Venus Retrograde: A Personal Journey

by Lady Deane

Communicating with any retrograde planet is tricky and so very subtle.  Listening is often more important than talking during these times.  And sometimes what we don’t say is just as important as what we do say.  When Venus retrogrades, for example, what we are most likely to communicate about has to do with the three main things that Venus rules over….love, money, and comfort.

Let’s take love first.  After all, it’s the most important thing and Venus as Aphrodite is the embodiment of love.  Remember that all planetary retrogrades basically represent a need to go within, to slow down and to be more introspective regarding those specific themes represented by whichever planet happens to be doing the retrograde dance at the time.  And all retrograde planets resonate with 're' words.  In the case of Venus, for instance, we might 're-connect' with loved ones.  Think family 'reunions' or old friends you haven’t seen for awhile suddenly popping by for a lovely afternoon.  Would you consider 'reminiscence' a 're' word?  I would.  Talking over old times with friends from your past.  Or remembering past loves.  Reconsidering a new beau is also a Venusian theme (but don’t marry him until Venus goes direct!).

In addition to love, Venus rules over your finances due to its natural rulership over Taurus and the 2nd house of the horoscope.  Retirement (a re word itself) plans might need to be updated and we may also 're-evaluate' future needs.  For some it may mean looking to 're-finance' a mortgage. Or, perhaps you need to 're-negotiate' your salary or your position at work.  Some of us need to fall in love with our careers again, or to feel needed and still relevant.  And still more of us probably need to be kinder to ourselves today (especially in the current economy).  Venus hates a miser.  And please note that 'careful spender' does not equal miser.  Venus is fine with a budget as long as you budget something for fun.  When was the last time you enjoyed yourself?  How long since you had your hair done or bought a new outfit?  Do you spend at all on self-care?  If it’s been awhile then it’s time to reconsider.  Show yourself the love and appreciation you would show a family member or a friend. 

Last, but certainly not least, Venus retrogrades are also notorious for lacking comfort wherever we happen to need it most.  For many of us this is either at home or at work, since this is generally where we would spend the bulk of our time.  Air conditioners break down in summer (heaters in winter), interiors look somewhat dingy-er to us, our offices may be relocated to less desirable places, and our favorite old comfy chair might need to be repaired (or someone might try to 'replace' it while you’re not looking!).  The point is that whatever we usually look to in order to feel physically or emotionally comfortable can be in flux during the retrograde.  And the transition period or interim is often decidedly un-comfortable while we get used to the changes.  Venus is not trying to make you uncomfortable in her retrograde state.  She’s just trying to call attention to those well worn areas of life that might need to be refurbished a bit. 

And speaking of refurbishing, whoever said 'one man’s trash is another man’s treasure' was most likely under the effects of a Venus retrograde.  I experienced this personally during one Venus cycle. My own natal Venus is in the 8th house of my chart and that particular Venus retrograde had been backing up over my natal Venus.  If you know your own natal chart, this can be of great help in determining whether or not the retrograde will produce important revelations (another 're' word) in your life.  If it impacts a natal planet at all you will notice it more than if it doesn’t. And if you don’t know your own chart guess who would just be delighted to discuss it with you?  : 0 )

In my case, it all started fairly innocently.  I had to 're-locate.'  The family house (an 8th house theme) sold and my daughter and son-in-law invited me to stay with them temporarily.  I thought I would need about a year to complete my own plans so that was my timeframe.  They had decided that they would move east in a year, so it worked out well for everyone. Easy Peasy.  Nice-and-neat-and-tidy.  Only it wasn’t.  You try fitting your entire house into one tiny guest room in a condo.  Naturally I had a storage unit for the “overflow” except that almost all of it wound up being overflow.  Where do I start?  Picture trying to fit a queen sized bed into a closet (3 lbs of sausage in a 2 lb sack).  I’m a quilter and own 4 sewing machines (shut up, 3 of them absolutely do work).  And did I mention that I’m claustrophobic?  Uncomfortable was a bit of an understatement in those first few days.

Naturally, my daughter and son-in-law were wonderful during this difficult transition.  Their own bedroom was the master suite and quite a bit larger, which they very generously offered to me.  But I saw no reason for us all to be at sixes and sevens (do people still say this?).  And I reasoned that the whole situation was temporary anyway and that everything would work itself out in the end.  That is, until the 'chair incident.'

Now, granted, my chair was not expensive nor was it new.  I believe I picked it up for less than $20 somewhere along my travels some 20-odd years ago.  It was one of those outdoor chairs that can handle the weather. It was a light leaf green color with a muted leaf pattern running through it.  And it had traveled well (and often).  At one point I left it at my parent’s house for a few years.  So it wasn’t new and, OK, it had definitely seen better days.  Sure, it had a few battle scars but it was still in usable condition and was quite comfortable.  Of course, absolutely none of this was why I loved it.  At some point, while moving in with my daughter, I had placed my chair on their balcony, right smack in the middle of their bright and shiny (and certainly more expensive) new ones.

