Love, money, valuables, art… these are all things represented by Venus in astrology. We like these things to be stable and sure, but that’s even less of a guarantee with Venus Retrograde coming up in 2023. This is a period where our sense of finances, relationships, and what attracts us goes into a review and shakeup period.
|Venus Retrograde Cycle
|Pre-retrograde shadow begins
|12 Leo 12’14”
|2023-06-19 07:18:02 UTC
|Venus Retrograde begins
|28 Leo 36’12” Rx
|2023-07-23 01:32:45 UTC
|Venus Retrograde ends
|12 Leo 12’14”
|2023-09-03 01:20:03 UTC
|Post-retrograde shadow ends
|28 Leo 36’12”
|2023-10-07 09:21:41 UTC
Venus enters into the pre-retrograde shadow phase whenever it passes beyond the coordinates in the zodiac where it will station direct at the end of its retrograde period. While Venus hasn’t started its retrograde yet, we do begin to experience the themes and impacts of what the actual retrograde period has in store for us.
Venus Retrograde begins some time later, and will last around 42 days. During this period, the themes associated with Venus (love, romance, money, valuables, art, attraction) will enter a revision and more difficult period. Romances and unions, as well as business ventures started during this period will not go as either party plans. It’s not to say that there will be guaranteed failure if someone starts a business venture or a relationship. However, there will certainly be a lion’s share of headaches until well after the retrograde period is over, assuming the partnership survives.
Once Venus stations direct, the post-retrograde shadow period begins. We’re not out of the woods yet once we’re to this point. There’s still a few more weeks where the activities and lessons learned during the actual retrograde settle in and begin to “set”.
Issues That Come Up During Venus Retrograde
Venus retrograde is a period where it’s better to shore up one’s tasks and work on self-improvement. Now, similar to Mercury retrograde, it may be beneficial to pick back up older tasks that were put off until now (the key phrase being return to). For example, perhaps you had an art project that you had to put on the back burner for whatever reason. This could be a time you can return to it and finish it off, or you find that you have learned a new technique that will make the creation even better than before. Conversely, you could wind up reevaluating the project and decide to scrap it after all. Either way, older works can wind up concluded in some way.
There’s also the potential for former flames and exes coming back (or attempting to come back) into the picture. Be very careful with this, as you or the other party probably initiated a separation for a reason. Now, if circumstances such as having to travel a lot for a job you no longer have was one of the reasons for the breakup, and you’re in a better place now, then I’d say proceed with caution. Still, past feelings can linger even in the best of cases.
If you don’t want to reconnect with the one attempting to get back into your life, you have power over your own interactions with this. Silence, not answering, maybe even blocking if you need to (especially if they were abusive before). Seeking restraining orders and protection from abuse in the worst cases is, sadly, not outside the realm of possibility now.
In the case of old jobs, employers, or business partners, be watchful if someone decides to initiate legal proceedings. (I really wouldn’t recommend elective legal or contract initiations unless you don’t have much of a choice, such as needing to begin a job. Still, make sure you read all of the fine print and be your own best advocate in that event).
The Physics Behind The Retrograde
From a purely astronomical standpoint, of course Venus doesn’t actually go backwards. The motion of the planets, and our perspective of the sky from our vantage point on Earth is such that Venus appears to slow down, and then reverse direction. After so long, Venus then appears to slow down again a month and a half later, and then appears to shift direction again.
In reality, Venus and the other planets are plodding along around the Sun at a normal clip at all times (barring major gravitational anomalies like a rogue planet or star meandering through our starsystem, at which point all projections would go out the window!)
Venus’ orbit also is fully inside Earth’s orbit, and Venus is bright due to its highly reflective atmosphere. As a consequence of its orbit and pattern, Venus will appear in the evening sky during and after sunset during part of its orbit, and in the morning sky before and at sunrise in the other part of the orbit.
Venus Retrograde begins when Venus is in the Evening Star stage in its journey through the solar system. As Venus retrograde approaches a conjunction to the Sun from our perspective here on Earth, it is what’s called an inferior conjunction. What this means is that Venus is in front of the Sun during its retrograde motion, and this is when it transitions to being the Morning Star after the conjunction.
When Venus conjuncts the Sun again during its direct phase, it will be behind the Sun from our perspective here on Earth, creating a superior conjunction. If you were to look at a map of the solar system during these periods, you’d be able to see the positioning of Venus in relation to the Sun on the charting program. TheSkyLive.com is an excellent free site that you can use to see this in action.
The Aspects During the Phases of Venus Retrograde
Venus Pre-Retrograde Shadow Start
Venus’ pre-retrograde shadow period began on June 19th, 2023 around 12:18 AM PDT / 7:18 AM UTC. This entry into the retrograde zone begins to set the ball rolling when Venus actually reverses direction from our vantage point on Earth.
The strongest aspect as Venus entered the shadow zone was Venus in Leo sextile Mercury in Gemini. Messages regarding creative projects, recreation, short-term relations, these would have been a little more optimistic and a little more free-flowing. The danger here is hubris, however.
