This summer's main-stage astrological event arrives in your life in a blaze of glory on July 22nd, 2023, and will be in play until September 3rd. This is nothing short of your own "summer glow-up" from the inside-out, because THIS is Venus retrograde in Leo, "a rebirth to self-worth."
This means we'll all be getting her help and blessings around healing any shadowy bits that have been keeping us from shining brightly and that pure, heart-centered authentic self-expression that Leo is all about.
Think: personal renaissance, the renewal or revival of the quintessential you, and even phoenix-style rebirth of your authentic essence. Imagine irrigating and finally healing those old wounds and clearing out the tough scar tissue that has kept you from sharing yourself with the world joyfully and playfully just for the sake of being you and authentic. Imagine cleaning all the old ideas and beliefs about yourself and experiences and other peoples' opinions and ideas about you that have gotten stuck on your aura, both on the outside and the inside, and cleaning off that filmy residue of the past that has been keeping you, up until now, from shining your unique radiant light and sharing your brilliance.
Did I mention that this is the longest Venus has been in Leo since 1812? Venus entered Leo on June 5th and won't be leaving until early October. Venus' last retrograde in Leo was actually in Leo and the early degrees of Virgo back from July to early September 2015, so this is quite likely to be a continuation of whatever the theme of that last Venus retrograde in Leo was in your life.
Venus rules the divine feminine - attraction and receiving - in our lives; quite literally the law of attraction - how we align energetically with our desires to attract and receive them in our lives. Venus is about love and money, relationships and resources, as ruler of Libra and Taurus, but there's one common denominator - that's values, and especially our value of ourselves. That's the key to Venus. We attract and receive the love and money we desire by way of energetic alignment, and that means the quality and quantity of our relationships and resources is directly linked to how highly we value ourselves.
Venus retrograde is a review that helps us uplevel that self-value and energetic alignment with our desires, and Leo is all about authenticity, creative self-expression, and shining our unique light in the world.
Thus Venus retrograde in Leo is all about a rebirth of self-worth, and this is reawakening and rebirth from the very core of our personal values and self-values I've been talking about so much this year, because I believe it's what we've all been waiting for as far as some feel-good supportive astrology that really helps us get in right relationship with ourselves and really love and appreciate ourselves and this is going to supercharge our efforts around everything we've been working to create in our lives over the past months and even years as we battled through some really tough energetic dynamics (like Saturn squaring everything nonstop).
Dates for Venus Retrograde in Leo
There are three phases to any planetary retrograde - the pre-shadow, the retrograde, and the post shadow. The pre-shadow is the planet's first pass over the degrees of the retrograde in forward motion. The retrograde is the when the planet appears to be backtracking over those degrees, and the post-shadow is the planet's third and final pass over the degrees of the retrograde after stationing direct.
Venus entered the pre-shadow of the retrograde on June 19th, stations retrograde on July 22nd, stations direct on September 3rd, and leaves the retrograde territory for good (leaves the post-shadow) on October 7th.
This gives us three distinct phases of Venus retrograde in Leo - initiation, review, and resolution.
Initiation - the pre-shadow - June 19th to July 22nd, as Venus makes it's first pass over the retrograde territory, is the initiation. During this time, we tune into what's coming up in our lives, especially around the Venus themes of resources, relationships, and self-value, and the Leo themes of creative self-expression and shining our light authentically and boldly.
Review - the retrograde - July 22nd to September 3rd is the actual retrograde when Venus appears to be backtracking over the degrees it just covered between June 19th and July 22nd. This is the review. When a planet is retrograde, it isn't just about going backward, or reviewing - it's energy also turns inward, prompting us to do the inner work around the areas of life that planet rules. In the case of Venus, we may have issues coming up around love, money, and self-expression (during the pre-shadow or initiation phase) that are prompting us to review and do the inner work around self-value and values and also any fear or shame we are carrying around authentically expressing ourselves, during the actual retrograde.
Resolution - the post shadow - September 3rd to October 7th is the post-shadow phase, when Venus, after stationing direct, makes its third and final pass over the degrees of the retrograde. This is the resolution. The pre-shadow brought up the issue(s), and during the retrograde we did the review and rework - we made the edits in the inner realm and maybe in our outer lives too. Now we are reaching resolution and preparing to move forward into completely new territory.
