Venus Retrograde: Time to Re-evaluate

Venus retrograde in Gemini by Daiga Ellaby

Venus is a nocturnal, feminine planet, and the brightest planet in our sky, followed by Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter are said to bring blessings because their intrinsic nature is beneficial to life, growth and fertility. What happens when Venus turns retrograde, as she does in 2020 from May 14 to June 26? Does her ability to bring life and fertility suffer? Does her meaning invert? How can we best work with Venus during this time, and during any future retrograde period?

Venus: what we Value

Venus in astrology is the traditional significator of beauty and grace. She signifies what we attract and appreciate, from our social and creative interests to our pleasures and entertainments. Venus shows us what we value – our possessions and money, as well as our intimate relationships. Venus rules dating and marriage. How we value ourselves (our self-worth) will determine the type of relationships we enter into and how comfortable we are sharing our money and material goods with our partner.

Does our partner share our values? Does our partner value themselves as much as we value them? Do we value ourselves or rely on our partner to prop up our self-worth? These are all Venus-related questions.

Venus in Gemini

Venus usually spends about a month in each sign of the zodiac. She is in domicile – “at home” – in the two signs that she rules: Taurus by night and Libra by day. We say that Venus has dignity of rulership in both Taurus and Libra. In the feminine, earth sign of Taurus she values and preserves sensual beauty, fine food, and precious artefacts. In the masculine, air sign of Libra, she values and appreciates the social graces. 

From April to the end of July this year Venus will be traveling back and forth through 5° – 23° of Gemini. From the standpoint of traditional astrology, Venus has neither dignity nor debility in Gemini, except for the 12° – 16° range, where she is said to have dignity of term. In other words, she can operate to some extent (‘on her own terms’) when traveling between 12° – 16° Gemini. 

If Venus is not able to express her qualities of sensual beauty and social grace easily when in the sign of Gemini, what qualities does she bring to the table? In Gemini, an air sign, Venus values communication most highly. A prospective partner is sought by the Venus-in-Gemini native more for his ability to share intelligent conversation than for his good looks or social status. Venus in Gemini also values money for its ability to trade and do business – Gemini is, after all, Mercury’s sign, and Mercury rules both thieves and businesspeople! 

Transiting Venus in Gemini (5° – 23°), April 10 – July 31

Venus will be moving retrograde (appearing to move backwards from earth’s point of view) from May 14 – June 26, 2020. The retrograde motion of Venus is always rather special as it only happens every 19 months or so, for a period of about 43 days (compared to Mercury, which has about three retrograde periods per year). Venus will be moving from 23° Gemini back to 5° Gemini. The entire period from April 10 until July 31 will cover these same degrees.

April 10 – May 14 and June 26 – July 31 are known as the ‘shadow’ periods on either side of the retrograde zone. I’ve found it helpful to observe the entire period (April – July) to become familiar with the themes and gifts of each retrograde cycle. Imagine a bold marker pen going back and forth three times over the same area of our charts – underscoring an angle or a house or a planet – so that we really get to understand what we value or need to re-evaluate in that particular area of our lives.

Transiting Venus in Gemini will affect all of us in different ways, depending on our personal birth charts. For example, those with Taurus and Libra Suns will be asked to reflect very deeply on their personal values at this time, to let go what has not been working for them for the last eight years, and begin afresh. This is because Venus is the ruler of their Sun.

Those of you with anywhere from 5° – 23° of Gemini on your natal Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven or IC, will most likely experience a lot of activity during this time, related respectively to your personal image and sense of self (Ascendant), your long-term intimate or business partner (Descendant), your work and status (Midheaven), or your home (IC).

For the rest of you, look closely to where 5° – 23° Gemini falls in your chart. Which house is it in? That area of your life will be very active during this time period, with opportunities arising for you to reassess how you operate here. Furthermore, do you have a personal planet such as the Moon, Venus or Mars within this degree range? Whatever that planet symbolizes will be what you’ll be working on.

