Love alert! Matters of the heart are about to take a backward turn with Venus Retrograde from Dec. 21, 2013 through Jan. 31, 2014.
The backward shift of amorous Venus offers a second look at relationships, as well as a review of personal values. This transit occurs in hard-working Capricorn, which challenges us to put in more effort to get the love and affection we desire.
You can find out more of what's in store for your love life personally with a Big Picture Love Forecast -- but for individuals who already have been putting in maximum effort to get a partnership on track, this is a time to step back a little and let nature take its course. A dash of detachment could be what's needed to get a fresh perspective on the best way to heal a current alliance or to make a connection with someone new.
Patience is helpful, as Venus won't get back to the place where she turns retrograde until March 4. And one benefit of operating at a slower pace allows us to savor life's pleasures in a deliciously leisurely manner.
Look up your zodiac sign below to find out how Venus Retrograde will affect you the most!
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
The reversal of alluring Venus occurs in your 10th House of Career and Public Responsibility, reminding you to double back to complete unfinished tasks. But it can also show you where you're wasting time on projects that aren't worth the effort you're putting into them. You may have to renegotiate a working partnership to align it with your current needs. Smoothing over relationships with colleagues is another constructive application of this transit. It's clear that forcing issues and pushing ahead in professional and personal matters could get messy. Taking your time to review your goals will probably reveal more effective ways to achieve them. One of the challenges of Venus Retrograde in this dutiful part of your chart is that work generally comes before play. But it also offers you a second chance to earn the respect that builds your prestige and increases you confidence.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
This backward shift of validating Venus is especially important to you because she is your ruling planet. Her association with Taurus suggests that you may be backpedaling in a number of areas until Venus turns forward at the end of January. Travel and educational plans could become complicated with this retrograde turn in your 9th House of Faraway Places and Higher Learning. It's wise to double-check details that could mar a vacation or cause problems with a school. In fact, you might want to use this time to reconsider projects related to a trip or academic situation. This part of your chart is also connected to belief systems, which can also be called into question now. Think about how the values you hold dearest impact your relationship life now. If they are not contributing to your well-being and a greater understanding of yourself, re-evaluating your commitment to them is worth the effort.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Intimacy issues can be kicked up during this Venus Retrograde because it occurs in your 8th House of Deep Sharing. They're not likely to be light issues, either, with the love planet's presence in serious Capricorn. Recognizing what you're not getting from a relationship and what you need to do to make that happen is a potential plus. The key is to be totally honest with yourself, especially regarding your feelings. If you're not fully engaged with the one you're with, the distance between you two will probably grow. But if you're committed to working hard to build a closer relationship, this is an excellent time to make necessary repairs and adjustments. If you're single and not happy about it, looking back on your personal history will probably reveal where you've made decisions that have left you far from satisfied. Although it's tempting to blame others, changing yourself is a wiser investment of time and energy.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
This could be a critical time in matters of the heart, as the love planet Venus slams on the brakes in your 7th House of Partners. Venus Retrograde in this key part of your chart may lead to taking a few steps back in relationships. However, this can be very useful, as it provides you with opportunities to deal with issues in a current alliance or in your desire to find someone new. One task is to do your best to lower the intensity of your emotions to look at your situation logically. That's because alluring Venus is in practical Capricorn, where clarity about your expectations is critical. Patience and discipline are also associated with this zodiac sign, indicating that love comes from working hard to lay a solid foundation of mutual trust. Respecting yourself is key, because that's what you need from a partner to benefit from this period of re-evaluation and -- hopefully -- second chances in relationships.
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Re-evaluating your working situation is an excellent way to get the most out of this Venus Retrograde period. This reversal occurs in your 6th House of Employment, offering opportunities to repair on-the-job relationships and to increase your technical skills. Don't let pride stop you from taking a good, hard look at how you handle the tasks in your daily routines. Whether it's in your career or personal life, now's a chance to upgrade your efficiency. That might require unlearning certain methods, which will slow you down at first, but can make the difference between being stuck in your current position or taking a risk to advance your level of success. Getting along with colleagues and customers is a potential challenge with this transit, especially when it comes to questions of power and control. Yet if you are committed to smoothing out some rough spots, your sincere efforts will be noticed and appreciated.
