At the Center of It All ~ Venus Retrograde in Capricorn

On December 18th, 2021 Venus will station retrograde in Capricorn.  This 40-day retrograde opens with Venus still lingering on the conjunction to Pluto that perfected a week before. 

This is a dramatic opening to any transit, as Pluto summons an aeonic vision of time,  reaching deep into the primordial past for the raw materials to build the future. To Pluto, centuries of human life are mere minutes. And it is in Pluto’s cold hands that civilizations are crushed so that new worlds can be born.

In the shadow of Pluto’s gaze, Venus’ retrograde through Capricorn withdraws into deeper layers of consciousness where illusions are stripped to the bone. With Venus diminished, life’s edges will sharpen and the ugly truth you didn’t want to know will come forward.

Pluto exposes the dark parts of your psyche, the adversarial voices that tempt you into self-loathing and oblivion. But these voices are not you. They are the hungry ghosts trying to live through you, hoping to waste your life force. You owe them nothing. Banish them.

Under this influence, fake friends will burn out or fade away. Treacherous lovers will be caught in their deceit. And whatever fruitless jobs or clients you’re involved with may fall apart. 

Pluto seems to have a cruel streak when you’re under his rays. But by the end of this transit, you’ll know more about who you are and what you really desire. And any disappointment or betrayal you encounter over the next 40 days is making space for real love to flourish

In the sign of Capricorn, Venus explores the realm of money, status and worldly power. A certain mastery of the Capricorn-sphere appeals to Venus since there is nothing Venusian about starving artists or asceticism. 

But Capricorn can also be depressing to Venus’ essential nature. Under the weight of the world’s power structures and hierarchies, beauty becomes commercialized and “love” is debased by lust, obsession, and addiction. The eyes of the world are often too dim to see the kaleidoscopic beauty of nature. And this is anathema to Venus, who loves for love’s sake. 

On the Day of Execution

This Venus retrograde offers a prelude to the United States’ Pluto return this February, an event that will ripple across the globe due to the influence of US culture and economy.

Pluto is only one degree away from the United States’ natal Pluto, signaling the collapse of old power structures and a rebirth of a new form of government. Nobody knows if that means the U.S. will be driven further into hell or if it will be reborn from the ashes as a wiser Republic for the 21st Century.

(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

Since 2008, Pluto’s transit through Capricorn has been magnifying and revealing the dark heart of globalist power, also known as Plutocracy. In mythology, Pluto was the god of hell. Thus, Plutocracy is the rule of hell, corrupting everything it touches, including finance and politics, as well as the psychology and morality of the citizens who live under its shadow. 

The average citizen in the Western world is expected to accept war and genocide against innocent people, to pay for it with their tax dollars and then to vote the perpetrators of these crimes into office. Thus, civilization under a Plutocracy becomes characterized by collective dementia, stirred by the intense level of dissonance and deception required to carry out the endless crimes against humanity.

The rule of hell normalizes war, slavery and child abuse.

Venus’ long conjunction to Pluto this December is sure to bring more  darkness to the surface in world news, exposing tremendous abuses of power that have been hidden for so long. There’s nothing more exemplary of Venus conjunct Pluto in the news right now than the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, which has forced the public’s eyes and ears to open to the fact that an international circle of powerful elites sexually abuses children for their leisure and pleasure.

The institutions of power that shielded these people for decades are crumbling, slowly but surely.

What happens in the wake of these revelations is up to each one of us. The transformation and healing of a society this wretched is going to be a long hard road out of hell. 

But that is exactly what Venus’ retrograde through Capricorn demonstrates how to do. 

Mythically, retrogrades have always been described as underworld journeys, periods dedicated to soul retrieval and healing. This transit of Venus through the underworld will be a personal journey as well as a collective journey that will bring us through hell to reclaim the true power in the universe, love.

How many times does an angel fall?

How many people lie instead of talking tall?

…(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

This is the period of time when Venus switches skies, starting off as the evening star, turning invisible, and then re-emerging as the morning star. This represents a huge shift in perspective, a process of internal alchemy.

Venus turns retrograde every 18 months. And every 8 years, Venus returns to approximately the same place in the sky, having completed a cycle of five retrogrades. The mystery and beauty of this emerges when you map this 8-year cycle, revealing the five-petalled mandala called the Sacred Rose of Venus. Mythology and mathematics merge in this cosmic signature of Venus, goddess of beauty and love.

Through simple geometry, you see how the heavens declare the glory of Venus’ influence. Her retrograde motion through the underworld and back is all a part of her art, the tracing of the exquisite petals.

Knowledge of the cosmic geometry of Venus goes back at least 3,600 years, recorded by the Babylonians. And since then, many cultures have evoked this star-knowledge in their religious myths and traditions. 

A more recent example emerges in the labyrinths from the cathedrals of Medieval Europe, which were based upon the sacred rose of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Queen of Heaven. The center of the labyrinth holds the mysteries of the goddess. 

Like the retrograde motion of Venus, the labyrinth symbolizes a spiritual journey of transformation, a return to the center of being for rebirth and renewal. The winding journey into the labyrinth symbolizes a return to the origin of your being. In a labyrinth, you can not get lost. The path is certain. Without worrying about your direction, your mind becomes free to commune with the heart.

At the center of it all

Returning to the center of your being is the key to navigating this Venus retrograde. The primordial image of the labyrinth offers you a way to go deep within, passing through the veils of fear and sadness back into wisdom of the heart. From this place, the future is blessed by love.

At the Center of It All

As a guide for the Venus retrograde in Capricorn, let us invoke the spirit of the dearly departed David Bowie—born with his natal Sun in Capricorn and Venus conjunct his Midheaven.

