More than halfway through this Venus Retrograde cycle, how are things looking in your relationships? If you didn’t tune in last month, we’re about four weeks into a six-week period of major relationship reassessment. Venus is the planet of “yes, thank you, I’d like some of that” and it rules our attractions, our friendships, our taste, and our values. Venus is the part of ourselves that helps us know what we love, and what to do about it. When Venus goes retrograde, all our past decisions are up for review. If you’re generally aligned with yourself and your desires, this doesn’t have to be a hard time. But if there’s something you’re trying not to face, expect some revelations.
This month, Venus moves out of Aries and back into Pisces (where it was hanging out in January and early February). Venus in Aries makes us want to take risks, to jump into new relationships, to boldly pursue our desires; Venus in Pisces operates more quietly and more behind the scenes. This is a time when useful information will come to us through dreams, daydreams, and gut feelings we can’t defend logically. It’s also a good time to examine how you work with your romantic idealism—are you caught in a cycle of idealizing someone and then being disillusioned? Do you get in relationships where you have to save someone in crisis (or are you the one always needing saving)? Do you take on all your partner’s feelings and problems as though they’re your own? Pisces is the sign of compassion and blurred boundaries—it offers us deep romantic connections, but can just as easily open us up to codependence and unrealistic expectations. If any of this rings true for you, use this Venus Retro cycle to do some healing around these patterns. Part of the lesson of this time is to learn how to approach love with different intentions.
Venus stations direct on the 15th, but will spend the rest of April in Pisces. Let this dreamy, expansive, compassionate energy sink into the parts of your soul that feel abandoned and raw. And give yourself a break from trying to solve too many problems right now! As Mercury goes retrograde in Taurus on the 10th, this is a month best handled with calm patience.
As always, the astro-literate are advised to read their Moon and Venus signs first, followed by the Sun and Ascendant. Good luck out there, this month!
Sometimes love is just plain mysterious: that shock of suddenly wanting to know everything about someone you hadn’t thought much about before. The strange insistence of your body that you find a way to be close to their body. We often invent or discover reasons, after the fact, to explain why we love or desire a particular person. The truth of it is that love can’t really be justified. It can definitely be damaged and broken through bad behavior, but the impulse that propels us toward someone else and places an aura of mystery and importance around them can’t be reduced to an algorithm (sorry, OkCupid). This month, your main assignment is to enjoy the mystery. Don’t work too hard on problem-solving and processing, if you can help it. What you’re learning about yourself right now isn’t quite ready to be explained.
This is an excellent month to practice patience. As Rilke writes, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” This is all well and good, but isn’t the most helpful advice if you’re trying to decide whether to flirt with a friend or move away from your partner. So remember: patience isn’t inaction, but an active process of awareness. Pay attention to all the conflicting emotions and keep gathering information. Never stop believing in the future that feels best to you, without getting too caught up in the details of how to get there. You have a lot of strength this month for understanding your own perspective better, but you’ll need to take some time away from practical matters to sort it out.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Say it with me, boo: It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Not your mother, not your life partner, not your boss, not the barista at the coffeeshop, not some politician who wants to control your body, not some passerby on the street who wants to comment on it. Sure, some of these people have some influence in your life, or at least the power to make it a lot harder, but none of them gets to live in your head permanently as a kind of judge. This month, divest yourself from any lingering need to live by anyone else’s standards. Do what you know you are here to do, and trust the ones who love you most will either understand or just keep loving you anyway.
It can be easy to be a little introverted with planets in Cancer—or at least focused on a small crew of people that you love like family. Whether these are romantic partners, housemates, or best friends (yes, that includes your animal companions), it’s easiest to feel most truly yourself with just a couple folks. There’s nothing wrong with that, but this month you do have a chance to circulate a little more widely and have some more unusual experiences. This may mean a chance for new intimacies, but it could also mean a chance to experience yourself as different—more expansive, more intricate, more spontaneous. The world is wide and fascinating—don’t be afraid to wander a little, this month.
