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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 405 Transcript: Venus Retrograde in Astrology Explained

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 405, titled:

Venus Retrograde in Astrology Explained

With Chris Brennan and guests Nick Dagan Best and Patrick Watson

Episode originally released on June 21, 2023


Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: theastrologypodcast@gmail.com

Transcribed by Mary Sharon

Transcription released August 15th, 2023

Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with my friends Nick Dagan Best and Patrick Watson about Venus retrograde as a phenomenon in astrology. And we’re going to be explaining how to interpret it and what it will mean for you when Venus goes retrograde at different points in your life based on your birth chart. So hey, welcome, Nick and Patrick.

NICK DAGAN BEST: Thanks for having us.

PATRICK WATSON: Thanks for having us.

CB: Yeah, thanks for joining me. The genesis of this episode is that we have a Venus retrograde that’s getting ready to happen this summer in Leo between July 22nd and September 3rd, so I wanted to use this as an opportunity to create a tutorial for people to understand what Venus retrograde means and to do a full deep dive on the topic. Nick and I, of course, famously did a very early episode of The Astrology Podcast, episode 39 on Venus retrogrades which you can still find by Googling “Venus Retrograde: Challenging Consensus”. And that was a nice little concise hour-and-a-half episode or something like that, but today I wanted to do a deeper dive into this topic and especially go through a lot of example charts in order to show people how Venus retrograde works out in different ways, both in mundane as well as natal astrology. So that is our focus today, especially telling people how to figure out what Venus retrograde means for you and how to interpret it especially since this one is coming up, and then people can take some of those principles and apply them in the future in other contexts. So yeah, that’s the plan. You both have been doing lots of work on Venus retrograde for many years, especially you Nick, right?

NDB: Yeah, well over 20 years.

PW: And everything I know about Venus comes from Nick. [laughs]

NDB: That’s not true. You’ve done quite a bit of work yourself.

PW: Yeah, I have. [crosstalk] I didn’t mean to shortchange myself but I’ve always looked up to Nick’s work on Venus and that’s definitely informed a lot of my approach to those cycles of the planets.

CB: Nice. Okay. Good. All right. Well, we’ll get into all that during the course of this. Why don’t we go ahead and jump right into it? First things first, let’s set the stage by talking a little bit about the planet Venus and what Venus signifies in astrology in general because that helps set a foundation for what Venus actually means when it goes retrograde. So some of the basic significations of Venus is it signifies in astrology topics like love, relationships, unions or the concept of union in general, as well as unifying and reconciling things. Venus also represents art, harmony, and beauty. So those are some basic things. What are some other significations of Venus that come to mind for each of you?

NDB: Well, sort of a consensus that the social contract, the norms that we all accept as a society. The unwritten rules, if you will. Not the law, but the unwritten rules that we all know we’re supposed to follow. And if anyone sort of veers off that course, it catches everyone’s attention one way or the other.

PW: Yeah, I think it’s the social dimension of the world. And that actually is more profound, I think, than we typically assume at first. I think that way of looking at Venus as the social planet allows us to see how it’s not just about interpersonal relationships between people, but as you’ll see, also has a broader significance for entire groups of people and our social relations with each other as groups of people.

NDB: I think a great sort of buzzword and counter buzzword is tasteful and distasteful. And to remember that both those words fall under the purview of Venus. So it’s not just about what is beautiful and loving and pretty and attractive and symmetrical, but also our reaction to that which is not or that which repels us.

PW: And that kind of comes from the way its cycle operates, right? It’s a very symmetrical even kind of cycle.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah, I think the symmetry is a big part of why it’s significations are what they are in astrology.

CB: Right. It forms a really beautiful pattern over time as it goes through the Zodiac and we’ll show some of that later on as we get into Venus’s astronomical movements. For more about the basic meaning of Venus, check out the episode I did previously with Becca Tarnas in my planet series, which was episode 315 which was titled ‘Venus in Astrology: Meaning and Significations’.

All right, moving on. Venus normally in terms of its orbital cycle usually takes about a year or so to do a complete orbit through the zodiac. And normally Venus moves forward through the zodiac at about one sign every three or four weeks when it’s doing its normal motion through the signs of the zodiac going from sign to sign and forward in direct motion from degree to degree from zero to 30 degrees in each sign, and in the normal counterclockwise motion through the zodiac from Aries to Taurus to Gemini and so on and so forth. However, periodically Venus will go retrograde, which is when it slows down and it starts moving backwards for 40 days. Both backwards in terms of the signs of the zodiac and instead of going through its normal movement of going counterclockwise, it starts going clockwise through the signs of the zodiac or backwards from Gemini to Taurus or from Taurus to Aries and so on and so forth. It also moves backwards in the order of degrees so that instead of going from zero to one to two to three to four degrees, it starts going from four to three to two to one for a period of about 40 days. So it literally slows down and it starts moving backwards in its normal motion.

