Venus Direct


Venus's six-week-long retrograde through Capricorn comes to an end on Friday (Jan 31)… and as she appears to slow to a standstill, then return to forward motion, some of her most striking retrograde-inspired expressions come into view.

The stationing-back-to-direct-motion phase of a Venus retrograde is perhaps our most opportune occasion for consciously reflecting on our present stance toward relationships, particularly in light of any perspective-shifting developments which may have transpired over the past month-and-a-half.

To review, Venus has been in Capricorn since early November, a sign where she's markedly less sentimental and idealistic than our collective fairy-tale narratives often pressure us to be in relationship matters. As I've described before, Venus in Capricorn asks us to think more 'long-term strategy' about our interpersonal involvements… assessing them not merely according to romantic standards like 'emotional connection' or 'chemistry', but also by whether they practically support our other longer-range lifestyle goals (such as building a certain type of partnership structure, raising a family, pursuing specific career ambitions, living in a particular location, etc.).

It's not that Venus in Capricorn is wholly premeditated or unromantic, altogether discounting feelings or sparks in favor of couplings that'll 'get you somewhere'. Rather, she considers their importance as one priority alongside others… hopefully saving us from disastrous relational maneuvers with individuals we might energetically click with and/or be totally hot for, but with whom we're ultimately incompatible in terms of life-purpose choices and values.

Have any such Venus-in-Capricorn considerations caused you to rethink, reaffirm and/or revisit your interpersonal choices over these past retrograde weeks? Do you have the time or energy to spend on involvements that don't help you actualize your aspirations—or, worse, actually get in the way of you becoming your best self? Beware of perpetuating any power-struggle circumstances which seem to pit a certain relational participation of yours against other building-blocks of a successful life. If a significant other needles you about investing too much of yourself in your friendships, your work, or (god forbid) your children, they may be seeking to monopolize your time… and to force you, in a controlling manner, to favor the relationship at the expense of all else. How long will you put your own needs and desires second to anybody else's?

The invitation to utterly revolutionize our relational stance remains on the table, more favored than ever under the ongoing influence of a squaring Uranus-and-Pluto… a pair who continues to push us into chaotic shakeups, during this time when everything is ripe for reinvention, rather than encouraging us to settle down or hold tight to tradition. Remember how Uranus and Pluto collided with both Mars and Jupiter, creating an outbreak of impressive instability over Christmas and New Year's which stretched into these first weeks of '14, making it feel like we never got that fresh start promised whenever the calendar flips to another January 1st? Before all that really got going, Venus in Capricorn made her conjunction to Pluto and square to Uranus midway through November '13: Prior to the wacky goings-on of late December and early January, then, we'd already confronted significant pressure to evolve our relationships, potentially by overthrowing any entrenched power-dynamics which limited our freedom or independence.

But at the same time, under such a Venus-Pluto conjunction, status-quo circumstances can just as easily become reinforced, in a doubling-down response to the perceived Venus-square-Uranus threat. Whatever benefits either party might reap from holding the arrangement in place—even as it may be unconsciously disempowering and/or serve to obstruct our forward life-path motion—feel too safely familiar to jeopardize.

'Revolution', in this context, often plays out in a series of fits and starts and splits and reunions instead of a straight shot. Sometimes, we keep ourselves 'stuck' until it becomes too painful to bear anymore; we need the intensifying extremes to finally coax us into action.

And as Venus's retrograde draws to a close, we now reexamine any relationship questions, choices, tensions and/or compromises which might've first come to a head around mid-November or so… but from the other side of whatever rascally detours, side-notes, tricks and/or complications Venus retrograde has wrought. The reemergence of ex-lovers, the seductive appeal of alternative romantic prospects, the revelations or come-to-Jesus conversations with partners, even unapologetically self-centered breakthroughs which force us to differentiate our future from someone else's: Any such standard script-flipping occurrences, all par for the course when Venus is retrograde, would likely leave us in a much different mindset than a mere two-or-so months earlier.

Venus stations direct just shy of returning to conjoin Pluto or square Uranus, indicating we are less likely to exactly revisit any issues raised back in November… though the near-miss quality of this dual conjunction/square simultaneously suggests to me a potential undercurrent of wistful nostalgia for an earlier innocence or bliss (real or imagined) which can never be reattained. Put another way, the sheer amount of loss and change that has unfolded just since November in a glaring call to resist too much looking- or slipping-back: Even in the most ideal of relational situations, what we might've previously experienced as solace or security could quickly become a trap, if we don't actively stay up-to-date with our 'other halves' about what's separately evolving in each of our lives. Clutching onto your presumptions about anyone else, based on discussions you two had at some earlier point in the past, will only highlight how you've fallen out of touch with one another.

Venus stays in Capricorn—and doesn't clear her post-retrograde shadow—until the first week of March, so it's clear we'll still be reattuning our interpersonal attitudes, in the face of what's come to light during Venus retrograde, for the next month or so. As I explained at the tail-end of this article, it'll be Mercury's turn to be retrograde through much of this period, an ideal time to amend any presumptions, admit that one's mindset has shifted, and/or reopen conversations that have been inconclusively lingering for a while. Once early March arrives and Venus finally moves into Aquarius, Mars will take his spot at the retrograde circus… and the next round of reconfigurations can kick off, albeit before this one's even had its chance to settle in.