Venus retrograde usually lasts about forty days and forty nights. Forty is mentioned in the bible often, but most famously when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for forty days. Could this be referring to the astrological phenomena of Venus retrograde? After all, Venus has two sides to her. She is the goddess of love and war according to the Babylonians. The word Lucifer (which is often confused with Satan) means light-bringer and refers to Venus in her morning star phase.
The ancients said the first few days of Venus’s Lucifer phase was a particularly dangerous time (Oct 27/28/29). People born with Venus as a morning star are said to rush headlong into love affairs and are very passionate. Venus as an evening star has more of the receptive, traditional meanings of Venus, this phase is called Hesperus. The retrograde period describes very well the transition between the two modes of Venus and her descent into the underworld before she resurrects as the wildly passionate, but occasionally treacherous morning star.
Venus in the Sky: Venus is at its greatest luminosity on Sept 20 in the evening, and Dec 1st in the morning.
Venus Retrograde Meaning
So what does Venus retrograde mean generally? Commonly it is advised one does not start a love affair or buy luxury goods during this time because you might end up paying more than you bargained for. During these forty days, you may have to resist the seductive Lucifer side of Venus and her charms just like Jesus did in the desert. Temptations could be an illicit affair or the lure of luxury goods. We can find significance in this journey of Venus if we regard her movements like the ancient sky-watchers did.
Venus Retrograde 2018 Dates
October 6 to November 16 from 10º Scorpio to 25º Libra
Hesperus until Oct 26 ~ Lucifer Oct 27 until Nov 16
During the first phase of the Venus retrograde (Oct 6 to 26) she is still Hesperus. By now she is below the horizon technically and descending, she is still the evening star. Weakening but still loving, reflective and receptive. Venus here is quite pure and virginal too and possbly a little insecure. During this time we might feel like we need more love, but are extra shy about going out and finding a new lover. Instead, we might cling to a past relationship, which is why this period can bring the return of old flames and karmic connections. Better the devil you know hey? It might make you mournful of a love lost and very defensive if anyone new tries to step on the ghost of your beloved ex. During this time it might be good to bring closure to any long-dead relationship with a reflective post-mortem. After that, when Venus becomes invisible, give that bad romance a good funeral!
A ‘Dark Cupid’ Affair
For the last two weeks of the Venus retrograde period (Nov 3 to 16), Venus is Lucifer the morning star. This is the time when you are most likely to get involved in a ‘Dark Cupid’ or narcissistic affair. You will most definitely be thinking with your reproductive organs and not your brain, so do try to resist the sex if you can. You may get a series of red flags but still ignore them. A one night stand might during this time might seem harmless and disposable, but on a spiritual level, this goes far deeper. Your body is your temple so don’t give into the Luciferian psychic vampires. You might find yourself drained for many months afterwards. It’s simply not worth it.
Aphrodite’s bad points are often overlooked. She had a reputation for jealousy, revenge, possessiveness, and infidelity. The stress and misery caused by this behavior can attract unwanted hyperdimensional entities which feed of the drama. Sometimes we think we need a sexual fling because it has been a while, we just want to have fun and we feel we can take it or leave it. But with Venus retrograde, we might develop an obsessive attachment to the so-called “friend with benefits”, which we hadn’t bargained for. We could find we are kept in a very unpleasant psychic, sexual bondage.
So I would say proceed with caution with any new relationships. However Venus Retrograde doesn’t have to play out like ‘50 Shades’ of cringe, for like Mercury retrograde, Venus turned inward has its uses. Lyn Koiner says it “is an excellent time for buying antiques, flea market items and secondhand goods wherein you know the real worth and value of the item but the seller does not.” It’s also good for selling your own unwanted items.
I believe the first two-thirds of Venus Retrograde (Oct 6 to Nov 3) could be an ideal time for creativity that explores your inner world. Make music, art or poetry just for yourself and not for the public.
Lucifer ~ Morning Star
During Venus Retrograde we might feel like retreating from socializing or from a relationship, so this can be a very valuable time for learning how to love ourselves. As for the dangerous Lucifer period, I would to go with the Babylonians on this one and suggest singletons stay celibate for the last two weeks of it. I think that Venus retrograde could also function like Eris, since if we go back to the Babylonian/Sumerian myths we see that Innana was certainly an early incarnation of Venus.
In a chapter of the myth of Gilgamesh, Inanna went down into the Underworld and had to remove all her material glamours on her way to re-unite with her sister Ereshkigal. This reflects the planet Venus’s descent below the horizon and its inferior conjunction with the Sun where she is actually also combust. Then we have her resurrection as the morning star Lucifer after she has experienced the torture of been hung for death on meat hooks by her vengeful sister. This is a time of reflection (Venus’s symbol is the mirror) which may show us our shadow, self-sabotaging sister-self. With Venus, visuals will reflect back to us our deep psyche through paintings, visions, omens, dreams…
The Synodic Cycle
The shadow period of Venus retrograde means that Venus will spend a lot longer in a sector of your chart than usual, and work like an outer planet. (I think Neptune!) The effects mentioned in this article will be felt much stronger if you have natal planets in Venus’s path. If you are in a relationship, any unresolved gripes might come to a head at the actual retrograde when Venus hits the planet a second time, but they should be resolved by the time the Venus Direct reaches the post-shadow degree.
What is also very important is Venus’s synodic cycle which forms a pentagram in the sky. Every 8 years Venus will make another point of this magical 5 pointed star so it is worth keeping a record of what happened at the Venus retrograde of 8 years ago and see if there is a pattern. If you were born during a Venus retrograde then your birth synodic cycle should also reveal some valuable information to you.
I hope to write another post about Venus’s synodic cycle because it is worth looking into deeply if you are born with Venus retrograde. Until then, there are a couple of great articles on the web that explain it further. Venus Synodic Cycle by Khaldea. And Nick Dagan-Best (On Holes To Heaven ) has a done some great research using celebrity examples and their synodic cycles too. And for those who want to watch Venus against the constellations; Naked Eye Planets ~ Venus
Venus Retrograde Journey ~ October November 2018
Sep 3 Venus enters Pre-shadow
Oct 6 Hesperus Venus station Retrograde at 10º Scorpio
Oct 12 Venus enters Scorpio Decan 1(Detriment)
Oct 15 Venus conjunct Mercury on Gacrux in the Crucifix
Oct 19 Venus exact conjunct Gacrux (In orb until Oct 24)
Oct 26Venus conjunct Sun(Cazimi exact 10am EDT)
Oct 26 Venus combust Sun (from 3.05pm EDT.)
Oct 27 Venus becomes Lucifer!
Oct 30 Venus opposite Uranus square North Node. Fixed Scorpio/Taurus/Leo
Oct 31 Venusenters Libra decan 3(Ruler)
Nov 5 Venus conjunct Ceres on Izar in the great bear
Nov 8 to Venus conjunct Arcturus & Spica (In orb)
Nov 16 Venus station direct on Arcturus & Spica.
Dec 17 Venus leaves post-shadow
Artwork: Lady Lilith, 1872/73, Dante Gabriel Rossetti