Venus has long been revered as a radiant celestial power. To many, Venus is a planet of love, finery and beauty, a harbinger of romantic connections and enjoyment. Yet, to some cultures Venus portended not only sexual enjoyment but also war, death and resurrection. In Vedic Astrology, Venus has many interesting mythological connections. His avatar is Parashurama, an incarnation of Vishnu who traversed the world 21 times, killing all members of the warrior class. He is the Guru, or teacher, of the Asuras. The Asuras are the demonic forces of creation, the great titans that war with the gods. The Asuras represent the worldly activities and energies required to exist in this material world. Venus, who is called Shukra in ancient Eastern texts, is synonymous with the sexual fluids that pass on our genetics and potency. As Shukra, Venus possess a powerful mantra that can raise his devotees from the dead. Within the mythology of Vedic Astrology we find Venus to be a planet of alluring complexity, which can help or hinder our path in life, depending on our motivations and goals. The motivations and goals are often determined by the nature of our ascendant and Venus’ relationship to that ascendant.
Through the lens of Vedic Astrology, we can focus on Venus’ position in the chart to determine our relationship with many varied aspects of our life experience. If we want to ascertain one’s physical rejuvenative capacity, one’s relationship with feminine energy, one’s ability to make choices that lead to higher fulfillment in a worldly sense, one’s ability to love and be loved, and even our conveyances we can check the house placement and dignity of Venus. This can also be considered from each ascendant in particular. For example, if Venus rules over difficult houses in our birth chart, such as the 6th or 8th house, one may find pursuing Venusian goals could create more obstacles or drama along the life path. However, if Venus rules over the 5th or 9th house, the indications of Venus will naturally help an individual to thrive. Of course, there is more complexity to it than this, but we can look to these general rules.
The transits of Venus are also very important throughout life, particularly retrograde transits. When Venus retrogrades, as it will in Tropical Aries between March 4th and April 15th, 2017, it has the capacity to bring a great deal of positive force to our lives, depending on one’s ascendant. For Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius ascendants this transit of retrograde Venus can give greater momentum to Venusian activities. For Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Pisces ascendants, the positive benefits are still possible but will require more personal introspection and work to develop a lasting uplifting relationship with Venus. The reasoning behind this, is due to the fact that Venus rules more houses of grace in the former list of ascendants and Venus rules more houses of action and work in the latter list of ascendants. Before we go into more details about the influence of this transit on particular ascendants, let’s consider the reasons why retrograde planets act as they do.
Is Retrograde a Positive or Negative Influence
In Vedic Astrology, we have methods of determining planetary strength. One of these methods is related the speed of the planet and its proximity to the Earth. This is called Chesta Bala. The term Bala refers to a planets strength. There are many Balas we consider to assess how a planet will function. When a planet is relatively slow in its movement and as close to the Earth as it can get, it will have a high Chesta Bala. (In Western parlance, I think this is related to the stationary status of a planet.) This gives strength to the planet because it causes the planetary energy to have a closer and longer impact on the Earth and our bodies. Because of this, some say that a planet that is debilitated, yet retrograde, may have its debilitation cancelled. This is understandable, because from the Vedic perspective, one of the calculations utilized to determine if a planet will give more of its supportive or detrimental influence is based on how close the planet is to its point of exaltation, called Uccha Bala. There is a formula that combines Uccha and Chesta Bala to see the planets capacity for good or for ill.
A planet close to its point of exaltation, will have a high Uccha Bala. That’s good. Now let the planet go retrograde and it will have a high Chesta Bala too. When both are high, the ratio of positive effects from that planet is greater. Now take a planet and put it in its debilitation position. It will have zero Uccha Bala. Yet give the planet a retrograde status, and it will still have full Chesta Bala. In this situation, the planet will still be functioning at about 50 percent of its capacity, which is average. Compared to its possibility of being completely powerless to manifest its positive characteristics, a planet working at an average capacity is going to appear as though the debilitation is cancelled. Although, we can see that a debilitated planet with low Chesta Bala will probably fulfill the stereotype of its debilitation point more obviously. This means that retrograde status does not reverse debilitation or exaltation. It actually makes exaltation more powerful and lessens the unsteadiness of debilitation.
