Venus is currently retrograde in Leo, bringing a lot of focus and attention to Venus retrograde in transit, but what about when you're born with Venus retrograde?
What is a retrograde?
For the newbies, a planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our viewpoint here on Earth; it isn't actually moving backward, it only appears that way because of the way the planets move in relation to Earth. If a planet is retrograde when you were born, you have that planet retrograde in your natal chart (a snapshot of the planets and houses at the moment you were born from the location you were born at).
Retrograde energy differs from when the planet is moving in its usual forward motion, and this is especially true of the personal planets - Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The personal planets have a direct impact on our personalities and preferences in life, our habits and who we are, so when any of this trio are retrograde in the natal chart, this can stick out like a sore thumb to the native.
What is means to have Venus retrograde:
When you're born with Venus retrograde, keep in mind that Venus is the planet of love and relationships, so this tends to be the area of life that your retrograde Venus has the most obvious impact. For men, this plays out in the women that you're attracted to (romantically if straight, platonically if gay), and the type of relationship that you go for.
The normal rules don't usually apply for a Venus retrograde native. Men with Venus retrograde tend to be attracted to women who aren't the "norm" in some way related to the sign and house position of their Venus.
For women, Venus is the alter ego, representing your feminine energy, and so a woman with Venus retrograde tends to express the feminine energy in a different way. It tends to lean toward the opposing sign and house of their Venus, so if you have Venus retrograde in Cancer, instead of being extremely mothering and nurturing and emotional in relationships, you may be more distant.
For some women with Venus retrograde, they can reject their feminine side and instead focus on their masculine side. There can be discomfort with the feminine energy which leads them to embrace masculine energy exclusively, and they have to learn to balance both their masculine and feminine side, and that their femininity isn't a negative.
People with Venus retrograde can often feel like they have a hard time relating with others in a more intimate way since Venus rules close relationships. They can have a hard time opening up, letting people in, wanting to take their time really connecting with others, but this can lead to a sense of loneliness even when they're in a relationship, especially at a young age.
This is definitely a placement that is much more difficult in misunderstood youth, and can be better understood with age, maturity, and experience.
Venus retrograde natives can experience difficulties with love when young, often feeling that there were limitations to the love that was shown to them, or that they had to fit into a certain mold in order to be accepted even just a little, and this can lead to their hesitations with love as they grow. There's often some degree of fear with love.
Venus rules your sense of security and safety, along with your possessions, so Venus retrograde can show someone who struggled to feel safe and secure, and tries to use objects and things to fill a that void and make them feel more secure.
The more insecure the Venus retrograde native feels, generally the more they want "stuff". Venus retrograde men can show love by giving lots of gifts, believing that that's a way to show affection, but it's more about having some emotional distance to keep yourself safe from emotional harm and not show how insecure you are.
Venus retrograde natives need to work on making sure they have a healthy sense of security, of self-worth, of self-esteem, of self-confidence. They're prone to issues with these more than most, and this can lead to all sorts of problems.
With Venus also ruling money, Venus retrograde in the natal chart can also indicate financial issues, whether it's hoarding too much or being too much of a spendthrift. A healthy attitude toward money is necessary to cultivate.
It's not uncommon to see people born with Venus retrograde, especially women, who have relationships that lead to their undoing or that are exceptionally unhealthy. Abuse, neglect, even being led into criminal activity by lovers is something that must be avoided by Venus retrograde natives.
Don't be with someone who needs to be saved - it won't work. Don't make excuses for them - it won't work. Don't believe your love will change them - it won't work. And don't believe that this is what you deserve. It's not.
The upside of Venus retrograde when you're born is that when Venus turns retrograde in transit, like it is now, you can get through relatively unscathed since the energy is natural to you. You should make use of the time when Venus is retrograde because you'll feel more "normal" during that time. You can understand your Venus better, and what you want and need better.
Suggested Reading: Mercury Retrograde in the Natal Chart