashes of insight accompany a potentially agitated or restless atmosphere, so yes, expect the unexpected and seek to liberate your mind and voice. Venus' square to Mars adds some poignant intensity to various relational interactions. Consider that healthy conflict and tension can deepen trust and understanding. With Venus retrograde, we are adding new layers of complexity to our perception of those we interact with most.

Latent relational tensions may give rise and find a voice. But also, Venus square Mars is a highly sexual stimulus, and quick flings will likely provide more than initially expected. For unleashing raw and uncensored urges, the remainder of the week can feel unusually visceral. Venus/Mars has optimal creative applications, too. Take note of emerging passion which can reinvigorate pending projects.

The Sun's square to Pluto exacts Oct. 11 and carries some energies of the New Moon in Libra. Combined with Venus/Mars, Sun/Pluto can correlate with power struggles in our relationships this week. The need to assert a unique view of things could meet resistance. But all of this tension can strengthen values and integrity, despite a potential lack of a clean resolution.

Reflect on how idealism is currently being challenged. Pluto in Capricorn and Venus in Scorpio especially offer a more honest view of reality. The Sun in Libra still leans on the side of diplomacy, yet the strong Scorpionic undercurrent and Pluto's dynamic square present the challenge of balancing niceness with realness.

Peace, Love & Darkness: New Moon in Libra 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

New Moon @ 15 Libra 48’

October 8, 2018

8:47 PM Los Angeles

11:47 PM New York

October 9, 2018

4:47 AM London

11:47 AM Beijing

1:47 PM Sydney

Every New Moon is a dark Moon, the moment within the lunar cycle when the Moon cannot be seen. This New Moon is especially dark, given its square aspect to Pluto and with Venus now moving retrograde in Scorpio. Occurring in tropical Libra, this New Moon highlights relationships, desires, and attractions and their ability to reflect concealed and unconscious aspects within ourselves.

This lunation is about plunging deep to uncover what lies hidden beneath our social veneers which prevent authentic interaction. Libra's negative face exemplifies the abuse of charm, charisma, and glamor when used as vehicles for manipulation and self-gratification. A successful descent into this New Moon requires a commitment to honesty as well as integrity.

Over the next three weeks especially, with Venus now retrograde through Scorpio, we are undergoing a powerful personal and relational renewal which occurs every year and a half. Venus, as ruler of this New Moon, initiates us on our quest into the darkness, to confront the obscure and discarded to find peace, love, and acceptance for what is.

Pluto's square to the New Moon and Mars' applying square to Venus are two points of tension which can challenge us with the limitations of power or serve as catalysts to step up and create real and lasting change. As we pass through this lunation, consider the time, patience, and commitment required to develop love and passion for anyone and anything.

This New Moon can stand as the gateway to the deepening of both love and passion for those commitments and relationships we've established close bonds to. Venus' retrograde station can amplify our desire to love and be loved, sensitizing any woundedness or heartbreak.

A most significant step in life, as it is with this New Moon, is learning to trust our wounds, pain, fears, and anxieties as teachers. There is great wisdom in the darkness, despite the western world's obsessive subjugation of it. There is freedom and liberation in encountering the taboo and those things despised. We are not separate from the things we fear or do not understand. We have merely lost our connection to the totality of our truth.

With this lunation, step back, sink in, and listen. Move beyond the comfortable prison of your personal and subjective perspective. Over the next lunar cycle, there is a challenge in trusting the call to seek a potentially ambiguous viewpoint. As Venus' archetype gets louder, we will descend deeper into the irrational, wild, and untamable. We may have to move into some uncomfortable places to grow, but we will learn to value and appreciate a new reality (both within and without) that we never really noticed before.


The Heart's Descent: Venus Stationary Retrograde


Venus stations retrograde this week (Oct. 5) as we head into the darkness of the New Moon. Of all Venus retrograde cycles, Venus in Scorpio most exemplifies the archetypal descent into the underworld. In the sign of its detriment, the Venus archetype delves deeply in this cycle to explore hidden dimensions, concealed chasms, unsettling truths, and salacious realities.

As Venus stations and begins its descent toward the Sun, this is not likely to be a comfortable process for many. Especially over the next three weeks before the inferior conjunction of Venus and Sun, there is a notable dissolving, shedding, and releasing of the past. Yes, the heart is getting louder, but so are its wounds.

Anticipate a dramatic revaluation of self-worth and of the things and people you love. Venus invites us to reflect on what we want, desire deeply, and are attracting into our lives. A change of heart or passion is likely. While Venus retrograde is an illusion, it is a definite shift of perception as Venus transitions from evening to morning star. The Venus retrograde transition relates to a mirroring or synchronicity in our personal lives, a symbolic transformation in how we relate to ourselves and thereby connect to others.

In this first phase of the Venus retrograde cycle (Oct. 5 through Oct. 26), allow time and space for an intimate encounter with yourself. The magic of Venus retrograde happens most profoundly on the interior dimensions as a moment of rediscovering the power of self-love, which is the prerequisite before loving anyone or anything else. Honor the need for space and time to reflect and listen intently to what the heart is saying.

New Venus (the inferior conjunction of Venus/Sun) on Oct. 26 is a resetting of relational/financial narratives, creative unfoldment, and self-discovery. It clears out the old to make space for more love and higher capacity to express appreciation. Gently allow your unfolding over the roughly 40 days and nights of Venus retrograde. Allow yourself to descend more deeply than you have before, and trust that you will eventually find your way through the darkness and closer to what matters most.

For more insight/perspective about this upcoming Venus retrograde cycle, check out my video on YouTube. Comments, likes, and channel subscribes are greatly appreciated!

