As I write this blog, Venus is travelling way beyond the Sun and shining beautifully in our evening skies here in Crete. Although she is known as ‘Goddess of Love’, Venus represents so much more. Much like bees to a flower, Venus’s energy draws to us that which grows our hearts. She flows through every aspect of our lives, as ‘Creative Feminine Energy’, working through the forces of receptivity, attraction, magnetism, and/or repulsion. Through this dance of attraction and resistance, love and what refuses love, we receive the opportunity to create honey from our experience. Through her phases as Morning or Evening Star, we are guided in the fulfilment of our creative potential. Venus is always calling us towards deeper love and fulfilment, within our self and in our lives. She reveals to us how our processes of opening and closure (just like the flowers) have an evolutionary purpose.
Venus enters the fiery sign of Leo on 5 June. Leo is the sign of the Sun, the giver of life. In astrology it represents heart-centred individuality. As the integrator of signs Aries through Cancer, Leo is where we establish our ground as a human being. Like the life-giving Sun, the energy of Leo radiates warmth, enthusiasm, generosity, and the fire of creative passion. It is naturally charismatic, courageous, loyal, and protective, and its impulse is to create, enjoy and sustain life. Like dark clouds that sometimes cover the Sun can depress us momentarily, Leo’s shadow can be moody, stubborn, and lacking self-confidence where it’s not centre-stage. The Leo ego has need of a mirror, otherwise it cannot see itself. Then it can create drama simply for the sake of it, to attract attention. Whether it’s playing, leading, enjoying, celebrating, roaring, or sulking, Leo simply loves to be at life’s centre, just like the Sun.
This year the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius) are strongly influencing our experience (see my previous blog Rooting in New Soil). The Venus retrograde journey through Leo is one aspect of this, for she travels in the sign of the Sun from 5 June to 9 October. Venus retrograde calls us to explore our relationship to the qualities of the signs she’s in. As with other planetary retrogrades, we are encouraged to revisit, reflect, reorient; with Venus that’s to what we love and enjoy. When Venus is retrograde, especially in a fire sign like Leo, it can feel as if all the life has been sucked out of what usually gives us pleasure or makes us feel good. The purpose of this is to encourage a deepening, that we might discover new juiciness. When it comes to love and loving, Venus retrograde can call up that which we have denied or repressed, for that’s where new energy can be found. It’s like unwrapping presents you’ve hidden away somewhere and forgotten. They might be wrapped in what seems to be ugliness (Venus’s calling is usually to beauty) but they hold consciousness that is needed for new life. They call us back to attend to them with love.
Between June and October Venus connections with other fixed signs include meetings with Awakener Uranus & Blessing-giver Jupiter, both in earthy Taurus, and Lord of the Underworld Pluto, newly arrived in Aquarius and now retrograde. The fixed signs focus is on establishing, nourishing, and maintaining what has taken form in the cardinal signs. It’s where we establish stability and security. It’s also where we attach or hang on, of necessity, or through choice and fear of change. The fixed sign energies are amplified June-October in the following ways:
Venus at 0 Leo opposing Pluto R at 0 Aquarius: exact on 5 June. A key question or challenge arises about personal desires or what serves the wider family/community/humanity? What is most needed? What am I truly here for? As this aspect occurs on the day Venus enters Leo, this opens the bigger picture perspective on Venus’s entire journey through Leo.
Venus in Leo square Uranus in Taurus: This aspect can shake us out of our comfort zones through unexpected shifts, or inner tensions, around resources, money, and security. It can reveal holding patterns we’re not fully aware of, that we need to transmute, sometimes through the reflection of others. This is strongly highlighted early July, early August, and late September: a process of reorientation, moving towards a renewal of stability whilst amidst the throes of huge collective change.
Venus in Leo square Jupiter in Taurus: Questions, reflections, insights, and opportunities to reorient and ground what your heart truly wants and needs now. Active in early June, late August, and mid-September. Venus is square the Moon’s Nodes in Taurus/Scorpio with Jupiter also 8-12 June. This brings the potential for deep insight and an uplift of consciousness re ancestral holding and karmic patterns. It will take the retrograde journey to anchor this fully.
An abundance of other planetary energies accompanies Venus in Leo before and through her retrograde. She travels almost the entirety of Leo degrees to her station retrograde at 28 Leo, so we have lots of clues as to this evolutionary journey. Sacred Feminine archetypes are particularly strong and involved in this uplift of our heart fires. With Venus’s consort Warrior Mars also in Leo, they amplify our relationships and the integration of new Masculine/Feminine frequencies within. The period before Venus’s retrograde, mid-June to 10 July, is particularly potent for this. Energetic themes particularly strong 18 June – 10 July are:
Venus with Warrior Mars in Leo: how and what we fight for with our own creative possibilities, and/or in relationships. Leo lions are both affectionate and fierce. There may be a need to roar!
Venus with Wisdom Warrior Pallas Athena in Leo: exploring our alliances, personal and business. Where are they rooted? Athena was both politically active as her father’s daughter, acting out patriarchal goal-orientated drive, yet also engaged her expansive holistic Feminine intelligence, acting strategically from wisdom. She supported the Greek heroes with her gifts, so supports us to engage the men in our lives with our intuitive holistic perspective on life.
