When a planet is retrograde when you're born, that planet is retrograde in your natal chart, and can have an impact on your personality and life. When it's Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde, that tends to be a *really* big impact!
Venus is the planet of love, relationships, but also rules your values, what you take pleasure in, and your approach to money. So, this planet is pretty important for big matters in your life, and when you have this planet retrograde in your natal chart, that can be tricky.
What is a retrograde?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward in the Zodiac when you were born; it's not actually moving backward, and just appears that way.
The normal motion for planets is forward, so the retrograde planet operates a little differently. In the case of Venus, a lot differently!
Often, a retrograde Venus operates in the sign that is opposite the sign it's actually located. You almost reject the sign it's in, in favor of its opposite. But you have to learn to embrace the sign of your Venus, otherwise you usually have problems all your life with love, relationships, money, values, ethics, and confidence.
(btw, this is also often true for natal Mercury and Mars)
So, the opposing signs are:
Aries - Libra
Taurus - Scorpio
Gemini - Sagittarius
Cancer - Capricorn
Leo - Aquarius
Virgo - Pisces
It'll also manifest the opposing house from where it's located, however this article will just cover the signs for now, but for your reference, the opposing houses are:
1st - 7th
2nd - 8th
3rd - 9th
4th - 10th
5th - 11th
6th - 12th
So, let's say your natal Venus retrograde is in Libra and the 4th house, that means you likely operate as if it's in Aries and the 10th house. Say your natal retrograde Venus is in Aquarius and the 9th house, you likely operate as if it's in Leo and the 3rd house.
The biggest issue is that not only do you tend to operate as if it's in the opposing sign and house, but you also tend to play up the negatives of that opposing sign and house. Every sign and house has higher (positive) and lower (negative) energy and potential uses, but your natal Venus retrograde gets pulled to the negative.
Natal Venus Retrograde in the Zodiac Signs:
Natal Venus Retrograde in Aries:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Libra, so instead of being more independent and take initiative for yourself, you may look to others to do that for you quite a bit. You may struggle with being alone, and always find yourself with someone or dependent on someone else. You need to learn how to rely on yourself and not look to others to fulfill your physical, mental, or financial needs.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Taurus:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Scorpio, so instead of playing the calm and collected one, you're a bit more extreme and intense. You may be a bit obsessive in love and have difficulty letting go of anyone. You may share too much with others, and not have enough for yourself at times. You need to find the calm center within, and make yourself more of a priority.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Gemini:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Sagittarius, so you may keep people at arm's length, always demanding lots of space, and run pretty easily when it seems like others want to get closer to you. You may be a risk-taker financially, but don't actually think it through fully. You need to learn how to connect on a smaller scale and not be afraid of everyday connections, and think things through better.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Cancer:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Capricorn, so you may keep your feelings to yourself and not really let others in. You may take care of everyone else, but leave yourself depleted and uncared for. It can be extra hard for you to ask for help. You may give more attention to the external than the internal, wanting to avoid the internal. You need to learn how to embrace your emotions, let yourself feel and connect emotionally, and develop a support system you can rely on.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Leo:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Aquarius, so you may surround yourself with lots of people but rarely let anyone really get to know you in a personal way. You may be more detached and afraid of exposing your heart. You may seem above it all even when it's killing you. You need to learn to make your heart a bigger priority, and let it lead you more in life so you can forge closer connections.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Virgo:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Pisces, so you might make too many sacrifices for others, and it can be way too easy for you to stay quiet and let everyone else walk all over you. You may be very insecure and feel like you deserve that, and are way too hard on yourself. You need to work on self-worth and see yourself as a separate entity that doesn't have to get lost in others, pay more attention to yourself, cut yourself a break, and take better care of yourself.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Libra:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Aries, so instead of being very open with others and to commitment, you can run away from it. You may display loud independence, but are really just scared of losing yourself. You need to learn how to balance focus on the self with others, and be comfortable with healthy commitment.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Scorpio:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Taurus, so instead of intimate connections, you may prioritize casual ones and sexual flings over anything lasting. You may focus on keeping more for yourself, and have difficulty giving to others, perhaps worried you won't have enough. You need to work through whatever may have given the fear of intimacy, and learn that sharing enhances your life, not steals from it.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Sagittarius:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Gemini, so you may like to get to know everything you can about others, and get a little too invested. You may be great at surface-level conversation, but struggle beyond that. You may try to keep your world and thinking small, afraid of what broadening it would do or mean. You need to work on the blocks to opening up your life, expanding and evolving, and get beyond the surface.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Capricorn:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Cancer, so you may get too emotionally invested, operate too subjectively with others, or try to avoid external responsibilities and just tend to your own personal needs. You may not be comfortable with asserting your goals or working to build anything for yourself, and instead only want to build for others. You need to embrace ambition and become comfortable with building for yourself.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Aquarius:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Leo, so instead of a comfortable distance, you may get clingy and way too personal. You may struggle with anything casual, and may fall in love way too easily and way too fast, confuse other emotions or situations with love, and have a hard time with being alone. You need to learn how to be in a relationship with yourself and not be so quick to give your heart away or look externally for validation.
Natal Venus Retrograde in Pisces:
Your Venus may operate more like extreme Virgo, so you may be way too picky, have such high demands that neither you nor anyone else can live up to, and may find yourself constantly disappointed. You may do lots of work and pay lots of attention with others, but tend to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself. You need to open up to more spiritual connections with others, and let things go and flow more without so many expectations.
One last note:
Venus retrograde in your natal chart often means you have some trauma or baggage associated with it. It may be from your early life, or past lives/karmic, but it's pretty much a definite that something is there.
Working through that block, that issue, that baggage, or whatever it is, helps you to start to feel comfortable with your natal Venus retrograde sign and house location so you're not running away from it anymore. But, the issues are often deeply embedded in your subconscious, and we may not even realize it's there.
Being more honest with ourselves, our life experiences, and being more in tune with our innermost selves can go a long way. And once you do unlock your Venus retrograde and actually use it the right way, it can be a huge asset for you. Good luck with your natal Venus retrograde!
Suggested Reading: Venus Retrograde in the Natal Chart