For this Venus retrograde the date of the conjunction is August 15th. She vanishes from the night sky on the 11th and returns as the Morning Star around the 20th. This depends, of course, on your horizon.
The 15th is the pivotal day during of this retrograde period: when Venus is conjunct the Sun. It is a heavenly rendition of a potentially mystical moment: infinite and eternal. Mystical, meaning that it goes beyond image and lives where we cannot describe with words; although, being human and addicted to language, we never stop trying. It is a day that is here and gone before you know it. It is a day to ask deep questions or maybe not to ask but to listen. A time to find yourself lost in your very real present; to drop into it and see what happens. Venus on this day is conjunct or cazimi the Sun. She sits in the heart of Creation Itself. At the same time she is suspended on the meat hook of her sister’s blind rage, loss, grief. Mary Oliver says, wisely,
Of course nothing stops the cold,
black, curved blade
from hooking forward –
loss is the great lesson.
But also I say this: that light
Is an invitation
and that happiness ,
when it’s done right,
is a kind of holiness,
palpable and redemptive.
In the story as I know it, what rescues the Queen of Heaven is two humble pieces of dirt, from the fingernails of a fire god that sneak into the underworld and bear witness to the sister’s despair. And so we, down here in earth are meant to ask ourselves, ‘What have we lost or afraid of losing? Where in our lives are we enraged, grief stricken or despairing? We are asked to bear witness to this in ourselves and in so doing to allow it in others. And there is also the possibility of finding the light in that darkness. That is the day that Venus conjuncts the Sun. Illumination in the darkest moment, when Love and Beauty are lost
It’s a powerful possibility to participate in this.
Venus has her moment in the heart of the Sun. She then moves to the other side, the eastern side and reappears as the morning star around August 20th. Venus in the sky appears to go direct on September 6th. (Just for the sake of astronomical accuracy, Venus also does this dance, over more days, in reverse when changing from morning to evening star. At that time she is not between the Sun and the Earth however. Doesn’t seem to hold the collective imagination as powerfully. But we could enact that 9 months from now should we choose. Also, please remember that retrograde motion is how it appears to us from the perspective of Earth. Planets don’t actually move backwards.)
As the Queen of Heaven makes her way back through the 7 gates; as her power is restored, she is changed. She has suffered and transformed. She has let go of what she no longer desires but/and she returns determined to do what she must, to have what it is she does desire. She is committed to making the necessary sacrifices and doing what she must to fulfill her mission. I find it interesting in my way that as evening star almost everyone sees Venus at least once in the 9 month period but not that many see her as the morning star. Only some of us return with a sense of commitment to the mission!
One of the most powerful things about this particular Venus retrograde is that it happened at zero degrees of Virgo which is the degree of the fixed star Regulus. I think this degree is potent in that it represents the need for us to radically refocus how we live on this planet if we are to survive. We all know this to be true but it is quite powerful to see it written in the stars!