For forty days, March 4- April 15, 2017, Venus will move retrograde in the degrees of 13 Aries- 27 Pisces.
Venus is the cosmic darling, Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure and all we enjoy. With Venus, life is good – we find money under our pillow, our creative achievements win accolades and praise, our friends and lovers shower us with affection and we feel confident and look good. So what happens when Venus goes retrograde? Though we might be tempted to imagine lovers being jilted at the altar, abject poverty, and beauty treatments gone very bad, while not impossible, a more typical expression of Venus retrograde events feel more like an adjustment and reorientation around what makes you truly happy, what and who you enjoy and consider worthwhile. For instance, like an eagerly anticipated trip to an ice cream store an hour away only to find out our favorite flavor has been discontinued, we may feel disappointed, a little cheated, and wonder why we spent so much time, effort or money on an activity, thing or person that ultimately left us feeling flat.
While no one likes to feel those crestfallen or disappointed feelings, look closer and a pattern emerges: Displeasure eventually leads to genuflection and introspection…and that’s where the real gold of retrograde reveals. Throughout her 40-day and night retrograde we are led into a process of reevaluation around all we value, and why. As she dances across the sky and disappears with the Sun, to re-emerge as Morning Star, we may find our selves asking on several occasions: Am I having fun yet? If not, What would help? (the golden question).
Often we discover the thing or person we thought we wanted, we didn’t really want at all. Or maybe we discover that we given more value to something, or someone, than they deserve. Sure, Venus retrograde can disappoint: maybe we lose a commission we worked hard for, but this leads to the kick in the pants to choose another path, one that properly values us. Or our job or living situation stresses us out so we can finally re-prioritise our own happiness. Maybe we date a real dud who ends up showing us just how much we’ve been underestimating what we deserve in a partner, and helps us see how we’ve been sabotaging our needs and desires (true Venus RX story- my own!). Perhaps our partner does that thing we most dislike – and we finally face and address it. Don’t be so quick to rail against any misfortune during this period: Venus hates being judged on appearances alone. With Venus there are always blessings; when Venus is retrograde, the blessings are just in disguise.
Venus Magic and Ritual
There’s plenty circulating in the blog-o-sphere telling you what not to do during this period. In case you haven’t read that yet, classically, Astrologers say: Don’t get married, start a new relationship, get a new beauty treatment, spend gobs of money on something or someone whose value is questionable… Yet there’s far less information about what to do.
One thing I consistently advise clients during Venus retrograde is to put any troubling relationship, self-esteem and self-worth or money patterns under scrutiny, by offering those to the Goddess. Remember, Venus is descending into Underworld, and she will re-emerge transformed. So can you. For the next 40 days, ask for clarity around Venus issues. For instance, a client recently said: “I’m hanging onto this relationship for dear life and I don’t know why.” I suggested she offer this question up to the altar of Venus. This could be a symbolic altar, or an actual one, where you place your favorite beautiful objects. Try writing out your concerns: your deepest troubles and patterns you’d like clarity on, as well as your desires (I’d suggest making two separate lists to keep the energy clean) then place this in a special box or envelope on the altar. You might develop a practice of checking-in daily at your altar, jotting down how you are doing with your particular issues, what’s coming up for you. This holds the space for transformation. And in ancient times, when requests were being made of the Gods and Goddesses, a sacrifice was always made, an offering.
What are you ready to give up to the Goddess? You could offer her your:
-Persistent relationship patterns you’d like insight and resolution around.
-Overspending and financial woes.
-Creative blocks and stuck artistic energy.
-Addictions and attachments, overeating and overindulgence.
You could even go “cold turkey” around these troubling areas: Stop overspending, refrain from entering into relationship, etc. Use the time to commit to unmasking your Venus’ deeper desires, starting a process of inquiry around those. You can even track your process while tracking Venus in the sky. Venus is currently visible, but on August 9 at 29 degrees of Leo she will descend, becoming invisible to the naked eye to travel with the Sun into the Underworld and exactly conjunct it on March 25 at 5 degrees of Aries. Around March 30, she will re-emerge as the Morning Star at 2-1 degrees Aries, armed with new awareness for us around our values, worth, femininity and relationship patterns.
25 More Things to Do During Venus Retrograde
If you are like me and thinking about how to use this period to your best advantage, here’s my initial brainstorm to stimulate and tickle your pleasure chakra. Since Venus is fickle- our desires, sensibilities, likes and dislikes are particular to each of us- you might enjoy using this list merely as a launching point for your own list. Use your imagination!
- Check in on your pleasure principle. Make a list of things you enjoy. Do you regularly do these things you enjoy, or are you saving fun for a rainy day? How is that working out for you?
- Repay money you owe others. Pay your bills, clear your debt.
- Spoil yourself. I know this may sound contradictory to the last statement, but an inexpensive bauble or pleasure can bring a huge lift to the self-esteem.
- Reconnect with people from your past. This is obvious one, but a goodie.
- Edit your wardrobe; clean out your closet; clear clutter.
- Return clothing you don’t wear or like, and give it away. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn it in over a year, ditch it to make way for new.
- Replace synthetic beauty products with natural alternatives.
- Visit an art museum or gallery, but only spend time with the art you like! Noticing your yes’s and no’s is a good way to practice self-honoring.
- Love your body. Re-dedicate yourself to self-care. Show love to all your body does for you thru positive action.
- Rearrange artwork in your home or office to re-inspire good ideas.11. Return to a creative practice- if you used to love to draw, photograph, play guitar etc. why not pick it up again? It’s a great time to do so.
- Listen to music you used to love. It’s like visiting an old friend.
- Watch old favorite movies or plays (Princess Bride, anyone?).
- Reinvigorate your love for vintage art, film -the classics.
- Revisit a creative project. This time it just might come together.
- On a similar note, create new art out of old art – found objects, recycled items, manuscripts you’d tucked away. If you think someone has already done what you’re trying to do, remember: “There’s no such thing as original art.” -Andy Warhol
- Ditch toxic relationships. Again, an obvious one but really if you are hanging around people who drain you of energy, smell funny or off to you, why are you doing that?
- Pick up any of Julia Cameron’s books: The Artist’s Way, Finding Water, Walking in this World, How Not To Make Art. Unblock your inner creative. If not now, when?!
- Catch up with women in your life who you admire and respect.
- Make time to check in and/or play with kids. How are they really doing?
- Hug an artist. It takes courage and persistence to make art in a world that doesn’t renumerate artists well. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
- If you want to mend fences with another, apologise and make up if you need.
- Re-examine your relationships. Are you happy? What patterns would you like to resolve or address?
- Relax and restore yourself with a day off to do anything you like. How long has it been since you’ve done this?
- Nurture your Venus right here with Venus Signs: Discover Your Erotic Gifts and Secret Desires Through Astrology.
- Download my free e-book The Five Secrets of Venus right here.