This month, you may want to get up to all sorts of strange things. You’re getting into some of the deep mysteries about love and attraction, and realizing that in queer love there is absolutely no road map. Let go of any need to be in control, or even be impressive. Consider how to be sexually assertive while keeping consent firmly centered in all your activities. Whatever you’re into, make room for it to transform and expand right now, either solo or with an enthusiastic partner (or partners, or room full of onlookers). Let your desires show you where you’ve been hurt, and how pleasure can help you heal.
Oh, Virgo, you careful, nervous little kitten—there’s something you want very much and are afraid to instigate. Maybe it’s about experimenting with different kinds of kink, opening up your relationship, or making a move on a close friend. Life is pushing you to open more to experiences that will deeply enrich you, but you’re old enough to know that life isn’t always to be trusted. Worse, your reality testing isn’t at its peak right now, so it can be easy to get lost in fantasies (best-case or worst-case scenarios). Nevertheless, it’s worth taking some careful risks. Don’t be afraid to make it awkward; you can survive some awkwardness. Much worse would be a life where you don’t accept the invitations to go deeper when they appear. Start small, and yes, you can be careful each step of the way. But don’t turn your back on what your heart and body are telling you they want.
This is a really important time for all your relationships. You may feel like you’re at a crossroads and need to decide if you’re moving toward or away from certain paths: do you move in, or break up? Commit to monogamy or try polyamory? Make decisions as a single solo adult, or wait for partnership to help you shape your future? So many of these decisions may feel final, like there’s no going back. Don’t get paralyzed by doubts right now—generally, you get to experiment and get messy and see what you can learn when things don’t go as planned. If you get too attached to doing it all right the first time, you’ll never learn how to fix things when they break. So use this month as a time to test your theories, and trust that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to change your mind if you end up on the wrong path.
You have some brilliant life force just spilling out of you right now, and the question is who you want to share it with. People are going to want a piece of you, and not everyone is willing to share as much of themselves. Take a good luck at what you require from a friend or a partner—what kind of consideration, affection, and support are necessary for you to really relax and trust. Be realistic and compassionate—especially to yourself—but don’t lower your standards from fear of being alone.
However thoroughly you may reinvent yourself, you’re never really through with your family. Their habits and hopes, prejudices and preferences, shaped you when you didn’t know about anything else. That’s why you need love to help you experience larger worlds and broaden your perspective. This month, you may be working through old patterns, habits, and memories from your childhood—or even relatives themselves might need some of your attention. Be patient, and above all don’t judge yourself for the ways you may still be very similar to your parents. Remember you get to choose, in every situation, how to work with what you’ve got to do something fantastic and new. You’re not going backwards, you’re checking in on how far you’ve progressed and how much farther you’d like to go.
Goddess knows you’re incredibly talented at solving your own problems. You can be so good at it that you often don’t think of asking for help. In romance, this can mean you’re always the one keeping a cool head and offering practical support. Does this ever get a little lonely? Venus retrograde this month is asking you to reconsider the ways you reach out (or don’t) to receive the love you need. Write some love letters to someone special this month, and risk mentioning what you want from them and not just what you can offer. If you’re a little scared, you’re doing it right.
Let’s talk about containers. Aquarius is a sign concerned with vast freedom, exploring the unknown, and needing the flexibility to escape from anything that feels like a trap. For many, this means conventional relationship structures won’t work, or will need a lot of tweaking to feel appropriate. Some may need so much freedom that they resist any structure that could contain them for any length of time. This month, however, you’re coming up against your need for not only freedom but stability and safety. A container could be a home, a steady partner, and a job that keeps you rooted—or it could be a backpack, a quick hug, and a clear sense of your mission in life. However you need them to look, this is a month when you need a certain level of containment. Can you imagine who in your life you can ask for this, and what degree of being held would feel right?
You have two choices this month: 1. All shall love you and despair, or 2. You shall diminish, and go into the West. Like Galadriel, you’re entering a time of testing, and what is at stake is how you use your power of enchantment. You have tremendous potential this month to magnetize what you desire to you, but this means you’ll also have to figure out how to use that power ethically. Especially if you’re someone who tends to break a lot of hearts or take in a lot of strays, be extra careful about how much you take on right now! For those of you who aren’t feeling especially powerful right now, take advantage of this month’s energy to get your groove back.