Venus Retrograde (March 4 - April 15)

Venus Retrograde overview

Venus Retrograde is here again and like Mercury retro period it is a typically apprehended with sighs of vexation and chest-clutching. Will my love life ever get better? Will I get dumped? is it too late?  I can certainly empathize, having many burnt fingers from ignoring these omens, but I now pass through these cycles with a dose of think-skinned stoicism and come out the other side just fine.  It's really not all bad (not always anyway!) and it can even be a positive, pleasurable time however an attitude of open, non-attachment with regards to love and luxury is the best prescription. Isn't it always?

The call for open non-attachment is due to the fact that Retrograding planets are not only empowered but also subject to reversals, inversions or changes that can come as a surprise at best and disappointment and disillusionment at worst. It can sometimes seem rather tantalizing so it tends to work with less heartache when we are open to love without attachment, promises or commitments as the both fact and fantasy continue to act our their play.

The retrograde cycle of Venus is best told in the descent cycles of the goddess, a story told and retold throughout cultures all the way up to pop-culture today. This story often starts with a Goddess undressing herself and releasing her magical powers as she descends into the depths of the underworld where, after a confrontation with an frightful adversary (usually a sister), she rises again and is reborn and reunited with her consort.

So, with planet Venus, it starts as the lovely and comforting Hesperus, the evening star and then descends from sight and reemerges as the dawn star, Lucifer the light bearer, a complex figure with many shades and faces.  Hesperus is the calm and sensuous night while Lucifer is the blazing light of knowledge and victory in war. The two are united as one but exist in a kind of polarized dynamic with highs and lows, beauty and ugliness, love and it's loss.

Hesperus, Venus at sunset, casually dropping the arrows of Eros.  

Hesperus, Venus at sunset, casually dropping the arrows of Eros.

 

Hesperus shines in comforting arms of night and is the time when love and recreation (Re-creation = sex) was had among couples. This time of twilight is a liminal state of "between the worlds" represented by the glyph of Libra ♎︎ which can be seen to depict the Sun half-descending into the underworld at autumn equinox is also a sign associated with marriage and love. The erotic is deeply connected to night, the moon (as much as Venus) and the phantasmal spirit world which emerges at twilight to roam the world and haunt our dreams.

The Hesperides are the daughters or nymphs of the "golden light of evening" who live in a garden far off to the west and it is from this west where zephyr, the West wind, a frequent attendant of the Goddess Venus, also originates. He not only attended Venus and Cupid (aka Eros) but at times he played matchmaker himself, when he wasn't having his own affairs, that is. 

This west wind is the stuff that makes flowers bloom and evokes those soft feelings of sentimentality and gentle intoxication of springtime sunsets with lofty Venus bearing down her whispered glow and cupids arrows.  I'm sure the feeling is familiar to all who still have heart and soul.

All things have their season and seasons are defined by their changing nature. So too Venus will change and descend into the underworld and, when rising at dawn, return as Lucifer and bring with her the North Winds. In part two we will examine Venus both beauty and beast.