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)
Venus, the love planet, is turning retrograde in your 5th House of Romance, making this a particularly important time when it comes to matters of the heart. You might want to back out of a commitment to a big social event, or perhaps even consider stepping away from a partnership. Rule No. 1 here is to be cautious, which shouldn't be that difficult for you. In some ways, it's better to reject someone for whom your feelings have faded than to hang in there out of a sense of obligation. Venus Retrograde in this playful part of your chart can also awaken pleasant memories from the past. Reconnecting with an old lover would not be a major surprise. Still, this cycle also gives you a chance to alter your approach to amour by questioning the ways that you express affection now. Altering what you do to gain affection should be you more successful at getting it.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Accommodating Venus is associated with your socially skillful sign. But her backward motion could reveal ways in which you've compromised too much of your own desires to please another person. Venus is in Capricorn, a sign of discipline and self-respect, and she is presently in your 4th House of Inner Needs. Putting yourself first, if only in your thinking, will provide you with clarity about your relationships. Taking a second and even a third look at what you give in return for what you get may well change your patterns in partnerships. You don't need to act selfishly, but making yourself the priority will provide balance that can lead to a greater degree of fairness with those you love. An excellent way to strengthen your position with a partner is to become more self-reliant. Making yourself happy while alone for a while (if necessary) builds a strong foundation for finding the joy you seek with someone else.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)
Communications about intimate matters may become more complicated during this Venus Retrograde period. It occurs in serious Capricorn and your 3th House of Information, where messages may be misunderstood. Looking back on what you've said and what you've been told regarding relationships is likely to reveal patterns that increase your understanding of your personal life. There's no need to linger in the past when the goal is to correct what you can and then to move on. Finishing a relationship, in practice or in your heart and mind, clears the decks, leaving space for a fresh start in matters of the heart. Criticism tends to sting a little more at this time, but that doesn't mean others' comments are meant to hurt you. Take your time responding to them, as the wisdom of Venus in Capricorn is about being patient, mature and responsible. Discussing serious matters when you're not overly emotional could be your key to happiness now.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Venus, the planet of graciousness, tends to be a bit more formal in serious Capricorn, which counters your relatively casual behavior. Her backward turn in this zodiac sign could make you more aware of situations where obligations weren't met or social niceties were lacking. This period provides you with additional opportunities to demonstrate your regard for others and to earn the respect that you desire. Venus Retrograde occurs in your 2nd House of Assets, which can slow down some financial plans. But if you encounter delays getting needed resources like money, supplies or support, patiently reworking a presentation or reorganizing your strategy should help. In fact, this is a time when you get you build your self-esteem through discipline, focus and sticking to your commitments. Doing this may require hard work and take longer than you'd like, but there are potentially lasting rewards of appreciation and affection that make it worthwhile.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
This is a very important Venus Retrograde period because it's happening in your zodiac sign. Venus' backward turn in Capricorn occurs in your 1st House of Personality, where it can encourage you to alter your behavior in relationships, and perhaps even make some changes in your appearance. It's an excellent opportunity to go for a fresh start in a current partnership, or in the ways in which you are seeking a new one. Just don't be overly hard on yourself if you find any fault with what you've done. Making corrections is what this is about, rather than punishing yourself. Starting some healthy habits is another benefit of this astrological event. But don't pile so many demands on yourself that they become burdensome. Instead, allow plenty of time to develop desirable patterns slowly. Small successes can go a long way to boost your self-confidence and make you more skillful in getting what you want from others.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
When planets turn retrograde, we usually become more reflective about their properties. Venus is associated with love, attraction and self-worth, which are all areas ripe for re-examination at this time. Looking back at previous partnerships, beliefs about romance and your desirability are healthy ways to use this transit. This Venus Retrograde occurs in your 12th House of Privacy, the most obscure part of your chart. This could leave you feeling like you're on the outside looking in. Even if you have a loving partner, you might sense a kind of separation between you. Don't worry if that happens, because it's simply meant to give you the space to reflect on your personal life. In fact, you might enjoy having more time to yourself rather than acting like you've been abandoned. Giving to people quietly and without asking for anything back is a good way to nourish your own idealism while being helpful to others.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)
Sociable Venus' backward turn occurs in your 11th House of Groups, where it could complicate your relationships with friends and colleagues. Status issues may become overly important with this resourceful planet in authoritative Capricorn. Be aware of situations when someone is trying to dominate you, or when your need to control others is too strong. Venus Retrograde is excellent for ironing out problems with current pals and co-workers, though, or for reconnecting with old ones. Being respected and showing respect to others could be the most valuable asset for profiting from this transit. Getting involved with an organization is another positive way to benefit from Venus' presence in this idealistic and community-oriented part of your chart. If it's one that touches your heart, be generous in what you give because you will get an enormous amount of satisfaction in return. Helping others, it seems, is a good way to meet people and to help yourself.