Just as Mars begins to move forward again after its long retrograde cycle, Venus is now about to begin its 6-week retrograde cycle. Both Venus and Mars do not go retrograde every year. Mars does so every two years and Venus every 19 months or so. Because it is not as frequent as all of the other planets, its effects can be much more significant. And when they occur back-to-back as these are doing, it can feel like it’s hard to move forward like we wish we could do. For those who are interested in learning much more on this subject, you might like to click on the links in the ‘Tag Cloud’ of my website on the subject of ‘Venus Retrograde’ as there are over 6 articles on this topic.
Venus reverses course and becomes retrograde on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 7:33am PDT. It remains retrograde until June 27, 2012 when it turns back to its normal direction at 8:07am. In the middle of this cycle what is called the Sun/Venus Inferior conjunction occurs which is a very important moment in this cycle. This event occurs on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 6:10pm PDT. I will be writing articles on each of these, but some of my readers enjoy knowing the dates. You can also find important astrological dates in the “AstroWatch” section of our website written by Jim Schultz. You can find it here:
Let me begin by telling you about a discovery I made many years ago about the nature of significant transits. As a therapist who uses astrology, I naturally closely watch the transits of any clients that I knew were having major difficulties. I wondered if some upcoming transit would trigger some kind of crisis, and I found myself imagining the worst kind of possibilities and would wonder what terrible event might trigger their doom.
The Importance of Subtlety
The subject of what a particular transit might do, what kind of events it might create does send us into all sorts of conjecturing, some of which can be quite extreme. Astrologers do this all the time. Why? Because we can assume that in order for something major to happen, it MUST take extreme events to trigger it. But, since I had the good fortune to have clients who I was able to monitor over time, I saw something very surprising to me. Not only was it rare for clients to experience severe events, it was often quite minor events that lead to very significant changes. These changes might be constructive or destructive depending on how the client dealt with the event, but it was hardly ever as ‘big’ as I imagined it to be.
This was especially true of Venus and Saturn retrogrades. Over many years, I discovered that most of the time, what makes a transit difficult is that it can strike at the very heart or core of some hidden issue or concern that is hiding on a person’s consciousness. It is that fact alone that makes a transit a potentially hard one. This also means, however, that it can be potent in bringing about the opportunity of using the pain that surfaces to become a healing one. The important question is what we can learn from what is occurring at times like these and how can we discover ways to change our direction in that area. So, it doesn’t take a lot for really big things to happen inside us.
Venus Retrograde Itself
Venus represents the principle of attraction and repulsion, and therefore also what we tend to like and dislike as well as simply the principle of love. Venus acts as a magnet does in that it is what we ‘desire’ to bring towards us or push away from us. So, it also represents our values. This principle operates most in the arena of money, possessions and relationships. Normally, a person will ‘align’ oneself with the fashionable or popular views and attitudes of society. This is done through friends mostly, but also all of the other factors that guide us in life. The symbolic aspect of any planet in retrograde motion is that it reverses the normal, everyday processes. It asks us to question or review these matters, and to examine them with an emphasis on what we truly want or desire. It is a time to look inward and separate what society dictates from what we might really feel inside.
Thus, Venus retrograde is a time to make discoveries about our own personal values and to question whether or not we truly are operating in life from an authentic place. Do we just copy others, or have we developed our own sensibilities. Another way to think of it is that it is a ‘subjective’ time of introspection. Now, this means that depending on how a person approaches this period, one can resist or even fight the lessons that can emerge. If this transit asks us to look at changing our values, we could avoid it at all costs, whether consciously or unconsciously and therefore, lose a wonderful opportunity to discover what might give us truer happiness. When we are false to ourselves, we’re not going to feel deep love, a deep sense of satisfaction or anything deep, for that matter. It is a good time to ‘integrate’ our internal world with the one we live externally. Are the same or are we at odds with the two worlds? They can be seen as two very different worlds or as a unified one.
In order to use astrology to achieve insight into how one is being affected personally by this 6-week period, one will need to be able to interpret the location of this Venus retrograde in one’s own chart. I am referring to what ‘house’ is being activated by this retrograde period. It is worth knowing as this is where the action will be the most intense.
Venus in Gemini
Venus will retrograde at 23° of Gemini and come back to around 7° Gemini, so the entire period is in that sign. Gemini is the sign of thinking about and communicating ideas. More importantly, it is the activity of how we process pure data. Data is data. What makes it important or relevant is how we process it and apply it to our lives. So, this retrograde period will emphasize that process. We need to be looking at our relationships with people, money, and things by discovering as consciously as possible how we have arrived at our way of deciding what matters to us. Where did our values come from and do they still reflect what we care about now?
Venus retrograde is a time to let go of old patterns that aren’t working for us anymore. This may include letting go of friends or romantic relationships that do not allow us to be ourselves and where there is a lack of balance between giving and taking or by working with the others to see how the relationship can improve. This can be hard for us, so we may want to use the time of this retrograde period to really examine the emerging issues. The critical moment of the cycle is the Inferior Conjunction with the Sun which occurs on June 5th. It will be around this time when one is likely to be clear about what they are feeling and may even act upon it.
There are many times when it can be beneficial to get a consultation with a professional astrology. The Venus retrograde cycle is one of the best of all since it can be such an internal process that one can be aided by someone outside oneself. However, as the purpose of this cycle is to discover what we feel for ourselves, the nature of the help should in the form of helping one discover what they probably already know inside. Getting advice is not actually helpful, because it doesn’t lead to a revelation of what we feel. If we rely on others too much, we may become more confused than before and then we will have much more work to do later.
This period can be a very growthful one, so I hope you will look forward to it rather than fear it.