As January opens, the planet Venus is moving in retrograde fashion through Capricorn. As it does so, it is threading its way through a crowded tangle of planets, sharing Capricorn with Pluto, Mercury, and the Sun. Venus turned retrograde on December 19 and will remain in that backwards condition until near the end of this month, finally stationing and turning direct on January 29th.
A retrograde planet is going back over ground that it has already covered, often re-thinking and re-framing it. That is one profoundly telling clue about the evolutionary meaning of retrograde bodies in general: they are always about the past. That is the key. As the great southern writer, William Faulkner once said, “The past is not dead. It is not even past.” There is, in other words, no way to separate our personal history from our experience of the present moment. Ask anyone who has ever been betrayed – can they enter into a new relationship without that old ghost haunting them? Once burned, twice smart, as the proverb goes – although in the case of intimate betrayal, “smart” might actually mean “wounded.”
Venus retrograde may not be about those old betrayals, but that is certainly one possibility. Venus is, of course, the goddess of love. It is always about relationships, among other things. So let’s go with the “old betrayals” scenario for a while. We can use it to help us learn some principles that are more generalizable.