You've probably heard a lot about planets turning retrograde over the last several months. Now, that list includes Venus, the planet of love, relationships, and personal values. If it feels like the Venus retrograde dates for 2017 are late, that's because the planet did not turn retrograde at all last year; in reality, though, Venus retrograde is exactly on time.
In case you're new to the astrology scene, planets turning retrograde isn't quite what it sounds like. They don't physically turn backwards; rather, they only look like they're moving backwards depending on their position in the sky at any given time during the retrograde period. Some planets turn retrograde more often than others — like Mercury, for example, which turns retrograde at least three or four times each year. This year, Venus's retrograde period will last from March 4 to April 15, a pretty typical length of time when comes to this particular planet. Before this time around, the most recent retrograde period for Venus took place during late summer in 2015 (July 25 to Sept. 6), so it's definitely been a while.
Venus retrograde is known for taking place every 18 months and lasting about 40 to 43 days each time. It's actually one of the most uncommon planet retrogrades. After this year, the next time Venus turns retrograde will be Oct. 5 to Nov. 16, 2018, which is rather far off into the future. So if you're looking to spice up your love life or other emotional journeys, I'd say take advantage of the next month and a half.
Interestingly, Venus has also been retrograde between years as well. For instance, Venus was retrograde between Dec. 21, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2014. For the most part, however, the amount of time it takes for Venus to turn retrograde stays the same from year to year. In 2015, Venus retrograde lasted 43 days, one day longer than this year. In the grand scheme of things, one less day doesn't really mean much. In fact, I'd say any planet retrograde lasting more than a month is plenty of time for you to work things out.
So what does all of this mean regarding your day-to-day life? Venus retrograde should be used as a "planning period" to reevaluate your personal relationships, both platonic and romantic, and remind yourself of the things that mean most to you without making any major changes (you'll want to wait until Venus starts moving in direct motion again, on April 15). This also applies to your finances and beauty/aesthetics, so maybe postpone that Sephora haul until after April.
During this period, you may also run into situations where your personal beliefs are challenged or you might see things in a relationship more clearly than ever before. This could be good or bad, of course. Rocky relationships could take a turn for the worst, or things could get better. In other words, Venus retrograde will have you shook by the time mid-April rolls around and you may find yourself having to make some significant decisions this spring.
During Venus in Retrograde, use it as a period of reviewing relationship patterns, release any negative ones, write out your love intentions— Awakened Queen (@QueenAwakened) March 5, 2017
Of course, nobody expects you to know the answer to the question, "Who are you?" within a span of 42 days. Rather, Venus retrograde tends to be an optimal time for internal realignment. Keep in mind that Jan. 30 to May 18 is considered Venus's retrograde zone or "shadow period," which means wonky things could happen at any point during this time. Proceed with caution.