Context is everything!
Celebration, joy, pleasure, creativity, fun and just feeling good are the hallmarks of Venus as she goes through Leo. It's a great time to party! And she spends most of her time in Leo during this retrograde cycle. So get your party hat out of the closet!
However, Venus begins the retrograde phase in Virgo, which is a very different energy! This is more about channelling pleasure through disciplined purpose and intention. Venus in Virgo makes sure the dishes are done before she goes out to party. Her style of creativity may be focused more in technique and skill than spontaneous self-expression, as it is in Leo.
For Venus in Virgo, feeling good means being healthy, fit and living a life of moderation, rather than letting it all hang out like Venus in Leo.
In Virgo, Venus is also about how to extend her caring, compassion and affection to others in some form of service. So this could involve volunteering, lending a helping hand to people you care about, or discovering new social connections through those activities.
However, in Leo Venus wants to enjoy the company of others for its own sake (not necessarily for a selfless cause). She seeks out pleasure that simply celebrates living. Creativity abounds, whether it's painting, quilting, dancing, decorating or just making the environment more beautiful and comfortable in simple ways.
This Venus retrograde cycle is a bit complex. The retrograde phase begins in Virgo, but plays out in Leo. So this is a time when you are challenged to discover a cause, purpose or project that extends beyond your immediate personal priorities—and then bring all of your love, creativity, pleasure and joy to carrying it out.
in the US
Venus retrograde is a time to reassess, renegotiate, reorganize and reconnect. On the down side, latent problems in relationships (all kinds of interpersonal relationships, not just romantic) can sometimes become outright conflicts. On the other hand, previous ongoing conflicts might take a rest and go underground for a while, as everyone regroups and reassesses what is important to them.
If the two of you have been keeping the peace at any price amidst tension and stress, this could be a time when that peace suddenly falls apart and you are faced with having to deal with old unresolved problems. The upside is that this means it is out in the open where you can deal with it and negotiate a solution.
Finances also can change direction. Income and resources might become a bit scarce, forcing you to let go of or rethink your material priorities. Or, you might find your material resources booming ...possibly along with your spending. For example, your expenses and/or income might increase or decrease during the retrograde phase, but will usually return to the previous state after Venus goes direct.
Issues about personal appearance, fashion, beauty and charm may also become conspicuous, either by their absence or by their sudden importance. It may or may not be a good time to make changes. For example, trying a new hair colour could bring unexpected results, so it may be best to treat changes as a time to experiment, rather than a time to commit yourself to something new.
It is also a time to examine your value system and decide whether the people, things or situations that you have cherished are still as dear to your heart as they once were. Reassessing doesn't mean you have to kick them out of your life if they no longer live up to the buzz. However, it might mean you need to think about whether you need to change the place and importance they hold in your life. If it's something or someone who's important to you but the thrill is sagging, this is a good time to consider how you can spice up your experience a bit and rekindle the connection.
In general this challenges you to question whether you are truly living according to your values. If you pay lip service to certain ideals or priorities, but have fallen off the wagon in how you integrate them into your day-to-day life, this is a good time to refresh how you embrace your values.
The key dates of this Venus retrograde cycle (using North American Eastern Time) are:
Venus makes some important repeating transits during this retrograde cycle (all dates in 2015):
Thrills: Venus trine Uranus: Jun.29, Aug.19, Sep.22
Party time! High energy, laughter and zany, silly fun. Caution against spontaneous overspending and overindulging without forethought. Impulsive, experimental sex – choose your partner wisely!
Frills: Venus conjunct Jupiter: Jul.01, Aug.04, Oct.25
Celebration time! Pleasure, joy, mercy and harmony. Caution here too against overspending and overindulging – more, more, more! Relationships may thrive or show a need for reassessment.
Spills: Venus square Saturn: Jul.14, Aug.05, Oct.10
Consequences from mishandling finances, pleasures and vices. Budgeting and disciplined approach to pleasures and desires, possibly out of necessity rather than choice. Relationship difficulties may arise, showing areas that need work.
The 2015 Venus retrograde cycle brings a complex collection of energies through these transits. On one hand, it may be easier than usual to explore live off your usual beaten path, and there may well be quite an abundance of juicy temptations to entice you! However, that square aspect to Saturn means there is no free admission to this garden of earthly delights. Consequences of your actions and choices will become apparent "when the bill comes in."
At its worst, this could be a time when you fall face first into a heavenly vat of overindulgence in the form of eating, drinking/drugging, spending, sexing, partying and living the high life. And then you discover that compromising pictures turn up on Facebook. Or, you kick yourself for falling into bed with your ex after you had resolved not to allow yourself to be tempted. Or, you fall in love with that quilting fabric or shoes or arts and crafts supplies or rocking chair or whatever, and simply MUST buy it! And then your credit card bill comes in. (oops)
The idea is to try to keep a healthy balance between being spontaneous and being cautious. Your Inner Child wants to have fun and not worry about the consequences, so your Inner Adult needs to be watching from across the playground to keep you from getting into trouble. Be a good, kind, supportive parent to yourself, but also one that makes sure you keep your hand off that hot stove burner even if the child in you doesn't understand why.
At its best, this Venus retrograde can be a time when you can be very productive in creative ways. For example, rearrange or redecorate your living room or patio. Keep your eyes peels for some unusual and fun furniture, accessories and decorations that will brighten up the place. But keep an eye on the price tag too, and make sure you can really afford it. If you really can't then keep looking – unexpected treasures could be right around the next corner!
Find ways to have fun, be comfy and enjoy life! But don't get so locked into ego gratification that you lose sight of things you might normally do for others. You might buy an extra ticket to an event for a friend as a special treat, or you might even be the friend who gets that ticket. It's a good time to reconnect with people you've lost touch with, and you might rediscover the fun you used to have together, although you are also likely to remember the reason why you drifted apart. Maybe you can rekindle the connection, maybe you can't, but it is likely to be an illuminating experience either way.
Did you know that in your lifetime, you will only see Venus going retrograde in certain signs and never in others? That's because Venus has a fascinating and complex, yet very predictable retrograde cycle 5-fold pattern that repeats every 8 years. If you draw lines between the retrograde stations she makes over time, it creates a 5-pointed star.
To learn more about Venus cycles, check out a book by astrologer Anne Massey, titled Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths (or click here for Amazon in Canada). You'll discover everything you need to know about the complex patterns of Venus retrograde cycles and stations, as well as how these can manifest in your life.
Massey's book also contains good information about the mythology of Venus and Venus-like figures. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about this intriguing planetary cycle!
© Wendy Guy 2015, all right reserved. Beyond brief quotes or strictly personal purposes, please obtain written permission from the author before reproducing this article. Diagrams of Venus star-patterns copyright Wendy Guy, all rights reserved.