Venus Retrograde

October 6 to November 16 from 10º Scorpio to 25º Libra

Venus retrograde: every year and a half, Venus goes retrograde for 40 days. Venus is responsible for how we exchange energy, whether that is in our loving relationships or how we are compensated for our efforts.

Retrogrades are times for revision. They sometimes reroute our courses into currents of challenge, but it’s good to remember that often the challenge of retrogrades give us a period for the necessary work of processing. We look backwards and consider where we have been, not just where we are going. Venus retrograde in particular asks us to remember that shadow is an inextricable relationship to light.

This Venus retrograde is going to show us a more complete picture of how we combine with one another and reconfigure aspects of how those exchanges play out in our lives. She retrogrades through the first 10 degrees of Scorpio and the last five of Libra. Surrounding and within the retrograde Venus will encounter three separate oppositions to Uranus in Taurus (September 12th, October 31st, November 15th). These face-to-face confrontations might vibrate some formerly comfortable areas. Uranus is the great provocateur, the innovator - the one who pops up to say everything could be completely different. A theme of this retrograde will be the rumble of these oppositions. A theme will be the intensity of meaningful change. Uranus was doing intense dances with Mars this summer. It might be helpful to know that Venus is now taking up Mars’ work with Uranus. Where Mars work is separation, Venus work is combining. (I wrote a piece on this and am happy to share it with you, just holler).

Venus retrograde is already giving us a sense of some of the work we are looking at. Many of us are struggling as we wrestle with our past hurts. It is a powerful moment in its exposing of the violence of white, cis, male entitlement and its ferocious willingness to maintain its power at all costs. This will be a continuing theme of the Venus retrograde. That’s not astrology. That’s just inevitable.

But as I sit here and think of Venus retrograde, a piece my mind focuses on is cycles of abuse. What we have absorbed from living in traumatized bodies in traumatizing contexts. Hurt people hurt people. My monster has been letting me know she is very much alive this week. Feelings I’ve long thought have been put to bed have announced themselves in desires, fears, angers, and shame that I’ve worked very hard to quell. Our bodies try and save us from our trauma. We must find tenderness towards this and understand that after the experience of hurt, many patterns remain. Whether it’s through hyper vigilance, unexpressed anger, harm, compartmentalization, shame, or blame. My wounds have wounded others. I must look at this if I’m ever going to soothe my sores towards healing.

Unraveling these knots is hard and necessary work. We owe it to ourselves to face the shadow of pain and invite our bodies into new relationships with our suffering. Relationships are really really good at holding the mirror up for us. Venus’ glyph is the mirror after all. We exercise and exorcise our own embedded fears with one another. We push, pull, and thrust our way attempting to rewrite our deepest held hurts. As most of us know, this doesn’t often work out in line with our best intentions. Our patterns are deep, our pains, griefs, fears, attachments grip our flesh and can often bind us to our traumas in ways that seem inescapable. It’s not uncommon to find that our well-intended but clumsy efforts can often leave us lost. We wander and we wail.

Yet, that is a small piece of the whole story. There are a myriad of myths about goddesses going into the underworld, being compelled by the bonds of loving to tread the most treacherous of terrain. These stories remind us that we must confront what is uncomfortable, what is under the surface, we must walk bravely into shadow. They say we must do this if we want to love. Venus retrograde is a good time for sitting with these stories. Venus retrograde is here to remind us that we are strong enough to do this. Venus retrograde is here for our burgeoning strengths and capacities to bring healing to the strain. Venus retrograde is here to give us a deeper picture of our powers to love and connect.

For most of the retrograde Venus sits in Scorpio. Scorpio is a sign that is comfortable staring into the void. Scorpio gazes with fixed intensity at the darkness. It squints at shadow so as to conjure stories, salves, & spells that can give voice to those unseen realms. Scorpio is 100% fine in darkness. In balance, Scorpio is healing energy. Scorpio’s element is water; its modality is fixed. I imagine fixed water, unmoving calm deep. A well of protected water, housed by a deep hole of solitude. Scorpio’s job is to hold the water, keep it still and keep it safe. It is no wonder that Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio. Standing by, vigilante, armed, prepared for this holy task. However the warrior energy can run amok and get messy when the contexts of this task are brought into the picture. We live in a world that poisons the water, shakes the water, drains the water. We can become anxious, hyper vigilant, obsessive when feeling the threats. Fear and defense can become out of whack. Scorpio is prone to this type of intensity. The warrior energy needs to be reminded where the fight is and where it is not.  If Venus in Scorpio has you taking a deep dive make sure you’re finding moments to get your head above water. Breathe deep, then breathe again. Look at the sky, remember vastness.

Scorpio is a master at energetic projection and penetration. Think of the scorpion, its lethal poison works from the inside out. Scorpio gets fixated, obsessed, and attached. Scorpio wants us to know we are porous and penetrable in more ways than one. I remember a dear friend said to me once “I don’t have casual sex because my body isn’t casual.” For Venus retrograde remember your body is not casual. Your energy isn’t casual. It’s the most powerful resource you have. Think with energy at the helm. Take your exchanges seriously. Take your time, take your space, take care.

In Venus retrogrades past I’ve said “date yourself.” For this retrograde, I’m gonna say “commit to yourself.” Not as a means to separate, but as a commitment to your capacities to share yourself with more completeness and more care. ALL of us are needed for the collective work right now, but how we do that work needs to change. The work cannot come at the expense of our spirits. For too long, some have paid the costs for the monsters in many. This must change. The snarling beast of entitled power shows us how violent the shadow of control truly is. But the beauty of this moment is the rising tide of connection and loving solidarity. A connection that exists not in spite of difficulty, but because of it. That well of Scorpio, when balanced, is healing water. May this Venus retrograde bring the balm.