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Venus Retrograde

About Venus Retrograde

Venus is retrograde in Capricorn and I want to share with you what that means and who is most likely to feel it the strongest. Venus goes retrograde around every year and a half. The last time Venus was retrograde in the sign of Capricorn was December of 2013 and January of 2014. Think back to those time periods to get a sense of what relationships were being reassessed, refined, and refreshed for a clue as to what areas of life will be activated during this current Venus retrograde cycle.

In astrology a retrograde has a symbolic meaning, not a literal physical meaning. The planets are not moving backwards physically in the sky so keep in mind that retrograde in astrology is symbolic. Astrology is about reflection. The planets reflect the quality of a time period like a clock reflects the time of day. Just like a clock doesn’t cause time to happen, the planets are not causing life to happen to you, they reflect it. You have the free will to choose how you will respond. 

I am saying this because as we consider the quality of time that includes a retrograde, we are not having this energy thrust upon us with no choice in what happens. As the planets reflect the quality of the time, they help us prepare for how we will choose to respond. Our individual experiences are dependent on the circumstances to which we are born into and how we have lived our lives. 

Two people with similar charts, or born in the same place and same time, are not born into the exact same circumstances. We are born into different cultures, parenting styles, socio economic structures, and we have made choices in life that have brought us here to this day. So please do not compare yourself to another person, only to yourself, and how you have grown and evolved in your lifetime.

Round world with a colorful galaxy backdrop. Instead of earth on the globe, there are many pictures of people representing connection and diversity.

When retrogrades happen, it is a signal that there is an opportunity to re-look at something and determine if upgrades, evaluation, refinement, or restructure is needed. If changes are needed, situations may appear at the time of the retrograde calling your attention to what needs realigned. It’s not the planet doing this to you, but rather the planet is reflecting to you that now is a time to recognize that a certain part of your life may need reassessment.

Retrogrades are times for a growth opportunity. There is an opportunity to correct things that have broken, refresh things that you have outgrown, and reassess something and refine it. Retrogrades are recurring cycles where we can acknowledge the evolution of time, celebrate our successes, create new structures, and make changes for smoother sailing in the future. 

You are likely to be familiar with Mercury retrograde as it is usually covered in magazines and social media. At these times you hear about doing things that start with ‘re’ and this is the same for Venus. We modify those ‘re’ things to the energetics and qualities associated with the planet Venus.

Silhouette of a Woman from behind at sunset holding a heart shaped balloon.

Venus Retrograde Energetics and Qualities

Venus retrograde is very different from Mercury retrograde. Where Mercury energetics and qualities are around learning, communication, and social networks, Venus retrogrades are about relating.

When we think about relating, the first thing that often comes to mind is romantic relationships and committed partnerships. It is broader than that. While it’s true, for some the Venus retrograde will reflect activation in this area of life, it’s not the case for everyone.

We relate to people in our lives, in our networks. That can be your committed partnership, friendships, family, co-workers, your kids, your finances, and your spirituality. We will all experience Venus retrograde, but we will experience it in different life domains. I cover the 12 astrological life domains below, called astrological houses in an astrology chart, so you can get an idea of the areas of your life this Venus retrograde indicates are ripe and ready for you to spend quality time in review. 

Venus retrograde is a time to get honest with yourself about the level of satisfaction you have in how you relate to certain relationships in your life. During these deep, honest, and sometimes difficult conversations or realizations, you have time to evaluate what changes will bring you closer to your authentic self. 

Venus retrograde gives you a chance to consider if your relating style is in alignment with your core values, and if not, what you can do to move towards alignment – or realignment.

This is not a time for negative self-talk. No self-berating or beating yourself up is going to help. Be thankful when you recognize relating patterns that need updating, because the universe is sending you a loving message that now is the time to do that.

Venus Retrograde as a Cyclical Event not Linear

Any realignments, updates, course changes, or u-turns are part of a cycle. Not one of us on earth goes through life without having to recognize we have veered off path and having to adjust at one time or another. This is why embracing cyclical living over linear is a less stressful and more realistic approach.

