Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Venus Retrograde (5/15/12 – 6/27/12)

VENUS RETROGRADE (5/15/12 – 6/27/12)


“Watch the stars, and from them learn. To the Master's honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton's ground.”
~Albert Einstein~

What does retrograde mean?

The word comes from the Latin retrogradus, “to move or step backwards”. The regular movement of the planets was traditionally seen as a symbol of order in the universe, a retrograde planet goes against this. It appears to be moving normally, then slows down to a stop, moves in reverse, then slows to a stop again, to correct its direction. These changes are actually an optical illusion created by differences in the relative orbital speeds of Earth and the other planet involved.

How is retrograde motion experienced energetically?

The changes in the planet's motion reveal its energetic qualities:

1. STRONG: When retrograde, a planet is at its nearest point to the Earth and appears very bright in the sky, if visible. Things ruled by the planet become prominent, both their faults and the means to address them.

2. ILLUSIONARY: Since retrograde motion is an optical illusion, things ruled by the planet are easily misperceived now or our own misperception of them finally becomes apparent.

3. REPEATED: The planet passes through the same part of the sky three times: once before it stops, backwards when retrograde, then forward again after correcting its motion. Things ruled by the planet are repeated, delayed, or feel inevitable. Since the planet is retracing the same ground, the past can return to be addressed, while new projects move in unexpected ways, or lose steam until after the planet corrects its motion. Often things from the recent past are repeated, especially the few weeks just before the planet turns backwards, after the planet crosses the degree where it will eventually correct its motion. (For this Venus retrograde, events after April 11th, 2012.)

4. REORIENTATION: Exactly halfway through its retrograde motion, the planet makes an aspect to the Sun. Most planets form an opposition but Mercury and Venus form a conjunction, since they are closer to the Sun than Earth. Planets in opposition to the Sun move like the Full Moon; they rise at dusk, are visible during the night, and set at dawn. The Sun represents our conscious mind and the night, the unconscious. Just as the planet will now move from night to day, we must reintegrate the elements of our own psyche that the planet represents.

How long does it last?

Venus goes retrograde about every year and a half, for six weeks. It is proportionally the shortest retrograde, when you compare the length of its reversed and direct motion. Confusingly we often feel it before and after the dates listed, since they only represent the planet's change in direction. When a planet moves in or out of retrograde, it slows to a stop, called a station. Venus stations for ~12 days, changing direction in the middle of it. These motionless periods, and the slow motion that precede and follow them, are often the strongest part of the retrograde cycle.

May 15th, 2012: Retrograde Station at 24 degrees Gemini (Venus appears to stop, then moves backwards. ~May 9th to May 21st is the true length of its retrograde station.)

June 5th, 2012 Venus Conjunct Sun/Venus Transit at 16 degrees Gemini (Venus directly crosses the face of the Sun.)

June 27th, 2012 Direct Station at 7 degrees Gemini. (Venus appears to stop, then corrects its motion. ~June 21st to July 3rd is the true length of its direct station.)


"...Bless these rites, whether radiant in the heavens, or presiding in the temples of Syria, guiding your golden chariot over the sacred floods of Egypt, or dancing on the azure shores by billowing seas... Come, divine union, for you I call with holy, reverent mind."
~Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite~

Isn't a retrograde planet bad?

Retrograde is an astrological buzz word with lots of fear unnecessarily projected on it. When a planet turns retrograde, it gets close, bright, and makes a loop in the sky. The motion of Venus is slightly different. For months it has been the evening star, staying slightly later each night. When it turns retrograde, it quickly passes from sight, disappearing in the glare of the Sun, and reappears as the morning star. The retrograde planet is trying to get our attention, highlighting certain areas of life, just like it appears to circle parts of the sky.

What can be expected during Venus retrograde?

The planet of abundance, relationships, and ethics, Venus asks, "Who and what do you value?" The next six weeks are an opportunity to reevaluate your finances, matters of the heart, and personal integrity.