Bowie can be remembered heroically for the great courage he showed in the face of death (Venus stationing retrograde conjunct to Pluto). After being diagnosed with liver cancer, his final album Blackstar was created as a final gift. At the end of an unrivaled career of artistic (re)invention, Blackstar has an eery feeling that Bowie planned it like this all along.

In Blackstar, Bowie expressed a vision of immortality in the realm of art and memory. And there are so many layers of personal meaning and connection. The first being that “Black Star” was a lesser known Elvis song about the day that death finds you.

It’s worth noting that David Bowie and Elvis shared the same birthday of January 8th… which also happens to be the day of Venus’ interior conjunction during her current retrograde cycle. (more on that later)

Blackstar also evokes David Bowie’s esoteric interests. One of his biggest inspirations, Aleister Crowley once said that “every man and woman is a star.”

Blackstar is likely a veiled reference to the Black Sun or Sol Niger in alchemy. The Sol Niger is a symbol of Saturn, the domicile lord of Capricorn where Venus will spend her entire retrograde cycle. And the Black Sun was described as the fire that separates the spirit and the soul from the putrefied body. 

The Black Sun described a spiritual sun that shines eternally. David Bowie didn’t know what lay beyond death, but Blackstar invokes the vision of a light that never goes out.

Something happened on the day he died

Spirit rose a metre then stepped aside

Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried

(I’m a blackstar, I’m a star star, I’m a blackstar)

Blackstar has philosophical associations too. Throughout his career, David Bowie took inspiration from the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, the late-19th century German philosopher who rediscovered the Dionysian spirit. Bowie’s very Dionysian career reveals that Blackstar has a hint of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra in it.

The word chaos typically evokes images of disaster, panic, and confusion. But Nietzsche’s ‘chaos’ is meant to inspire you, derived from a more primal understanding of nature.

In ancient Greek cosmology, it was said that “Chaos was first of all” meaning it was the prima materia of creation. Pure potential. Divine feminine.

To have chaos within is to have the divine spark of pure creative potential. And to fear chaos is to fear that which you were born from.

I’m a blackstar, way up, oh honey, I’ve got game

I see right so white, so open-heart it’s pain

In the spirit of Nietzsche, David Bowie’s entire artistic career was like the birth of a dancing star. He demonstrated the primal power of chaos, turning all the elements of his life (his pain and his pleasure) into great art.

In Blackstar his death becomes an art, demonstrating that those who have the chaos within do not die and disappear into nothingness. They rave on, flame on and evolve.

As you turn inward during Venus’ retrograde cycle through Capricorn, following the labyrinth’s winding path to find your very center, fear not the chaos that awaits you there. For it is not destruction that you will discover, but the spark of pure creativity.

You will emerge reborn with the gnosis that those who have chaos within do not die and disappear into nothingness—but live eternally in their masterworks.

Key Transits

Venus stations retrograde on December 18, 2021 and turns direct on January 28, 2022. During her retrograde cycle, she will make a few key aspects.

Venus conjunct Pluto, December 25th, 2021 @ 25 degrees. Venus stations retrograde at 26 degrees Capricorn on December 18. A few days later, on Christmas Day, she will conjunct Pluto. This transit dominates the retrograde cycle, giving it a particularly underworldly presence. The aeonic transformational dimension of Pluto blesses this retrograde with an extreme intensity, igniting your most passionate relationships while burning the obsessive ones to the ground. It is a time to examine your own obsessions, take inventory of your possessions, and sacrifice the grudges that have turned your heart to stone to the fires of hell.

Venus conjunct Mercury, December 29th, 2021 @ 24 degrees. After the initial tidal wave of Plutonic force subsides, Venus will encounter Mercury at 24 degrees Capricorn—at the very degree where he will station direct in early February, concluding his first retrograde cycle of 2022. Mercury is a known psychopomp, a street urchin who knows the score in the underworld. When the goddess of love crosses the winged messenger’s path on December 29th, it is a valuable time to get vital information on the lay of the land, gain some mental clarity and set clear intentions for the remainder of her retrograde cycle. This will come in handy on January 5th, when Venus sextiles Neptune, making you susceptible to fantasy, delusion and false promises. Stay sharp, remember the clear intentions you set and never forget: believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.

I’m the Great I Am (I’m a blackstar)

Venus conjunct the Sun, January 8th, 2022 @ 18 degrees. Venus is at the center of it all when she enters the heart of the Sun January 8th. At this midway point in her retrograde journey through the underworld, Venus can find sanctuary in the rays of the Sun. Like a sinner seeking salvation, a criminal seeking clemency, an addict seeking recovery, Venus will emerge from her interior conjunction purified of past transgressions—baptized by the light of divine wisdom. This is a day to pray for your enemies and give thanks to your friends, to forgive those who have crossed you and be grateful for those who have helped you through your most difficult trials.

Venus station direct, January 28th, 2022 @ 11 degrees. Venus ends her retrograde cycle with a bang when she stations direct in a trine with Uranus in Taurus, who recently stationed direct as well. You will find that not only have you transformed the muck that got dredged up at the start of the retrograde, but you’ve broken through to an entire new level of self knowledge. In this supportive trine, Uranus presents himself to Venus as an outlaw preacher and renegade teacher who has been to hell and back and lived to tell the tale—the kind who drops a radical outsider wisdom on the heroine that makes her realize the trials were all worth it for they serve her highest good.

Ultimately, this Venus retrograde is an ideal time to love passionately, feel intensely and forgive mercilessly—to let go of ancient grudges so that your heart may be as light as a feather.

All paintings by Francis Bacon.