It’s on a lot of minds: if a romantic relationship begins during a Venus Retrograde period, will it last? It’s a good question, since our tastes and behaviors can be markedly different during the time Venus is in apparent backward motion in the sky. Every 18 months we go through an approximately six week retrograde of the symbol for love, relationship, money, and values, and it only stands to reason that an intimate relationship begun during might not have the staying power of one begun under a more characteristic influence.
This particular retrograde Venus occurred in the Cardinal Fire sign of Aries, with a single degree dip back into Watery, Mutable Pisces, where it stays for an unusually long time as it stations and goes Direct. In what sign and modality a planet has its retrograde will tell us something about the effects we can expect from the process. In this case, the majority of the retrograde occurred in an assertive, even aggressive, Self-focused energy that is physical action (Cardinal) oriented, and this is overall a way of expressing that Venus is likely uncomfortable with; and yet, she can find her way to express by playing on the less flattering sides of her own inclinations. For instance, desire can become envy, greed, or lust, while receptivity can become passive-aggression, and any Venus area, including beauty, love, or money can become an arena for competition and one-upsmanship.
So, the most important thing to keep in mind when trying to determine if a relationship begun under the retrograde has staying power is: does it have a facet of the competitive, aggressive, or a focus on Self-satisfaction? This doesn’t automatically say it won’t be sustainable past Venus’ Direction, but it does say that when Venus turns around what may have been a compelling and somewhat distorted form of Venusian energy will be withdrawn, and the consequences faced.
Those most likely to enjoy a survival of their love will probably have a natal advantage: Venus in Aries or another Fire sign, or in a Cardinal sign, Venus in the 1st, or Venus natally retrograde, and Sun, Ascendant, or Moon in Aries might also have a good shot at carrying the energy through direction. With those for whom Venus has had an uncharacteristic influence, the direction is likely to simply delineate very clearly what about the relationship is truly acceptable, and what really does need to fall by the wayside.
And what of Venus’ final sojourn in that last degree of Pisces? I think this brings a (perhaps desperate) attempt to paint the recent retrograde energy in a more acceptable light for the individual, prompted by the pressure of the stationary period. We may coat the relationship in fantasy, delusion, deception (even when presenting it to ourselves), or idealize things–these measures may or may not be contrary to reality, especially if we have deliberately set out during the retrograde to try something new. At the least Venus in the final degree of Pisces for direction says that we have in some way done the best we could under the circumstances, modeling our Venus experience on our ideals, and that once Venus is direct and moves back into Aries (just after midnight PDT on the 24th) we will be shed of anything that isn’t true and sustainable within our retrograde experience.