As you may have heard, the planet Venus began its 41-day retrograde cycle on October 5th and there is a resultant rumor going around that our romantic relationships are about to implode. While Venus does rule relationships, this retrograde period is about more than breaks ups, make ups, and past loves reappearing out of the blue. Upon deeper examination, this phase has the potential to transform our personal, relational, and collective value system and approach to power, which may be reflected in the results of the 2018 midterm elections. That said, to truly understand the purpose and the highest power behind this time, we need to first look at the archetypes and symbols involved in this specific retrograde.
To start, Venus is the ruler of the astrological signs Taurus and Libra. In Taurus, Venus represents self-worth, self-love, personal power and values, and inner peace, stability, and harmony. In Libra, Venus enters into relationship with others and learns to translate that love for self into love for another, that inner peace and stability into joint harmony with a partner. So, while Venus is about our relationships with others, it’s also about our relationship with ourselves. If we skip the Taurus (self-love) side of Venus and go straight to Libra (love for another), we miss out on an important part of our relational development.
Now, what does it mean for a planet to “go retrograde”? While it may sound like a planet is reversing direction and moving backward in its orbit around the Sun, this is purely our perspective from planet Earth. In actuality, planets appear to be moving backwards, i.e. retrograding, whenever they pass Earth or Earth passes them in their orbits. The important thing to remember is that retrograde phases are all a matter of perspective. The reason this is important is that the archetypal purpose of planetary retrogrades is to go within and reflect upon how our internal perspectives are impacting our external lives. If we continue to force our internal perspectives on the external world during these times, we may experience arguments, setbacks, and difficulties, which is where retrogrades have earned their less than positive reputation. However, if we use the retrograde energy effectively by waiting to take external action and making time to go within, these phases can totally transform our lives for the better.
So, with Venus retrograde, we are being asked to reflect upon how our current perspectives surrounding our worthiness, personal power, and lovableness are impacting our external relationships. For example, if we tend to attract controlling partners, we can use this time to explore why we might be inviting that control into our lives. Is it because we have not claimed our personal power and are therefore attracting others who assert their power over us? Or perhaps it is because we secretly find comfort in controlling relationships because we too would like to control our partners in an attempt to prevent abandonment? Whatever our experience may be, this retrograde is the opportunity to dig deep into our relationship patterns, shift our perspectives, and evolve the way we relate going forward.
Now we’ll take a look at the sign Venus is currently retrograding through: Scorpio. Archetypally, Scorpio is where we merge with another individual. This is why Scorpio is often associated with sex — the physical act of merging — and joint resources — the financial and material result of merging. Scorpio also rules transformation and joint power and values.
In the astrological wheel, Scorpio naturally opposes Venus-ruled Taurus. When two signs strongly aspect one another, as in this case, they become an integral part of one another’s story. So we have Taurus ruling our personal power and values, and inner peace and stability, and Scorpio ruling our joint power and values, and destabilizing transformation. The two can work in harmony, but only if we acknowledge the natural progression of the zodiac. Before we can effectively work with the energy of the 8th sign, Scorpio, we must first learn the lessons of the 2nd sign, Taurus, by developing our own values and learning how to stand strong in our personal power. If we can accomplish this, we can merge with another individual in Scorpio and transform our individual assets into a joint power and value system that is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, we have the potential to be significantly more powerful together, but only if we are also powerful as individuals.
Finally, Scorpio and Taurus both sit 90 degrees from the 11th sign, Aquarius, creating a square aspect. Like the opposition, the square connects Scorpio and Taurus with Aquarius in a shared evolutionary story. Aquarius is associated with groups, revolution, and our role within society. Layering Aquarius into this story about power and values, we can see that we must first learn how to stand alone in our own power (Taurus) AND learn how to healthfully merge that power with another individual (Scorpio) BEFORE we can successfully enter the collective and drive empowered change (Aquarius). If we skip either of these developmental steps before joining the group, we can lose our grounding; becoming dis-empowered, indecisive, and prone to group-think. A symptom if this might be that we choose not to vote and use our voice because we believe our individual vote does not matter. Or we might not know which groups to align with because we do not know what we value. Alternately, as group members, we might allow ourselves to develop disdain for members of another group, or political party, in which case our voice and our vote would propagate hatred instead of love.
In all, if we genuinely want to revolutionize our society, we must first work on ourselves and our interpersonal relationships. We can have both inner and outer peace and stability. We can be powerful both alone and together. We can have a societal value system based on love, peace, and respect for differences. The universe is conspiring to help us with this Venus retrograde phase.
So, go within. Allow Scorpio to transform your love and Taurus to rebuild your self-worth and personal power. Know your value both in relationships and in the world. Believe that your vote for love and peace matters. And when the time comes, use your voice.