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Venus Retrograde: An Invitation to Fall in Love with Yourself

astrology coaching podcast Jul 17, 2023
Wicked Veracity Podcast Episode 137

Venus Retrograde:   An Invitation to Fall in Love with Yourself

When Venus is retrograde, astrologers and the media like to bring out the oldest story about Venus which is that of the goddess Inanna descending to the underworld. They’ll tell you that it’s reflective of the period of time that Venus is hidden behind the rays of the Sun and that the return of Inanna is the return of Venus to the visible eye once the retrograde ends.

The story is filled with symbolism that has been linked to the chakras, the planets, the wonders of feminism, the evils of the patriarchy, the need to face our shadow, and so much more. They’re all interesting and I even agree with some of them but that isn’t what I want to talk about today.

Instead, I want to talk about the symbolism within the mythology that points to Inana’s independence and concern with self-care. 

Inana's Decision to Descend

Inana's initial decision to descend into the underworld was an independent choice driven by her own desires and motivations. She chose to leave behind the comforts of heaven and earth to seek knowledge and confront the mysteries of the underworld. This demonstrates her independence and agency in pursuing her own path.

This path is one that was dictated by societal norms to a great extent but Inana's descent can be seen as an assertion of her divine prerogative and her willingness to traverse boundaries and defy conventional expectations. Through this act, she asserts her status as a powerful goddess.

Self-Preservation and Protection

Prior to her descent, Inana took great care in preparing herself physically and spiritually. She put on all of the things that identified her as nobility and that gave her additional protection for the journey ahead.. These actions symbolize her concern for self-preservation and ensuring her own strength and well-being during her challenging journey.

Setting Boundaries and Instructions

Inana clearly instructed her minister, Nincubura, on how to mourn and carry out rituals on her behalf during her absence in the underworld. This shows her awareness of the importance of self-care and setting boundaries to ensure her needs were met even when she was not physically present.

Seeking Divine Assistance

During her descent, Inana sought the help of various deities, including Enlil, Nanna, and Enki, to intercede on her behalf and ensure her safe return. This reflects her understanding of the value of seeking support and assistance from others when needed, further emphasizing her regard for her own well-being.

Redefining Relationships

Upon her return from the underworld, Inana condemned her husband Dumuzid to take her place in the underworld for failing to mourn her properly. By sending Dumuzid to the underworld, Inana demonstrates her autonomy and unwillingness to tolerate neglect or disrespect. 

It serves as a statement of self-care, as she ensures that her needs and emotions are acknowledged and valued. Inana's decision to hold Dumuzid accountable for his actions conveys her strength and assertiveness in maintaining her own well-being and emotional fulfillment.

Even if it was a little harsh. 

Resurrection and Rejuvenation 

Inana's successful return from the underworld and her subsequent revitalization signifies her ability to regenerate and renew herself. This symbolism highlights her inherent power and resilience, suggesting that she possesses the strength to overcome challenges and prioritize her own well-being.

Overall, these symbols within the Inana mythology depict her as an independent and self-care-oriented goddess. She exhibits a strong sense of agency, takes steps to protect herself, sets boundaries, seeks assistance when necessary, and undergoes a transformative journey that reinforces her power and ability to rejuvenate. These elements emphasize Inana's autonomy and her embodiment of self-care principles within the context of her divine role.

An Invitation

Throughout history, the story of Inana's descent into the underworld has been interpreted in various ways, from feminist perspectives to explorations of the shadow self. Today, we embark on a different path, one that focuses on the symbolism within the myth that points to Inana's independence and concern with self-care.

During Venus retrograde, the energy of the planet associated with love, beauty, and relationships turns inward. It encourages us to take a pause and engage in introspection. This period invites us to reevaluate our relationships with ourselves and others, giving us an opportunity to examine our patterns, desires, and areas where we need healing.

Just as Inana made the conscious decision to descend into the underworld, we too can choose to journey inward during Venus retrograde. By embracing this introspective energy, we can gain a deeper understanding of our needs, desires, and values. It is a time to reassess our self-worth, reconnect with our authentic selves, and uncover the layers of self-love that may have been hidden or neglected.

Inana's journey into the underworld mirrors the transformative potential of Venus retrograde. Like Inana, we have the opportunity to confront our own shadows, explore our hidden depths, and emerge stronger and more empowered. The challenges faced by Inana during her descent symbolize the inner obstacles we may encounter as we embark on our own journey of self-discovery and self-love.

As Inana sought divine assistance from various deities, we too can seek support during Venus retrograde. This may come in the form of seeking guidance from mentors, therapists, coaches, deities, or trusted friends who can provide insights and support as we navigate our inner landscapes. Just as Inana set boundaries and instructions for her absence, we can establish boundaries that honor our well-being and prioritize self-care.

This is an opportunity for us to explore practices, rituals, and techniques that foster self-love, giving us the tools we need to grow even during challenging periods.