Venus Shines Brightly, Astrologically, While Retrograde in 2017
Now why do I bring up all of these technical points? Because during Venus’ retrograde
transit in 2017, it will not only have full Chesta Bala, but it will be very near Pisces, its point of exaltation too. This gives it excellent Uccha Bala. Throughout the duration of its retrograde transit between March 4th to April 15th of 2017, its capacity for good (also called Ishta in Vedic Astrology) does not drop below 91.6 percent. Its capacity for ill (Vedic Astrologers call this Kashta) does not rise above 8.4 percent. This tells us that our potential to honor and harness the qualities of Venus are exceptional during its retrograde period in 2017.
We spoke briefly of how the influence of retrograde status will differ due to our ascendant. This is because from the Eastern Astrological perspective, there are certain aspects of life that are more enjoyable and easier to deal with and others which are more appreciated when minimized. For example, many people more readily enjoy the creative, romantic and playful energies of the fifth house than they do the obstacles, setbacks and delays often associated with the sixth house. The way we are affected by any retrograde transit, is often due to the house the planet rules in our natal chart. This is why retrograde planets can be excellent for a certain ascendants.
Here, we will not be getting into the karmic lessons of difficult houses, due to space, but we will focus on the most obvious influences Venus will have on each ascendant due to house rulership. That said, when Venus goes retrograde some ascendants will appreciate its positive impact with greater enthusiasm. Below you will find the general areas of life activated during Venus’ retrograde transit in 2017 as it relates to each ascendant. The ascendant descriptions below are in reference to the tropical zodiac and the whole sign house system.
Aries Rising – Wealth and resources are more abundant, yet greater attention is required to properly manage one’s assets. One’s voice carries greater influence. Attending to the issues and concerns of one’s immediate family occur with greater ease. Partnerships may require more time, attention and nurturing. One may be more prone to sweet talking manipulation at this time.
Taurus Rising – Benefits from contemplative practices and dream work are heightened. Can gain support from hidden sources. Retreats or vacations prove to be more fulfilling. Excellent time for rest and rejuvenation. Greater capacity to discover source of diseases and overcome them. Serving in a hospital, jail other healing clinic provides increased spiritual benefits.
Gemini Rising – Excels at networking and managing political situations. Greater potential gains from speculative activities. Financial benefits through the affairs of women or articles related to women. May gain greater recognition and seem more attractive to women or those with a feminine polarity. Greater capacity to earn a profit in other countries or through Internet trade.
Cancer Rising – Excellent time to get involved with educational matters, real estate, property management and vehicles. Activities dealing with land and real estate are particularly supported after March 10th, when the indicator of land (Mars) enters into Taurus (Cancer’s 11th house of gains). Greater capacity to work through career related relationship difficulties. Career will tend to be better supported at this time through the right use of diplomacy. Taking action to gain greater recognition, awards, titles and certifications is supported. Improved capacity to give and get good counsel about mundane affairs. One can gain greater access to and benefit from influential people.
Leo Rising – Prone to a wandering eye in marital life. Marriage or long term committed relationships may feel too constricting. Hobbies or side interest can pull one away from more important matters of one’s destiny and sense of purpose. One may also be sidetracked from one’s purpose by the allure of prestige or the “greener grass over there” syndrome. Positively, activities related to legal matters, publishing, navigating politics and educational matters have greater support thanks to Venus.
Virgo Rising – May experience financial gains through wills, legacies, grants, settlements, or occult and divinatory matters. One’s capacity to study and understand occult, philosophical or subjects requiring deep research is heightened. Capacity for intimate connections is heightened. Voice carries great capacity to soothe and support others through proper use of diplomacy. Excellent time to upgrade or detail one’s vehicles. Negatively, one may be prone to manipulation through flattery. There may also be a tendency towards self-soothe or self-medicate through inappropriate means.
Libra Rising – One’s intimate encounters may become more frequent or more enjoyable. One may appear more alluring and attractive to others. Diplomatic skills are heightened in business and romantic partnerships. Partners may have financial gains or be more financially supportive. Sudden breakthroughs in business or trade are possible. This is an excellent time for socializing and attending to one’s public image. Although it is important to make sure to avoid losing one’s self in relationship projections or trying too hard to please others to get ahead.