A few days later, we were getting ready to go tackle some errands in town.  The morning had been hectic and full of chores and things.  My daughter and I were both still tired and a bit cranky from the move but stuff needed to 'just get done' as they say (and let me just say that most of them what says it are considerably younger than me).  I had just started the car and was pulling out, when I looked up and noticed my chair on her balcony.  The sight of it always made me smile.  My daughter saw it and smiled too (for a completely different reason apparently) and said: “Wow!  Your chair looks even uglier from here…it looks like something the cat threw up.  Why don’t you give it a decent burial and just throw it out? We could stop by the dump on the way to the grocery store.”

Of course that’s not what she really said.  What she really said was quite innocent, and (I found out later), was supposed to have been a joke.  And perhaps I would have even laughed at it had I a) actually heard it without the Venus retrograde filter; and b) not been so completely stressed out and overwhelmed by the recent changes.  What she really said was that it looked like some thrift store bandits had sneaked in and replaced her patio furniture overnight.  It was a joke.  But it’s what I heard that counted.   And I didn’t hear a joke.  All I heard was someone attacking my favorite chair.  So all I saw was red.  I mean, I think at one point steam was literally coming out of my ears.  Needless to say, this was quite a surprise for my daughter.

What my daughter didn’t know (couldn’t know, because in fact I had never told her) was that in the last few years of his life my father sat in that chair every day.  During one of my many sojourns home I actually spent a few years living with him and he took a liking to my chair. So when I moved out I left it behind for him.  Even when he wasn’t particularly well, he enjoyed getting a bit of fresh air and I remember him dragging that chair outside under his favorite old shade tree in the front yard to just sit. To be still.  To contemplate (the perfect picture of a retrograde in ‘action’). My father was seldom contented, but for those few hours he was.  Every afternoon he would be there.  And every time I saw that chair I could picture him, sitting there surveying the neighborhood, like a lion overlooking his pride.  And, mind you, when I say he sat there what I really mean is that he ‘held court’ with the neighborhood (and yes, for those student astrologers among you, my father was a Leo).

The neighbors got used to his routine and would choose that time to stop by and have a chat with him.  Often they also brought him things…a glass of lemonade, a new cookie recipe or a casserole they wanted him to sample (and of course he would graciously oblige them); or sometimes just to chat.  They would ask his advice with a car problem for instance. He was scary good with cars and it was well known that he could keep one running for 20 years or more. It was the way he networked and socialized and it worked quite well for him.  How many of us these days know all of our neighbors?  Unlike me, my father lived in the same house for more than 50 years so he knew the locals quite well, and they knew him.  His neighbors and he talked about sports teams and the latest tools and gadgets and their families.  They weathered good times and bad together.  The world passed by and stopped, just for a bit, all while he sat in that chair.

But again, none of that was why I loved that chair. The thing of it is, I feel like if I have that chair with me, then my dad’s not really gone.  And that does more for me than any photo of him ever could.  But unfortunately for my daughter she knew none of this when she told her little “joke” (ha-ha).

Astrologers will often link Venus with money (due to the second house/Taurus rulership). This is fairly commonplace.  And it’s correct.  But perhaps the one thing we don’t often think enough about with Venus is value.  What has value to us, what we truly desire, is very individual, very personal, and thus it’s a very Venusian concept.  In the end, it would seem that Venus retrograde is about examining not only what we place value on, but why we value it in the first place.  Objects, much like photographs (and sometimes more so than photographs), often hold our memories—some precious, some not—but what we need to notice is that the only real value any of them have at all is the value we place upon them.  And, not for nuthin’ (as they say in my hometown), but you don’t always know what another person actually values, or what ‘trash’ might just be hidden treasure to them.  So fair warning: tread carefully during the retrogrades.  Especially with Venus.  Because that tarnished old “whatnot” might just be important to someone near and dear to you.

One day I hope to have a home of my own.  I dream of it, though I’m not sure just yet what it will look like…if it will be large or small, modern or vintage, city or country.  Naturally, having Libra rising in my natal chart (which means, that Venus is my chart ruler), I do hope I don’t end up in a dilapidated trailer park somewhere. Venus does, after all, rule elegance and good taste.  But the one thing I do know is, that wherever I end up, there will always be a place for my dad’s old chair.  Hopefully, this will be somewhere out in the yard under a nice big shade tree.  Watching the world go by.

As I sit here contemplating, I realize I owe a debt of thanks to Venus.  Each new Cosmic Dance with her has provided me with yet another important lesson. Another important passage.  And the next Venus Retrograde adventure begins soon—July 25th thru September 5th.  Wonder what that one will bring?

For now, though, I think I’ll go have a heart to heart chat with my daughter… about her grandfather and a well-worn, old chair (thrift store bandits beware...I'll fight you for it!) that absolutely means the world to me.  Elegance be damned.

How about you?  Do you have an astrology story to tell?  I’d love to hear how Venus retrograde has impacted your life.  Share a comment!