Venus Retrograde Astrology

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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