Seek Yourself with Sun-Venus, and Then What?

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

Has the Venus retrograde been glitchy for you? As Amanda Painter describes, even that can offer valuable reminders of what matters most to you, and what you need to do about it. While Venus is urging internal inquiry, Mercury engages slow-moving planets in the cardinal signs to get you thinking about your role in the world.

By Amanda Painter

In the midst of a political landscape that keeps getting weirder (and, for many, ever more unnerving), have you noticed any strange glitches, bloopers or unexplained tech issues this past week? No, Mercury is not retrograde. But it’s possible you might be experiencing a bit of a copycat effect.

Photo by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

The culprit? Dear, sweet, named-after-the-goddess-of-love Venus, believe it or not.

Don’t panic if you have not noticed anything amiss — and don’t panic even if you have. Even though a period of Venus retrograde (which we’re experiencing until April 15) can sometimes mimic Mercury retrograde, the effect is not necessarily going to show up for everyone. If you have, however, noticed things going a little wonky, rest assured that you are not losing it. You simply might need to make a greater effort to stay focused on what you’re doing, and be patient while you work things out.

Better yet, Venus retrograde — including any SNAFUS you experience — can offer valuable reminders of the things that matter most to you, and what you need to do about them. As with any retrograde, this experience is likely to come in the form of taking an internal inventory or review.

That internal review reaches its midpoint this Saturday, as retrograde Venus conjoins the Sun in Aries (exact at 6:17 am EDT/ 10:17 UTC). A Sun-Venus conjunction can indicate “self-seeking” behavior, which can mean selfish. Yet I’d say it’s possible to interpret “self-seeking” in a more productive, helpful way:

What does it really mean to seek one’s Self?

Life on the internet does not encourage introspection; it tends to crowd out the sense of inner space that’s needed for looking inward to be effective. In such an image-obsessed culture as ours, the question about what or who one is — deep down — can be a scary one. If your core values, needs and desires run counter to what ‘everyone else’ professes, or counter to your own carefully curated online persona, where does that leave you?

It actually leaves you in a position to be that much stronger, more ethical, more compassionate, more artistic, more influential and more genuinely expressive than you ever have been before. It leaves you with being real. As an added bonus, you get to be more comfortable in your own skin, no matter what else is going on around you.

It’s not necessarily an easy process. There will be steps forward and steps backward; some relationships will fall away or evolve, and new ones will emerge. The process of ‘seeking yourself’ might not even have a real ‘end’, and it’s often helpful to engage in some kind of therapy or other counseling work at various stages along the way. But the process holds value, beauty and the potential for actual love of oneself — all core Venus themes.

If something about this first half of Venus retrograde has felt at all edgy, bumpy or intense, the second half is likely to soften considerably. April 2, Venus will slide backwards into late Pisces — a much easier place for Venus to be, and a sign more conducive to introspection and subtlety.

Between now and then, however, we have to balance some very externally oriented astrology with the introspection. Specifically, I want to mention what Mercury is doing — because Mercury is associated with mental processes. And there’s so much happening in the world to keep our minds busy these days — from travel restrictions to weather events to a potentially dramatic (and devastating) restructuring of governmental social programs, and more.

Mercury is currently in late Aries, a cardinal sign, and it is moving through a highly charged grand square with planets in the other cardinal signs, from today through Sunday. In order of Mercury’s contact with them, those planets include: Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter in Libra, Vesta in Cancer, and Uranus and Eris in Aries. Since those planets all move considerably slower than Mercury, they are descriptive of longer-term trends: things like the restructuring of institutions, the revolution being waged by the internet on our consciousness, social justice movements — and the ways these things are interconnected.

Earlier this week on Planet Waves I suggested it might be helpful to notice how plugged in you feel regarding what’s happening in the world around you. I asked, “Can you articulate your thoughts about it, including your sense of identity or your role in the face of the chaos?”

It could be that you feel like you’re just treading water, or like you’re on the verge of burnout. Maybe you’re ready for some escape.

It’s okay to take care of yourself. After all, that is what will enable you to stay involved in positive ways — ways that are about being a kind neighbor, a caring friend and a part of the solution in any given situation.

