Venus has dimmed the lights and it's time to go naked into the darkness. There, stripped of all pretence, immense riches are revealed.
“A desert is a place without expectation.” Nadine Gordimer
Venus turned retrograde barely a week before Christmas on December 19th and will stay so till January 29th. Did demons from the past haunt you this holiday season? Was it loneliness and separation? Love gone numb? Or shadows of love and desire haunting you from some distant past? Or perhaps there was simply an ennui, a lacklustre holiday season that left you welcoming the new year flat.
No, it’s not all some cruel joke. It’s all down to Venus retrograde (with a little help from Pluto).
Time to clear out that old dusty room labelled “my affections”. Time to reassess relationships, friendships, business partnerships and all sorts of other investments - emotional and financial - that may have started to feel frayed around the edges even as November unfolded. Time to assess what's what.
Neither were relationships helped by the fact that Venus was out of bounds from October 10th all the way till December 7th and into her retrograde shadow. If certain matters unravelled it's time to rewind and remember what's of value.
Venus Retrograde: 40 Days in the Desert...
Venus goes retrograde every 18 months or so for 40 very strange and testing days and nights. This is oft compared with Jesus' 40 days and nights in the desert, tempted by the 'devil'. You too may be presented with various alternatives to your usual fare, which come to test you. The purpose of this journey? To know thyself. A worthy goal. And you sometimes have to veer off your path before you understand what truly matters to you.
Venus retrograde takes you on a journey of rediscovering what makes you tick. It’s time to revisit how you truly feel about things, people, activities. And how does Venus achieve this feat? By temporarily removing all usual affectations from your world. Stripped naked like this, you begin to appreciate the things you have that still matter and imbue any desire left in you with new meaning.
No time to say "Yes"!
Pain and pleasure are turned on their head and you just don't feel the same way about things. This is no time for major purchases, no time for new romantic commitments. Your judgment is off. Your taste-buds closed for maintenance. And this is no small thing. We tend to base our entire identity on our likes and preferences, our style and our choices! And that's what's ultimately under assessment.
Venus is all about choices. So hold off making any whilst she's off duty. Consider instead what you base your choices on.
Make a commitment now and you'll soon be like “what was I thinking?!”
Re-evaluating the Past
Looking back and reassessing our choices and how we now feel about certain people and situations is a big part of Venus retrograde.
Where there was bad feeling, things may suddenly swing, bringing you a new perspective of much greater appreciation. Where things have gone as far as they can with someone, and you've been dragging your feet or pretending, it’s time to pull your energies back. Where you need closure, it’s time to revisit the past and sort the wheat from the chaff.
If you do happen to to come across some old dusty trinket that may look like nothing much, languishing in a corner perhaps, do give it a quick polish. You may be surprised. You can uncover lost value in the strangest and most dusty places now, and breathe new life into things of faded beauty.
Venus Retrograde conjunct Pluto: the Grieving Process...
With Pluto orbiting close, you may have to mourn for love lost, dreams and desires unfulfilled. Go through this grieving process now and let the past go.
Life is precious. What’s worth your time, energy, affections moving forward? You may feel listless, loveless, alone, your usual pleasures and distractions largely failing you. It’s all a test. To see what makes you tick.
Romantic adventures may test your heart now and look bizarre in hindsight, their only purpose to shock you into a new chapter for love, to reveal hidden chambers of your heart. All this, past and present, holds hidden gems. And it’s time to bring them out into the light!
Venus Inferior Conjunction: A "New Venus"
Three weeks into her retrograde, on January 8th-9th, Venus meets the Sun at her inferior conjunction (with Venus between the Sun and Earth). That’s where she dies as the Evening Star to be reborn as the Morning Star. That’s the moment of stark realisation that what was once beautiful and powerful (like Inanna, check out her myth!) is hung on a meet hook to rot like so much ugly flesh.
That’s a key turning point… The point when you decide what’s done is done. The end of the old, when we can finally put the past to bed, and the arrival of the possibility of a new dawn.
That is the point when you let go of your old and stale desires and focus on what’s still worth your energy.
Venus totally disappears from the sky for a week or so during her inferior conjunction. This is the birth of Venus the warrior goddess, all her graces stripped away, ready to fight for what truly matters. And with all pretence stripped away in your life so you can do the same. This time around, this moment arrives on January 9th at 00:47am at 18:43 degrees of Capricorn. By mid-January, once Venus reappears as the Morning Star, new hope is slowly born, announcing the dawn.
The Sabian Symbol for Venus' inferior conjunction 2022 is “a five year old child carrying a bag filled with groceries.” Think of this symbol as seeding a whole year and a half period for our choices and preferences, our investments and affections. It’s like a “New Venus”. A new attitude of the heart, to take us all the way to the next Venus retrograde in the summer of 2023 (July-September in Leo). What's being seeded now?
