What This Month's Rare Retrograde Means For Your Love Life

Image by Nicholas Githiri / Nappy

You may have heard the hype about Venus retrograde, a six-week backspin that happens every 18 months and will be in full force from October 5 to November 16, 2018. When the Heavenly Headmistress of Harmony takes this celestial sabbatical, relationships can go awry. Our normal levels of kindness and compassion deplete, and the past can creep back in—from ex-flames to old inflammatory issues.

But astronomically, Venus retrograde is pretty profound: This 40-day backspin marks the period when Venus begins her shift from an evening star—bright and visible in the sky near sundown—to a morning star, rising just before the Sun. In the middle of this transition, Venus vanishes from the sky—well, at least from our view here on Earth. The disappearing act happens approximately two weeks after the retrograde cycle begins—and lasts for around eight days.

While invisible, magnetic Venus holds a secret session with the life-giving Sun as the two meet up at the exact same zodiac point in the sky. In astrology, we call this an inferior conjunction between the Sun and Venus. This one will take place in sizzling Scorpio on October 26, 2018, at 7:13 a.m. EDT.

This planetary playdate also marks the beginning of a brand-new, 584-day Venus cycle. Much like a monthly new moon, we can think of this day as a "new Venus" or a "Venus rebirth." As Venus goes totally dark, we have blank canvas upon which we can imagine the future we want to create in our love lives. Prior to that, as Venus retrograde winds down her evening star cycle, we may see things that need to be "put to bed," so to speak: limiting beliefs, toxic relationships, unreasonable demands, destructive and abusive behaviors.

After the Venus rebirth, as she crosses the threshold and becomes a morning star for the next nine months. In the process, we may become "impregnated" with new visions of what love could be and giving us a chance to bring them to life and to light!

Fun fact: While the Mayans weren't fooled, the ancient Greeks once thought that Venus was two planets. As such, she has two names. In the morning, she is Phosphorus, which means "bringer of light." In the evening, she is Hesperus, which means "Western" since she appeared near the Sun at dusk. In 5 B.C. it was mathematician/stargazer Pythagoras who realized that Phosphorus and Hesperus were one and the same.

Using Venus retrograde for a romantic transformation.

Metaphorically, the "New Venus" day (October 26, 2018) might be a moment when all our old stories and hang-ups about love could finally disappear. Of course, so, too, can our sense of groundedness, safety, and trust, which is why this is NOT the day to make any rash decisions or sudden moves.

We might also feel the influence of Venus's powers in more invisible ways as it affects and directs us spiritually, emotionally, and energetically—rather than by delivering any outer events or results. We may not feel clearheaded or able to make rational decisions about romance on a New Venus day. Instead, we simply have to surrender and "just be" in the flow of Venus. 

Shortly after her rebirth, we'll see Venus again, rising as a morning star in the Eastern sky, shortly before the Sun. Her morning star cycle lasts until July 2019, giving us nine juicy months of creative, visionary energy. After that, she becomes a dreamy evening star until her next retrograde cycle in chatty Gemini from May 13 to June 25, 2020.

Morning Star Venus vs. Evening Star Venus:

To determine your Venus position, first locate the Sun in your natal chart (which you can calculate here). If Venus is clockwise from your Sun (or at an earlier zodiac sign), you're a Morning Star Venus. If Venus is positioned counterclockwise from the Sun (or at a later zodiac sign), your Venus type is an Evening Star. You can also use the tables below to determine your Venus type.

Pro tip: If your Venus and Sun are in the same zodiac sign, you'll need to check their degrees. If your Venus is at a lesser degree than your Sun, you are a Morning Star Venus. (Example: Venus 19º Scorpio, Sun 21º Scorpio.) If Venus is at a higher degree than your Sun, you are an Evening Star Venus. (Example: Venus 28º Scorpio, Sun 21º Scorpio.) If Sun and Venus are at the same degree, you'll have to check the minutes, which are the little numbers to the right of the degree symbol.

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Morning Venus (Phosphorus/Lucifer, meaning "light bearer"):

You are a "feel first, think later" person who tends to be guided by your emotions—logic, be damned! In love, you can be spontaneous, free-spirited, and open to adventure. Even if you appear tough on the surface, you're a hopeless romantic. When you fall, you fall hard and may rush into romantic relationships without truly knowing what you're getting yourself into. It's hard for you to hide your feelings, and you may need to process them verbally. Despite the inevitable pain of breakups, you will love again (and again). But will you make a better choice next time? Try to distill the lessons of each romance instead of rushing from one lover to the next.

Evening Venus (Hesperus, means "Western" since Venus appears in western sky):

You take your time to warm up to people and reveal your emotions slowly and deliberately—even when the attraction is burning inside you. Relationships are serious business, and you play for keeps. As such, you want to know what you're getting yourself into before getting swept away. You may process feelings internally, working them out in your head instead of in dialogue. You take a long time to get over heartbreak and may ruminate and obsess for a long time, even if you never speak to your ex again. Set a time limit for harping on a breakup and stop retelling the old woe-is-me tales. You need to learn how to keep moving forward. 

Are you a morning star Venus, or an evening star Venus?

The AstroTwins' six-week course, Design Your Dream Relationship, begins October 22. Discover the romantic blueprint that's written in your birth chart and move from mystery to mastery in love. The course covers everything from self-love to compatibility to divine timing, guided by the AstroTwins in a supportive community with live interactions and lessons. Learn more here

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