Of the many concurrent cosmological cycles unfolding at any given moment, the Venus retrograde stands out and thus demands our attention. There is plenty of information on the web about the Venus “synodic” cycle, which every eight years marks a “star point” on the zodiacal wheel that over time forms a beautiful cosmic five pointed star pattern. In short, the current cycle that commenced last week when retrograde Venus was conjunct the Sun marks the beginning of a new eight-year period indicating change in the areas Venus rules, including possessions, money, relationships, the feminine principle and issues related to women, aesthetics and beauty in all forms of expression but especially as exalted in the arts.
A conference last week presenting The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California 2017 presented statistics showing we still have significantly lower female representation in traditionally male dominated arenas of society as well as higher rates of poverty for single mothers. What was most interesting about the conference was its health and wellness focus. Maria Shriver, who hosted the “Architects of Change” conversation, called for “a paradigm shift in our values.” You can’t get more Venus retrograde than that, and especially Venus in Aries, which represents quick action without deliberation. Do it now. Virtually all the conference panelists, experts in their field from doctors to physical trainers, professors, alternative medicine advocates and new thought agents, shared experiences about how a health crisis led them to recognize the importance of caring for themselves first – Venus in Aries – and all recommended meditation and reviewing our philosophical values to facilitate the paradigm shift to a more balanced society (a top Venus concern) before crisis hits. Looking at how we perceive and respond to these issues is very much a part of this Venus retrograde review.
When Venus backs out of Aries and into Pisces on April 2nd, we may feel a palpable shift in the tone of our values review. In Pisces, Venus is less about jumping in without reservation, and more about seeking an ideal. The focus on freedom and independence may wane and the urge to be at one with not just other but everything may become more important. Under the rosy glow of Venus in Pisces we may seek artistic experiences with others and experience greater compassion as well. It may take effort, but if we can retain the seed energy of Venus in Aries and direct that sublime compassion to ourselves, we may begin the paradigm shift in values that is urgently needed at this time. Honoring the need for greater awareness of how to care for ourselves may start with the realization that we can’t do it all, we can’t do it alone and we can – nay should – ask for help, not a strong suit for either Venus in go-it-alone Aries or Venus in Pisces, which is more about helping others than asking for help for self. Simply the act of making authentic contact with another, openly and honestly expressing our needs, can be empowering in itself and solutions often come in the process. Two hearts in agreement are better than one.
On April 5th, Mars in Taurus forms a flowing, stable earth trine with Pluto in Capricorn that archetypally supports an unwavering desire to transform. This formidable planetary pair in harmonious alignment offers an opportunity to access great reserves of power, strength and determination. In Taurus, Mars represents reliable, steady action that is in harmony with the natural world. In Capricorn, Pluto is the original Architect of Change, repurposing the structures of our material reality with a call to higher service. If we harness the power of the Mars/Pluto trine, we may be able to move mountains in order to achieve the paradigm shift in our values towards self-awareness.
While Mars is in placid Taurus, the pace of life naturally slows down, but it will even more so as the number of planets that are retrograde increases, and with it a movement supporting review of existing projects and issues, rather than commencing new ones. Venus’ retrograde will end on April 15th but Jupiter in Libra remains retrograde until June 9th, asking us to review our philosophy of relating. Mercury entered the shadow period (the pre-retro “set up” period) on March 26th (in conjunction with mind-blowing Uranus in Aries) and will turn retrograde in Taurus on April 9th. Revelations in our review of all things related to Mercury’s purview of perceptions and communications may be sudden and/or shocking, especially after Mercury backs into forthright Aries. S-l-o-w moving Pluto turns around on April 20th turning our focus on transformation inward.
Saturn in Sagittarius pivots in the sky on April 5th and remains retrograde through August 25th. Committed to broadening our knowledge, the energy of Saturn filtering through Sagittarius can stimulate a great enthusiasm for learning that especially flourishes in a structured environment. With Saturn in Sagittarius in my natal chart, I always loved to go to summer school and pretty much my entire adult life managed to be in one class or another (since 2008 astrology and metaphysics with Jim). During Saturn’s retrograde, we may review areas in our lives that could benefit from the adventure of new studies abroad or from an armchair. Saturn remains within one degree of the 27-degree point for all of March and April, making it feel like everything is a test of our knowledge and integrity. Venus retrograde has been applying to a square to Saturn that will remain in effect through the month of April, giving us plenty of time to review what we need to learn in order to be in relationship. More on the Venus/Saturn square that becomes exact next week in the next AstroCast but in short, the message of Saturn square retrograde Venus is to take responsibility for ourselves, accept the choices we made up to this point, including how we chose to perceive things. That is the key to maintaining stability in the material world (Saturn) and harmony with others (Venus).
On April 7th, the Sun in Aries opposes retrograde Jupiter in Libra kicking off a tight T-square with Pluto that will be in effect through next week (more on Pluto’s role in the next AstroCast). This aspect presents as a major infusion of larger than life feelings. We may experience an increased desire to do more than can realistically be done. Anything that speaks to the core of our being that has great meaning becomes something to take on, but how can we possibly take everything on and be effective? Is it enough just to have an enriching, expanding experience without having to keep it going in perpetuity? We must be discerning about our limitations (not Jupiter’s strong suit), know our purpose and align with it to the exclusion of all else no matter how enticing. Life is a smorgasbord but over indulging in everything on offer leads to maladies. With retrograde Jupiter in Libra the focus is on reviewing our beliefs on relating and how we respond to injustice. The Sun in Aries wants unfettered freedom to create. The challenge is to find the common ground between the two.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
April 2 – Retrograde Venus at 29°59” Pisces at 5:25 p.m.
April 5 – Mars trine Pluto at 19° Taurus/Capricorn at 8:57 p.m.
April 5 – Saturn station retrograde at 28° Sagittarius at 10:06 p.m.
April 7 – Sun opposite Jupiter at 18° Aries/Libra at 2:39 p.m.