December 21st – Venus Goes Retrograde
On the day of Winter Solstice, Venus begins its retrogression in Capricorn. It remains in retrograde until the end of January.
So what does this mean astrologically when Venus goes retrograde?
Venus represents many things in our lives: arts, beauty, partnerships, marriage (spouse or wife), automobiles (conveyances), sexual pleasure, music, gems, flowers, contentment, sensual indulgences, and most definitely, our relationships!
One of the most common occurrences during a Venus retrograde is the renewal of an old relationship. Yes, that high school hottie has tracked you down on Facebook! My experience is that folks who begin a relationship with Venus in retrograde may fall in love easily (because it all seems so familiar!) yet just as easily fall out later. And do you really want to “fall” in love? As my teacher Yogi Bhajan once said, “Remember, every date has a pit. So be careful you do not fall!”
While new relationships may not last, Venus retrograde does offer plenty of opportunities to work out past karmic issues with our current significant others during its approximate 40 days of retrogression. This time may also see past and forgotten partners return in some way in our lives, also providing an opportunity to gracefully complete unfinished business.
In general, a retrograde Venus gives a complex and psychological aspect to affection and love. There can be feelings of emotional compulsiveness or a too generous dose of sexual energy. Sometimes we may enter into unconventional relationships in an effort to rediscover a hidden part of ourselves, or we may become overly needy and demanding of others.
Yet for all the challenges of a Venus retrograde, there are great opportunities if we use this time for reflection and honest introspection of old relationship patterns and habitual emotional reactions. There is a potential here for deep healing, overcoming lifelong relationship problems, and achieving significant growth within a partnership.
Significantly, Venus begins its retrograde in Capricorn where it is often inhibited, repressed, and incapable of emotional spontaneity. As it moves backward, it re-enters the sign of Sagittarius, a place where it can achieve both a philosophical and spiritual approach to relationships. The key with this retrograde is to move away from our brooding and repressed feelings and see relationships as a way to bring a higher meaning and purpose to our lives.
This is a perfect time to work on heart-centered meditations and yoga practices, everything from backbends to balanced pranayamas.
Here is a simple meditation to connect to your heart and inner-self:
Heart Beat Meditation
Sit in an easy relaxed pose with a straight spine and focus the closed eyes above the eyebrows at the third eye point.
Place the four fingers of the right hand on the pulse point of your left wrist and relax into your lap.
Feel the pulse beat that the heart creates. With each beat, repeat a mantra silently, such as Sat Nam, Om, or your choice. Continue for 3 to 11 minutes, and then relax.
Winter Solstice Arrives December 21st
On the longest night of the year and the shortest day, the day of Winter Solstice, we celebrate the return of the Sun as the days start to lengthen and the darkness recedes. Winter Solstice portends the return of the light of the soul, the Sun, and we see our journey moving from darkness to ever increasing light.
It is the time of Guru, a word that literally means “dark” (Gu) and “light” (Ru) and Winter Solstice signals the transition from darkness to enlightenment. This day marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the six-month period when the Sun begins its apparent northward journey through the sky.
The energy of this day is the opposite of the Summer Solstice. Rather than high energy and solar practices, it is time for turning inward and the lunar practices. Left nostril breathing, the lunar postures, and meditating on the feminine energies is helpful on this day when the Moon rules.
In the days immediately before and after Winter Solstice, restorative yoga practices are best. Tratakam (meditative gazing) on a candle flame, meditating with the sound of water, and a traditional milk fast may be observed on these days.
This is also an optimum time to clear out the past and our clutter, literally and spiritually. At this turning point of the year, we reflect on where our journey has brought us from the previous Summer Solstice and what we may wish to divest ourselves of over the next six moths. Winter Solstice is truly the “new year” for resolutions, new beginnings and leaving the past behind.
On this Winter Solstice, Venus also begins its retrogression at 3:53 PM and the Moon is in the nakshatra of Ashlesha. Both planets also are in an opposition aspect with each other. This would not be a good time to start a relationship (or actually any new activity that you want to turn out favorably), but it is a great time for four things: (1) File a lawsuit (D-I-V-O-R-C-E); (2) Administer a poison (better to file the lawsuit); (3) Engage in sexual activity (yes, really!); and (4) Awaken the kundalini.