Yesterday I saw a story that a plague of locusts now threatens crops in Western NSW. Australia is still in the grips of our worst-ever drought and now within 12 months, we’ve had bushfires, floods, a global pandemic, and now this locust plague. Is something trying to give us a message? What do we need to learn from these times of challenges, deprivation and adversity? The fact that Venus is coming towards a retrograde in the message-bearing sign of Gemini speaks volumes.

Venus stations to retrograde on May 12, and her retrograde cycles always last approximately 40 days. 40 is a sacred number, often linked with sacrifice towards ultimate freedom and it feels like a similar theme may be coming up for us all. Hinduism observes a 40 day fasting period before making offerings. In Islam, Muhammad was 40 years old at his first revelation after a period of retreat and fasting. Christian Lent is for 40 days to replicate when Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights before being tested by Satan.

However, I’m reminded most of the Israelites wandering for 40 years in the Sinai desert. It all started with the ten plagues of Egypt and the following Exodus story is found in many religious texts including the Bible, Torah and Qur’an. The plagues were believed to be a message to the people of Egypt when they wouldn’t free the Israelite people, previously given protection in their land. When the Pharaoh finally heeded the messages and freed the Israelites, they fled enslavement for a promised land of milk and honey. But it came with a test, to wander in the harsh Sinai desert for 40 years. This story is one of adversity and redemption, of spiritual liberation hard-won through deprivation.

Venus in Gemini story
Usually Venus is the life of the party in the mutable air of Gemini, as she gets her bubbly, fun side on. Venus loves to unify and Gemini loves to connect, Venus is about pleasure and Gemini is about light-hearted fun. Think attractions of the mind, flirting through words, and a shared sense of humour. Gemini does enjoy variety, so it’s meeting lots of people and trying different things to see who or what fits best. Venus in this curious sign values information, anyway it’s served. Venus has been in Gemini since April 4, and even COVID-19 can’t stop her. It’s been a haze of online webinars, summits, online chats, does anyone else have a Zoom hangover!

Yet when she turns backwards, her energy turns inwards and the curiosity turns inwards. Like any retrograde, the “re-” words come up, but with Venus its revalue, reassess and re-relate. More on that to come, after we check in on how her relationship to the Sun affects this.

The cycle itself
It started with a kiss – between the Sun and Venus, way back in August 2019. This naïve kiss held the promise of exciting beginnings as her superior conjunction with the Sun in Leo began her current synodic cycle. Now she has travelled far as the Evening Star and comes back to the embrace of Sun. As she begins to retrograde she will disappear “under the beams” from 22 May and emerge as the Morning Star around 15 June. This next part of the cycle contains another kiss, but this is the kiss of maturity. As her retrograde motion brings her back into the lap of the Sun, she has the perspective of a knowledgeable lover. Experience has taught her what she desires, where she is willing to compromise and when to draw the link.

Also to note, Mercury and Venus receive and transmit the most light on either side of this kiss of maturity, and so carrying more potent energy. A story that perfectly illustrates this, a dear friend isolated in her flat in London sent me this photo of a star asking what it was. Totally unaware it was Venus, she said “as she watched it her heart suddenly was full of love for her family and friends all over the world, who felt so far away with the isolation, all the while unaware it was Venus. You can tap into that energy after sunset between now and mid-May, and then again from mid-June until early July.

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kahlil Gibran

Revaluing and realigning
The past 8 weeks for many have been a “rona-coaster ride” of worry and grief. Priorities of the heart were lit up, usually through the old adage “you don’t know what you loved until you lost it”. During the dark night of the soul, we want to be with those we trust. Stress-cracks have started in other relationships, some repairable and others beyond fixing. As Venus moves into her stage of maturity, so can we. It’s a time to take stock from a place of wisdom to reassess our connections, especially in the face of recent experiences. Gemini’s lightness and curiosity encourage neutrality, gathering the clear facts to weave logic with our emotions. Perhaps ask yourself if that compromise is possible or will it take too much? Can forgiveness heal past wrongs? Will a deeper love be forged?

And it’s not just relationships, Venus is what we value and these times simplify and clarify what is truly important. It’s no coincidence that we will slowly emerge from isolation as Venus begins her retrograde. Client after client has spoken about realising what they need in their lives. How our culture’s wheel of busyness no longer tempts them. As Venus begins her retrograde journey, she beckons us inside our hearts and asks us to revisit our value systems and listen to the messages being broadcast loud and clear. Remember those Egyptian plagues? We’re getting those messages as well. Humans have enslaved themselves and the planet alongside us, but the silver lining of COVID-19 is that it doesn’t have to stay this way. Nature bounced back while we were in lockdown, showing climate change isn’t inevitable. Human relationships took on greater meaning too, as we saw instance after instance of kindness, compassion and humanity. The comforts of modern living paled in the face of human disconnection.

It’s time for a new exodus… what can you break free from? The house this retrograde falls in offers some hints:

  • Aries rising – time to look at your communication style, and relationships with siblings, neighbours and your local community. You could also check-in with your connection to the Goddess, our planet.
  • Taurus rising – your relationship with wealth is under the microscope, how you interact with your finances and assets and revisiting what a “rich life” could look like for you.
  • Gemini rising – revaluing yourself and what you have to offer, your physical body, vitality and health can all be examined.
  • Cancer rising – isolation may show you the value of solitude, and time to be with your inner lives. Tustle with your shadows and embrace mystery worlds where help is always at hand.
  • Leo rising – your friendships, social groups, or community at large will benefit from a good airing out. The greater good is beckoning, and may require some personal sacrifice.
  • Virgo rising – relooking at what it takes to rise to the top, or just what it is that uplifts you. Time for a career overhaul as you ask yourself “does my employer valuing me enough?” (goes doubly for those self-employed!)
  • Libra rising – with travel out the window for a while, your relationship to all things foreign needs to be realigned. Get curious around new ways to seek truth seek or find higher views.
  • Scorpio rising – you’re revaluing those in your life you share lifelines with. Who is showing up and who isn’t, follow those breadcrumbs to recognise the value others place in you and if your energy input need to change to reflect the same.
  • Sagittarius rising – partnerships of all kinds call for your attention, and inner reflection on your own role in relationship health will yield strong results.
  • Capricorn rising – check in with your body to see where you could be valuing it more – show it some love with good routines! Your connections with colleagues, employees and pets are also highlighted.
  • Aquarius rising – Venus in her house of joy asks you to reassess your relationship with pleasure. When was the last time you had fun? Indulged in a little romance?
  • Pisces rising – spending time reconnecting with those you share home space with or getting to the root of a family matter

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