birth of venusIf there are periods when everyone’s relationship and self-esteem issues are ‘up’, that time is now. And if you study astrology you’ll know exactly why: Venus, aka Goddess of Love, is moving retrograde this solstice, December 21-January 31, in the sign of Capricorn. Lady Love’s orbit has slowed so that she appears to be moving backwards from us Earthlings’ perspective, making matters of the heart less straightforward. To avoid the pitfalls and take advantage of this period for re-strategising relationship & love, read on.

Don’t Commit to Anyone New.
Several women I know (myself included here) who have met prospective partner(s) during Venus retrograde eventually realized they weren’t who they first seemed. The person looked really good, and seemed to possess all the right qualities but the packaging turned out to be different from the contents. Our ability to assess value and worth of the other may be off right now. Through no one’s fault, this is a period of time when Princes can turn into Frogs and Frogs into Princes. So if you’re seeing someone new, go slow, take your time getting to know them. (Note: the above may not apply to you if you have natal Venus retrograde)

Clear Up Unfinished Relationship Business.
Past loves will often return during a retrograde cycle. This is encouraging if you’re looking to reconnect with an old flame, but not so encouraging if against you own better judgment, you decide to give a bad relationship another go. In this case, your old flame may remind you of all the reasons it didn’t work to begin with. The opportunity inherent here is apparent: you have the chance to clean up what’s not working in your love life. Likewise, we can put old dating habits working against us (like wearing rose colored glasses about the people we meet, or making partnering decisions out of low self-esteem), to rest. Or we might finally address the dissatisfaction we’ve been feeling in our partnership to our satisfaction.

Make No Assumptions.
Don’t assume you know what the other is thinking or feeling right now (a good rule of thumb generally). Venus influences judgment, so our interpretations of their behavior or feelings may be off. Instead of making an assumption, ask for their feedback. It’s a good time for getting clear on your assumptions, too. Consider this may be something you can address internally, instead of bringing it to a crisis. Make the time and space to feel and honor your feelings. Many times this inner listening will dispel your worries.

Love Your Self and Your Body, Better.
Venus is the Goddess of Love, and she’s also the Goddess of Self-Esteem. How are the two related? People who have high regard for themselves, who love their self genuinely and generously, attract people who love the same way in kind. Picture Botticelli’s Birth of Venus: Venus holds herself in modest self-possession while the gale winds attempt to push and pull her off balance. Before we can love another, we need to love and nurture our self; it’s the only way to stay in balance in our relationships. This is the time to nurture the aspect of your body and self-image that has been under appreciated or un-loved. This may include addressing any issues related to body image, sexuality or self-worth holding you back from expressing your full potential. Since self-love and happiness can’t be bought or sold, having cosmetic surgery or making major beauty treatment purchases may not have your desired effect during Venus retrograde.

Finally, don’t try and control your relationships, and don’t worry! In matters of relationship and money, take time to reflect and receive instead of act; if you are uncertain, ask for guidance from your higher self, build an altar to Venus, or simply vow to wait and see. Everything will get clearer when Venus turns direct.