For the past few months, we have been viewing the planet Venus in the western night sky as the most beautiful, brightest star in the heavens next to the Moon. Now she is slowing down and preparing to set under the Western Horizon. It is during this time that she is in her retrograde phase where she will remain for about 40 days.
Mythologically, Venus/Aphrodite (Her Roman and Greek names) was the goddess of love, beauty, the arts, and all that is considered valuable and/or desirable as well as all types of relationships. She has domain over all our desires, financial dealings, and resources. Astrologically she rules (has an affinity with) the signs Libra and Taurus. In her Libra rulership, she functions through the air element – she seeks relationship, communication, consensus, compromise, art, beauty, and refinement via the mental processes. In her Taurean rulership, she acts through the earth element influencing all sensual pleasures, finances, and building whatever makes us feel secure. Venus likes to reach out and touch someone/something, both physically and mentally. Her taste is sweet and her color is green. She rules the metal copper and Friday is her day of the week (that’s why Friday nights are always so much fun.) Venus rules our likes and our dislikes. She tells us what pleases us and what repels us. She moves us to interact with others and socializes us.
Like all planets she has a shadow side – envy, jealousy, covetousness, greed, lust, and indolence are manifestations of Venus gone awry. The Trojan war was started because Venus/Aphrodite was angry at Paris for having chosen Helen’s beauty over that of the goddess
The ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures viewed Venus as a war goddess. They believed that during the retrograde period, she transformed from female to male and spent that time carousing with the Aztec goddess of love, Xochiquetzal and from that union a sky monster was born (those negative traits mentioned previously.) It was also during this time that plans for war were made which would be carried out when she rose again in her female form as a morning star (when the retrograde period is over). It’s interesting to note that while I write this, the morning headlines scream of tension between the US/Russia over Ukraine and address the possibility of war. It is also of note that apparently the US will not send a diplomatic mission to the Bejing Olympics with China threatening to take serious measures again us if we follow this course.
In her book Retrograde Planets, Erin Sullivan writes “The station retrograde begins a time of global review, the entire Earth experiences the retrograde phenomenon. We can see how it manifests in the collective by watching the news in regard to diplomatic and international relations.” “The Maya believed that the point at which Venus reaches her heliacal rising, …was when political situations were particularly unstable.” This occurs around January 14, 2021 this year. “Bruce Scofield says he has found the heliacal rising (the time when Venus is still retrograde but rises before the sun) often corresponds to a time of failure or resignation on the part of leaders and often coincides with a major accident or storm.”
Venus is now in her shadow getting ready to station (she appears to stop in the sky) and prepare for her descent to the underworld on Dec 19th,
Venus goes retrograde every 8 years in the same sign. This retrograde takes place in the sign of Capricorn which symbolizes structures, business, administrators, tradition, restrictions , discipline, responsibility, borders, and barriers. Capricorn energy has been intense since last January and continues through most of 2023 and then Pluto finally leaves the sign. With Venus retrograde here we can expect a revisiting and reevaluation of old patterns and structures -think restructuring relationships, personal, business or financial. To get a feel of how this might affect you, look back 8 years (2013, 2005, 1997,1989, 1981) and see if you have any outstanding memories. If you know what house Capricorn rules in your chart, you can expect the action to take place in that area of life.
There is another aspect of interest involving Venus and the dark lord of the underworld, Pluto on December 11th. On that date there will be an exact conjunction of the two planets. (Astrologically Pluto is very powerful regardless of his current designation as a dwarf planet). Pluto/Hades as lord of the underworld represents great power, extreme intensification, death, irrevocable change, betrayal and trust issues. He rules all that is hidden, taboos, darkness, and big money. He intensifies everything to immeasurable degrees and brings to the surface all those things from the darkest recesses with the ultimate purpose of transforming what has been (not always for the better). In conjunction with Venus, issues of betrayal and trust in relationships may arise both personal, financial and business as well as on the world stage between nations. With Venus, unrealized desires and unrequited love interests from the past may come back to haunt us which at best might finally be put to rest or transformed into an easier understanding. Pluto is obsession and again with Venus old obsessive desires regarding love,money or power might be reawakened and need to be dealt with. On the positive side, this could bring great good fortune for some, as a Venus/Pluto conjunction could also symbolize big money (maybe you’ll win the lottery! This retrograde is in the sign of Capricorn, so look for the changes in economic structures and business structures and traditional methods of interaction. Relationship to values as well as all valuable things, money and world economic conditions will be affected.
Venus will turn direct on January 28th, 2022. Until that time, tread lightly and watch for signs.
For a detailed discussion of Venus Retrograde see Retrograde Planets, Erin Sullivan, Arkana books, 1992.