Cosmic News July 2015

Venus Retrograde


Have you been feeling a bit flat and wishing you had an aphrodisiac to reignite joy in your life? Are your days blessed by the presence of people, work, and interests that you value and that give you pleasure to engage?  Have some aspects of your life situation become more drudgery than joy, more stress than relaxation, more conflict than peace, and/or more pain than pleasure? These are important questions to ask, as Venus is now stationing at the degree of her retrograde and will begin her retrograde motion on July 25, Eastern Time (or July 24 UT). Venus is eager to have you check in with your heart and reflect on how much you are enjoying your life situation.

Venus is now moving so slowly that she is considered stationary--the period when her energy is vibrationally intense because it's not moving. For the remainder of July as she holds her position at zero degrees of Virgo, she gifts you with the opportunity to become aware of the personal focus of her retrograde cycle as it influences your birth chart. She has already been making the first of three contacts that she'll make to the planets and placements in your birth chart. These will provide you with clues to the specific themes and issues in focus during her retrograde cycle. When a planet makes its station, its energy is highly concentrated, making the remainder of July an excellent time to reflect on the quality of your life situation and to identify any facet of your life where you'd like to cultivate higher quality experiences.

When a planet has a retrograde cycle, it is primarily inverting the normal flow of conscious experience, resulting in a changing of direction, focus, and attention. In general, retrograde cycles often redirect consciousness down different avenues--or toward the past to clear ourselves of its influence on the present. Venus' retrograde takes place between 14 degrees of Leo to 0 degrees of Virgo. Venus has been in her shadow since June 21 (when she entered 14 degrees of Leo) and will complete the full retrograde cycle when she again returns to 0 degrees of Virgo on October 9. She will be retrograde from July 24--September 6.

From the perspective of Jeffrey Wolf Green, founder of the School of Evolutionary Astrology, Venus retrograde provides a collective karmic clearing. "When Venus goes retrograde through transit, it might correlate to a time in which we re-experience old issues or dynamics that we may have felt that we have already worked through or left behind." Venus had a retrograde in the summer of 2007 when she transited 16 Leo to 2 degrees of Virgo. Unresolved issues prevalent at that time could resurface at this time. You may gain insight into Venus' focus this retrograde by reflecting on your life circumstances during that time.

When Venus has a retrograde cycle, we are invited to investigate the darker or hidden dimensions of ourselves, and others--often resulting in the unveiling of shadow material projected in other people around us. This allows us to adopt a different lens from which we can perceive ourselves and the people we interact with. We want to be receptive to these deeper realizations, and simply take it all in as opposed to trying to change things during the actual retrograde. It's best to use the retrograde period for objective witnessing with the intent to see what is with new eyes. Since our relationships reflect our own internal dynamics, the most enlightened perception would be to see any flaws or shadows as our own, and to learn to integrate and heal them within ourselves. Because the Venus cycle itself is so complex it can be challenging to make rational sense of "why" we are having the challenges we are, or what unfinished business we have with the people involved and typically, due to our willingness to be guided, things often organically unfold the way they're meant to. If one is privy to the deeper dynamics of their horoscope, then it can often become clear what type of role the situation or individual is playing, and what we can be done to support healing, resolution, and understanding.

To gain insight into Venus' retrograde cycle, we need to keep in mind her association with the signs Taurus and Libra because they compose the two facets of Venus' archetype. Taurus represents the earthy side of Venus, the sensual, pleasure-seeking side that understands that life is meant to be more pleasure than struggle. The Taurus influence also symbolizes our capacity to form and identify what we personally value. All of our choices in life are guided by our values. While Venus is retrograde, we are presented with the opportunity to ask ourselves, "Do my life circumstances reflect my values?" This Venus retrograde is our grand opportunity to examine our values and ensure that they are not conditioned copies of what our family or social circle have determined 'should' be of value to us. Further, we need to examine whether we feel worthwhile enough to give ourselves abundance and pleasure.

Bring pleasure into your life wherever you can. And see that pleasure as truth, not as some secret sin. For if you judge pleasure in the context of the illusion then you lose the pleasure.  For you see, suffering is not the way to the Light and to Heaven. Pleasure is. Real pleasure. Not false pleasure. And you all know the difference. - Emmanuel

From the perspective of Libra, relationships provide the means for the formation of a personal value system. And this is not just referring to our most personal relationships, but also our relationship to all of life: our job, our family, our life situation, to money, to mother earth, to strangers, to the natural world. We are in relationship to every facet of life. For Venus, relationships provide the means for the formation of a personal value system by identifying what we like and don't like. We all have preferences, we don't prefer or value everything. During the course of our lives we are presented with the dilemma of having to choose one opportunity over others. It's Venus' association with Libra that is concerned with the process of making those choices of what to engage and what to let be. People and circumstances may leave our life at this time to make room for that which fits us better.

