Venus turns retrograde in Virgo from July 25 – 31 and then in Leo from July 31 – Sep 6
To be very clear, planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is entirely an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as “backwards” functioning of the planets and their respective roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde motion.
As the word “retrograde” implies, it’s time to go back, to finish, review, redo. Venus turns retrograde about once every 18 months for 6 weeks. When Venus is retrograde, it is not advisable to make major changes to your home or personal appearance, as these aspects of life are ruled by the Goddess of Love. Venus indicates our tastes and pleasures – value comes to mind. She wants us to be happy and comfortable, especially in our relationships with others. Venus Retrograde therefore puts tremendous strain on our friendships and partnerships.
Venus Retrograde in Virgo
We’ve discussed Venus entering Virgo as of July 18. Let’s wax poetic on the nature of Venus Retrograde in this mutable earth sign. As ruler of fixed earth sign Taurus, Venus demonstrates her need for security and sensuality. In cardinal air sign Libra, Venus reveals her love for harmony, beauty and balance. And in Virgo? Her role in the grand harvest. The Virgo cycle coincides with autumn in the northern hemisphere. From the Alchemical Journey:
[T]he crop must be cut down in its prime, harvested and its essence extracted … We experience Virgo whenever we are examined, judged, cut down to size, as wheat is sorted from chaff … The harvest goddess shapes and moulds our spontaneous impulses into practical, useful, sustainable projects that serve the greater good. She strips away our indulgences, hones our creative instincts and transforms our promises into everyday miracles, like golden wheat being turned into the food that nourishes a community.
I love this interpretation of the virgin as it’s one that we certainly don’t see very often in the astrology world. More from the Alchemical Journey:
…beyond the popular image of an innocent virgin, secretary or nit-picker, lies an experienced mistress of purification, discernment, and sexual control.
Let’s build our dialog around this powerful image: regaining bodily sovereignty. Our intention now is to get life in order, to purge that which is useless.
In yoga and other similar disciplines, enormous emphasis is placed on day-to-day observances such as cleaning and maintenance. What is the connection between the mundane and the extraordinary? The rote work entailed in any practice such as yoga demonstrates that spiritual insight cannot issue forth if proper arrangements have not been made beforehand on the terrestrial plane. The Alchemical Journey on this subject:
Through bringing mindfulness to our repetitive actions, honouring time, work and our body’s rhythms, we actually open up the possibility of transcending those ritual structures, and entering a liminal space between worlds where transformation can occur.
Virgo lives in the yamas and niyamas of yoga: the ethical principles. One of these is known as saucha or cleanliness. After each practice, the devoted yogi returns every prop and device to its rightful place; mats are cleaned; floors are swept. These simple yet fundamental acts prepare us to see our bodies and the spaces which they inhabit as one and the same, to be treated with equal love and respect. You would be hard-pressed to find a yogi, shaman or mystic who does not have an unwavering daily regimen. We slow now to ask: do my actions serve a greater purpose? Venus Rx in Virgo demands pragmatism and organization, but these are mere means to an end. We surrender to particular methods only so that we may understand their connection to those planes and dimensions in which there is no separation between body, spirit, time or space.
Virgo is the sign of the virgin, but this archetype seems to have taken on different connotations over time. Last quote from the Alchemical Journey:
She is a virgin in its older meaning, certainly, as one who owns her own body and chooses when and with whom to unite!
Venus Rx in Virgo asks us to give love simply by being available: perceptive, attentive. As much as Venus concerns herself with interpersonal relationships, the retrograde period draws us back to the Self. Virgo doesn’t like to see herself in the mirror. She feels guilty when she is not at the service of others. Let’s turn this highly receptive energy inward. Venus Rx in Virgo asks us to cultivate loyalty to our own code, to treat the Self with the same care, diligence and precision so thoughtfully and dutifully exercised with others. Venus Rx in Virgo requires dedication!
Venus Rx in Virgo is not the best time for new love or financial endeavors. She demonstrates that nothing is worth having if we do not feel at home within. I visualize Venus Rx in Virgo polishing the soul’s diamond until it gleams brightly from every facet. What needs dusting? Our first inclination may be to shy away from that which is actually a healing force. Let’s face and define blocks with the knowledge that, in so doing, we effectively dissolve their power. Indeed, to know the problem is to know the solution.
Venus is quite at home in Virgo, as she is accustomed to earth energy. I expect that we’ll find a groove quickly and with satisfaction. Nothing to fear :)
Many of you were born when Venus was retrograde. Those with this disposition may not feel the effects of this period as much, if at all. To find your Venus sign and whether she was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.
If you are curious about how this transit affects you personally, please contact me for more insight.