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Any astrologer who has spent even a short amount of time in conversation with the stars will tell you of astrology’s predictive power. Tracking transits to speculate the outcomes of sports games or fluctuations in the stock market, casting auspicious election charts to ensure the success of important ventures or simply following the moon to prepare yourself for the coming week are all popular and often rewarding uses of the art.
However, any speculation about the future inevitably creates anxiety, and if you track the planets for long enough, you will see that they often elude our attempts at prediction and manifest in the ways we least expect. Ultimately, a practice of astrology should give us the power to release this future anxiety and, through seeing the events of our lives spelled out in the stars, surrender to our fate.
This is often best accomplished by looking backwards rather than forwards. Reflecting on life events — especially those which challenge us — using the symbolic language of astrology can have a deeply therapeutic effect. Such work helps us to strengthen our relationship with fate, so that we can be better prepared for the next time it deals us a bad hand.
To illustrate this, let us examine one of the more notable transits of the past year: Venus’s retrograde journey through Capricorn.
What does it mean when a planet stations retrograde?
While the rotation of the earth carries the planets from east to west across the sky each day, every planet, because of its rotation around the sun, gradually moves west to east. Occasionally, a planet will seem to slow down, halt and ultimately turn and move in the opposite, eastward direction for a period of time. This is known as retrograde motion.
During retrograde periods, the planet in question encounters setbacks, reversals and revisions to previous plans. Here the planet, being temporarily swept up in the westward, rising-and-setting motion of the sky, loses its agency and is carried through a symbolic journey to the underworld.
When Venus stations retrograde, as happens once every 18 months or so, we can expect to see these difficulties bubble up in the Venusian areas of the world and of our lives.
We see Venus in relationships, in artistic endeavors, in aesthetic beauty, in the objects of our attraction and generally in issues relating to women and femininity. When these Venusian themes encounter the revisions, setbacks, glitches or general difficulties associated with retrograde motion, we may see breakups, the return of an ex, disruptions to the harmony of our social lives and general troubles with our usual sources of pleasure and grace. We may have been called to reevaluate these areas of our lives, reworking them to accommodate new complications.
Every retrograde period additionally has what is called a pre- and a post-retrograde shadow period, in which the planet traverses the same degrees of the zodiac which it will cover in its retrograde journey. During the pre-shadow period, we may first encounter inklings of the issues which will come to be later on when the planet moves over those same degrees. During the post-shadow period, with the planet making its third and final trek over this section of the zodiac, our difficulties may finally see their resolution.
Here is where you may want to have your camera roll or notes app handy to check the following dates against the recent history of your own life.
Venus entered this pre-retrograde shadow period just before Thanksgiving break last semester, on Nov. 18, 2021. She stationed retrograde in conjunction with Pluto, amplifying the intensity of the above themes, on Dec. 20, 2021, at 26 degrees of Capricorn. She concluded her retrograde journey and began the post-retrograde shadow period on Jan. 29, 2022, stationing direct at 11 degrees of Capricorn. Venus finally exited the post-retrograde shadow last Tuesday, March 1.
On March 6, Venus, after lingering in the sign for four months, finally exited Capricorn and ingressed into Aquarius.
Reflect for a moment and see what web Venus has been spinning in your life or in the lives of those around you in this time. Did you have to readjust or revise the inner workings of any relationships in your life? Did you lose a relationship? Did a source of sweetness suddenly disappear or turn sour? Sometimes such key events can happen in remarkably close coincidence to the dates of a planets’ retrograde and direct stations.
Certainly, some may not immediately find events in their lives which correlate with these themes. However, if you are lucky enough to see firsthand the planets at work in your life, I advise you to simply allow yourself to feel those resultant feelings of awe, wonder and humility.
Published on March 6, 2022 at 10:22 pm