venus

Venus by Susan Seddon Boulet

We’re entering the final week of Venus Retrograde, deepening into the process of redefining values and priorities, renegotiating relationships, and reawakening and restructuring the inner feminine or anima. What do you really love and value? What’s worth putting your time and effort into? How do you nurture your body and the body of the Earth? How well do you love yourself and others? What gives you pleasure, and how do you take responsibility for your own happiness and satisfaction?

As Venus stations – appears to stand still before turning Direct (forward) next Friday – she closely connects with Pluto, Underworld God/Goddess. This Venusian-Plutonian Dark Goddess energy has pervaded this Retro cycle, calling for releasing what no longer gives you pleasure, what’s not aligned with your deepest values, what you are not truly committed to in your heart. Venus first met up with Pluto on November 15, and it may be helpful to look back at what was getting stirred up for you then. Similar themes and issues could resurface, and by the end of next week, it should be easier to get to a place of resolution or completion.

Pluto’s job is to reveal our shadows, the parts of ourselves that seem too scary or painful, the parts we deny, banish to the basement of the subconscious, and project onto others. This Venus Retro cycle has been a lot about meeting, taking responsibility for, and ideally bringing more love, compassion and acceptance to, our shadows.  The themes of Venus Retro will linger on for another month, as we’ll still be in the Retro shadow (i.e., under the influence) until March 4.

venus pentagramPoetically, Venus stations at 13 degrees – a number sacred to the Goddess. Venus completes five synodic cycles (her cycle of Light in relation to the Sun) every eight years, forming a five-pointed star or pentagram in the sky. Five, eight, and their sum, 13, are all numbers associated with Venus. Now, 13 is seen as “unlucky” and the unluckiest day of all is Friday – the day of the week sacred to Venus – the 13th!

The pentagram has been linked with the Goddess since ancient times, and in the Burning Times was associated with “witches,” who were basically any women considered a threat to patriarchal powers. The Inquisition, which terrorized European women (and men, but mostly women) for hundreds of years, has left an ancestral, genetic, psychic imprint on all humans in the West. In this war on Venus, the feminine was tortured out of existence, leaving industrial civilization free to dominate and exploit the planet and its peoples. (Evolutionary astrologer Mark Jones wrote a useful blog post on this topic, Astrology and Witch Hunting, and I also recommend Anne Llewellyn Barstow’s book, Witchcraze.)

In this last week of Venus Retrograde, I vote for revealing, healing, shedding, transforming the parts of ourselves that still operate as if the feminine is unlucky, less than, frightening; for clearing out the places in our individual and collective memory where feminine presence and power are steeped in trauma; for feeling safe enough on the Earth to relax into the sacredness of our bodies, the sacredness of material existence.

– Emily Trinkaus