One of the downfalls of our modern western thinking is to be too ingrained with linear living and thinking. To think that life is one straight line of positive growth is what makes us think we have failed. But we haven’t failed, we cycle, evolve, learn, correct our path, and keep cycling upwards.

During a retrograde is a perfect time to remember that life tends to be cyclic, not linear. As we grow and evolve, we do it in a circular fashion, like climbing a spiral staircase. We experience similar experiences, but at higher levels as we evolve. 

Trying to live linearly creates a false sense of failure because you expect only to get better and better without taking the time to close a cycle and throw out what is no longer useful. The closing out part includes the darkening time of symbolic death, slowing down, incubating, and being symbolically reborn. 

Living cyclically is learning to embrace change. It can be very helpful to think of life in terms of cycles and evolution rather than building layers on top of each other. If you only build straight up, layer upon layer, eventually that bottom layer can’t hold the weight and starts to crumble. 

But when you think of cyclical cycles, the weight of the whole cycle doesn’t fall on one layer. It snakes upward, but in a circle, with each return at a higher level. This is true life mastery. To accept the inevitable ebb and flow of time. The ups and downs, the changes and evolution, and that some things that worked very well or were very important do not retain those qualities endlessly. They have their time and place and should be allowed to fade out so that new and fresh cycles can spiral upward.

Spiral in galaxy representing evolution and cycles.

Embrace and integrate the fear of the unknown and change that often comes with transition, evolution, and authentic growth toward your meaning and purpose in life and let it be part of the process. Rather than trying to avoid this part of the cycle, or label it as something to be ashamed of, or call it a failure, understand these changes are part of life and it’s okay to let go of things that have fulfilled their purpose.

Think of this process as evolution of your soul and remember that mastery is not a static destination, not a linear progression forward, or straight up. It’s a spiral upward. You can master something at one level and yet continue to pursue it at a higher level again and again. You cycle up through evolution and develop higher levels of mastery of your life and relating style over and over again. 

Embrace Venus retrograde’s timing and flow with the cycle by spiraling upward. Another way to think about it is to consider ‘Wheel of Fortune’ symbol. In order to go up, you must go down. Everything in between is life. We cycle up to our highest moments of achievement, manifestation, and high energy, and then we slow down and the wheel spins to our lowest moments of rest where we die a symbolic death in order to prepare, clear space, incubate, and rise again for another cycle. 

We see this cycle right in front of us every month by watching the Moon phases going from full light to new moon dark. Astrology is a series of cycles, some short, some long. We are always in multiple cycles at the same time. Venus retrograde is one of these cycles. The retrograde is the part of the cycle where you make course corrections, rebuild and restructure, re-evaluate based on what you have learned, and stop for a moment to acknowledge how far you have come.

You may have to make changes, let something go, purify a relationship, and prepare yourself for rebirth in a new cycle of evolutionary growth. While this change may be difficult, the purifying effect is what propels you up into the next cycle.

Venus retrograde is about a cycle that has to do with relating to particular parts of your life. Some of us will experience realignments with people, some within ourselves, and some with things like career, money, or spirituality.

Venus retrograde can be a very rewarding and purifying time in life. It does not have to be difficult and not everyone will be affected in the same way. It depends on your personal chart.

Venus Retrograde in Your Chart

This Venus retrograde is going to highlight three different parts of your chart. First, the Capricorn part of your chart, because that is the sign of this retrograde. The other two parts are going to be the Taurus and Libra parts of your chart, because those are Venus signs.

Now you may be saying I’m not a Capricorn, Libra, or Taurus. However, you do have a birth chart and everyone’s birth chart contains all 12 of the zodiac signs. So if you want to know what life domain is activated during the retrograde, it is most helpful to know your rising sign.

If you don’t know your rising sign, I offer to everyone in my email group a free copy of your chart. Send me a quick note through my ‘Contact Me’ page with your birth time, date, and place and I will send it to you. Or you can use this free online calculator and choose the whole house system.