NDB: And sometimes that can take it into the preceding sign as well if that happens to cross the sign boundary.

CB: Right. Yeah, so that’s really important. And here is a diagram just to set up the astronomical scenario that we’re talking about where normally Venus is going forward, but then what it does is it slows down and then does almost like a U-turn and starts moving backwards in its normal order of motion. And then eventually after that 40-day period, it slows down again and does another U-turn and stations direct, and then it begins moving forward again after that point. So the retrograde or Venus retrograde period is just that span of time, especially right in the middle of that process when it’s moving backwards.

PW: And the middle of the retrograde is when Venus retrograde is conjunct the Sun, that’s basically when Venus pauses between the Earth and the Sun. So that’s another way to conceptualize it astronomically what’s happening is Venus is coming closest to the Earth and making that alignment between Earth and the Sun.

CB: Yeah. I’m going to share my screen here for Solar Fire for those watching the video version to show people what that looks like just when plotted on an astrological chart. So here’s today. And I forgot to mention the data. Today is Tuesday, June 13th, 2023. We started recording about nine minutes ago, so we started recording a little bit before 1:00 pm with Virgo rising here.

NDB: Denver time.

CB: Yeah, Denver, Colorado. Mountain Time. So today on June 13, we see that Venus is at seven degrees of Leo. And what will happen is we see Venus is moving forward through the sign of Leo and it’s moving forward in the order of degrees from, let’s say, 18 degrees to 19 to 20 to 21. But the closer we get to the retrograde station, Venus actually starts slowing down so that it’s not moving through those degrees as quickly. And then eventually when we get to here about late July around July 22nd, Venus will actually stop moving forward at 28 degrees of Leo and it will turn retrograde and begin moving backwards for 40 days. And going from 28 Leo, it’ll move to 27 Leo, then 26, then 25 and so on and so forth. And then eventually as Patrick said, at the exact midpoint or halfway point through the Venus retrograde cycle, Venus will conjoin the Sun and have an exact conjunction right in the heart of the Sun. Then eventually we get the second half of the Venus retrograde cycle and it keeps going backwards in the order of degrees until eventually in late August and early September, it starts slowing down again. And Venus will station direct at 12 degrees of Leo here around September 3rd and September 4th, at which point it will then start moving forward again.

PW: That’s right. And we might add that what happens over the course of this motion is as the retrograde starts, Venus is visible in the evening sky after the Sun has set in the West. And then gradually as the retrograde progresses, it comes under the beams of the Sun where it’s not visible for much of the retrograde. Although eventually as it approaches its direct station, it becomes visible again but this time as a morning star preceding the Sun in the eastern horizon rising before the Sun in the morning. And that’s the sort of the fundamental shift at work with the Venus retrograde is that this cycle is starting anew.

CB: Yeah, for sure. So it begins the cycle as an evening star where it’s visible at night after the Sun sets, and it ends the cycle as a morning star where it’s visible in the mornings just before the Sun rises. Which is a little complicated unless you’re already familiar with that technique but it’s just good to know that there’s something we’ll come back to of the idea of Venus changing sides of the Sun and changing its visibility.

PW: Yep.

CB: All right, so there’s that. And then you had an animation from an astronomy program that I want to share really quick, Nick. What was the name of this program again?

NDB: Starry Night Pro. It’s a top-notch astronomy program. I use it for animations. Well, I use it for a lot of things. But for video work, I use it because it makes these really great animations that you can use to illustrate things like the Venus retrograde cycle here. You can see in the top left it’s July 17th, 1820, now we’re in August and you can see Venus making this retrograde loop and it’s had the conjunction with the Sun already then it stationed direct. And now it’s moving toward the Sun to make its next conjunction with the Sun, which will be the exterior conjunction.

CB: Yeah. So in the video, just to describe it for the audio people, beginning shows Venus and it’s moving forward and the Sun is earlier in the order of the signs of the zodiac at the beginning of this. But then when Venus slows down and does this U-turn, part of what happens is that then Venus both does a U-turn and starts moving back towards the Sun, but also the Sun catches up to it because the Sun is still moving forward in zodiacal order. And that eventually leads to the two of them meeting up halfway through the retrograde cycle and conjoining, and then Venus switches sides and then suddenly Venus is earlier in the order of the signs the Zodiac than the Sun. And then eventually slows down and stations direct.

