Introduction to the Venus Retrograde Horoscope

Sacred Lake at Delos, birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Venus will be retrograde in Leo through Sept. 3. The horoscope below focuses primarily on this one transit pattern. I have placed the formula I’ve used for reading your sign (Sun or rising) in italics below the reading, so you can see what interpretation guidelines I am using.

We are in a phase of the history of consciousness where we are being cut off from our inner senses and our inner life. This is a direct result of digital conditions. If you’re wondering why it’s so difficult for many people to notice something is funny, that’s an inner disconnect.

Start here if you’re looking for information about how strange the world feels right now. Without inner resonance, people cannot feel one another, and cannot understand one another. Empathy is based on interior connection, not exterior.

The 8-year pattern of Venus retrograde.

The Nature of an Inner Planet Retrograde

Inner planet retrogrades represent review periods. They are a phase when a planet, which represents other things and not just itself, changes its polarity or valence and is experienced in a different way than usual.

That takes it out of its usual state of disappearing into the environment, and makes it stand out. This is a little like how you don’t notice electricity until a circuit breaker blows, or there is a blackout. Perhaps not quite as dramatic, though it’s through interference and changes in quality that we usually get to observe what is normal and how that also has a way of blending into the scenery.

The review in Leo can come with the question of where you stand with yourself in the sense of how you feel, who you are, and whether you can direct your curiosity inward.

One message of the medium of digital is that you have no interior life other than the one you express externally. Therefore, why be curious because after all, there is nothing to learn. All “knowledge” allegedly exists outside of you.

Another is that there are no real questions. Everything you might wonder about has 10 answers and they all may be wrong or made up. It’s never considered appropriate to trust yourself in the digital environment. There is always an imposed authority involved, to the degree that digital technology has become an artificial stand-in for God.

Until you do something about it, this condition supplants the actual inner experience of spiritual connection. It’s right there with thinking getting drunk is a divine experience.

Florence Welch. Photo by Autumn de Wilde

Reclaiming the Solar Feminine

From classical astrology, we know that Venus is associated with three signs: it rules Taurus and Libra, and is exalted in Pisces (which is a form of rulership that’s often overlooked). So it has dignity in an earth sign, an air sign and a water sign.

Now, it will be retrograde in a fire sign — where it is not granted any special dignity according to the classical rules (except a little in degrees 13 through 19, called term). Yet while regal Venus in Leo inherently has dignity and a sense of worth, the retrograde turns this into both a question and a quest.

There exists a rarely named controversy about whether “nighttime” (or anything dark, inward, cave-dwelling, or forest-dwelling) is in some way evil or untrustworthy. We think we are supposed to trust only what is visible in the light of day. But that eliminates at least half of potential experience.

This discussion has largely been blotted out by electric light, but it’s an important issue because the day/night polarity shapes our ideas about nature. Current propaganda is that everything solar is somehow a tool of the oppressor, in the sense that it is masculine.

Due to these kinds of beliefs, we are living in a world out of balance, and are out of balance with ourselves. In Greek mythology, the Moon and the Sun are twins who were born in the same place and close to at the same time, on the island of Delos in a place called the Sacred Lake.

Venus is an invitation to explore, experience and reclaim the solar feminine: fully expressed, easy to see, and perhaps a little daunting. An example is Florence Welch (of Florence + the Machine).

Technical Notes are Included 

In the technical description below your reading, I say what houses Venus rules in your solar chart, which my interpretation is based on.

Taurus bestows the quality of solid, tangible value. Libra is about balance, aesthetics and knowing when to turn up your energy flow, and when to turn it down. Pisces brings a subtle, ethereal quality that is not easy to describe, but which you can discover through noticing sublime details in the world around you, including in people.

Nearly everyone in the world is struggling with self-worth issues, wherever they may have come from. This is true whether it seems so or not; many people are excellent at covering this up. Venus retrograde in the sign of gold is the quest for the deeper value of your life and of the experiment that is existence on the planet.

In the next installment of the Planet Waves horoscope (August monthly part two), I will look at other chart factors that will be influential for the next couple of months.

Planet Waves horoscopes may pertain to your Sun, Moon or rising signs. They are fair to read for relationship partners as long as you don’t hold yourself or anyone to what I write; these interpretations are sketches, essays and psychological probes — not expressions of abstract or ultimate truth.

Retrograding into the future,


The horoscope is available to subscribers here.

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