Background – I must start this article by looking at the nature of retrograde cycles in general. The reason for this is that we are now entering a period that is very different from the typical retrograde pattern. Normally, retrograde cycles are a basic part of the astrological landscape, especially when we look at the planets in the outermost location of our solar system. Many of them spend 4-5 months each year in retrograde motion. Also, Mercury, the planet with the most frequent retrograde cycles, is retrograde every 4 months for about 3 weeks. All of these cycles are regular and thus have become a part of our life, even for those who know nothing of astrology. We have become accustomed to the natural rhythms of these predictable patterns. Right now, however, we are in a very unusual time period that can become much less difficult if we understand what is being asked of us.
Let me be more succinct. Venus is a fast moving planet, but unlike Mercury, only goes retrograde every 19 months or so. When it does, that period lasts for about 6 weeks. The other odd retrograde cycle is Mars. This planet only retrogrades once every two years, but it is retrograde for up to 11 weeks. Because these two planets do not retrograde frequently, they sort of make up for it by lasting longer than one would expect and then by making their effects quite noticeable. What makes the period we are entering even more rare and much stronger is that they are about to occur one right after the other. In other words, they will be linked. These two retrogrades will last from December 21, 2013 until May 20, 2014 which is 5 months.
- Venus will begin its retrograde cycle on Dec. 21, 2013 at 28°59″ Capricorn at 1:53pm PST.
- The next most important phase is when the transiting Sun conjuncts Venus. It is called the Inferior conjunction and is the mid-point of the retrograde cycle. This occurs on January 11, 2014 at 21°Capricorn at 4:25am PST.
- Finally, Venus retrograde ends on January 31, 2014 at 13°Capricorn at 12:49pm.
- One month later, Mars begins its retrograde cycle. This begins on March 1, 2014 at 27°Libra at 8:24am PST.
- The next important phase is the opposition between the Sun and Mars. It occurs on April 8, 2014 at 2:04pm at 18° of Libra and Aries.
- Finally, Mars retrograde ends on May 19, 2014 at 9°Libra at 6:31pm. The entire Mars retrograde period lasts 80 days or about 11 weeks.
This article will focus on the Venus retrograde period, but I will mention some of the implications of the coming Mars retrograde period as they are so connected. Here are some of the important things to consider during this period:
1. Venus rules relationships, partnerships, and our values. This includes the issues that matter most to us, our priorities, and all of these things will need to be reviewed, questioned and examined.
2. Venus is the principle of attraction and repulsion, what we want to draw towards us or what we want to push away. This is a time to look at what we really want, what is authentic for our own being, and what expresses our best qualities.
3. Venus is the principle that guides us as we decide with whom to align. It rules affinity as who we associated with directly reflects on who we are as a person.
4. Venus retrograde may bring about an assessment of our allegiances as we question who helps us establish a productive and harmonious lifestyle.
This retrograde occurs in the sign of Capricorn which focuses on effectiveness, the ability to manifest what we want in the world and who can be helpful to us for that purpose. This sign tends to reduce the tendency to get involved in blind romance in favor of practical values.
The Venus retrograde is best seen as a cycle, one that actually started in November. If you want to know something about what the next 6 weeks will be concerned with, just look at what you’ve been thinking about during this period. Astrologers often talk about reviewing things at this time, and this is true, but there is more to it than that. I know many people who have received promotions, entered into relationships and ended and started new friendships. I’ve been asked by clients and students if Venus retrograde will mean that there will be breakups or job losses, etc.? Although that is remotely possible, when we understand the whole cycle, we will see that this is unlikely.
In honor of Venus in Capricorn, let me use a concrete example. A person receives not only a new job, but a newly created position. They are not merely entering a pre-existing position, but one that was developed as part of a major reorganization in that company. Their new position is therefore still being developed. This person is coming in to direct a reform and make significant changes. But he is not part of the history or ‘institutional memory’ of that organization. In fact, this is partly why he was brought in. There is much he does not know or understand so he must learn quite a bit, must catch up to what others already know, while also keeping an eye on what will need to be changed or not. In addition, there is resentment with some people as some felt they deserved the promotion and are angry that an ‘outsider’ was brought in. Thus he is faced with many different kind of challenges, roadblocks, challenges and resistances from staff. The Venus retrograde period is about engaging in this process as he wades through the troubled waters of that company.
What astrology can help us do is develop understanding of the nature of the cycle we are in, The new manager must be patient, develop equanimity, and work step by step combining good public relations with hard core analysis and assessing of the strengths and weaknesses that must now be faced. In brief, Venus retrograde is a time for assessing. Later, Mars will enter the picture and will focus on developing new strategies, but that is premature. Can our new manager be content to work patiently and wait to take strong actions rather than immediately institute new changes or reforms? Chances are if he is not content, not only will he be met with resistance, but the plans may be undeveloped and incomplete. If he acts too soon, could his credibility be needlessly be undermined? Yes! Every act will be highly scrutinized right now, so his best bet is to research, gain information, study and monitor the climate of the company until he is ready to deftly begin the necessary changes. Also, to focus on building relationships so that he gradually learns more about the staff he has inherited.
In the real world, we may not be able to wait as much as one would like, but it is still a good idea to avoid needless risks or alienate others by running around like a bull in a china shop. Care and concern are the characteristics needed now while maintaining a clear eye toward future changes. One should be open to meeting new people, to taking a good look at those who might be aligned with our purpose and to reassessing values and priorities. It is likely we will want to make some significant adjustments during this period and if we give it the attention that is needed, we will be happy with the outcomes we create when February comes and this cycle begins to stabilize.
I will be writing more as the transits shift for us. I want to wish my readers a very Happy holiday season.
Thanks for being a part of our School.
Hi Tessa, Kimberly wrote about the January 1st transits in her AstroCast article that you can find here:
I am grateful as always to read your point of view on these things and then go back in time to remember what happened the last time Venus went retrograde, not to mention what transpired during Mars as well. But after I read your article Tim and I did a little looking at Solarfire and saw that on January 1 there is quite a lot going on that I would like for you to write about. There is a New Moon conjunct Pluto and Mercury squaring Mars and opposing Jupiter! I bring this up because my Moon is at the same exact point as Pluto and the New Moon. Can you bring in some light for me? Much appreciated!
Love and light,
Thank you. Insightful, sane, thoughtfully composed. My first visit to your website- not my last!
I follow the sidereal zodiac, and love reading about all schools of thoughts (tropical included). What you’ve expressed about Venus Retrograde is very eloquently expressed and in sync to Venus and the Retrograde cycle.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I enjoy reading them every month. It’s always fascinating how the sidereal and tropical do have some overlaps!