Venus Retrograde Heats Up


As you ought to know by now, Venus has been retrograde for nearly a week already and remains so through Sep 6.

Quick reminder: Venus retrograde presents us with circumstantial crossroads which beg us to intently reflect upon what we value most… especially as expressed through our relationships and affiliations, our financial agreements and investments, and/or our aesthetic choices.

Quick reminder two: It's this reevaluation process itself, rather than a push for any specific outcome, which ought to be our primary focus while Venus is retrograde. We should not put our usual confident faith in our capacity to accurately discern the real treasure from a shimmering mirage during this time. Rather, it's best to readily entertain the encouraging-seeming possibilities with minimal attachment for now, knowing these open-ended situations will begin to reveal their truest colors once Venus goes direct again in September... and with their greatest clarity apparent by early-to-mid October, after Venus has returned to Virgo and fully exits the retrograde shadow.

That's right, as of today (Fri Jul 31), retrograde Venus is now back in Leo. (Click here to check out my recent remarks on Venus in Leo.) Not only does this sign-move reignite a certain dramatic flair to the first-person hero's-journey tales we tell ourselves about what's happening in our relational, economic, and/or creative lives, but it also sets off what's arguably the most astrologically dynamic week of this whole Venus-retrograde affair.

Here are the details: Between Mon Aug 3 and Fri Aug 7, retrograde Venus will move into a three-way conjunction with Mercury and Jupiter in Leo, while all three form challenging squares to Saturn in Scorpio.

Venus and Jupiter, our two traditionally benefic planets, already conjoined one another a month ago (on Jul 1) when Venus was still direct. Thus, it's important to watch for the unfolding of any recurrences or second-chapters relevant to stories which 'made headlines' during that prior conjunction. While we might unreservedly hail another conjunction of these two benefics as 'good luck', that can be a dangerously superficial read of this aspect. When we factor together (1) the mischievous Venus-retrograde impairment of our typical discernment skills, (2) Jupiter's basic archetypal role as the agent which 'makes things bigger', (3) the zodiacal influence of Leo, a sign renowned for instinctively situating our individual self at the center of a system of orbiting bodies revolving around us, and (4) the fact that the Sun's also now in Leo, dispositing all these other Leo planets through a further-accentuated lens of solar self-referentiality, this is a potential recipe for overstepping our relational bounds (due to an ego-blinded inability to get outside our own story) and/or overvaluing offers or encounters which pander too flagrantly to our immediate yearning for attention or recognition (at the expense of our considering other potential ramifications).

Adding Mercury to the current mix only further inhibits our ability to look at such circumstances from any reasonable, perspective-granting distance. When Mercury's in Leo, we process information and communicate our findings in a manner meant to ensure our life-developments remain interesting and engaging to us, and which reserves us 'the starring role' in every scenario. But Mercury in Leo doesn't necessarily analyze mundane details, expose functional problems, or focus on whatever it deems less interesting. In conjunction with both Venus and Jupiter, this Mercury is prone to belief rather than scrutiny, gravitating toward that version-of-the-story which is most shapely and appealing… and potentially forgoing close inspection of the specifics, so keenly enraptured by the overall trajectory of this most-attractive narrative that it doesn't want to be bogged down by study.

In case I've given the impression this triple union of Venus retrograde, Mercury, and Jupiter in Leo is inevitably a dangerous aspect (newsflash: it isn't), let me point out what an excellent influence it carries insofar as inspiring us with new and/or rejuvenated visions for possible futures in which we can shine more brightly, be seen for more of who we really are, and hopefully experience greater personal joy. Believing that such better futures are possible is, in fact, a crucial first-step in manifesting such potentials into reality. This high-Leo moment is an opportunity to revitalize our creative engagement with the conditions of our daily life… to reinject personality where things have become listless or rote, and to recommit ourselves to proudly flaunting that which makes us special, rather than frittering away precious time trying to be somebody we're not.

Any present dangers primarily center around how quickly, dramatically, and/or imprudently we act upon these most-recently-emerging inspirations, opportunities, and beliefs. Let me say it again: Venus is retrograde, and we're temporarily prone to either undervaluing or overvaluing any certain interpersonal involvement, overture, or artistic inclination. We must consciously restrain ourselves from lurching too far ahead into such enlivening future-worlds before we've had the chance to observe their unfolding more thoroughly—and to better understand the full spectrum of corresponding consequences—lest we prematurely effect a major life-change and only later discover we traded away something more valuable in the process.

In this current scene, Saturn in Scorpio plays the role of responsible headmaster, prodding us to adopt the conscious self-restraint essential for sensibly anticipating and preparing for any inevitable consequences, and for avoiding the needlessly troubling ones. Of course, should we neglect or refuse to adopt responsible restraint, Saturn then serves as the bearer of such consequences… lowering the punitive boom upon us, hindering or obstructing our advances with a dose of complicating fallout, due perhaps to our having miscalculated the impact of our behavior on other people or situations and/or underestimated the magnitude of our own internal conflicts.

As I've mentioned before, Saturn's three-month return to Scorpio (after having progressed into Sagittarius between December and June) is something of a test, to determine whether we've properly learned how to make sufficient room for passion, intrigue, and integrity—but without letting it totally destabilize, disrupt, or destroy other important life-factors. What better of a 'test', then, than being tempted by this Jupiter-amplified, Venus-retrograde-in-Leo appeal to our hungry egos? Do we now know how to enjoy ourselves without being short-sighted or willfully innocent of the undue complications we may be inviting?

Saturn squares from both Mercury and Venus indicate challenges to our capacity to successfully communicate (Mercury) and smoothly relate (Venus). Either we intentionally work harder to accurately and sensitively convey our thoughts, and to authentically and considerately collaborate with others… or we find our less-mindful efforts thwarted (whether immediately or retroactively) by outer manifestations of this challenge. Saturn seeks respectful acknowledgment one way or another, by our choice or through external retribution.

One note about the Jupiter-Saturn square: This aspect represents the three-quarters point in the 20-year cycle between Jupiter and Saturn, a 'grand conjunction' which has been used throughout the millenia-spanning history of astrology (i.e., since way long before Uranus was discovered) to symbolically demarcate thematic periods of political activity. Using a very rough sketch of American political history as an example, we can trace this progression of the collective zeitgeist by following the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions: 1940-41, US enters WWII; 1961, JFK becomes president; 1980-1981, Reagan becomes president; 2000, GW Bush becomes president. Now, having reached the closing square of this macro-level cycle, we are starting to clear the path toward another new beginning due at the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 2020.

Whatever personal crossroads we're reaching at this time, meanwhile, have a significant connection to the longer-timescale evolution we've undergone since 2000… and the choices we're presently mulling over, a direct impact on where we'll end up five years from now.

Near the tail-end of the week (on Fri Aug 7), Mercury moves into Virgo, one of its home-signs, helping us to reclaim a more rational, practically-oriented mindset toward what's going on. This is followed shortly thereafter by Jupiter's entry to Virgo (on Tue Aug 11), an important celestial event (which I'll cover in greater length soon) since Jupiter only changes signs once a year. But in case we dare jump to the conclusion that these two sign-shifts ought to temper the ultra-Leo astro-climate, I've got one more piece of news to nip that right in the bud: Right around the same time (on Sat Aug 8), Mars arrives in Leo, making sure we've still got a lot of roar left in us for the weeks to come.