Venus retrograde is coming, and like an astrological lockpick, the box will be open for all those tough emotions to come pouring out. Think of it like the zodiac’s Walking Dead. Except with your ex, ex-bestie, or that family member you had a falling out with...so, a little scarier.
Venus—the planet that rules love, your values, and beauty—is moving into retrograde. And to borrow a phrase from Missy Elliot, in May 2020 (so yes, you have some time), she’s about to "put her thing down, flip it, and reverse it" possibly messing with your emotional stability, sense of self, and style in the process.
What does Venus in retrograde mean, exactly?
In the simplest terms, Venus in retrograde means the planet is moving backwards (yes, literally). This is totally normal and happens about every 18 months, says Linda Joyce, professional astrologer and author of The Day You Were Born: A Journey to Wholeness Through Astrology and Numerology.
Oh, and because Venus is also a female planet, it represents the Yin to Mercury retrograde’s Yang, she explains.
What should you expect during Venus retrograde?
A whole host of cringe-worthy moments await you: An old flame sending a "U up?" text—or even worse, getting the "Can we talk?" text from your new beau. Or maybe you run into a middle school frenemy on the street the one time you're looking less than your best. Perhaps you realize it actually drives you insane when your roommate leaves used paper towels on the counter, instead of throwing them in the trash (even though it's right next to the counter).
"What it does is it turns us more internal, which is a good thing. [But] the problem with people, in general, is that we only want to advance and move forward," Joyce explains. "We don’t want to deal with unresolved issues, unresolved conflicts, or things we’ve escaped in the past."
Instead of fixing old problems (like, ya know, just telling your roomie where you'd like them to shove their paper towels), she adds, "we like to move on and create new problems, like dating the same guy in a new pair of pants."
Why is Venus in retrograde important?
This planet placement is **essential** in the life cycle because it forces you to speak up and confront the stressors you worked so hard to bury (sorry, but it's true).
"Venus retrograde is one of the hardest ones to go through," says Brittany Binowski, a professional astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com and founder of Wonder Girl Astrology. "It brings up some of the worst, biggest changes in your life, so you can see them outwardly. We are forced to rethink our relationships and how life works in a very practical way."
This is a time when your reality can change pretty d*mn drastically, whether it’s leaving unhealthy relationships behind, finally confronting unresolved trauma, or even just getting a dramatic haircut (stay away from impulsive bangs, though). The intensity of this flow will depend largely on the person, says Joyce.
If you're someone who is already putting in the emotional work—whether that's through therapy, journaling, having honest (and often difficult) conversations with the people you love—this astrological event might not kill your vibe. You might have some moments of discomfort, but ultimately, Venus retrograde should help your #adulting efforts lead to real growth.
However, if you tend to bottle things up or keep your thoughts on others' troublesome behaviour to yourself (guilty as charged), this planetary shift will give you a much-needed kick in the pants.
What does Venus Retrograde mean for your zodiac sign?
Taurus and Libra—buckle up. These two signs are ruled by Venus and, therefore, are affected more intensely, Joyce says. But really, all zodiac signs are in need of some emotional work during this time.
Journaling, getting a facial, having your nails done—generally, any self-care practice that sparks joy—can temper down the craziness, according to Binowski.
Will Venus retrograde cause breakups?
Short answer: maybe. Venus retrograde gets sort of a bad rap, according to Joyce. (Not unlike its mercurial counterpart, in case you're keeping score at home.)
If relationships end during this time period, they probably weren’t meant to last in the first place. But sure, blame it on the stars.
"If you do lose the relationship, it’s because it was not working," says Joyce. "Venus retrograde doesn’t destroy a good relationship." (And exhale.)
In fact, couples in healthy relationships often come out of Venus retrograde stronger and with a better understanding of one another’s wants and needs, she notes.
"It’s more a time of rearranging the contract of a relationship," Binowski adds. But, she warns, things may get worse or chaotic before they get better.
When’s the next Venus retrograde?
The next Venus retrograde lasts from May 13, 2020, to June 25, 2020. This, combined with the summer solstice and an eclipse will make for a wild six weeks, Binowski says. "It's going to be a shuffling of relationships and resources that set you up for the next 10 years of life," she adds.
Sounds intense, but you can definitely use Venus retrograde to your advantage. Binowski encourages conversations about insecurities and value systems during this very sensitive and emotional time.
"I expect major realizations, especially regarding self-worth, to set us all up in a major way for the next chapter of our lives," she says.
To borrow another phrase from the all-powerful Missy: Is it worth it? Well, if you work it!
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.