Because Venus retrograde is about facing the shadow to be reborn to a new consciousness, after the post shadow phase is complete, the idea is to move forward in our lives with a new sense of self and recalibrated values, more aware of our shadows, and whole unto ourselves, in our full creative power.
Venus Retrograde in Leo Important Aspects
The aspects Venus makes to other planets during this summer's retrograde through Leo further define the energy of this review in our lives.
While retrograde, Venus will be making four important transits - a set of three conjunctions to Black Moon Lilith also in Leo, a set of three trines, or flowing aspects, to Chiron in Aries, a set of three squares, or growth aspects, to Uranus in Taurus, and a set of three reality-checking quincunxes to Neptune in Pisces. Venus will also meet up with both Mercury and sun as they move through for Leo season while retrograde there.
Below I'll take you through each of these transits and what they mean, and then I'll give you a list of the transits one by one in date order - in the order you'll be experiencing each one as Venus moves through all three phases of this retrograde dance making these aspects.
Remember, at the heart of this, it's all about values and most of all our value of ourselves. That's what this retrograde is going to be focused on - helping us identify any shadow work that needs our attention right now and doing it. Because this is Venus we are talking about, the clues come through love and money in our lives, our resources and relationships, or lack thereof. When those things come up over the coming months, those are the threads we want to follow within that lead us to the healing work wanting to be done now around self-esteem, self-value, and showing up more authentically in our every day lives.
Venus conjunct Black Moon Lilith in Leo - #1: 6/28, #2: 8/7-8/8, #3: 10/9
Black Moon Lilith isn't an actual heavenly body - it's the lunar apogee - a calculated point. You might think of it as a lunar shadow. While Venus is associated with love and money and the divine feminine, and all that is pleasing, Lilith is associated with the wild feminine - the part that isn't so nice and doesn't care about pleasing - the feminine that would not, could not be tamed. This set of three conjunctions with Venus retrograde in Leo is of great importance to our retrograde journey, because this is where the part of the divine feminine we might consider it's conscious expression (Venus) meets up with it's unconscious counterpart, the shadow (Lilith). It's important to remember that both have equal value and importance. Black Moon Lilith represents where we have stuffed part of ourselves down because we were shamed - it wasn't acceptable at some point, in some experience, under some circumstances, and we ended up deciding that we were somehow shameful and wrong and unacceptable. Anything that comes up that gives you a charge now around this sort of thing is your clue to what you have an opportunity to heal now and love up to the surface - pay close attention around June 28th about any discomfort that on closer examination has its root in shame. It is begging for your loving attention now so it can be healed. It's going to come up again for review around August 7th and 8th. This could also show up as something you see someone else doing that really upsets you - something that you find irritating on the surface level, but if you go deeper, you find shameful, and if you go even deeper, is something you've been shamed out of doing in your life that you actually really want to do because it is part of your authentic creative self-expression. Remember, if you disown or make unacceptable even one tiny cell in your body, you've disowned and made unacceptable all of you - the body doesn't differentiate - every part of you is you. Now you get to heal and whole yourself.
Venus trine Chiron in Aries - #1: 6/29, #2: 8/16-8/17, #3: 9/23-9/24
Right as Venus' first conjunction to Lilith in Leo is happening 6/28, we have Venus also in trine to Chiron in Aries, exact 6/29. That means that Lilith is in trine to Chiron along with Venus, but this is only the case for this first aspect - Venus will conjunct Lilith and trine Chiron separately for numbers 2 and 3 in August and September/October, respectively. That means this initial hit in late June is going to quite the initiation! Own your wounds. As Brene Brown says, shame cannot survive in the light, and a flow aspect between two fire signs like Leo and Aries is pure, well, fire. Be brave. Take heart. No more hiding. This doesn't mean drama and theatrics - it means simply being seen just as you are, and standing up in that strong sense of self with pride. This aspect is here to help you step into that beautiful authenticity, no matter what has happened to you in your experience of life. The initiation of that first conjunction between Venus and Lilith happens just one day before Venus trines Chiron for the first time, so whatever shame comes up, that's the fuel for this fire. That is your offering to the sacred flame of purification and transformation. Remember, number one is just the initiation. Venus will make this aspect to Chiron two more times before we're done. The next time will be the review when we are really doing the inner work in mid-August, and then resolution will come around September 23rd and 24th.
