Hang onto your hearts, stargazers. The latest Venus retrograde arrived this Friday, October 5, and throws our love lives into uncertainty — if not total peril. Of course, nothing is certain when it comes to planetary retrogrades. There’s still hope that you’ll survive this backspin. For all we know, you may even enjoy yourself while Venus is retrograde. The trick is to know what it’s planning to throw at you.
Venus retrograde is astrologically associated with the past, romance, and all the ways that those forces can mess with our current state of being. Unlike Mercury retrograde, which can have a jarring effect on our everyday routines, Venus’ retrogrades drift into our lives with greater subtlety, aiming for our hearts rather than our schedules.
The planet of love and beauty will be retrograde until November 16. Until then, we’ll be subject to its whims and rather sneaky influence. In the name of staying several steps ahead of Venus’ influence, we’ve rounded up four things you should absolutely not do during this period — and what you should do instead.
1. Learn from the past — don’t dwell on it.
Just about every planetary retrograde likes to turn our thoughts toward the past. Ideally, we’ll be able to recall mistakes made during previous retrogrades and avoid making them this time around. Venus retrogrades are particularly effective in getting us to rehash old memories, but they require that we slap on a pair of rose-tinted glasses beforehand. Naturally, it’s hard to learn from our mistakes when we’re too busy tumbling down a nostalgia hole. It’s totally fine if you want to reread a few diary entries or even play that old mixtape, but remember that the past is behind you.
2. Love the ones you’re with — don’t think about the ones that got away.
Speaking of the past, exes like to come out of the woodwork during Venus retrograde. You might find your thoughts drifting back to your time together or you may literally run right into them in your neighborhood. In the same way that Mercury retrogrades hit our schedules and technological devices particularly hard, Venus retrogrades like to go after our romantic histories and make us feel insecure about our present. If you’re too busy thinking about how things used to be with your ex, you’ll lose perspective on all the good that’s happening in your life right now. And then there’s the possibility that you start talking to an ex again, which, under a Venus retrograde, is not out of the question. Remember why you broke up in the first place, guard your heart, and then maybe consider seeing them again — but only after Venus is direct.
3. Enjoy the ride — don’t rush to the finish line.
If you happen to be starting a new relationship when Venus retrograde hits, you don’t have to do anything at all. Just slow down and enjoy every little moment. Don’t overanalyze where things are headed and don’t rush into any major conversations if you or your partner don’t feel quite ready. Venus retrogrades can muddle our priorities to the point that all we can see through the mental fog are the biggest and grandest romantic milestones. But running headlong into swapping keys or saying “I love you” can have consequences down the line — besides, savoring the early stages of your relationship can actually be fun.
4. Keep an eye out for subtle signals — don’t go off the grid.
Like any planetary retrograde, Venus’ backspins arrive to reveal something to us — but you won’t learn a darn thing if you bury your head in the sand until November 16. As frustrating as Venus retrogrades may be, they can also be clarifying. It’s definitely unpleasant to revisit old relationships, especially if they ended badly, but looking back with a critical eye will help you determine what you want to do differently next time. If you can avoid getting hung up on past mistakes and rushing headlong into the future, you can actually make your present pretty pleasant. And, if you can dodge its difficulties, that’s what Venus retrograde is trying to teach us.