Venus Retrograde 2023: Listen to your Heart

This summer, on the day the Sun enters Leo, Venus stations retrograde in Leo, making her 40-day journey backward through our sky. Where Mercury Retrograde tends to disrupt and confuse mental energy, Venus Retrograde tends to disrupt and confuse emotional energy. Like all astrological transits, there is a higher opportunity to this period if you’re willing to ride the energetic waves it brings to the surface. Venus Retrograde can make quite an impact on our lives and hearts, especially in Leo, the sign of the heart. Get ready for an eruption of heartfelt emotions as you re-organize patterns around love and feel your heart’s truth through this transit. 

Venus enters its pre-shadow period on June 19th at 12:12 AM PT when it hits 12° 12’ Leo. The way shadow periods work is they begin when the planet passes through the degree it will eventually station direct. Venus stations retrograde on July 22nd at 6:33 PM PT, twenty minutes before the Sun enters Leo. It stations retrograde at 28°36’ Leo and will travel all the way back to 12°12’ Leo, where it will station direct on September 3rd at 6:30 PM PT. It will then enter a post-shadow period where it will once again travel from 12°12’ to 28° 36’ Leo. Its post-shadow period will end on October 7th at 2:22 AM PT. 

From June 19th until October 7th, Venus will travel from 12°12’ and 28°36’ Leo three times; forward, backward, and forward again. Look to your natal chart to see if you have any planetary placements from 12°- 28° Leo. This part of your chart will be most affected by this retrograde. You will also be particularly affected if you have planets in these degrees of Taurus, Scorpio, or Aquarius. Any planet that falls in this place of your chart will also be affected more intensely by Venus Retrograde. Since planets affect aspects of your personality and energy, if you have a planet at one of these high-intensity degrees, that part of your energy will undergo an evolution of the heart. 

Everyone, though, no matter your natal chart, will feel the effects of Venus Retrograde. This planet stations retrograde five times over an eight-year period. The points where it meets the Sun while retrograde in the sky forms a pentagram or rose of Venus. This inferior conjunction occurs exactly every 584 days demonstrating the beauty and timeliness of the Universe. Venus will meet the Sun again in Superior conjunction once direct. This cycle of alignment determines if Venus is a morning star or an evening star. During the time from an Inferior to Superior Conjunction, Venus is a morning star being seen in the hours before sunrise. From the Superior to the next Inferior conjunction during its next retrograde, Venus is an evening star being seen hours after sunset. 

Venus also retrogrades through only five signs; Capricorn, Aries, Gemini, Leo, late Libra/Scorpio. The last time Venus stationed retrograde in Leo was eight years ago, in 2015. Take some time before we enter this retrograde to think back to where you were and how you felt during that summer. Ask yourself if you need closure to any emotions of that period and how your heart has grown since then. Honor the person you were back then and the person you have become since. While you don’t want to spend too much time in the past, it’s important to make a note of where your heart was eight years ago and the journey it has endured since. 

When Venus enters its pre-shadow phase on June 19th, you may begin to notice patterns of attachment and cycles of the heart. Your desires, along with your heart’s messages, will become increasingly revealed as we approach Venus stationing retrograde. Deeply held emotions will become transparent even if you’ve been suppressing them for years. Life will recede from the surface, and everything related to the heart will take on a deeper tone. Even short-term romances and summer flings will reveal a pattern of desire that rules your energy. You’ll begin to notice the people you attract and are attracted to energetically resemble figures of the past. You’ll also notice patterns of reactivity, drama, and codependency that reappear time and time again in longer-term relationships. 

On a higher note, this pre-shadow period is also a time to enjoy what you find beautiful in the world. It’s a time to connect with your deeper sense of beauty and love. It’s truly a time to stop and smell the roses instead of passing them by. This period helps you dissolve patterns that cause you to live on the surface, not paying attention to the beauty that lies beneath. This pre-shadow period coincides with Cancer Season. Spend a few days playing in the beauty of life this time. Slow down, retreat to your inner sanctuary, and immerse yourself in beauty. Give yourself daily beauty reports, writing down all the things you find beautiful in your life right now. Break patterns that cause you to ignore your needs and instead shower yourself in love. 

