Updated: Aug 9
The Winter Solstice - the darkest day of the year
Tuesday, December 21, 2021, is the Winter Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. It's the day when the Sun has a quick reset as he takes a few extra minutes behind the scenes to recharge before a new cycle begins...but this is not the case for Venus. The planet of love, connection, and relationships (to people and all things valuable) entered Capricorn back on November 5, 2021, which is significant because her journey through this sign will last for four months when normally it only takes one. The reason for this is that once she moved into Capricorn, she slowed down in order to turn retrograde (appearing to go backward) for 40 days and 40 nights before she turns back direct (and starts moving forward again). To make things more interesting during this journey, in particular, is that she meets up with Pluto. Pluto - known as ‘God of the Underworld’ to friends and foes alike, is the planet who likes to put ‘rebirth’ and ‘transformation’ on his daily “to do” list. And during her four-month journey, Venus will also experience a reset, but a powerfully transformative one.
As Above, So Below
My interest in astrology over the last decade has been purely to satisfy my own curiosity. I have learned so much just from tracking what was happening (above) in the sky, to see how it correlated to what was happening (below) in my life. Astrology has taught me about tuning into the patterns and cycles of my own life. Following or tracking planetary cycles is like looking at a map. A map that tells a story.
Although Venus retrogrades every 18 months, you will find her retrograde happening in the same area of the chart (the same zodiacal area) every 8 years. Astrologers will say, that if you want an idea of what a Venus retrograde time may bring for you, then look back to the one that happened 8 years ago.
I decided to check out what was going on for me during the last three Venus Retrogrades in Capricorn, going back three cycles (24 years). Curious to see if there was a central theme that connected each of these cycles. The time period was from late December to early February of 1997, 2005, & 2013, but just seeing which years... “Uffda” (as my Norwegian Capricorn Sun Grandmother would say), these were some very rough times.
December 1997 I was 21 years old, grieving the recent and unexpected death of my father. It was the first time that life itself had betrayed me, and I was trying to understand and cope with never being able to speak to him again. The reality of the strain on the relationships of those who "survived" his death was very isolating. I was caught off guard by feeling so disconnected from the world that I knew.
December 2005 was a time when although things were generally “good”, Glen and I were at the beginning stages of running two busy companies, and I was struggling with a lot of insecurity around my place inside of them. He was taking off in every direction and I was trying to keep up. I wanted to be an integral part of our companies, knowing I had the desire and skill set that complemented his. But that knowledge was not enough for me to feel confident or take ownership of my desired role. It was difficult for me to disregard or ignore any judgments (real and perceived) coming my way within a male-dominated industry.
December 2013 was just a really shit time. December 5 marked the one-year anniversary of Glen’s death and my responsibilities were overwhelming me. The help I received never felt like enough. I did not have the capacity within me to ask for more. The only need I had was the need to run away, and I didn't see any way to get that need met. I had lost my sense of identity and was uncomfortable in my own skin.
More Wisdom from the Sky.
Astrologer Steven Forrest calls a “retrograde planet, an aspect of a person’s character that lacks confidence in itself”, and other good words that describe it…awkward, insecure, unworthy, or out of place. And because in astrology nothing is considered either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, a retrograde could be considered a quiet inner journey leading towards independence.
The investigation of these cycles is absolutely part of my current Venus Retrograde experience. A retrograde is the exact right time to review the past. When it comes to a Venus Retrograde, revisiting the sufferings of the heart, or reviewing the function or dysfunction of our relationships (and the role we play within them) will likely be some of the topics on the agenda. In terms of finding a central theme for myself within these cycles...my first conscious thought was "abandonment", which fits but seems too obvious to be an exciting discovery. I even double-checked similar words to see if there was anything else I liked better. But even though there are multiple layers to every past retrograde, and it's more complex than being just one thing, it absolutely fits.
Abandonment it is. I am reminded of how one of my teachers spoke about Karma - that it wasn't moments of payback or reward here and there (like simple action/reaction), but that our Karma was a central wound/theme that we bump up against over and over again until we resolve it. I know that abandonment is a deep wound for me - the ways I have felt abandoned by others, and have abandoned myself. But it's one thing to know, and another thing to heal.
Maybe this is where Pluto comes in. As the slowest moving planet, the last time he was in this exact position was 1792. Maybe if Venus is ever going to have some extra power for transforming a Karmic storyline, now is the time. While she moves through Capricorn, maybe it is the exact right time for resolution. To reclaim that which was repressed, or let die what needs to die. Maybe it's time for Venus to begin a new story.