A Taste of Temptation, A Test of Trust: What to Expect When Venus Goes Retrograde This Fall
On October 5th, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, will turn retrograde at 10'50 degrees Scorpio. Here's what to expect when Venus makes her descent into the underworld this fall.
On October 5th, Venus will be stationing retrograde at 10'50 degrees Scorpio. This goddess of love will be making her way back into Libra where on November 15th, she will station direct at 25'14 degrees Libra. Don't expect that to be the end of it though: Venus's post-shadow period lasts until the 17th of December.
What does it mean for Venus to be in retrograde?
A retrograde planet is one that appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Astrologically, this means that the energies of the planet are directed backwards or inward.
You may have heard of Mercury Retrograde, but all planets go retrograde, save for the Sun and the Moon. Venus's retrograde periods are the least frequent, stationing retrograde about every 18 months over a period about 40 days.
Retrograde periods are often riddled with delays and disruption, but they don't have to be. These periods are not so much a time for action as they are for reflection. Retrograde periods are often loaded with synchronicity and karma. So, they can also be periods of magic and manifestation if you just focus on within rather than without. Things from the past will return to us. This could be people from our past, including from our past lives, situations or memories that we thought we had forgotten about, or maybe just lessons that we're getting a second chance at learning after having failed the first time.
While Mercury Retrograde periods affect areas of technology, transportation and communication, Venus Retrograde affects areas of love, sexuality, relationships and beauty.
What Makes Rx Venus so Hard & How to Make the Most of it
It is said that during these times, relationships begin to go haywire. You may begin to rethink any partnerships or potential partnerships you formed pre-retrograde.
As I said before, retrograde periods are generally a time for reflection and not action. If your partner is an abusive prick then by all means leave, NOW, but astrologers generally recommend to wait until Venus goes direct before breaking it off if you're having doubts. It is best to avoid any heat-of-the-moment break-ups that chances are were the result of retrograde-induced misunderstanding for this time, they may be permanent (especially since Venus is transiting through a fixed sign). Likewise, while I want to recommend you to follow your heart (these periods do happen for a reason right?), it is often considered best to avoid jumping headfirst into love affairs too soon during this time, for when Venus goes direct, you may just find this person isn't who he or she appears to be.
It is possible, especially at the beginning of this period, that your partner (or potential partner) will be the one to break up with you. This is the time when relationships go haywire. My advice is not to take this personally, for it is likely to be temporary. Now is the time for reflection, remember? They are most likely taking time to themselves to figure out what they want, and there's a high chance they'll come back once Venus goes direct. If it does end up being permanent, however, I think you'll find that it's for the better and that they weren't the best match for you after all.
I also strongly suggest that you use this as a time to get in touch with yourself and your relationship wants and needs, regardless of whether you're single or in a relationship. If you're single, this is a good time to prepare yourself for what you want. If you are in a relationship, this doesn't mean breaking up or separating from your partner (even temporarily) but it won't do harm to ask for a little bit of space if that's what you need. You'll likely find yourself wanting to be alone, retreating from all social events, not just romantic ones. Self-love and self-care are big themes during this transit.
It is also common at this time to find ourselves thinking about, maybe even fantasizing about, our exes. This can be a good time to reflect back on all your past relationships and to heal any past negative patterns. It is also a good time to receive closure from any past partners. Sometimes, our exes or other people from the past will come back. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. If your relationship was riddled with serious issues, such as abuse and power imbalances, it's probably best that you don't invite this person back into your life. Always remember to set boundaries. However, this can also be an opportunity for a second chance. Sometimes, we meet the right people at the wrong time or place and the break up (or whatever it was - this could be say, a best friend and secret mutual crush, reaching out to you and confessing their feelings, I don't even know) has nothing at all to do with the person themselves.
Venus's Descent Into Scorpio
We're going to need to be extra careful. However, since Venus is stationing retrograde in Scorpio, the sign of Venus's detriment. You might be confused as to why this seductive and alluring planet isn't at home in what is known to be a seductive and alluring sign. But it's really not all that confusing at all.
