On 25th July love goddess Venus slowed to a standstill and began her six week retrograde phase. As the planet of love and values, Venus retrograde periods are times when we re-assess what and who we value.
Celebrate the Coming of Spring
In the seasonal calendar, the beginning of August is the time of Imbolc – the Pagan Festival of Lights known to Christians as Candlemas. The older Pagan names were Imbolc and Oimelc, ‘Imbolc’ meaning ‘in the belly’ (of Mother Earth) and ‘Oimelc’ meaning ‘milk of ewes’. Although the nights are still long and dark, we sense intuitively that spring with all its delights is just around the corner.
To celebrate the coming of spring, light a blue candle and place it in the main room of your house. Blue represents peace, wisdom, communication, truth, patience, health and calm. Fill a small bowl with water and add a pinch of salt for protection and purification plus a few drops of your favourite essential oil – something calming like lavender is a good choice. Tie together small bundles of herbs and starting at the front door of your home, dip the bundle of herbs in the water and gently wipe them over the door frame. Continue to do this to all doorways and windows in the house visualising the protection and peace spreading from the front door to the rest of your home. When you have finished, leave the bowl of water out overnight to anchor the protection and let the bundle of herbs dry before burning it with your blue candle.
Venus Retrograde 2015 – The Shadow Side of Love
On 25th July love goddess Venus slowed to a standstill and began her six week retrograde phase. Venus has been visible as the evening star since early to mid-December – you may have noticed a beautiful, bright ‘star’ in the western skies after sunset reaching full brilliance around the middle of July.The Venus retrograde phenomenon occurs every 18-19 months and while Venus’s apparent change in direction is an optical illusion from our earthly viewpoint, its effects can nonetheless be extremely disruptive. As the planet of love and values, Venus retrograde periods are times when we re-assess what and who we value. Venus will travel ‘backwards’ from the 25th July to the 6th September, moving from0-1º Virgoback to 14-15ºLeo and offering special insight to those born with personal planets in this section of the zodiac, as well as to Leos and Virgos with birthdays between the 8th and 24th August.
The Venus retrograde 2015 phase is notable for including two of the three Venus-Jupiter alignments this year creating the anticipation and desire for true love, however, a recurring Saturn influence suggests that the path to true love will not necessarily run smooth!
Handling Venus Retrograde
Symbolically, the Venus retrograde period makes us re-evaluate our deepest values and examine our closest relationships. As Venus moves towards conjunction with the sun (25th July – 16th August in this cycle), we are challenged to let go of old ideas of purity and ‘right behaviour’. Seduced by our desires, we often feel ashamed and try to hide our actions and thoughts. Venus retrograde can be extremely challenging, particularly for those in unhappy relationships or who are living a life of duty, rather than pleasure. Imagine a beam of light shining into the deepest recesses of your heart – you can no longer hide your true desires or keep up appearances. However, this very same bright light can bring hidden admirers out of the closet or reveal beautiful dreams and desires. When analysing a Venus retrograde transit, look back eight years to see when Venus was retrograde in the same area of your chart (14° Leo to 0° Virgo). Similar themes are likely to emerge.
Here are some possible manifestations.
- Compulsive attraction to someone or something
- Joyful liberation from past restrictions
- ‘Out of character’ behaviour reveals true motives and intentions
- An instinctive understanding of events and interactions
- Conscious or unconscious retreat
- Lovers from the past coming back into your life
- Sudden declarations of love
- Forbidden or secret love – breaking social norms and conventions
- Guilt and shame over feelings of love or lust
- Infidelity and jealousy – the dark side of passionate and romantic love
- A cold, hard look at relationships of all kinds, often leading to break ups but also to reconciliation and to new, more honest expressions of love
- Understanding exactly what is needed to maintain personal integrity
- A time of failure, resignation or accident
- Awareness of hidden needs or desires can create emotional turmoil
The best way to prepare for the Venus retrograde cycle is to be honest about any area of life where you are living a lie and not acting with integrity. Take action to sort out the problem rather than waiting for it to surface and take you by surprise. And as Venus rules aesthetics, beauty, fashion and interior design, this six week period (late July to early September) is perfect for a physical makeover, wardrobe cleanout or home decorating spree.
August New Moon
This month’s new moon falls on the 15th in exuberant fire sign Leo with the Sun and retrograde Venus also in Leo, trine Uranus in Aries. The Sabian Symbol for 21-22° Leo shows a carrier pigeon delivering its message representing the constructive use of spiritual energies to bring messages from other realms. This new moon asks us to open our hearts, connect with others and serve mankind. And it’s a great new moon for attracting love and improving current relationships
August Moon Calendar
Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the Full Moon or when the Moon is in the same sign as your Sun (or Star) sign.
New Moon 15th
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.
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