If you’re subscriber to my free monthly newsletter, then you know that Venus – planet of beauty, art, and value – just turned (stationed) retrograde as of yesterday afternoon. I wrote an in-depth article about this 6-week long event in my October 1st newsletter that described multiple ways this energy can manifest in our personal lives, and along this vein I just saw something in the news that made my jaw drop because it so, so, SO perfectly encapsulates a facet of this energy! I simply could not let the opportunity to use this event as a teaching tool pass without writing a post about it, so here goes:
Venus has an incredibly strong effect on the Art world as a whole – she’s an intrinsically aesthetic energy concerned with beauty and value. The creation of beautiful things is her domain, whether this is visual or musical. She is the Pleasure Planet; she gives us things we like and appreciate, and because of this the things that fall under her dominion tend to be worth good coin. Now when a planet stations (turns from Direct motion to Retrograde motion or vice versa), that energy is incredibly strong for good or ill. So yesterday when the Venus vibe was at critical mass due this planet’s change of direction, an unforgettable event happened that shook the Art world in a huge way.
A work by the mysterious British street artist Banksy was auctioned off at Sotheby’s, and as the hammer fell the image shockingly self-destructed in front of a crowd of astonished onlookers. Apparently the artist had ingeniously designed a shredder to be hidden inside the frame that would slice the image into ribbons for just such an occasion. Banksy is known for works that up-end established paradigms and that often visually provide dark socio-political commentary, so presumably the artist may have become annoyed with the sky-high valuation (hello, Venus!) of his works in recent years by the Fine Art community and he decided to do something about it. We have to remember that he first rose to fame as a graffiti artist; a medium meant to be viewed by the masses rather than just a select few who can afford to privately own a million+ dollar painting. It would be very like him to make *a statement* about the absurdity of this by destroying his own work the moment a collector shelled out a cool $1.4 million to acquire it. As an astrologer, I would love/hate to see the transits of the buyer of this piece; specifically what that stationary Rx Venus was touching in his or her nativity.
It’s important to discuss how this Venus Retrograde kicked off in Scorpio; a sign aligned with the energy of destruction. We shouldn’t view this as inherently bad, though – destruction often paves the way for enrichment and renewal; like volcanic ash from an eruption that devastates a landscape but fertilizes the soil so the new or surviving plant life plant life can thrive. And in the case of this particular artwork, I have a strong feeling given the press surrounding it this piece has probably – ironically and no doubt much to Banksy’s chagrin – probably quadrupled in value because of this stunt despite being cut into pappardelle noodles. So the buyer who likely thought they lost their shirt on this investment for a hot second may yet have reason to smile. 🙃 Happy Venus Retrograde, everyone.
In a moment of pure Venus Retrograde synchronicity, I recently heard about a new dating app that is turning traditional matchmaking on its head: Hater. The basic premise is that it matches you with a partner based upon things you both can’t stand – its logo even features a little upside-down heart. How’s THAT for some Retrograde Venus vibes?!
I think this is an app that would probably most appeal to people with a strong Venus/Pluto or Venus/Mars energy signature, as these peeps generally don’t do milquetoast and like their partners ardent for better or worse. The capacity to bond over mutual dislike for something/someone seems to be a baseline function of both energies, albeit with some very notable differences in expression. Venus also does not function in typical “lovey-dovey” ways when wired into either of these energies; consider that she is in her detriment in Aries (Mars) and Scorpio (Pluto).
I can foresee this app being either really good or really bad – there’s not much room for in-between here, IMO. The bad side: It can potentially turn the prospective relationship into a cesspool of negativity that winds up degrading into a bitchfest. The basic principle of Venus is “like attracts like” – if this is allowed to go very low-vibration, it can certainly have the capacity to be draining for one or both parties. If we want people to meet us with energy we like, wouldn’t it make more sense to bring our best to the table instead of our worst, then? Of course, this can also be quickly remedied as the app is intended just for making that initial connection.
The good: If you both have a strong aversion to the same types of things, well, there’s really not much to fight about, is there? An app like this could weed out a lot of dealbreakers for people early on, and less conflict can have the ability to correlate to more harmony.
The other thing I am hoping is that it sticks to more meaningful questions as the major screeners, for example a “hate” on “Trump” or “Kids” getting a much higher point value than a “hate” on “Sleeping with a lot of pillows” (an actual metric). Besides, I actually *like* sleeping with lots of pillows – it works out great if I were matched with a partner who only wants one; more for me! 😀
“You’re like a bad penny; you keep turning up!” Such an apt phrase for Venus Retrograde, as Venus rules copper and the retrograde period is a time when ex-partners and ex-friends tend to resurface. While verdigris patina can hold a “shabby chic” charm for some, in my eyes I see the deterioration – it’s still corrosion, even if the age and wear do give it a certain je ne sais quoi. Rest assured that when I’ve stopped taking a shine to someone, it’s for good reason – I do not just allow my love to rust.
I find the phrase “pennies from heaven” especially apropos with Venus currently in Pisces, denoting there may be an element of Divine Intervention for reasons we may not fully comprehend. But it is important to remember that pennies are essentially worthless currency; it’s not necessarily a “gift” just because there is a spiritual or karmic reason for a (temporary) Re-union. With Venus also now sitting in a square to Saturn as it stations Direct, this may actually refer to there being a “lesson” involved; a sort of cosmic “What have we learned here?” about our faults and foibles in relationships and the ways in which we’ve learned how *not* to shoot ourselves in the foot anymore.
