My natal Venus is retrograde.

I used to be ashamed to admit I’m an astrologer and I still didn’t get her. I knew she was the go-to planet to begin comprehending one’s relationship profile. In those days I would pass her by and look elsewhere in my chart for answers. I’d start at the 7th house to see what was happening there and what sign was on its house cusp. I’d ask myself. Where is its ruling planet? What sign is the planet in? Is it interacting with other planets or angles? Are those relationships easy and flowing or challenging and stressful? Is the 7th house occupied? If so what planets or angles are those planets engaging with? I was trying to figure out why my relationships were uncommunicative, unsatisfying, and a struggle. In staring at my chart I was looking at her but not seeing her. Mesmerized by a too close proximity to Pluto, the planet representing rebirth, I was unaware I was overlooking her closer conjoining with my Sun.

According to what I knew then her not being in direct motion wasn’t good. Adding to that, from a traditional astrological perspective she was further debilitated by being in Virgo. But conjunct to Pluto, the lord of death and transformation? Nothing about that could be good trumping any other considerations. I felt like Persephone before I knew who she was and what her myth meant. It became the overarching reason for why my relationships seemed to morph into some version of familiar hell.

Still early in my astrological education I comprehended what Pluto touches he transforms. Adjacent study of metaphysics supported that such a process was to be invited. In theory who doesn’t want to be enlightened? But for real, managing the emotional hits from “Pluto” learning experiences was, is hell. I seemed to have a reserved spot when it came to finances, esteem, and relationships. Add in frustration for not getting why I was unable to stop doing, being whatever was bringing the pain. I scapegoated Pluto while adding a nod begrudgingly to that infamous “some level” I supposed I was being helped. At some point in the internal war with him I just forgot about Venus. She slipped through the gaping chasms of my Pluto fear.

Time passed. It was easier connecting to the meaning of transiting retrogrades. They come and go. But when it’s encoded into your psychic DNA as in your astrological chart how do you identify it in your behavior? What good is all the information in the world if you don’t recognize it in who you are? You can know what something means but until you’ve lived it that’s description at best. I needed to go beyond concepts and theory to finding her in me. I hoped that day would come.

All the while I accumulated more understanding of her symbolism. Its representation of the feminine principal; what represents beauty to us; one’s aesthetic and personal values. I remember reading before somewhere a favorable aspect between Venus and Mars gave the ability to easily create what you want and supports the personal freedom to do what you will. Mine are both in Virgo but over fifteen degrees apart. I couldn’t help but feel abandonment for her. She was close yet so far from her champion.

Years later when my struggle to know receded to the background I heard my mentor respond to a question. When he casually mentioned that natal retrograde Venus indicated an inability to recognize one’s own beauty the mirror cracked. Something caved in internally. Times I’d be before the mirror looking for the person that had just been complimented for what I said, wrote or did; who I was or how I looked came flooding back to me. I didn’t hear what else was said. I was consumed by the feeling I always had when looking to see the one complimented in me and instead found her missing for me.

The opaque veil between us thinned. There was an empty space I hadn’t identified before. That was it! This was how a retrograde planet could be identified within you. It’s the emptiness. It’s the missing connection to what the planet represents in your sense of who you are. In Venus’s case the inability to experience the beauty in me and satisfaction in life was the blinking neon arrow hiding in plain sight. Vacant though it felt, it was she being as present as she could. How ironic that through my suffering misunderstood view of what I was missing I missed seeing she required from me what I was looking to others for.

Delving into this was a turning point. A retrograde planet requires you to give to yourself intentionally what it represents whether or not you think or feel you know what you are doing. You do it until you’ve established enough of a framework for you to feel connected to it. Then operate from what you have constructed within while adding to it.

Just as the first step to erect a new structure on the remains of an old one is to build a scaffold you do the same. The scaffold is the knowing and commitment to give the planet principle to you. The consistent doing so fills in the planet structure on the empty memory. When you have built out to where you can operate from, a natural shift occurs. At that point your structure is strong enough to dismantle the scaffold and support self-reliant expression.

Flash back. Long before that “aha” insight, Venus went direct by progression several weeks before I reached twenty-four. Thirteen years after that I remember noticing it when newly separated from my first husband. Deep in devastated disillusionment, I searched to find something in me that fit the descriptions of a retrograde Venus turned direct in motion. It was “déjà vu all over again” as Yogi Berra, the illustrious New York Yankee Manager, was known to say. I couldn’t.



Fast forward five years. I was taking another look. I recognized there had been a shift though in my grief it was imperceptible then. A few years after she progressed direct I went from not knowing I could have better relationships and feel better about myself to the revelation that I could choose to have exactly that.

How to make it so? Materializing that road took several more years even with teachers showing me the way via astrology and metaphysical understanding. I’ve been building that structure out one step at a time ever since.

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