Venus is retrograde for approximately 40 days every 18 months. During this time Venus appears to be moving backwards, from our perspective on earth. When Venus is retrograde we tend to go back over (like Venus appears to be going back over the same ground it has just been over) matters related to our relationships and our values.
Venus retrograde dates for 2023
In 2023, Venus retrograde will be from 22 July to 3 September 2023.
Venus will station retrograde at 28° Leo 36′ and station direct at 12° Leo 12′.
The retrograde shadow period will extend the effects of retrograde from 19 June to 7 October 2023.
If you have natal planets or chart angles at 26° to 29° or 10° to 14° of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, or Scorpio, you may find yourself feeling the effects of the retrograde more strongly than others.
The previous retrograde Venus cycle this one is linked to was from 25 July 2015 at 00° Virgo 46′ to 6 September 2015 at 14° Leo 23′ (21 June to 9 October 2015 allowing for the retrograde shadow phase).
All times Central Standard Time (C.S.T.).
The mythology of Venus
The planet Venus rules the signs of Taurus and Libra. In Taurus, she is earthy and sensual. In Libra, an air sign, the qualities of harmony, judgment and values are emphasized.
In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and victory. Her Greek counterpart was Aphrodite.
Aphrodite is said to have sprung fully formed after Chronos (Saturn) castrated his father Ouranos (Uranus) and threw the genitals into the sea.
Aphrodite was known for her affairs with Ares (Mars) and other gods and mortals despite her marriage to Hephaestus (Vulcan). It was she who tempted Paris with the promise of marriage to the most beautiful mortal woman, which lead to the Trojan war.
The Mayans studied the cycles of Venus and were said to use it to plan the best times to go to war.
The 8-year cycles of Venus Retrograde
Venus retrograde periods occur every 584 days (approximately every 18 months) and return to the same zodiac degree that they were at 8 years previously, less 2 or 3 degrees. During these 8 years (8×365.25=2922), Venus will have undergone 5 retrograde phases (5×584=2920).
This means that there is usually some correlation between events happening between these 8 year periods. Circumstances that were present 8 years ago but have been lying dormant, may now require more attention.
What to expect when Venus is retrograde
Venus retrograde periods last approximately 40 days and are a time for reviewing not just our relationships but also our values. Any imbalances that have occurred in the areas of our natal chart that Venus is retrograding through are likely to come under scrutiny during these times.
Events from 8 years ago are likely to need examining again to see if a new approach can help shift or illuminate an issue further. Problems that have been ignored or shoved under the rug in the area ruled by the natal house being transited may need our attention and action now.
Venus needs balance, and during the retrograde phase, many of us start looking at situations in a different way than we usually do. This can be illuminating or quite confronting and confusing.
While once we may have relied on our instincts, we may disregard them in favor of what we think is socially acceptable. Those that usually rely on their intellect and logic may throw caution to the winds and favor their hearts over their heads.
Where we may once have gone out of our way to take into account our earthy, sensual needs and wants, we may now find that we are more analytical and discriminating when it comes to making decisions.
Just as where we may have once been caught up in weighing up the pros and cons of a situation, perhaps debilitated by indecision, we may now be more likely to trust our senses, and go with our intuition.
While Venus seeks harmony and balance, seeing things in a different light during the retrograde phase may skew too far to one side.
Instead of incorporating these new ways into our arsenal, we may feel the need to disregard all that we have learned about evaluating situations in favor of this new way. It is in this state that we may make mistakes that we regret after the retrograde phase.
Venus retrograding into a different sign
As Venus retrogrades between 15° to 18° during its phase, there is a strong chance of it moving back into the previous zodiac sign. When it does this, there is likely to be a change in the way that Venus expresses itself. There is also likely to be a linking between the areas of life ruled by both natal houses to the situations experienced.
Retrograde Venus aspects to natal planets
Other planets in our natal charts that are in aspect to where retrograde Venus is transiting will also lend a flavor to what we can expect. The qualities of the planet in aspect to Venus and the natal house that it is in will give more information about what may occur.
Venus retrograde shadow
There is a phenomenon known as the retrograde shadow period which takes into account the degrees that a planet retrogrades from (station retrograde) and retrogrades back to (station direct). The retrograde shadow period basically extends the dates that the effects of the retrograde may be experienced by some people.
When Venus first passes the zodiac degree that it will retrograde back to during its retrograde phase (the station direct) is considered the start of the retrograde shadow period. Likewise, the retrograde shadow period is not considered over until Venus has caught up to the zodiac degree that it was at when it first started its retrograde motion (the station retrograde) after the retrograde phase is over.
Venus retrograde through the natal houses
You can get an idea of what to expect personally during a Venus retrograde period by looking at what natal houses Venus is retrograding through.
Not sure what signs are in your natal houses? Generate your natal chart now, or if you prefer a more beginner-friendly version you can order your free natal chart instead (may take a few weeks to receive).
Venus retrograde transiting the 1st house
The 1st house is about ourselves, our appearance, health and how others perceive us. Venus retrograde transiting through the 1st natal house may have you re-evaluating if all is as it should be in these areas of your life. You may decide that you want a new look, a better grasp on health matters or to somehow change how others view your personality.
