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‘Femme nue’, 1889 By Jean-Léon Gérôme {{PD}}

Venus currently appears stationary, and will begin apparent backward motion on October 5th at 10 Scorpio 50 (and a skosh), 12:05 PM PDT. Every 8 years Venus retrogrades at just a few degrees less in the same sign; last retro in Scorpio began October 7th 2010 at 13 Scorpio 13. We look back to what happened at that time for clues as to what will appear this time; the House of the natal chart where the retrograde falls will tell you what subjects, individuals, or groups will potentially be prominent. These issues may be the same as last time Venus went retro here, they even may pick up exactly where they left off, or another topic represented by the House may come forward, and there’s the possibility that the Venus retro effect may spill over into the matters of the Houses of the natal chart ruled by Venus, as well as Venus’ usual themes of ‘Love & Money’.

Venus’ turnaround prompts us to pull back on aesthetic choices, to reconsider friendships, partnerships, or love interests, to review investments of all kinds, to experiment in these areas. Suddenly we wake up one day and long to try something new in one or another Venus ruled arena; as this retro is in Scorpio, we are likely to dig, excavate, research, our need to find ‘the Truth’ urgent and emotionally stirring, with all the consequent (and probably predictable) upset this brings to relationships, values, or financial situations. We’ll be drawn, one way or another, into a Venusian ‘cave’–how and how deeply we choose to explore it is the retrograde journey.

During the retrograde we may decide to resuscitate some Venusian interest. We could go back to making Art, making money, or making Love, reconnect with an ex-, reach out to a lost friendship, dabble in new income sources, or look to handle our funds or interactions differently than before. What we cherish or find rewarding comes into focus–though we could say it loses its usual focus, giving us a different viewpoint than we are accustomed to–and we may see temporary circumstances that turn as much on finding what doesn’t work for us as by locating what does.

The retro period frees us from the usual Venusian constraints we apply (indicated by the natal Venus placement by House and most especially by sign), but caution from the get-go is necessary: what we may not see is that our judgments made under the influence of the retro may not hold, may in fact revolt or upset us when Venus is once again direct. We need to remain cognizant of the experimental nature of a Venus retrograde–the trick is to venture out of our comfort zones, try new things, but to do so without destroying what already is–though that judgment may come later, once the goddess goes direct.

Who holds emotional power within relationships may be at issue, and the choice to regenerate contacts that may have withered may come before us. Passions of all stripe may be re-ignited, and passion may be the measure against which we judge all things at this time. Does it fire us up, does it move us, does it reach us deep inside? Venus in Scorpio will let us know if it does–or maybe even more important, if it doesn’t–and one thing we can know is that our experiences now will reach into our emotional depths. Feelings that may have been hidden could see the light–and of course, once released that djinn can’t be shoved back into the bottle.

By Max Slevogt 1896 {{PD}}

What we must remember, though, is that our tastes and preferences change shape during the retro; tried-and-true preferences give way to the exotic or strange, or especially with Scorpio, to the dark impulse or forbidden, the urge toward complete obliteration, transformation, or change, the seduction of the extreme. What we fall in or out of love with may or may not better reflect who we really are–it all depends on so many things.

What have you always wanted to try, in line with subjects of the House placement of the retro within the natal chart, but it crossed a line for you? You may be presented with that very thing (or go out seeking it!) between now and 16 November–and add to that Mercury’s retrograde in Sagittarius as soon as Venus completes her apparent backward motion, suggesting that out from under the altered tastes of Venus retro we must immediately re-think our actions or what we’ve learned (Merc in Sagittarius, a Fire sign). Take the hint: during this Venus retro we are likely to do some things we later question; that means changes should be easily un-doable–dying the hair pink, yes! Getting a tattoo, no! Dating someone new, sure! Getting married spur-of-the-moment, nope!

Aspects made soon after the retrograde period begins, or aspects occurring at the turnaround point, often clue us in to the nature of the retro itself, and certainly to the circumstances early in the period. This time, other than a sextile from the Moon once she changes sign, Venus’ first aspect will be a square to Mars in Aquarius. That occurs 10th-11th of October and is accompanied by a conjunction from the Moon to Venus. This suggests that we likely meet at least some consequences of our actions during the retro–and these may show too much of a tendency to intellectualize the Will, perhaps divorcing it from the raw want that Venus can stir, and possibly underestimating the emotional impact our choices will have, on our own egos, or on our ability to continue to exercise our Will.

The retro period offers situations and circumstances that allow us to reconsider our values, to reassess where and on whom we spend our Venus energy, where we give or invest our Love, our cooperation, what we are willing to do in exchange for life giving material support or Soul-enhancing affections.  Happening in Scorpio, we need to remember during the retrograde that what we’re ultimately aiming for is better discovering or understanding the Truth that drives each of us forward–and from there, how well we receive and process and make use of that information is up to us.

Winter is coming! Photo by me

I’ll be taking some time off, so no daily reports for a while. I will pop back in randomly and do plan on reporting on New and Full Moons, and of course will be checking mail and orders. Hoping to finally finish my Moon book–right now I’m working on the Lunar relationship between Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, and just finished a Juno-heavy Lunar look at Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. Thank you to all my readers, to those who offer support in all forms, and to my clients–you keep me hopping!! and I love you for it 🙂