The Gift of Venus Retrograde.

The Dance of Venus

Today the planet Venus goes retrograde beginning her transformation from evening star to morning star. This shift occurs about once every 1.6 years and, like the moon, reflects the shifting tides of consciousness and the cosmos. The dance of Venus forms an exquisite five petalled rose pattern around the earth every eight years, and although the distance between the five points she touches is slightly irregular, the pattern created is beautifully harmonizing.

In the human psyche, the influence of Venus can likewise point the way toward harmonizing our experiences- both inner and outer- creating a world where our soul may flourish and thrive. Venus can bring order out of Chaos, and mythologically she is the only one who can temper Mars.

Venus orbits the Sun every 224.7 Earth days showing herself in different phases like the moon. When she makes her inferior conjunction to the Sun during her retrograde phase (3rd June 2020) she is closest to the earth- we could consider this a new phase of Venus, much like the new moon phase.

The phases of Venus and evolution of its apparent diameter

When Venus is retrograde we have a chance to review, revise, and revaluate aspects of our life that relate to our inner Venus. As astrologer Darby Costello poetically says, Venus retrograde is a time to do some interior decorating on the self. Venus themes to consider include relationships- how are we relating to others, what changes do we need to make, what shadow aspects do we need to face, and what is our deepest longing for connection, union, or communion?

Venus relationships are not only romantic or sexual but include friendships, working partnerships, our relationship with money, with the environment, food, nature… Venus rules all kinds of partnerships including and most essentially the relationship with ourselves.

The dance of Venus is mythologised in the Sumerian story of Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth. Inanna makes a descent to the ‘great below’ to attend the funeral of her sister’s husband. Upon entering the underworld she is devested of her regal attire… symbols of her heavenly status, until finally she is hung naked on a hook for three days. This is the stripping of the ego that happens when we enter the underworld- the unconscious- to face our shadow- in the case of Inanna her confrontation is with her dark sister Ereshkigal, who in reality is the unacknowledged and rejected parts of Inanna herself.

Inanna is finally saved by her father the God of water, Enki who sends two creatures- the kurgarra and the galatur, beings neither male nor female formed from the dirt beneath his fingernail and who “enter the underworld like flies”. The tiny creatures witness the pain of the dark queen Ereshkigal empathising with her every cry and suffering, a compassionate act that breaks the curse. Through the empathy offered by the creatures, Ereshkigal is touched, grateful for having been witnessed in her anguish and offers the kurgarra and the galatur a gift of their choosing- which of course is the corpse of Inanna revived and released from the underworld.

There are many layers of symbolism encoded in this myth of renewal and transformation and Venus retrograde is an excellent time to explore these themes in our own lives.

Inanna in the great below- artist unknown

What darkness is waiting to be illuminated by the light of heaven- our conscious mind? What aspects of our exiled and disenfranchised self is ready to be integrated? In terms of relationship, are we ready to accept our own failings and sabotaging behaviours- or will we continue to project them onto others?

Venus is retrograde in the same sign every 8 years thus providing a thread- a golden thread- to follow our life’s narrative and soul’s unfolding- like the Venus rose. Perhaps an old story or theme from the past is reactivated during this Venus retrograde- old lovers or friends from the last Venus in Gemini phase (May/June 2012) may suddenly reappear.

What relationships have we not ended properly? Are we still haunted by the ghost of relationships past? Are lessons still to be learned from emotional baggage hung on a hook in our psyche? It could be that an aspect of a story or theme is ending and a new cycle is beginning. Perhaps we need a deeper understanding of what has gone before we can truly move on. This is a time to reflect.

The last time Venus was retrograde in Gemini was 15th May – 27th June 2012 -this was an extra special event as Venus also transited the Sun during the inferior conjuntion on 5th June, 2012. What was going on for you at that time? I recall exactly what I was doing that evening: I was dancing with a group of people in a studio in Ecuador and as I danced I became mesmerised by the sacred mountain Mandango the “sleeping giant” or “sleeping warrior”.  It was a magical connection which was highly symbolic of an aspect of myself that was awakening.

Taking it further back in the Venus retrograde in Gemini cycle- 8 years before that it occured on May 17th – June 29th, 2004- and then 20th May- 1st July, 1996… and so on. Can you find a connecting thread that runs through these time-lines in your life? Hopefully with each cycle we get to see our issues and patterns more clearly- get to shine more light into the dusty dark caverns of our unconscious. Like in the dance of Venus we may see that events we thought were random or spurious were in fact important parts of our beautiful design… or steps in our dance.

Remember to be gentle- and let ourselves off the hook- in most cases we did the best we could at the time with the knowledge we had. Like the little creatures in the myth of Inanna, it is finally compassionate connection that breaks the spell of fragmentation. To invite the lost parts of ourselves home we must first accept them without judgement- and also not fear them.

Venus in Gemini is about integrating the light and the dark. It is also about merging the faculties of the mind with a deeper embodied wisdom of the heart-centre and soul. If we have been struggling to filter some of our traumatic or buried experiences through the mental faculties, or articulate what happened- tell our story- Venus retrograde in Gemini may provide an opportunity to finally put some flesh on the bones.

As well as the goddess of love, Venus is also the goddess of war in her morning star persona. During our time in the underworld we reclaim and integrate our disenfranchised parts which can then ignite our sacred warrior and we are renewed as the light bearer.

This is Venus’ transformation from evening star to morning star – the Heliacal Rise- and happens on June 10th at 09 degrees 44′ Gemini.

Venus is also about money- what is our relationship with money? Do we know how to manifest abundance, can we receive it, are we comfortable asking for what we need… what we want…what we like? Are we eclipsed in the shadow of poverty consciousness… do we feel undeserving of the finer things in life?

Venus is connected to creativity and style- is what we present on the outside an accurate reflection of how we feel on the inside… does this strike you as superficial… is it time for a reinvention?

Do we have a creative outlet- can we show the world our creative spark without shame or fear of rejection? Can we create purely for the pleasure and the joy of it, just for ourselves?

Venus is our values- what do we truly value?

And finally Venus is our connection with the natural world- can we take pleasure in the scent of a rose, the feel of the air kissing our skin on a summer day, or the sensual joy of cool water bathing… can we connect with tiny creatures and stop to marvel at the wonder of an eagle soaring overhead? Or do we rush through life with our senses and feelings shut down living only in our head?

Venus retrograde offers rich pickings in reviewing these aspects of our life.

For the time of the Venus retrograde- from now until 25th June- I am offering special priced astrology consultations focusing on the Venus aspects in your chart.