Venus is the planet of love and harmony, but when Venus turns retrograde, what does that mean for your relationships and your peace of mind?
What Happens When Venus is Retrograde?
Venus retrograde is a period of time during which Venus appears to be moving backwards, as seen from earth. It’s important to note that this is an optical illusion, caused by different orbital speeds; Venus never actually moves backwards. Nonetheless, the symbolism of Venus retrograde is important in astrology, which is after all a language of symbolism.
Venus turns retrograde approximately once every 18 months, for about 40 days at a time.
Some people are born when Venus is retrograde; if that’s the case for you, then you have what we call a natal Venus retrograde in your birth chart, which subtly affects how Venus energy plays out in your chart.
As Venus shifts into retrograde motion, the position of the planet at that time affects all of our natal charts too, in what we call a transit. Transiting Venus retrograde means the way in which Venus’ position at that time relates to its own position at your birth, and the position of all the other planets when you were born. In astrology, we pay particular attention to the astrological house of your chart that Venus is transiting through when it turns retrograde.
What Is the Importance of Venus Retrograde in Astrology?
Astrologically, Venus rules love, kindness and peace – but during a Venus retrograde period, these things become harder to attain. Love relationships may be more tetchy, people are less inclined to be nice to each other and it’s easier for antagonism and anger to get a foothold in the world. Some relationships will breakdown while Venus is retrograde; others may have a bumpy ride but emerge from the difficulties stronger and healthier.
Venus energy is also associated with money and finances, so during a Venus retrograde period, it’s not unusual to experience financial shortages, gaps or losses. Money management becomes somewhat vague or muddled and it may be difficult to get your financial priorities in order.
In astrology, Venus also tells us about your values, so when Venus is in retrograde motion, we often find ourselves re-considering our values, changing them or coming to a different conclusion about what really matters in life. Venus is a creative energy too, and here you may find that during Venus retrograde your creativity seems to come from a deeper, more meaningful or even more spiritual direction.
Venus Retrograde in the Natal Chart
If you were born during a Venus retrograde period, then the way Venus energy is expressed in your birth chart will be subtly different. Venus usually lends us social graces, but those with Venus retrograde in the birth chart may find it difficult to socialize or may feel awkward in public even though others don’t see them that way. You may be something of a loner, or you may deeply value one or two close friendships but decline to expand your social circle any wider.
When it comes to love, those with Venus retrograde in the birth chart take things very seriously indeed. You may be secretive about your love life, or you may struggle with feelings of self-worth, leading you to reject those who are trying to get close to you. It’s important to shore up your own self-esteem before expecting to be successful in love; if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.
Your relationship with money may be secretive too, or you may feel unusual levels of shame or guilt over being in debt. Watch out for a tendency to try to buy love or affection via lavish spending. Creative therapies such as art therapy will be a great help in getting your feelings out and helping you to value yourself more as a person.
Venus Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses
When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Venus retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 1st House
This is a good time to change your personal image in some way. If how you look isn’t how you want others to see you, then by all means make superficial changes, such as to your hairstyle, to improve your self-esteem. Don’t be misled into judging yourself by your own appearance, however. Remember that true beauty comes from within.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Discontent and frustration over money may have a serious impact on your life at this point. However, the issue is deeper than you think. It’s not simply that you don’t have ‘enough’ (money, time or whatever else you think you lack) – it’s that you don’t truly know what you want, or what you value. Spend some time working this out.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
This period is often characterized by a desire to cut down on your social life. You won’t want to see as many people as normal and your appetite for socializing is low. You can turn down invitations and avoid events, but be sure to do this tactfully, so that friends and family don’t take it personally. You simply need some time and space; this is not a permanent state.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 4th House
Within your family, your values will be shifting at this time. Don’t be surprised if you feel the need to change the ‘rules’ at home or to take a different approach to parenting. Try things out until you find out what makes you feel comfortable and secure. Reflect on the way things have always been done but remember that traditions can be changed.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 5th House
This is an important period for you, creatively. It’s not an ideal time to discover new artistic talents, but it is the perfect moment to dig deeper into the creative hobbies you already have. Let your emotions flow through your creativity and work hard to avoid self-censoring. There is something which needs to be said through your creativity – let it out.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 6th House
This period is an opportunity to take better care of your health. Figure out how you need to eat better, sleep better or exercise better. Typically, retrograde periods are not ideal for starting something new, but this is an exception: any new habit which nourishes you can now be started successfully with good intent.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Communicate clearly within your relationship and allow minor niggles to pass unheeded. This energy is about re-connecting with the reasons you fell in love in the first place. It can be a raw and painful time, especially where a partnership has been struggling, but it’s vital that you address the issue rather than burying your head in the sand.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Look to the past during this period; a former love affair may resurface, or a former financial issue could rear its head again. It’s time to pay off your debts, both financial and emotional. Learn from what has gone before but think very carefully before re-starting a failed relationship; there were reasons for what happened last time. Has anything really changed?
Venus Retrograde Transiting 9th House
You can’t make progress towards what you want if you’re not really sure what that actually is. This is a period for thinking about your calling, your vision, your dreams of the future. Try to narrow down specifically what you’re aiming for instead of talking in vague terms. Only when you truly understand the destination can you plot the route.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 10th House
Expect to be very bothered about what other people think during this period. You’ll be very conscious of your image and your status and you will likely take any criticism both hard and personally. Try to move beyond this. What you think of you matters. What your boss thinks of you, or the random woman in the store, is much, much less important than you think.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Social relationships require work and effort, but it’s easy to not be bothered during this period. You may feel too lazy to attend groups you normally enjoy, or you may feel jaded by your social circle. In itself, this feeling will pass, but you should ask whether it may be symptomatic that your needs are not really being served by your current tribe.
Venus Retrograde Transiting 12th House
Secrets come to light during this transit, whether you like it or not – especially secrets which involve love or money. This can be a highly uncomfortable and intense period, but you can head off much of the problem by simply being scrupulously honest. Take back your power by telling the truth yourself; don’t sit back and wait for someone else to expose it.
Understanding the Houses in Astrology