Venus represents the feminine aspect of human nature. Peaceful, gentle, and receptive, Venus seeks not only love and romance but also harmony and cooperation. Scorpio, on the other hand, is ruled by the masculine planet Mars and is more about competition. Venus is a social planet, associated with arts, culture, the hallmarks of civilization. Venus wants everyone to get along. Scorpio just wants what it wants regardless of how civil it is and often what it wants is power for its own sake. Scorpio represents our most primal urges, our most instinctive, animalistic urges. In Freudian terms, it represents our Id. Our desire to dominate and control others, our desire for aggression and revenge, but also our sexual desires, which take the form of an unrestrained passion that knows no bounds.
Moreover, people with Scorpio placements are often known to 'test' people, those with Venus in Scorpio especially (and believe me, I know this, because I am one... Venus in Scorpio Retrograde natally, lucky me). For instance, Scorpio-influenced individuals are known to subtly test their partners loyalty, sometimes without consciously realizing it. A good example would be when an immature Scorpion lover flirts with other people in front of their partner deliberately to make their partner jealous (a test to see how much they care) whilst knowing their partner would never see the light of day again if they ever dared to do the same thing. So, I think of this as very much a testing period. Scorpio-influenced individuals are also known to be tested by their own urges and desires, for which temporary though they are, tend to take on a tremendous power that is almost impossible to control to the point where it becomes an obsession, almost to the point where it becomes a need. I think the key word to describe this transit would be temptation. A test of temptation. A test of willpower.
The Taste of Temptation, A Test of Trust
And that's why I believe our relationships are going to be tested at this time, as well as our general need to relate to and be intimate with others.
Since Scorpio is the sign of secrets, it could be that a previously undisclosed truth comes out that leads to a shake-up in your relationship(s). In addition to secrecy, Scorpio is known for it's jealous, possessive, and distrusting nature that almost borders on paranoia which, as a Venus in Scorpio myself, I can say is often just a bad word for intuition (though I can also attest that sometimes it really is unfounded so please don't accuse your partner of anything without proof!! though if you suspect something serious, feel free to investigate by all means). So, perhaps you find out that your partner has lied to you or betrayed you in some way, leading to a test of your trust.
Or, if you're in a relationship, it could be that your own faithfulness is tested. You could be tempted to cheat on your partner with someone new or since this is retrograde Venus we're talking about, it could even be someone old. Perhaps a person from your past will resurface threatening to shake-up your current dynamics. If there are problems in your relationship, you may want to escape and find someone totally different. If there's a lack of sex in your relationship, for example, you may seek out someone who gives you what you are looking for. If your partner doesn't listen to you or give you any emotional support, you may seek out someone who does. If there's no longer any passion (another Scorpio buzzword!) or excitement in your relationship, you may seek out someone who makes you feel alive again and so on. Obviously, I would advise against this. If you have any doubts about a relationship or whether or not you can trust your partner, it's best to be honest and confront them about it or else, just give yourself some space to reflect on the situation. Cheating is never okay and will just come back to haunt you when Venus goes direct.
If you're single, perhaps, you'll be tempted by somebody that you can't have or else someone that you shouldn't have. It could be that you are drawn to relationships that society considers "taboo," in someway. My first thought is that you could be drawn to someone who is already married or otherwise taken. Or it could be someone long-distance, someone who lives in a different country than you do. A criminal; someone who's in prison or otherwise shunned from society (and likely with good reason)? An ex, an ex who you know is just going to hurt you? A friend's ex? An ex's friend? A secret affair with someone who your friends and family can't stand? Maybe, it will be a secret affair with a co-worker. Your boss? Sleeping your way up to the top? Scorpio is all about power. Someone with a massive age gap. A crush on a person of the same gender who you know is straight. A crush on a person of the opposite gender that you know is gay. A friend with benefits who you know you don't really want to be "just friends" with? And you know they don't have any intentions of anything more than that? A friend with benefits who you know wants to be more than "just friends"? And you know you don't have any intentions of anything more than that? These are just the examples that came to mind but the list goes on.
In any of these cases, whether you're in a relationship or single, you know what you're doing is wrong, you know that it's not going to end well, you know that you're just going to get hurt or hurt somebody else in the process, but you just can't help yourself! It's like an all-consuming, magnetic force where your desire is all that you can think about. You want what you want by any means necessary.