These themes and your engagement with your wider community are also absolutely connected to the introspection of Venus retrograde. They might not sound related, but they are.

A conjunction between Venus and the Sun can signify a desire to surround yourself with beauty and to “escape into a brighter, prettier world,” as astrologer Robert Hand has written. It also can precipitate a need to express yourself, possibly in creative ways.

Just imagine if, with Venus retrograde, as you get to know your deepest values better — that is, who you are — you feel the urge not only to express that, but to actually create the “brighter, prettier world” you’d like to inhabit. I can think of many ways that desire, informed by a deeper sense of self, could intersect with the chaos of the world and serve the highest good of all. Sound like a plan?

Planet Waves

11 thoughts on “Seek Yourself with Sun-Venus, and Then What?

  1. LizzyLizzy

    “If something about this first half of Venus retrograde has felt at all edgy, bumpy or intense, the second half is likely to soften considerably. ” Phew! Has been pretty hellish so far, though also very enlightening. Thank you for this beautiful piece (and photo), dear Amanda – so very helpful. Your love and care always shines through in your carefully chosen words, and in your lovely photos. xxx

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Lizzy — glad to hear I’m not alone in my experience of this Venus Rx, but I am sorry to hear it’s been “hellish” for you! Hang in there — just three more weeks or so, two of which will be in Pisces. That might come with its own slipperiness, but I suspect it won’t have the same edge to it.

  2. Sue Edwards

    As I go to sleep at night I state:

    “I am asking to awaken feeling rested, full of vitality and free of pain. I am asking to only have loved filled dreams. Tomorrow will be a joyous day, filled with spiritual messages and synchronicity.”

    Sometimes these retrogrades are all about our responses. How are we responding to these glitches and bumps. The ‘greatest show on earth’? Are we part of the audience or part of the circus? Like you said “taking an inner inventory”

    One time I asked myself the question “What are the things of Value I carry with me wherever I go?” My answer showed me a lot about myself. I found I was limited or downright lacking in Compassion, Tolerance, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Mercy and Love. Goaded by my deficits, I told myself that understanding the understood, accepting the acceptable, tolerating the tolerable and forgiving the forgivable weren’t much in the way of feat of character.

    Like looking at myself in baggy pants and a sweatshirt, I chose to change. The greatest service I could do for my community, is to govern my responses to Reality, rather than react to it.

    Maybe that’s a purpose of our whole image fixation? What are we avoiding facing on our inner levels by our obsession with appearances?

    The statement I make as I go to sleep has worked for me. So I share it that maybe it might work for others, too.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Oh, absolutely, I think retrogrades are mostly about our responses to them, especially whether we choose to become more aware or our responses, and of our emotional/mental states that provide the context or foundation for those responses.

      Sue, you question, “What are the things of Value I carry with me wherever I go?” is an excellent one, and very apropos of the astrology, I think.

  3. Sue Edwards

    We’re in sync Amanda when it comes to the astrology. To me, Venus is to Love and, to Love is to Value. Giving meaning to something is a choice.

    When I first asked myself this question I made a list of things like ID, cash, keys, checkbook, credit cards and membership cards. I suppose today, checkbook would be out and debit card, cell phone, tablet, notebook and flash drive would be added.

    When I thought about it, I spent a lot of time and energy acquiring these things and getting more. Nothing seemed to satisfy for very long. Satisfaction and fulfillment never endured. Energy also went into maintaining these things. Most of all, though, was all the energy that went into fearing their loss. No matter how far I went, it took all I got to get there.

    That’s when I decided the whole game was dumb and a waste of my time. I Valued my Life more than that – being a go-getter barreling down the tracks of my one track Mind.

    According to the Wisdom tradition, Neptune is the higher octave of Venus, representing Divine Love. Exactly what I didn’t feel very much of because of my own messed up beliefs in Judgment. I discovered I didn’t know how to be self nurturing. I sought replacements and placebos seeking to fill that hole within me. And it never worked.

