**UPDATE: Hurray, Venus is finally direct!! Check out the 200+ comments here – from their content, you may find even more information that you seek!**
Is your relationship a little rocky now? Perhaps a big ticket item is screaming at you to spend your money? Read on!
We have a rather unusual Venus Retrograde happening for 2012, and more than enough to report to our loyal readers! Venus has been very high and brightly visible in the northern skies – and more north than usual. Since April 2nd, Venus is by declination “out-of-bounds” until the middle of this retrograde cycle, of which a rare astronomical event will occur:
How rare? This phenomenon happens in pairs once every century (more than a century actually), with approximately 8 years separating each pair. In part, this is due to the 8-year Venus synodic cycle, consisting of 5 retrograde cycles, making a pentagram shape. The first of this rare pairing happened in Gemini on June 8, 2004. Remember what you were doing or starting around that time period and perhaps a conclusion, completion or solution could be at hand now.
On June 5-6, 2012, this will happen in Gemini again – around sunset for those in the Western United States (see map at link). Even if Venus only appears as a speck on the Sun’s face, I can hardly wait to see NASA’s photos of this, it should be spectacular! (I will update this blog post with a good photo at a later date for reference, in the meantime – you may see it live at slooh.com – thanks MoonCat! Astrology for the link).
Prior to this 2004-2012 pairing, the last event happened in 1882, and the next one is scheduled for 2117! Therefore, it is most likely that we will not in our current lifetimes see this syzygy happen again!
I really like Peter Stockinger’s blog post with an excellent Traditional Astrology viewpoint on this, a summary of Venus affliction here:
“Due to her debilitated state during the conjunction to the Sun, Venus will not affect us in a positive, gentle and loving manner but she will rather test some of us to a high degree. We can expect that old relationships may come back to light and old lovers could reappear. Past events may haunt some people and much resentment may bubble up to the surface. Domestic conflicts should be expected when old structures and patterns are broken up to be rearranged.”
I also feel this is an important and rather symbolic astrological event as well, and have some ideas of how this applies to our lives. But first, let’s discuss each factor.
What does the Planet, Venus Rule Astrologically?
Signs of Taurus and Libra, Values, Relationships (Business and Personal), Commitment, Negotiation and Peacemaking, Contracts, Money and Material Possessions, Women, Art (especially visual, or even tactile) and Artistic Expression, Romance, Beauty, Fashion, Style, Taste (especially if sweet).
It may be mentioned that in ancient times, Venus in the Western evening sky is the Goddess of love, but while in the Eastern morning sky, she has a more “warrior” type of aspect – perhaps due to the mythological stories of her entrance to the Underworld, purifying herself by passing the 7 gates, and 8 days later (during the inferior cycle), she emerges in a more pure light – she now loves herself first, and truly this is healthy for love. When our hearts break, they actually in reality break OPEN, and we do not need to stop loving others, but instead we need to love ourselves MORE! Interestingly, the Mayan and Toltec mythology of Venus also resonates with warrior energy, as Venus is a male god of war (Quetzalcoatl). When Quetzalcoatl is in the Underworld, there is a sense that one can get away with bad behavior as no one is watching. So historically, it was thought that robberies, rape and/or other abuses were rampant at these times. But, by the time Quetzalcoatl appeared in the Eastern sky, he is angrier than a hornets’ nest that was stirred and often exacted revenge on those who thought misbehaving would go unnoticed. This can apply another layer of understanding on a symbolical level about Venus Retrograde cycles.
More About Venus Retrograde (aka Venus Rx)
Approximately every 1 to 1 1/2 years, Venus goes into a “retrograde” cycle. From a sky viewpoint from Earth, it means that Venus appears to move backward through the Zodiac. Venus is not really moving backward, it just looks like it. Think of when your car is passing someone in the next lane how it appears the other car is moving backward, but in reality the car is moving forward – just not as fast as yours. It is kind of like that
It should also be noted that the retrograde energies are the strongest on the very days they change direction – in this case, that is May 15th and June 27th. You can also feel these energies about 5 or more days BEFORE these direction changes. This may help in your understanding of how the energies will express themselves.
What does this mean in our lives? When any planet goes retrograde, it is often a time that is not productive for starting new things. But it is a good time for re-examining existing things in our lives to see if they still work for us, and dumping what doesn’t work. We may never examine these things as we can get really busy, so it is good that we have a way to know when to reevaluate our lives and our values – and this is what Venus going retrograde can offer all of us. Even if we are not conscious of this influence, things may happen unexpectedly that make us look at stuff and decide whether we want it or not. I say it is better to be prepared for this so you are not overwhelmed with trying to start things that feel like a struggle and uphill battle. Personally, I prefer efficiency when I can do it! I hope this article enhances your efficiency as well! (Have I yet revealed how Capricorn I really am? If not, I promise I will do moreso over time!)
