Like the infamous Mercury Retrograde, Venus Retrogrades are optical illusions that occur when the planet Venus appears to move backward in the sky due to the variance in the planet’s orbit in relation to the Earth’s. During these periods, the outward influence of the planet is turned inward. Of course, Mercury is the planet of communication and information, so during Mercury Retrogrades, miscommunications and technical glitches abound. But as the planet of love, aesthetics and beauty, Venus Retrograde puts the brakes on romance instead.
Initiating relationships during this time is unfavorable. While it’s certainly possible for relationships to begin during a retrograde, it’s likely that you’re not seeing the person clearly. You may have a romanticized vision of a new crush, only to realize they’re a total dud when Venus goes direct. Same goes for marriage, weddings and engagements: all of these are better off avoided. If you’ve already planned something that can’t be rescheduled, be prepared for everything to go wrong.
Existing relationships will come under the microscope. Virgo, the planet of detail-oriented analysis, will make all of us nit-picky in matters of love and friendship. We may be overly critical of our partners or vice versa. Suddenly, you’re noticing all of your partner’s tiny imperfections, and they may bother you more than usual. We can be quick to judge too harshly, but we may also finally recognize the flaws in our relationships that we normally ignore. Strong relationships will survive a retrograde and should, in fact, emerge stronger and more bonded through the embracing of flaws and healing of weaknesses. Weaker relationships, or unhealthy, abusive relationships, will crumble under the retrograde’s heightened scrutiny.
Now’s not the best time to try out a crazy new haircut or change your look, since Venus’ influence on aesthetics, beauty and appearance is subverted. Especially not while Venus is in Virgo since the detail-oriented sign will likely leave you in tears after coming home from the salon. It’s best to hold off on any major make-overs until after the 6th.
Venus enters Leo on July 31st, where it will spend most of its retrograde until September 6th. The retrograde will bring out the darker side of Venus in Leo: a desperate need for attention. The heightened scrutiny of others during Venus in Virgo will flip to a petulant demand for affection during Venus in Leo. So while your critical eye may repel your lover during the first part of Venus Retrograde, your need to be adored may bring you crawling back a week later.
Old lovers and friends can re-appear during a Venus Retrograde. People from your past, especially lovers with unfinished business, will likely return to settle old scores. Hook-ups with exes are common now, and some of us may even be tempted to reignite an old flame. But be warned that what may seem magical during these few weeks may turn out to be disappointing when Venus goes direct. Feel free to indulge, but temper your expectations. If getting back together with someone feels right, just remember that the months after the retrograde will be the measure of success.
Venus Retrogrades usually last about 40 days, and they only occur once every few years. While it may sound frustrating to hear that there’s over a month’s worth of romantic stagnation ahead, this time is meant to give us a chance to review our lives since the last retrograde, and consider who and what we really value. It’s a forced time out that allows us to consider the progress, or lack thereof, in our lives. This evaluation is not restricted to our love life either, but extends to all of our loves: what we like to do, where we like to go, who we like to be and be with.
Retrogrades are primarily a period for reflection, not for action. Review your life, ponder your loves, and further define what love really means to you. Determine what you value, and then measure your life against those values. The places where you need to change will be obvious. Make notes and when Venus goes direct, you’ll be ready to act. These weeks are a great time to plan for the future by reviewing the past. Review, plan and prepare and be ready to take action after September 6th.