The hubris factor for the pre-retrograde shadow is even more evident with a weak conjunction between Venus and Mars, and an equally weak square from Venus to Jupiter in Taurus. Jupiter and Venus are both “benefic” planets, representing the more positive values of optimism, luck, beauty, and value. In a square formation, there can be an element of overoptimism, inflated ego, and overconfidence. We may feel we can fly higher than we really can. Consider this the Icarus Factor: Fly so high to touch the Sun, and you get burnt.
The Mars connection is itself further amplified by its own conjunction to Black Moon Lilith, both square Uranus. People want to go for it and “do the thing!” Problem is, issues that have been sown over time tend to get reaped rapidly. Case in point: The Titan’s rapid implosion during this pre-retrograde shadow. Like this disaster, more will come to light as we proceed through the Venus retrograde period.
Beginning of Venus Retrograde
Venus stations retrograde on July 22nd, 2023 around 6:33 PM PDT, or July 23rd, 2023 around 1:33 AM UTC. The aspects to Venus at this point get rather interesting.
For starters, Venus is the focal point at the apex of a Yod between itself, Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, and Neptune retrograde in Pisces. Venus also is about one and a half degrees conjunct fixed star Regulus. Let’s go over this one piece at a time.
For starters, Regulus and Venus together can be a little iffy. Regulus is a prominent star that is the “heart of the lion” in the constellation Leo. And the effects of Venus with Regulus?
With Venus: Many disappointments, unexpected happenings, violent attachments, trouble through love affairs.https://www.constellationsofwords.com/regulus/
That tends to fit in well with the two quincunxes from Venus to both Pluto and Neptune. Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth, the destroyer and renewer. Neptune is the planet of mystery, illusion, dreams, and also addictions.
The quincunx is an awkward 150-degree aspect between two bodies. It’s not quite as contentious as an opposition, and doesn’t have the flowing familiarity of a trine. Venus quincunx Pluto portrays an uncertainty about a relationship or source of income, as if it’s unstable, could implode at any time, or may seemingly be going well but have an air of something feeling “off” in the background.
Venus quincunx Neptune, likewise, is where something regarding what we desire seems “too good to be true.” Even if things are good, there’s that question of deception in the back of the mind. Something illusory is in the mix, and the riches or companionship we think we have may in fact be fleeting or illusory.
The Yod pattern, or Finger of God, puts these two quincunxes together and focuses on one body, in this case Venus. Now, given Pluto sextile Neptune, both retrograde, we’re trusting in our intuition to guide us to greener pastures, and to remake old desires into new ones. But that awkward link to Venus, we’re chasing something that seems better. Or, we’re thinking that we’ve finally found someone awesome or finally have that job or income stream that’s going to solve our problems. Will it? Something doesn’t seem right. And with Venus shifting to retrograde, we’ve got some major doubts.
The other factor regarding this yod with this many retrograde planets is a major amount of second-guessing ourselves. Maybe the choice is the right one, but we cannot be so sure about it. So new relationships, new marriages, new jobs… it won’t go smoothly. Not unless you and the other party have a tremendous amount of positive aspects to move of the bodies involved. Now, if you and the other party are well ahead on your inner healing work, then you should have a better time of it. Still, it won’t be perfect by a long shot.
On top of all of this, Venus in Leo trine North Node in late Aries can prove beneficial. If we heed the lessons that we needed to learn, then this Venus retrograde period can help us know our worth and not settle for what doesn’t serve us. With Venus in the third decan of Leo, there is a subtle Mars-like energy that will color things, and further drive us to consider our own place in relationships and how we acquire goods and money.
The corollary here is Venus sextile the South Node, indicating that we draw from the lessons of previous partnerships and relationships to further our growth. Those who are single at the onset of this will benefit most from alone time during this period.
End of Venus Retrograde
Venus stations direct on September 3rd, 2023 around 6:20 PM PDT, or September 4th, 2023 around 1:20 AM UTC. Again, Venus station direct square Jupiter in Taurus colors this period with overoptimism, hubris, and overreaching. Remember that not all that glitters is gold, and around this point and shortly afterwards is when we look at what we’ve found during the recent retrograde period. Was it gold? Or did you pick up a polished turd?
Something we need to keep in mind during Venus station direct is the North Node tightly conjunct Eris in Aries. Eris is discord and disruption. The North Node is our goals in life and our path to what we’re supposed to learn in this lifetime. Combined as Venus shifts back into forward motion, we’re going to be doing some serious questioning about how our relationships with lovers, family, and money squares up with what makes up our core.
Home life and our stability there is also greatly in focus as Ceres in late Libra conjunct South Node tightly opposes the North Node/Eris conjunction. Ceres is home and hearth, and our foundations regarding how we nurture ourselves and others comes very much into play. There is a huge influence here regarding self-disrupting behaviors and how that affects our more significant partnerships. Selfishness now stands to spoil a great deal, and those who have been quite self-dealing will find an unwelcome spotlight on them now.
