This article has been updated with more information about the Venus cycle phases! She would no doubt approve of our politically correct version of the word. Or is it too harsh?? We normally associate Venus with gentle love, peaceful balance and soothing pleasure. But when she turns retrograde, she can reveal hidden motives and "monsters" that are ordinarily obscured within her shadows. Be sure to read the other articles about Venus to understand what this beautiful planet represents in astrology and mythology. See the links at right for specific articles.
A retrograde planet means it looks like it's going backwards in the sky for a time, although this is physically based on an optical illusion. For more about how this works, see the article Introduction to Retrogrades. When retrograde, a planet's energy can become turned in on itself. This doesn't mean it becomes invisible or undetectable — in fact, it can become much more intense for the person experiencing it!
However, retrograde energy can be harder to bring out and utilize in the external world. It is more fragile and vulnerable out in the open air, as if it has no skin on. It can also be harder for the person to perceive and work with this energy objectively in themselves, since their experience of it is so subjective and close to their inner sense of self.
That doesn't mean a retrograde planet is not used, but it may be difficult for the person to draw on that energy consciously, deliberately and easily. When Venus is retrograde, her normally social and friendly nature can be come shy, withdrawn or quiet.
There is a deeper sense of value in one's experiences which must be found without outer distractions or disruptions. Relationships can be turned inside-out, as the two people find they need to explore the hidden undercurrents of their relationship. When the hidden, suppressed, minimized or ignored dynamics finally come out, it can disrupt the status quo of the relationship — which may or may not be a bad thing!
When Venus is retrograde, the Goddess of love, beauty, fairness and pleasure can show a side that is more like a Goddess of war, sabotage, pretence and compulsion.
Venus Elongations & the Crescent and Balsamic Moons
Hidden desire and hunger may surface, which can disrupt the balance of one's life. This can ultimately be for the better, since it is only by bringing these dynamics up to consciousness and awareness that they can be untangled, healed and re-integrated into the whole. Unfortunately, it can also create a lot of turmoil in the process, and there is no guarantee that a relationship will survive this transformation. Relationships may undergo a lot of stress during the retrograde period, sometimes falling apart if the people can't come to more a workable agreement.
Conversely, Venus retrograde can bring a new relationship into your life, especially if you've been resisting the allure of an intimate connection. Either way, retrograde Venus is tempting us to reconsider our approach to relationships. What's important to us? What and who we want, and why? And what we have to offer? In Venus's world of love, intimacy must ultimately be negotiated to determine where each person's boundaries are and whether we can or can't or won't meet each other's needs.
Under Venus retrograde, financial affairs might also require a fresh strategy in planning and budgeting, often brought on by a change in income or cash flow which could be either an increase or decrease. Creative projects may need to be redone or approached from a different direction, as new inspiration is brought to the surface. Matters of diplomacy, harmony and social interaction could become unstable and require re-negotiation.
On the other hand, the retrograde can also be a good time for negotiations, since the energy is already in a direction of reflection and exploration of the internal or unseen side of the situation. Venus retrograde can be a time when the weak links in a relationship are strained and sometimes break.
Issues that have been swept under the rug and avoided may surface and demand to be dealt with. Undercurrents of hostility or frustration can erupt into full-blown conflict. And if the relationship has been running on fumes or just hanging on by its fingernails, Venus retrograde could create a "make it or break it" situation.
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Lurking problems may have to be dealt with or choices made to bring the relationship to an end. On the other hand, if two people have been going through a difficult time of struggling with problems, they could also find those problems "going underground" for a while and taking a rest. There may be a "ceasefire" of sorts, as Venus retrograde brings the individuals into the eye of the storm where they can revaluate and reconsider the issues.
It is not always possible to predict which way relationship problems might go — taking a breather or taking aim — but Venus retrograde will usually stir up the pot so that the usual habitual dynamics don't function in quite the same way for a while. If you are in a close relationship that is having serious problems, it can really help to consult an astrologer or counselor, to get a better understanding of what is happening.
By gaining more awareness of the dynamics and shifting of energy, you are in a better position to make choices that are in your best interests and that move you toward growth and healing. We may encounter a hidden side of our values and desires, during the retrograde. These need to be brought out in the open and eventually integrated back into our usual approach to the material world.
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Values tell us what's important to us. They are the yardstick by which we determine whether something is "worth it.
Venus enters Scorpio
Venus retrograde is a time when we may be forced to re-examine what we consider "worth it. We might have to renegotiate under the retrograde to reach a better win-win arrangement. Or we might decide that our resources are better spent elsewhere. Sensuality, pleasure and beauty are also areas that can get stirred up during Venus retrograde. We should always aim to be good to ourselves, but often with the pressure of everyday life we forget to put ourselves on our own priority list, or else we keep pushing our own needs aside. Are you attracted to the same kind of people?
We are drawn to people who interact with Venus and all that she rules in your Natal Chart. This can be a fulfilling or a frustrating experience - or both! We tend to be inexplicably drawn into relationships where we play out the same patterns, issues and problems. How can you get off the "treadmill?
A personal reading looks carefully at Venus and related areas of your Natal Chart to uncover the secrets of your heart. Shine some light on the mystery of your heart! Discover what a personal reading can do to light up your life. Find out more or contact me for more details. On the other hand, sometimes we slip too easily or too far into Venusian ways of coping leisure, partying, food, spending, glamour, sex, intimacy, seduction, etc.
In this case we can easily overdo the luxuries and pleasures of life. Problems with addiction or overindulging in a substance or activity can become aggravated under Venus retrograde, since the pleasure principle is often at a higher volume than usual. However, the retrograde cycle can also become an opportunity to learn more about the ways that we use or abuse that pleasure principle — in either healing or destructive ways.