    That’s when I decided to start learning how to “Have”. Because then I wouldn’t feel such a tremendous need to get all the time, wouldn’t have to worry about maintaining the flow, and these Values could never be taken or stolen. I made a game of it for myself. How much Life can I embrace?

    Trying to substitute Wealth for Worth or Security doesn’t ever work.

  4. Susie

    I’m fascinated by examining this Venus journey – Venus retrograding the path through Aries that she’s taken since leaving sensitive, deep Pisces around the beginning of February.
    I love to see the planets as our teachers, as they radiate energies that are actually part of our intrinsic nature, and also reflect our shadow bits that we need to work on.

    I think Venus is teaching us all the time how to be connective, harmonising, erotically sensuous and magnetising and to co-create her kind of world of peace, pleasure and wonderful culture – if we would listen.
    As she re-tracks her path, I feel her message is to ask us – what did we miss first time around? What elements of Venus – specifically beaming through this feisty lens of Aries – did we miss in our path since early February? These elements bring a quality of energy that we can learn to harness. We have a period to examine them, and then, to some large extent re-live them when Venus passes through direct next month.

    Venus’ behaviour in Aries’ clothes (red leather stiletto boots?) – I think she’s gutsy; lively; energising; inspiring. She initiates the kiss. She insists on connection, conversation, cooperation, people enjoying each other. She doesn’t tolerate degrees of separation, time-wasting, timid excuses for separation. She says direct is best. Don’t email people – visit them, phone, Skype, Zoom!

    Not just friends – she wants to connect with the politicians and oil magnates: seduce them, with beautiful words, into getting the fact that peace, love, beautiful buildings, recreational gardens and great music and clothes work best.
    Everyone is included. It’s not about elitism or rank. After all, the story goes that she’s currently in bed with Vulcan the blacksmith, her underworld husband, gross, clunky, hairy, smells of horses, left school at 12, etc. I imagine she puts a flower behind his ear and rubs him with scented oils. (Maybe he creates wonderful metallic sculptures afterwards.)

    She doesn’t see any point in disharmonious or dysfunctional groups or communities either. Armed with inspirational and beautiful visions (presumably gleaned in Pisces, and can be refined when we get back there mid-April btw) she swans in and gets everybody appreciating each other and singing in harmony. She is all about INCLUSIVITY (my Concept of the Month). There are no outcasts, no socially undesirables. Everybody has something beautiful to offer. If it’s not song, bring delicious food, something with chilli, to honour Aries heat!

    I like an idea that came to me, that the retrograde can be the Unravelling, of whatever unnecessary resistance we might have presented in the first run of this opportunity. Unravelling our excuses, our insistence on separateness and exclusivity, our revulsion for any races, ranks or species, our self-conscious hesitancy or denial of our own beauty – whatever stops conversation being fun. And also maybe unravelling some of Venus’ foibles, such as manipulation, entrapment, possessiveness (and addiction to possessions), romantic addiction and narcissism, if these are getting in the way.

    Whether or not this reverie of mine has any base in reality, maybe doesn’t matter. I think Venus in Aries, at this transition of the seasons, could help turn the world tide, even if it’s just deciding to phone that person or ask them round, or any Bold – even audacious – Act of peacemaking, reconciliation or art. I think this opportunity has great promise! xxx

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Susie — I love your “reverie” about Venus Rx through Aries! I think you make some excellent points. I would certainly say that I’ve experienced some “revisiting” regarding acting boldly and decisively about investing in myself via my “art” — as in, reminders about not delaying or hemming and hawing about taking a class I know I want to take, and similar regarding other pleasures.

      “What did I miss the first time around”? Often it’s something as simple yet profound as feeling that I have the right to go for it — whatever “it” is — when it comes my way.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Geoff — there’s some encouraging information in that article. Thank you. Not sure if it will have much impact on the DAPL, but it’s nice to know that Keystone XL is looking less and less likely.

      1. Geoff Marsh

        Cheers, Amanda. One can only live and hope! I think with the Trump administration, the bottom line (i.e. the profit from any legislation) is going to be the key to whether or not any of it is implemented. If there’s no profit in it, it won’t happen.

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