Maturity (Capricorn) in our choices seems to be a key theme. And perhaps a forced, accelerated kind of maturity (Pluto), where we have no choice but to grow up fast and make wiser choices down the line. This Venus cycle seems to require us to mature more quickly, to rise to the occasion and take on responsibilities as a matter of urgency. All going well, this can lead to an accelerated development.
Venus' Superior Conjunction 2022: The "Full Venus"
The meaning of the current Venus cycle will be fully revealed at her superior conjunction with the Sun, where the Sun and Venus meet once more (but Venus is on the outside lane), transitioning from morning to evening star once more.
That's the moment where we will see how we're faring in this fast growing-up process. Will it result in greater wisdom in our choices and judgments?
The moment arrives on the 22nd of October 2022 at 22:17, at the very last, anaretic, degree of Libra (29:26), Venus' own sign. Is this a last chance at fairness, balance, equitability? At civilisation itself? The Sabian Symbol for this is “three mounds of knowledge on a philosopher’s head”, implying the gaining of greater knowledge and understanding. For 'knowledge alone is not enough, unless there is also an understanding of it, i.e.an ability to allowing such knowledge to serve as a foundation on which to stand and move forward. There is a sense of completion here and an urgency, it seems, in gaining proper understanding so we can make better decisions, with greater wisdom. Note that three days later we have a New Moon Solar Eclipse at 0 Scorpio with Venus and the Sun still conjunct.
Venus Direct, January 29th 2021: Come Out of Your Hidey Hole!
Venus finally turns direct on January 29th at 08:45, at 11:04 degrees of Capricorn and we are ready to re-engage with civilisation. Bear in mind that Mercury is still retrograde at that point and about to turn February 4th. So don't rush into anything. Just let the blood return to your veins and give your cheeks some colour first.
Now’s the time to begin nurturing these delicate, nascent seeds of love, meaning and value that emerged from the preceding period. Back up your big realisations with some small, gradual decisions.
It takes Venus all of February emerge from her retrograde shadow and recover lost ground. And that is your time to test your new found principles out in the world. Till when? All the way to March 3rd 2022. That's when Venus finally passes through Pluto’s portal, where she stationed retrograde to begin with in December of 2021.
Venus-Pluto - third strike: Death, Burial and Rebirth
Venus goes through the portal of Pluto three times during her retrograde and it’s not before March 3rd that’s she’s out of the woods for good.
The first Venus-Pluto contact was on December 11th, while the Venus cycle now ending was on its last legs... That's when relationships became truly strained. This first Pluto-Venus contact may well have put you into full crisis mode. And that was only the beginning...
Once Venus turned on the 19th, the second Venus-Pluto conjunction arrived on Christmas Day, December 25th. What a strange and eery time... You're now in the underworld, the process of transformation has already begun and all you can do is explore this new and unfamiliar place. This period digs a tunnel straight into your heart, opening up new depths and deepening your commitment.
The third and final time Venus and Pluto meet arrives on March 3rd 2022. That's officially the end of this Venus retrograde in Capricorn. And it promises to be a total rebirth of your heart, your values, affections and investments.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, get ready to feel rejuvenated, reborn!
And to make sure you don't miss the show, Mars synchronises his watch to be right there on top of Venus and Pluto on March 3rd as well - making this a triple conjunction! Now if that's not the most powerful wake up call for empowerment, nothing is. It's time to back up your words, your values and principles with action. What matters most to you? What's a matter of life and death? Act on it! The last time Mars conjoined Pluto was when the lockdowns first started - and what a militant moment this was at the Spring Equinox of 2020. It's time to evaluate how that fared and, hopefully, make wiser decisions.
Do You Have Venus Retrograde Natally or by Progression?
I have found so far that if you have Venus (or Mercury or Mars for that matter) retrograde by progression in your own chart, you really come into your own when that same planet retrogrades in the sky. When everyone else has lost their mojo you suddenly find yours! The world is temporarily on your wavelength and you can relax and function better than usual. Test that principle in your own life.
I am not sure the extent to which this is true when you have said planet retrograde natally in your chart. The transiting retrograde will certainly serve to put you in the spotlight, with the world suddenly tuning into your frequency. But this can be in a negative or positive way, depending, perhaps, on how aware you are of how you operate that planet.
Take Boris Johnson for example, with natal Venus retrograde in Gemini. What has been happening since the holidays? Lots of unwelcome attention about parties at No 10 (his retrograde Venus is in frivolous and fun-loving Gemini after all). These do not paint Boris in the most favourable light. Did the world accidentally stumble upon his wavelength, revealing what usually remains unnoticed? Looking at the previous retrograde stint in May 2020 (when some of these parties seem to have taken place), Boris was in the spotlight once more, again for personal reasons like fatherhood or his recovering from Covid... Perhaps if you are born with Venus retrograde, you are so used to operating on a different plane of values, preferences and associations that it's startling when the rest of the world suddenly receives your frequency and starts scrutinising your choices. This is just a thought. But perhaps worthy of further research.