Venus retrograde transiting the 2nd house
The 2nd house is all about your income, finances, and possessions. Venus retrograde transiting through the 2nd natal house may have your attitudes towards financial matters changing significantly. You may decide to take more control of your finances, or alternatively, you may find that your value system regarding material possessions and finances changes in some way.
Venus retrograde transiting the 3rd house
The 3rd house is associated with our siblings, our local neighborhood, day to day encounters, and communications in general. Venus retrograde transiting through the 3rd natal house may have you approaching your relationship with siblings in a different manner. Events from 8 years ago may play a part in this. You may also find that there are changes in how you view and interact with others in your local neighborhood, concerning short distance travel, or communications in general.
Venus retrograde transiting the 4th house
The 4th house is related to our home and family, and our parents in particular. The 4th house is represents real estate, our homeland and our family roots or history. Venus transiting through through the 4th natal house may have family or home-related matters cropping up and demanding attention (potentially some from 8 years prior). How you view your parents may undergo a change during this time, as may your opinions on such matters as your homeland, heritage or real estate in general.
Venus retrograde transiting the 5th house
The 5th house is related to our children, love affairs, creativity, sport, and all the things that we find fun such as socializing. Venus retrograde transiting through the 5th natal house may have you reassessing these topics and deciding that changes need to be made in some of these matters. What was once fun and gave us joy may have shifted and there may be an appreciation for other types of activities after the retrograde period.
Venus retrograde transiting the 6th house
The 6th house is associated with our work, day to day routines, our health and fitness, and pets. Venus retrograde transiting through the 6th natal house may have you reassessing your daily routines and making changes there or in your health, or work life.
Venus retrograde transiting the 7th house
The 7th house is associated with our close relationships. This includes our business and romantic partners, and good friends. Venus retrograde transiting through the 7th natal house is likely to have us reassessing these relationships and seeing if we need to make any changes. Matters from 8 years prior may play a part in these assessments.
Venus retrograde transiting the 8th house
The 8th house is the house of other people’s money. This includes such matters as shared finances and possessions, insurances, inheritances, taxation, and loans. Venus retrograde transiting through the 8th natal house is likely to have you reassessing how you manage these matters.
Venus retrograde transiting the 9th house
The 9th house is associated with overseas travel, higher education, philosophy, religion and beliefs, along with the law and publishing. Venus retrograde transiting through the 9th house means that we may be reassessing our attitudes and value systems concerning religion, beliefs, other countries, and cultures. We may also be thinking differently regarding higher education or the law.
Venus retrograde transiting the 10th house
The 10th house is associated with our career or public reputation. Venus retrograde transiting through the natal 10th house may have us reassessing what we do for a living and whether it fits in with our values. There may also be a reassessment of our public image during this time.
Venus retrograde transiting the 11th house
The 11th house is associated with groups, friends, and organizations. This is also the house of our hopes and dreams. Venus retrograde transiting through the 11th natal house may have us reassessing what we want to achieve through our life, what is important to us. It may also have us assessing our friendships and group affiliations and whether they are in line with our values.
Venus retrograde transiting the 12th house
The 12th house is associated with the hidden and more private matters in our lives. This is also the house of our undoing, places of confinement and nonvisible ailments such as mental health issues. Venus retrograde transiting through the natal 12th house may have us reassessing how much time we need for solitude and retreat in our lives. We may also be assessing matters that have been secret or hidden from others.
Important phases of the Venus retrograde period
Mercury and Venus are both closer to the Sun than Earth and as such are called inferior planets. As they are so close to the Sun, we do not notice them in the sky unless they are at their most eastern or western elongation (distance from the Sun).
When they are at their most eastern elongation Mercury or Venus appear as the evening star, just after the Sun sets. At their most western elongation, they are the morning star, appearing ahead of the rising Sun.
Just before reaching their eastern elongation, Mercury and Venus appear to slow down and will soon station (come to a stop) and reverse (retrograde) their direction. This is called the station retrograde.
About midway through the retrograde period, Mercury or Venus will have their inferior conjunction with the Sun. The planet will continue on toward its most western elongation and a short while before it reaches that it will start to station (slow down and stop) and appear to resume forward motion (direct). This is called the station direct.
About 20 days into the 40-day phase, retrograde Venus and the Sun conjunct (called inferior conjunction). At this time, a new way of looking at a situation or a new plan of attack may be instigated concerning the areas of the chart that Venus is transiting.
During this time, issues from the past are likely to arise and there may be a strong tendency to project these onto current partners or situations, even when there is no correlation between the two.
Walls or defenses that we have built, may need to be torn down. For others, the need to enforce boundaries may become necessary.
Those with natal planets at this degree, or planets aspecting this degree may not feel the effects of the conjunction at this time. It may not be until the retrograde phase is over that any effects are really felt or noticed.
A week or so after the conjunction is the Heliacal rising. This is said to be a time of upsets and discord. The ancient Mayans are said to have believed that this was a particularly bad time for leaders as it was not a stable time.
It is during this time that we may have issues from the past rise up and demand to be dealt with. The need to determine if these issues are relevant to the current situation will be necessary
After Venus has stationed direct and is moving in direct motion again, there is a likelihood of some sort of showdown happening concerning the area/s of the natal house/s that Venus has just retrograded through. Issues related to these houses have probably been ignored or neglected before the retrograde phase and they now come to some sort of a boiling point.