Back into Libra and Direct Back Into Scorpio
I do believe there's a happy ending to this, however. Before going direct, Venus will pass back over into Libra, the goddess's home sign, where it will station direct at 25 degrees (just two degrees before my own Sun + Mercury at 27! woo!). Libra represents the ideal relationship: one based on equality and mutual respect, one based on mutual cooperation and consent, good communication, communication that is both honest/direct and tactful/empathetic, for it is the sign of balance.
As stated before, Scorpio is all about power. A Scorpio's most important lesson in life is that true power is not about mastering others but mastering yourself. If you're able to go through these tests and trials of will and remain unscathed, if you're about to conquer and control all those (ultimately, meaningless) temptations and urge, you will be rewarded with a relationship that is even better than you expected, a relationship a million times before than what you before, a true fairytale romance, which as Venus goes back into Scorpio, you will find is more passionate than your wildest dreams. But if you give in to temptation, if you'll be facing the cold, unforgiving swords ⚔️ of Justice, which Libra, a sign ruled by Venus but exalted by Saturn, also represents.
On the other hand, however, you may end up finding something even more rewarding, a better relationship with yourself.
If you take time off to yourself during this Venus in Retrograde period, due to any issues or confusion in your relationship(s), once Venus goes direct, you may either decide that these issues are worth working on, that your partner is worth it, which if so that's wonderful and I'm happy for you! But you may also just decide that YOU are worth more than this. If you're the type of person who avoids conflict or saying how you really feel for the sake of pleasing others, now is the time to speak up. Venus in this Mars-ruled water sign (water being the element of emotions) will not let you do anything otherwise. I want to add that these two options are not necessarily mutual exclusive either: depending on what the issues are, you may be able to go back into the relationship with a stronger sense of boundaries, or a stronger sense of self-confidence that actually strengths the relationship (for example, if the issues in your relationship were born out of insecurity, happens all the time). Either way, now's the time to stand in your power. I don't mean to sound like 'power' is a shameful thing. This kind of power isn't about seeking power or dominion over others. This is about reclaiming your own power, power that was otherwise taken away from you, power you were made to feel you didn't have.
Side Note: This had no bearing whatsoever on my article but just now, as I'm writing this, I realize how much this transit is affecting current events or else how much current events are reflecting it. This article was written for all genders, but Venus represents the Divine Feminine, who is finally coming into her power. As I write about Scorpio and Libra and equality and unfair power dynamics in relationships, I can't help but be reminded of the #MeToo movement, and all this discuss towards believing survivors. It shouldn't be surprising then to learn that Venus stations retrograde at roughly the same degree as Harvey Weinstein's Ascendant (I read that it was the same degree as Bill Cosby's as well but there are conflicting sources; AstroTheme, the site I usually use to find celeb charts, list his Ascendant as 20 degrees Aries while others say nine degrees Scorpio). Isn't that something? So yes, I ultimately think this a very empowering transit for women, healing for women, and healing for men as well since the Divine Masculine is also wounded by the patriarchy. Woah, this article took a turn that I didn't expect.
My main point is that: Any power imbalances or unequal exchange in relationships, any abuse, any coercion, any lack of respect or violation of boundaries will not be tolerated. By the end of this transit, you can say goodbye to partners who walk all over you and keep you from realizing your own power. You can say goodbye to partners who take advantage of your love and kindness. You can say goodbye to partners who ignore your right to say "no." You can say goodbye to relationships where one person gives and gives and gives and the other just takes and takes. For much too longer through history, that has been the norm for heterosexual relationships (though I'm sure this dynamic exists in every kind of relationship as well) but not anymore. Now, no matter what your orientation, no matter what your gender, there will only be relationships based on equal exchange, mutual agreement and respect, and also real love.
Because Scorpio is all a sign of healing. The greatest strength of Scorpio is it's ability to dig deep down beneath the surface and face those truths that we ourselves don't want to face. Scorpio, as a Mars-ruled sign may be divisive in some ways but ultimately what Venus in Scorpio seeks is a deep, everlasting love: one that allows us the trust to unravel our masks and show each other who we really are; our pure raw souls. But in order to have those kind of relationships that we want, we need to be honest with ourselves and each other, our insecurities, our wounds, and also what toxic behaviors we may hold. That way, we can overcome them and show each other are very best selves.