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Venus Retrograde 2023 - Part 1

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Connection. Authenticity. Revelations. Patience. And remembering to empty your pockets before putting your jeans in the laundry!

A joyful interracial, elder couple.

Click the links below to jump through the article:

Hey, beautiful people!

Venus entered Shadow of Her current retrograde season on 19 June, 2023, just before Yule. She spends less time retrograde than any of the other planets . . . so we usually really feel it when She goes retrograde. It's worth understanding what is being asked of us during this period.

When we’re new to astrology, we might read blog posts or watch YouTube videos telling us that people can suddenly have a change of heart during Venus retrograde. There will be articles out there saying that this just isn’t a good time for relationships.

We might worry and think, “Oh, no! Is this going to destroy us??”

Maybe. But probably not.

Venus' true goal has little to do with breaking us up . . . instead, it is to forge deeper, stronger, and more genuine connections with those we share our life with. Sometimes, that entails temporarily stepping back from certain relationships so that we can refine and strengthen those bonds.

The greater purpose of Venus' retrograde cycle is to anchor our relationships in the deep truth and vulnerability of who we actually are. This is the rich potential and promise of the cycle. And over the next four months, we’ll all experience Venus' transformational energy within our relationship dynamics.

There are other areas of life where we'll experience this, too, but we'll consider those in future posts.

An infographic outlining the Key Dates for Venus Retrograde, 2023

Key Dates for Venus Retrograde, 2023

Before we begin, here are the Key Dates for Venus' 2023 retrograde cycle. Maybe jot them down, and keep an eye on them over the next couple of months.

  • Entered Shadow: 19 June, 2023

  • Stationed Retrograde: 23 July, 2023

  • Stationed Direct: 4 September, 2023

  • Left Shadow: 7 October, 2023

Another date to note is 13 August, 2023, as this is when Venus will conjunct the Sun. We'll explore this in a future post.

For the moment, note that it normally takes Venus just under three weeks to travel 16 degrees of the zodiac. But She will now be travelling back-and-forth over the same 16 degrees of Leo for the next sixteen weeks (19 June, 2023 to 7 October, 2023). There's definitely something in the Leo area of your chart that She wants you to become more consciously aware of.

We will all feel Her retrograde cycle. But those of us with planets or key points between 12° - 28° Leo (or in the other fixed signs: Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius) will particularly feel its impact.

Looking Back: Key Dates for 2015

As always, precedence is our friend. Venus retrogrades every 18 months, ultimately completing five retrograde seasons within Her greater cycle every 8 years. We'll look at this greater journey in a future post. For the moment, though, if you're curious to understand the potential for this period, look back to 2015 when She was previously retrograding in Leo. The degrees (14° 23' Leo - 00° 46' Virgo) and Her dates in 2015 were very similar to now.

  • Entered Shadow: 22 June, 2015

  • Stationed Retrograde: 26 July, 2015

  • Stationed Direct: 6 September, 2015

  • Left Shadow: 10 October, 2015

I invite you to look back through your journals, photos, social media posts, letters and emails etc. What was unfolding for you back then? What were you learning? How far have you come with this particular lesson? What is the connection between now and then?

More Key Dates - Past Eclipses at this Degree:

Here are some other Key Dates you could look at, if you're curious: 22 August, 2017 (Total Solar Eclipse at 28° Leo, at the North Node), and 16 February, 1999 (Annular Solar Eclipse at 27° Leo, at the South Node). On these dates, we experienced these eclipses just a couple of degrees from where Venus will Station Retrograde, this year. Venus' current retrograde will be activating the energies and intentions set in motion at these previous eclipses.

It would be interesting to look back on those dates, as well, and see what was happening in your world back then.

Beautiful Boho Woman, with a flower crown, Regal Woman

Chief Areas of Focus by Rising Sign/Ascendant

If you'd like a general look at the main area of life that this Venus Retrograde Season will activate in your chart, please see the list below. I encourage you to read the zodiac sign of your Rising Sign or Ascendant, rather than your Sun Sign.

Can you already aware of how this area of life is being emphasised??

Aries – Leo in the 5th House: Romance / Love Affairs / Love we give / Pleasure / Creativity / Recreation / Self-Expression / Children / Sports / Hobbies / Speculation / Moving away from home

Taurus – Leo in the 4th House: Home / Family / Roots / Household Economy / Private Life / Emotional Foundations / Early Childhood Environment / Psychic Gifts

Gemini – Leo in the 3rd House: Peer Group / Communications / Regular daily & weekly schedule / Learning / Contracts / Siblings & Cousins / Early Relationship Patterns (that we take into our adult relationships) / Goddess / Short Trips / Local Neighbourhood / the Rational Mind

Cancer – Leo in the 2nd House: Money / Earning Power / Values / Valuables & Assets / Personal Finance / Personal Possessions / Resources / Skills, Gifts, and Talents you can support yourself with / Being Self-Sufficient / Attitude to Money / Self-Worth / Proving Yourself to Yourself / Investing in your beauty (new hairstyle or clothing?)