One important note is that not everyone will feel the retrograde as strongly as others. I will describe how to find out what parts of your chart will be activated. Even if you aren’t sure what life domains are activated through your chart, you will probably know by what is happening in your life right now.  If you are feeling the winds of change somewhere in your life in how you are relating to a person or life situation, this is likely the reflection of Venus retrograde.

You can scroll down and look at the descriptions of the twelve areas of life that make up an astrology chart. Use the approaches I have described in this article to embrace, evaluate, reassess, and refine so you can evolve your relationships with others, yourself, and life domains activated.

Those who will feel it most strongly are those who are Capricorn, anyone with planets in Capricorn, Libra, and Taurus. Astrology students may want to go a step further and look to see if one of those signs is your profected sign of the year. 

Look for those three signs in your chart to find the domains activated. If there are planets or important points there, like your midheaven or ascendant, that indicates you will feel it strongly. Especially if it is within the degree range of the Venus retrograde.

Venus will retrograde from 26 to 11 degrees of Capricorn. 

If you would like to schedule a consultation with me to better understand Venus retrograde or your natal chart click here.

If you know your rising sign, you can figure out where all three of these signs are on the wheel. These signs are found on the 12 houses or slices of the astrology chart. Each of those twelve positions describes a life domain. Below you will find detailed descriptions for each of these 12 places.

The relationships involved in those life domains are the ones you want to pay special attention to during this retrograde and while Venus is traveling through the sign of Capricorn all the way until she leaves the sign. This particular Venus retrograde has a special flavor because another planet will be traveling closely with her and that planet is called Pluto.

Venus Retrograde and Pluto

Every retrograde is unique from another because of the sign it is in. Yes, planets do return to retrograde in the same signs over time, but the other planets will have moved so the sky won’t be exactly the same. This gives each retrograde cycle a unique flavor from another cycle of the same sign.

With Venus and Pluto together, we have much more focus and intensity. We may be able to find root structures needing updates rather than focusing on surface symptoms. Meaning rather than a bandaid, we get to the underlying structure.

There can be painful honesty with Pluto involved. In the long run, that painful honesty can bring a purification and release of something that has needed to come out for a long time. Because the sign is Capricorn, there is a tenacity and determination to push through.

This is a no nonsense retrograde. Capricorn is serious and isn’t going to play around in fanciful ideas for how things should be. There will be practical restructuring that will set up a strong foundation for moving forward.

Venus and Pluto are traveling in Capricorn the entire time of the retrograde. Because of Venus going retrograde, these two planets will connect in the sky three times. The first and second time is when Venus moves by Pluto going forward, and then shortly after when she retrogrades back by.

Venus catches up with Pluto the third time when she is going forward again, but not until the first week of March 2022. The exact dates are the peaks when the intensity of these two is strongest. They will move close together in the sky most of December and again toward the end of February through the beginning of March 2022.

Here are the exact dates, but do remember, this is a building up and fading away type of energy, not an on and off switch. This energy is not just active on these dates, rather they represent the peaks of the energy:

Venus conjunct Pluto Dates

12 December 2021
25-26 December 2021 (when Venus is retrograde)
3 March 2022

Venus Retrograde 2021 Dates

Retrograde Starts: 19 December 2021
Retrograde Ends: 29 January 2021

The Venus retrograde dates above are for the actual retrograde dates. You may have heard about shadow periods in relation to retrograde cycles. The Venus retrograde cycle shadow periods are:

Shadow period leading to the retrograde start: 17 November 2021
Shadow period after retrograde ends goes to: 1 March 2022

The shadow periods are when the speed of Venus alters from her normal speed. The beginning shadow period marks when she starts slowing down before she retrogrades. The shadow period after the retrograde ends is when she starts speeding back up.

With the shadow dates, the entire Venus retrograde cycle runs around three and a half months. If you remember from above, the third meeting between Venus and Pluto happens 3 March 2022, right after the Venus retrograde shadow period ends. So these two planets are entwined for quite a long time.

If you are a soul searcher, and I imagine you are if you are reading this blog, this is a fantastic period to look deeply into your relating style with others, with yourself, or with parts of your life like resources, communication style, or your spirituality.

