Don’t Fear the Retrograde

The Birth of VenusI’ve always been aware of if not “into” astrology, ever since I was a kid (early runcible witch tendencies I guess). Like moon phases, I don’t think planetary alignments and natal charts can control how our lives shape up, but I do think there is something about the moon and the planets that seems to influence our daily lives. For instance, with Mars (the planet of action) retrograde all summer, it was no surprise that every single person I know was having trouble creating or getting anything of substance done. Likewise, I’m sure if you’ve been on the internet the last few years you’ve heard people complain about Mercury (the planet of communication, technology, travel, etc.) going retrograde and screwing with their lives. This past August when Mercury was retrograde I heard stories of everything from inexplicable AirBnB glitches to flight cancellations, cell phones mysteriously not sending or receiving texts, emails getting lost, or worse, neither being lost but being totally misinterpreted.

Did Mercury retrograde cause those things? I don’t know. Maybe? But it doesn’t hurt to think about the possibility that it contributed to the chaos.

For me, as I’ve mentioned before, not fighting my overwhelming desire to rest and re-evaluate during these retrograde periods has been a tremendous relief. Can’t produce while Mars is retrograde? It’s fine. He’ll go direct soon. Having travel debacles while Mercury is retrograde? Don’t stress, you’ll get there eventually.

But retrogrades aren’t just about the things you should wait out or expect to have trouble with. Yes, often they mean an interruption to our daily lives and our external reality, but they also can offer space to slow down and reflect. The prefix re- means to go back, and that’s exactly what retrograde periods make time for in your life. Slow down, revisit your goals and needs and desires, return to the things that bring you joy, reunite with friends (or your inner self), renew your commitment to relationships, paths, and projects.

Today (October 5th, 2018), Venus goes retrograde. We’re all familiarwith Venus/Aphrodite, planet/goddess of love and beauty, sensual pleasure, fertility, partnerships, and ca$h money$$$. So when Venus goes retrograde, those areas of our lives tend to get…sticky. Romance tends to falter or rush; we make bad choices about sexual partners; cash flow dries up; maybe we over-indulge on pumpkin spice lattes or overspend on an amazing Halloween costume find ourselves uncomfortable in our bodies and with our bank accounts.

That all sounds pretty shitty.

So how can we use this period of retrograde to our advantage? Well, it’s time to revisit those areas of our lives where Venus rules. Personally, yeah, I probably should reflect on what I would want in a romantic partnership and whether or not I’m ready for one–I’m for sure holding off on rejoining the dating world until Venus goes direct (November 16). I know I need to cut back on frivolous spending (Hi, HomeGoods Halloween section). I know I need to honor my body more, which includes finding ways to pamper it that aren’t expensive (did you know they make face masks with REAL GOLD?) or self-destructive (I can eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, but should I?).

But not personally? I don’t find it at all surprising that Venus is going retrograde the very day our Senate is voting on whether or not to confirm a perjurous sex offender to the Supreme Court. I don’t think it’s surprising at all that Venus is going retrograde while women all over the world are having to tend to old wounds from personal traumas because of everything that the news cycle has dredged up over the last few weeks. I don’t find it surprising at all that Venus is going retrograde while 45% of American women actually support a sniveling, lying, misogynistic abuser being given a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

As a country, we badly need to reflect on our values concerning women, sexual violence, personal power versus personal responsibility, and reproductive rights. We need to take a look at our relationships on every level: if our representatives aren’t just not representing us personally, but not representing the majority of their constituents? They’re no longer fulfilling the role they were elected to. And if the majority can’t replace them? The system is broken.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, it’s not the end. It’s not proof that we have no power. If astrology can teach us anything, it’s that just because something looks like it’s going backwards (hi America), it doesn’t mean it actually is.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, it’s just proof that we have a lot more work to do than we realized. Like the 2016 election that shocked most white liberals, we didn’t realize just how broken our country was until the worst had happened. And now it’s our job to not only be aware, but stay aware.

And also to burn the mother fucker to the ground.

(Venus may be a goddess of beauty, but she can be a real ugly bitch if you get on her bad side.)

So slow down. Reflect. Nurture your heart and heal your wounds. Get your finances in order and take care of your relationships. And then figure out what you can do to help things change.

Now for some more actionable/non-actionable items:

Venus Retrograde “Do’s”:
  • DO consider what you really want in relationships of all kind, but especially romantic. If you are single, now is a great time to get clear on what exactly your standards are, where things went wrong in the past, and what you hope for the future.
  • DO resist temptation, especially when it comes to luxury items. Find another way to pamper yourself for now that doesn’t involve spending a lot of money.
  • DO indulge in your favorite creative activities rather than food, booze, or shopping. Although, if these are your areas of creativity have at it! (Just don’t go into debt whipping up the worlds most decadent cocktail.) The idea is to look to yourself as a source of beauty and value rather than the usual external sources.
  • DO review your finances. Are you spending way more on coffee than you need to? Did you buy 10 unnecessary new sweaters the second the weather turned cooler? Could that money be better spent or saved elsewhere?
  • DO Marie Kondo the hell out of your home. If it doesn’t “spark joy” or at least serve a useful purpose, get rid of it. That includes clothing, furniture, knickknacks, shoes, jewelry, makeup, kitchen gadgets (how many times did you actually use that ice cream maker in the last 5 years?), even food–whatever is taking up space in your home that doesn’t have to be there. If it’s broken or useless, throw it out. If it’s in good shape, donate it (especially if you have any local nonprofits that benefits women and/or children).
  • DO wait before changing your appearance. Now is not the time to get bangs or try a chemical peel for the first time.
  • Likewise, DO take time to reevaluate your style. Does it reflect who you really are, or just what was on clearance the last time you were at Target?
Venus Retrograde “DON’Ts”:
  • DON’T hook up with anyone you meet until mid-November. Some sources say not to even give them your phone number. Maybe just follow them on Twitter if you really feel a connection, but don’t let things escalate.
  • DON’T get engaged. Autumn engagement photo shoots are nice, but December commitments will prove more resilient. No guarantees though.
  • On the flip side, if things have been going well with your partner and you hit a bumpy road, DON’T call it quits just yet. Wait until Venus goes direct in November before making any big decisions.
  • DON’T shop for luxury items or first-world trinkets. If it’s self-indulgent or impulsive, it will probably turn out to be a waste of your money in the end.
  • DON’T try to revive relationships with exes or past friends. (However, if you have unfinished business with someone, now would be a good time to carefully resolve it either with them or simply within yourself).
  • DON’T open a new brokerage account/start a new investment plan.
  • DON’T make superficial judgements, and don’t take it to heart if you are judged superficially.
  • DON’T ask for a promotion, raise, or a loan, and don’t loan any money either.

Good luck! And may the odds be ever in your favor!