Venus is the third brightest light in the sky, after the Sun and Moon.
It's very common to mistake Venus for a plane coming in for a landing, or to mistake a plane for Venus. It's no wonder the ancients dubbed her the Evening Star and the Morning Star, depending whether she set after sunset in the west or before sunrise in the east. With such a beautiful diamond sparkling brightly in the evening or morning sky, it's also no wonder the ancients associated this planet with deities of beauty.
In fact, Venus' light is so bright that under optimal conditions you can actually see a faint shadow from objects here on Earth! There are two kinds of conjunctions Venus makes to the Sun: one where she is on the other side of the Sun from the Earth called a Superior Conjunction and one where Venus is on the same side of the Sun as we are called an Inferior Conjunction. To my knowledge these names don't imply a moral judgment of one being better than the other, but simply describing the relative distance between the Earth and the Sun. Why should we care about where Venus is in relation to the Earth?
Well, because that's where we are when looking at the Venus cycles! Retrograde motion can be observed only when that planet is viewed from Earth's perspective or any other planet you happen to be on, I suppose. When Venus is viewed from the Sun's place in the centre, there is no retrograde; there is only around and around. So the diagram below shows where Earth is where we are in relation to the Venus-Sun dance.
Venus goes retrograde about every year and a half, for about 6 weeks at a stretch. The Venus Retrograde Cycle begins in the middle of the retrograde period — when Venus retrograde conjoins the Sun.
This is the Inferior Conjunction , with Venus on the near side of the Sun i. Venus then appears in the eastern sky just before sunrise, as the Morning Star.
For roughly the next 2 weeks, she rises earlier and earlier before the Sun and reaches increasingly higher in the sky before the Sun's dawning rays make Venus invisible in the daylight sky although you can sometimes see her still when it's quite light out. Venus then turns Direct and for several months she continues to be seen in the morning sky before sunrise until she again becomes lost in the rays of the Sun.
She then conjoins the Sun for the second time, this time on the far side, known as the Superior Conjunction. After emerging from the Sun's rays, over the next several months she is now visible in the evening, western sky after sunset, as the Evening Star. This is separated from her western appearance as Evening Star by 60 days of darkness invisibility , as she slowly passes through the crucible of the solar fire during her superior or exterior direct conjunction with the Sun.
Venus then spends another eight months or so shining in the west as Evening Star. It is18 months from first morning appearance to last evening appearance. But, in stark contrast, what previously took 18 months to unfold, we will now experience in a mere 14 or so days! If you begin watching the sky every evening, you will soon see Venus, one of the brightest stars in the sky, rapidly dim, disappear, and then reappear in the opposite part of the sky, that is, the eastern morning sky.
This is a very dramatic transformation!
What was previously established and slowly transformed, over the last 18 months, is now rapidly swept away. This rapid transformation has a parallel in the mythology associated with Venus. As I note in my essay for ATNG , many scholars have noted that the Mesopotamian myths surrounding Inanna seem to be clearly referencing the movements of the planet Venus. Most notable is that in mid-life, Inanna makes a prolonged journey to the Underworld, just as the planet Venus has an extended period of invisibility in the middle of her cycle.
Older than the Bible, the myth of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree is one of the earliest known recordings of a Genesis story.
Central to this story is a theme that has become universal to many other creation myths, that of the World Tree or Tree of Life. The Tree is just one representation of what has become a larger mythical motif, the Axis Mundi , which exists at the center of the Universe and is the place of connection between Heaven and Earth. Early in the story of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree, we are told that the Gods and Goddesses have participated in the formation of three Worlds: Sky, Earth, and Underworld.
At that time a single Tree was planted by the banks of the Euphrates River, but then a great storm arose and carried the Tree downriver. The young Inanna finds the Tree and decides to plant it in her sacred garden in Uruk. When any important turning point in the cycle of Venus is plotted for five or more consecutive cycles, a remarkable pattern emerges — a five-pointed star!
The following diagram, also designed for my essay in ATNG , displays this from a heliocentric point of view.here
Phases of Venus - Wikipedia
So, there are two kinds of Venus retrograde. In the situation now , the period from May June 4 is the ending of her previous Scorpio-based journey round the Sun, whereas the period from June is the beginning of her new Gemini journey. In between, Venus aligns with the Sun and Earth, passing between them at interior conjunction 1 in diagram above , which is on June 5. As I said above, this new Gemini cycle, which begins in the heart of this retrograde period — at a rare Transit of Venus — will be about discovery or re-discovery , learning, and communication of basic facts.
Venus always wants us to go deeper into our hearts and heart-centered ways of being. She is currently out-of-bounds north and stationary. Just like Inanna and her Huluppu tree, we can plant our intentions for our growth into a heart-centered life. But first we must prepare the soil in the sacred gardens of our psyches and our lives to receive this new seed. Like good gardeners, we must clear away the detritus of the old Scorpio cycle and put it into the compost heap, and then plow the fields clean for the new Gemini cycle.
In summary, I feel this Venus cycle of the next 19 months, and indeed the next years until the next Transit of Venus , is about creating a World in which heart-centered communication thrives. We have a long ways to go, but the journey starts with a single step. The realization necessary for this step, and each step after that, is summarized in the Lakota prayer: Aho Mitakuye Oyasin — We are all related. Shamanic Astrology. Flare UK. Diane Wolkstein.
Since the tree comes downriver to her and she plants it at Uruk, this is a foreshadowing of that later event. Venus Star Rising. Caton is an eclectic Astrologer who embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration via the Living Sky. Gary has studied Spirituality for over 23 years. After exploring Shamanism and the Tarot, in , his life was changed by a magnificent Dream where he was shown planetary alignments and became an Astrologer.
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