It seems like just yesterday that the first Mercury retrograde of 2020 came swinging through our lives like a wrecking ball. But there's a new retrograde in town to mix up our signals and remind us to slow our pace, and that's Venus retrograde 2020, which begins on May 13. That's still a month off, yes, but that doesn't mean we don't need to start paying attention, because Venus' pre-retrograde shadow period — aka Venus retroshade — started on Thursday, April 9, and we're all going to start feeling the shifts in energy building until the retrograde in May
So what is a retroshade, you ask? It's the period of time that takes place both before and after a retrograde, during which a planet moves forward over the same area of the zodiac that it will move backward over during its actual retrograde period. In other words, retroshades represent the lead-up period to a retrograde (as well as the come-down afterward).
Retrogrades can bring all sorts of mix-ups, rewinds, and blasts from the past, requiring us to slow down and focus — and in the case of planet Venus, that drama will concern your love life, your passions and affections, all things relating to beauty, and even the spending money in your pocket. If you have underlying issues with romantic relationships or money, you're going to be feeling them with extra intensity. And if you're single, your romantic encounters may feel stronger or more confusing — although remember, anything that starts now may not be built to last.
"Love, money, and romance matters will be influenced with many highs and lows until Venus leaves the retrograde zone in late July," astrologer MaKayla Audrey Louise tells Bustle. Venus retroshade is when we'll begin to feel the stirrings of the retrograde's energy, and it gives us an opportunity to tie up loose ends in love and prepare ourselves for whatever may come.
Find out how Venus retroshade will affect you, based on your zodiac sign.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Venus rules over the way we show our affections, but with the winds of the upcoming retrograde taking hold, it'll be easy for your words and actions to be misinterpreted — so now's not a time to say or do things unless you mean them, Aries. "Be sure to check in with your friends and lovers to avoid any miscommunications," Louise says.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Venus is your ruling planet, so you'll definitely be feeling the approaching of retrograde — and you'll want to keep an extra watchful eye on your wallet. "Your money, possessions, and self esteem may be impacted at this time," Louise says. "Be sure to build yourself up and save more than you spend." You'll feel better about yourself if you can muster up the strength to forego those impulse purchases.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Both Venus retroshade and the retrograde will be taking place in your sign, Gemini, so you'll be feeling the shifts on a personal level this time around. "You will need to be careful of your perception during this time, as you may not be seeing things as they truly are," Louise says. "You will also need to be careful about what vibe you give off on occasions where first impressions matter." Your sense of self is shifting, so be sure to keep your feet planted firmly in the ground.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Venus retroshade is offering you a chance to go inward, Cancer. You're going to spend this time evaluating what truly brings you pleasure in your relationships, and what (or who) adds value to your day-to-day life. "During this time, be aware of where you need to set boundaries and listen to your intuition," Louise says. Start listening to your heart now, before the retrograde hits.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Our friendships certainly aren't being spared by the retroshade, and right now, you're forced to reckon with what friendships are truly adding value to your life — as well as the value you offer to others. "Take an honest look at your social circles," Louise says. "You may need to be there for your friends, and you also may outgrow a certain group of friends or associates."
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
As we enter Venus retroshade, keep things low key and move slowly durign this transit, because you may not be seeing things with the clarity and attention to detail that you're typically known for. "Be mindful of how you portray yourself in public," Louise says. "Don’t make impulsive moves that could impact your reputation." Our judgement is cloudy, but moving slow and consciously will help.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
You're being forced to start looking outward and evaluating the ways in which you can expand your mind and soul within the given confines, Libra. "If the current pandemic hadn't impacted your travel plans, this transit would have anyway," Louise says. "Now is a good time to get back into studying a subject of interest that you hadn’t had the time to before." Even if you can't get out into the world physically, you can explore mentally.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
The retroshade is taking you deep into your inner core, Scorpio. It's time to face the truths you've been avoiding about how you love and value yourself and your most intimate relationships. "Now is a good time to do some inner healing," Louise says. "Become mindful of where your bad habits are and how you plan to transform them to your advantage." This retroshade may bring challenges, but it's also an opportunity to heal.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
It's a good idea to put additional energy toward your significant other and close friends right now, as you don't want anything within your partnerships to be on shaky ground once the retrograde hits. "Be careful of how your actions and words will affect those that matter to you," Louise says. We know you have a quick tongue, Sag, so try to stay a little softer and more sensitive than usual, as everyone's feeling vulnerable.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Self-care in the form of a work/life balance is going to be the ultimate focus for you during this retroshade, Cap. It's time to devote as much time to pleasure and leisure as you do to work and responsibilities, and it's vital to make sure you cover all those bases. "During this time, you’re going to need to be extra mindful of the mundane, everyday chores and tasks that life asks of you," Louise says. "Double check your to-do list and have high standards for end results."
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
This particular Venus retroshade has the potential to push you into some impulsive decisions around pleasure, dating, and romance, Aquarius — so you'll want to beware of diving into anything too quickly. "Don’t embrace emotionally chaotic romance or temporary pleasures that leave you feeling disappointed," Louise says. You'll want to keep one foot on the brakes when it comes to love right now.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Get cozy, Pisces, because this retroshade is asking you to embrace your inner core and re-connect with the things that make you feel most comfortable. "Check in on your family and those who are like family, because they may need some support," Louise says. Showing affection in the form of comfort and nurturing is a great way to connect with the people you're closest with and build on you bonds.