If you happen to have a natal or a birth chart placement of Venus retrograde, you were born with a natural hesitation toward the things that Venus rules. You may contemplate more than usual when it comes to choosing anything from art to clothing to (yes) relationships, and there can be a carefulness with money (not a bad thing). While you have the ability to go very deep in appreciation and assessing value to aspects of your life, the fact you hesitate can be viewed by others as a lack of trust, whether it is real or not. When Venus is also retrograde in a sign where trust can already be difficult (like Scorpio), relationships with romantic partners can be challenging and there may be lessons to learn about others. Since Venus rules women, this can also be a source of strife, where the Venus Rx person appears to be the “alien” or “outsider.” Learning how to relate is one of the lessons of having a Venus retrograde – but once learned and embraced consciously, it can be an amazing blessing in relationships as they have become an important focus to do right.
Venus in Gemini
This Venus retrograde cycle is in the sign of Gemini (the Twins), which is ruled by the changeable, adaptable planet Mercury. Gemini resonates with all forms of communication, in particular with language – speaking, reading, writing, media of many types, networking, getting the word out, wit and charm, entertaining and exchanging ideas and information, and due to the twin nature, it can resonate with duality: pros and cons, day and night, similarities and differences. Knowledge of beautiful ideas can be reached and discussed because there is a desire to learn and explore all viewpoints of new territory, thus boredom is not exactly welcome – and if it is done in truth, you can discover so much more about the other person and even about yourself than you knew before – learning can really be fun. There can be a mental sensitivity finely-tuned so that one knows what one is thinking or what they will say. You can see that people in about any form of advertising could have a Gemini signature in their chart. When this energy is used for good, people’s needs get met in ways they may not express as the Gemini senses the nuances and knows that what they might want would likely match other people’s wants, and apply accordingly.
Another application? A darker one would be arguing for being right, rather than seeking truth, passive-aggressive behavior (and denial of such), rationalizing so that one can do something wrong and feel justified in doing so, manipulation of facts as to not show truth in order to further one’s ego-based desires, projecting the “bad guy” (shadow) on another so that one can feel like the “good guy” – need I go on further? One of the darkest expressions of this is the proverbial con-artist who is clever enough to say exactly what a person wants to hear so that they can take advantage of them financially or a plethora of other motives (and sex could be one, since Gemini in Tarot resonates with the Lovers Card). As noted, retrogrades can be a time when the darker expressions happen more often, so it is a good idea to be cautious of these expressions beforehand.
Who will be most affected by this Venus Rx cycle?
While it is fair to say all of us will be affected on one level or another, people with the Sun, Moon or personal planets (Mercury, Venus or Mars), or the Angles (i.e. Ascendant, Midheaven, etc.) between 7 and 24 degrees Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces will feel this time period the most. Also, because of Venus rulership, Tauruses and Libras will also feel more affected and should always be aware of Venus Retrograde cycles. Those with natal Venus retrograde will also feel the retrogrades a lot, although it can lighten up a bit when Venus goes direct by Secondary Progression. People in professions ruled by Venus will also notice things are a bit wonky (more on this below).
So – What do we do?
If we make conscious decisions with this energy, chances are we will see the positive expressions working in our lives, instead of the undesirable influences. If we just bumble along la-tee-dah, it is usually the darker energies that find expression and then we can feel picked-on by the Universe. While we cannot always entirely avoid the undesirable expressions, we can know enough to deal with energies differently and lessen the aftermath. Let’s look at some life categories and see what we can do!
This is a pretty big deal during Venus Retrograde. If there are things wrong with a relationship and you were ignoring these things for reasons of security, this could be a time when the pressures of the things wrong actually outweigh the need for stability. It could be your decision to end, but also the partner’s decision, which is more stressful. As for starting a relationship during this time, just know that the timing demonstrates that it is an old issue to be worked out, rather than a new beginning. Old problems can sometimes have a new face, and if you decide to enter a relationship during this time, you may discover it ends in the same way it did before. This also can happen with an old flame coming back, thinking things can be “different” this time. The timing alone tells me it will not change (if it would, they would come back when Venus is direct, not retrograde). I will not tell you to say no to a relationship during this time, but just know the likely consequences so you are not as hurt or surprised if things do not work well. This information can also apply to business relations and contracts – wait if possible. Chances are if it is a good thing, it WILL wait for Venus to go direct, and if it is not, it will disappear by the time Venus goes direct. It is all about timing sometimes! Also – it is not recommended that you get married during a Venus retrograde, or if you do, chances are you need to re-work much in this relationship, or learn how to love, honor and value yourself in balance with the other.