1stSense of self, body
2ndSelf-worth, money, possessions
3rdCommunication, siblings, close community
4thHome, father, roots, endings and beginnings
5thPleasures, lovers, children, works of art or books we create
6thWhere and how we toil daily, acute health care
7thLong-term partner, business partner
8thPartner’s values and money, taxes, death
9thLaw, lawyers, higher education, religion, internationalism
10thCareer, job, status in the world, mother
11thPerks and rewards earned from work, hopes, groups & affiliations
12thSpiritual life, unconscious life, what goes on behind closed doors, chronic health care

Repetitions and Reflections, the gifts of Retrogrades

Every eight years Venus returns to a similar part of the zodiac, give or take 2° or 3°, thus forming the famous five-pointed pentagram as she travels through the solar system in her dance around the Sun. In other words, every 19 months she underscores a certain part of the zodiac – after doing this five times, she completes her 8-year cycle. 

The upcoming Venus retrograde in Gemini asks us to think back to what was going on in our lives from April to July 2012, with the retrograde period the main focus (May 15 – 27, 2012). How were your values realigned at this time? What was going on in your finances and your intimate relationships? What did you need to let go of, and who did you need to forgive? How about May – June 2004? I’d love to hear about the patterns you find!

Traditional Advice for all Venus retrograde periods


Counseling, therapy and inner work is favored during this time, especially marital counseling or therapy that works on letting go of past mistakes in order to forgive and move on. Increased self-worth may be struggling to emerge at this time so give it a boost!


Changing your image with a new wardrobe or a completely different hairstyle is not favored because after Venus moves direct you may wonder what on earth you were thinking! If you must buy something new to wear, look out for sales that won’t damage your wallet.


When transiting Venus is retrograde it’s a great time to save money and plan for the future. If you’re launching a new business or product, try to wait until the retrograde is over or, better still, the shadow period is done. It’s a good time to rework old ideas and focus on the investments that you already have. If a business or partnership offer looks too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. Steer clear of shiny new deals which promise quick returns.


Someone from the past may come back into your life and rekindle old feelings; this is typical of the cycle. Enjoy their company and keep it light until the retrograde period is over.

If you meet someone new during a Venus retrograde, it’s suggested to keep it very non-committal until after the cycle is over. Moving in with someone you’ve just met, or getting engaged, may result in a radical change of heart a few months down the line. 

If you’re in a close, committed relationship, there will no doubt be concerns coming up to be aired during this period. If you’re thinking of a separation or divorce, hang in there. Things will most likely improve after this cycle is over. The Venus retrograde cycle is here to teach us about opening our hearts to increased self-love and acceptance of others.

Venus retrograde in Gemini 2020

We’re going to be returning gradually to social life after a long period of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The masks, the fear of contact, the six-feet apart… this is all Venus (social relations) retrograde (return, extreme manifestations) in Gemini (communication is affected). There will be challenges. Remember, a smile begins with the eyes and smoothes all social interactions.

Information sharing

Scandal and unrest are historical manifestations of this Venus retrograde cycle. Think twice before you share spurious posts on social media, lest they come back to haunt you after July. With Venus retrograde in Gemini, there’ll be some political echoes from the period April to July 2012. Each country has their own history with this cycle. Women’s rights also typically come to the fore during these periods.

In the media and government

Gemini is about communication on all levels. During this period we will be fine-tuned to the truth and potential obscuring of the truth by the media. Are we receiving value from the media? Whose interests does it serve? Where do we stand in relation to the information we consume daily? How does this affect our mindset and our values?

Venus square Neptune 2020

Venus will be square to Neptune on and off during April and May 2020. Neptune can act like a mask or a veil, obscuring the real and hiding the truth from sight. We are asked to remove our inner veil and see what’s really going on, both in the mainstream media and politics, and in our own lives. Perhaps it’s time to revisit our societal values as a whole. Perhaps it’s time to question our personal neediness and how we expect others to fulfill our longings.

Higher Love

Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus. Its vibration is selfless love when we are able to operate from a place of greater objectivity. There is an opportunity for all of us to rise above the duality of Gemini and find a new way of looking at ourselves, our loved ones, our society, and our natural world.

Are we able to develop a more impartial view of life which allows us to see behind the veil of illusion and division, and embrace the reality that we are all one? Or will we remain trapped in duality, which perpetuates blame and dissatisfaction?

We appear to be called to use this time to seek a clarification of our individual and societal values. As communal and global interaction shifts due to the effects of the pandemic, what new world do we envision? What values will we honor and uphold? Will the smog-free skies and contented wildlife disappear as quickly as they emerged, or do we as a human race value a new way forward?

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