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Pluto, Venus, & Mercury

By H. Zell [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

By H. Zell [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

We begin the week with Pluto’s direct station, and Pluto receiving a square from Mercury (exact Oct. 2). With Pluto in Capricorn, this week starts off with a profound influx of pragmatism, intent, and focus, feeling the weight of karmic responsibilities or needing to get serious about the pursuit of your mission. 

Increased anxiety/paranoia can be other Pluto direct side effects, though finding a grounding point, such as consumption in some meaningful work/project can help dissipate the intensity. Mercury's square to Pluto can sometimes impulse obsession with the shadow dimensions, or can unexpectedly reveal blunt truths through conversations and dialogues. 

Do be wary of forcing convictions and beliefs onto disinterested parties. Keeping it light this week is a little problematic, but a consciousness of these Plutonian vibes can prevent situations from becoming overly abysmal. Mercury/Pluto can also gift access to concealed insight or potentials, but an arduous effort will be required to reveal more depth. 

And yes, Venus is stationing retrograde this week. In fact, Venus' retrograde station will begin to dominate the week's remainder and into the New Moon (Oct. 8). Serendipitous encounters are most likely with Venus stations, as are sometimes mysterious or vague karmic untangling via our relationships. 

Venusian themes will get increasingly louder, but they will have a Scorpionic tint. Powerfully seductive temptations, the unveiling of inconvenient truths, or a fascination/attraction to things typically too macabre may be relevant. Also, with more prominent self-worth anxieties, a subsequent personal revaluing is underway the next several weeks. 

Release the many layers of self-doubt and self-loathing from here on out. It's time to see your potential from a new lens. Personal transformation happens in synch with the relational dimensions of Venus retrograde, too. It's not just about the other, though there will likely be a plethora of mirrors to reveal those places you've been denying. No matter what, make space for more love. Start with yourself, and extend from there. 

Do you have any questions about Venus retrograde? Comment below….

And for more information about the upcoming Venus retrograde cycle, watch my detailed video on YouTube. Make sure to like and comment to help me reach more viewers.


Pluto Direct+Venus' Station

Spectacular views on the way to Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon, AZ'; photo by Chad Woodward.

Spectacular views on the way to Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon, AZ'; photo by Chad Woodward.

Pluto is stationing direct this weekend. The God/Goddess of the underworld comes to a standstill this Sunday, the last day of Sept. October will be upon us soon, which is the month of Venus Retrograde. Next week is heavy and profound, and we're likely already feeling the weight of it.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, and since then has brought the underbelly of corporate, political, patriarchal, and authoritarian structures into view. Pluto's station in Capricorn is dominating earth energy, which can stand as a reminder of some significant challenge, ambition, or responsibility that you need to tend.

Pluto stations don't typically feel good, but they're revealing and sometimes insightful. While you may need to fend off increased paranoia or a doom and gloom outlook, Pluto's station can inspire seriousness about a more significant purpose or personal mission. Combined with Venus' retrograde station in Scorpio, we are beginning a symbolic descent into the archetypal underworld.

Venus retrograde is amplifying the heart--attractions, desires, and the need to love and be loved. Venus wants to experience connection, joy, and the stability that comes from a relationship or resource stream. We are beginning a phase of revaluing partnerships, preferences, and resources next month. This is a moment to connect deeper with yourself and the things you love.

With both Pluto and Venus' stations next week, take some time to pause and listen to primordial and heart-centered wisdom. Pay close attention to the needs of your body, and the concerns of other people. Practice patience, empathy, and compassion. Soon, we can more easily clarify what matters.


Be Gentle With Yourself: New Moon in Taurus 2017

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, Murrieta, CA; photo by Chad Woodward, April 2017.

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, Murrieta, CA; photo by Chad Woodward, April 2017.

New Moon @ 6 degrees Taurus 27'

April 26, 2017

5:16 AM Pacific

8:16 AM Eastern

April’s New Moon takes place in the tropical sign of Taurus. With Mercury still retrograde, this New Moon helps us keep things simple, direct, and gentle. Mercury retrograde conjoins Uranus in Aries alongside this lunar rebirth, adding a certain edge to this otherwise easy going and calming lunation. Mercury and Uranus invite us to deeply question our assumptions and perceptions about reality. In the days leading up this New Moon, you may have noticed something new about your environment, or had some potentially shocking realizations. 

How attached you are to a certain perception of life will determine how shocking or awakening these insights will be. Mercury and Uranus also help to give us glimpses of new possibilities or ways of solving problems in our lives. Innovative solutions are likely to be more readily available now, inviting us to re-strategize and find ways of moving around current obstacles. Questioning your beliefs, theories, and ideologies is likely in light of groundbreaking information. Needless to say, keep your ears open and receptive to what’s floating around in the wind. 

Mercury turns direct on May 3, one week from the New Moon. Use this time to dig deeply into this Taurus energy. As with all New Moons, new possibilities are emerging that aren’t quite clearly defined. A New Moon always points to something mysterious that you know exists, but you can’t quite pin it down exactly. The signs are all around you now, and they invite you not to think too much about them. In fact, with this Taurus New Moon, it’s a good time to get in touch with more subtle or even somatic dimensions of experience. 

Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is still picking up its speed as it goes direct, after roughly 40 days of retrograde motion. It is currently at the end of Pisces conjunct Chiron. That could shed some light on deep insecurities about our self-worth and relationships. Venus and Chiron may accentuate certain heart wounds and blockages in connection with our ability to bond and relate. Now that Venus is stationing direct, you may have had some deep realizations about yourself, your sense of value, and your true feelings. A change of heart is possible, and this New Moon can symbolize a new path to embark upon with our creative passion and loved ones.