Leo – Leo in the 1st House: Personal Journey / Self Expression / Self Identity / A sense of control over your direction in life / Vitality / Physical Body / New Beginnings

Virgo – Leo in the 12th House: Secret Opportunities / Private Matters / Matters From The Past / Hidden Self / Spiritual & Psychic Experiences / Consciousness / Meditation / Hospitals / Hidden Talents / Addictions / Secret Enemies / Endings / Selfless care of someone we love

Libra – Leo in the 11th House: Friendships / Groups / Clubs and Societies / Allies / Long-term hopes, dreams, & aspirations / Personal Goals / Love we receive (allowing others to love us)

Scorpio – Leo in the 10th House: Social Identity / Role in Community / Status / Career or Profession / Destiny / Mission / Public Scrutiny / Fame / Reputation / Scandal / Honours / Promotions / Your Harvest / Your Boss or other Authority Figures

Sagittarius – Leo in the 9th House: Philosophy / Re-evaluating your Beliefs / Law / Religion / Foreign Travel / Pilgrimage / Publishing (books, oracle cards, courses, articles) / Morals and Principles / Being out of your comfort zone / Relationship to God / Higher Education / Learning / Teaching / the Abstract Mind

Capricorn – Leo in the 8th House: Intimacy / Shared Resources / Credit / Investments / Debt / Commissions & Bonuses / Loans / Inheritance / Self Employment / Occult Mysteries / Esoteric Studies / Death & Rebirth / Complex Psychological Relationships / Power Dynamics / Trauma / Abandonment / Betrayal / Psychotherapy

Aquarius – Leo in the 7th House: 1:1 Relationships / Best Friends / Business Partners / Committed Partnerships / Marriage / Open Enemies / Your Customers

Pisces – Leo in the 6th House: Self-Care Routines / Health / Illness / Meaningful Work vs Wage Slavery / Work Skills / Work Teams & Colleagues / Employees / Mentors & Teachers / Lineage / Pets

Okay . . . Key Dates and Areas of Focus aside, let's jump in.

A young, loving couple, embracing in front of their piano and artwork.

Let’s properly dive into Part I of this Series!

Venus is usually focused on connecting us with others. She is the energy that creates harmony in our relationships, and She thrives on our strong bonds and connections.

Sometimes, in the name of that harmony, we overlook stuff that irritates us in our relationships, like how our partner stacks the dishwasher "the wrong way"; or how noisy our partner is when they come to bed . . . two hours after we've fallen asleep . . . Every. Single. Night. Or how they always seem to interrupt us just as we start reading our novel, or just as we start playing guitar.

And sometimes, it's bigger stuff that we hide.

Much bigger.

Sometimes, the price of entry into relationships can be very steep. We may feel compelled to hide significant things about ourselves, out of fear that if anyone knew the truth of who we really are or what we really believe, it could jeopardise our friendships, our business connections, and our romantic interests. We may sacrifice our authenticity in order to sustain these connections.

We initially learned this behaviour when we were little. As a small child, connection (2) always takes precedence over authenticity (1). It's a necessity. We rely on others for our survival, so if there's anything about us that threatens our attachment to our care-givers, then we willingly suppress it.

Don't rock the boat. Don't cause a fuss. Don't make a scene. Smile.

Be nice.

But as we get older and more self-sufficient, we realise that authenticity (1) needs to trump connection (2).

Venus retrograde can help us with that.

'Cause seriously, how hard is it to empty your pockets before putting your jeans in the laundry basket?? Ugh!

A young couple on their couch, arguing.

Photo 123218498 / Angry Couple © Fizkes |

Authenticity Trumps Connection

During Venus retrograde, we tend to be more direct and upfront about stuff. Ultimately, Venus wants to create a stronger foundation for our relationships, and that can't happen if we're harbouring little grudges that rankle our nerves every day. Nor can it happen if we're hiding the truth of who we are from those we love.

