Understanding Venus Retrograde: Time to focus on Self Love

Going with the flow astrologically during the early months of 2017 really means getting comfortable with Personal Planet Retrogrades. We entered the year in a Mercury Retrograde cycle which meant that the year got off to a ‘slow start’ and it was not a time to have a lot of gusto and drive and to be pushing forward with ambitious goals. Now, as of January 31st, the Venus pre-retrograde shadow is upon us – another retrograde cycle but this time representing a different area of our lives. So what does this mean?  

Venus retrograde occurs the least frequently of any other planet retrogrades, only once about every 18 months. Some will say Venus retrograde reveals the ‘dark side’ of the goddess of love and beauty and perhaps that is a good way of looking at it because it can remind us not to trust our impulses during this time, as they may be misguided. 

The way I would summarize the energy of Venus retrograde is that it is a time to remember to give love to yourself first, rather than looking outside of yourself for love and fulfillment.  

It is amazing to me that Venus rules so much: Love, Beauty and Money!! So what is important to remember is that what Venus really rules over is how we feel about ourselves and how we perceive love and money as a representation (or validation) of our internal sense of self-worth. If you think about it this way, and remember that Venus Retrograde is a time when the ‘dark side’ of this energy can surface, then you will understand that this can be a time when our feelings of insecurity or our subconscious compulsion to validate and assert our sense of self worth can get the better of us.  

This is why my mindfulness focus for the month of February is compassion: our love for ourselves, and our ability to show sympathy and empathy for others. I believe that this is the core of what we must tap into in order to understand the source of negative experiences that come up during the retrograde and now in this pre-shadow period it is a time to prepare by reinforcing our internal feelings of self worth. Venus is currently in Pisces until February 4th and will station into retrograde on March 4th at 26 degrees of Aries.  It then moves back into the sign of Pisces before it stations direct on April 15th, at 26 degrees.  The last 2 weeks of the retrograde phase, which is said to be the darkest and most difficult time over the next 7 weeks, will occur with Venus in Pisces.  

Pisces is the sign of the deep subconscious. It represents the energy of connecting with others on a level that transcends our physical experience, and to realize our universal spiritual connection. I think this is the perfect ‘saving grace’ for us to reflect on during this retrograde period and can help to really gain the lessons of this retrograde cycle. Venus dancing between Aries and Pisces during the next 7 weeks means that at times we will feel bold, even self-centered, assertive and impulsive in the areas of love, self esteem and our finances. That confidence can feel as thought it is gradually slipping away as Venus moves further and further backwards, and as it slips back into Pisces in the last two weeks before it stations direct once again, we may feel emotionally overwhelmed or even lost in the abyss of Pisces’ deep and profound energy.  This is when being reminded to have compassion for ourselves and for others can act as a touchstone and can give us a grounding sense of self awareness.

On January 22nd, I posted an initial reflection on perseverance as an expression of self-love and compassion. Over the month of February I will be posting more reflections and mindfulness meditations on the concept of compassion and looking at this notion from different perspectives. Join me on this journey towards exploring a deeper sense of self-love!  

Note that the official retrograde this year will be from March 4-April 15, but the entire retrograde cycle including pre and post shadow extend from January 30-May 19th.  

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