Use this New Moon to slow down the pace of your life and take some time to listen carefully to your body, your heart, and the natural world. Whatever problems you’re currently trying to solve will be more easily digested by taking some time to unplug from the hectic external environment. Take some time for yourself. Eat well, listen to beautiful, soothing music, go for a hike or gentle walk in the natural world--anything to help relieve your nervous system. With Mercury still retrograde, there’s no need to rush. Your focus will become more clear in a few weeks, especially if you take this time to be gentle with yourself. 

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A Larger Focus: Full Moon in Libra 2017

Photo by  Aleksandr Abrosimov , via Wikimedia Commons. 

Photo by Aleksandr Abrosimov, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Full Moon @ 21 Libra 33'

April 10, 2017

11:08 PM Pacific 

April 11, 2017

2:08 AM Eastern


We’re now waxing with the Moon into its cyclic culmination. This month’s Full Moon occurs in tropical Libra. Venus is slowing down, getting ready to turn direct, while Mercury just turned retrograde itself. Saturn is also in retrograde; though that is a much more common occurrence. Planetary stations tend to amplify a planet’s archetype. And when planets station (especially several at once as we are now experiencing), we often find ourselves at a crossroads or transitional point in our life narratives. That’s typically how it feels. 

Venus’ station has us focusing on our values, self-worth, and relationships. There’s a lot more mixed up with that, but those are the big themes. Saturn’s station is likely to give you a reality-check by accentuating limitations and challenges we’re currently facing. If you’ve felt a bit frustrated with some circumstances in your life, know that Saturn is helping you step up and take responsibility for yourself. Saturn’s help often goes unrecognized. Existential angst, depression, and feelings of futility are signs that we need to step it up and get productive with something. Mercury, well, it always tends to slow things down and create some setbacks alongside the usual technical and communicative issues. 

Luckily, the Full Moon in Libra conjoins Jupiter. That helps to open up new possibilities, opportunities, and connections for us at the right moment. However, don’t overestimate what you can handle. Don’t be surprised if the universe throws you quite a lot with this Full Moon. Your job is to mindfully discern what it is you’re capable of taking on. To start, take a deep breath (don’t forget to exhale). Find your center of calm or your happy place. Sit there and gather yourself. Transitions are often stressful; that’s a natural consequence of change. 

This social Full Moon can give you a helping hand. Consider reaching out and putting yourself out there to truly benefit, but first, make sure you’ve found some place of balance within yourself. That might not be reflected in your external life, but you can always find it within. All that chatter outside is just a highly convincing illusion anyway. The true reality is inside of you. Once you’ve calmed down, take a step back and assess what it is you’re actually trying to do. If you have no idea, accept that, and put it out to the universe that you need some help and guidance, perhaps some signs or omens. 

Use the next three weeks to play around with some things. Give yourself extra time and space to gain clarity. Urgent and pressing emergencies aside, Mercury’s retrograde cycle suggests holding off on making big decisions right now. Give yourself a few weeks to sort it all out. Accept that there isn’t much in life that can’t wait that long. What you’re looking for won’t manifest if you actually look for it. That might sound strange, but Pablo Picasso summed it up when he said, “I do not seek, I find.” Commune with the playful, trickster. Allow it to surprise you. The Sun is in opposition to the Moon and conjunct Uranus and Eris. 

The need for freedom and authenticity is strong, which can go against cooperation or compromise in certain situations. This Full Moon equally asks that we find some balance between the need to be true to ourselves and the need to integrate with others. That’s a point of frustration, but again, consider new possibilities you’ve yet to encounter. Put yourself in a place of receptivity and trust that you will find a new solution that’s truly out of the box. And lastly, Venus, the ruler of the Full Moon is currently stationing and conjunct Chiron. That might accentuate heart wounds, shadows, and defects in our relationships, but realize that whatever pain you may encounter can be quickly transmuted with a change of attitude and a change of heart. You have the power to rise above anything you encounter with others, by seeing it from a different perspective, or even focusing on bigger things. 


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Create Something Beautiful: Venus Retrograde in Leo 2015

Beauty by Kathy Crabbe, 2015. 
Venus Retrograde in Virgo/Leo
July 25, 2015- Sept. 6, 2015

Retrograde cycles of Venus and Mars are the rarest of planetary backtracks. Venus turns retrograde every year and a half. Mars turns retrograde every two years. Mercury, of course, we know turns retrograde every three months, three times a year. Many outer planets are retrograde for lengthy amounts of time, long enough to not really notice them (with maybe the exception of Jupiter and Saturn). Retrogrades, by their archetypal nature, have an inward and introverted quality.

The reason for this, symbolically speaking, is obvious. Astrological symbolism is quite literal. When a planet appears to be moving backwards, its usual function is inverted. A retrograde urges us to reflect and look into the past. And retrogrades bring us some interesting insights about the nature of time. Modern physics suggests that time is ultimately an illusion and that it’s malleable, although it doesn’t allow us to actually change the past, not in a literal, concrete sense. But retrograde cycles seem to open a kind of portal within the conscious life narrative that allows one to “go back” (metaphorically speaking) to tie up loose ends and learn from past decisions.

Venus retrograde, in particular, has an uncanny connection with dredging up issues from the past in relation to current relationships and commitments. As you may know, I’m an evolutionary astrologer. That means that I entertain the hypothesis (or theory, depending on what you consider testable) of reincarnation. I think that something animates the body and that it continues to exist when we die. I believe that some part of me, maybe not my ego, but some part of my psyche has always existed and will continue to exist long after I do in my current form.

