“Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.” – William Shakespeare, Venus in Gemini

“I am driven. I am. I’m driven for some reason. But I don’t know where I’m going.” -Courtney Love, Venus in Gemini RX

Venus is the Goddess that rules connection, pleasure, relating and our personal responses to what and who we like, and from 5/15-6/27/12, Venus retrogrades beginning at 23’59’ and back to 7 degrees Gemini. (Update 5/15/20: 5/12/20-6/24/20, Venus is once again moving retrograde 21’50’-5’20’ Gemini.)

A problem I run into when writing about the general state of Venus affairs is that Venus issues are so personal that people don’t often  share them – at least not openly. Ever ask a woman her age or how much money she earns? Venus subjects are often intriguingly hidden (perhaps why Venus traditionally “joys” in the Twelfth House?). Gossip columns claim to know why celebrity relationships falter. In reality, sometimes even those closest to a couple (and sadly, sometimes one-half of the couple) don’t know why it really ended.

Venus Retrograde

Venus is personal, intimate, and meant to only be known to our confidantes, intimates. For most of us, Venus’ inner sanctum needs protection, and that’s the way it needs to be. Many great conflicts, dissatisfactions, joys, pleasures and strides in relationship take place behind closed doors. Imagine a couple who has been together for a number of years, and between kids and demanding jobs they’ve gotten out of touch with each other’s bodies and lost the ‘spark’. This is a personal Venus matter, and it’s the type of issue that will get a lot of juice from Venus’ retrogradation, a time of slowing down to reconnect. Venus, however, is not strictly relational. She is the principle of connection, value & pleasure, so connection – how to bring two and two together; value & worth- what those truly means to us; and pleasure -how to get more of it in our lives and bodies, are ripe for re-evaluation.

From a deterministic standpoint, during Venus RX we may find pleasure or connection harder to come by and our attempts at new relationship, wonky. But from an evolutionary perspective, this cycle is an internal process, a time to re-connect to our experience of a particular arena of life. Any relationship issue can be worked on, on a deeper level during a Venus retrograde cycle. With Venus retrograde, relationship matters that have been hidden become known; it’s harder to hide issues that are stressing us from the inside. That’s one reason we witness ‘bizarre’ behaviors from our friends, partners during Venus retrograde. Astrologers also warn against externalizing Venus thru luxury purchases, changing cosmetics, hair color, style; such purchases don’t deliver, new beauty products, treatments tend to go awry. The Goddess is moving inward.

We are also simply more sensitive. Reflecting on several people I’ve known who have Venus retrograde in their birth chart, they are super sensitized to their felt responses. Like a taut violin string they are so finally tuned that they feel the uh-huh and unh-uh we all feel about people we like, more strongly. It doesn’t always mean they’re more conscious of what and who they like– but they often are. They cannot ignore their sensibilities. Similarly, as Venus retrogrades, our own sensibility about what and who we like is heightened. Think: where could you feel better about your self? What area of your life could use sprucing up? You may cover old ground, but now with heightened, fresh responses. Our internal Venus response system is on high alert so this time, we really know how we feel. The benefit of this sensitivity is we have the capacity to make choices in line with our true desires.

This is also a time to get to know our own Venus function, better, and if necessary differentiate. If we don’t honor our Venus sign’s sensual desires & preferences, if we don’t own our self-worth and value, we could become very confused about our relationships during this time. Venus individuation is the process of separating our self-worth, attractiveness, what and who we truly like and enjoy, from what culture tells us to enjoy, like, love -even how to relate. By the way, culture has done a smash-up job of externalizing the sensitive, nuanced, individualized impulses of our personal Venus onto acquisition, beauty, youth, pleasure, material security. Jodie Forrest, in her MP3, The Venus Return, suggests being too embarrassed to admit what, and who, turns us on is a sign we haven’t individuated our Venus function. I would take this a step further. Claiming what and who turns us on (and doesn’t) as central to our vital sensual, feminine side (both men and women have this), and is so deeply intertwined with our self-worth, that if we don’t honor our desire, tastes, likes, we can sell our self short in relationships that don’t honor us. How successful we are in relationship is a reflection of how well we individuate from the collective Venus soup, how well we know & honor our own personal Venus sign (and aspects)!

