The word "retrograde" tends to strike fear in the hearts of even astrology's most casual dabblers. Disaster! Panic! Twitter freak-outs! But whilethe Venus retrograde effects for 2017 will upend your love life, they're hardly something to fear. Nope, this time around, a little shake-up will almost certainly do you some good.
From March 4 until April 15, Venus, the planet of love and relationships, will appear, from Earth's surface, to rotate backwards. It won't be actually rotating backwards — the deceptive appearance is due to each planet's unique rotation around the Sun.
The concept of retrograde is incredibly far-reaching, as is the history of Western Astrology itself. Begun by the Babylonians in Mesopotamia, astrology was the first attempt to standardize one of the most basic human practices: looking to the sky for guidance. They charted the movement of the Sun through the Zodiac constellation belt, and noted changes in temperament based on when you were born.
The mantra of astrology, "As above, so below," remains a constant; even though planets do not actually rotate backwards, they appear to, and that's given equal weight. The concept of retrograde is that whatever the characteristics of the planet in question are, they will be inverted, and their public power will be muted. With Mercury, one of the most famous retrograde planets, this has kind of disastrous effects. Mercury is the planet of communication and travel — twist these around and suddenly flights are getting cancelled and your sarcastic tone is being misinterpreted as angry over text.
Though each planet periodically goes retrograde, Venus does so most rarely, turning every 18 months or so (for comparison, Mercury turns three to four times a year). When Venus moves from direct, you may begin, for the first time in a while, to truly ~feel yourself.~ Run with it! Afford yourself the love you tend to give everyone else!
Though Venus in retrograde promises to bring about, at the very least, interesting additions to your love life, be wary of two things: Falling too fast into a new relationship, and re-kindling an old, toxic one. If you meet a tall, dark stranger and you want them to whisk you away, do yourself a favor and take a moment for reflection. If that ex who broke your heart six times is suddenly sliding into your DMs, do yourself a favor and say, uh, hell no.
If you're in a couple, Venus in retrograde may be the time to reach a new intimacy level in your relationship, but as we all know, that's rarely done seamlessly. You may need to air out old grievances, or be really, actually honest about the future. These talks aren't easy, but they're necessary.
With all these love and loss and lust vibes getting tangled up, your social life may take a bit of a hit. That's OK — you don't need to be out always all the time. Spend some alone time. Work on existing just as you are, alone or in a crowd.