In my experience of Venus retrograde, I can say that there has been an unusual pattern of meeting “new” people who seemed terribly familiar. This doesn’t always happen with each retrograde, but it has happened enough times to get my attention. There is also a pattern of reconnecting with past relationships from this life, as well as a period of sorting through some heavy “karma” in your current relationships. Venus is the most potent symbol for love and relationships we have in our astrological pantheon, as Venus correlates with our instinct to relate and bond with other sentient beings.

This is the Libra side of Venus. But Venus has another side which correlates with its planetary rulership of Taurus and its natural association with the second house. The Taurus side of Libra deals with issues of money, possessions, personal values, and the pleasures of the body—the inner animal. When Venus turns retrograde, you will have a chance to reevaluate your relationships, commitments, personal values, desires, and the resources that help you to survive in the world.

Each time a planet goes retrograde, especially an inner planet, it brings about a change in the flow of things that relate to that archetype. In other words, there is often a reversal of direction, priorities, values, and goals during these times. With Venus, these changes relate outwardly to your personal as well as professional relationships and inwardly to your self-worth and personal values. Retrogrades are a time to reassess and reflect on these things more deeply than you would otherwise.

Venus retrograde is a time to gain perspective on your current commitments and relationships as well as how well you are handling yourself practically in the world. Current relationships may go through a process of reevaluation. You may begin to see certain flaws that you were oblivious to before. This is not a time of action regarding your relationships. Meaning, it’s a time to absorb and reflect on what you see in others and decide what to do about them when Venus turns direct (you may want to hold off on filing those divorce papers just yet, or running off to Vegas to get hitched in a drive thru). Be wary of Venus’ darker side during this time. You may have difficulty looking past glamorous façades and may be easily seduced by appearances.

This usually pertains to new relationships that begin during the retrograde, as well as things you decide to invest in or purchase. Your judgment is not likely to be as sound and discerning as usual. But don’t take this to mean that a new relationship or investment that begins under the retrograde is doomed to fail. It means that you need to look at things more realistically and to be cautious of anything that seems too good to be true. Venus retrograde is a natural cycle that reveals that time is ultimately non-linear. Venus shows us that our relationships are multi-dimensional and when she turns retrograde she lures us into the underworld to glimpse the deeper workings of karma that are beyond our limited perception.

Venus retrograde seems to be more pronounced if it stations retrograde or direct on a trigger point in your chart, i.e. a dynamic planetary placement or angle of the chart (first, fourth, seventh, or tenth house cusps). If this happens, you can likely expect to endure a significant and life altering event in relation to the nature of the placement that is activated. Venus stations are powerful predictive tools, and when used consciously with intention, you can use them as opportunities to change your life for the better. If you are personally impacted by a Venus station, look back eight years prior. You will find a similarity to what happened to you then.

This is because Venus stations in the same vicinity of the zodiac every eight years. Her retrograde cycles form an almost perfect pentagram or rose-shaped pattern in the sky. It’s no wonder we associate beauty and symmetry with Venus. As she moves back and forth through the zodiac, she weaves a pattern that is emblematic of the ideal of perfection. She weaves our fate and connects us to seemingly disparate moments along the timeline our souls are currently traveling. Her eight-year cycle sets us on a new course and path that will unfold and develop over time.

The crescendo of any Venus retrograde comes with the “inferior” conjunction of the Sun and Venus, which will occur onAugust 15. The word inferior sounds like a “bad” conjunction, but don’t let those old astrologers and their jargons scare you. We call it inferior because when Venus is retrograde, she is directly between the Sun and Earth—like the pickle in the middle. There’s no shame in that. It might be a little cramped, but it sets up a space of deeper intimacy and connection. That sounds good, right? The converse conjunction is called a “superior” conjunction. While it’s certainly different (because Venus isn’t retrograde) it’s not any better than an inferior conjunction.

Eric Francis, over at Planet Waves, likes to call them interior conjunctions, and I like that term a lot better too. It is these interior conjunctions that actually create the pentagram in the sky (as perceived from our geocentric perception). And it is the interior conjunction that holds the real power and magic of Venus retrograde. You may also check to see whether you have any significant planets or angles at 22 degrees of Leo where this interior conjunction occurs and equally reflect on the past eight years and what has unfolded for you since the last conjunction (August 18, 2007).

Venus retrograde lasts for approximately 40 days and 40 nights. That’s interesting, isn’t it? If you’re privy to biblical lore you will notice the connection to the biblical story of the exodus (it also shows up in other archaic mythologies). I’m not going to get into that, but I will say that it likely originates from this very cycle of Venus. Venus retrograde is a time when Venus literally switches from either rising or setting with the Sun. After this particular interior conjunction, Venus will transform from an evening to a morning star.

We know that Venus retrograde will lure us deeper into ourselves and into our relationships. A lot of scary stuff can happen here. That’s perfectly natural. We may see things we don’t want to see. We may experience things we thought we wanted to experience, but then realize it may not have been for the best or what we really desired. But then, that’s how we learn. And here is the heart of Venus retrograde. Have you learned from your mistakes? Have you acquired the wisdom and consciousness needed to move past making decisions that take you to the same dark, soul deadening places? Only you can really know this.

During this potentially magical time, you may meet some “new” people you may have met before. Reincarnation would be a good way to explain these connections. You may go through something in a current relationship that, again, seems oddly familiar. Have you been to this junction before? You just might have, in this life or perhaps another. The power of this cycle lies in understanding your power—the power of free will. You can make choices. And guess what? You can make choices that aren’t the same ones you’ve made before. Imagine that. And so, as you embark on this rare astrological event, choose to make a different choice and transmute this karma for good (but be kind to yourself, admit your humanity and imperfections).

