Venus Retrograde Basics

Venus Retrograde Basics

Venus goes retrograde approximately every year and a half.  Venus goes retrograde 5 times every 8 years in approximately the same places, which, if we map it out, form the 5 points of a pentagram.  Over time, the points of the pentagram, the degrees which Venus goes retrograde through, slowly move.  If we looked at it in an extremely sped up time frame, it would look like a star fish slowly inching forward, one arm at a time.

Thematically, every Venus retrograde highlights different issues, but they all share certain characteristics.

Venus’ retrograde is akin, in many ways, to the better known Mercury retrograde, but with some important differences.  Mercury is the planet of communications, and when Mercury is retrograde, communications often go awry.  At the same time, Mercury’s retrograde also marks particularly key transmissions, the kind that take a little while to get right.  Venus’ retrograde operates on the same principle, but instead of disordered thoughts, it is the emotions that go awry.  Deeply felt contradictions surface, and the passions’ compass is set spinning.   Yet, the confusion is a prelude to new connections, and perhaps more fundamentally, a new way of connecting.

When retrograde, Venus dwells in the same span of degrees for months at a time.   The back and forth motion digs deep into the foundations of the patterns symbolized by each set of degrees, unearthing hidden layers of meaning.   As Venus makes her first pass over the shadowed degrees, energy retreats from the surface of pleasures, migrating back to the core.  Objects of desire become lifeless, the woman a doll.  Encrusted patterns of relating undergo necrosis as surfaces deaden.  This temporarily deadening of feeling is followed by an eruption of energy from the core, where deeply held feelings and emotional truths surge toward the surface, cracking the porcelain shell of the doll like an egg.  Deep springs of feeling erupt to the surface, creating emotional flooding.  This destruction of old forms of relating by renewed energy is the meaning and purpose of Venus’ retrograde.  Like Pinnochio, the doll becomes a living thing again, infused with the blood and heat of desire.  Pygmalion and the similarly inspired 80’s movie, Mannequin, both illustrate this theme.  It is a rebirth on an emotional level.  On that note, it is interesting that Shukra, the Hindu deity associated with Venus, is specifically characterized by his ability to bring the dead back to life.

Such resurrections are not always internal.  Venus’ retrograde often brings old lovers back into a person’s life, undead shades of affections past.  Such meetings are often meant to tie up loose ends, and remembering why you dumped their ass in the first place.

For information on the Fall 2010 Venus retrograde in Scorpio-Libra, check out Love’s Basement for info and horoscopes.

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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. Sarararahhh 12 years ago

    NO way thank you so much for explaining the pentagram shape of the consistant point of venus retrogrades. Wow. also, when I try to link my facebook account I got this message: “An error occurred with DISQUS Comments [austins-astrology]. Please try again later.”

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Venus Retrograde Basics

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