- March 4-Venus stations Retrograde at 13 degrees of Aries, 2.09am MST
- April 2-Venus re-enters the sign of Pisces, 5.25pm MST
- April 15-Venus stations direct at 26 degrees of Pisces, 3.18am MST
- April 28-Venus re-enters Aries, 6.13am MST
- May 20-Venus exits retrograde shadow zone at 14 degrees Aries
Venus went retrograde earlier this week in the sign of Aries. Venus is the ruler of love and and attraction and affection, aesthetics and beauty, our individual feminine nature, and how we experience pleasure. Venus also shows us how we relate to each other, how we react within relationships because it also rules the sign of Libra. Aries is the portion of the zodiac associated with personal identity, it’s motto is “I Am.” The first sign of the zodiac, it is the cardinal (initiative) fire (spirit) that operates as the Masculine Principle. Aries wants what it wants, when it wants it. It’s the fire that opens the seed up and pushes the roots down and the leaves up. The first day of Aries is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
While in Aries, Venus loves her independence. In this sign, we want what we want. And not only that, but that wanting becomes a part of our personal identity during this time. Folks with this placement in their natal charts (or Venus in the 1st House) know that it can cause us to be very into ourselves…like, there are other people in the world, you know? However, as a benefic in the chart, Venus provides grace and charm. So we might be self-obsessed at the moment, but at least we’re charismatic and fun to be around, right?
Because they embody very different energies, Venus is considered in her ‘detriment’ in Aries. This means her power is diminished, or that she isn’t quite up to full strength (as opposed to her being exalted in the previous sign of Pisces-pin in that). Aries is ‘what I want,’ and Venus kind of loses her relational vibes here. She’s all about pleasures and comfort, and Aries is a questing knight always on the move. She wants to connect with others and Aries has a one-track mind on their next conquest.
So! When a planet goes retrograde, it seems to slow down and back up in the sky. It doesn’t really do that, it’s just an illusion created by that planet’s orbit in relation to our own-but, interestingly it means that that planet is closer to Earth than other times. Venus also has a very interesting trajectory, it hits the same five points in the zodiac within a couple of degrees. Her full cycle takes about eight years, and her path describes a giant pentagram in the sky. The last time she went retrograde at this position was the spring of 2009.
(Got this image from Wikipedia Commons via Google Search.)
(Got this image from The Lunar Planner via Google Search.)
The ancient peoples of the world also recognized another interesting feature of Venus’ retrograde motion. Most of the time she appears in the evening sky on the Western horizon, but as she goes retro she seems to set in the west. As she approaches her conjunction with the Sun, she disappears below the west for a week or two. Then she starts showing up in the morning for a few weeks, on the Eastern horizon with the sunrise! This is what the ancients called “The Morning Star”-you might have heard of her elsewhere by that name. This is Venus in her warrior armor. She’s usually the demure and coquettish vision we think of standing in a clamshell. As the morning star, she is wrathful and capable of defeating her husband (Aries, get it?) in battle. It’s a side of Venus we don’t really think about a lot, but it happens about every two years. (Side bar. Last time she went retro in summer 2015, spending four months in Leo-the sign of the heart-we got that old marriage equality in the US. Moon was in Libra, sign of relationships and because of its Scales totem, Justice.)
(Got this image from johnpratt.com via Google Search-This also shows some descriptions of what Venus’ phases mean.)
To synthesize all that, this Venus Retrograde is a journey of self-love! Any retrograde motion brings the energy of the planet inward (maybe because the planet is closer, we feel it more?). It makes us internalize the energy-and when that energy has to do with relating to others, we ask how we are a part of that equation. Retrogrades are a time to reconsider, reevaluate, reexamine. So the questions I think of about this time are things like, Am I doing what makes me happy and brings me pleasure? Am I who I want to be and am I becoming who I want to be? Am I standing in my own truth and moving in the direction of the things I want?
If we aren’t happy with the answers to those questions, the quality of this time will motivate us to make the changes necessary. If we are happy with those answers, I think we’ll experience small, quiet affirmations.
Additionally, because Venus has to do with love and relating, during her retrograde motion we might encounter people from our past. These encounters will put a spotlight on how these relationships have impacted us. We’ll have a comparison to gauge our growth and determine whether these relationships are or aren’t still a part of our identity (Aries).
And last but not least, Venus will re-enter the sign of Pisces as part of this retrograde! Venus is exalted in this sign, because she can connect to the Universal Mojo without the hindrance of ego that she experiences in Aries. I think of this like a spiritual baptism (is there any other kind, lol). On this journey of self-love and care, Venus dips back into the waters of Pisces. This identity crisis goes into the subconscious, is refreshed and continues on with new vigor. This time is a great opportunity to check that our values and actions are in alignment. Is my identity in line with Universal Will? Am I creating the kind of love I want to experience? How is my nature intrinsically connected to All Of Creation?
This is an exciting time! Because of this long-standing T-square (Jupiter in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in later degrees of Aries), there has been a lot of external pressures on all of us. This time is demanding that we check in with ourselves right now. We can’t be a good balance to our partners if we are not in balance ourselves. We can’t have good friends if we can’t be good friends. We can’t effect change in the world at large if we aren’t sure of our own intentions. This time is inviting us to look at ourselves and lovingly correct what is not in alignment.
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think, and how your retrograde is going.
P.S. Used my ephemeris for the dates, probably quoted SEXTROLOGY by Starsky and Cox, the Buddha Board at Golden Braid Books for my main image, and cited the sources for the images above.