art: Andrei Riabovitchev

Greetings fellow travellers,

As we approach the end of Cancer season, it’s worth reflecting on the intense emotional rollercoaster ride we’ve experienced in the past month. These past couple of weeks, in particular, haven’t been easy, with some of the most intense transits of the year (so far). Malefics at odds, like Mars opposing Saturn and the South Node switch to Libra conflicting with Pluto at 29º Capricorn, have made it challenging for many of us to find common ground. With the Sun forming a critical Grand Cross on the Cardinal Axis, one may wonder if we’ll ever love one another again.

As we near the end of July, already declared the “hottest on record,” we can sense massive change in the air. The signs are everywhere, and amidst a time when it seems like everyone and everything around us is cramping our style, we must remember that true style never falters; it simply adapts to the times.

Under super-heavy transits, the choice between conserving our precious “style” and adopting necessary shifts in how we show love, appease our tastes or share our state of mind leaves us with no choice but to adapt to the evolving fashion of the times, however awkward it may feel. As Venus, the ‘Head of Style Counsel’ and ruler of Libra and Taurus, stations to retrograde, it presents a valuable opportunity to introspect and evaluate how we can navigate these fashion shifts while still staying true to our “authentic selves”.

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Ready for the Descent

After two months of brightly bejewelling our night skies as ‘Evening Star’ (Hesperus), Venus now enters her most transformative stage as she stations to turn retrograde. Unlike her celestial teenage sibling, Mercury, who frequently retrogrades every four months, the nubile goddess switches sides with Father Sun only once every 19 months. It is a moment that marks a pivotal shift in how we set our style for love, beauty, peace and harmony, but before we go into how it will affect us, allow me to explain the basic function of the inner planets and why they are so critical to the primary function of the Sun.

The Soul’s Heart and Mind

From an Earth-centered perspective, our Sun (Sol) holds the prime position in our galaxy as our closest and most revered star. As the supreme creator-being and central powerhouse of our solar system, the Sun exerts his majestic influence on us all, generously sharing his radiant warmth and light.

In the inner orbits, nestled between the Sun and Earth, we find Mercury and Venus, two planets playing the crucial role of direct intermediaries, effortlessly expressing Sol’s vital energy. Their orbits are relatively close to the Sun, never allowing them to stray too far from his brilliance. This tight proximity to the Source grants them the unique ability to serve as immediate, unfiltered conduits for his powerful electromagnetic creative impulses. With unwavering dedication, they faithfully convey his fundamental purpose with immaculate precision and integrity.

MERCURY, The Cosmic Runner

Mercury, the Sun’s closest acolyte, attends to matters of the mind. The master’s errand boy facilitates the transmission of thoughts and ideas, relaying the electrical component of this solar function. As the faithful messenger, Mercury oversees the mental processes that convey the rich exchange of data between the lower and higher mind, and like cosmic Wi-Fi, bridging the gap between mundane thoughts and our conscious solar essence.

VENUS, The Handmaiden

art: Sarah Aha

Venus, the Sun’s closest companion, manages the heart-based aspects of our soul. As the Sun’s devoted handmaiden, Venus shapes our choices and affections through her magnetic influence on our solar impulses. Her exquisite taste curates our interactions with the world, defining our aesthetic preferences, social circles, and values that define our sense of self.

Functioning as a personal arbiter of fashion and style, Venus refines our tastes to suit our environment, guiding us away from negativity. Her magnetic attraction-repulsion function rejuvenates and elevates our self-image, ensuring we remain stylish while fulfilling our desires and needs. Additionally, Venus curates our social values and shapes our perception of society, aligning us with life’s most pleasing and amiable qualities and seeing that our experience adds value.

Vectors of the Soul

As rulers of the 2-dimensional realm, Mercury and Venus collaborate to create essential channels between our life source and our thoughts and emotions. This profound connection aligns our core intelligence with universal forces, shaping our experiences, relationships, and self-awareness. By transducing electromagnetic energies from the solar source into our subjective lunar inner world, they charge our personality with the wit and charm to get what’s coming to us.

These ‘inner orbit’, or ‘inferior’ planets and their respective retrograde periods hold crucial significance in how we adjust our patterns to suit the trending shifts of practical life. While Mercury’s frequent retrogrades disrupt communication and affect decision-making and our thinking, Venus’ retrograde has its own significance. Let’s explore why this period is so important.

What is Venus Retrograde?

Similar to the other inferior planet, Mercury, Venus retrogrades roughly every 18 months for 40 days. This phenomenon is an optical illusion caused by the differences in the orbital speeds of Earth and Venus. Since Earth orbits the Sun faster, there are moments when we “lap” Venus in its orbit, causing it to appear like it’s moving backwards, or retrograde, relative to the background stars.

During Venus Retrograde, her influence on our lives may be felt more intensely since she covers horoscope ground three times. As the ruler of emotions, aesthetics, relationships, and values, this period prompts introspection and inner exploration. It is a time when we may review, question and seriously reconsider our style of preferences, desires, and relationships, delving into the depths of our emotions and making conscious choices that align with our authentic selves. By the end of the process, the way we pull things into our lives (including money) gets a makeover (to say the least).

Venus enters her pre-retrograde shadow on June 19, stations and turns retrograde at 28°Le36′ on July 22, then stations and turns direct at 12° Leo 12′ on September 3, leaving the Retrograde Zone on October 7.

What is the energetic effect?

When Venus turns about-face to retrograde, a profound shift occurs in our magnetic resonance. Our most primal, animalistic appetites awaken, and instinctual powers of attraction lead us to grapple with internal conflicts between our usually outgoing, socially extroverted nature and a yearning for secrecy, introversion, complexity, and perversion.