As Venus stations Retrograde on July 22nd, we also enter Leo Season. With this Sun and Venus in Leo, emotions are heightened to a vulnerable state. Over this retrograde, you may face some of your wilder emotions that compel you to act. Remember, Leo has an affinity for drama and theatrics. This sign does not encourage you to simply sit and journal about your feelings. It’s going to desire action. Just be sure that action honors who you are at your core. Expect some visible drama over this retrograde, and be prepared to react to it from your higher self. This includes drama you may cause or from others. It’s important not to get caught in the fires of this transit. Let your heart be heard, and listen to others’ hearts while remembering to connect with your breath and body. If you need space, go outside and stare at the sky. The expanded view will help you regulate your emotions and center your energy amongst any drama. 

This retrograde is intense as it causes explosions from the heart. These explosions can range from rooftop serenades to dramatic displays of passion or passion gone wrong. If you’ve been betrayed in the past eight years, expect energies around the betrayal to surface. You may have a strong desire to get even, or you may just need to sit in your tub every morning and weep. Either way, if your heart has been betrayed, it will want to be heard this retrograde. Give it space and hold it as it heals. This time can be very healing for the heart. Any wounds, though, will need to resurface and be felt to be healed. This resurfacing can cause re-traumatizing and reprocessing. Be prepared for overwhelming feelings. If they come around, let your heart know that you hear it, you are here for it, and you understand. Treat your heart the way you’ve always wanted to be treated- with unconditional love, respect, and admiration. 

Most importantly, be honest with yourself about your emotions. If you’re feeling something, allow it to unfold as needed. Do not try to hide your tears or pain. Let them be felt and even seen by others. This honestly will deepen your relationship with yourself and others. It will also let your heart know it’s safe to feel. If you allow any emotion to arise with love and compassion, you tell yourself that it’s ok to feel this way. You let yourself know that you are accepted and loved for all of your emotions, big and small. When you do this, emotions don’t feel so overwhelming and are more easily regulated. It’s ok to feel anything your heart needs to feel. Instead of hiding any emotions, lean into them, learn about them, and let them open the pathway to love. 

There is also an opportunity in this transit to feel your inner queen (or king). Leo is the sign of royalty. Let yourself rule your life from your heart. Listen to your heart each day, meditate with it, ask it what it needs, and ask what it wants to do. Then show up for your heart. Let the love of your heart empower you to make needed decisions, stand up for yourself, and be the person you are meant to be. This retrograde is an opportunity to connect with your heart on the deepest level imaginable. Feel its strength, resilience, and power. Feel that when you live a life from your heart, you become unstoppable. You feel deeply, you love loudly, and you experience the beauty all around you. You also connect with new ways of loving yourself and others that are healing, break old patterns, and bring focus to your inner radiance. From July 22nd until September 3rd, lead with your heart. Every day ask what it wants to do and follow it. Stand by it and release any doubt. Trust your heart and trust that it knows the path forward.

As Venus enters its post-shadow period on September 3rd, focus on new connections of the heart. What patterns are ready to be formed that heal your heart and allow you to live in the vibration of love? Look at what relationships are forming or are ready to form. What or who are you now ready for in your life? What are you ready to attract into your life, and how can this energy support your heart? Be open to receiving love and beauty at this time. Let love into your life, and be willing to risk getting hurt for the chance of experiencing the highest love imaginable that brings you to the center of your being- the heart. 

To learn about how Venus Retrograde will affect you based on your sun and rising sign, refer to the Leo Workbook.



Important Dates:

June 19th: Venus enters the pre-retrograde shadow period.

July 22nd: Venus stations Retrograde

August 13th: Venus forms an inferior conjunction with the Sun (becoming a morning star)

September 3rd: Venus stations direct

October 7th: Venus leaves the post-retrograde shadow period

June 4th 2024: Venus forms a superior conjunction with the Sun (becoming an evening star)

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