Venus square Uranus in Taurus - #1: 7/2, #2: 8/9, #3: 9/29
After our initiations of Venus conjunct Lilith June 28th and then trine Chiron June 29th, we really have no time to catch our breath before Venus squares up to Uranus on July 2nd (right before the July 3rd full moon). Squares are growth aspects - the growth is forced by the two planets interacting at a 90° angle that creates an energetic impasse. We'll already be feeling the tension of the first of three Venus-Uranus squares building as we move through the initial Venus-Lilith and Venus-Chiron aspects just days before. When Uranus is involved, we can expect disruption and unexpected upheaval, especially when it is in challenging aspect such as a square. When it's squaring Venus, that disruption and unexpected upheaval is going to have to do with love and money, relationships and resources in our lives. This can destabilize us. This may come through as a freedom versus security dilemma, or blow up. We won't want to feel restricted, and definitely not smothered. We want excitement. And we want to express our uniqueness and individuality. The farther from your authentic truth you've been living, the more destabilizing this aspect will feel. Over the course of these three aspects Venus will make to Uranus - July 2nd, August 9th, and September 29th - you're invited to come home to yourself and restructure your life and relationships on a more authentic foundation.
Venus quincunx Neptune in Pisces - #1: 7/16, #2: 7/30, #3: 10/3
Luckily, we'll get a breather between the Venus-Uranus square and our next initiatory aspect - Venus quincunx Neptune on July 16th - before Venus stations retrograde on July 22nd. As I mentioned, the Capricorn full moon will be July 3rd, right on the heels of that big July 2nd Venus-Uranus square. The new moon in Cancer will be July 17th, and it comes with the north node of destiny and future making a sign change for the first time in eighteen months on July 18th. Venus' first quincunx in the set of three to Neptune lands at the dark moon the day before the new moon, July 16th, the deepest diving and most inward turning point of the lunar cycle and a time of releasing what no longer serves. A quincunx is a 150° angle between two planets - it's just one sign shy of an opposition. It's like the planets don't "see" each other, like they are in each other's blind spots. Instead of a challenging relationship, like the energetic impasse of the 90° square or stand off of the 180° opposition, it's like they are cut off from each other while still interacting. Neptune retrograde is always about a "reality check," about clearing any "fantasy fog" in our lives that's keeping us in delusional living, and Neptune retrograde quincunx the planet of relationships and resources, desires and attraction as it sets up for a retrograde may land us with a hard reality about where we've been fooling ourselves or being unrealistic where it hurts most - in matters of love and money. As this occurs when the lunar energy is at its lowest, the day before the new moon in emotional Cancer is exact, it's going to pay to set yourself up for this one, because it might be a bit owie. Dark moon rules apply here on this first aspect - the initiation is quite often the toughest one. So, 7/15-7/18, score space for yourself, to slow down, get reflective, and turn inward, and use these days to cut out the noise and stressors and really nurture yourself and feed your soul. Bonus points for engaging in spiritual and creative pursuits.
Venus conjunct Mercury in Leo - 7/27
Both Mercury (7/27) and then sun (8/13), passing by Venus are one-hit-wonders. Leo vibes are amped for the month that the sun graces its own sign of Leo - "Leo season," and wherever the sun is, Mercury isn't far away. Mercury, ruler of the mind, thinking, and communication passes by Venus retrograde on July 27th. Remember, Leo is the sign of the heart, authenticity, and creative self-expression. Leo wants to be seen, heard, and appreciated. As a fire sign, it's enthusiastic and inspiration fuels its flames. Authentic self-expression is a magical elixir now.