Venus with Black Moon Lilith in Leo (Jan – October: see my earlier blog Drama Queen? Or Queen of Hearts?): denying/rejecting our own heart’s knowing, enjoyment, and creative passions; pushing out, pushing away, but also the potential for magical soulful connections when we allow our hearts to open. The demand to be seen is ultra-strong. Are you seeing and honouring yourself first? Venus meets with Lilith three times (28 June, 8 August & 9 October) during her retrograde journey. This brings a major emphasis on the shadows held in our hearts and releasing them as new light and fire. This carries all the way through to October.
Venus stations retrograde at 28 Leo on 23 July. As she stations, another Sacred Feminine archetype, Crone Hekate, comes in strongly as support for the entire retrograde process. Hekate is the wise woman guide through transitions. There is none more skilled at traversing the void and uncertainty of change than her.
One of Hekate’s most potent symbols is the crossroads, the place where many paths meet. She is a potent guide between worlds: a torch and key bearer, guide, companion, and protector. The Sun is conjunct Crone Hekate as she enters Leo on 23 July, the day Venus stations retrograde. This highlights the power of Hekate as a guide through this Venus retrograde until October. The Sun is the most powerful light in our Solar System, reflecting the symbology of Hekate’s torch, that which lights our way through the darkness of not knowing, through uncertainty and change.
There are two exact meetings between love-orientated Venus and this wise woman archetype on 27 August at 13 Leo, and 30 September at 23 Leo, when Venus is moving forward again. These are points where we are guided to consciously engage Hekate’s powers of serenity, to trust the resting place of the unseen and unknown; to be in liminal space. As we allow that space of unknowing to have us fully, Hekate’s wisdom can reveal previously unseen elements that underpin this unfolding process.
Over her four months in Leo, Venus also delivers light and bright moments, where we can fan the flames of our heart fire with planetary support. Like the Sun pouring through gaps in cloud cover, these provide flashes of clarity, joy, and connection. Venus in trine with Rainbow Bridge Chiron in Aries (29 June, 14 August & 23 September) highlights the opportunity for heart healing, accepting and expressing vulnerabilities, self-understanding and sweet connectivity. We are encouraged to take risks with honesty and self-revelation. A major catalyst point of insight and potential also arrives on 13 August when the Sun is conjunct Venus, seeding her and us with new life for the emerging cycle.
Venus stations direct on 4 September at 12 Leo, conjunct the asteroid of relating Juno. It brings renewal in a personal way, yet it’s not until early October (even until 2024) that we see the outcomes of this Venus process within us. As Venus traverses her retrograde shadow zone between 4 September and 7 October, she has further encounters that open the gates of new life. They reveal the cosmic nature of what we experience as a personal process. Venus meets with Pluto again, back in Capricorn, on 6 October, in an awkward quincunx aspect. With these planets, the quincunx requires us to adjust between new frequencies of individual desire and the collective field. A sacrifice may be required. The collective field (still deconstructing through Pluto in Capricorn) may not be ready for what our heart desires to express or create. We are called to tenacity and trust in the face of old paradigms.
Venus’s final conjunction with Black Moon Lilith at 0 Virgo is on 9 October. It brings a new element into play that gives meaning to the entire retrograde process. Venus (especially in Leo) represents personal love and creative self-expression; this has been our four-month process. Lilith as Soul Mother calls us to be impersonal, for our individuality to serve collective evolution.
This final conjunction between the Light/Dark Feminine calls what has been developing in us into service for the greater good in some way. It aligns the new heart frequency in subtle ways. It sparks brilliance that we may not be aware of within ourselves, yet which is obvious to others. We are called to fully engage yet let go of any personal ownership of our individuality, self-expression, or creative potency. Virgo is the sign of the priestess, she who goes beyond personal desire to serve what is most needed within the sphere of her existence. This connection suggests we must develop the Virgoan humility that such a role requires. Leo’s pride has no place in this, yet the new expression of our heart’s fire is called forth and the potential is, it begins to embody.
Furthermore, Venus/Lilith at 0 Virgo are trine Mother of the Sea Sedna, newly arrived in Gemini on 16 June after twenty years in Taurus. Sedna represents the journey of resurrection through sacrifice, one that births an entirely new form of life. Sedna’s myth is about the transcendence of suffering; in that journey she becomes Mother of the Sea. The Venus/Lilith trine to Sedna opens utterly new gateways for collective evolution: personal, impersonal, and collective. Although we journey personally, there is always a much bigger picture.
Sedna and Pluto represent long-term transformational potency. They will not land fully in air signs Gemini or Aquarius respectively until April and November 2024. Venus with Lilith’s connection to these power-house planetary bodies reflects cosmic elements at play in our lives. This very personal journey of Venus retrograde in Leo opens our hearts to new frequencies of loving service that are uniquely individual, yet it seems we are also asked to give them away. It’s a paradox – what we most desire or love personally is a key to where we are uniquely called to serve. Our role as individuals is to tend the heart’s flame with love and devotion, so individuality may become a worthy vessel for life’s new frequency of Love landing here on Earth.
It’s no surprise to me that Crone Hekate is midwifing this journey. It takes a potent wise elder to give life to the love that Venus is birthing. As Marion Woodman says, ‘Without the Crone, the task of belonging to oneself, of being a whole person, is virtually impossible’. Leo is where we discover the potential of our full individuality. Yet that is not the end of the journey. The zodiac cycle reveals that as just another beginning point.