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To be clear regarding this topic, in psychological astrology we can talk about the “shadow of Gemini” or “Scorpio’s shadow.” And if I were talking in that regard, I would be referring to the way in which those signs can work against ourselves – shadowy, unconscious material as it were. In this case though, I am referring to an actual “thing.” And yes, “thing” is a technical term. 🙂
When a planet goes retrograde, the point at which it seems to “pause” in the sky is known as its shadow. For instance, (because we are talking about this planet) Venus went retrograde back in December at 29 degrees of Capricorn. That is the furthest forward it had gotten before turning retrograde. Following me so far? So Venus’ shadow is presently at 29 degrees of Capricorn, considering as I write this, Venus is completing its retrograde cycle at 13 degrees Capricorn.
Here is the thing which any non-astrologer (and probably some astrologers may not either) does not know. When Venus (or any planet for that matter) goes direct, the shadow will still be “in effect” for a short period of time thereafter. This is why one of my astrology teachers used to preach that the retrograde cycle lasts at least two weeks after the planet starts moving forward (and I’m beginning to think he knew what he was talking about!) 🙂
So when does the shadow stop being in effect? When the planet crosses its shadow. So for Venus, it will officially be out of retrograde (meaning it is stationing direct and moving forward for the next 18 months or so) after January 31st. But on that day, it will be at 13 degrees of Capricorn. It will still have four plus weeks before it will cross its shadow. Meaning, and I will say more, if 29 degrees of Capricorn is significant in your chart (and you would know this fact already because Venus stationed retrograde at that point, and that shadow point has been in effect since December 20th, 2013), that you may not be completely in the clear until February 28th or so. Sorry if I’m bursting any bubbles…
If you want to know the exact day, Venus will not cross 29 degrees of Capricorn until March 5th. So that is a good long time to slowly start to creep forward and finally it will start moving at a decent clip in the middle of February, and it will cross its shadow officially ending this retrograde cycle for 2014 (for Venus).
Here are some examples, just to be more clear. Let us say that you have Mars at 29 degrees of Libra in your Natal Chart. Normally, when Venus is moving at its usual, quick pace, Venus would transit your Natal Mars in two or three days tops. It would be at 27 degrees of a Cardinal sign one day, at 29 degrees the next and then it would be moving on into the next Fixed sign. And you would feel the reflected emotional intensity for only two to threes (normally!). But here, the retrograde cycle would draw that out for at least six weeks, and maybe longer.
Continuing where I left off, that means that around December 20th of this past year, Venus paused at the point squaring your Mars (29 Capricorn) for a solid two to three weeks due to the retrograde process. So you may have had a hot and steamy holidays there (or you may have wished you had someone to have a hot and steamy celebration with when those two planets meet up!). AND… due to Venus’ shadow sitting at the square point to your Mars, guess what? There would be a subtle hint of that intense attraction and magnetic sexual energy off and on over the past month or so – even when Venus itself backed up away from the square point. Does that make sense? I hope so. Venus and Mars, when a square happens, can be touchy bedfellows – generally speaking when Venus transits Natal Mars, it is easier, but sometimes arguments and emotionality can arise. There will be some heightened erotic energy, but at times it can be a little juvenile – meaning, “I want what I want damn it and why can’t I have that!!!” So hopefully if this is happening to you, you and your partner will be on similar pages and then you can have a healthy outlet for this energy!
Basically what I am trying to say is this: look at your Natal Chart. Do you have any planets in the 27 – 30 degree mark of Cardinal signs AND / OR do you have any planets in the 1 – 3 degree point of Fixed signs? Cardinals are Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn and Fixed signs are Scorpio, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius. These planets would all be affected by Venus’ shadow sitting at its present location, AND that might explain the up and down Venusian energy you have been feeling over the past month despite the fact that you don’t actually see much happening in your chart. That’s because the shadow in a inferred point (there is no shadow in the sky where the planet went retrograde) 🙂
Now this same thing is true for any other planet. If you have Neptune at 29 degrees of Aries, then lookout – you have probably had rose-colored glasses on for the past few weeks 🙂 And there could be a disillusionment heading your way! If you have Uranus at 29 degrees of Cancer, this could also throw a fun, exciting, but not-long-lasting wrench in the relationship works especially if you are starting a new relationship since December 10th or more recently (because then you’d have Venus in opposition to Uranus influencing your desires for six to eight weeks). And the same is also true for Jupiter at 29 degrees of a Cardinal sign, Pluto and Saturn. And yes, I did just throw Jupiter in that mix.
Even the great Benefic Jupiter can bring difficulty (imagine too much abundance, too much indulgence and / or too much hedonism – then you are getting close to what might be arising here). You will definitely enjoy the time with Venus in continuous or shadowy aspect to Jupiter for eight weeks, but afterward you might say to yourself, “Well shucks, that was fun, but I may have wasted some time there…” 🙂
So good luck deciphering this and hopefully it brings a touch more clarity to the subject of Venus retrograde. I have been noticing it myself as I have a planet at 29 degrees of a Cardinal sign. So I stand behind these words. I would love to hear your comments. And thank you for reading.