Venus conjunct sun (cazimi) in Leo - 8/13 (20°) (the heart of Venus RX)
Then, on August 13th, the sun, following in Mercury's footsteps, passes by Venus retrograde. The sun conjunct Venus retrograde is known as the inferior conjunction, or "cazimi," the arabic term meaning "in the heart." This is the heart of Venus' retrograde journey in Leo - the "aha moment." Think "revelation." This is the heart of your personal renaissance - the big turning point. In just three days, we'll arrive at the last aspect in our second set of "review aspects" - the ones Venus is making while in retrograde motion to Black Moon Lilith, Chiron, Uranus, and Neptune. The only one left to make before she stations direct is the flowing trine aspect to Chiron, coming up on August 16th and 17th. What this means is, at this point, when Venus is cazimi with the sun on August 13th, at this turning point, we've already done all of the heavy lifting of the retrograde. We arrive at the "aha moment," the heart of the retrograde, on August 13th and then roll right into a supportive aspect from Chiron, the wounded healer, in the sign of the self, Aries. Now we are ready to step up with a heart filled with courage and really let our light shine for all to see. Maybe it's the old scars where the light actually shines through most brightly?
August 23rd to September 3rd: A Special Note
These are the days we have both Venus retrograde in Leo AND Mercury retrograde in Virgo. Mercury will be retrograde in Virgo, Leo's neighbor, from August 23rd until September 15th for Virgo season, and this year's Virgo season. Virgo season has it's own special mojo going on this year, as each planet that passes through Virgo this summer/fall will form the tail of what's known as a "kite" formation in astrology, with the other three planets involved being outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto all sextile each other in Taurus, Pisces, and Capricorn, respectively. (If you want to know more about this astrology, read about point 4 in my blog post by clicking here.) The Virgo-Pisces opposition being lit up is the main point of focus here. It's about the Virgo-Pisces of healing between the physical and spiritual - specifically finding the sacred in the mundane and honoring the physical in acts of practical service and caretaking, like cleanliness, organization, diet, and routine. As Venus retrograde and Mercury retrograde overlap, people or situations may come in from the past, requiring us to review and make edits in our lives. Mercury retrograde always wants to upgrade our thinking and communication, and requires us to slow down in order to do so. Venus retrograde is also a review, but as we've been discussing, it has to do with an upgrade in love and money - at the heart of the matter, a reevaluation of values and an upgrade in how we value and esteem ourselves.
After September 3rd ~ The Resolution
After this, Venus stations direct on September 3rd, and from September 3rd til October 7th, Venus is in the post-shadow of the retrograde, making its third and final pass over the retrograde territory now in direct motion. This is the resolution, with Venus making it's third and final aspects respectively as follows: trining Chiron for the final time on September 23rd and 24th, squaring Uranus for the final time on September 29th, making the final quincunx to Neptune on October 3rd, and then making the 3rd and final conjunction to Black Moon Lilith at 0° Virgo, after clearing the post retrograde shadow, on October 9th.
Aspects listed in Date Order
6/19: Venus enters the pre-shadow of the retrograde 12° Leo
6/28: Venus conjunct Lilith in Leo #1 of 3
6/29: Venus trine Chiron in Aries #1 of 3
7/2: Venus square Uranus in Taurus #1 of 3
7/16: Venus quincunx Neptune in Pisces #1 of 3
7/22: Venus stations retrograde 28° Leo
7/27: Venus conjunct Mercury in Leo
7/30: Venus RX quincunx Neptune in Pisces #2 of 3
8/7-8/8: Venus RX conjunct Lilith in Leo #2 of 3
8/9: Venus RX square Uranus in Taurus #2 of 3
8/13: Venus conjunct sun (cazimi) 20° Leo
8/16-8/17: Venus RX trine Chiron in Aires #2 of 3
9/3: Venus stations direct 12° Leo
9/23-9/24: Venus trine Chiron in Aries #3 of 3
9/29: Venus square Uranus in Taurus #3 of 3
10/3: Venus quincunx Neptune in Pisces #3 of 3
10/7: Venus leaves the post shadow of the retrograde 28° Leo
10/9: Venus conjunct Lilith in Virgo #3 of 3
It's time for you to start living life in your inner authority, in your creative power, in your full dignity, and I'm here to walk with you on that journey home to yourself.
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As an ambassador for Consciously Creating Life, Kasey serves as an advocate of the magic that exists in this life and in each and every one of us. She is a champion of the journey to access our own powerful magic by returning home to ourselves and reclaiming the thrones of our hearts as sovereign rulers of our realms, through practicing the Art of Consciously Creating Life.
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