Maybe we could all use an emptying out of identity now and then. Considering who we are not, we may find the surprising revelation of who we are. ~ Thomas Moore

Additionally, Venus also seeks to maintain inner and outer balance, harmonizing the conflicting factors that exist within our psyches, which tend to manifest in our external circumstances so that we can heal them. Venus' retrograde cycle encourages us to examine what is out of balance in our lives and take the steps to restore our equilibrium. It's a great time to establish a practice of doing things for ourselves each day that gift us with pleasure. We will also want to be aware of any behavior that denies our receiving what we need to have peace, balance, joy and pleasure in our lives. Cultivating Venus' energy now will also support you in being aware of what is guiding your choices. Additionally, Venus will help you become more deeply conscious of what you want to do with your wealth, talents, and assets as she reminds you that you are your most important commodity!

Your soul is eager to shine its beautiful, unique light and demonstrate its creative power to grow your experience. The god within you loves it all—the good, the bad, the joyful, the sorrowful, the ebbs and the flows. From the perspective of that wholeness, everything is an expression of the infinite being that you inherently are, experiencing itself through its humanity, here on planet earth.

I must learn to love the fool in me -- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool. ~ Theodore Rubin

While the majority of this Venus retrograde cycle emphasizes Leo energy, she begins her retrograde while at zero degrees of Virgo. She will hold this position from now until August 1st. Therefore, these remaining days of July while she is stationary in Virgo, cultivate Venus' energy in discerning Virgo by mindfully witnessing what's going well in your life and what's not going so well. Now is an excellent time to reflect on and reevaluate your life circumstances and relationships from the perspective of how they add value and quality to your life experience. Be consciously grateful (express it!) for those people and circumstances that enrich your life. Each time you express gratitude, what you are doing is defining your personal preferences and transmitting a celebratory "YES!" and "More please!" to the Universe. And in those areas of your life situation that aren't bringing much satisfaction, Venus wants you to be prepared to do the soul work to clear them.

Ask yourself, "Do the things that take up the majority of my day to days make me happy to be alive?" Venus provides you with the opportunity to identify those activities and involvements that aren't bringing you fulfillment. Maybe once they did but no longer do because they are no longer an honest reflection of who you have become. Venus in Virgo is able to confront honestly the truth of 'what is' and also provide guidance about where your soul is encouraging you to deepen your experience and grow.

What facets of your experience have become stale? What new life experiences are you hungry to cultivate? Virgo is able to see concisely what changes need to be made and what inner fears need to be transcended in order to claim your soulful life without harshly judging yourself or hating where you are now. As Rob Brezsny suggests in his book, Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, "Declare amnesty for the part of you that you don't love very well. Forgive that poor sucker. Hold its hand and take it out to dinner and a movie. Tactfully offer it a chance to make amends for the dumb things it has done."

Connecting with our soul or Higher Self ensures that we won't get stuck in a debilitating dissatisfaction with our "lot in life," (because that attitude leads to unconscious reactions that repeat patterns of suffering). The retrograde energy encourages us to orient our focus on solutions, inviting the guidance of our soul. As the wisdom of the masters direct, all problems are an invitation to welcome spirit because all problems are spiritual problems and therefore all solutions are spiritual solutions. For the remainder of July and then again October 8--November 8, while Venus' energy is expressing through Virgo, it is primed to plunge into the mucky-muck details of our lives. Virgo is the energy of the healing servant who restores order and cures one's personal ills and then extends that service to help heal society's ills by mentoring a better way and higher standards of quality and purity.

What if you, truly being you, is the gift and the change this world requires? ~Dr. Dain Heer

While Venus transits Dramatic Leo (August 1-October 7), the mood is set to let the "Yes!" guide your choices. Follow your enthusiasm! Leo understands that we are all performers on life's stage and therefore selectively seeks out the arenas in life where it's unique light will shine brightest in blessing to the world. How can you best celebrate yourself and this precious life you've been given? Recapture the spontaneity and freshness of your inherent innocence wherever its light has been dimmed. Leo knows that the past is over and the future may never come so it eagerly seizes every opportunity to celebrate life here and now. An excellent mantra? "This magnificent light of mine, I'm going to let it shine!"

