Venus is the planet of love and relationships, beauty, value and self-worth, money, attraction, also jealousy and possessiveness, seduction, flirtation, self-love, affection, pleasure, how we adorn and beautify ourselves and our surroundings. Venus as archetype is the goddess of love, and as such rules over what and how we love, what we value, how we want to be loved, and what we find beautiful.
Venus turns retrograde every eighteen months.The personal planets (including Mercury, Mars and Venus) have shorter retrogrades compared to the outer planets, which spend much of their time in retrograde cycles. When a planet is retrograde it means that from earth’s viewpoint the planet is seemingly moving backward. During a retrograde cycle the archetypal energy of the planet is exaggerated on the station days (when the planet is turning retrograde or direct) and then it is turned inward deeply and experienced inside rather than expressed outwardly. Retrogrades are times for review and reevaluation, not a time to take direct action or make big decisions but rather a time of contemplation, inquiry and self-reflection.
Venus will be retrograde from July 25 - September 6, beginning in the sign of Virgo but with most of the cycle in the sign of Leo. Leo acts as the child of the zodiac, being the most impetuous, playful, and childlike, and is a self-focused sign (along with Aries). Leo also represents the heart. Venus is the planet that relates to all things heart-related. Leo is a boisterous and dramatic sign, and while retrograde Venus is shy and introspective, but the emphasis of the cycle will be on heart matters.
Self-love is the biggest and most important theme, to be explored honestly and re-ignited if necessary. As we all know, self-love is the only place to begin if we want true, healthy, extraordinary love in this life. As a “me” sign, Leo can often turn self-love into self-obsession (no one loves Leo more than Leo as they say) but when done mindfully, Leo can teach this concept of directing love and appreciation to oneself in a healthy, non-narcissistic way. This takes practice for most.
For this cycle we will be compelled to do some deep digging into our desires, needs, and wants. Everything related to love and money will be up for review during this time. During these next weeks we are called to look deeply at what we value in relationships and life. Are our desires and our actions in alignment? We will think about how much we value people, relationships, things and situations in life and if it is worth it or not. How do we want to be treated in relationship? What are our most heart-felt desires?
It isn’t recommended to make luxury purchases during this time, or to begin a new relationship. Most couples working with an astrologer will not plan a wedding during a Venus retrograde cycle. Since retrogrades encourage review, past loves and exes will often return during this time; this could be for closure and healing, for a reminder of why you are no longer together, or for a reconciliation depending on the circumstances. It may be time to reconnect. Use discernment and turn inside to your inner wisdom to help guide you here.
The last Venus retrograde cycle was December 21, 2013 - January 31, 2014. And the longer Venus cycle takes us back to eight years ago. If you can remember back to significant issues during those times you will have an idea of the themes or energy of the current cycle.
This is a time to reevaluate our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes around self-worth, love and relationships, money, looking deeply into our hearts and shadows, reactions and patterns regarding these issues. It can be an important time of self-reflection birthing new insights and even healing around core wounds and issues if done with intention.
In esoteric and shamanic terms, during this cycle Venus descends into the Underworld and will transition from Evening Star to Morning Star, undergoing a profound transformation. We too will make this journey at some point in life if we have not already. We will be stripped, laid bare, all established personality and persona dissolved as we leave behind everything we are and everything we know and enter the mystery, enduring metaphorical death, and eventually emerging changed forever.
Make a self-love altar, complete with rose quartz, rhodonite, and red wine, and sit at it daily to reassert your heart’s desire and intention to yourself. Feel your connection to the cosmos and the earth. You belong. Your heart can begin to unfold, whether it feels strong or broken. Let self-honoring seep into your bones and belly then rise into your heart.
May this cycle be a blessing of authentic self-revelation and the beginning of a genuine sense of falling in love with your Self.
For more information on KK’s online learning programs, including a Dark Goddess series, or to sign up for Kosmic Koaching or a natal chart, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.