Scorpio Rising – Excellent time to volunteer or provide service to those who are suffering, underserved or less fortunate than one’s self. May find the day-to-day of office work more pleasant and comfortable. Supportive time period to encourage partners to attend to debts or reinvigorate health promoting lifestyle. Attending to legal matters through diplomatic mediation is more affective.
Sagittarius Rising – One’s students or trainees make greater gains in learning and understanding. Clients will feel a greater sense of care and respect for the work one does. Excellent time to defend one’s convictions and ideas. Disease or illness have greater support to be overcome through rejuvenative means. Gains through art are possible. Improving skills in the fine arts are also supported. May gain titles, awards or greater recognition through work done on behalf of women and children.
Capricorn Rising – Capacity to give and get good counsel is increased. One’s home may feel more comfortable and enjoyable. Excellent time to take action to beautify one’s home, land or vehicles. Leadership skills are greater. Educational endeavors (particularly predictive astrological study) are more enjoyable. Visits with one’s mother are more soothing, or may be a good time to soothe one’s relationship with one’s mother, if it’s not already a good one. Investing in the arts, home or land may prove worthwhile. Good time to take action to become a stay at home mother if the interest is there. Also, excellent for beginning a study of music or the visual arts.
Aquarius – Skills in arts that require manual dexterity are at a high for the year. May gain greater political support from one’s peers and/or siblings. May change residence to a more luxurious location. Expenses related to education is worth the cost. Taking a spa day (or a few) helps to reinvigorate one’s sense of purpose. Excellent time to schedule seminars and lectures. Marketing and advertising efforts have greater impact, especially if intended for a feminine audience or dealing with interests related to the feminine polarity.
Pisces – May waste time on hobbies rather than attending to responsibilities. Diplomacy may backfire and appear more like manipulation to others. Excessive neediness of friends or siblings may interfere with one’s work. If one’s profession is in the fine arts, earning capacity may be greater at this time. Ayurvedic remedies to heal reproductive, elimination, or emotional issues related to the 1st and 2nd chakra are more effective. One’s voice and face may appear more sexually alluring and vibrant. Gains through insurance, grants and support from other’s generosity may increase.
These descriptions are specific to Venus’ transit in Tropical Aries from March 4th through April 2nd, 2017. The positive influences described above will be tempered March 4th through 10th due to the fact that Venus will be in an enemy’s dignity during that time. Even though Venus will have a great deal of power for the entire retrograde transit, being in an enemy dignity makes it harder to tap into the positive potential. On March 10th, with Mars moving into tropical Taurus, Venus will then be in a friend’s dignity. This allows the more positive influence of this transit to shine.
When considering how transits will affect your life, remember, they cannot supersede the indications of the natal chart. If you are not an astrologer, or have not had Venus’ potential indications from your birth chart assessed by an astrologer, you can roughly guess this possibilities of this transit by reflecting upon the descriptions above. Then, think back over your own life. Have you experienced these indications before? If so, you are more likely to experience them during this transit. If you cannot relate to them, then it usually means that there are not supportive indications in your chart that resonate with the influences of this transit. That’s no reason not to try to harness the power of this transit, but realize they may not give the full effects indicated. Also, be aware, that our astrological resonance is affected by all the planets, aspects, house combinations, cusps, planetary cycles, etc. This assessment is meant to give a general understanding of Venus retrograde. How its effects manifest in your own life will be influenced by Venus’ position in reference to of all the characteristics of your own birth chart and all the continuously moving celestial powers represented by every other planets transit as well.
Overall, there is a great potential to honor and benefit from the retrograde transit of Venus in 2017. Venus does not make another retrograde transit equal in positive force until March of 2025. Let’s make the best of it and set our intentions to tap into those helpful indications as Venus relates to our own individual rising signs.
Ryan Kurczak is a Tropical Vedic Astrologer and founder of Asheville Vedic Astrology. He offers general and intensive apprenticeship webinars and works with clients from across the globe. Ryan has a passion for the scientific and spiritual side of astrology, and holds the vision that astrology can guide us to a deeper understanding of our relationship with the greater tides of the Cosmic Self. He is the co-author of The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology Volumes I & II, and has written many books related to Kriya Yoga meditation practice. For more information, please visit http://www.ashevillevedicastrology.com.