Venus retrograde 2018 – Niceness Vs. Realness

Ah, Libra season! Time of tasteful outfits and fair solutions, pleasant birthday parties and sweet friend dates. So relaxing. So sensible. So chill.

NOT. Not this year anyway.

Libra’s ruling planet, Venus, will be retrograde from Oct. 6th -Nov. 18th. In fact, we have been in the pre-shadow (fade-in) period since early September, meaning it’s already tilting balanced Libra to uncomfortable extremes. Relationships are likely to get sticky over the next couple of months and if there’s one thing that challenges Libra’s peaceful nature, it’s sticky, gooey, ugly human interactions.

Everyone and their brother wants to talk about Mercury retrograde, but Venus rx gets left in the dust! What gives?

Our Venus-neglect may have something to do with the fact that Venus doesn’t turn retrograde that often. (Also, it’s named after a goddess, and we know how they get the short end of the stick.) Only once every year and a half or so does Venus appear to drag itself backward through the starry sky.

If you follow astrology though, you probably have noticed that the rarer a transit is, the bigger its effect. So Venus rx’s relative infrequency is enough to demand our attention. On top of that,  a Venus cycle—the time between it traveling retrograde in the same sign—last for 8 whole years!

Each Venus retrograde period kicks off an 8-year process of learning about what we value, how we relate to others and how/whether we let ourselves take pleasure in our bodies.IMG_20180923_105704176.jpg

Guess what: you already love Venus. Specifically, you love your Venus.

Venus’ placement at the moment of your birth describes what you enjoy, the qualities in others that inspire your sympathy, what beauty means to you, how you relate, how you spend money and treat material possessions and what you recognize as love.

Your Venus has a lot to say about whether you’re the marrying type, if you’re an emotional free agent or if your most beloved relationships are to a circle of friends. At bottom, everything about your Venus points back to your personal values. What do you value in people? In daily life? In yourself?

Ideally, Venus smooths out life’s bumps, especially in social situations.

It reminds us to be kind—and nudges us to check our teeth for stray spinach. It says, Why fight when you can compromise? It’s the sense many of us have that two is stronger than one.

But despite being the planet of balance, Venus can get out of whack. It’s not a pretty sight.

Feminism has long recognized Venusian imbalance in the form of, say, girls being taught to smile at catcalls or to ‘be nice’ to creepy Uncle Joe. Likewise, the unhappy couple that hopes a wedding will bring them together have invested too much in Venus’ promise. Anytime we substitute making nice for a needed confrontation, commit dangerous levels of shopping therapy, act nice to score points, manipulate or ignore a difficult truth to protect our popularity, we are trading our deep Venusian happiness for a superficial Venus peace.

It would better for everyone at times like this if Venus really did run amuck. At least with a mess, we know we have to deal with the problem.

Venus Rx is the rare time when our collective Venus coping mechanisms break down.

For a month-ish (40 days, if you’re counting), relationships, money issues and fashion decisions get messy enough to inspire us to break out the sponge, the mop, the hazmat suit and do some deep and necessary beautification.

Over the next month and a half, a very messy Venus will be helping you turn frogs into princesses (or vice versa, for batrachophiles and princessphobes). Performing this magic act at home is as simple as asking yourself two questions:

1)     What does love mean to me? How do I practice love in my daily life?

2)     Do I value myself? What do I do to demonstrate this—to myself and others?

3)     Do I value my relationships? What actions can I take to support them?


Venus will start its retrograde period in intense, real and moody Scorpio (Oct. 6-31), before moving into rational Libra (Nov. 1-17).

We may all find ourselves impatient with the superficial, especially during the Venus in Scorpio weeks. Once Venus enters Libra, there’s a greater chance that we’ll want to fake it and phone it in. Both signs, though, express a craving for love and togetherness, to the point that it’s easy to lose perspective.

Self-loving alone time may be called for, especially at first, but remember you can nourish self-love around others too. If you live a very solitary life, Venus retrograde could be a time to reconnect, to offer support, schedule deep-dive friend dates, do a platonic massage trade and otherwise remind yourself that it feels good to be a human with other humans.

The general wisdom is to avoid major purchases, drastic makeovers and starting new relationships while Venus is traveling retrograde. But, as with all generalizations, these can be wrong–for you.

You might break a streak of self-isolation and meet your new best friend this month. You might decide to live year-round in your Halloween costume and be a million times happier dressed as a goblin. Who knows?

Instead of being rule-obsessed (not Venus’ thing!), notice where your motivations come from. Are you forcing yourself to go on Tindr even though you feel crappy afterwards? Are you blowing your paycheck on healing crystals because you feel anxious? When we try to ‘solve’ feelings with actions, we make bad decisions and probably won’t be happy with the long-term results.  And that’s a generalization I can stand by!

A quick and dirty way to see what this Venus Rx will awake in your chart is to look in your crystal ball (or scroll back through your email) to October-November of 2010, the beginning of our current Venus cycle.

Events that happened then may be getting processed now, and you may find yourself in a similar mood.

The early Scorpio-late Libra houses of your chart will show which parts of your life will be activated by this transit. For instance, if you have 10 degrees of Scorpio, the beginning of the retrograde, in your 6th house of work and ritual, you might find interactions with customers especially draining. Should 25 degrees Libra, the finish line of Venus’ journey, fall into your 1st house, you might decide to give yourself a professional makeover and end up frowning in the mirror at your soullessly shiny hair. (No offense to shiny hair!) The lingering question: who did you make this change for?

Fortunately, hair grows. It can even recurl itself overnight. The point isn’t to do your life Venus-perfect, it’s to stay present. If you learn something about yourself and those you love along the way, well, that’s gravy.

Images by the author.

Your Venus holds the secret to a kinder and more loving life. To find out what Venus is whispering and other, right-on-time messages from the planets, book a Depth reading with yours truly.  

3 thoughts on “Venus retrograde 2018 – Niceness Vs. Realness

  1. Well. Venus in Capricorn here, with Venus Rx traveling through my 10th house. It has been one financial disaster after another, ending in loss of income altogether and hitting a new ground zero. I’ve looked back to October of 2010; it was my first semester at college as a single mom. I managed that time poorly, with a deep depression taking over until December. This time around, I’m depressed but for a different reason (and dealing with it a little better): All of my plans are falling through, and with loss of income, I’ve had to seriously pull back my investments in future positions I’d like at work.

    The biggest factor in this Rx is the sense that I’ve disappointed those who are used to a more responsible, level-headed person who keeps their commitments. Disappointed myself, too. Normally I can focus on the future just fine and keep plugging away–this is a really rough transit :/

    1. Renee, ugh! So sorry! That does sound rough. 🙁 For whatever it’s worth, I suspect you’re going through a more significant outer planet transit. Those tend to create more drama, but also more valuable growth and change. In that case, Venus Rx would be acting as a trigger or temporary focal point for a larger learning process.

      1. *sigh* I see where you’re coming from. Thank you for your reply, btw.

        My chart is one of those pinball kind, where one transit affects a whole bunch of planets because of how they’re connected to each other. Makes it difficult to examine a single transit in isolation. Not that there is such a thing as isolation, but I’m trying to understand the mechanics of a retrograde Venus. I’d say what you’re probably picking up on is transiting Jupiter exactly conjunct my natal Uranus at 29 Scorpio. This Jupiter transit activates a natal square between Mars-Mercury and Uranus, so it makes sense that I’d be having a rough time of it. Venus Rx have always been difficult for me, though, so I don’t think it’s just an outer planet. But then, it’s never *just* anything with a chart like mine.

        Ah well, I guess we’ll see what happens next. Thanks again for your thoughts.

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