Pluto in the mix gives us the unique opportunity to go deep into our psyche and work on things that we may have been avoiding. Being in the sign Capricorn, an earth sign, helps keep us grounded, realistic, and practical in our search.

This type of deep soul work isn’t always easy, but it is an opportune time to grow and evolve into our next level. We can put in some new spark plugs and apply all the new knowledge we have learned in the last 8 years, the last time Venus was retrograde in Capricorn.

Capricorn zodiac sign represented by the sea goat

Capricorn Activity

A significant amount of energy has been active in the sign of Capricorn in the last few years. You may have already gone through a good deal of soul work in the Capricorn part of your chart, and now Venus is giving you a chance to apply all that you have learned.

Venus is typically a gentle planet that wants to bring peace and harmony. If you feel like you have been fresh out of that for a while, this is a chance to see where you can pour some in the cracks, or recast a part of your life that is due for a gentle cleansing.

If you know what astrological house Capricorn resides in, look below to get some ideas for how Venus retrograde in Capricorn may benefit from this Venus retrograde realignment.

The two phases of Venus Retrograde

Venus retrograde has two parts, the first part is focused on the reassessing and evaluation of relating in the particular parts of your life activated (the signs Capricorn, Libra, and Taurus). The second part is about working on course correction, refinement, and realignment of those relationships that you have become aware of in the first part of the Venus retrograde cycle.

The turning point between the first phase and second phase is when Venus and the Sun meet at the same part of the sky and in an astrological relationship called a conjunction. Take note of a shift after this date from learning, assessing, and evaluating outworn patterns of relating to doing something about it. Here is that shift date:

9 January 2021
Venus conjuncts Sun

Venus mandala looks like a flower and it is a mandala representing the path of Venus in the sky during the 8 year cycle.

Unique Shape of Venus Retrograde Cycles

I can’t resist talking about one of the coolest things about the 8 year Venus cycle that includes 5 retrograde cycles. That is the shape in the mandala above Venus makes in the sky. Venus returns to the same place relative to Venus, the Earth, and the Sun every 8 years, Venus retrogrades repeatedly in 5 signs in 8 year cycles. 

Astronomically this is a phenomenon that when you trace the movement in the sky, it makes a beautiful flower with a five point star. That’s just like Venus, the planet of grace and beauty, to trace a beautiful mandala in the sky, as you can see in the image above. 

It’s really something to see. Below is a link to a video that shows you what I am talking about. It is a video that moves and traces the path of Venus resulting in the flower. The 5 loops in the middle are the Venus retrogrades and the lines extending out are the path of Venus over 8 years.

This link takes you to the YouTube video where you will probably have to watch an ad first, but it’s worth it. If you like understanding the physical planetary retrograde motion, here is another video that explains retrograde from an astronomical perspective. There is no astrology, just an explanation of planetary retrograde motion.

Venus Retrograde by House

Here is a rundown of each of the astrological houses. These are the twelve domains of life of which three of them in your chart are highlighted by the retrograde. You will want to know which of the 12 houses (places, life domains) are occupied by Capricorn, Libra and Taurus.

When you know those three, you will have a better sense of what life topics may be showing a need for evaluation, deep soul searching, an upgrade, or ‘re-’ of something. For ‘re’ think: reassess, realign, refresh, restructure, or return.

Yep, someone from the past can return during a retrograde. As you will see below, different houses represent different people and life situations. So take a look and if you don’t have your chart, this list could still help you hone in on what you are experiencing.

