What does it mean when a planet is in retrograde?
From the earth, if we look up in the sky and watch the motion of the planets against the backdrop of the stars, we usually observe them moving in a forward direction. Occasionally, every celestial body except the Sun and the Moon will appear to slow down in its orbit, stop, and then go backwards, or retrograde, for a period of time.
Venus retrograde occurs about every 18 months and lasts about six weeks. Venus is the planet that represents love, attraction, and money, as well as our aesthetic tastes and basic beliefs about the value of people and objects in our lives.
Retrogrades are times when a planet’s energy is redirected inward, so the whole world experiences it on a more internal level. During Venus retrograde, conditions dealing with love impulses, attraction, values, relationships, beauty, money and possessions are altered and do not function in their usual ways. This affects everyone, regardless of sun sign.
This is a time when we are called upon to go back and take care of unfinished business. Often we are forced to deal with deep feelings that have their origins in past events. They are activated on an inner level but are often difficult to express to ourselves or others while Venus is retrograde. Things become clearer when the retrograde is over.
Love & Close Relationships
We may be called upon to reevaluate our existing close relationships. Venus retrograde is a good time to think and talk about issues, review and discuss what has worked well for you before and what has not. This is not the time to finalize either commitments or separations, as the value or lack thereof in the relationship might not be apparent to you now. There’s a strange kind of intensity and longing that tends not to go anywhere.
A lot of folks feel the need to pull back from relationships and rethink things, especially those in the “hot and heavy” or “I don’t know what we are yet” stage, or those that are “on again off again.” It’s very normal, sometimes you need to come down to earth, pull back from the swirling intensity. Problems happen when the other person takes it personally, becomes fearful of losing the relationship, and refuses to let it happen. Getting upset about it sends the message, “I care about my feelings more than I care about yours.” Wouldn’t you rather send the message, “I respect your feelings and care about you enough to give you your space, and I will be here for you when you are ready to reach out.”
The real focus now is your relationship with yourself, and this time is especially good for acts of kindness and love toward yourself. So many times when the people close to us are aggravating or frustrating, the problem is with us, not them. It’s important during Venus retrograde to take some time and space for yourself, to understand and manage your feelings. Especially if there is anxiety or anger, just recognize and honor the fears and hurt feelings that are underneath. Just by recognizing and honoring them, you create inner peace. From there, you can decide what to do (or not to do) next.
In a relationship that begins or ends during this time, you could think you are dealing with Luke Skywalker, but he turns out to be Darth Vader— or Pee Wee Herman. Or vice versa. Just tune into your instincts for guidance. If you feel anxious and unhappy, give yourself some time and space to breathe and think before taking action. Get in touch with yourself. Don’t let your fears and insecurities drive your actions.
Income tends to slow for those who are self employed or own companies.
This cycle is always a fantastic time to review and reevaluate the ways you make and spend money. When Venus resumes direct motion, you will have a better idea where adjustments are needed.
This can be a poor time to make a major purchase, as the true worth of an item becomes difficult to assess. Again, what is the reality? Is there a true urgency? Do you have to buy now, or can it wait? You may regret extravagant spending when the retrograde period ends.
However, if you know the market well, you might be able to find terrific bargains, as sellers are also under the influence of retrograde Venus and might not realize the value of an object or property. You will do well if you will look beyond surface appearances. For example, you might find a fantastic piece of furniture and get a great deal on it because it is painted an ugly color. Delays in delivery of expected objects or money, as well as legal matters, may be blessings in disguise.
Venus also represents our aesthetic tastes. If you are thinking of redecorating or significantly altering your appearance, you may also do well to postpone any major decision or action until the retrograde passes, because your tastes at this time are likely to be out of synch with your normal patterns. This is a good time to browse haircuts in magazines or new color schemes for your living room, but wait to make the final decision if you can. You might decide you like red lipstick during Venus retrograde, but when it’s over, you realize you look much better in pink.
This is not a good time for cosmetic surgery, tattoos, and any permanent or high dollar aesthetic changes.
“A time for every purpose unto Heaven”
The most important thing is, don’t be frightened by Venus retrograde. It happens every year and a half, so rest assured you have already survived it many times! Astrology is the study of cycles: all of them useful, some difficult, but none inherently bad, unless you resist the flow, and expect everything to go as usual during this time. Going along with the energy, taking advantage of the opportunities it offers, makes for a smoother ride and pleasant surprises.