There is a vitally important transit coming up as we end the current year and begin the next. Venus, planet of aesthetics, values, love, and beauty, will be on a rare retrograde journey, backwards through the sign of Capricorn, from December 19th until January 29th, and, as she does so, from ten days before her retrograde station and during most of the December portion of this timing, she remains in close conjunction, within one degree, with Pluto.
Venus represents the realms of earthly pleasure and delight, including love, romance, relationships, and sensuality, as well as aesthetics, money, personal values, and self-worth. During this time all Venusian themes are heightened, and we are invited into deep, inward reflection about the state of our relationships with others as well as with ourselves. For this particular retrograde, Venus stations at 26º Capricorn, which is less than one degree from Pluto – planet of transformation – the tiny but mighty Kuiper Belt planet, also in Capricorn, at 25º. This is a striking alignment, prolonging this powerful conjunction, and signals a strong emphasis on delving into the depths of our own inner workings, including interior psychological process and the reflection of ourselves we see through the connections we have with others.
A Venus retrograde occurs every 584 days, and lasts for about 40 days. During the retrograde period Venus begins in her position as the evening star, then dips out of sight below the horizon for a few weeks, after which she rises again, but this time in the morning sky. Her disappearance from the sky under the horizon represents a symbolic journey of the Goddess of Love through the underworld, where she undergoes a symbolic death and rebirth process. Because in this crucial end-of-year timing she meets with Pluto, the lord of death and rebirth, at the very beginning of this journey, it suggests to me that these themes will be extra prominent during this particular retrograde. This could look to all of us, as individuals, like an intensified purging of that which no longer serves. It invites us to shed and release the attitudes, beliefs, and values that are no longer current, and align with who we are becoming as we grow, heal, and evolve into new ways of being present with each other on planet Earth.
Venus’ retrograde in Saturn’s domain of Capricorn brings up an interesting set of themes and material to work with. Venus in Capricorn indicates a sober tone – one where we may become keenly aware of where we are placing our precious attention, awareness, and life-force energy. It could provide a much needed reality check around how we are showing up in our relationships and our commitments, as well as how our values are reflected in very real and tangible ways – how we spend our resources, time, and money. We may also find ourselves reflecting more on the important issue of sustainability, that legacy that we leave to future generations.
What really jumps to the fore in my interpretive perspective regarding this Venus Retrograde is for each of us to assess our approach to boundaries in relationships of all kinds. The work of Brene Brown offers incredible insight into the importance of relational boundaries. In her research she describes boundaries as not only a kindness to ourselves, but also to others, because when we take good care of ourselves, we are able to have more empathy and compassion for other people. Her work on this topic is readily available and I highly recommend looking into it.
After Venus comes back again as the morning star on January 15th (known as her Heliacal Rise) she will continue to backtrack through the zodiac, until she stations direct on January 29th at 11 Capricorn, in a very close trine to Uranus at 10º Taurus, and also square to Chiron at 9º Aries. Chiron is known as the Wounded Healer, and Uranus rules intuition and unexpected revelation, so that this could engender pivotally impactful realizations and epiphanies around what has arisen for us during these prior 40 days, and indeed over the process of our life so far. Intentional reflection and healing work around this time could prove to be incredibly potent, engendering enormous breakthroughs around calcified patterns.
To sum up, this significant timing as the year ends could enliven us, and help us move forward with our individual evolutionary purpose, which is so important. To be human is to have the innate desire to feel connected – and because this time might remind us of the nuances of our relational nature, it can be extremely valuable as we struggle forth into another uncertain year. As we go through this reflective journey, may we each remember our own and others’ inherent worthiness and essential goodness. In a society where the cracks that divide us continue to widen, may we seek, and ultimately find, the bridges that heal and connect. May we find sacred beauty in mysterious and unexpected places, and continue to celebrate the interconnectedness of the cosmos.
Dec 11 - Venus conjunct Pluto (first of three)
Dec 19 - Venus Stations Retrograde (at 26º Capricorn)
Dec 25 - Venus Rx conjunct Pluto (second of three, and the slowest)
Dec 29 - Venus Rx conjunct Mercury
Jan 8 - Venus Rx conjunct (cazimi) the Sun
Jan 15 - Venus Rx Heliacal Rise as the Morning Star
Jan 29 - Venus Stations Direct (at 11º Capricorn)
Feb 15 - Venus conjunct Mars (In this she stays within 2 degrees from Feb 7 until Mar 18)
Mar 1 - Venus leaves her retrograde shadow
Mar 2 - Pisces New Moon (with Pluto, Venus, Mars conjunction)
Mar 3 - Venus conjunct Pluto (three of three)
By Leslie Benson