Perspective changes — almost — anything. When we abandon our customary overground dwelling for a descent into our personal underworld in order to check in with ourselves, the shift in perspective can be dramatic.
Retrograde stations of Venus, planet of love and reciprocity, are thickly shrouded in Underworld mythology and medicine. The subterranean journey of Inanna, Mesopotamian goddess of sex, war and justice, is widely recognized by astrologers as an allegory of the Venus retrograde cycle, which happens roughly once every 18 months: a — rather graphic — tale of dispossession, reckoning, death and rebirth that sees the Queen of the Heavens traversing the Underworld to visit her recently widowed sister Ereshkigal.
Similarly, Retrograde cycles of Venus uncover the untold, the unspoken and the unacknowledged that dwell beneath the surface, helping us unravel the enigmas that punctuate our communal and romantic landscape, unveiling the archetypal themes at play in the social scenarios that involve us. Like Inanna crossing the gates of the Underworld, we shed our garments, our trinkets, our delusions, to contemplate the hidden face of truth, “naked and bowed low”.
Except that, in this case, the faces are many. On May 13, Venus stations retrograde in the prismatic, dual Air sign of Gemini, at 21°50 of the sign. Ruled by the trickster Mercury, Gemini is multifaceted, pliable and restless, impalpable like oxygen, yet undoubtedly present and necessary, an ideal conductor for the wavelength of our ideas. Venus has been fluttering through this sprightly, vaporous sign since April 3, emphasizing plasticity, encouraging eloquence, enlivening narratives of love and pleasure.
For context, here is an excerpt from my Venus in Gemini post:
Undoubtedly, our patterns of relating and showing up for one another will need to be rerouted in favour of a greater emphasis on verbal communication, in order to make up for the lack of the more tangible, sensorial dimension — quite possibly, starting from Venus’ ingress into the Mercury-ruled domain of words, ideas and mental agility.
Venus in Gemini prompts us to up our conversational skills, but also our plasticity and adaptability to change. This transit will test our ability to be transparent and fully present when engaging in communication with those we love, to listen actively, to gather intel about the relationship situations we are involved in, and to deliver our messages in the most emotionally honest way possible: consistency and openness will be goals to keep in mind. At this time, vagueness and a non-communicative attitude are bound to add to the uncertainty and instability we are already experiencing, with the undesirable result of undermining our human connections.
As Venus enters Gemini, love and affection are heard, spoken, debated, narrated. It’s up to us to make sure they are also honoured and cherished with the most eloquent and heartfelt words we have to offer.
With the North Node of the Moon entering Gemini on May 5,
… we begin to grasp the subtleties and variations of human experience, the nuances in the way everybody thinks, the changeability of what we consider fixed, unmovable. Rather than partaking in conversations from a place of self-righteousness, the Gemini North Node asks us to create spaces where we can learn collectively through inquiring, cross-pollinating, bouncing ideas off one another — spaces that are non-hierarchical, inclusive, judgment-free, socially aware, mindful of the positions of privilege and power dynamics that undermine mainstream narratives.Zodiac Poetry
However, to associate Gemini to communication and verbal expression alone is to merely scratch the surface. Gemini is a sign of options, of profusion and dissemination, of shapeshifting through multiple ways of being and trying on numerous social postures until we find the one that makes us feel comfortable in our skin, for as long as it does. Unlike the opposite sign, Sagittarius, Gemini implies that there are no right or wrong answers, no inherent morality, when it comes to what makes us feel fulfilled in terms of pleasure, love language, gender expression, thus encouraging us to branch out into new ways of envisioning and expressing our identities and ways of relating.
In a social environment that is itself evolving rapidly, in shocking and unpredictable ways, after the viral outbreak, it is almost unavoidable to find ourselves re-negotiating our role in our romantic and platonic relationships, acknowledging and reviewing the social constructs that inform them, and reassessing what we take pleasure in. Although the current experience of deprivation is far from unprecedented for many of us who already experienced poverty, lack of access to resources and marginalization, the social and affective dynamics are undoubtedly changing and shifting for many.
With Venus backtracking through Gemini, contemplating the way we articulate and verbalize our desires is on top of the to-do list, but so are re-thinking our social connections, determining whether or not we are still in alignment with the people we used to associate with and allowing ourselves to be fluid and non-judgmental of ourselves through the whole process, as our deepest wants and needs emerge and shape our considerations.
This very eloquent Twitter thread by Jason, from Sagittarian Mind, sums it up brilliantly:
a general idea about the upcoming venus Rx : reviewing and re-editing what you take pleasure in and where your preferences lie. and, understanding the choices you have therein. revamping & renewing social connections and a re-thinking on with whom you want to be aligned.— Sagittarian Mind™ (@SagittarianMind) April 25, 2020
The tensile, flowy quality of this movement is emphasized by the significant Neptune signature of this retrograde cycle. Not only Venus stations retrograde while forming a square to Neptune in Pisces; the slippery, mutable alignment between these two celestial bodies will be in play throughout the entire cycle, with three exact squares from May through until July (the last time this happened was in 2007).
This connection between personal and boundless emphasizes themes of forgiveness, release, compassion and transcendence; however, the hall-of-mirror effect that is so peculiar of Neptune also indicates that whatever lingering issue we are experiencing around gaslighting, projection, miscommunication and misalignment of love languages in our relationships will be refracted in multitudinous directions and reflected back at us with bedazzling clarity — as much as the term applies to Neptune.
Ultimately, as our up-to-date vision and version of our romantic and platonic relationships emerges from our underworld quest, as we acknowledge our deepest appetites and fascinations and redivert them into the current narrative that is unfolding, chances are the options will be narrowed down to either consciously and conscientiously working on achieving new agreements that reflect the mutated awareness of both/all parties, or gently releasing the relationship(s) we’re involved in from the grip of expectation and the burden of outdated standards.
Venus will travel backwards to 5°20 Gemini, stationing direct on June 25, exiting the shadow zone on July 29 and leaving the sign of the Twins on August 7.
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