A planet moving retrograde appears to move through the same part of the zodiac three times. It is as if the planet is walking back and forth reviewing its issues and processes from different perspectives and providing opportunities for us to revise and re-address them. This “sensitized” part of the zodiac is sometimes referred to as the Retrograde Shadow.
During a planet’s first pass through the Retrograde Shadow, issues emerge that will be revisited and re-examined during the retrograde period. It then stations retrograde, and slowly begins to move through the Shadow area in reverse direction. This is a time for us to be more internal, reflective, and review what arose for us during the planet’s direct transit through the Shadow area. What emotions triggered in us are surfacing? What missing pieces of information or insight can we become aware of? When the planet arrives at the beginning of the Shadow area it slows, stations direct, and begins moving in a forward direction once again. As it makes its third pass through the Shadow area we can absorb, integrate, and apply knowledge and understanding garnered during the retrograde.
Venus rules, or determines, our natural instinctual physical needs and desires, and our ability to experience comfort and contentment in the physical world. She represents what we appreciate and love for the beauty and physical connections they provide. She defines what matters the most to us, what we find valuable, what we really want in life. She indicates the tangible possessions and material goods we are attached to for the abundance, security, and pleasure they provide.
Venus moves in retrograde motion once every 19 months or so. Its retrograde period lasts approximately 6 weeks. Venus entered its current Retrograde Shadow area on April 10th at 5 degrees Gemini. It stationed retrograde at 22 degrees Gemini on May 13th. It will station direct on June 24th at 5 degrees Gemini, and begin its third pass through its retrograde territory. On July 29th it will reach 22 degrees Gemini once again, leaving the retrograde Shadow area with its issues and lessons, and move on.
During this Venus retrograde in Gemini, we are tasked with reviewing our fixations and attachments to ways of thinking: our thoughts, ideas, and what we “think” we know. Can we find greater value, security and gratification in being more adaptable and flexible in our thinking? Where and how can we entertain other ideas and perspectives on matters?
We can also reflect on our interactions with our environment and our side-by-side relationships. How do we move through our day? Can we improve the way we communicate and share information? How good a listener are we? How do we respond to the needs of others? What do we love and value about our exchanges with others?
We may also become aware of ways we are fickle, restless, or inconsistent in living by our true values. Are we easily distracted by superficial pleasures which only provide a fleeting sense of pleasure or security? Are we committed to our deeper values, or changeable, depending on how the wind blows?
During its retrograde period, Venus will square Neptune in Pisces twice, challenging us to face up to ways we are unrealistic, or self-delusional by romanticizing or idealizing matters. What illusions or magical thinking do we engage in that we need to acknowledge? Being curious about our inner workings, we can reflect, revise and refine our thinking and ways we interact with the world. Using spiritual awareness we can become more flexible, adaptable, and versatile in order to engage more compassionately in a rapidly changing world.
“Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix.” – Christina Baldwin