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 turns retrograde once every 1.5 - 2 years or so, and lasts for 6-8 weeks. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
The retrograde train begins! This Venus retrograde is the start of over 7 months of retrogrades. Once this one ends, Mercury will turn retrograde; in the middle of that retrograde, Mars will turn retrograde; and once Mars ends, Mercury retrogrades again. We don't get a break until July 2014. Buckle up, because it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
Venus, generally, rules love and money, so when she retrogrades, we usually see some problems with these two important areas of life. People break up all over the place, people lose or squander money, and we all seem a little grumpy, a little lazy, and stuff our mouths with food to make us feel better. Those with stock in a chocolate company will do well! We can see people get back together, or go back to earning money in ways they have before, but it might not stick once the retrograde is over.
This retrograde occurs entirely in earth sign Capricorn. The big thing with Capricorn is usually politics and our government (like they haven't been enough of a problem!). We can have less patience with them, be even more tired of their games, but see even more games being played. They don't want to do their work, they don't want to do what we want them to do, they're unrealistic or make promises they can't keep, they waste money and time. They hate each other even more, and it's on display for everyone to see. Yeah, I don't have high hopes for our politicians behaving well during this retrograde. We could even see a big sex scandal coming out with a politician or someone in our government. As for spending, we either think we're going too far, or not going far enough. Some see bloat, others see skin and bones, and we don't agree on what's really there.
Capricorn rules your career and life path. We could see people make comebacks in their career, or screw up so bad we don't think they'll ever recover. Some may go back to careers they used to work in. Others may change the path their life is on completely, or feel like their life isn't moving forward at all, and the stagnation makes them put everything on hold until they figure out what's going on. We're more unsatisfied with our careers and the direction our lives are taking, but we lack the energy and drive to do anything about it.
We can say the wrong things at the wrong times, angering people. Make sure you're not being politically incorrect, or you could pay the price. When voicing displeasure, we can be more harsh than we want to be, or than we think we're being. Things can be taken the wrong way. We make bad first impressions. We're uncomfortable in the public eye.
On January 7th, Venus is conjunct (in the same spot as) Mercury, so we could see some unpleasant news/communications. On January 11th, Venus sextiles (positive aspect) Saturn and conjuncts the Sun, so we could be lazy with our responsibilities, not follow through, and want to just kick back and indulge. On January 16th, Venus squares (difficult aspect) Mars, and passions can run high, but those emotions aren't used properly.
When Venus retrograde begins, she'll be just before 29 degrees Capricorn, just a second away. 29 degrees is called the Anaretic degree, and it's a critical point. While Venus isn't actually turning retrograde at this degree, it's so close that we could still feel some impact of it. There can be some indecision, jumping before thinking, or constant changing of the mind. In Capricorn, we could see our politicians/governments going back on something, arguing over how to do something, changing their minds at the last minute (I think we've gotten used to these things in the U.S. though!).
When Venus retrograde ends, she'll be at 13 degrees of Capricorn, and 13 degrees of any cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) is a critical point. Oh joy! Add to that Venus will be opposite Jupiter and conjunct Pluto when the retrograde ends. This turn direct won't be a walk in the park either. We're lazy and indulgent, insist we know the right answer, struggle over power and control, and may strive for change, but are we being unrealistic? Will we rise to the occasion, or just fight-fight-fight?
The turn retrograde begins at 28 degrees of Capricorn, so those of you Capricorns born January 17th and on may feel the turn retrograde most. The turn direct occurs at 13 degrees Capricorn, so those of you Capricorns born January 2nd - 5th may feel the turn direct most. Any Capricorns born January 2nd and on will experience Venus conjunct (in the same spot as) your Sun at some point during the retrograde. When that happens, you'll be extra lazy, lack motivation, drive, have no patience with people - so unlike you normally! Just breathe, Cappy's, just breathe, and don't eat too much chocolate.
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 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.