Venus also rules women, so we can keep this in mind when we may be approached with working out issues in this area. While our mothers are the first women involved in our lives, mothers are usually ruled by the Moon and its sign, Cancer. However, in our lives we often bring other women to us that have a similar resonation, so we sometimes end up handling our issues with women or female issues during Venus Retrograde times, whether it relates to invalidation, jealousy or other issues, including health problems (more below).
When Venus goes retrograde, a strange thing happens – our vision with value is shaking out the bugs, so we may see things more skewed than usual without knowing it. So, the best advice with money during this time? Do NOT spend it on any big-ticket items, new or used, right now (and I wonder with this being in Gemini this time if it will be about computers, cell phones, or cars). Chances are you will be more than disappointed at what you receive for the money and you may not be able to rectify your purchase, thereby you taking the “hit” or loss. Even Astrologers are not immune to this, as I have watched over and over again thinking we can control the influences when they are at obvious odds with the natural cycle. As an example, if your car breaks down and you need another car, do not buy one during this period. Rent one, borrow one or take other transportation, as inconvenient as it is, until this period is over. Something that looks like it is a good deal will not be – if it looks like it is, and it is real, it will wait until Venus goes direct, so schedule after June 27th to reexamine it. If it is not available anymore, know in your heart it was likely not what you think it is. If it is still available, then check it out further and make sure it is a good deal by then. Again, contracts fit here, similar to how when Mercury is retrograde. Since cash flow will slow down during this time, perhaps you won’t be able to buy that bad purchase anyway!
This is actually related to relationships and money, and is the core of them both. The idea of Value is the ability to assess and measure how important something is to you and if so, what means of exchange you see fit to obtain it. We can apply this to relationships as well, since it is imperative that we value things similarly to how our partner values things. We always hear about fights over money in a relationship, or religious strongholds, or other things where we wonder what we were thinking when choosing that partner. We can be naive enough to choose a relationship because they like the same music as we do, but learn later that everything else they hold dear is a nightmare to us. So during Venus Retrograde times, we get to learn about ourselves and what we truly value. Our values can change over time, so it is important to reevaluate our principals. Sometimes, things actually use more of our energy to own them than if we were free of them. So it can be a good time to get rid of or sell things no longer valuable to you (although don’t think you can sell for top dollar at this time – the idea is to release and get rid of it, and if you think it is worth more to others, than wait and sell it when Venus is direct and perhaps during a waxing Moon as well).
Undoubtedly, one of the things you can value is your health! This is important for those with Venus afflictions natally, as well as Tauruses, Libras, and those with Venus, Taurus or Libra on the Ascendant or 6th house cusps (if you do not know your Astrology Charts, see Astrology Resources for free ones, or consider a Consultation). As an example, Venus rules veins and in general has much to do with the kidney system, and for Tauruses, they also pay attention to the throat. It can be important to use herbs to strengthen these systems, and knowing which herbs help your situation is ideal. If you experience swelling of the ankles and dark under-eye circles, some kidney-type herbs can help (see my UTI post if you think it could help). Some are ruled by Venus, like Plantain, Alfalfa, and Goldenrod. Some have other planetary rulers that can assist or help: Dandelion (Jupiter), Nettles (Mars), Parsley (Mercury), and Juniper Berries (Sun) are all good examples. Along with these herbs, veins will do better when eating many berries with as much blue tint in them as you can find: Blueberries, Elderberries, and even to a degree Blackberries, Thimble-berries, Huckleberries/Bilberries and other similar berries are wonderful for veins – and Turmeric (Jupiter) can help with circulation and inflammation issues as well. Strong astringents like Oak (Sun) or even Sumac can help tone externally. Throat stuff can be handled with Cherry Bark (Venus) and other plants in the Rose family (many ruled by Venus). Yarrow, also ruled by Venus, is wonderful for many things, from stopping bleeding to menstrual discomforts to kidney issues and even throat, lung/respiratory stuff – it is bitter but makes you sweat and wrapping up after drinking hot yarrow tea and taking the hottest bath or shower you can stand, sleeping all night, can create much wellness the next day. Mix with Goldenrod too – and this can help address allergies! In many cases, you may wish to cut back on sugar (ruled by Venus) since it can complicate health issues when Venus is retrograde. More information can be available by working with a knowledgeable herbalist.