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~ Howard Thurman

You'll want to examine the house(s) in your birth chart where Venus' retrograde occurs. Her house position symbolizes the arena of life currently in focus, where you may need to find a means to bring greater fulfillment and pleasure. It might be an area of life experience where you need to establish greater harmony and balance. That house may also represent a source for cultivating valuable new resources. If Venus' retrograde spans two houses, the activities represented by those two houses tend to get linked together during the retrograde period.

The linkages (called aspects) retrograde Venus makes to the the planets in your birth and progressed charts describe what other facets of yourself (symbolized by the planets being aspected) and arenas of life experience (houses highlighted) are contributing their energy to this Venus retrograde cycle. Since Venus is associated with worth and value, these planets and houses can be linked to issues involving relationship, pleasure, finances, possessions, and resources. Any planet Venus aspects may also show a particular talent to develop or a potential new resource to cultivate during the retrograde period.

Life has a way of making it easy for us to forget our identity as divine beings. As Marianne Williamson wrote, We are a collective seduced by the instantaneous, conditioned to expect instant results from coffee to access to immediate answers and information from our computers. We are lured by fast food and express checkouts and quick deliveries. It’s no wonder we desire spiritual short-cuts and agonize when we don’t have instantaneous results. Moving quickly through our days, we get lost in the roles defined by collective values, projections and others expectations. Many of us have lost our unique autonomy and self-validation as we fulfill our roles as someone’s employee, someone’s spouse, someone’s daughter or son, someone’s spouse/lover/friend, or someone’s parent.

To support healing this collective malady, Venus is energetically disturbing our complacency and pushing at our comfort zones so that we can no longer silence the voice of our heart and cut ourselves off from the feelings we’d rather pretend we don’t feel. Venus is giving you clues to where your soul--your authentic self and its unique individuality--is crying out to be acknowledged. We are all being summoned to cultivate this deeper intimacy with our soul, our genuine self.

Engaging Zen moments will support this process--that is, moments of being alert in non-judgmental attentiveness to your own thoughts, actions and feelings. Zen moments put us in touch with that presence within us that abides-- unchanging and undisturbed--no matter what is going on around us. Welcome your soul's presence, a state of 'being' that brings a quality of love and light and meaningfulness and purpose to all that you do.

The very picture of a whole person is one who can drink wine, dance on the beach, sing in the rain and at the same time enjoy the depths of understanding and wisdom that belong to the sage. Half of humanity has been accepting the inner world but denying the outer world. The other half of humanity has been accepting the material world and denying the inner world. Both are half and no person who is half can be contented. You have to be whole: rich in the body, rich in science, rich in meditation, rich in consciousness. ~OSHO

If you'd value having cosmic guidance around cultivating the best of the planetary energies influencing your chart in life-affirming ways, this is an excellent time to schedule a consultation to gain deeper insight into Venus' retrograde influence as well as the other influences highlighted in your birth and progressed charts at this time.

The Venus Retrograde Report is also a great source for delving into how Venus is likely to influence your activities, resources and relationships. It covers the entire Venus retrograde period which includes the 12 weeks she is moving through the same degrees of the zodiac and outlines with interpretations the houses or areas of experience of focus in your birth chart and the contacts she will make to your birth planets. This report also covers the transits of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron during the Venus retrograde cycle.

You might also find the Relationship Report helpful during Venus’ retrograde period if you are seeking deeper insights into issues you are experiencing in a significant partnership. It discusses the themes and issues relevant between two people. This comprehensive report includes discussion of the dynamics in each individual partner's chart, the dynamics between the two partners and the dynamics of the Composite chart, which is the chart of the relationship itself.

Ultimately, Venus is all about creating greater abundance, beauty, and balance in our world. That begins with each individual and ripples out like waves upon the ocean of humanity. Make the decision to allow it to begin with you. This is the way each of us individually and collectively creates a better world for ourselves and the generations of humanity to come.

Ever feel flat and dead in the water? Doubtful about whether your dreams are valid and will ever come true? Well, we have all been in this place. But more and more, we're understanding that there is another life waiting for us. I believe we can prove to ourselves that the universe around us is, in reality, a vast energy system that responds to our beliefs and expectations. If PRAYER works, and scientific research confirms that it does, then all of our thoughts (conscious or not) are expectations that go out and bring to us exactly what we think will happen. In other words, we are learning that our expectation matters. ~James Redfield

Until next time, I'm wishing you life-vitalizing adventures here in time and space!

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