Pluto retrograde square the Nodes further adds to the challenges. Pluto, destroyer and renewer, sees its T-square to Ceres, Eris, and the Nodes and raises the ante with a Yod apexing itself from Black Moon Lilith in Leo sextiling Vesta in Gemini. Black Moon Lilith is what is hidden, churning deep beneath the scenes, and the independence of women and the feminine. Vesta is the sacred flame, highlighting what is our highest held ideals and most sacred to us.
We are going to find that identity, women’s autonomy, what should be basic rights, and the roles between traditional mores and self-determination will be greatly examined and in a state of upheaval, especially during the Venus direct station. Pluto has backtracked into Capricorn by this point, and in third decan with the Virgo-Mercury influence. I expect more disruptive laws or attempts at laws passed to further constrain bodily autonomy, or conversely, judicial rulings striking down some of these laws and upholding others.
I suspect other constraints on artificial intelligence and online economies will also be attempted leading up to and around this time. Black Moon Lilith is itself a focal point of a Yod from Pluto and Neptune retrograde. Further examinations, especially with Neptune retrograde square Vesta, will likely find an unintended consequence in proposed rules. Given the 12th house nature of Neptune in Pisces, we can expect back-room dealmaking in whatever legislation is proposed on this and human rights issues. I don’t expect this will stay hidden long, however, with Sun conjunct 8690 Swindle should shine a light on any funny business.
Finally: Mercury is retrograde in one of its domiciles in Virgo, widely conjunct the Sun but trine Jupiter during the Venus direct station. So things are going to be even more unclear than they need to be, but there will be that air of optimism regarding our obligations and our resources. Triple-check your bank accounts and make sure you don’t overspend here.
Venus Exits Post-Retrograde Shadow
Venus finally exits its post-retrograde shadow zone on October 7th, 2023 around 2:22 AM PDT / 9:22 AM UTC. At this point, it’s full speed ahead for Venus… or is it? Not so much, given the alignments at first.
Venus in late Leo conjunct Black Moon Lilith and Regulus in Virgo, and opposite Saturn retrograde in Pisces asks us the question of “did we learn our lessons yet?” Wishful thinking going into this retrograde cycle has likely left us burnt with reaping the results of our prior actions. Saturn is karma, the taskmaster, and the disciplinarian. At this point, we’re coming out of the disruptions feeling like we’ve been spanked.
Venus quincunx Pluto retrograde in Capricorn further drives home the uncertainty. So things have certainly been demolished, and faith and trust in institutions will likely be even more reduced than they were when the pre-retrograde shadow began. Pluto retrograde opposite 128 Nemesis in late Cancer further drives this point home: retribution for past sins and institutional mistakes. It’s not a pretty picture.
Venus sextile Mars in Libra may feel like a green light to begin pursuing the more fun stuff again, in terms of short-term relationships and maybe longer term partnerships. What you have to remember is that Mars is in detriment in Libra. Are we really committed to this person? Is this really the right job?
Time to make things abundantly clear: at the end of the Venus post-retrograde shadow, buyer’s remorse will be quite apparent. Why? Mars is conjunct the South Node, opposing Eris, and is in fact in a brief, hours-long Grand Cross with Pluto retrograde with Capricorn and the Moon in its home sign of Cancer! We likely gravitated to something that reminds us of our younger days (Mars/South Node), and of course the stability we felt it might convey with all the chaos we’re going to continue seeing in the government and other institutions (Pluto). We feel the fleeting security and seeming emotional comfort (Moon), yet we’re feeling a bit more disorganized and we ultimately are not going to feel that stable (Eris/North Node).
To add to this, Neptune retrograde conjunct 55 Pandora is going to have us wracking our head and wondering just what kind of Pandora’s box we opened with our recent decisions. The consequences of rose-colored glasses earlier (or in some cases, beer goggles) will become blatantly apparent now. And yet, with Neptune’s retrograde movement, some will still not see what needs to be seen. Once Neptune goes direct, I’m sure it’ll be a bit more apparent.
To Sum It All Up
I’m going be quite blunt: You are unlikely to find your “one and only” and also unlikely to find your “forever job” during this Venus retrograde cycle. That’s a dicey proposition on any Venus retrograde, but this one has all sorts of chaos and disruption built-in.
If you choose to jump into something binding, whether it’s a relationship, a job, or whatever, do not expect perfection. Even if “this dude’s perfect for me” or “this job would be perfect for me,” it isn’t going to be perfect. Even if all the fine print checks out, you need to factor for more things that are out of your control and the other party’s control now.
That’s not to say you may have to take a job during this time. Keep the uncertainty factor in mind and try to keep binding decisions to a minimum. Now, some short-term shuffling may be okay and a building and/or learning experience, but you need to expect a lot of speed bumps.
“Full speed ahead” is not the play for this retrograde. But if you’re almost at bottom and have to make that “Hail Mary” play, then just know what you’re getting into. And as far as playing to the emotions of the other person in terms of relations? Make sure you’re on the same page. But even if “we know what this is” is the play… it may not stay that way.
Watch your six, and be your best advocate. That’s the long and short of it.
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