Venus Retrograde 2018

  Venus of Aries,  photograph by Marie-Lan Nguyen

Venus of Aries, photograph by Marie-Lan Nguyen

Venus will station retrograde at 10.50 Scorpio on October 5, 2018

Venus will station direct at 25.15 Libra on November 16, 2018

Venus stations retrograde every 18 months, prompting a review of our values and relationships. This particular retrograde, in Scorpio and Libra, will have us reviewing:

  • Partnership: marriage, romance, sex, friendship, business, enemies

  • Love, sex, other forms of intimacy (secrets and shared bank accounts)

  • Equality

  • Money

  • Beauty, art, creativity

To learn more about the upcoming Venus retrograde, check out the free webinar!

Until October 5th, I’m offering Venus retrograde mini-readings on Skype.

Come find out what this Venus Rx means for you.


Still in Shadow


An Aries discovered this week that I’m an astrologer and wanted to know, as people usually do, what was going on with her. Mars had stationed retrograde on Monday, but things hadn’t gotten better yet. I understand where she was coming from, because this week wasn’t stellar for me either. If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn that both Mars and Mercury were still retrograde.

Astrology depends on accurate timing. A chart is a map of a moment, frozen in time. However, the cycles we track--aspects, retrogrades, lunar patterns--are moving, ever-evolving things. Most astrological patterns happen in a gradual way. Which means that while it would be nice to think that Mars retrograde frustration is all patched up instantly the moment Mars stations direct, it will take a little longer than that for you to recover. Charts are similar to photographs, frozen images, but when astrologers analyze charts we’re looking at something more akin to a video, with cycles moving forwards and backwards through time.

I don’t get into shadow periods a lot because I don’t want to make it seem like Mercury retrograde is six weeks longer than it actually is. It’s overhyped enough anyway. The shadow period is the period in which a planet moves (direct) through the degrees of the retrograde. This means that every planetary retrograde is effectively a three-part cycle. The pre-shadow period is a kind of preview of the themes that will come up. The retrograde itself is the main event. The post-shadow period is a time to integrate the lessons of the retrograde.

Think of a car slowing down from 80 miles per hour to a dead stop. That’s the pre-shadow period. The car slows gradually, not instantly. Once the planet stations retrograde, imagine for the sake of this example that the car has come to a full stop. Time to just sit, reflect and enjoy the scenery. When the planet stations direct, the car begins speeding up again. But it doesn’t go from 0 to 80 immediately. It happens gradually, over a short period of time. That’s your post-shadow period.

Your Mars car is revving up again, but you’ll have to give it a little time before it’s going full speed towards your desires. Mercury is out of shadow on September 2nd. Mars will officially be out of shadow on October 8th. In my experience, it’s the first few days after an inner planet stations direct that require your continued patience. The rest of the shadow period should be less intense. Don’t worry; your car will start moving faster!

As with everything in life, astrology has no silver bullets, and no instantaneous rewards. Astrology only allows us to see and work with continuous cycles. Expect that we will always be participating in a series of cycles, because the only constant here is change.

Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius: Freedom in Chaos


Since May, when Mars entered Aquarius and Uranus entered Taurus and the two began squaring each other, the changes have been overwhelming for many of us. And especially since Mars stationed retrograde in my eighth house at the end of June, still squaring Uranus, I’ve had to face all kinds of old blocks I thought I had moved past. Any eighth house transit is a therapy transit. You have to meet your shadow again and again. While not everyone is experiencing this Mars retrograde in the exact same way, eclipses are by definition a kind of shadowing.

In Babylon, an eclipse could foretell the death of a king. Measures were taken to protect the king, namely the practice of šar pūhi, the substitute king, where a decoy was placed on the throne for the time of the eclipse. Eclipses were omens in the ancient world, and a total lunar eclipse on Mars retrograde would have been seen as an ill omen. The destruction that precedes change has always been scary.

The modern eclipse cycle is still a cycle of change, and it can still be volatile, frightening, and unwelcome. But we live in a time of increasing disorder, so these days, you’d do better to embrace the chaos than to fear it.

I don’t go in for a lot of hype about blood moons, blue moons, or supermoons. All total lunar eclipses turn red. This one just happens to be more symbolically “red” by virtue of its conjunction with Mars retrograde. On the flip side, I’m not a fan of pseudo-astrologer-lightworkers who tell everyone that all eclipses represent a time to “go inward” and “get to know yourself.” I’m seeing this more prevalently with every astrological event, from retrogrades to new moons, full moons, and eclipses, and it’s just not always true. That’s a lazy interpretation. I’m an advocate for living in the moon house, for introspection, rest, review, and slowing down on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean it’s the central message of every transit. Don’t try to tell me this grizzly bear is a teddy bear.

Eclipse cycles are cycles of change. And they are always happening. Somewhere in your chart, every few months, you are experiencing a gradually unfolding 18-month period of transformation with some jarring spikes in your stress level. Some are bigger than others. Some are scarier than others. Some will require you to wrestle your shadow to the ground, and others may go practically unnoticed.

This Mars retrograde shows you where your freedom is restricted; where you feel frustrated. In what area of life would you kill for some freedom? What, metaphorically, needs to die so you can have that freedom? This week, as the eclipse energy grew stronger and Mercury stationed retrograde in the opposite sign of Leo, I began to see through some false barriers I had erected for myself a long time ago. Aquarius can’t stand binary thinking. Aquarius is just so far beyond binaries. Man/Woman, Reality/Imagination, Magical/Mundane, Religion/Science, Art/Commerce, Individual/Society, Literature/Mass Market, Can Do/Can’t Do. How flimsy and boring the barriers between these seemingly opposing things. There were several things that I previously crossed off my list of “can do” that I am now seeing uncrossed, part and parcel with the whole of what I already do. This is an eclipse for erasing the borders between things. For tearing down fences and gaining that freedom you so desperately desire. For conquering old fears that took the form of walls you built yourself.

Seeing past binaries and linear thinking is the first step in becoming antifragile. And I do believe that the best way to use astrology is as a tool for your own antifragility. So at this eclipse, make friends with chaos. See what kinds of freedoms you might win. You have more available to you than you may have seen before.

Image Credit: Jan Matejko, Astronomer Copernicus-Conversations with God