Venus tells us symbolically through her stations and “inferior” conjunctions that we will meet in this place again. Around and around we go, until we wise up and move on. This is a fertile time for not only love and relationships, but for creativity. And that’s what we’re doing here, right? We’re creating something. You may have forgotten that, but it’s true. You’re creating your life story. And every decision you make reflects how conscious and aware you are that you even have one--a destiny, a purpose, a mission in life. So, choose to create something beautiful. That’s all that Venus wants, isn’t it? She wants to make the world a beautiful and more harmonious place. 

Venus Retrograde Logistics

Venus turns stationary retrograde (will begin to move backwards) on July 25, 2015 @ 0 Virgo 46.

Venus will conjoin the Sun and form an “inferior” conjunction on August 15, 2015 @ 22 Leo 39’.

Venus will turn stationary direct (move forward again) on September 6, 2015 @ 14 Leo 23’.

The Brightest “Stars” in the Sky

If you pay attention to the sky, you may have noticed two bright objects together just past sunset. Those aren’t stars, but planets. Venus and Jupiter conjoined in tropical Leo on June 30/July 1 (depending on your time zone). I point you to the sky because it’s the best way to see the direct correlation of astronomical and life events so clearly in real time. In Leo, these two “lucky” planets sent a wave of creative energy into the collective psyche. You may have felt that. Jupiter and Venus have also been expanding and inflaming your connections and relationships. Take a look at the house that Venus and Jupiter conjoined (21 Leo), and you will notice relationships expanding in that department somehow. Its effect will be quite uncanny. 

Venus and Jupiter will conjoin three times this year. The first conjunction, as I said, occurred on June 30/July 1. The second conjunction will occur on August 4 (with Venus retrograde), and the third conjunction will occur on Oct. 25 (in Virgo). That’s a lot of expansive, heart opening, creative mojo to deal with this year. First off, let’s talk about the heart. We know that in order to genuinely love others, we have to be open to giving and receiving love….and ultimately, we have to love ourselves. When you open your heart, you make yourself vulnerable. Loving someone, whether romantically or platonically, involves a risk—the risk of getting hurt.

That’s always a scary thing to consider when we first embark upon a commitment with someone. Love can heal us but it can also hurt us—sometimes leading us to destruction and suffering.That is because love is pure creative energy and ultimately it is power. Creative energy can create and it can destroy. So, we must be cautious, mindful and compassionate here. We must admit that to love we must risk getting hurt. When we open our hearts to others, we are opening ourselves up for both joy and pain. There’s no getting around that. Expanding your heart will allow for love to enter, but it also exposes the wounds that may reside there: the old pain and heartbreak you put aside to get on with your life.

These three conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter will likely correlate with the need to expand your capacity to love in some way, but it will equally expand those places within your heart that experienced the dark side of love as well—the heartbreak and rejection. There’s a saying that states that when you love and get hurt, to keep on loving. And when you get hurt again, love more. Continue loving until the love in your life overpowers the pain. This is a metaphor for what you may encounter, depending on how personal these three conjunctions are for you (relative to their contact with specific points in your chart). Collectively speaking, 

Venus and Jupiter are offering us an opportunity to include more love and creative joy in our lives and to open that vulnerable place within to heal our wounds too.
And when these two planets come together, they invite us to take some risks. We should be mindful of the tendency to overdo things, to give and love too much so that we lose ourselves in the process. If you’re prone to going overboard in that department, be mindful of what you are getting yourself into. We are in a cycle that invites us to try something new, to put ourselves out there in regards to giving and receiving love. It’s time to be clear and ask for what you want. Take some bold steps but also be mindful of vanity traps and facades concealing empty promises.

The other side of Venus (as I discussed above), correlates with talents that become valuable resources that help us survive in the world. Consider that potentially some resource may be growing alongside your relationships too. So, take a look at what is unfolding in your life right now. This is what you have chosen to work through. Know that whatever is transpiring in this moment, you will come back to. We will come to this place again. Take your time with this process. And when in doubt, just keep on allowing love to enter your life, in whatever shape or form it manifests. Love is truly a transpersonal force, a force that we can only glimpse in this density/reality. I feel that it is a force that binds the universe, and it will guide us, ultimately, to wholeness. Do you trust the flow of love in your life? Reflect on that. It will reveal much to you.

Check out my very first video! I intend to begin posting supplemental videos with certain blog posts. So stay tuned for more! 

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Venus Retrograde 2012

Venus Retrograde In Gemini
May 15- June 27 2012

Of all the planets, Venus and Mars have the most infrequent of retrograde cycles, and in one way or another, correlate to a significant period of time in everyone's lives. When a planet goes retrograde it is primarily inverting the normal flow of conscious experience, resulting in a changing of direction, focus and attention. In general, retrograde cycles often redirect consciousness down alternate avenues; or toward the past and "unfinished business". Venus rules both Libra and Taurus, so let's look into the Libra end first. Both Venus and Mars retrograde cycles often signify the meeting of " new" people in our lives, and these specific individuals sometimes have a very significant impact on our life direction--sometimes having the effect of rerouting us entirely on our present course. These cycles can also correlate to the ending of relationships which were ignited at a previous retrograde cycle, most commonly experienced with the Mars retrograde two year "burn out" effect.

