This Year’s Venus Retrograde
Venus is direct (moving forwards), not retrograde (moving backwards)
Upcoming Venus Retrograde period:
July 22, 2023 to September 3, 2023
From 28º to 12º Leo.
Venus, goddess of Love and Beauty, goes retrograde in our skies about every year and a half. When she does, she takes us into a six-week journey into the past to uncover what may be the hidden or forgotten places in our relationships. Each time Venus goes retrograde I write a post or series of posts about it. At the bottom of this page you can find posts from past years.
What Is Venus Retrograde?
When Venus goes retrograde, she takes our hand and pulls us into the darkness of our relationships. A retrograde period of any planet is a retrospective of that planet’s themes. It’s like going into the deep, dark cave of oneself in whatever area of life is covered by the planet that is retrograde. It will be a time of moving backward, perhaps of going back to pick up pieces lost in the past. It is thus a retrieval, a turning inward, perhaps a letting-go. Since Venus’ domain is relationships, this turning inward happens in that domain.
All humans want love, but how much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice to get it? And how long are you willing to stay in a relationship where you’re not loved in the ways that matter to you? How long can you tolerate not being valued or being taken for granted? And here’s another question: would you rather love or be loved–and does your relationship force you to choose rather than allowing you to have both? This transit can bring these issues to your attention. It’s super-uncomfortable, but in the end you can find tremendous clarity on your genuine relationship needs and on whether they are being fulfilled. And on how to go about doing that.
How Long Does It Last?
The Venus retrograde period usually lasts about six weeks.
The Current Venus Retrograde Period:
In 2023, Venus goes retrograde at 28º of Leo on July 22 and will travel backwards to 12º Leo, turning direct again on September 3, 2023. This brings up relationship issues which will not fully resolve until Venus again turns direct and also passes the degree of Leo where she turned retrograde on October 6, 2023. On this day she is done retracing old relationship ground and her mission to teach us about relationships was over for the year. Venus is traveling retrograde from 28º to 12º of Leo, so if you have anything at all in your chart between 28º and 12º of Leo, you will likely feel this transit strongly. And if you have anything in your chart in the same degree span of the other Fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio or Aquarius), you will also feel this.
Understanding the Venus cycle can help you in all of your relationships,
from romantic to business to family.
Venus is the Lover and Mediator in you.
To learn how to find the right partner for you
and improve all your relationships,
Contact Pandora Astrology for a Lifelong Love reading.
The Venus Cycle and Its Milestones
The grand cycle of Venus begins and ends with a day of “Ah-ha!” or epiphany. This happens when Venus conjuncts the Sun while moving forward swiftly and it brings an “Ah-ha!” in our relationships and helps them progress at speed. There are two of them and they act like bookends, forming the beginning and ending of a Venus cycle. I call these Relationship Rapture Days and you can see on the diagram below that the present cycle began with one on October 22, 2022 at 29º Libra and finishes with one on June 4, 2024 at 14º Gemini.
There is another kind of epiphany during the Venus cycle—it occurs while Venus is retrograde, on the day she conjuncts the Sun. I call this Relationship Clarity Day, because if your relationship has been going through the wringer, clarity is likely to come on this day. This can lead to a deeper intimacy and authenticity in your relationship. Alternatively, it can also bring the clarity that leads to a breakup or a discussion of irreconcilable differences pointing to a likely breakup. The current cycle’s Relationship Clarity Day is on August 13, 2023, at 20º Leo.
And there is a third, very important point in this cycle and that’s the day when Venus once again returns to the place where it first went retrograde (26º Capricorn), this time to pass through and onward. I call this Relationship Resolution Day and it happens on October 6, 2023. On this day the cycle’s themes resolve and complete.
Venus Retrograde in Capricorn:
2023’s Venus retrograde period falls in the Fixed Fire sign of Leo, which introduces themes of self-expression, creativity, and ego. A Venus retrograde period is a time to reexamine love in your life: how do you get it, how do you give it, what kind of love matters most to you and what is your type to fall in love with. The Leo placement means we ask ourselves, “Does my relationship make me feel seen and appreciated? Does it support my need for affection? Is it playful and creative? Can my partner allow me to be the center of attention (and vice versa) and is it fair and balanced? Am I behaving with generosity towards my partner (and vice versa)?” Getting better at fulfilling your own life purpose and in supportive tandem with your partner is a great way to use this natural reexamination period to your benefit.
This Venus Retrograde coincides with Mercury Retrograde in Virgo:
Because 2023’s Venus retrograde period coincides with a Mercury retrograde period, the pressure to both bask in the spotlight and practice modesty in our relationships is very strong during the second half of Venus’ retrograde. Mercury travels from 21º to 8º of mutable earth sign Virgo, going retrograde August 23, 2023 and direct again on September 15, 2023, shortly after Venus does. The contradiction between the urge for humility, service and practicality as love, and the desire to make our relationships romantic, showy, and full of dramatic gesture, but not necessarily for starting something new. More about this in our blogpost and videos about it:
Read more about the Mercury Retrograde in Virgo of August and September 2023 here.
See Pandora Astrology’s Mercury page for more.
Does this affect you?
There’s no doubt you will feel a Venus transit in the area of life corresponding with the house Venus is retrograding through in your chart. That’s something you can find out about in a reading with Pandora Astrology. Or, try casting your chart and looking into it yourself. If you want to understand Venus in your own natal chart, get your Venus sign recording here.
There’s also no doubt that if your Sun is in a degree along Venus’ retrograde path, you would feel it too. Here are the birthdates (in any year at all) that are affected by 2023’s Venus retrograde:
February 1 to 17
May 2 to 18
August 5 to 21
November 5 to 20
When has this happened before?
In past years, I have written post-threads during Venus Retrograde periods. In these threads I have drawn from mythology to show the unfolding of this journey as it happens. These are among my best-loved posts of all time, so I’m giving new readers access to them, even after Venus moves on:
The Venus and Juno Retrograde of December 2021 to January 2022:
Taking Relationships Seriously
When we yearn for commitment yet hesitate in the face of romance.
The Venus Retrograde period of May to June 2020:
Love in the Time of Coronavirus
What happens when the two relationship goddesses go retrograde together?
Venus Retrograde in Scorpio and Libra (October to November 2018):
How does a “pretty woman” become a gracious lady?
Venus Retrograde in Virgo and Leo (July to August 2015):
Rapunzel, A Tale of Adolescent Awakening
Feminine power and creativity escapes from her isolated tower.
And this single-page post about Venus Retrograde in Gemini (May and June 2012):
Blossom or Honeybee? Venus Retrograde 2012
Anna and the King of Siam argue about fidelity.
Venus Retrograde in Scorpio and Libra (October and November 2010):
The Tale of Eros and Psyche, or How The Soul Got Her Wings
The classic tale of love lost and refound.
Venus Retrograde in Aries and Pisces (March and April 2009):
Descent into Love’s Darkness
All about Inanna’s descent into the underworld to reclaim her dead love.
If you are feeling a current Juno Retrograde period
and you want to understand its effect on your relationships
request a reading on Pandora Astrology’s services page.