So, when Venus enters Her retrograde cycle, we become more willing to be honest about what bugs us . . . and to share who we actually are. We just can't hide any more. For these few short months, Venus becomes a separating quality in our lives, rather than a connecting quality. And during this period, we find the courage necessary to reveal our authentic selves, even though this could mean rejection, or signal the end of our relationships. As one of my clients told me in Venus' 2021 Retrograde Season (and I share this with their permission), "I'm just so stressed with this hanging over my head. I have fought so hard for my relationship with my father, and I'm so scared I'm going to be throwing it all away by telling him the truth. But the irony is that to honour my father and be fair to him, to honour our relationship, I need to tell him something about myself that will be hard for him to hear. If he's taught me anything, it's integrity. I have to tell him, and it has to be before I tell my workmates. I owe him that respect."

During Venus retrograde, we dare to truly show up in our relationships, realising that this is necessary to honour those we share our life with and to be in right relationship with them; but we also realise that no relationship is worth denying ourselves for. And in truth, if we're denying who we are and how we feel, then our relationships aren't grounded in reality, anyway.

Those who truly love us, will accept us no matter what. Even if that takes some time.

And those who can’t accept the truth of who we are? Well, so be it. We’ll feel more inclined to relinquish those relationships during this period, as our authenticity becomes too high a price to pay for connection.

We come to appreciate Venus' true goal, which is to forge deeper, stronger, and more genuine connections with those we share our life with. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Venus' retrograde cycle supports us to step back from our relationships so that we can refine and strengthen our bonds with others. We're encouraged to anchor our relationships in the deep truth and vulnerability of who we both are.

It reminds me of Dr Seuss’ (19/10/1) empowering quote, “Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.”

A loving couple, in nature, smiling and hugging.

Stunning Revelations

Over the coming months, we may learn things about others that we hadn’t seen coming. Who knew the tissues in our jeans pocket annoyed them so much??

But far more significantly, maybe they’ll share something that we feel uncomfortable with. We could be taken aback, or even jarred in our beliefs and values.

For example, one of your friends might confide that they’re actually in transition to becoming a transwoman.

Or they support the Russian war in Ukraine.

Or maybe you find out that your sister-in-law is in the process of becoming a professional numerologist and, as a devout Christian, you have major qualms with that.

Such revelations or discoveries abound during this period. This is a time when people choose to “come out” to those around them . . . or such revelations are “accidentally” made on their behalf.

And then you may need to rethink your relationships. Can you accept your friend, business colleague, employee, lover, or family member etc as they are? Or not? Do you feel honoured that they respected you and your relationship enough to be honest with you? Or do you just feel rattled, stunned?

“I thought I liked Jane, but then I found out all this stuff about her. I’m seeing things I hadn’t seen before. I need to rethink my conception of her, and re-evaluate whether I want her in my life. I don't know whether our relationship can continue, knowing this.”

Before you make a hasty decision, there's something important to know about Venus' retrograde process . . .

A golden pendulum swinging backward and forward.

Forward, backward, then forward

Venus retrograde is a back-and-forth process, made of three phases:

Shadow (forward), then Retrograde (backward), and then Shadow (forward) again.

The pendulum swings one way, and then back, and then forward again.

And each of these distinct phases can bring their own revelations and realisations.

We need to work with the indeterminant nature of this process. We need to wait and see where all of the emotionally-relevant facts land by the end of Venus' entire journey, before we make any big decisions about our relationships.

Otherwise, we may find ourselves regretting life-altering decisions that we made based on just the first piece of new information that came in.

“Oh, I shouldn’t have ended my relationship with Jane, even though I found out that thing about her. I really don’t like it, but there’s all this other great stuff that I do like. Hmmmmm.”

Or, if you're the one revealing yourself within your relationships, make sure that you allow the space and time for others to come around to what you've just dropped on them. Let them process. Don't be hasty in writing them out of your life, because of their initial response. Let them breathe. Let them come back to you with questions.

If we can accept this indeterminant nature of Venus’ retrograde cycle, then we can consciously move with Her entire process. There is a wisdom to it, if we can just be patient.

In Conclusion:

Be present. Be honest. Listen. And don't make any rush decisions about your relationships over the next couple of months - both personally and professionally. (I've already heard some horror stories from my business clients about business partnerships abruptly ending, throwing their projects into disarray.)

I hope this has been helpful? In Part II, we'll look at other aspects of Venus' retrograde cycle, and its impact on our relationships. Specifically, we'll consider the return of former partners/lovers, friends, and women (in general) into our lives. We'll also explore how Venus retrograde periods impact long-term relationships. Then in Part III, we'll step into a whole other world of Venus' significations.

Thank you for journeying with me. I'm so grateful for your company. As always, I'd love to receive your comments, insights, and stories. Please feel free to reach out! And feel free to share this article with anyone you feel may benefit from it.

Have a great weekend, beautiful people.

Remember: We all benefit when we all shine!


Juliette xo

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