2020’s Venus retrograde is significantly flavored by the planet’s positioning out of bounds. The qualities of our current time show challenges to most conventions that dominant culture depends on, so it should be of no surprise that Venus—who represents our systems of value—has been out of bounds since April 2nd. Alternative value systems are boosted at this time, allowing feminine economies like trade and gift to flourish, and perhaps the most valuable currency of all right now is not the dollar, but relationship (another Venus realm!), as so many find themselves in isolation, without true human contact.

The Star Holds the Key

When Venus and/or Mercury undergo retrograde periods, the central and defining point of these retrogrades are the degrees of the planets’ conjunctions with the Sun. What I call the retrograde star, this degree stands out and provides significant identity to thematic elements of the retrograde. With this Venus retrograde, the retrograde star will occur on June 3rd, at 13 Gemini.

13 Gemini

The Sabian Symbols are incredible markers of meaning for each degree of the tropical zodiac. Channeled in 1925 by psychic Elsie Wheeler, and quoted from Dane Rhudyar’s text The Astrological Mandala, the Sabian Symbol for 13 Gemini reads:

Bridging physical space and social distinctions, two men (in 2020, humans) communicate telepathically.

Upon first reading, my mind was so ready to read “social distance” instead of “social distinctions.”

What the Retrograde Star Tells Us

We know that the sign of Gemini is extremely concerned with information, movement, and the movement of information (also called: communication!). Telepathy is, if anything, a technology that we do not understand—a technology of communication that is not concerned with sound or proximity. We are certainly extremely dependent on technology to communicate and relate right now, and this seems to hold a lot of meaning for this retrograde: direct communication with no spatial limits.

Gemini is also an energy field that fully embraces diversity. Really, Gemini seems to feed on variety of all kinds, and when this applies to seeking information, well, Gemini is no stranger to internet rabbit holes. Entire fields of them. But this diversity also applies to relating between humans. Gemini understands the value of diversity, the learning and expansion of perspective that different points of view can supply. Gemini feeds on diversity, and in turn seeks to cultivate it.

So, to address the “social distinctions” that are bridged in this Venus retrograde, we can hope to gain understanding of others in different situations than ourselves, including other-than-human lifeforms. We are seeking to bridge those gaps in whatever ways available, to learn from each other, and to use the information gathered to reshape our individual value systems. 

Previous conventions are collapsing all around. Will the ingenuity of Venus out of bounds in Gemini help us create new, well-informed paths for ourselves? Perhaps pathways that foster and feed all life? I won’t get my hopes too high, but I think it’s reasonable to expect steps to be taken in this direction.

Fool’s Gold: Venus Square Neptune

As Venus slows down for her retrograde station, she comes into square with Neptune. The two planets will be in square within a two-degree orb for almost four weeks, spanning from April 29th to May 25th. So how does this influence the tone and events of Venus in retrograde?

In this particular time of overt isolation and lack of sociability, consumerism, and indulgence (Taurus’ vices, thwarted), the Venus-Neptune square is ushering in a deluded dream that consumer culture is safe to “re-open.” Looking at similar moments in history such as the Spanish Flu outbreak, one can see that the second wave of the pandemic was far more severe than the first.

As Venus and Neptune linger in an elongated square, people will be both forced and tempted to re-enter retail spaces and other consumerist patterns, and for the duration of this square, the consequences will remain hidden.

When we are trepidatious about jumping into a bath or body of water, we test the temperature with our toes or fingers before making the leap. We trust our sense of touch to tell us whether or not the water is right for us. The Venus-Neptune square from April 29th to May 25th is a time when our senses (Taurus, Venus) may prove to be confused or deceived (Neptune). My only suggestion is to avoid the water. Even if it feels comfortable, it’s not safe.

Venus in Retrograde: What Else to Look For

Navigating any significant retrograde period—or life in general!—calls for kindness and consideration to the self and an observant approach. Be good to yourself, allow yourself to stumble or fail, and try to see the passing events as part of a greater, developing sequence that will lead you to your best path. 

Relationships of all kinds will need space to shift as well. Just trust that the bonds you retain through this retrograde are the ones that will stick. New bonds created or old bonds rekindled, however, may be short-lived or mis-timed. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t serving a purpose. Allow things to play out, and do not worry. Venus in retrograde is not a good planet in a bad direction. It’s an astronomical trick that means Venus and Earth are at their closest orbital positions. The Venus energy is concentrated, not inverted.

Allow business ventures to shift as needed. Economies are recreating themselves and we are all at different levels of comfort. We must be like Gemini: able to adapt and mutate to fit new surroundings.

As always, reach out to me with questions.

w/ Love,

Astro Phil

p.s., keep this handy:

Venus in Retrograde Out of Bounds: Significant Dates and Degrees

  • April 1st: Venus out of bounds begins
  • April 9th: Venus enters retrograde shadow at 5 Gemini
  • May 13th: Venus stations retrograde at 21 Gemini (May 12th PST)
  • June 2nd: Venus out of bounds ends, as Venus prepares to meet the Sun (which is never out of bounds)
  • June 3rd: Venus transits the Sun, creating the retrograde star, at 13 Gemini
  • June 25th: Venus stations direct, ending the retrograde at 5 Gemini
  • July 17th: Venus is back at 13 Gemini, re-enlivening themes of the retrograde
  • July 28th: Venus leaves retrograde shadow