He thought it over. Perhaps having grown up in the country, among pagans like me, helped him understand my bewilderment. "So do we, he said. "But Venus also became more...With the help of the Greeks. They call her Aphrodite...There was a great poet who praised her in Latin. Delight of men and gods, he called her, dear nurturer. Under the sliding star signs she fills the ship-laden sea and the fruitful earth with her being; through her the generations are conceived and rise up to see the sun; from her the storm clouds flee; to her the earth, the skilful maker, offers flowers. The wide levels of the sea smile at her, and all the quiet sky shines and streams with light..."
It was the Venus I had prayed to, it was my prayer, though I had no such words. They filled my eyes with tears and my heart with inexpressible joy.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, ‘Lavinia’
Sweet Venus represents love, friendship, pleasure, beauty, indulgence, art, and financial gain in astrology. Amongst other things in the wider world, Venus also signifies cultivated gardens and orchards, music, dance, fashion, jewellery, florists, hairdressers and beauticians.
Yet Venus - both as a planetary symbol, and as a goddess - has another side. Venus is capricious. We often see this side of her nature when the planet is apparently travelling backwards in the heavens, or retrograde. It can really put the cat amongst the pigeons for love, creativity, friendship and money. Sometimes this is a wonderful, life-changing time. Sometimes chaos erupts. And, of course, sometimes both things happen at once.
This spring, Venus turns retrograde in Aries on 4th March, and direct on 15th April in the sign of Pisces. Venus finally leaves Aries for her home in Taurus on 6th June.
Venus is retrograde for around forty days about every eighteen months.
From February to June, Venus pays extra attention to the houses and any planets you have in Aries or late Pisces in your personal horoscope. It’s a phase full of opportunity if you know what to look out for. What you begin now, in February, may not knit together or make much sense until May – and in between you’re likely to make some thought-provoking discoveries about love, financial agreements, creativity, and how past connections can shape present realities.
Venus travels through impulsive Aries throughout February. She’s a warrior princess, chasing her mythic lover Mars, also in hot-headed Aries, but never quite catching up with him. This suggests that searching for love this spring could be more about the fun of the chase than anything else. The same vibes apply to your finances, agreements about wages, savings, and so on. Think twice. Breathe. Count to ten. Venus in Aries is very impatient. And when Venus backs up into Pisces in April, we could find it hard to hang on to reality…..
So here’s what to watch out for in Spring 2017:
Venus Retrograde: 4th March 2017 – 15th April 2017
Love and Friendship
Venus in Aries is full of energy, sometimes very child-like energy, optimism, and a self-centred view of friendships and love relationships. Once back in Pisces – 3rd – 28th April – deeper emotions, empathy, sensuality, and artistic dreams appear and reveal a more complex picture – what’s real? What’s an amorous illusion?
Making the Most of It:
• What – and whom - you chase in February can be reassessed in March and April. If a love relationship is working well, you’ll hardly notice this phase. If you’ve jumped in feet first, it becomes embarrassingly obvious. Similarly, friendships or recent social connections could reveal their flaws. These Venus effects can happen to you as well. Others may withdraw, run away, or cool off after pursuing you relentlessly. It’s just time out. What’s valuable or meaningful will survive these tests.
• If you want to build bridges or get back in touch, Venus retrograde is a helpful time to reach out.
• Many of us will reconnect with old flames and lost friends this spring. Some of this will bring up all sorts of unfinished business. If you’ve got some kind of soul mate thing going on, you might have some serious thinking to do. Does something need resolving? Soul mates, as far as I can see, are mostly about learning curves. They can be friends, close colleagues, or lovers. Your connection is likely to be full of lessons and revelations about your inner self.
Watch out for:
• Venus in Aries falls in love and lust in a heartbeat. Delightful. Just hold off on moving in together or getting married in a hurry. Forty days of Venus retrograde may show you why waiting is a good idea. If all’s well, forty days isn’t a very long time to delay.
• Traditional astrology says don’t get married on a Venus retrograde. But don’t panic! Weddings that are already booked and planned are fine, it’s the rushed jobs that are crying out for caution. Just use the time to think carefully about what you both want and need from your relationship.
• If a relationship or close friendship goes through a strange phase now, relax. It can be so hard to see things clearly at this time. Venus retrograde in Pisces is likely to be especially bewildering and slippery this spring. Wait until May, and you’ll see the bigger picture.
Money magnets and Money pits
Venus rules money, and the spending of money on lovely things like entertainment, movies, luxurious treats, clothes, beauty, and adornments for you, and your home.
Venus is magnetic – people and fortunate circumstances can be drawn to you when Venus is active in your horoscope. The houses holding the signs Aries and Pisces in your personal horoscope can give you a clue about which areas of life are looking lucky this spring.
With Venus in Aries and Pisces, shopping and spending could be super-impulsive.
• Shopping for retro treasures, vintage clothes and jewellery, antiques, or art can be really successful. Remember not to be impulsive, or get into a fight over something you think you want. But retrograde Venus seems to favour bargain hunters, so why not see what you can discover? Not everybody is fully aware of the value of what they’re selling at this time.
• Renegotiating existing contracts, loans, mortgages, and financial agreements works well under a Venus retrograde.
Watch out for:
• During this phase, it might be wise to delay signing up for any new savings and investments. Venus in Aries wants everything yesterday, so could be tempted by get-rich-quick scams. Venus in Pisces, slipping and sliding in reverse, is easily fooled too.
• Fakes, and other deeply dodgy items, can surface any time. But they may seem irresistible this spring, and what’s more, they may briefly seem to be the real deal. Avoid disappointment and hold off on buying expensive, luxury stuff in March and April.
Each Venus retrograde is personal to you, and your own horoscope. It will work itself out for those close to you too, so even if you don’t experience anything dramatic you could well be affected by events in the lives of others.
There could be clues in what happened during previous Venus retrogrades in Aries. These were:
March 11th 1993 – April 22nd 1993
March 9th 2001 – April 20th 2001
And if you’d like to know about the astronomy of Venus retrograde in our skies:
Image: ‘Simonetta Vespucci’ by Piero Di Cosima, 15th century via Wikimedia Commons