Venus retrograde usually lasts about forty days and forty nights. Forty is mentioned in the bible often, but most famously when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for forty days. Could this be referring to the astrological phenomena of Venus retrograde? After all, Venus has two sides to her. She is the goddess of love and war according to the Babylonians. The word Lucifer (which is often confused with Satan) means light-bringer and refers to Venus in her morning star phase.
The ancients said the first few days of her Lucifer phase was a particularly dangerous time. People born with Venus as a morning star are said to rush headlong into love affairs and are very passionate. Venus as an evening star is has more of the receptive, traditional meaning of Venus, this phase is called Hesperus. The retrograde period I think describes very well the transition between the two modes of Venus and her descent into the underworld before she resurrects as the wildly passionate, but occasionally treacherous morning star.
Venus Retrograde Meaning
So what does Venus retrograde mean generally? Commonly it is advised one does not start a love affair or buy luxury goods during this time, because you might end up paying more than you bargained for. During these forty days you may have to resist the seductive Lucifer side of Venus and her charms just like Jesus did in the desert. Temptations could be an illicit affair or the lure of luxury goods. We can find significance in this journey of Venus if we regard her movements like the ancient sky-watchers did.
During the first phase of the Venus retrograde she is Hesperus, high in the night sky and loving, reflective and receptive. I also think she is quite pure and virginal too. During this time we might feel like we need more love, but are extra shy about going out and finding a new lover. Instead we might cling to a past relationship, which is why this period can bring the return of old flames and karmic connections. Better the devil you know hey? It might make you mournful of a love lost and very defensive if anyone new tries to step on the ghost of your beloved ex. During this time it might be good to bring closure to any long dead relationship with a reflective post-mortem. After that, when Venus goes invisible, give that bad romance a good funeral!
A ‘Dark Cupid’ Affair
For the last two weeks of the retrograde period Venus is Lucifer the morning star. This is the time when you are most likely to get involved in what I would now call a “Dark Cupid” affair. You will most definitely be thinking with your reproductive organs and not your brain, so do try to resist the sex if you can. You may get a series of red flags but still ignore them. A one night stand might during this time might seem harmless and disposable, but on a spiritual level this goes far deeper. Your body is your temple so don’t give into the Luciferian psychic vampires. You might find yourself drained for many months afterwards. It’s simply not worth it.
Aphrodite’s bad points are often overlooked. She had a reputation for jealousy, revenge, possessiveness and infidelity. The stress and misery caused by this behaviour can attract unwanted hyper dimensional entities which feed of the drama. Sometimes we think we need a sexual fling because it has been a while, we just want to have fun and we feel we can take it or leave it. But with Venus retrograde we might develop an obsessive attachment to the so called “friend with benefits” which we hadn’t bargained for. We could find we are kept in a very unpleasant psychic, sexual bondage.
So I would say proceed with caution with any new relationships. However Venus Retrograde doesn’t have to play out like ‘50 Shades’ of cringe, for like Mercury retrograde, Venus turned inward has its uses. Lyn Koiner says it “is an excellent time for buying antiques, flea market items and secondhand goods wherein you know the real worth and value of the item but the seller does not.” It’s also good for selling your own unwanted items. I believe the first two thirds of Venus Retrograde could be an ideal time for creativity that explores your inner world. Make music, art or poetry just for yourself and not for the public.
Lucifer ~ Morning Star
During Venus Retrograde we might feel like retreating from socialising or a from a relationship, so this can be a very valuable time for learning how to love ourselves. As for the dangerous Lucifer period, I would to go with the Babylonians on this one and suggest singletons stay celibate for the last two weeks of it. I think that Venus retrograde could also function like Eris, since if we go back to the Babylonian/Sumerian myths we see that Innana was certainly an early incarnation of Venus. In a chapter of the myth Of Gilgamesh, Inanna went down into the Underworld and had to remove all her material glamours on her way to re-unite with her sister Ereshkigal. This reflects the planet Venus’s descent below the horizon and its inferior conjunction with the Sun where she is actually also combust. Then we have her resurrection as the morning star Lucifer after she has experienced the torture of been hung for death on meat hooks by her vengeful sister. This is a time of reflection (Venus’s symbol is the mirror) which may show us our shadow, self-sabotaging sister-self. With Venus, visuals will reflect back to us our deep psyche through paintings, visions, omens, dreams…
The Synodic Cycle
The shadow period is not so important with Venus retrograde. It’s effect will be very subtle as it is stretched over a longer period of time than Mercury’s shadow zone. It does mean however Venus will spend a lot longer in a sector of your chart than usual, and work like an outer planet. The effects mentioned in this article will be felt much stronger if you have natal planets in Venus’s path. If you are in a relationship, any unresolved gripes might come to a head at the actual retrograde when Venus hits the planet a second time, but they should be resolved by the time the Venus Direct reached the post-shadow degree. Keep an ephemeris close to hand. What is also very important is Venus’s synodic cycle which forms a pentagram in the sky. Every 8 years Venus will make another point of this magical 5 pointed star so it is worth keeping a record of what happened at the Venus retrograde of 8 years ago and see if there is a pattern. If you were born during a Venus retrograde then your birth synodic cycle should also reveal some valuable information to you. I hope to write another post about Venus’s synodic cycle because it is worth looking into deeply if you are born with Venus retrograde. Until then, there are a couple of great articles on the web that explain it further. Venus Synodic Cycle by Khaldea. And Nick Dagan-Best (On Holes To Heaven ) has a done some great research using celebrity examples and their synodic cycles too. And for those who want to watch Venus against the constellations; Naked Eye Planets ~ Venus