One explanation for this is that Venus (and even Mars) retrograde is a sort of karmic gateway, and from the perspective of reincarnation, we are meeting individuals from past lives, or from the past in our present life with which there are unresolved issues. We are likely to find ourselves dealing with many karmic circumstances within our current relationships more so than usual. It's as if Venus retrograde provides a collective karmic clearing. This view is strongly shared by the School of Evolutionary Astrology, founded by Jeffery Wolf Green. According to Green:

"When Venus goes retrograde through transit, it can correlate to a time in which we re-experience old issues or dynamics that we may have felt that we have already worked through or left behind. It can also be a time in which unresolved karmic issues that exist between us and our partner suddenly reappear, or when karma brings old friends or lovers back into our life. If we meet someone for the first time during a Venus retrograde cycle, someone who has some direct impact on our life in some way, or we have this effect for someone else that we have just met for the first time, then this correlates to a past-life connection in which something has not been finished, completed, or resolved--for better or worse. Accordingly, the Venus retrograde cycle is an excellent time to complete karmic business."
 --Jeffrey Wolf Green, Pluto Volume 2: The Soul's Evolution Through Relationships

In my personal experience, this view makes the most sense, in terms of providing a deeper explanation for this phenomena. Not every Venus retrograde cycle will result in a highly significant new relationship, but it will always bring "fated" like connections into our lives, connecting us with individuals we find really familiar for some reason--and who we are usually quite intrigued by upon initially meeting. We will also have this effect on other individuals as well, even when it may not seem mutual from our perspective. Now whether or not reincarnation is an ultimate truth, or merely a convenient perception to describe such existential phenomena we cannot make sense of otherwise (or even fathom here in our third dimensional bubble); I personally find it a very useful lens through which to make sense of life around me, and Venus retrograde often makes it abundantly clear that something deeper is going on in our personal relationships and the connections we make. When Venus goes retrograde we are invited to investigate the darker or hidden dimensions of ourselves and others. This often results in the unveiling of shadow material projected in other people around us. This allows for a different lens from which we can perceive ourselves and the people we interact with.

This alternate perception of others need not always be negative, and can simply have the effect of allowing us to see the deeper workings of others, and the impact they have on our personal lives. It is usually advised that one be receptive to these deeper realizations, and simply take it all in as opposed to trying to do anything to make sense of it, or to even change things during the actual retrograde. Since our relationships reflect our own internal dynamics, the most enlightened perception would be to see any flaws or shadows as our own, and to learn to integrate and heal them within ourselves. Because the Venus cycle itself is so complex, and actually governs an enormous cyclic structure, it can be a channelnge to make rational sense of "why" we met this person or that, or what unfinished business we have with them; sometimes it's just simply about the experience of meeting them, and things often organically unfold the way they're meant to. If one is privy to the deeper karmic workings of their horoscope, it can often become clear what type of role the individual is playing, and what we can do to support healing, resolution and understanding.

Now, On the Taurus end, Venus retrograde can have the effect of allowing us to revise resources, and or the ability to support oneself. Sometimes this can correlate to a period of insecurity about what we're capable of, and whether we have enough resources, training or talent in whatever areas we find as valuable tools to make our way in the world. Naturally, Venus retrograde can bring up issues of self-worth, such as any insecurities within ourselves we have not addressed, or that have not previously been brought to our attention. Venus retrograde can also redirect us toward the discovery of entirely new resources, or different ways of making a living, or providing us with additional training to further enhance what we already do. We can also anticipate our attitudes toward these things to become greatly altered, or possibly challenged by others.

Many astrologers feel that Venus retrograde is not the most favorable time for financial endeavors, and this can be true in many situations dealing with large investments. It is often said that Venus retrograde can correlate to a period of financial sluggishness as well, however, I tend to see that this is quite dependent on the specific situation. As I stated above, retrogrades often invert or redirect the normal flow of movement within an area of life described specifically by which house of the natal horoscope the retrograde is taking place. So, for some, if "financial sluggishness" is the norm, then this is likely to change in some way, however drastic or subtle; but, as with any retrograde, set backs, delays and an unexpected turning of events are always a common feature. The intention is to actually align things more with their intended path. Another component of Venus retrograde is a re-evaluation of personal values and convictions; we may find ourselves challenging the very things that we place value upon and identify with. Again, this can often result in feelings of insecurity, such as feeling like the rug has been pulled out from under you, and not knowing where to stand, what to think, believe or identify with. If we keep an open mind, however, and are open to seeing another way of looking at things, then this effect need not be negatively experienced. Venus retrograde can dramatically alter our personal value system, making sure that we are always growing, evolving, and changing with the flow of life.

The effects of Venus retrograde are noticeable during the actual retrograde, as well as both shadow periods. During the initial shadow, we are introduced to themes and issues that will likely be dealt with during the retrograde process. The final shadow usually brings a phase of closure to those themes and issues.  It is also common to make "fated" connections with others during the shadow periods as well as the retrograde itself. Retrogrades remind us that the universe usually has alternative plans than our expectations. When attached to any expectation of what should be, or should happen, we will usually experience frustration because the events around us refuse to coalesce or synchronize with our ego. Taking into consideration the Venus archetype, and the retrograde process itself, we can surmise that the best way of dealing with this process is to be in a state of pure openness and receptivity to what we don't already know, or have yet to experience about ourselves and those around us.