Because our values change during Venus Retrograde, so can our tastes (not just our physical taste but our aesthetic tastes as well). While not usually a good time to make a big purchase of art (see “Money” above), it is a great time to explore alternative tastes that you haven’t gotten a chance to explore fully – especially if it is a style inspired by the past (retrograde is about going BACK sometimes). Retro-styled art can be appreciated and when Venus goes direct, if you still find you like what you (re)discover, think about updating your art and your home environment to evolve with your refining tastes!
While the actual service fields of clothing and hair care, etcetera are ruled by Virgo, we can definitely see the Venusian influence of these fields. Just as in Art above, exploring retro styles could be something that happens quite naturally during Venus Retrograde. Trying things out now can work, as long as it is in budget and if your tastes change again when Venus goes direct, that you don’t mind trying something out for awhile. Chances are that you may discover at least a couple things you like – and there ought to be a note with regard to hair and cosmetology.
Venus Retrograde can bring about us wanting to do something absolutely crazy with our hair. Whether it is a radical change of cut or color, we can really feel sick of our old style where anything would seem like it could look better. My advice? Unless it is a hairstyle you had BEFORE and you know for a fact you enjoyed it, I caution to change it in a way that it could be changed back or grow out gracefully if it is Venus Retrograde. Again, you may decide you utterly hate it after Venus goes direct, and if it is too hard to fix, it could be a real drag, since hair can grow more slowly than our tastes can change!
Some of you may be hairdressers that are reading this blog post. It seems like all hairdressers need to know this information! Since you are in a Venusian business, Venus Retrograde will be a natural part of your career, and knowing how to minimize dissatisfaction can be a crucial element to keeping your customers happy. If people want “the usual” it usually isn’t a problem, but when they want something so different that it would be hard to fix, you may wish to advise a conservative version of what they seek so they can fix it later, and then after the date Venus goes direct (in this case, June 27th), they can go the rest of the way if they like what they already have, or be closer to a fix if they hate it. Most of the time, unless it is like an old hairstyle they had before, they may not like it after all. Then, they will think you are SO insightful on how you handled the whole thing and you can fix their hair. If they insist during the retrograde on not having a fixable version, then do it and they will know it is their own choice and perhaps it is a spiritual lesson for them to deal with the consequences – maybe they will need to think things out further in the future. This could also work well for Tattoo artists to do art conservatively during these times where it is fixable later.
It appears other Astrologers have similar viewpoints as I do – see LillianStar’s take on this Venus Rx and also Boots Hart’s post on Venus Rx and the Annular Solar Eclipse!
Mark your Calendars (and Charts)
For What Time of Venus Retrograde: Check Zodiac Arts (set for US Pacific Time) and choose YOUR Time Zone!
April 2, 2012: Venus is by Declination “Out of Bounds” in the Northern Latitude, adding Venusian “emphasis”
April 16, 2012: Venus started its pre-retrograde “shadow” period before the retrograde at 7 degrees Gemini, bringing in information about issues that could flare up during the actual retrograde
May 15, 2012: Venus goes Retrograde at 24 degrees Gemini
June 4, 2012: Partial Lunar Eclipse at 14 degrees Sagittarius
June 5, 2012: Rare Syzygy – Venus crosses Face of the Sun at 15 degrees Gemini and is also “back in bounds” by Declination
June 25, 2012: Saturn goes Direct at 22 degrees Libra 46 minutes (a sign ruled by Venus, which is stationary now)
June 27, 2012: Venus goes Direct at 7 degrees Gemini
August 1, 2012: Venus leaves its post-retrograde “shadow” at 24 degrees Gemini, completing issues brought up during the retrograde
In any case, we ought to all have a pretty eventful Venus Retrograde, particularly when there are 2 eclipses in between! Eclipses are known for revealing to us what was hidden or not known before – and sometimes that can be pretty shocking! Knowing how to handle unexpected energies is the best way to lessen the stress. Why do retrogrades often cause much stress? Because sometimes we need a catalyst for change in certain areas, and change, despite our comfort levels, can be a very good thing! May your 2012 Venus Retrograde experience allow you to reexamine what YOU value so your future choices can enrich your lives!
**Also, check out the 200+ comments here – from their content, you may find even more information that you seek!**