To prepare for the big year of progressions that I have in 2022, I’ve been looking back at my earlier experiences to get a feel for how it works. Last time we explored some of the changes that happen with progressed Mercury, and in this post, we’ll look at Venus. For an overview of secondary progressions, see the first post here.
The movements of progressed Venus influence your relationships, values, and finances, as well as your social life and creative self-expression through all forms of art. My natal Venus is in Libra in the 8th house and it progressed into Scorpio when I was 8 years old. With progressed Venus in Scorpio your relationships may be more passionate and intense, and you value deep connections over the superficial. You may also be more secretive and hide your feelings unless you feel safe.
I’m not sure how relevant this shift was/is because having Venus in the 8th house means transformative experiences through relationships and the arts were always going to be important to me. Progressed Venus will stay in Scorpio for the rest of my life – it’s about to go retrograde – and I’ll be long dead before it returns to Libra, so that need for depth isn’t going to change.
Perhaps the move into Scorpio reinforced my Venus placement and brought a darker tinge to my Libran side. I was never going to be all sweetness and light – especially with Mercury conjunct Pluto too! (I think about death a lot 😉)
Anyway, it was around this time that music became the central focus of my life – you could call it an obsession. I was already in the recorder group at school and when the opportunity to learn another instrument came up, I jumped at the chance and started to play the violin. I remember carrying the case under my arm and pretending to be in the mafia! 🎻
The violin proved too hard so I gave it up and began to play the piano at about age 9 or 10. Around this time, I was also doing ballet classes and this led to some of my first stage performances, including a couple of productions of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. 🌈 I remember being more interested in getting the autographs of the musicians in the band rather than the cast. 🎵
By age 11, progressed Venus had moved to conjunct my Jupiter. Progressed Venus conjunct natal Jupiter expands your need for adventure and new experiences in relationships. You want to get as much out of life as you can, and meet more people and have fun, but you may also take too many risks and get yourself in trouble.
My adventures in music continued and I started playing the flute, which became my favourite instrument – I got my Grade 8 with distinction only 5 years later because I loved playing it so much – I played until my hands ached! I joined a couple of orchestras, as well as a group that played renaissance music – which is more fun than it sounds! – and learned the kortholt and harpsicord. We played gigs all over the south east of England.
Jupiter rules my 11th house (and my Midheaven) so it’s no surprise that the groups I joined would later give me the opportunity to travel abroad on tours to Europe. This happened when progressed Venus entered my 9th house when I was 14-15 years old. With progressed Venus in the 9th house you want to expand your horizons through relationships, travel and education, and may meet many people who are different from you.
The orchestra tours happened during the school holidays and they were great fun. Two coach loads of kids, aged 11 to 18, going around Germany, Belgium and Holland playing concerts and meeting the local kids – and getting up to all sorts of mischief. It was around this time that I decided to go to college to study music, where I would later become interested in religion, philosophy, and astrology.
The next major alignment happened when progressed Venus opposed my Saturn when I was 40. With progressed Venus opposite natal Saturn you may experience many separations and disappointments in your relationships, and feelings of loneliness, isolation and alienation. There may be limitations on your social life and finances, and less fun in general.
This progression was horrible. It was exact for a couple of months in 2010, but was in orb from 2008 to early in 2013 – five years of misery that drained my life of all meaningful relationships. Early on, I had some success with my writing when I won a screenwriting competition in 2008. Then as the progression moved closer in 2010, I switched to writing novels and reduced my hours at work (and took a pay cut) so I would have more time to write.
But then it all started going wrong. The exact alignment coincided with abuse and death threats from my psychotic neighbour who later accused me of anti-social behaviour (read about that here). My health unravelled into an early menopause, bleeding guts, skin rashes and hair loss. I had trouble with my writing group and had to disband it, and then I was made redundant and nobody would give me a job…
By the end, my life had been emptied out. On the upside, I wrote through the whole thing and managed to publish my first novel just as the progression moved on. Other transits that contributed to the shitstorm include Saturn in the 8th house, Pluto square Uranus and Chiron in a T-Square, and Uranus opposite Pluto – I didn’t stand a chance!
The opposition to Saturn lasted so long because Venus was slowing down to go retrograde. Most people will experience at least one part of the progressed Venus retrograde cycle in their life. Progressed Venus will go retrograde and then direct again, or vice versa, depending on where in the cycle it begins in your chart. Mine goes retrograde this year.
When progressed Venus stations retrograde it internalises your experience of the energy of the planet so you can gain a deeper understanding of how it works for you. Your values and attitude towards relationships will change and you may become less sociable. There may also be changes to your finances, and a reassessment of what you enjoy and desire in life.
Some link this progression to terrible calamities such as the loss of relationships, death or illness of a partner, loss of beauty or attractiveness, and financial losses. It’s all a bit grim, and frankly, it couldn’t be any worse than the opposition to Saturn. Others are more balanced and suggest you can come to a deeper understanding of your values and relationships, whether past or current. You can also explore new kinds of creativity, develop your voice and find new skills.
My progressed Venus goes retrograde in July 2022 and won’t station direct again until 2063, when I’m 93 years old – if I make it that long! It will also oppose Saturn again in 2033-35 – not looking forward to that, but maybe I’ll handle it better next time.
I’m curious to see how this progression unfolds because I already live like a hermit, thanks to the earlier run-in with Saturn and now Pluto in my 12th house. I can’t get any more socially withdrawn, unless I move to the moon! However, this interpretation probably comes from extroverts so my experience as an introvert may be quite different.
The best description I’ve found of progressed Venus going retrograde comes from Retrograde Planets by Erin Sullivan, where she says:
“The station-year itself could precipitate withdrawal from what has been a lifelong affinity, and a completely new way of perceiving one’s creative essence slowly emerges. … All the values which have not originated from one’s own core fall away, becoming pale and superficial, prompting a change in the motivation underlying the formation of relationships and the establishment of values and more.”
So you only need to withdraw if your relationships don’t reflect your true values, and if your values change then your relationships will also need to change. She says that extraverts may become more introverted, while introverts are vindicated:
“Introverted types may find themselves pleased to discover that they were not wrong after all, and that the great well-spring of love and joy is internal.”
That doesn’t mean you don’t need people. But your inner world becomes richer and you value your solitude more and don’t need the approval of others so much. How this plays out depends on how true you have been to yourself over the years:
“A self-correcting device is always triggered upon the station-retrograde of a planet, and one may not even realise the degree to which one had deviated from the central path.”
As Venus turns inwards, you can heal old wounds, especially anything that has caused problems in relationships. You can let go of anything that isn’t fulfilling and focus on what matters, rebalance yourself and find inner harmony.
Creative types may:
“find an abrupt change in focus or technique, throwing all past assumptions about their work into a state of chaos and resulting in a re-evaluation of it. This may be the beginning of the magnum opus, when the sum and total of one’s work is brought to bear in a single focus.”
That sounds exciting! This could be especially relevant for me because Venus is going retrograde in my 9th house, so I can expect a major re-evaluation of my writing and general output. Progressed Mercury conjunct my natal Venus will also help with this and might reveal the form my magnum opus should take!
Next time, we’ll explore progressed Mars…