  1. The house of you. Your image, appearance, body, personality and how it’s projected in the world. You may evaluate your relationship with your own body image, acceptance, and finding a way to evolve and grow your image. This could be a time where you are re-evaluating your professional or media image. If you are in a position where you market your own image, you may be rethinking how you project your image out in the world.
  2. The house of what is yours. Your resources, earned income, money, possessions, self-worth, and security. There can be a reevaluation of your relationship with your money, income sources, how you feed yourself, and your self-esteem.
  3. Your siblings, what is local and your community, neighbors, near journeys, education and learning style. Something from the past regarding a relationship with a sibling or close work colleague could need an evaluation. You can also reevaluate your communication style in relation to others.
  4. Your home, family, roots, tradition, land and real estate. A reevaluation of how you relate to your family, home, land and property.
  5. What pleases you and experiencing pleasure, your creativity, kids, your passions, sport, where you take risk, sex, passion, love affairs, and luck. Relationships with your kids may need to evolve, especially if they are transitioning from youth to adulthood. You may need to evaluate your relationship to pleasure, sex, and dating. Your creativity falls here too, so you may want to evaluate how you relate to your creative endeavors.
  6. The domain of hard-work, service, employees if you have them, anyone who provides a service to you, health problems, domestic animals, and those you are responsible for (not your children). This area highlights providing service to others. From social services to the President or military. Here you will want to look at how you relate to your employees, or how you relate to others as an employee. Health and diet routines may need an upgrade.
  7. Your committed relationships, marriage, contracts, business partners, clients for freelancers (not employees). This is the house of others and can also represent the competition or adversaries. This is the place where romantic relationships may need to work through old issues and freshen things up. A committed partner from the past may show up to resolve an old issue.
  8. Shared resources, creditors, inheritances, others possessions, death, psychology and depth work, experience of grief and loss as part of the human condition. How shared resources are managed may need to be reevaluated. You also could have deep soul searching of your own here and want to do intense self-development work.
  9. Your faith and belief system, how you seek higher knowledge, religion, advanced education, long-distance travel, foreign affairs, travel, and journeys. Here you may be reevaluating your higher education goals, how you relate to your faith system, and how you interact with anything foreign like foreigners or working with overseas companies.
  10. Your profession, where you find meaning and purpose in life, your direction in life, public life, reputation, authority, your boss (if employed), your highest potential, where you stake your claim in the world, and success. In this area you are likely evaluating your purpose and meaning in life, especially as it may relate to your career. You also may need to evolve in the way you manage employees if you are a boss.
  11. Your friends, network, colleagues, hopes and aspirations or ideals, good fortune, and how you receive love. With this area highlighted you will be drawn to looking at the relationships you have with your friends and social networks. This includes social media. This is a great time to evaluate those structures and determine if changes need to be made in loving consideration for yourself.
  12. A mystical house, the collective unconscious, hidden places, institutions of containment like hospitals and prisons, how you self-sabotage, secrets, profound mystical experiences, being part of a mystical group, and how you experience loss and sorrow. You could have intense spiritual evolution meditations here. You may be drawn to reconsider your inner spiritual world. If you have current addictions or an addiction history, you may want to evaluate your relationships with yourself and/or others in relation to it. If you are evolving away from an addiction, this is a great time to acknowledge your growth and change any life structures that help keep you on a healthy path.

Most charting programs put the numbers in the wheel. If you have your chart and aren’t sure where the first house is, look to the left most part of the circle. It’s halfway on the left side, where the circle is at its farthest left. You can see the numbers on the chart in the image below as a reference. If you need a key to interpret the symbols, click here for a key on my website.

Year Ahead image of astrology chart

Wrap Up

I hope this article helps you gain clarity and understanding about Venus retrograde and specific helpful tips for this particular retrograde. We have a collective opportunity to discover areas in need of adjustment when it comes to our relating style.

Venus retrograde energy will be active until March 2022 giving us the time to take advantage of the Venus cycle. It’s important to allow ourselves to live in a cyclic evolution rather than pressure ourselves to live in a linear fashion.

Let yourself embrace the concept that things need to evolve and change over time. Sometimes things have to symbolically spiral around and evolve so a new cycle can begin. Venus is about relating, so this cycle is about reevaluating life domains and how we relate to them.

We can update our foundations, rebuild them if necessary, or fill in cracks that come over time. It’s part of the natural process that we can embrace because we live in a cyclical world of constant growth through repetitive themes that evolve over time.

I hope you enjoy this process. Please be gentle with yourself as you go through this cycle. Remember that intense Pluto is involved and allows you to take all your self-work to a deeper level. Peace, love, and evolution. Lori

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