venusVenus, goddess of love, is slowing down, preparing to turn Retrograde on December 21, and the feminine in each of us and in the collective is up for reevaluation and regeneration.

We started feeling the influence on November 20, when Venus entered her Retrograde “shadow.” Her upcoming (apparent) reversal is contributing to the seasonal slowing of momentum – the desire to turn inward during these dark days, to reflect on your values and priorities, to reassess where you’ve been and where you’re headed.

During Venus Retrograde, until January 31 (though the influence will linger on until March 4), all the “RE-” words — review, revisit, renew, revise, renegotiate, reclaim… — apply to the Venusian realms of love, beauty, art, pleasure, relationship, money, values and worth. Signs of “Venus-deficiency” come into awareness – the ways you might feel unattractive, unloved, unworthy, disconnected, or where there’s a lack of pleasure, abundance, beauty and sensual/erotic fulfillment.

A Retrograde planet turns the energy inward, so that you’re unlikely to find what you’re looking for – in this case, love and validation – “out there,” and instead are compelled to generate those feelings from within. Venus Retro reveals unhealed issues around self-love and self-worth, and this is a time to pull back from relationships with other people to strengthen the most important relationship of all – the one with yourself.

venusrossettiIt’s not uncommon for friends and lovers from your past to reappear during Venus Retro. There may be unfinished business that wants to be resolved with this person so you can more easily move into the future. “New” partners who come into your life are likely to have strong past-life ties, and have come back into your life to do some soul-level growth and healing. If you’re in a partnership, it’s typical for old issues to get stirred up – again, there’s something from the past that wants to be healed and resolved before the relationship can move forward.

Venus also rules money, and the financial flow sometimes slows during Venus Retro. While not an auspicious time to launch a major new financial venture, Venus Retro is a great time to clean up any financial issues from the past. Money owed to you will come back (ask for it!) during this period, if it’s ever going to. At a deeper level, Venus Retro is a time for reviewing your relationship to money, especially as it relates to what you value and how you value yourself.

It might be helpful to look back at the previous Venus Retrograde, May 15 to June 27, 2012, to get a feel for what might transpire this time around. Themes from that period are likely to resurface during the current Retrograde.

capricornDuring this Retro tour, Venus is in Capricorn, and (due to her Retrograde) will be in the sign of the Sea Goat for an extra-long time – from November 5 to March 5. Capricorn rules responsibility, and Venus Retro in Cap asks:  Are you taking responsibility for your own needs, pleasure and sensual satisfaction (or are you projecting that responsibility onto someone else)? What and who are you really responsible for – are you taking responsibility for something that isn’t actually “yours”? How do you take responsibility for your relationships, for the intimacy and fulfillment that you do or don’t feel? Do you take responsibility for validating yourself and your worth?

Capricorn rules both work and authority, and work is an area of life where we tend to surrender or project our authority, feeling victimized by our boss, co-workers, customers or clients, schedule, paycheck (or lack thereof), etc. Renegotiating relationships with authority figures, and ultimately, with our own inner authority, is on the Venus Retro agenda. I’m also noticing that a lot of people are feeling a lack of motivation, or even dissatisfaction, in their work. We’re being asked to rethink how to bring more pleasure into our work, to realign our work with our deepest values and priorities.

Venus Retro in Capricorn is not particularly well-suited to the socializing, shopaholic fiesta that characterizes the modern western version of the holidays. Capricorn, the Hermit archetype, rules loneliness and its antidote, solitude. She would prefer a more traditional (ancient) approach to the Winter Solstice holy days – deep reflection, meditation, contemplation, stillness.

If your Sun or Rising sign is in Venus-ruled Taurus or Libra, or if you were born with Venus in Capricorn, then this Venus Retro will be especially strong for you. If you have a copy of your birth chart and some astro-technical know-how, you can get more specific about what this Venus Retro means for you. Find the house (or houses) that contain 13-29 degrees of Capricorn. The areas of life signified by this house are where you are:  reconsidering your values, needs and priorities; regenerating pleasure, beauty, receptivity and artistry; renegotiating relationships; revisiting and healing the past; strengthening self-love and self-worth.

– Emily Trinkaus

Priestesses everywhere – Join energy-healing magician Katie Todd and me on December 17 for our Gemini Full Moon Galactivation. We’ll be co-creating with the Solstice and Venus Retro energies, and exploring the Gemini/Sag themes of truth, trust and knowing. Find out more and register here.

And – Portlandia friends – I’ll be teaming up with Shamanic Astrologer Erik Roth for Venus Reborn – Welcoming A New Cycle of the Divine Feminine, a community ceremony and workshop, January 17 and 18. All are welcome, details here.