Do you have Venus retrograde natally or by progression? If so how do you feel when Venus is retrograde in the skies? (Ditto for Mercury or Mars?)
Venus and the Five Pointed Star: Vitruvian Man...
Venus returns to the same bit of sky every 8 years or so, hitting the same spot every 5 cycles (and 5x8 is, again, 40, the length of Venus' retrograde period). She moves backwards across the heavens in a five-pointed star or pentagram, a key esoteric symbol, as well as a symbol for mankind.
Each Venus retrograde is a journey into the microcosm, a magical period to be honoured accordingly.
It may serve your inward journey to compare each Venus retrograde period with the one eight years ago in the same part of your chart. The themes activated during each period have the same undertones, even if your external circumstances are wildly different. Each is reminiscent of the same strange inklings and dissatisfactions you may have felt eight years ago, and eight years (if you can remember) before that.
So think back to December 2013-January 2014, when Venus, once more, went retrograde in Capricorn. (Although Pluto was not really part of that journey yet, nor will he be in 8 years time. In that sense, the 2021-2022 journey of transformation for humanity is pretty much unique!)
Venus Retrograde 2021-2022 and the Zodiac Signs
Venus retrograde in Capricorn 2021-2022 asks each star sign to evaluate their life from a different perspective (as it did 8 years ago, albeit without the help of Pluto...). Let's have a quick (and rather superficial) slice up of the pie...
It’s time to re-evaluate your career and direction in life. You may suddenly feel bereft of ambition, pitted against the odds, and as if all your efforts have been for nothing, all your goals empty. What place do you want to occupy in this world? Time to put childish ambitions behind, face your fears and aim for goals that are truly worthwhile.
You’ve perhaps lost the courage of your convictions and need to review your guiding credo. Life may seem utterly meaningless for a while till you dig deep to uncover true meaning. You need to find your 'why' - what you really believe in. Face your fears of judgment and do what you know to be right in your heart.
Do you feel betrayed on a deeper level? Have you lost your trust? Venus brings financial re-evaluations and makes you deeply question your involvements. What bonds are worth investing in and saving? And where do you need to free yourself from your own compulsions?
Your relationships seem lacklustre and it’s time to reevaluate what others mean to you - especially important others that you have long-standing contracts and agreements with. Are you feeling terrorised and coerced? Do you hand over your power? If so, the alienation caused by Venus retrograde will make you think long and hard about restructuring these relationships more equitably.
It's all about your work and the daily routines that sustain you, something you've been obsessing about for years. Time to think deep and hard about the value that a particular job or lifestyle brings you, or the value of certain practices and habits for your health. Have you gone OTT? Decide what to keep and which to ditch.
Is love dead? No. It’s closed for maintenance. You may be thinking of the past and the things that used to make you happy wondering what the heck happened. Has someone sucked all joy out of the world? Only temporarily. It's time to rediscover your capacity for love, creativity and joy in life. Take charge of your personal fulfilment.
You’re on a deep private journey, re-assessing what home means to you, what having a family means to you, delving into the past and digging up your roots - perhaps even reliving scenes that awaken strange longings. What does it mean to set down roots? If you're not feeling the love for where you live, think of what you really need instead.
Where’s your curiosity, your usual interest in life, your love for a subject? Your mind seems flat, caught in endless drudgery, not able to engage with new ideas for now. You may be obsessed by a writing project or by whatever business is at hand, trying your darnest to influence your environment. Re-evaluate all past ideas for present value. Revisit unfinished business and get the facts straight before you proceed.
It’s all about money. What are you truly worth? Are you undervaluing yourself? Or have you been investing all your money time and energy unwisely? Money matters are so heavy on your mind that you may have missed the deeper meaning of your experience. Time to re-establish a baseline of values and principles to help you make decisions.
You're transforming before everyone's eyes! You may act out of character now or question previous approaches. Time to review your whole attitude toward life - your financial attitude, your attitude to relationships, the things you decide to invest in and the things you pass on, your very style of behaviour, down to your very appearance. Take time for a full self-appraisal before you burn your bridges.
A deep psychological re-evaluation is happening inside you, a sort of dark night of the soul. You're examining all kinds of shadows of things repressed - rage, sexuality, bad things you deem to be out there and certainly "not me". But is it so? It's all you. Time to face your shadow take out the trash.
Friendships have become strained of late and it’s time to ask your heart who your true friends are. Have you spurned your true allies in your search to fit into the right circles? And whom do you even want in your life? It's time to purge your social circle and find your tribe!
Sabian Symbols from Dane Rudhyar’s An Astrological Mandala Image by Engin Akyurt from Unsplash
Article by YourAstroGenes.