Venus is a glimmering diamond in our skies and her beautiful, cyclical dance with the Sun, as seen from our perspective on Earth, inspired ancient people to dub her with such lovely titles as Queen of Heaven. The ancients watched Venus alternate between her visible and invisible phases, when she regally shines in the night sky, she is Hesperos, when she dares to grace the morning skies before the Sun, she is Lucifer (bringer of light), and when her glimmer is absent from our skies, she visits her dark sister, Ereshkigal, in the Underworld.
Unlike the erratic and less predictable cycle of her cosmic lover Mars, Venus’ dance with the Sun creates a 584-day cycle as measured from one conjunction -when Venus is aligned with the Sun - to the next. During her inferior conjunctions, Venus is directly in between the Earth and the Sun and during her superior conjunctions, Venus is directly behind the Sun from Earth’s vantage point. She alternates between being invisible - when she’s in front of (60 days) or behind the Sun (7-8 days) because the Sun’s glare blots out her sparkle - and visibly shining in the night skies (260 days) or morning skies (260 days).
These different phases – invisible/underworld, evening star/Hesperos, and morning star/Lucifer – give shape and texture to the multi-faceted Goddess of Beauty. Stories of birth, growth, surrender, death, renewal, and re-birth are found here.
Inanna, Sumerian Queen of Heaven, rules over Earth and Heaven in all her glory, but every so often she must descend into the dark to be stripped of her earthly titles and possessions, to let go of what is no longer meaningful, to become drenched in and then released of the fears of the unknown. Her dark sister, Ereshkigal, facilitates this process and eventually, Inanna/Venus returns, proud and bursting with a newfound lightness, to grace our morning skies in her more rebellious form.
This year as she does roughly every 1.5 years, Venus will appear to trek backward through the evening skies before disappearing and then reappearing as Lucifer, bringer of light, freshly initiated and renewed.
- Her retrograde journey begins at 13 degrees of tropical Aries on March 4th, 2017.
- She then begins to fade into invisibility as she descends to meet her dark sister, fully merging into the Sun’s glow on March 25th, 2017 (inferior conjunction).
- She reappears as Lucifer in early April, barely visible in the morning skies.
- She begins to move forward again on April 15th, 2017.
- At the end of April, she shines as brightly as she can in our morning skies – shaking up norms and breaking through outdated customs – as Lucifer.
- She finally breaks new ground (passes 13 degrees of tropical Aries) on May 19th, 2017, initiating us into a new phase of love & beauty without the baggage of the past.
People always ask – but what does Venus retrograde mean for me? For my chart?
You can start by reflecting back to 8 years ago – this is when Venus last traversed backward through the sign of Aries.
Also, check out retrograde expert, Nick Dagan Best, for his research and insights into the power of Venus retrogrades to shake up the social order.
With Venus journeying backwards through energetic, self-oriented Aries, this retrograde journey can be one of reclaiming our creative expression, our spontaneous, instinctual nature. Of unabashedly claiming and embodying our wild, feminine aspects.
The best way to discover what Venus retrograde means for you is to observe what is going on in your life during the dates listed above. Watch Venus disappear and reappear in the sky and pay attention to how her cyclical dance reveals patterns in your own life.
***Blog art by Auguste Rodin***