Venus Retrograde Cycle 2012
04-11-2012     07 Gemini 29'    Enters shadow
05-15-2012    24 Gemini 00'     Stationary Retrograde
06-06-2012    15 Gemini 45'     Transit of Venus (Venus Rx Conjunct Sun)
06-27-2012    07 Gemini 29'     Stationary Direct
07-31-2012    24 Gemini 00'     Leaves Shadow

Significant Aspects
06-04-2012    Venus Retrograde Square Mars
06-16-2012    Venus Retrograde Square Chiron

The Bigger Picture: The Venus Synodic Cycle

Venus retrograde is apart of a much larger and dynamic cyclic process. Venus's retrograde cycles form the structure of the Venus synodic cycle (synod=meeting place). This is when the Earth, Sun and Venus form an alignment which occurs along a very precise and predictable rhythm. From our perspective on Earth, the conjunctions of Sun and Venus will repeat at the same location within the zodiac, with a variance of roughly 2 1/2 degrees, every 8 years. For example, Venus went retrograde in May of 2004 at 26 degrees Gemini--just two degrees from its position this year at 23 degrees 59 minutes (rounded to 24 degrees). Look for prominent natal placements in this area and take note at what was going on in your life at the last retrograde in Gemini; there are likely to be similar changes happening now, possibly connected symbolically to that time.

Just like the Moon, Venus has phases, when she is either New or Full. During each retrograde, Venus is New, and also transitions from an Evening to a Morning star--meaning she will be rising as opposed to setting with the Sun in the sky, also called Helical rising. Many significant changes and events in our lives synchronize themselves around this cycle. These New and Full phases, are also known as Superior or Inferior conjunctions. When Venus is New and thus retrograde, she is forming an inferior conjunction with the Earth and Sun. This means that Venus is on the visible side of the Sun, facing the earth during the alignment. When Venus is Full, she is making a superior conjunction, and on the far or non visible side of the Sun.

Venus's superior and inferior conjunctions, and retrogrades, take place in 5 different signs: Gemini, Aries, Capricorn, Scorpio, and Leo. The conjunctions between Sun and Venus alternate between these 5 signs, and work backwards through the zodiac, staying in a particular group for roughly one hundred years. The last Venus retrograde cycle took place in Scorpio in October 2010, and now occurs in Gemini, moving to Capricorn in the year 2014. The repeating conjunctions, and entire synodic cycle itself, form the shape of an almost perfect 5-sided pentagram in the sky--thus the origin of this sacred and esoteric symbol. The star is almost perfect, because each end varies by roughly two degree increments; but aside from that, the symmetry produced by Venus is truly an astounding realization. From our perspective here on Earth, Venus actually forms a strikingly dynamic rose shaped pattern, exemplifying the truly complex precision inherent within Venus's cycle around the Sun, and thus her association with beauty, symmetry, and perfection. Each loop within the rose below is formed by Venus's retrograde cycle which moves between 5 separate locations every two years, and repeats in the same location every eight years.Venus truly boggles the mind.

The following lists of dates reveal when Venus is/was New or Full.

New Venus (Inferior Conjunctions)
April 1, 1993--11 Aries 49
November 2, 1994--10 Scorpio 18
June 10, 1996--20 Gemini 3
Jan 16, 1998--26 Capricorn 7
August 20, 1999--27 Leo 2
March 30, 2001--9 Aries 32
October 31, 2002--7 Scorpio 53
June 8, 2004 (Transit of Venus)--17 Gemini 53
January 13, 2006--23 Capricorn 40
August 18, 2007--24 Leo 51
March 27, 2009--7 Aries 16
October 29, 2010--5 Scorpio 30
June 6, 2012 (Transit of Venus)--15 Gemini 45
January 11, 2014--21 Capricorn 12
August 15, 2015--22 Leo 29
March 25, 2017--4 Aries 57

Full Venus (Superior Conjunctions)
April 2, 1997--12 Aries 51
October 30, 1998--6 Scorpio 32
June 11, 2000--20 Gemini 48
Jan 14, 2002--24 Capricorn 7
August 18, 2003--25 Leo 23
March 31, 2005--10 Aries 31
October 27, 2006--4 Scorpio 11
June 9, 2008--18 Gemini 43
January 11, 2010--21 Capricorn 32
August 16, 2011--23 Leo 18
March 28, 2013--8 Aries 11
October 25, 2014--1 Scorpio 49
June 6, 2016--16 Gemini 36
January 9, 2018--18 Capricorn 57
August 14, 2019--21 Leo 11

Venus As A Symbol

The symbol of Venus is formed by a circle above a cross. The circle symbolizes spirit, soul, or the eternal life force energy which permeates and infuses matter. The cross has been used by many cultures throughout the world as a symbol for the cross of matter, or axis mundi: the intersection point between worlds. Thus, Venus's symbol is literally a depiction of spirit penetrating into physical form. You could say that, as humans, we are symbolically sacrificed upon this cross in each incarnation. The soul, the eternal life force energy, aptly symbolized as an infinite circle with no beginning or end, enters into the physical vessel to interact with the solid world. The precise geometry produced by Venus in the sky correlates quite literally to her influence upon our innate human reverence for beauty, symmetry and order. Venus is the archetype which, in a way, informs the "construction" and design of the natural world--mainly all sentient biological systems. The natural world is thus "informed" by a less dense vibrational resonance, which is a template or program that we cannot physically see in our current density.

In eastern ideologies, this life force energy is described as Chi or Qi--which flows up from the the earth, and into the body, activating the chakras, or energy centers, as well as enlivening all sentient life forms. The practices of Yoga and Tai Chi (Tai Chi is Taoist yoga) are disciplines which allow for the opening of the body, so that it is receptive to this life force energy so that there is proper flow and movement within.Venus resonates with a state of being, as opposed to doing; it is the archetype of absolute receptivity. Because of this, we associate Venus with a feminine archetype, and along with the asteroids, she is one of the few planets to be referred to as strictly female in nature. The Maya, however, associated Venus with warfare and sacrifice, things we would normally assign to "masculine" Mars. I would disagree that any one planet is ever strictly confined to either Male or Female, and in fact, every archetype is essentially a mutable construct. In our current worldview, this is a convenient lens which allows us to accurately define our patriarchal collective psyche.