Venus in Gemini & Your Birth Chart

The duality of Venus transiting Gemini can be confusing: we can love someone, and not like them very much. They are showing us where we are divided so we can unify the “other half” of our self. Even our relationship desires may be contradictory: we want freedom and closeness, we yearn for commitment but we love our single life! Moving slowly, going patiently inward, examining each urge, and similar to the alchemical process of turning lead into gold, burning away the dross under the fire of truth unifies, creates wholeness. Gemini Venus retrograde is a time of patiently stripping away superficial values to find our real values, examining where we are “of two minds,” and ultimately loving the contradictions because they reflect the whole totality of our experience.

How will you experience Venus retrograde? First, think back to your experiences during the last time Venus went retrograde in Gemini, in 2004 (9-17 degrees of Gemini, 5/19-6/29). Gemini’s shadow is immaturity, running around in circles in our head, being paralyzed by our contradictions, lacking an overall vision for the future, scattered-ness, having ideas that go nowhere, and saying a lot without saying anything at all. The last time Venus went retrograde in Gemini, I think I dated a compulsive liar (I know I dated him; not sure if he compulsively lied or was deceptively opaque). On the bright side, Gemini Venus is motivated by freshness, communication, excitement, learning, discourse. Well, it was exciting and I learned a lot: he gave me a chunk of fresh material for my book.

Second, is Venus stationing on a planet, or angular to a point or planet in your chart? Third, what house is Venus transiting for you? This Venus stations on my Saturn (within 1 degree) in the Ninth House. I am starting a health coaching training during this time, whereby I’ll be combining what I already know about health and wellness with new learning (Ninth House, Gemini), receiving structure, mentorship and eventually, authority in a field (Saturn). I’m already thinking about promotion, social networking and a makeover for my astrology business (transits, to some degree, work through your natal planet: my natal Venus conjoins my MC). At the same time, the third pass of transiting Saturn square my Venus occurs now, so I’ll likely experience another generous helping (oh, yes, more Saturn please!) of opportunities to address, and finally change, relationship dynamics within my primary partnership that we’ve outgrown and are no longer working.

I would tell you more… but out of respect for the privacy of the not-so-innocent…I must politely demure. But enough about me, let’s talk about you.

Where is Venus 7-24 Gemini transiting in your chart?

Venus in the 1st House: self-image, makeovers, decisive choices, how you act and appear, your point of view.

Venus in the 2nd House: money, confidence, investing in your self, taking risks that require courage, your ability to provide for your self, security.

Venus in the 3rd House: self-expression, communication, omens and synchronicity, neighbors and siblings, social networking, learning/teaching, education.

Venus in the 4th House: home, parents, clan, security, roots and personal legacy, the past, psychological introspection, endings.

Venus in the 5th House: lovers and love affairs, art, creativity and talent, luster, getting noticed, self re-creation, playmates, karmic partnerships.

Venus in the 6th House: holistic healthcare, health routines, mentors, coaches, apprenticeship, work life balance, co-workers, doctors and health providers, self-care.

Venus in the 7th House: partners, negotiation, bridge-building, the building of trust, seeing through the eyes’ of another, marriage, making your relationships new again.

Venus in the 8th House: sexual intimacy, death and grief, shared resources, psychological material, magic & the occult, sexual and trauma healing, healing betrayal.

Venus in the 9th House: religious and spiritual teachers, long journeys, belief systems, stretching wider, publishing, marketing, getting the word out there.

Venus in the 10th House: public image or status, your calling card or career, marital status, bosses and higher-ups, recognition, awards.

Venus in the 11th House: acquaintances and groups, long-term plans and goals, people you admire, social networks, finding your place in the world.

Venus in the 12th House: consciousness and quietude, restorative activities, spiritual pursuits, enjoyable time spent alone, connection to all of life through art/beauty/music.

Venus aspecting other planets
Sun: attention, ego, getting what you want, purpose, leadership.
Moon: feelings, home, intuition, family, creativity, comfort.
Mercury: communication, listening, talking, learning, teaching.
Venus: pleasure, joy, sensuality, self-worth, style, finances, magnetism.
Mars: sex, goals, energy, honesty, endings, courage.
Saturn: authority, mentors, responsibility, limits, work, structure.
Jupiter: expansion, faith, journeys, gurus, abundance.
Uranus: excitement, newness, individuality, freedom, change.
Neptune: consciousness, imagination, Spirit, letting go, illusion.
Pluto: sexuality, psychology, death, taboo subjects, occult.
Ascendant: self-image, self-awareness, physical appearance, body.
Descendant: others, relationship, dealings with public.
MidHeaven: public image, social standing, recognition from community.
Imum Coeli: home and family, interior world, psychological self.

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You might also enjoy getting to know your Asteroid Goddesses through a custom Goddess Report. Click here.