Venus, planet, goes retrograde (backwards) less frequently than Mercury, about every 18 months, and lasts 40 days. Because it is less frequent, it is more difficult to understand and wreaks more havoc than a Mercury retrograde. Mercury affects communication. Venus affects possessions, relationships, women’s issues and most of all values. Venus asks, “What is it that you really value?”
Many astrologers also believe that Venus affects stock market. The next Venus retrograde period begins May 17, 2004. Also check back to October 10, 2002 to see what was happening in your life during last Venus retrograde so you can draw some conclusions as to how you handle these transits.
A client wrote me during an earlier Venus Retrograde: “I've been reading your eZines and wondering what ‘difficult time’ we are all having is. Then, I experienced it with a deep, fast plunge to bottom complete with a few extra bumps to round out full force of impact. Whew! I haven't been down here in awhile. ”
A student in my ongoing Tuesday night astrology class wanted to know, “How can a dinky little inner planet like Venus cause so much trouble?”
Well, these are very good questions.
The answer is partly imbedded in relationship of planet Venus to esoteric properties of Number 5. Let’s take a closer look at this planet, Venus and Number 5!
The physical planet of Venus (in sky tonight) is a strange amalgam. Named after Roman Goddess of Love, nonetheless, she is surrounded by such a noxious yellow atmosphere that life is impossible (permanent greenhouse effect). It doesn’t surprise us, then, to know that Roman goddess herself had several epithets. One of them was “Venus of Sewers”. Venus also rules venereal disease.
The ancient Aztecs had a Venutian goddess who walked earth as a man for 40 days of retrograde cycle. The warlike Aztecs declared war when Venus went retrograde.
These are some of our clues as to what lies beneath surface of a Venus retrograde transit and why it can be so disruptive on a very personal level.
In transit, Venus goes retrograde five times over a period of eight years, coming back to same sign in which she started at end of five 584-day cycles (or eight years). This is Venus’ cycle to herself. She is working her way in stations back through zodiac, 2 to 3 degrees earlier in each sign, each time.
The stations of Venus form a quintile (five-ish) pattern against backdrop of zodiac. A diagram of Venus stations across a horoscope actually makes an image like a pentagram.
The quintile aspect reminds us of other quin in astrology -- quincunx aspect (signs that are 5 houses before and after one another). As every astrologer worth her salt knows, quincunx is most difficult aspect of all to reconcile within an individual’s chart (psyche). It is also very difficult to “read” in a chart other than saying there are “irreconcilable differences”. There are certainly good ways for professional to interpret this aspect but that isn't within scope of this article.
For a good grip on qualities of Number 5, take a look at “fives” in Tarot deck. The Fives are ruled by Major Arcana V, The Hierophant, Teacher of Hard Life Lessons.
One of meanings expressed by Hierophant is that apparently there are some things in life that can only be learned in School of Hard Knocks. People with a #5 Birth Force learn through doing not by reading books or listening to lectures.
Five is also known mystically as "Number of Man". It represents ability of man to understand things of an esoteric nature and is most familiarly represented in drawing of Leonard DaVinci showing a male figure with arms and legs spread against a circular background. I remember seeing a very dramatic presentation of Marlowe’s Faust in San Diego where this figure was cast in stagelights across floor of Dr. Faust’s study as curtain opened and Our Hero”Everyman/Faust began his mythical struggle with his own nature.
There is a good book written for professional astrologers about retrograde cycles, including Venus Retrograde, called “Retrograde Planets” by Erin Sullivan, published by Penguin Books in 1992 which explains basic characteristics of Venus as she “turns her back” on us. The effects of this transit are among most difficult to predict (and describe) perhaps because it is one of very most unique and personal to each individual. This makes generalities very difficult.