Maybe we’ve grown up & matured. Perhaps we’ve gotten “too old for this”. It’s possible we’re tired of hurting ourselves – Venus will halt movement very near wounded Chiron, so the pain is there but the ability for healing with compassion is as well. It can be simple forgiveness for the pain someone has caused us as we (re?)release them with strength; certain in our heart they’re no good for us. It can be self-compassion for the ways in which we now have the benefit of experience to understand that we’ve grown wiser and don’t have to perpetuate any lather-rinse-repeat cycles of pain/suffering/self-undoing when it comes to partnering. We can love someone unconditionally without being a martyr to an ideal – sometimes this entails good boundaries and/or loving from afar, à la ”Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away…”
So is it worth the time and effort to try and put a polish on a relationship that we know in our heart already had its day during Venus Retrograde? Particularly if/when we know the other party is still up to their old tricks? I see the prospect of such a would-be reunion – of that “(bad) penny from heaven” turning up at this moment – as naught but a validation from The Universe that we indeed made the right (but difficult) choice…even though it may still hurt a bit. Sometimes we have to be willing to say “no” despite the history and there being “no love lost” (in the most antiquated sense of the phrase) between the parties involved. Way back when I was a teen, a friend of a friend had left a suicide note with those exact words, telling all of his crew how much he loved them and how sorry he was that he just couldn’t take it anymore. My friend then had that haunting line tattooed across his shoulders as a massive memorial back piece to his fallen companion, with Christ on the cross set amidst a field of boulders in the pouring rain below – I wept when I heard the story. I’m welling up now, as a matter of fact. But my point in retelling the tale is twofold; that sometimes time changes context (both literally AND as a metaphor for past relationships) and that sometimes pain and sadness are just a part of the experience of truly loving someone – it wouldn’t hurt if it wasn’t real. ❤
Venus dips from the sign of her detriment (Aries) back into the sign of her exaltation (Pisces) today. She made this same transition – only inverse – on February 3, 2017 when she slipped out of her watery domain of the Fishes and adopted a bolder stance in the sign of the Ram. Whenever Venus graces her exalted Pisces domain, we develop yen for blissful pleasures – for some this may entail fantastical wealth, the heady buzz of falling deeply and helplessly in love, or even (on a less highly-functioning level) the pleasing high attained though euphoric substances such as MDMA. Our heart desires to receive the experience of something truly transcendental when Venus resides in Pisces; nothing mundane has a place here.
When at last she departs this prismatic land of rapture with the dewy residue of this dream still haunting her to boldly go forth into Aries, the reverie of time spent here fades so she is able to make this exodus from Eden. It’s difficult to leave heaven, but leave she must – perhaps that is why she functions so out-of-character during her passage through Aries; the anger at leaving a such a supreme paradise behind would certainly be understandable. But at the same time she knows she must undertake this Heroine’s Journey and will to one day return to Shangri-La, so she bravely sets out…
In Aries, Venus burns with desire; taking those first courageous (and sometimes graceless) steps toward new relationship and fiscal beginnings. As she turns retrograde in this sign it’s as if she falters, though – maybe what she thought she wanted has proven to be more of a challenge than initially anticipated. Or perhaps she‘s having a change of heart and doesn’t want whatever it was that originally provided the motivation for this Journey. She stumbles backward, fumbling toward Ecstasy and the escape of her Pisces refuge once again. It’s as if it had been a false start and now she realizes her Journey started off on the wrong foot, so she retreats to find respite in her watery Pisces domain where she doesn’t *have* to Fight and can instead just Float for a while. In this meditative state she finds her Center – yes, perhaps her movement had been premature. The longer she reflects upon this through the compassionate and nonjudgmental lens of her Highest Self, the more she realizes she had been confused – she had actually been chasing the wrong rabbit. Further, she had forgotten that if it’s a fight it probably isn’t worth it; recalling in this receptive state what her Spirit Guides told her the last time she was here – “What is meant for you flows to you and shall not pass you”. In perfect love and perfect trust; so mote it be.
As Venus reaches this point of exquisite stillness – her Station on April 15th – her heart & soul re-align so she can move forward in earnest this time. Dropping any vestiges of the past and becoming wiser from this experience, she’ll set out with clarity of intention as she moves ever closer toward her heart’s true desire.
This is a perfect theme song for the upcoming Venus retrograde in Aries; a time when old friends and/or old loves may be apt to resurface in our lives. Aries is the sign of war and when Venus visits here she dons the war paint to become an Amazon. But with the impending retrograde in the mix (which begins on March 4, 2017) I instead get the sense she may be trying to broker some kind of peace; that (at the very least) she could be calling for a temporary ceasefire so we re-evaluate whether or not it’s worth holding onto our anger regarding a past or present relationship situation.
Perhaps there were once similarities between ourselves and Another but our Paths somehow diverged and now we’ve find ourselves on opposing ends of a spectrum, or even engaged in some kind of rivalry. I think of the Venus retrograde period like a sort of DMZ where a treaty between the parties involved can keep hostilities from spilling over into a given area and/or prevent collateral damage to those who could otherwise potentially be caught in the crossfire. There might even be the chance to charm an adversary – at least, for a time…
Now people from our past often resurface during a Venus retrograde, but this begs the question: Just how contemporary are they to our *now*? Aries is a sign that doesn’t stay stuck in the past – it’s too busy moving forward and/or just relishing the present moment to get all sentimental. Besides, would Present Us even get along with Present Them?? However, this won’t stop some from seeking to bury some kind of hatchet under the Venus retrograde – personally, I feel if there is any kind of reconciliation to be made this is a time to let OTHERS take the initiative and extend the olive branch rather than make the first move ourselves. And bear in mind there is also no guarantee any relationship that rekindles under this energy will be conflict-free – especially as Aries is the sign of Venus’ detriment. But for better or worse this entire retrograde phase may symbolize there are some loose ends to be tied up or, conversely, severed in relationships so we can move forward without looking back in anger. We don’t even need another person to do this, either – this is something we can absolutely DIY.