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Venus Stops and Looks in the Mirror

Venus, planet of beauty and love, is remarkable in the evening sky now. On February 27, she reached her maximum brilliance of 4.8 magnitude and, if you’ve had clear nights where you live, you’ve been able to see her at her very best.

She’s now as far from the Sun as she can be; she stands on her own out of the Sun’s rays and appears at her brightest. Venus is following the Sun; she appears after the Sun has set in the western sky. When she reaches this far distance from the Sun, she is also moving very slowly and about to turn retrograde. (Venus goes retrograde every 18 months for about 40 days each time.)

On March 6 Venus stations at 15° Aries and starts her deliberate walk all the way back to 29° Pisces.  (She actually gets to the degree of her station direct on April 11.) Since she is moving very slowly again, Venus stays at 29° Pisces until she moves direct on April 17.

Venus is the Evening Star now; the Greek astrologers called her Venus Hesperus (i.e., “setting in the West”). As she stops and goes retrograde, Venus is moving closer to the Sun. As she gets closer to the Sun she is less visible, and Venus will disappear from the sky for about two weeks beginning around March 23. Still retrograde, she will reappear in the sky before sunrise on April 3, now the Morning Star, or Venus Lucifer (“the light bearer” to the Greeks).

This period, when Venus disappears from the sky, was famously important to the Mayan astrologers who saw it as Venus’s descent into the underworld. The Babylonian astrologers considered Venus’s reappearance in the morning sky as the time to go to war.

Significantly, during the time Venus is invisible, she will conjunct the Sun. This occurs on March 27: Venus retrograde conjuncts the Sun at 7°16’ Aries. This is an important moment in this backtracking process. For all of us, Venus going back to meet the Sun suggests an opportunity to align our desires and our sense of delight with our creative purpose. The Sun symbolizes the drive for realization and fulfillment of purpose in each of us. Venus is in Aries, pioneering her own way, and impetuous and eager for the newest pleasure. She’s stopping soon, though; she can’t go any farther and must reevaluate and reconsider what it is she really wants. With the infusion of solar intent on March 27, we may find ourselves hearing a deeper — or subtler — call to what is our true heart’s desire. Whatever comes into our minds or hearts at that time may be showing us a notion of happiness that is truly sustainable.

Venus will go back to the very poignant last degree of Pisces. From April 12 to 23, Venus stays at 29° Pisces. This is in her sign of exaltation and a critical degree.  It’s as if we’re collectively reclaiming some deep sorrow, offering, or sacrifice. If that degree is sensitive in your chart, it may be a deeply personal experience of an exquisite yearning for love, tinged perhaps with an awareness of loss or impermanence, that somehow is revisited or rediscovered. Transiting Mars is also conjunct Venus on April 21 at 29° Pisces. Certainly that will be a passionate moment for some; a union of the masculine drive and feminine desire nature suggests a powerfully creative force. Venus, after all, has gone back to allow her mythological consort Mars to catch her again. The personal desire nature is focused and strong; how will we direct it?

Venus is now at 15° Aries, the degree of her station on the 6th, and her stories are starting to appear.  I’m thinking about a few people I know well and seeing hints of the retrograde themes thus far. One friend with Taurus rising has Venus stationing retrograde in her 12th house, near natal Juno in Aries. In a conversation this morning, she said she was feeling drawn to have a past life regression, or some sort of process to uncover what it is from the past that is impacting her current relationship life. Her natal ruler, Venus, is in Sagittarius, which is inclined to keep looking forward; this desire to look back and in to find a possible hidden motivation is not her usual style.

Someone else has Libra at the Midheaven. Venus is now turning retrograde in her 4th house and will cross back over the nadir before going direct. This person is weighing what she really wants to do in her career. A newly diagnosed health issue has suddenly gotten her attention. (Venus also rules Taurus, which is on the cusp of her natal 6th house of illness.)  She told me that she’s feeling like she needs to discover what she really loves to do and make that part of her work life.  She has made the association that when she figures out the next career move, it must be toward what she really loves to insure her health will improve. (She is not an astrologer.)

