I'm not sure if anyone’s Instagram Story has told you yet, but Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine. (#Themoreyouknow, right?)
So now could be a great time for you to work on that social media marketing business you've been toying with, Marie Kondo all those unworn clothes gathering legit dust in the back of your closet (ew), or decide whether or not you want to pursue grad school.
Instead, you're probably busying yourself by (like me) playing video games (I'm *this* close to beating Mario Brothers on my Wii), watching the Real Housewives like it's your actual job (WHAT is going on with Denise Richards?), and coming up with new nicknames for your cat. Basically, I’m treating staying at home—when possible—like one big snow day.
But unfortunately for me—and many of you—Venus is going retrograde from May 13, 2020 to June 25, 2020. And to borrow a phrase from Missy Elliot, she’s about to "put her thing down, flip it, and reverse it," possibly messing with your emotional stability, sense of self, and style in the process.
Hang on to your journals, sheet masks, and candles, folks, because it’s going to be a doozy.
What does Venus in retrograde mean, exactly?
In the simplest terms, Venus in retrograde means that the planet that rules love, your values, and beauty is moving backwards (yes, literally). This is totally normal and happens about every 18 months, says Linda Joyce, professional astrologer and author of The Day You Were Born: A Journey to Wholeness Through Astrology and Numerology.
"It is a very big thing, and it causes more emotional problems and challenges than almost anything."
Because Venus is a female planet, it represents the yin to Mercury retrograde’s yang, Joyce explains. And she doesn't just rule over love, desire, and pleasure—she also rules art and money, says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com.
With control over so many different areas impacting your life, "what Venus does is uncover things that have been already happening under the surface and she will bring that to our attention," explains Montúfar .
"It is a very big thing, and it causes more emotional problems and challenges than almost anything," Joyce adds. (Dun, dun, duuuuuun.)
What should you expect during Venus retrograde?
A whole host of cringeworthy moments await you: An old flame sending a "U up?" text—or even worse, getting the "Can we talk?" text from the new beau you haven't seen in a month. Or maybe a friend brings up the one time you vomited in the street—and on your shoes—at 2 a.m. during your Zoom happy hour, and your parents overhear. Perhaps you realize it actually drives you insane when your roommate leaves used paper towels on the counter, instead of throwing them in the trash (even though it's right next to the counter).
Tempted to vent about relationship ish during Venus retrograde? Here's why you shouldn't:
But those ugh instances aren't all bad—they can create opportunities for self-reflection. "Venus retrograde turns us more internal, which is a good thing. [But] the problem with people, in general, is that we only want to advance and move forward," Joyce explains. "We don’t want to deal with unresolved issues, unresolved conflicts, or things we’ve escaped in the past."
Instead of fixing old problems, she adds, "we like to move on and create new problems, like dating the same guy in a new pair of pants."
And since this planetary move is during Gemini, a notoriously chatty member of the zodiac, you will feel more tempted than ever to tell your roomie where you'd like them to shove their paper towels.
But take it to your journal, advises Montúfar. "Venus retrogrades are pretty intense. We feel trapped and stuck, all things that are very highlighted right now, anyway," she says. "But if you are upset with your partner, and you lash out on them, you’ll regret it later." Instead, find a healthy outlet to express yourself: go on a run, take a virtual dance class, do a puzzle, or connect with an old friend (no venting allowed).
And for the love of all things astrological, don’t rant on social media. Keep your passive aggressive, yet beautifully designed Instagram quotes to yourself. Please.
Why is Venus in retrograde important?
This planet placement is **essential** in the life cycle, because it forces you to speak up and confront the stressors you worked so hard to bury (sorry, but it's true).
"Venus retrograde is one of the hardest ones to go through," says Brittany Binowski, a professional astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com and founder of Wonder Girl Astrology. "It brings up some of the worst, biggest changes in your life, so you can see them outwardly. We are forced to rethink our relationships and how life works in a very practical way."
This is a time when your reality can change pretty drastically, whether it’s leaving unhealthy relationships behind, finally confronting unresolved trauma, or even just giving yourself a much-needed haircut (stay away from impulsive bangs, though). The intensity of this flow will depend largely on the person.
If you're someone who is already putting in the emotional work—whether that's through therapy, journaling, or having honest (and often difficult) conversations with the people you love—this astrological event might not kill your vibe. You might have some moments of discomfort, but ultimately, Venus retrograde should help your #adulting efforts lead to real growth.
However, if you tend to bottle things up or keep your thoughts on others' troublesome behavior to yourself, this planetary shift will give you a much-needed kick in the pants.
"Our past haunts us unless we deal with it," Joyce says. Sad, but true.
What does Venus Retrograde mean for your zodiac sign?
Taurus and Libra—buckle up. These two signs are ruled by Venus and, therefore, are affected more intensely, Joyce says. (Read: It's gonna be a bumpy ride.) But really, all zodiac signs are in need of some emotional work during this time.
Journaling, meditating, painting your nails—generally, any self-care practice that sparks joy—can temper down the craziness, according to Binowski.
Will Venus retrograde cause breakups?
Maybe. Venus retrograde gets sort of a bad rap, according to Joyce. (Not unlike its mercurial counterpart, in case you're keeping score at home.)
If relationships end during this time period, they probably weren’t meant to last in the first place. But sure, blame it on the stars. "If you do lose the relationship, it’s because it was not working," says Joyce. "Venus retrograde doesn’t destroy a good relationship." (And exhale.)
In fact, couples in healthy relationships often come out of Venus retrograde stronger and with a better understanding of one another’s wants and needs, she notes.
Others, however, "will realize they really don’t like their partner," says Montúfar. Long story short: That couple that should’ve broken up a year ago (you know the one) probably won’t make it through Venus retrograde. But the solid partnerships will only grow deeper.
How can I use Venus retrograde to my advantage?
Okay, brace yourself for one more hard truth from Joyce: "Your biggest enemy is yourself and your delusions." With that in mind, there are many ways you can break out of old ideas and patterns that are not serving you during the upcoming retrograde.
Joyce recommends asking yourself questions "and, not being afraid to know the answer, or to see what comes up." This is the time to figure out who you are and what you want, she says, and answering these Q's can help you uncover hidden truths:
- If I could do five things what would they be?
- What would I study if I had more time?
- What do I love?
Montúfar also encourages self-reflection during Venus retrograde. For her, that means more time creating art. "Venus is like an upset puppy," she says. Feeding her with the things she loves (i.e. art, beauty, and self-love) will help you as you wade through these emotionally treacherous times.
To borrow another phrase from the all-powerful Missy: Is it worth it? Well, if you work it!
Jacqueline Tempera is an award-winning writer and reporter living in New Jersey with her many pets. She is a business owner and a double Scorpio who loves all things astrology and reality television. She is passionate about body diversity and representation, mental health, and the fight to end sexual assault and harassment. To learn more about Jackie, follow her on Instagram @jacktemp or visit her website at jackietempera.com.