Venus Retrograde Stirs the Heart


Venus goes retrograde at the end of this week (Fri Jul 27), but many are already feeling its heart-stirring perspective flips.

What—and who—do we love the most? Which of the people, positions, opportunities and objects we're drawing to us do we really want… and which are merely convenient ego-boosters?

Venus retrograde is notorious for, among other things, conjuring up relationship situations that force us to reexamine where, and with whom, we place value. Often, this can mean the reappearance of old flames, long-lost friends, or the crushes we used to see around town all the time.

Such resurrections of previously noteworthy connections can serve to pull the rug out from under our current relationships… reminding us that, despite the glaring power present-moments possess to wipe our memories clean, we haven't always been as we are now in relation to others. It was different before—and it could be different again.

On the romance front (one of Venus's favorite zones of activity), how we should respond to the return of former flings or flings-that-never-were-but-might've-been is anybody's guess. The right answer depends on where our feelings lead us—and how our existing commitments, or lack thereof, impact our freedom to partake.

For some, this is the chance to do it over… to finally make that move we passed up all those months or years ago, or to speak the heart-truth we held back in timidity or terror. We may have unfinished business to complete—or to wisely conclude can never be finished. The temptation to dive back in, for a hot one-night-only recap or a total rekindling, may be indulged. Or, with our hard-earned experience beneath our belts, we may make another choice and fight it off.

Of course, not all of us will become reacquainted with our exes. Another way Venus retrograde often plays out is with the introduction of exciting new love prospects… an oh-so-appealing guy or girl, seemingly with all the right moves, who sweeps us off our feet after ever so brief (but intense!) a meeting.

The astrology textbooks might warn you to stay away from the newfound honey who seems too good to be true—for once Venus returns to direct motion (after Sep 8), you'll discover the truth ain't nearly so appealing. I, however, beg to differ. A hot little affair may be just what the doctor ordered… as long as you don't get way ahead of yourself and book the wedding-reception hall before you've even learned each other's middle names or met the families. Be reasonable about what this pairing may mean. It could prove to be true love somewhere down the road, but if you meet during or near Venus retrograde, give it lots of time to develop. (After all, it could also prove to be nothing but a momentary delusion.) Trust me, you want to be overwhelmingly sure, rather than rush to move in together and spend the next year trying to get yourself out.

The Venus-retrograde ramifications for existing relationships, from this perspective, may seem obvious. Should we now find ourselves face-to-face with our fond first loves or a sizzling connection with someone we just met, it will have major consequences for the partner we're already partnered off with. Either we'll stay faithful, or we'll opt to transgress.

And either we'll be proud and content with the choice we make, or we'll feel the grumbles of resentment, like we're missing out because we're 'trapped'. These feelings are a gift from Venus retrograde, letting us check in with our current relationship status, to remind us how lucky we are… or to reveal how it isn't quite what we'd like.

No outside party's presence is required, however, for Venus retrograde to turn us reflective about our interpersonal allegiances. In fact, the very knowledge that we astro-watchers are privy to—that Venus is retrograde, and that it's thus a good time to reflect on our relationships—can help us consciously choose to do this. Even the reemergence of friends we haven't seen much lately, and the resultant conversations we share to explain what's going on with us and to hear feedback from unbiased ears, can shed new light. Making sure we're opening our hearts in the right way to the right people is a noble goal of Venus retrograde.

With Venus currently in Virgo (a placement I described at length here), we may be prone to noticing the intricate patterns on one leaf of one tree… and miss the whole forest entirely. In other words, Venus in Virgo tends to focus our eyes on little details about the people or relationships currently in question—and lead us to overlook the larger picture, or to forget that emotional connection is often something that cannot be analyzed.

When Venus goes retrograde in Virgo, we could fixate on one isolated quality about somebody that we adore or detest, only to ignore so many other relevant factors that will reemerge as significant later. We may also be unnecessarily critical of the ones we love, outsmarting our own good by nitpicking the beauty away.

Yet, a couple weeks from now (Aug 8), Venus will slip back into Leo… to deliver us a message about generosity of spirit that Virgo, with magnifying glass perpetually affixed to its eye in search of flaws, is liable to miss. Venus in Leo loves her epic love gestures, so eager for a winning story that paints her as romantic heroine that she'll don whatever garb is necessary for the happily-ever-after. However, the lingering question that hangs over a retrograde Venus in Leo (especially when we factor in her conjunctions with Saturn): Is this relationship an authentic expression of my love, or am I simply playing a part with all the convincing gusto of an Oscar-winning actor?

Only the heart knows—and Venus retrograde is a time to listen to it.