Venus in fact has a definite dualistic nature, which is exemplified in her transition from Evening to Morning Star. The ancients transposed two archetypal constructs onto Venus, when she was either rising or setting with the Sun. So in other words, Venus isn't always "beauty", "symmetry" and "perfection". Venus is also commonly identified as the "love" planet, and one of the most beneficent; however in observing Venus cycles in one's chart throughout time will reveal that this isn't always the case. Venus is more aptly associated with the pleasures of "love" than actual commitment. In fact, Venus exemplifies pleasure orientation, which when focused on too strongly, leaves nothing but an empty and superficial way of relating to life, as well as an endless pursuit of gratification and the fulfillment of desire.

As Venus transitions from Morning to Evening star, she is basically engulfed by the Sun, disappears for three days, and re-emerges on the other side and begins to ascend with the Sun each Morning. In ancient mythology, this was symbolized as a descent into the underworld, and a subsequent return and transition. We see this literal astronomical event reflected in the myths of Persephone in Greek mythology, the Sumerian Innana, and the Babylonian Ishtar. In all versions, the goddess descends into the underworld, is stripped of worldly processions, and is some how kept there for a period of time before reemerging and returning to the physical world. These myths seem to speak of the impermanence of matter and form; what we see is only a facade, and that eventually, it must be stripped away or destroyed, torn open, to reveal the true force of divinity behind the veil of the natural world. The Hindu goddess Kali perfectly reflects this side of Venus's nature. Our reverence and desire for beauty leaves us attached to that form; but the truth is that everything around us is dying, and is, in the end, impermanent. The more we hold onto what we see, the harder it is to let go, and the more painful it will be when it disintegrates. The true origin of beauty lies elsewhere, and what we see in this reality is merely a reflection of a higher form of order we can but only glimpse.

The circle above the cross symbolizes endless change and eternal return. We could associate this with the idea of reincarnation and the notion of the soul literally recycled over and over penetrating into form. The cross itself can also be seen as symbolic of the four directions or four elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Air; the circle above as the fifth, or hidden element, Spirit. Venus thus symbolizes the coalescence of these elements into the physical beings we interact and identify with. The symbol reminds us, however, that all is changing, and all is impermanent. What we see and interact with in the world are merely symbols of our own unconscious desires. They are merely empty shadows which are always coming and going. With that, however, we can equally see that behind the facade of physical form lies a conscious intelligence which transcends all time, and thus death. Beyond the veil of death, decay and suffering lies the truth of eternal divinity. To truly know this divinity we must descend into ourselves, we must eventually release all attachment to what we see and what we identify ourselves with externally.

With this understanding we can see Venus retrograde also dealing with a process which allows us to connect more deeply with our true nature or divinity. It is likely that through external events, circumstances and people, Venus retrograde will allow one to see themselves more deeply, and to connect more truly with their authentic and divine nature.When Venus is retrograde, it is also symbolically descending into the underworld, and thus returning on the other side renewed. The Venus retrograde cycle symbolizes a time where we are releasing previous desires, attachments and connections, and in a very real way, solidifying new ones. It is this very process, of separation and return, of coming and going, of accumulating and emptying, that is the very essence of the soul's journey through evolution. From the perspective of Buddhism it is the attachment to desire itself which keeps the soul returning life after life to fulfill that desire. With this in mind, we can consciously work with these cycles, Venus, and even Mars retrograde, to connect more deeply with our soul purpose and the deeper intentions for why we're really here to begin with.

Venus Retrograde In Gemini

Venus will retrograde from 23 to 7 degrees tropical Gemini. Significant natal placements within this vicinity will indicate a much more meaningful, and likely life changing, retrograde cycle for an individual with effects lasting for many years to come, particularly if one has natal placements where Venus stations either retrograde or direct (around 23 and 7 degrees Gemini respectively). The sign of Gemini deals with the diversity of life experience.With Venus, we are likely to find ourselves reviewing various ideas and thoughts we've placed value upon, as well as meeting others who will somehow stimulate us mentally or intellectually in some way. When Venus goes retrograde, and at her New phase, she slows down; thus Venus will  be in Gemini for four months. This extended stay will extenuate the collective mental psyche; our tastes will be more inclined toward the variety that life has to offer, and toward analysis and a desire for varied communication. This will also place an extenuated emphasis within a particular house of the natal horoscope, and we are likely to find a lot going on there for quite some time. Take this time to review the thoughts and ideas you've been carrying around, and allow yourself to be open to taking on entirely new and different mental constructs which are likely to challenge or possibly oppose many preconceived notions.

Venus in Gemini allows us to taste and sample various options, choices, experiences, beliefs and ideas--so this is a time to be open to the vicissitudes that are likely to begin floating around, and that could also be presented by new and "fated" connections with others. Gemini is more about the gathering of facts and information rather than the actual process of synthesis, which is governed by Sagittarius, This could correlate to a time where we are feeling scattered, agitated, and indecisive. Collectively, this influence is likely to be highly mentally energizing, and it could be a challenge in keeping the mind and nervous system settled. The ultimate goal of all this scattered and possibly agitating energy is to sift and sort through a variety of sources, and to eventually extract the essential truth. At the root of it, Venus in Gemini seeks to provide us with new possibilities, options, perspectives and beliefs; thus having the effect of greatly expanding our awareness of the world around us. At this time we may be asked to surrender and let go of certain ideas or even "facts", we've had about life and the world, and to incorporate entirely new perceptions and experiences into our awareness. Everything is changing; all is coming and going.

Check out my latest article:  Transit Of Venus 2012

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