Venus Retrograde: Under the Canopy

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Pluto the Transformer, Venus the Love Goddess | 6 comments

Venus turns retrograde at 26’29’ Capricorn for forty days, beginning on 12/19/21. Myth tells us her journey takes her into the underworld, where shadows and wounds are faced, relationships tested, self-worth issues addressed, illusions are stripped down to nothing, and ultimately a new integration occurs. It’s not a comfortable process.

It’s one version of the story. I won’t argue it. It’s real enough.

Yet there are other versions (one of which I will tell you about in a minute). But first…

The underworld is a real *psychic* place, not a physical one. This “underworld” is code for: Gaining Conscious Awareness. When we descend into the underworld, with Venus, we are deep diving into what we are not fully aware of. Yet.

There is something to reclaim, renew, redeem for our journey forward. To return, above ground in 40 days, with more Conscious Awareness, it helps to have some time, privacy, space for this very sacred and beautiful reclaiming.

After all, you can’t rush transformation…such processes take time, privacy and space – a protected space.

Here’s what I am offering you: A beautiful, protected, cozy canopy. A canopy is a well-defined structure with boundaries. It’s what any Venus in Capricorn truly wants: A place to be Alone.

This morning, I remembered seeing The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries while in Paris. There is so much Divine Feminine energy emanating from these six panels, about which much has been written. Their magic was awesome and palpable!

In the piece, this Venus figure is re-emerging. She has spent time in this space of removal from regular life and this is a picture of her return. She has courageously opened her heart and faced her fears (lion), discovered her uniqueness (unicorn), found loyal companionship (dog), and receives an actual treasure chest from her time spent in the underworld. Some scholars even say that this final panel of this mysterious set shows her receiving a sixth sense – of understanding. How magical is that?!

This is a gorgeous metaphor for what can occur when Venus enters the Underworld (remember, the underworld, also known as, Gaining More Conscious Awareness) and then reemerges 40 days later, with treasure and gifts.

How might you make this 40 day transit work for you?
Here are a few ideas (these apply to all zodiac signs):

-Retreat, pull inside yourself. What allows you to get underneath it all – underneath the noise, the mental chatter – and reconnect to yourself? Meditation? Other spiritual practices? Art-making? Typically we’d choose to be less social during Capricorn times, though obligations loom as well. Practical habits for solitary reconnection (Capricorn) will serve you now.

-Focus on foundations and commitments. Ready to restructure your relationships, creative life, finances, commitments? Since Venus is inhabiting the earthy realm of Capricorn any structural work – physical, practical, foundational to your livelihood and well-being – is good. Commitment, what, who you commit to, and why, will be a theme to re-examine as well.

-Value your intrinsic innermost self, and don’t judge anything by appearance. Rehabilitating your self-worth, as well as clearly seeing the true value of people, things, ideas, are salient themes for any Venus retrograde time period.

-Stop avoiding what you’ve been avoiding. Get curious about what nagging discomfort you’ve been pushing aside or repressing out of distraction, habit, or fear. This deep dive WILL involve honestly facing our deep fears and wounds, as this Venus thrice connects with Pluto (12/12, 12/26, 3/2/22) – planet of radical honesty, wounding, soul reclaiming.

-Notice what you’ve been denying yourself — and what, and who, you no longer resonate with. Venus is the Goddess of Pleasure/Resonance, so asking what you really want to give yourself PERMISSION to do, be or have… and noticing what you’ve been disallowing, repressing, denying, avoiding admitting to yourself (Pluto)… is a good line of inquiry.

–Make the Gods and Goddesses Work For You: Some believe if you willingly undertake this process, because you have made the space for Venus’ awareness, you have gone under the canopy… intentionally pulled back, re-examined your relationships, worth, foundations, commitments, inner and outer supports… the Underworld won’t have to pull you down, from underneath, and catch you un-AWARE. For instance: If you already know you need more self-care, instead of a body breakdown, why not make the decision, first, to do more self-care?

I invite you to invoke the canopy, for yourself. Claim the space, time to go into your Awareness and help yourself become more Conscious of what’s pulling at you, from underneath. Practically, time spent under the canopy requires you to lessen commitments, and plan periods for solitary retreating, alone (why else would you be under the canopy)?

…and if you are fearfully wondering “what fresh hell is around the corner, now!?”… the majority, if not all of you reading this, already know what this is about. It’s already “up”. Trust this knowing.

~~~~Build the protective canopy, and then get underneath it. Retreat & reflect. This is supreme self-care in action.~~~~

Finally, in another version of “what can happen during Venus retrograde…” the last time Venus was retrograde (Gemini, May-June 2020), I birthed what became a beautiful work of art – the Intuitive Energy Divination Deck. Talk about a deep dive into Awareness! I didn’t know I was going to do this; I gave myself plenty of time, space and creative permission to explore the questions I was working with at the moment, and this happened. So, really, there are so many possibilities for this Venus transit.

I’ve already built my canopy for this Venus period: I’ve undertaken a course of study that is helping me to become more aware of improving my nervous system tone (if you are interested in healing yours, I highly recommend Irene Lyon’s 21 Day Nervous System Tune Up Course -linked here). It involves a level of slowing down and patience (Capricorn) that is radical, even for me! I’m spending so much alone time on this, working on minute details, but I’m already feeling the rewards of improved tone and calm. This Venus stations opposite my Mercury (which rules nerves); slowly working on structural rehabilitation makes sense for me.

Whatever you choose to do, whatever quiet and inward-looking endeavor you decide to undertake during this time period…A canopy is like a bubble; no matter what is going on in the world, the outer world doesn’t get to touch you, because you are so tucked away inside yourself… you are underneath it all. No matter what happens out-there, under the canopy you get to have the solitude, still and quiet of your own making. You get to take the time to explore what’s going on for you, right now.

Start building your canopy in your imagination. Make it yours, make it marvelous. Imagine the kind of canopy you’d like to spend time under. Then, once you’ve psychically claimed the structured space, internally, invite the structures of your external world to re-form around your intention. Intention is a powerful thing. If you need a place of retreat and self-care it will come, if you intend it. This Venus retrograde canopy is a beautiful place of solitude, where you can regroup, reflect, and reemerge with treasure.

p.s. – Did you know that you will always and only experience any (Venus) transit through the lens of your own particular planet? Venus retrograde will be perceived through your relationship to your natal Venus. To become more aware of your Venus’ particular needs & desires, start with my book: Venus Signs: Discover your Erotic Gifts and Secret Desires Through Astrology. 


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  1. Amber

    Well written, thank you

  2. Helen White

    As a teenager and young adult, many many years ago, I adored The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry without really knowing why and had an image of it close to my bed for years! Your explanation makes perfect sense to me…and the timing is just right. May-June last year was a deliciously deep plunge for me, returning with a far stronger sense of authentic self, so I look forward to this one.

  3. Helen White

    …oh and I just signed up for the 21 Day Nervous System Tune Up Course, sounds like exactly what I need, thank you for the tip off!

  4. Stella

    This powerful and heart stopping retrograde is already playing out in my life big time. Thank you Jessica for your beautiful words to help navigate this deep dive into the heart.

  5. Jessica

    awesome, thank you for sharing, Stella. Sending you ease and grace during this deep dive! xx Jessica

  6. Jessica

    Yes, good, I’ll be curious to know how you like it Helen- it is very profound for me! xx Jessica

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