A gentleman (with natal North Node in Aries in the 5th) has been in a relationship for several years and has felt certain about wanting to move forward with a more serious commitment. Taurus is on his 7th-house cusp. Now, as Venus is slowing down and becoming more guarded and deliberate, his partner is talking about a commitment and my friend is suddenly unsure. He says this sudden feeling of caution has surprised him.

Another person I’ve spoken to recently also has Venus ruling the 7th house. She is happily married and feels confident with her partner, but she’s noticing that her circle of friends may be changing. There are friends in her life to whom she suddenly is not feeling connected. Nothing traumatic or difficult has occurred, just a gentle and gradual awareness that her values and her life have changed and certain people may not remain as close as they have been before.

We can all look to the houses ruled by Taurus and Libra to see where we have a chance to carefully reevaluate what we have and what we may really want. The degrees of Venus’s stations are also very important; in this cycle, that is 15° Aries and 29° Pisces.  In her regular motion Venus moves about a degree everyday. With the retrograde cycle, she moves slowly and spends about 12 days in each of those sensitive degrees.

Look in your own chart for where these degrees fall. If you have planets or angles at 15° Aries or 29° Pisces, this period will be especially important and personal for you.

For all of us, Venus retrograde is a chance to look again at what we cherish, to let assumptions about what is dear to us fall away, to acknowledge what has changed, and to move onward with confidence that our real heart’s desires are within our grasp.

For a wonderful sojourn with Venus, I highly recommend Anne Massey’s Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols and Myths. She explains beautifully the geometry of Venus’s stations in the sky and a great deal more. I reviewed it for TMA here.

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8 Responses to "Venus Stops and Looks in the Mirror"

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  • Carl Karas says:

    She’s going to square Pluto twice as well during this retro period- and both planets will be near the angles. Ouch! Lots of wounds exposed – will it mean devastating break-ups all ’round? That would fit with the ‘sorrowful’ 29 degree Pisces SD. I have zero degrees Aries on my 7th Cusp along with my Vertex…but so far there’s been no activity for me at all. I’m not in a relationship and there’s no one even ‘on the horizon’. Just holding my breath…it feels like a dead calm before a HUGE storm!

  • Carl, that’s the most Scorpio filtered post I’ve ever read.

    Thanks Mary for a very informative article. Well done.

    Specific to the Venus cycle, this retrograde is number 3 of 5 in the run up to the Venus transit across the Sun in June 2012. Each retrograde adds to the previous’ themes building more energy with each pass. The 2012 represents the end of a 243 year Venus cycle begun around the outset of the Industrial Revolution. Could the corporate model of profit and competition, as we know it, fall apart? By all early indications, this is well underway. Amazing time in which we live.

  • Hi Carl and Joseph,

    Yes, Carl, I had noticed the squares to Pluto..but, I’m wondering what you mean about the angles? I mean, when you cast the charts for a specific location? Or, maybe you meant the angles in your chart? (That must be it, come to think of it..)

    And Joseph,

    Beautiful comment about the 243 year cycle of Venus transiting the Sun..I remember the one in 2004 (? I think it was..) At that point 2012 seemed so far away…time flies, as they say!

    Thanks to you both for commenting

    Best to one and all,

    Mary

  • Carl Karas says:

    Mary,

    Yes thanks for a great article. It’s always a joy to read you- some of the best astrology writing out there- ‘bar none’- in my humble opinion. You write with great clarity and always stay right on point.

    To answer your question- I meant that: Pluto is still near a conjunction to 0 degrees Capricorn. Venus will station direct near 0 degrees Aries. Not only will they be square each other but the effect will be heightened in it’s intensity since both planets are sitting on the ‘natural’ Angles (is my terminology correct?): 0 degrees Cap (Winter) and 0 degrees Aries (Spring). Additionally, there will be a tremendous increase of tension and energy at this time as the 2 planets will also be in hard aspect to ALL the 0 degree Cardinal sign/Ingress points.

