*Whether astrology is science or magic, we’re open to most things, if they may be of benefit. ~ Ed.
I got married once, during a Venus Retrograde.
I consulted with an astrologer about the date, and she explained that marriage under a Venus Retrograde period was not considered auspicious.
She did optimistically suggest that since we were older and had both been in long-term relationships before, perhaps this retrograde would actually support us in drawing on our lessons from the past, to help us identify issues and work them out before molehills became mountains
We went ahead and married on our chosen date, which means that the Venus Retrograde transit was locked into the “marriage chart.” Old patterns played out alright, but we didn’t catch them in time and we didn’t work them out before molehills became mountains.
The marriage was over within the year.
In hindsight, we both wish things had been different. We didn’t regret the relationship, (it was over five years long, after all, and we were a huge support to each other and loved each other deeply), but we shared a mutual anguish around the fact that we’d taken on the huge responsibility of a wedding—inviting family and friends to celebrate us, only to give them a front row seat to watch as it crumbled.
If we hadn’t married, our relationship could have ended far less publicly. But we both had demons to face when it came to our personal images and the way we wanted to be seen and valued in the world.
Our breakup was painful, embarrassing, and heartbreaking and yet, it forced us to come to terms with some of the masks we’d both been wearing, and the facades we’d constructed to prop up our precious reputations and senses of self-worth.
And this, in hindsight, was how Venus Retrograde worked her magic for us.
When planets go retrograde in astrology, they appear to move backward in the sky. The symbolism being, that we here on Earth enter into a “revision period.”
We get to look back at things in our past for answers regarding our futures.
Each planet represents a very dynamic and multifaceted human archetype and the topic of our review depends on the paradigm described by the retrograde planet. The idea of course, is that in order to grow and metamorphize, we must examine our patterning by looking to our history. Call it wisdom development.
In the case of Venus, we’re talking about relationships. In particular, intimate partnerships and love.
But love means many things and the archetype of Venus is multilayered. In trying to define it, we find that our ideas of love are like the leaves on a tree: ever moving, ever changing, impermanent. We expect to find intimacy and sweetness, but love is a currency that also describes things like desire, values, beauty, charm, passion, self-worth, fairness, social ease, balance, and even finances. Our relationship to love describes our relationship to abundance in many ways, and if you think of it in these terms, love holds the key to our power in this world.
We spend each day bartering our time and energy in hopes of attaining all of the above, and when Venus goes retrograde, our relationships to those things come into question. We’re presented with opportunities to examine the gifts and challenges present, due to the ways we seek these things.
Venus only goes retrograde once every 18 months or so, and this year, Venus turns retrograde on October 5th in the sign of Scorpio, and travels backward into Libra over a series of six weeks, ending on November 16th.
If you have a copy of your natal chart, you can look between 10 degrees Scorpio and 25 degrees Libra to help determine the place in your life that will be the most affected. Collectively, we can study the signs of Scorpio and Libra for more information on what this transit will guide us to do.
We begin in the sign of Scorpio which, in a nutshell, rules our dark side. The parts of us that struggle to maintain control, that manipulate people and situations in order to get what we want. We’re talking about our defense mechanisms, our irrational fears, our obsessions. Venus in Scorpio brings us the superpowers if you will, to explore these shadow aspects with honesty.
It’s not pretty, but Scorpio values truth. It’s easy to blame our relationship woes on outside forces—our upbringing, our partners, our bad luck—but it takes a special kind of courage to own up to our dirty little contributions to the ways we handle all things love.
Venus will continue to travel backward into Libra, which brings a different flavor of energy all together. Libra is pleasant, pleasurable, and cooperative, but you know the downside of those things, right?
When we’re “being cooperative,” there’s a good chance that we’re ignoring our own needs in favor of keeping the peace.
Venus retrograde here will ask us to evaluate the sense of balance in our relationships to our values, resources, partnerships, money, and love. Are we selling ourselves short; are we selling ourselves out? Are we ignoring boundaries and becoming resentful about it?
Again, these aren’t so easy to look at, but if we’re willing, this retrograde can function like a good old-fashioned house cleaning does. We dread doing it, we get dirty doing it, but when it’s over…we have a fresh, clean house.
I didn’t want my short marriage to end. I wasn’t ready for it. I ignored the red flags, I engaged in old, avoidant behavior patterns. I was self-indulgent and I was stubborn, and Venus retrograde brought all of that to my attention. It certainly didn’t help save us, but it helped me burn the fields and till the ground, making it fertile for my next relationship to come in.
Did I learn some lessons I don’t plan on repeating? Yes, I did.
Do we all have the opportunity to do some tuning up, when it comes to the way we seek, give, and receive love? Yes, we do.
Thank you, Venus.
Here are some suggestions for how to work with this retrograde:
1. If old lovers make a reappearance in your life (as often happens during this transit), use it as a time to seek understanding about what was right, what went wrong, and get closure.
2. Be open to exploring your ideas and “stories” about relationship. Are they outdated? Are they true? Where are you being rigid and avoidant? Where could you stand to have better boundaries?
3. Now isn’t the best time to enter into new relationships, or make new commitments. If possible, wait until this transit is over before you make any big moves. Look at it like this—you have a lot to learn about yourself and the way you relate to love during this transit. The more you learn now, the better those pending new relationships and commitments will feel later. If it’s too late and the wedding is planned, use this retrograde period to identify trouble zones and then process them with your partner. Be very clear and aware of the issues. Things swept under the rug at this time will cause issues later.