Deeper Meaning


March 4, 2017 at 1:09am PST / 9:09am UT

Venus stationary retrograde at 13°08' Aries

picWhat a week! We began with a solar eclipse, the next day, Mars conjoined Uranus ratcheting up the buzzy restlessness, then Jupiter and Uranus arrived at their second exact opposition — and just a few hours ago, Venus stationed retrograde. That's quite a lot of swirling activity in one week!

The star of the moment, however, is Venus at station standstill in the cardinal, fire sign of Aries, ruled by Venus's favorite guy, Mars. We don't get a Venus retrograde every year, there's about 19 months between them; so unlike Mercury, which seems to be going retrograde all the time, when Venus begins her backwards waltz through the zodiac, it can be especially disorienting. In Venusian ways, and one of the biggies is relationships: thinking about them, longing for them, longing to get out of them, longing to improve them. Whatever our particular romantic situation is, when Venus stations retrograde it is the beginning of a major contemplation project regarding love. The matters of the heart.

Venus is more than just the planet of love and relationship, however. Also associated with personal values and aesthetics, Venus denotes what we consider worthwhile and beautiful, what brings us pleasure in life. And in this sense, as astrologer Howard Sasportas pointed out, Venus serves the Sun — that solar urge to be exactly who we are: to grow and develop into a unique individual. Venus is an important inner compass, for if we lack a strong sense of what we personally value, how can we make appropriate choices? prioritize adequately? effectively direct our lives?

picOn the deepest level, Venus retrograde asks us to take the time to deeply think about what really matters. Where is the music and the meaning in life? Is it integral to our daily existence, or missing entirely, has it been stowed away as if joy and happiness, real enjoyment and pleasure in life, is optional? Are we living a life that reflects our inner values, or are we more like actors performing in someone else's play? Do we allow obligations — those pernicious "shoulds" and oughts" — to get in the way of deeper desires?

What aspects of life bring happiness, make you feel loved and valued? How can you support those activities and people much better? How are you taking those important people and aspects of life too much for granted? Conversely, in what ways can you let go of unimportant obligations, relationships that take too much Venus is an important inner compass, for if we lack a strong sense of what we personally value, how can we make appropriate choices? prioritize adequately? effectively direct our lives?but don't adequately give back, chores and tasks that do not add to your life but drain without sufficient reward? What people or aspects of life bring you down, weigh you down, bum you out?

Venus is our joy. She represents what we love, how we love, how we reach out and connect with others. What aspects of our ability to love have we shut away? Where and with whom do connections work well? Where do they break down or not work at all? In what ways can better connections be re-established with those we love and cherish but have, for one reason or another, slipped away? It is natural, while Venus, glides backwards, to think back to all the people we have loved (and some lost) — and even for some to come back into our lives in some way, though not always literally: through dreams, our thoughts, or similar situations that remind us of the past.

Venus represents the heart, where we are most vulnerable to deep hurt, and if we are not careful, the heart can become a harbor for old, unresolved wounds. Over the next 40 days, the task is to take a trip back to face, heal, and try to alleviate the burden of unresolved pain and sadness. As we know, letting go is largely about forgiveness, one of the most difficult things to do — and yet if we can do it, the key to opening up the heart to deeper and greater love. To learn to love, after all, is really why we are here. And that process begins with learning to love, nurture and appreciate ourselves.

"In its highest manifestation Venus is love, the emotion that brings people together without force or compulsion. Venus is also the power of creativity, which stems from the recognition that components in the outer world may be combined to create a beautiful whole. When working properly, Venus always creates something spiritually higher than the original entity. But it always has to work with the power of Mars, the ego drive, the drive of an entity to be itself. Only a fully realized entity can experience the power of Venus. Only a human being who has become as perfect a manifestation as possible of what he or she is can experience love. The balance between Mars and Venus is rather delicate and easily upset. Egotism and the desire to control may become confused with love, and love may be used to manipulate."

— Robert Hand

Robert Hand's insights here seem especially relevant for this particular cycle with Venus beginning her retrograde cycle in Mars-ruled Aries and ending in Pisces, where she is considered strong, exalted. Moreover, to further emphasize the Venus-Mars signature of this year's retrograde, the New Venus, the retrograde conjunction with the Sun, which marks a brand new Venus cycle for us all, will also fall in Aries. And during the retrograde we will also have an Aries New Moon and a Libra (Venus-ruled) Full Moon.

THERE ARE STRONG MERCURY-VENUS motifs as well for at the beginning of the retrograde Venus slips back and conjoins Mercury, and towards the end, Mercury will station retrograde itself in Venus's own sign of Taurus. This emphasizes the communication facet of relationship, suggesting that a big part of our Venus retrograde homework is an honest look at the way in which we connect with others and how that can be improved. Is there something about the way you communicate that is off-putting? or do you need to do a better job asserting yourself? pushing back when you need to, establishing better boundaries? What situations tend to make you clam up?

Just one week before the station direct (April 15th) in late Pisces, VENUS WILL SQUARE SATURN, which could signal an especially difficult station. Venus-Saturn can bring up those old and painful feelings of unworthiness and unloveableness. Pay special attention to what happens at this time, there may be exchanges in key relationships that reflect old wounds that still clutch at the heart, wounds that need healing and release.

PULL OUT YOUR CHART and find 13° Aries through 26° Pisces, the range of the retrograde. The house or houses involved will tell you where in life your personal Venus review will be especially focused. The degree of the New Venus is also important, falling at 4°57; (almost five degrees) Aries. Do you have any important natal elements that fall at this degree, in opposition, square or trine? Check both station degrees as well for the ways in which they might connect to chart elements too.

All planets are particularly powerful at both stations, and they always coincide with important, related events, opportunities and challenges. All three, both stations and the New Venus, are especially sensitized degrees, and their placement and contacts to your chart provide clues as to how this particular Venus retrograde will affect you personally.

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Important Events During the Retrograde



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The Crystal Ball by John William Waterhouse, 1902; The Birth of Venus, 1862, by Amaury-Duval (Eugène-Emmanuel-Amaury Pineu-Duval)

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