    I’ve noticed over many years of observation the strength of these Angles as my own MC/IC and AC/DC axes are all at exactly (using hospital time-of-birth records) 0 degree Cardinal points. But Tem Tariktar has written from this point of view as well if I recall correctly- as I’m sure Have others. (I sometimes think I’m able to have 2 AC’s and 2 MC’s as I was born at the very second of the change between signs. Either that or I have a lot of planets sitting in trapped houses, which I don’t believe. I was once diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, but that was shortly after evacuating from New Orleans!)

    Maybe it means that all the stronger personalities in the world who have natal planets, etc. at or near the 0 degrees Cardinal will be getting pretty ‘riled up’ all at the same time?

    Anyway, for these reasons and the ones you’ve mentioned, I think at this particular Venus Retrograde we may see a major out break of war. I pray not: there’s enough bad news in the air! But it is occuring in Aries, after all. Already there is more disturbing news than usual coming from N. Ireland / China vs. Tibet / China vs. US / N. Korea / attempted assasination in Zimbabwe / Sudan’s president and renewed crisis there.

    I also consider the Venus SP, 15 degrees, to be a very powerful point, as it aspects the cusp of every sign, but I know that not everyone agrees.

    As for 2012, I think as it’s at the end of
    several long cycles it may be more a time to look back and wonder.

    And as far as the ‘Scorpio filter’ goes…well- some of us are ‘lucky’ enough to have charts full of Scorpio! What is there to say ;-)

    Thanks for providing this forum- I apologize for going on so long.

    Carl

  • Hi Carl.

    Thanks for all your nice comments..

    I tend to think of the angles as you’ve written of them in terms from Uranian astrology – that is, that 0 degrees cardinal is on the Aries Point, or World Axis. And, yes, I agree that they do have great potency and are very significant in assessing what has strength to manifest at any particular time..

  • Carl Karas says:

    Writing this as Venus disappears today. I’ve been obsessed with Venus retro since reading Erin Sullivan’s description in her book ‘Retrograde Planets’ a few years back. Personally I have also known several people with natal retro Venus.

    I have just a few more observations, if you will permit…using your article to check various dates:

    During the period April 11th through 23rd:

    Mars will oppose Saturn then head towards a conjunction with Uranus. This is happening in close proximity to Venus at 29 Pisces…all seems quite volatile.

    Then there’s the the Mars/Venus conjunction as you mention, April 21st: super powerful I think as it’s conjunct the World Axis.

    Then Venus will be at 0 degrees Aries for the New Moon in Taurus on April 23rd. Another significant moment perhaps. Note at the same time Neptune/Chiron will become square to fixed star Algol.

    And all of this is in square to Pluto. The more I look at it the more I have a feeling this is a series of very significant planetary motions, quite ominous. This is not a minor Venus retro?!?

  • Hello,

    I’m reading this with great interest. My birthday was Feb 27th, the day that Venus reached its highest magnitude. My solar return ASC is 0 degrees Aries and MC at 0 degrees Cap. I have been working diligently for several years developing a website and am looking at huge movement over the next year. I have a big site that I am getting ready to launch, but am almost frozen by all of this and wondering when to launch. I’m looking at April 23rd, during the New Moon in Taurus (ruler of my natal 10th house and located in my solar return 2nd).

    So, should I hide under my bed this year or dance in the streets???

  • Hi Kim and Happy Pisces Birthday,
    I think you probably know we can’t give too specific advice in this format..

    But, sounds like your SR is powerful for manifesting in the pubic eye with the 0 degrees on the most prominent angles..

    A electional chart can get very specific about timing..but sounds like you’ver got a good idea there with the New Moon

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