The author of this article, Rob Tillett, has been an astrologer for more than three decades. A poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist and composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many of the articles on this website.
Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
On December 24, 2005, Venus reaches her retrograde station, in preparation for a period of retrograde motion which will last until February 3, 2006. On top of that, the effects of the retrograde period will continue to be felt until she returns in direct motion on March 7 to the degree where she first made her station (1° Aquarius 27').
Venus turns retrograde only once every eighteen months, but the effects of each period differ, according to the sign in which it happens (see box for Venus Retrograde 2005). Venus turns retrograde in conjunction with Chiron, the wounded healer. Perhaps this will help heal the wounds exposed by the previous Venus Retrograde period, in 2004, when the planet of love and money crossed the face of the Sun in a rare transit of Venus on June 8.
A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This traditional concept arises in the illusory planetary motion created by the orbital rotation of the earth, with relation to other planets in our solar system. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way, due to this optical illusion.
Retrograde periods, although often problematic for us earthlings, are not particularly uncommon. Each planet retrogrades, except the Sun and Moon.
As a rule, retrograde planets presage a period of seemingly inevitable or fated events, which relate to their sphere of influence. They present us with a series of events over which we seem to have little or no control, relating especially to the sign in which the retrogradation occurs.
A retrograde period is best seen as a cycle, beginning when the planet begins to slow to a halt before travelling backwards through the zodiac and ending when the planet returns to the point where it first paused. However, during the cycle, the planet's energy is most powerful (and more likely to generate critical events of universal importance) when the planet makes a station, appearing motionless in the sky. These stationary periods occur near the beginning of the cycle (when the planet first halts as it prepares to move backwards) and midway through the cycle when the retrograde planet slows to a stop before moving forward again. The "direct station" (when the planet halts before moving forward again) is the most powerful and can be used for maximum benefit.
What does Venus affect?
In general, Venus, the goddess of love, rules feelings and emotion, aesthetics and tastes, fashions and all forms of desire, money and wealth. Venus rules social attitudes and behaviour, along with aesthetic tastes and inclinations. Venus symbolises female relationships and social interactions at every level. Venus indicates our values. She governs romance, marriage and other partnerships, capacity for humour, and the pursuit of pleasure.
During a retrograde period the things Venus influences will be less apparent, or be of less concern to the world. Visual sensibilities are reduced. People dress with less flair and our colour sense tends to be muted. This is not the time to purchase clothes or jewellery, change one's make-up or hairstyle. Redecorating or refurbishing homes or business should also be avoided, though there is no reason why decisions that have been made earlier should not be allowed to come to fruition during this period.
With Venus retrograde, the pace of relationships slows down and this is not the best time to get married or give big parties. Since Venus rules diplomacy, slowdowns in all sorts of negotiations can be expected, including industrial disputes, legal issues and diplomatic endeavours.
It is a time when we are called upon to go back and take care of unfinished business. Often we are forced to deal with deep feelings that have their origins in past events. They are activated on an inner level but are often difficult to express to ourselves or others while Venus is retrograde.
Venus Retrograde in Aquarius
When Venus is retrograde, everyone's emotional state is more introspective and we tend to react emotionally to the issues and concerns that relate to the sign involved. With Venus retrograde in Aquarius, people with this sign prominent in their charts will be especially prone to such introspection. There is little choice but to reconsider our personal feelings and relationships. There is, however, an opportunity to gain insight into one's own mode of relating, whether sexually, creatively, or financially.
Venus retro in Aquarius forms acquaintances with strangers and gains friends with ease, though the friendships and associations will be somewhat out of the ordinary, with a marked tendency towards the experimental. Expect a marked disregard for convention in personal tastes and friendships during this period.
Groups will be favoured. Financial gain may come through friends and associates, especially as a result of past commitments, but this generosity may be withdrawn when Venus return to direct motion through the zodiac. Wide-ranging social attitudes and behavioural patterns will come to the fore and there may be some stiff resistance from conventional circles. A less than passionate approach to romance and other close relationships is to be expected, but unconventional or unorthodox relationships will be readily embraced. Mental companionship will be the key.