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Venus carries the big news in the sky this week as she stations retrograde on Oct. 5 at 10° Scorpio and backs up to 25° Libra where she will turn direct on Nov. 16. Though these dates demarcate Venus’ time in retrograde, there is a “shoulder season” of retrogrades known as the shadow period that contains precursors as well as culminations of events which carry the significance of Venus’ initiatory descent into the underworld. The shadow period started on Sept. 3, when Venus first passed 25° Libra. And though she returns to direct motion on Nov. 16, she remains in the shadow of her retrograde until Dec. 16, when she moves through 10° Scorpio. In other words, her influence spans more than three months.
The planet Venus represents many seductions we can spend a lifetime pursuing: money, sex, love, community and the sweeter things of life. Venus in our individual birth charts will describe what we value and how we give and receive in various relationships, as well as our pursuit of pleasure. When Venus in the sky turns retrograde, our particular interests in these areas and qualities of life can intensify or take a sudden turn as hidden or suppressed aspects emerge and demand to be dealt with. The 2018 retrograde could bring up especially tender feelings around issues of fidelity or loyalty, fairness or equality in commitments with others, feelings of or revelations of actual betrayals, our vulnerabilities concerning income and livelihood, and especially any imbalances in exchanges of our time and energy with others. Venus does signify romantic partners, but also holds sway over friendships, work relationships and basically any relationship that is not family, as family is more governed by the Moon.
This Venus retrograde is a good influence for our inner work around questions of intimacy and distance. How close is too close for us (or not close enough)? Why is that our boundary? Is it a good or a functional boundary? How do we negotiate others’ requests to come closer or to back away? It’s more possible at this time to see both the causes and effects of our patterns of negotiating proximity—whether that is physical, emotional or spiritual closeness or distance. It can also be a very tense and perhaps reactive period of time, as Scorpio may lend a tendency to be quick to anger and to defend (as does Venus’ square aspect to aggressive Mars at the front end of this period). The desire to control others could emerge for your inspection—whether you are the one who wants control or the one who is being dominated. Since Venus retrogrades through roughly the same part of the zodiac every eight years, we can look back at the years 2010, 2002 and so on to see what areas or topics of life were activated around October/November for a preview of what 2018’s retrograde could center on.
However, throughout this particular retrograde Venus opposes Uranus, the planet of liberation and unexpected change which suggests breaking free of outgrown habits and perhaps an unpleasant surprise or two in Venusian areas of life. An exciting new relationship—love, business, friendship or income-related—could form but look closely at its prospects for longevity and don’t form an emotional attachment too quickly. The true nature of this relationship could take time to unfold and that doesn’t mean you won’t get something quite lovely in the end—in fact, you may get more than you ever dreamed was possible but only if you let a healthy curiosity and openness lead the way, rather than fear or habits of relating that no longer serve you.
Venus does back up into her home sign of Libra (entering Libra on Nov. 2) which strengthens any intentions we would like to set on this week’s New Moon in Libra at 8:46pm US/Pacific on Oct. 8, particularly in the areas of fairness or equality in our relations (who gives, who receives, and how); how you try to promote harmony (is it a superficial playing nice, or engaging in honest if uncomfortable conversations); your judgmental versus your discerning nature; and your tactics and strategies for getting what you want. Use this Libra New Moon to plant seeds of justice and reciprocity and hold yourself accountable to your own higher standards. It’s okay if your own shortcomings come to light over the retrograde—it will provide a golden opportunity to further develop and honor the beauty of the truth at the center of your being.
Key dates for Venus retrograde:
Sept. 3, 2018 – Venus enters shadow 25° Libra
Oct. 5, 2018 – Venus stations retrograde 10° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Venus stations direct 25° Libra
Dec. 16, 2018 – Venus exits shadow 10° Scorpio
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2019 RETREATS I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019! Watch this space for more details and to save the date!