Similar to Mercury—whose own infamous retrograde cycle may ring some bells—Venus is an inner planet, meaning it's located close to Earth, relative to the extended solar system. Astrologically, that means its retrograde cycles impact us on a deeper, day-to-day level than those of outer planets (like, say, Neptune). Venus also moves relatively quickly, meaning its retrogrades happen about every 18 months.
This particular retrograde, however, also represents the end of a larger eight-year cycle, as the planet arrives at the Venus star point, or an alignment with the sun reflecting the planet’s star-shaped path through the sky, says astrologer Madi Murphy, co-founder of Cosmic Rx: “This might inspire you to look back at the period of time from the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2014 and consider what journey you’ve taken since to learn about your values and integrity.”
"Venus retrograde is a time period to focus on our beliefs around love and how we show up in these dynamics." —astrologer Ellen Bowles
Like any retrograde, Venus retrograde will likely inspire more reflection than action, turning our attention on Venusian themes away from the external beauty of the world and toward the internal beauty of ourselves, says astrologer Ellen Bowles: “Venus retrograde is a time period to focus on our beliefs around love and how we show up in these dynamics.” And as Venus will be in Capricorn throughout the retrograde, we can expect a structural and task-oriented tinge to that focus. “As Capricorn is the sign of aging and of the type of knowledge we only get from lived experience, we'll likely come to explore how we’ve matured and where we’ve gained wisdom,” says Murphy.
To that end, read on for Venus retrograde tips from experts regarding what to do and what to definitely not do, in order to act in star-sanctioned alignment with the transit.
3 tips for what to do during Venus retrograde, according to astrologers
1. Reflect on past relationships.
There’s a little bit of natural friction with Venus moving through Capricorn in that Venus “desires things and wants to manifest things, and Capricorn is a reminder of the sacrifice and hard work and honesty with yourself that’s really required to do that,” says Murphy. As a result, this transit will push us to reflect on what we've learned about our worthiness in relationships, and short-term sacrifices we may need to make in order to attain the love and quality of relationships we deserve, she says.
This type of reflective work could surface many emotions, which is why Bowles says it’s essential to practice self-compassion while processing the past, and to embrace mistakes as helpful lessons. “You can then apply all these beautiful lessons to relationships moving forward once Venus stations direct,” she says.
2. Allow yourself to seek closure in relationships—with care and integrity.
It’s not necessarily off-limits to reopen communication with an ex-partner or former friend during Venus retrograde, so long as doing so supports meaningful growth. “If someone’s reaching out or you want to reach out, maybe it’s because there’s some legitimate craving of Capricorn-like closure and self-accountability that has to be born out, so that you can both move forward and set a foundation for the next eight-year Venus cycle,” says Murphy.
Another way to think about it? While Mercury retrograde may be more likely to bring toxic exes back into your life, Venus retrograde could push you to think about where you might’ve been the toxic ex, so to speak. “Maybe you were the friend that ghosted or the person who left a relationship without doing the right thing,” says Murphy. “Venus retrograde might not necessarily be a sign to get back together with this person, but perhaps it’s a chance to revisit how you left this relationship, and if there’s anything that you might’ve done—or might be able to do—differently, now knowing the Capricorn wisdom of your lived experience.”
3. Prioritize caring for yourself.
“Venus reflects our inner world of self-care and pleasure,” says Murphy. And the slow-down prompted by the retrograde is just one more reason to turn inward and refuel your own resources. “What we willingly give to others must be poured into our own self-care first,” Bowles adds.
It’s also worth noting that Venus in Capricorn, in particular, can inspire an almost regimented approach to self-care—which Murphy suggests adopting. “There’s something transactional about how Capricorn expects you to evaluate your life: If you’re saying, ‘I want to be healthy and happy,’ then look at your calendar, and see whether you’ve actually devoted time for whatever activities will help you do that. Or, look at your bank account, and see whether the investments you’re making are matching your values and your vision,” she says. As Venus remains in Capricorn for nearly four months instead of its usual three weeks (due to retrograding in Capricorn and then returning to forward motion, still in the sign), there’s ample time to check in and determine whether you’re truly walking the walk.
4 tips for what not to do during Venus retrograde
1. Make any permanent (or long-lasting) changes to your appearance.
In general, permanent changes of any sort aren’t typically the best idea during retrogrades, as these transits are more centered around past reflection than forward momentum. But in particular, given that Venus rules over beauty, this transit is a time to steer clear of major aesthetic shifts, says astrologer Crystal B. That means avoiding cosmetic procedures, tattoos, and even big hair changes, if you can.
“While Venus retrograde can certainly bring up insecure feelings around physical appearance, it’s easy to regret big decisions made during the retrograde when Venus goes direct,” says Bowles. “Instead, if you feel inspired to make a change, go for something subtle and impermanent to amplify your natural beauty.”
2. Settle for someone or something beneath your worth.
“Sometimes Capricorn likes comfort and doing things out of tradition,” says Murphy. But, the influence of Venus retrograde could inspire you to be honest with yourself and find ways to embrace your value, perhaps even at the expense of that comfort.
In the realm of love, specifically, deeper questions about the quality of a relationship may surface unexpectedly during a Venus retrograde, and hard decisions may have to be made regarding whether second chances are really possible, says B: “With the sign of Capricorn dominant, it's important to have a firm line and not let anyone cross it.” She advises avoiding relationships that lead you to “fix” the other person or “make them a project,” as Capricorn energy might inspire, and to only put work into a relationship that feels duly reciprocated.
The same ethos applies to your valuation around money, in terms of being given what you’re worth. “Consider asking yourself whether you're receiving the amount you deserve for the work you're outputting, and where in your life you may be feeling undervalued,” Bowles says. “You can use this retrograde to self-reflect, and then establish better financial foundations and boundaries once Venus goes direct.”
3. Formalize a commitment in love, if you can help it.
It’s a bit precarious to start a new relationship or solidify an existing one at the very end of Venus’s eight-year cycle, rather than to do so once Venus stations direct and begins a new journey. “You may enter Venus retrograde with one mindset and come out with an entirely new one,” says B. That means decisions made in the interim might not be the most reflective of your goals on the flip side.
That’s not to say you won’t meet someone great or deepen a relationship during the retrograde—but more so that the cosmos is better aligned for long-lasting love decisions or contracts once Venus goes direct again.
4. Make any major, splurge-y purchases.
“The Capricorn part of this Venus retrograde story will be reminding us to watch our spending,” says B. And that’s only further emphasized by the fact that Venus rules over money, value, and worth. So, avoid any big discretionary, not-super-necessary purchases, as “things you buy during this period may not seem as worthy post-retrograde as you originally anticipated,” says B.
While it can be a challenge to curb spending around the holiday season, Murphy suggests rethinking gift purchases, too. “I think we've all learned over the past 18 months that people in our lives don’t necessarily all need more material things,” she says. “Perhaps this is an opportunity to drop into more conscious consumption. Maybe you consider whether you can pick up something secondhand, or up-cycle something, or even cook a friend a meal or help them with a favor instead.”
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
Loading More Posts...