Venus Goes Retrograde in Virgo


Venus, newly in the first degree of Virgo since last weekend (Jul 18), slows to an apparent standstill this week, in advance of shifting into its six-week retrograde phase this coming Saturday (Jul 25).

Venus symbolizes who and what we find value in and/or feel affection for, how we attract those people and experiences to us and/or assimilate them into our lives. Commonly, Venus is said to rule love, money, art, and beauty.

When Venus goes retrograde (once every year-and-a-half or so), we often encounter situations which corner us into looking at these Venus-ruled matters from an alternative perspective. The circumstances which present themselves encourage us to reevaluate—that is, revisit our prior assessments about someone's or something's value to us—our interpersonal relationships, financial estimations and habits, and/or aesthetic choices. The ultimate purpose of such Venus-retrograde moments? To ensure we're aligned with the appropriate affiliations and allocations, consciously so rather than by unexamined default… whether by reaffirming an existing fondness or discovering we're not quite as fond of it as we thought we were or once had been.

But just in case these Venus-retrograde's reevaluations sound as if they transpire cheerily, perhaps over a contemplative chat with a friend or during quiet personal reflection, please think again. Venus retrogrades are infamously mischief-filled, reawakening unfinished business from our past and/or flashing us glimpses of some alluring new option which may be too good to be true (or is it?). The arrival of any such conditions is meant to trigger our preference-questioning process ('do I want this or that? and how much is it worth to me?') into action.

The trick is to concentrate more on the process itself, rather than attaching too decidedly to any certain outcome. While Venus is retrograde, we aren't as skilled at reliably determining the enduring value of what-/whoever's in front of us at the time… though we might not feel as if our value-judgments are as dubious as they may be. That's why it's common astrological wisdom to refrain from taking critical relational actions (e.g., starting or ending a relationship), making important purchases or signing off on financial deals, or finalizing an aesthetic makeover or redesign during Venus's retrograde.

Indeed, a wealth of applicable insight on such matters could likely emerge at this time, but it's best to assiduously allow the whole process to unfold—and for Venus to return to direct motion, then retrace the steps of its retrograde until it's gotten past this 'shadow'—before moving forward with any related steps liable to significantly impact your life-position.

What we may begin to suspect or surmise during Venus retrograde should become much clearer once Venus is direct again if, in fact, it's an assessment which accurately suits our up-to-date persuasions and proclivities. Or else we'll realize, once a bit of time passes and the Venus-retrograde-influenced sparkle-and-gleam has dulled some, what we might've initially adored perhaps is too good to be true… and we'll hopefully learn more about what we really want, by coming to terms with what wasn't quite right about that enticing mirage.

In the case of this particular retrograde, Venus will not return again, by direct motion, to this first degree of Virgo until the second week of October. Before then, we can expect plenty of tempting-and-tantalizing, but potentially rascally, Venus-retrograde happenings to flip our affections, affinities, and associations on their ear. What and/or who we presently think we want to connect ourselves with may OR may not be the same conclusion we draw about such matters two-and-a-half months from now. Please bear this timeline in mind during the weeks ahead.

Incidentally, Venus is not traditionally considered to be at its best in Virgo, the sign of its fall (i.e., opposite its exaltation sign; a place where its expression is weakened or 'perverted'). Venus's archetypal job is to ease our joining-together with that which we appreciate, helping us cooperatively unite across the boundaries of difference. Yet Virgo prefers to keep its differentiating boundaries clear and precise, using its categorical analytics to distinguish between this and that, correct and incorrect, sacred and profane. As such, Venus becomes somewhat fussy and particular when in Virgo, concentrating on certain functional or pragmatic details when appraising the relative value of an involvement, investment, or presentation.

While Venus in Virgo can be used to great effect in helping us maintain distinct interpersonal boundaries, hold ourselves to exacting standards (whether artistically or relationally), and carefully finesse the finer points in our negotiations (both business and pleasure), it also leaves us struggling to overcome this myopic attention-to-detail. Focusing too intently on the Venus-in-Virgo close-view can cause us trouble in effectively embracing compromise, granting benefits-of-the-doubt, and/or making exceptions-to-the-rule… all of which play an essential role in successful human interrelation and exchange. Such detrimental expressions of Venus-in-Virgo energy might include, for example, ruling out promising relational prospects based on fairly narrow-minded reasons (e.g., they chew too loudly, they don't like big-budget Hollywood movies, they wear dorky shoes) or bowing out of potentially lucrative or rewarding collaborations over a single unsatisfactory term (rather than, say, deploying it as a bargaining tool in an ongoing conversation or overlooking it in order to achieve a much greater aim).

In our current astro-situation, with Venus essentially frozen in Virgo's first degree of Virgo for these couple weeks, it may seem as if we're being responsibly discriminating, precise, and/or commonsensical in the judgments we're now coming to about our relationships, financial dealings, and/or creative considerations. Venus in Virgo wants us to be unerringly practical and logical in sorting the wheat from the chaff in these matters. Of course, thanks to our astrological awareness, we know such judgment-calls must presently be understood as preliminary, provisional, and subject to reevaluation.

Despite the momentary instinct to assess our Venus-ruled pursuits and partnerships according to this practical cerebral logic, the fact that Venus is retrograding back into Leo by the end of next week (on Fri Jul 31)—and staying there for over two months more, alongside the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, and, later, Mars—tells a much different story. (Review my recent take on Venus's protracted visit to Leo.) In Leo, Venus attracts that which makes the heart sing, the heroic odes flow, and the fairy-tales come true. It wants music, romance, color, drama, zest-for-life, and all the exclamation-points that come with such excitements… which, as you might surmise, aren't necessarily so neatly aligned with Virgo's practically-minded concerns.

Before we can get accurately and effectively get down to progressing our Venus business, then, we must spend these coming weeks letting our hearts tell us what else we might prefer besides the obvious, accepted, and/or obligatory choice—no matter whether we end up sticking with what we already had, or maybe trading it in for something that better suits our new-and-improved self.