Deepening Your Relationship with Yourself

Now let’s talk about some practical ways to foster self-care and self-love that don’t require a trip to the underworld or the subsequent pain and suffering endured by Inanna. 

Embracing Self-Care

Self-care isn't just about pampering yourself, although that can certainly be a part of it. It's a broad term that encompasses physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It's about making choices that support your health and happiness, setting boundaries that preserve your energy, and taking time to replenish your resources.

  • Physical self-care: This refers to taking care of your physical body and health. It could include a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and attending regular health check-ups.
  • Emotional self-care: Emotional self-care is about acknowledging and honoring your feelings. It can involve activities that help you connect with your emotions, like journaling or talking with a trusted friend, practicing mindfulness, and allowing yourself the time and space to experience your feelings without judgment.
  • Mental self-care: This involves engaging in activities that stimulate your mind and contribute to your psychological well-being. It could include continuous learning, practicing mindfulness, engaging in hobbies that you enjoy, or using a variety of techniques to manage your thoughts and feelings.

Self-care also involves saying 'no' when necessary and setting boundaries that protect your well-being. This can be difficult for many people, but it's an important part of self-care. If you're always saying 'yes' to others at the expense of your own health or happiness, then you're not practicing self-care.

Remember, self-care isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person might not work for another. The key is to understand your own needs and find ways to meet them that work for you.

Setting Boundaries

Now let’s talk about setting boundaries.

Boundaries are essentially the rules or limits that a person creates to identify for themselves what are reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for others to behave towards them, and how they will respond when someone steps outside those limits. 

The concept of boundaries is rooted in the idea of personal self-respect, responsibility, and understanding one's own needs, wants, and limits.

Boundaries are about you, and not about controlling other people's behavior. I’m going to say that again because it’s really important.

Boundaries are about you. Boundaries are not about controlling anyone else’s behavior.

You set a boundary to protect your own emotional, physical, and mental well-being. When you set a boundary, you decide what you will do if it is violated, not what the other person should or shouldn't do.

For example, you might have a boundary that you won't tolerate being yelled at. You communicate this boundary clearly by saying, "If you start yelling, I will leave the room." Here, you're not telling the other person not to yell (which you can't control), but you are stating what action you will take (which you can control) if your boundary is violated. 

Boundaries aren't meant to be punitive or manipulative; they're simply a way of taking care of yourself. It's about recognizing that you have the right to feel comfortable and safe and to take steps to ensure that comfort and safety.

During Venus retrograde, explore the importance of boundaries and how they contribute to your self-worth and well-being. 

  • Self-Knowledge: The first step to setting boundaries is understanding what you value, what makes you feel safe, and what you need in your relationships. This could be anything from knowing you need quiet time every day, to valuing honesty above all else.
  • Communicating Boundaries: Once you know what your boundaries are, the next step is to communicate them clearly to others. This could be as simple as telling a friend that you're not available for phone calls after a certain hour, or as complex as discussing emotional boundaries in a romantic relationship.
  • Enforcing Boundaries: Just telling someone about your boundaries isn't enough - you also need to enforce them. This means being consistent in your reactions when someone crosses a boundary. This could mean ending a conversation when someone insists on discussing a topic you're uncomfortable with, or it could mean distancing yourself from someone who repeatedly disrespects your time.
  • Review and Adjust Boundaries: As you grow and change, your boundaries might too. Regular self-checks can help you recognize when a boundary needs to be adjusted.

Honoring Emotions

During Venus retrograde, it is essential to honor and acknowledge our emotions as we navigate the depths of self-discovery. One of the ways to do this is to learn how to process your emotions all the way through without judgment instead of resisting them. 

  • Recognize the Emotion: The first step in processing emotions is to recognize when you're experiencing an emotion and to name it. This might sound simple, but many of us have learned to suppress or ignore our feelings. By acknowledging the emotion, you take the first step in processing it.
  • Allow the Emotion: Allow yourself to feel the emotion without trying to suppress it or push it away. This can be uncomfortable, particularly if it's a negative emotion, but it's a critical part of the process. It's about letting the emotion exist without trying to change it.
  • Understand the Emotion: Next, try to understand why you're feeling this way. Reflect on the situation that triggered the emotion and the thoughts you had that might have influenced the emotion. Remember, it's often not the circumstances themselves that trigger emotions, but our thoughts about those circumstances. Identify these thoughts - are they factual or are they influenced by personal biases or perceptions? Recognizing that your feelings are largely a response to your thoughts, not just the situation itself, is a crucial part of this step.
  • Experience the Emotion: This means tuning into your body and noticing how the emotion physically feels to you. Does it make your chest tight? Does it cause a pit in your stomach? By focusing on the physical sensations of the emotion, you can help yourself stay present with the feeling without getting caught up in the story your mind is telling about why you're feeling this way.
  • Respond Rather Than React: A key part of emotional processing is learning to respond to your emotions rather than reacting to them. This means taking the time to process what you're feeling and deciding how you want to act, rather than acting out of the heat of the emotion.
  • Release the Emotion: After you've recognized, allowed, understood, experienced, and responded to the emotion, it will naturally begin to dissipate. This isn't about forcing yourself to "get over" the emotion, but rather letting it run its course.

