A couple days after I get home from traveling, a postcard arrives, reminding me of my trip. I send it to myself, not just as a low-cost memento, but also for a hoot. “Hey, You! Having an awesome time [insert place] [doing this or that], etc. … Love you! Hugs, Me”
This habit came to mind as I pondered Venus Retrograde in Leo (July 22–September 3). Here is what I think its message is: LOVE YOU! Not in an egotistical or egocentric way, more in a healthy ego way. Be your own cheerleader as well as honest critic, forgiving yourself for your mistakes and accepting your foibles. Thank yourself for becoming the person you are. Remember your shining moments. Soothe yourself for your saddest times. Write yourself a script, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” and play pretend, like you used to as a kid. What do you want to happen next? Ultimately? Tell yourself you deserve to have that dream come true and live happily ever after.
Because its retrograde takes place entirely in Leo, Venus is in this sign for a long time: June 5–October 8. This is a ideal chance to be creative and embrace your inner child. If there’s a passion you’ve always wanted to pursue, try it. Has it been a while since you enjoyed a favorite hobby? What benefit did it provide? Would you like that again now? You might reconnect with children or people you knew when you were a child. A former romance could be rekindled or an old friend comes back into your life again.
Venus is the main indicator of attraction, affection and assessing worth. When it appears to travel in reverse, it drives its power home, to oneself, rather than its usual outward expression when it’s moving forward. The retrograde period prompts self-evaluation, perhaps leading to improvements or maybe forgiveness.
In addition to its association with romance and relationships, Venus is affiliated with money, finances and valuables. A Venus retrograde period is useful for taking an inventory, getting appraisals, making (or revising) a financial plan or investment strategy, and selling unneeded possessions. Take a look at your relationship with money. Do you have any negative notions, possibly inherited from your upbringing, that you’d like to put in the past where they belong. Now is the time.
When you love and value yourself, believing you deserve affection and abundance, you attract more of both into your life. You don’t have to travel to write yourself a love note.
What is Venus Retrograde?
Venus comes between earth and the sun roughly every year-and-a-half. Since we’re in motion as well, an optical illusion results where Venus appears to move backward through the zodiac (called retrograde motion). This lasts for forty days as Venus shifts from being an evening star to a morning star. It traverses through a range of degrees going forward, backward, forward, thus repeating any connections it makes to a natal chart three times. The first and third “hits” occur during forward motion (and are usually not as difficult). The second, while Venus moves backward, calls for an adjustment.
When retrograde, Venus spends more time in one area of the zodiac (usually one sign) than when in straightforward motion. It’s typical to pay more attention to the traits and functions associated with the sign where Venus backtracks. And the sign where it zigzags repeats after eight years. Some people notice they have related experiences or circumstances cropping up eight years apart.
In the 2023 retrograde cycle, Venus marches up to 28º36’ Leo on July 22 and then backtracks to 12º12’ on September 3. It enters its zigzag range of degrees on June 19 and exits it on October 7. If you have natal planets or important parts of your chart (such as the Ascendant, Midheaven, Vertex, Part of Fortune or Lunar Nodes) between 12º12’ and 28º36’, they will receive the three-part visitation. If they’re in Leo, they receive a conjunction; in Aquarius, an opposition; in Taurus or Scorpio, a square. These are all strong motivators to take action. In another Fire sign (Aries or Sagittarius), they get a smooth trine; in an Air sign (Gemini or Libra), they get a sextile and when you put in a little effort, you get a good result. The first hit awakens you to the need or circumstance requiring attention. If you do something then or at the second hit, you’ll see the outcome by the third pass. If you do nothing at the first or second visit, the third one will usually force you to do something. Work with the planets and they’ll work with you.