Venus Retrograde: A time for reevaluation

On March 4th, Venus, the planet most associated with love and beauty, shuffled backwards into a six-week retrograde, gliding first through the sign of Aries, followed by a jaunt into Pisces, where it will eventually turn direct on April 15th.

This retrograde, unlike that of Mercury, occurs solely once every eighteen months and as Venus is the ruling planet of both Libra and Taurus, this isn't forced contemplation in just one area of our lives, but two; that of love and money.

As with all retrogrades, this is a period of intense reflection. A time to reevaluate what is and is not working in certain aspects of our lives, most especially in regards to the love we have for others and in turn for ourselves.  We might be finding ourselves asking what exactly it is that we value in this lifetime.  What is it that truly brings us joy, happiness and a sense of fulfilment.

With the first few weeks of this retrograde spent in fiery Aries, anything that wasn't quite in balance was suddenly up for inspection, whether that was work or relationship related.  Ultimately, Venus wants harmony and in order to obtain it, certain things needed to be dealt with.  Therefore any previous leanings we may have had towards burying our head in the sand and hoping our problems went away were probably eradicated during this time frame.  Whether we liked it or not, for the good of all, our cracks were now fully on display.

Being the first sign of the zodiac, Aries literally represents beginnings and forward motion. It demands action and it's not about to wait around for everyone to get their shit together before it proceeds forward. It's a now or never, do or die kinda sign. It's not about to compromise. This astrological hot head wants all or nothing.

And just as we thought all hell was breaking loose on the emotional front, Venus did a side step into watery Pisces, a mutable sign that ushers in both endings and thus in turn beginnings.  With this energy in charge, it was probably always on the cards that old habits, old wounds and potentially old flames were going to crop up, in order to be redealt with.

This shuffle back and forth between signs is comparable to the tide flowing in and out.  Venus wants to pull back, collect what it can from the sea's murky depths and then drag its findings out onto the shoreline.  It's attempting to cleanse its waters of any pollutants that might have collected negligently over time.  It's arduous work granted and the emotional fallout can be intense, but oh is it necessary.

By the time Venus moves back round to close out its retrograde, we'll be only too painfully aware of what we need to cut loose, whether that's a person, a relationship, a job or even just an outdated idea we have of ourselves and the way we do things.  It will be time to finally let go of anything we've come to realise no longer serves us.  This shift in energy, if we choose to use it wisely, will help us lay to rest old wounds, old patterns and anything we need to move on from, in order to start anew.

Regardless of the conclusions we come to during this time, the only way we can truly move forward is fearlessly.  Love of self, love of others, love of life and of our craft; It takes a courageous heart to love anything at all because it requires us to be able and willing to accept the inevitability of loss. Yet, to hold ourselves back from loving in order to avoid the pitfalls that come attached is to cease to live altogether.  When you accept that there is no joy without pain, there is no light without dark, you live in a state of appreciation and non-resistance.  You live fully and what is the point to life, if not to be lived.

May this retrograde period bring you the clarity you need and the strength to know what to do with it.

Acknowledging your shadow side

Every moon cycle brings with it a powerful shift in emotions and consciousness and this month's Full Moon in Gemini is certainly no different.  Gemini itself is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication and this Super Moon is forcing upon us the urge to purge.  It's asking that our words match our actions.  That our intentions be intentional.  It's no longer an option to stay silent when our truths demand to be heard.  However, the biggest lesson is to recognise what is truth and what is illusion.

The moon itself often symbolises that which is hidden.  Like an optical illusion, it appears to beam down brightly upon us night after night, in great illumination.  However in truth, it is merely being highlighted by the sun's glare.  And it is this very arrangement between the two planets that causes our view to be consistently one-sided.  For even when the moon appears to be fully lit, there is always one side immersed in darkness.

It is precisely this duality of light and dark that this Full Moon is asking us to acknowledge and accept within ourselves.  Just as Gemini itself is often depicted as twins, we too all have multiple sides.  Yet how, if at all, are we choosing to incorporate these variable aspects into our understanding of the whole.  We are, after all, multifaceted beings, capable of a range of emotions, yet it seems as though we are consistently confronted with emotional roadblocks that see us repress that which is deemed unpleasant or unnecessary to feel or express.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

This constant, often unconscious, habitual self-editing is, simply put, a denial of self.  Of our whole self.  We have been preconditioned to believe that to be strong, we must never show weakness; To succeed we must never know failure; To be loved, we must never reveal our unlovable qualities.  Yet in reality, it is precisely the things we perpetually avoid, whether consciously or not, that we must finally acknowledge and confront, so that we may be able to incorporate them into the whole.  For when we are aware of our weaknesses, we know our strengths.  When we have experienced failure, we have the drive to succeed.  And when we have shown our most unlovable sides, we can open ourselves up to the truest expression of love, that which is unconditional.

Learning to embrace change

It's official, times are changing, the energy is shifting and I'm sorry to inform you, that checking out is no longer an option.  If you've been resisting this moment, this opportunity to transform, with all the avoidance tactics of a toddler avoiding nap time, then you're probably at present facing upheaval and inner turmoil. But fear not, as from the breaking comes the breakthroughs.

Yes, change brings with it unfamiliarity and we all know that the great unknown can be daunting, yet equally it often provides us with the opportunity for exciting possibilities that we could not have previously imagined.  It's perfectly okay if you don't feel as though you currently have all the answers, or know in which direction to turn, this is your challenge, to grow and maintain a sense of acceptance in your uncertainty.  Be willing to let go.  Like struggling to get a grasp on a word that lingers so precariously on the tip of your tongue, eluding you, you must be willing to let it come to you, in time.

Of course we must also acknowledge that time itself is of sorts an illusion.  The perception of which denoting its speed.  Rather than evolve out of our confinements, we have instead further reduced our experience down to variable structures, believing our lives to be limited, that each segment must bring about some kind of achievement in order to be valid or of worth.  This is a fallacy.  Life itself is ever-lasting.  This physical experience is solely that, an experience.  So what, pray tell, is it that you wish to experience.

What is it that you need.  What is it that you want.  What is it you can offer.  We all have something unique to give, yet we consistently conspire to conform, to reach the peak of someone else's expectations, often to the detriment of our own happiness and joy.  We follow the consensus blindly, stripping away our freedom, day by day, drowning out the cries of our instincts with consumerist highs and mind numbing televisual lows.  Alcohol, drugs, work, sex, a plentitude of distractions that we persistently pour ourselves into, so as to avoid confrontation of the self.

The more you resist the ride, the more aggressive it will be, so brace yourself, because it's time, it's time for change.