Associated signs: Taurus, Libra

Mythology: One of the most well-known Roman goddesses, Venus symbolizes love, money, fertility, and prosperity. Though Venus is defined by her radiant beauty, her origin story is less glamorous: In an attempt to reduce his power Saturn castrated Uranus and thrust his testicles into the ocean. The reproductive organs — along with the blood and semen — created the thick foam of which Venus emerged. Accordingly, many allegorical paintings depict Venus rising from the sea. Though Venus was married to Vulcan (god of volcanoes and metalworking), she had a passionate relationships with Mars (god of war). This dynamic sheds light on Venus’ fallacy as a relentless pursuit of love.

Transit: Venus is an inner-planet, and takes approximately four to five weeks to transit a zodiac sign and goes retrograde every 18 months.

What it means in your chart: Within the natal chart, Venus reveals our idealized version of love. Venus’ placement exposes your perception of beauty, as well as what others find magnetic about your character. Think of Venus as a Marie Antoinette figure: Venus wants to eat sweets, be fanned with palms, and oiled up with only the finest beauty products. The way in which Venus wants to be adored is revealed through the constellation she occupies. But, much like Marie Antoinette, Venus doesn’t always have our best interests in mind. Venus is hedonistic (and occasionally superficial), so when we’re considering our Venus placement, remember to always separate what we want from what we need.

Retrograde lowdown: Unlike retrograde for other planets, which are exclusively associated with headaches and mishaps, Venus retrograde is embedded in mystical phenomena. According to mythology, Venus has two temperaments: “Evening Star” and “Morning Star.” Venus begins its cycle through these phases during its retrograde motion, which lasts for forty days and forty nights. During the first two weeks of Venus’ retrograde, the planet is in its “Hesperus phase.” During this time, the energies are loving, receptive, and compassionate. During the last two weeks of Venus retrograde, however, the planet is in its “Lucifer phase.” The Lucifer phase exposes the more diabolical side of Venus, so you may feel more motivated by lust than logic. Over the duration of Venus retrograde, avoid making major purchases (especially luxury items), radically transforming your image (a.k.a. experimental haircuts), or rushing into new commitments.

Herbs and offerings: Elderflower, jasmine, myrtle, rose buds, vervain, violet, honeysuckle, lilac, tonka bean, rose oil, vanilla, cherry, raspberry, bergamot.

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