As Venus descends towards her inferior conjunction with the Sun, our most unconscious desires stir. By following the heart’s blind impulses to what’s “good for us” we tap into the intrinsic knowledge of life’s most arcane mysteries, even touching upon the realm of death itself

Confronting the dark underbelly of love and affection, its true essence is laid bare, sometimes morphing into a profound hatred towards a once much-beloved object of our affection. This call to change the way we feel becomes a call to arms, triggering an internal battle that challenges unsatisfying love attitudes, unrequited love and outdated values. It unleashes a love that poets dread and dreamers wish to avoid—a love bearing the sinister facets of the underworld.

Venus retrograde offers a rare opportunity for deep introspection, allowing us to confront and transform our innermost desires and emotions, paving the way for profound aesthetic growth and change in style and how we express appreciation.

What to expect?

During Venus Retrograde, we might find ourselves reminiscing about past loves, experiencing a sense of longing for what’s lost, and a magnifying of imperfections in current relationships.

Insecurities and self-consciousness may surface, leading to a struggle to express and receive love authentically. Additionally, we may encounter challenges in trusting others’ affection and may question the genuineness of their intentions.

Moreover, we might feel a predilection towards material and physical aspects of relationships, seeking external forms to fulfil our emotional needs. Creative individuals may witness a shift in focus or technique during this time, prompting them to reevaluate their work and life’s purpose.

How is Venus retrograding Leo going to play out?

Venus last retrograded through Leo precisely eight years ago, during July/August 2015. During the Venus Retrograde period in the Leo sector of our charts, we may find ourselves experiencing bombastic power struggles, projecting our loudest, proudest qualities into everything we do. Similarly, while encouraged to support others, a sense of uncertainty about the sincerity of their appreciation for us might lead to silent judgments, regrets and reservations.

Seeking approval from others and fearing disapproval could result in holding back our warm and gregarious nature, leading to self-absorption and social unease during what is already a difficult time for getting along. A primary challenge during this retrograde will be finding a balance between being overbearing and genuinely impressive. Although we strive to be forthright, the retrograde vibration may not always produce the desired effects in others, unintentionally causing them to be repulsed or withdraw from us.

We might unknowingly alienate others by our overzealous seeking of recognition, attention, admiration, etc., which could create social isolation and feelings of powerlessness. While this Venus Retrograde position may not particularly harm us as individuals, it can create complexities for those seeking genuine connections with us. Constant display and attention-seeking behaviours might hinder others from relating to us authentically.

We may value appreciation, loyalty, and affection but feel wounded or betrayed by disloyalty and deception. This period offers an opportunity for reflection on our past experiences in love and relationships, examining our power dynamics and tendencies to seek attention. By doing so, we can gain a deeper understanding of how these patterns influence our interactions, fostering more genuine connections.

Conveying our natural flair for drama and acknowledging others’ need for acceptance (inclusion) enables us to uplift and inspire, promoting ease of heart-to-heart communication. Remember that our authentic creativity seeks recognition, and expressing genuine love holds tremendous importance for us during this time. Cultivating awareness of our kindest, most generous actions and their impact on others is vital to nurturing meaningful relationships during this transformative transit in the Leo sector of our charts.

How to handle it?

Dealing with a particularly confronting Venus Retrograde might need some work. Here are some practical steps to handle Venus Retrograde effectively:

a. Self-Reflection: Take time to introspect and understand your emotions and needs. Reflect on past experiences to identify patterns and understand their impact on your present relationships.

b. Communication: Open, honest communication with your partner or loved ones is essential. Share your feelings and concerns to enable understanding and connection.

c. Reveal Vulnerability: Allow yourself to be vulnerable and authentic in your relationships. Disclosing weaknesses can lead to deeper connections and emotional growth.

d. Release Past Hurts: Focus on healing old wounds and letting go of past hurts. Forgiveness and self-compassion can pave the way for inner peace.

e. Cultivate Self-Love: During this period, practice self-love and self-care. Engage in activities that bring joy and nourishment to your soul.

f. Creative Expression: Explore creative outlets to channel your emotions and transform inner turmoil into art, music, or writing.

Closing Comments

The past few years have been tumultuous for matters of the heart. With Venus’ retrograde in Leo, we have witnessed a shift from true romance and authentic creativity to showmancing and digital stagecraft. It is evident that everything loses its meaning when it lacks genuine, heartfelt expression. This critical period calls for profound change at every level, highlighting the importance of opening our hearts to real love, artistic expression and appreciation of what is genuine and authentic.

During Venus’ retrograde in Leo, we are granted strength and courage to confront our fears, releasing grudges and emotional burdens that hinder love’s full potential. We will also come to value what is honest and veer away from pretence and fraudulent efforts to impress us. Letting go of attention-seeking behaviours and grandstanding, we learn to see the positives in others and celebrate their best qualities, fostering much-needed understanding and compassion. Engaging in joyful activities opens the two-way vectors of love, enhancing our magnetic ability to both give and receive love.

Now is the time to lower our defences, show our true selves and allow vulnerability to strengthen the bonds that unite us. By lowering our fragile ‘toughness routine’ and opening up to the joy of love, we pave the way for a more enjoyable, more compassionate world. As we collectively open our hearts and radiate a shift in love frequencies, a future brimming with profound connections and exciting new love awaits us, and generations to come.

Unlock the secrets of this unique Venus retrograde period with your special horoscope messages. Delve deeper into the transformative process unfolding now. Be sure to read your Sun sign (soul) and Rising sign (relationships) for a more complete picture…

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