The basics: A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backwards, it just appears that way. Venus retrogrades about every 1 ½ years for 1 ½ months at a time. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
This Venus retrograde begins March 4th at 4:02AM ET and ends April 16th at 6:16AM ET. It starts at 13 degrees 9 minutes Aries and ends at 26 degrees 55 minutes Pisces, entering Pisces on April 2nd at 7:27PM ET.
Oh Venus retrograde! We didn’t have one in 2016, so we’re now due in 2017, and here she comes. Most of the retrograde occurs in Aries, and we can struggle with being selfish, impatient, impulsive, and aggressive in our relationships and in our dealings with others. We may snap a little too easily, and can say things we regret later (so don’t). At the same time, we can be super lazy and lack initiative and drive to start anything or pursue anything, and may lack the excitement and enthusiasm we once had.
We’ll need an outlet for the excess energy while also need to find a way to motivate ourselves when we need to get going. We may have extra energy for things we don’t need the energy for, and not enough for the things we do. And we can be rash and childish in relationships, so remind yourself you’re not 13 and should act like an adult (unless you are 13, then go ahead and act like a brat!).
Venus does not retrograde fully in Aries though, and she’ll go back into Pisces on April 2nd, so the last 13 days of the retrograde occur in this watery, sensitive sign. We go from the tension, aggression, and impulsiveness of Aries to being overly sacrificial, easily taken advantage of, and vulnerable to deception and manipulation with Pisces. We have to work on being more realistic and not wearing rose-colored glasses with the people in our lives, but we may not see how delusional we’re actually being. Everything seems great while it’s burning down all around us.
We may be too compassionate and do anything for everyone at times, but then lack empathy and understanding at other times. There may be a situation that seems particularly cruel while Venus is retrograde in Pisces because we’re much more sensitive and easily victimized. We need to guard ourselves and those who can’t guard themselves.
We may be a little wishy washy, all over the place with Venus retrograde in Pisces. Pisces is a sign that’s hard to pin down, getting lost in daydreams, fantasies, illusions, and imagination. This can be an excellent period creatively and for the artist within if you can get control over the energy, but we may be so in-the-air that we have a hard time actually doing that. And any commitments we make now? Yeah, likely not going to stick at all!
Venus is ruler of relationships, and her retrograde usually brings about a lot of breakups, or at least a few big ones. She also tends to bring people back together too. Venus is also ruler of money, so we can see financial issues arise (something with the stock market when she’s critical or anaretic? Hmm . . .). Keep a tight grip on those purse strings!
Venus retrograde begins at a difficult position, something called a critical degree. There are certain degrees in the Zodiac that are deemed “critical”, and the energy can be more difficult than the others, and 13 degrees Aries is one of those degrees. Joy! So when the retrograde starts, we may be feeling some extra zing in every zap, and our relationships can be even more on edge, dangling precariously. Pull back!
Venus will also be at a critical degree just before entering Pisces, April 1st and 2nd, and then will be anaretic (at the 29th degree, the very last degree of a sign and a point of crisis energy) April 2nd - 5th as she enters Pisces. This might be a topsy-turvy time for the retrograde, and we often see events triggered by retrograde planets at the anaretic degree, so let’s pay careful attention to this time.
Add on top of this that while Venus is in Aries, she’ll be a part of the cardinal t-square we have going on, which has Jupiter in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries with both square (hard aspect, three signs away) Pluto in Capricorn. Venus will be adding to the Uranus in Aries energy, so we’ll likely be seeing more uprising, more pushing for freedom and independence, and definitely more impulsive, aggressive energy. We’ll need to work extra hard to keep a lid on that while Venus is retrograde in Aries!
Venus retrograde will make 3 major aspects, a conjunction to Mercury in Aries on at March 18th at 8:27AM ET, a conjunction to the Sun in Aries on March 25th at 6:17AM ET, and a square to Saturn when in Pisces on April 8th at 4:28PM ET. Venus conjunct Mercury can help us focus on what we need to say, how we say it, and the state of communication in our relationships. Are we actually listening and paying attention to what others are saying, or getting distracted? Are we being the most effective we can be when we try to communicate, or using too much fluff and filler words and going around the point? It can be a good time to try to say something again but in a different way. We can hear a lot of news about relationships with this aspect. Venus conjunct the Sun can be a good time to focus on what we can channel our enthusiasm and excitement into, especially with old projects, ideas, and plans. A new moon occurs in Aries while Venus is retrograde in Aries, about 3 degrees apart, on March 27th. This might highlight some of the retrograde problems, while also bringing some potentially helpful energy. It’ll be an excellent new moon for people getting back together, and giving opportunities second chances. But it can also be a time when we're much too impulsive, and erratic energy is heightened, so let's find some outlets.
Venus retrograde will end closely sextile (positive aspect, two signs away) Mars in Taurus (exact the day after the retrograde ends), as well as square (hard aspect, three signs away) Saturn in Sagittarius, who turns retrograde himself April 5th. The square to Saturn might bring some restrictions, limitations, and overwhelm, so use the energy from the sextile to Mars wisely and channel passion and creativity in productive ways.
And oh yeah - Mercury retrograde! He’ll begin just as Venus retrograde is ending, with Mercury turning retrograde himself on April 9th (through May 3rd, starting in Taurus and ending in Aries). SO even when the Venus retrograde ends, Mercury will pick right up where Venus leaves off. Mean planets! Which essentially means, mid-March through early May, focus on the do-overs and all of the re-’s (redo, revise, revisit, replenish, rethink, etc.), because the energy for anything brand new probably isn’t going to be too great. And make sure to give yourself plenty of time to rest and relax - we’ll all need it!
The retrograde begins at 13 degrees Aries, so those of you Aries born March 30th - April 6th can feel the start of this retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 26 degrees Pisces, so those of you Pisces born after March 14th can feel the end of the retrograde most.
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Venus will be retrograding in of your own natal chart, and any aspects Venus will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you’re a Taurus or Libra Sun, Moon, or Rising, you can feel off in a subtle way throughout the retrograde since Venus rules Taurus and Libra.
If you have Venus retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others.