Remember, emotions are a natural and normal part of being human. They're not inherently bad or good, they're just signals from your brain. Processing your emotions is about listening to those signals, understanding them, and using that understanding to inform your actions. It's about taking control of your emotional life and learning to navigate it with compassion and understanding.

Get to Know Yourself

Deepening your connection with yourself is another powerful way to cultivate self-love during Venus retrograde. The practice of self-reflection and journaling is a method famously used by Stoics like Marcus Aurelius.

Here's how it works:

  • Choose a Topic or Not: You may decide to reflect on a particular issue that's bothering you, or just write freely about whatever thoughts come into your head.
  • Write Unfiltered: In your reflective practice, write down your thoughts as they arise, without attempting to change or judge them. Even if they're negative or seemingly nonsensical, write them down. The aim of this exercise is to observe the workings of your mind, not to censor or modify your thoughts.
  • No Judgement: As you're writing, refrain from judging your thoughts or criticizing yourself for having them. This can be difficult, especially when dealing with negative or uncomfortable thoughts, but remember, everyone has thoughts they might not be proud of. The goal isn't to critique or alter your thoughts, but to understand them.
  • Review Your Thoughts: After you've written down all your thoughts, take a moment to reflect on them. Often, you'll find that just transferring the thoughts from your head to paper gives you a new perspective. You might start noticing patterns, or realize that some thoughts aren't helpful to you.
  • Evaluate Your Thoughts: Understand that you cannot control your automatic thoughts but you can control your reactions to them. Consider whether your thoughts align with the principles and values most important to you or if they're influenced by external factors. Decide whether these thoughts serve you and if you want to continue holding them.

This practice can be a powerful tool for understanding yourself better and learning to love yourself unconditionally. It helps you to reveal unconscious beliefs and recurring thought patterns that might be affecting your behavior and emotional well-being. By bringing these thoughts into the open, you can decide whether they serve you and if you want to keep them.

Navigating Your Journey 

A journey of self-empowerment requires key navigational tools to guide us through the landscape of self-exploration and transformation. It starts with directing the power of our minds to intentionally sculpt our thoughts, picturing the ideal version of ourselves to bridge the divide between our current reality and our goals, and constructing an environment that nurtures our evolution and solidifies our self-perception.

  • Shaping your Inner Dialogue: Intentional thought creation recognizes the capacity of your mind to consciously select thoughts that amplify your sense of self-worth and self-acceptance. These intentional thoughts can be practiced daily to establish new neural pathways that bolster a stronger sense of self-worth. This exercise is about actively managing your thought patterns, instead of allowing them to spontaneously drive your life. Remember, the thoughts you deliberately create and concentrate on can decisively shape your feelings, actions, and the outcomes you witness in your life.
  • Picturing the Horizon: Next, to connect with the person you most want to become, envisioning your future self is crucial. What qualities and attributes does this future version of you exhibit? What kind of life are they leading? Visualization is a potent tool that can bridge the divide between your current self and your future self. By imagining the next version of yourself, you access the feelings and motivations that can propel you to undertake necessary actions to actualize that future.
  • Fostering Growth: The Stoics proposed that our character is influenced by our surroundings and modern science tends to agree. With that in mind, it becomes clear how important the cultivation of a positive environment is. To nurture self-love and self-worth, surround yourself with positive influences that align with your values and support your journey toward self-improvement. Immerse yourself in inspiring literature, engage with thought-provoking podcasts, and surround yourself with communities that advocate personal growth. Additionally, understand that although external influences play a part, your internal dialogue is the true architect of your self-worth perception. Continually refine your thought patterns and emotional management to cultivate a robust inner environment resilient to external influences.

By actively shaping our thoughts, visualizing our future selves, and fostering a nurturing environment, we set the stage for a transformative journey toward self-worth. Remember, the journey of nurturing self-worth is a continuous process, and every step taken reflects our growth and resilience. 

Venus Retrograde Extra Credit Reading

If you want a fantastic book to read as you embark on your own Venusian journey, I recommend 8 Rules of Love by Jay Shetty. As it relates to this episode, I specifically recommend the first rule which highlights the importance of letting yourself be alone. 

By approaching relationships as whole individuals, without seeking someone to complete us, we can truly connect and love. This foundation allows us to give love without neediness or fear, knowing that we bring value to someone else's life. More importantly, embracing solitude enables us to understand and love ourselves, which in turn helps us understand and love others.

This is a book I began reading as Venus entered her shadow and is one I will continue to read throughout the retrograde period. 

If you want help with any of the above, I’d like to invite you to the Crusade, my monthly membership where you can get coaching on any topic and learn how to leverage astrology. Learn all about it at 

Until next time, my wish for you is a passionate love affair with yourself.

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