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Lit with lavish love – Venus retrogrades in Leo

This article is from my monthly column in Supernal Magazine, July/August 2023 edition

Sweet Venus will have us reflecting on matters around love, relationships of all kinds, money, beauty, self-worth and values when she retrogrades – or appears to move backwards – from 22 July to 3 September.

Watch for themes rising which will ultimately help us move ahead in more evolved Venusian ways.

The planet of love placed in the sun's own sign of Leo, ruler of the heart, forms a team full of heart and soul. Venusian flavours combine with Leo’s sense of flamboyant fun, risk taking, romance, self-pride, creativity, and lavish love. This duo wants to live and love large!

Venus will move from 28 degrees back to 12 degrees Leo as she dives us into past actions and relationship matters so we can realise how they might still be influencing current circumstances.

Aspects of self that yearn to be seen can now be flushed out of the dark where we might’ve pushed them down when feeling rejected.

We’re capable of a breakthrough on areas we've been incubating for a long time, especially in the life realms where we carry Leo in our natal charts.

Love’s theme

Goddess Venus with a dove and nymphs image of Venus

This retrograde might see reignition of a desire to put our creations out into the world as we follow our hearts with more confidence, or revisit unaddressed feelings and needs to find a more fruitful approach to love of self, others and life itself.

Venus retrogrades in Leo every eight years. The last time was July-September 2015, and before that July-September 2007, July-September 1999, and so on backwards.

This is useful for anyone reflecting on what Venus in Leo themes bring up in our wider life trajectory, since in another eight years we will have another go at it.

Evening to morning star

During this retrograde, Venus shifts from being an evening star to a morning star, bringing a key point of change within the cycle.

At the start of the retrograde, she will be brightly visible in the night sky. On 13 August she joins the sun in a blessed cazimi aspect, akin to a planet sitting in the heart of the sun in full illumination and power.

Venus is purified by the sun to offer us a reset or release of a past pain, then she will disappear and eventually rise again to show herself as a morning star. She will be bright again around 19 September.

40 day retreat

Painting of Jesus walking in the desert
Jesus wandered the desert for 40 days, a very symbolic period of time connected to Venus.

Venus retrogrades every two or so years across different signs, each period lasting 40 days.

This time span is symbolic in spiritual teachings, including when Jesus wandered in the desert, rain fell on Noah, and Buddha meditated before reaching Samadhi.

These 40-day periods seem to relate to periods of trial and testing, perhaps on whether we align to Venus in her light or shadow on a process designed to emerge our truest values.

Super charged

This retrograde promises to deliver a bounty due to three square aspects Venus will make to wildcard Uranus and lucky Jupiter, both in the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus. These shakeups and radical expansions bring extra Venusian blessings.

Watch out for rumblings around 9 August when Venus makes one of her squares to Uranus, helping us bust out of a confinement.

On 22 August, Venus makes one of her squares to lucky Jupiter in a benefic energy that wants to go big in living and loving lavishly. While lovely, we’d do well to temper any dramatic desires and over spending. After turning direct, Venus will make another square to Jupiter on 17 September, then to Uranus on 30 September. These windows move forward whatever our retrograde experience dug up.

Watch for

The usual advice for a retrograde applies with a Venusian flavour, so it’s not the best time to start a new relationship, make major changes to our appearance, spend wildly, or kick off a new creative project.

Any brand new ventures are likely to be more aligned to the old self, while this retrograde is about redefining what is no longer valid as a ‘new you’ emerges. As part of the process we may find that people and themes of the past arise for a re-look.

When out of balance, Venus in Leo can be self-serving, attention-seeking, and overly dramatic. This energy can be materialistic or shallow, and attach self-worth to fame, money, and possessions.

All up, Venus in Leo is a beneficial time for us to progress our love nature with more passion and authenticity.

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