Forget Mercury, Here’s What You Should Know About Venus Retrograde

When love is and isn’t enough

For the past few days, I’ve been walking around singing lovers’ torch songs under my breath. One day it’s Beyoncé, the next it’s Guns N’ Roses; how else to deal with all the emotions Venus retrograde stirs up in so many of us, transiting from Pisces to Aries back to Pisces? Extremes of adoration, anger, and longing, or feelings of impulsiveness mix heavily with vulnerability and veils. What’s worse, looking jealous or crazy? Too much processing and not enough play makes many of us ready to throw in the towel, especially, but not exclusively, those of us with lots of Taurus, Libra, and Leo in our natal charts.

For those of you following Venus’ transit, you might be breathing sighs of relief and throwing up praise hands knowing Venus goes direct April 15. Hold up, tender hearts, and hold your horses too because we’ve still got a shadow period to get through. Shadow what? As I’ve written before about Mercury, the period before and after a planet is said to be in retrograde is called a shadow period—what I like to think of as the prologue and the epilogue—and we’re about to find out how this Venus retrograde story ends after it ends.

Whether you’re single and getting haunted by relationships past, or met someone who challenges everything you thought you knew about yourself, or in a relationship that is really asking you to re-evaluate what kind of lover you are and what kind of love you let yourself receive… the book of intimacy hasn’t exactly been easy reading. Plus, if you’re an avid reader, you know that the stranger and more complex the book, the wilder the epilogue. Few good stories tie up with nice, neat bows and more likely than not our very human and emotional lives are no different. When Venus stations direct in Pisces, many of us will still be left reckoning with all the revelations and emotions that came up the month before. That reckoning is expected to last until May 18 when, lol, Venus stations back into Aries like, “Hey what’s up, I know you’ve got yourself all sorted and no one is mad anymore but I’m gonna stay a little tense until someone impresses me or until I let myself actually experience the beauty of spring.” 

“Dear cosmos, May 18 is so far away!” you may cry, and the crying would not be unexpected. Venus retrograde really challenges us to faces things we’ve purposefully been burying beneath the surface; it uproots the dark corners in the gardens of our hearts. Who has the will to do that for months? No one, that’s who. After April 15, you may want to take advantage of Venus’ direct time in Pisces which will be super tempting. Venus will be sextile Mars, so you’re gonna feel kinda sexy and charged with a newfound confidence. Plus, Venus is exalted in Pisces, she just wants you to come over and make out. She’s a good flirt, a great host, and… uh… pretty DTF if the vibe is right. But, the vibe has got to get right and it’s not gonna be right if you’re dragging a heavy bag of unresolved shit behind you and bringing it to the party. And, we all know nobody with good intentions wants to hook up with the person sulking in the corner all moody, or crying at the bar, or clearly on a bender. 

Despite how it may feel at times, everyone wants to be their best selves in relationships. It’s just that not everyone knows how. Hard hearts hold long histories of grievances, and, as it turns out, you can’t be your best self with the people you love if you’d rather spend your time cultivating reasons to be angry or resentful or disappointed when you could be learning the value of empathy and forgiveness. Which, by the way, also means learning how to forgive yourself and put your needs first. When we put ourselves second and don’t speak our truth, we run the risk of blaming others for suffering we’ve invoked upon ourselves. 

Whether you want to sweeten the cup of love your relationship fills or you want to catch a fly new sweetheart, you’ve got to be all honey. So, dear star babies, I’d suggest you do some mindful reflection and a little meditation before you go out amongst the people. Or as Axl Rose sang in “November Rain”: "Do you need some time on your own?/ Everybody needs some time, all alone." Try journaling all that pent-up anxiety, taking long walks when the weather’s good, and don’t be afraid to spend a little time in front of the mirror naked. There are so many ways to fall in love with yourself.