A: LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS: An adjustment of our one on one relationships, from romantic to business partners, including people we have open conflict with. An opportunity to resolve unfinished personal business, deepen a connection, or finally see things as they are, sometimes leading to the end of a relationship. People can experience pressure interpersonally, often because of misunderstanding. The realm of love makes unexpected turns as old friends and lovers reappear, suppressed feelings resurface, or we are tempted by a fling. It is traditionally an inauspicious time to get married, unless you are renewing your vows, marrying the same person again, or rescheduling a delayed ceremony.

B: THE FEMININE AND SOCIAL INTERACTIONS: Personal interactions can be awkward, tense, or lack courtesy, group events like meetings or parties may not go as planned. Traditionally women and relationships with women are especially charged. Since agreements are ruled by Venus, resolutions in ongoing diplomacy, business negotiations, or legal issues can have an odd momentum. For example, something from the past finally gets resolved but the results of current discussions gets delayed. We can misread new personal contacts, from romantic to business partners, only seeing them clearly when Venus turns direct.

C: VALUES AND VALUABLES: A fruitful time to take stock of our money and material resources, careers, and things of a more intangible value like our self worth. We examine not only who and what we value but our values themselves, and the things that influence our conscious actions, like our mentors. Both spending and earning money can have odd movement; money owed from the past unexpectedly appears but future projects temporarily stall. Because our perception of value can be skewed, we should carefully consider large investments, purchasing luxury items, or beginning beautification projects like home renovations. However, for the same reason, people often score great deals, especially on art, jewelry, or other things of beauty.

D: BEAUTY AND PLEASURE: There are fluctuations in life force. Some feel a deepening of creativity, especially for delayed or incomplete projects, suddenly having creative breakthroughs, others feel no inspiration at all. There can be excess in consumption, purchasing, or sex, often as a coping mechanism for increased emotional sensitivity. The need for affection, desire, or our sexual identity may need to be addressed. There is often a strong desire to change our appearance, surroundings, or possessions. However, since Venus rules beauty, this does not always turn out as planned, needing to be redone or altered.


“Throughout the ages, stories with certain basic themes have recurred over and over, in widely disparate cultures; emerging like the goddess Venus from the sea of our unconscious.”
~Joan Vinge~

Where am I most likely to experience this Venus retrograde?

Because Venus is turning retrograde in Gemini, look for its themes in our thoughts, perceptions, and communications with others, our everyday environment, business transactions and short distance travel, interactions with neighbors, siblings, and extended family, and early education.

What if I must do something Venus related now?

We are often given advice like “Don’t sign that contract during Mercury retrograde!” Life is rarely that accommodating, especially since Venus retrograde lasts six weeks! If you must do something Venus related now, honor its repetitive movement by examining it thoroughly. We can misperceive value and taste during Venus retrograde, thinking we like something only to find out later we do not. Be sure you know how you really feel and its true value, both in the monetary and less tangible sense. Expect things to potentially move in an unexpected way in the future, when Venus turns direct.

Who are the most likely influenced?

Not everyone directly experiences an astrological influence, most people will just see these themes around them. Those with Venus retrograde in their natal chart experience it less intensely. Since they are ruled by Venus, both Sun sign Libra and Taurus are sensitive to its changes generally.

Since Venus is turning retrograde in Gemini, those with planets or points in the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) are the most likely influenced, especially at the degrees where Venus is stationing retrograde and direct: 24 degrees Gemini, 7 degrees Gemini. (And the same degrees in the other mutable signs.)

For gemstones to harmonize the influence of Venus, see:

Gemstone Cures for Venus

C. L. Matthews, 2012

[Image Source: C. L. Matthews, 2012]


  1. Thanks for sharing information with us.I have venus in birth-chart http://youtu.be/jHu7-zQa6Ko please tell me do i get any harm.Is venus for good or bad in man's birth chart.

  2. Thanks, Chirs. This explains a LOT the last couple of days. No joke.