NDB: Another facet of this loop is the way it sort of carries Venus across the ecliptic and back. You’ll often see like if it’s south of the ecliptic, it makes a retrograde loop going sort of northward. And then if it’s traveling north, the loop will sort of take it southward. And I think that that interaction with the ecliptic seems to be another important facet of how it’s going to appear and how it’s going to manifest.

CB: Yeah, and the other thing that you focus on that we’ll talk about later also is that the Venus retrograde then is also tied in with Venus having her greatest distance from the Sun or greatest elongation.

NDB: That’s right. This year, Venus had it’s greatest elongation from the Sun on June 4th, which is about… It’s about 50 days before the retrograde station.

CB: Yeah. So the general point is Venus gets really far away from the Sun, and then at the retrograde it turns and starts moving back towards it. But both ends of the retrograde are in some way connected with Venus being as far from the Sun as she can get because she can never get more than two signs away from the Sun, or about– how many degrees? It’s like 40-something degrees.

NDB: 40-something, yeah. Something like that. [crosstalk]

CB: All right. So…

PW: That’s why the sextile is a Venusian aspect, right? Because it’s the Venusian characteristic distance from the Sun.

NDB: That’s right.

CB: All right, so let’s see. That’s kind of the establishment of the Venus retrograde. So this Venus retrograde period happens approximately every 18 months, I believe. Right?

NDB: Yeah, yeah.

CB: Okay, so every 18 months. Venus retrograde, it is an apparent phenomenon but it’s still a symbolically important one as we’ll get into later and we’ll get into some of the reasons why. One of the things that’s important or one of the last important things astronomically is that Venus retrogrades only happen for the most part in about five signs, right? Because Venus will go retrograde every 18 months, but it actually has a pretty fixed pattern that it creates across the signs of the zodiac.

NDB: Yeah, it’s a very symmetrical cycle. The full Venus cycle is 2,920 days, which is eight years minus two days. And so if you think of eight years being a circle, the five retrogrades happen sort of in a symmetrical pattern apart from each other. And this is what illustrates the image of a five-pointed star. This is the reason why we have that universal image, the five-pointed star. Something that appears on the American flag, the Chinese flag, the old Soviet flag… Well, a lot of flags. North Korea has one on their flag. So you know, everyone uses it.

PW: Everyone loves Venus. [laughs]

NDB: Everyone loves Venus. Right. And yeah, Venus being sort of the brightest star in the sky if you will, using the old school terminology for the word star, it sort of represents all stars in a way. So that five-pointed image that we all use, it really has this natural origin. It’s not merely a sort of abstract. Well, abstract in one sense, but very literal in another.

CB: Right. So Venus will go retrograde in one of these five signs roughly every 18 months, and then what’s weird about it is that it will repeat the same retrograde in roughly the same sign of the zodiac every eight years. I’ve got a diagram up right now that shows some of the Venus retrograde dates. And so when we’re talking about this current one that’s about to happen in Leo between July and September of 2023, that’s going to happen in Leo. And if we go back eight years to the summer in the same timeframe of July-September of 2015, we’ll see Venus also going retrograde in roughly the same area of the zodiac. And then if we go eight years before that to 2007 July to September, we’ll see Venus going retrograde again in roughly the same spot of the zodiac.

NDB: That’s correct.

CB: All right. So that’ll be one of our interpretive principles that we’ll come back to later is paying attention to the repetitions in eight-year periods, and why that’s important and how you can use that as a little astrology hack to figure out what the upcoming Venus retrograde period will mean for you is by looking back at past retrogrades in the same area of the zodiac or in the same spot in your own birth chart.

NDB: It’s a fantastic hack for any style of astrology. Following the Venus retrogrades no matter how you apply astrology, it really comes in very, very handy because any chart you look at, you immediately have a sense of how Venus operates in that chart if you understand the cycle.

PW: Little side note as well is that the relationship of the number of retrogrades and the number of years that take place in five retrogrades within eight years, that technically forms the golden ratio 1.6. So I think that’s kind of another interesting [crosstalk].

NDB: Absolutely. Speak of introducing these natural, you know…

PW: These natural phenomena. This comes from sort of the natural cycle; these ideas, these mathematical ideas, these archetypal ideas that come right out of the science.

CB: Yeah, like mathematical formula are replicated in or actually are in nature and show up in nature in different ways. And then that also comes through in different ways in which that’s connected to time and our experience of time. And through astrology also, our experience of a different dimension of time, that time has a much more qualitative side to it than we’re usually used to thinking of. All right, so those are the basics of Venus retrograde in terms of what it is astronomically just as an astronomical cycle. Let’s talk a little bit about what Venus retrograde actually means from an astrological standpoint. So one of the things that’s important is that a retrograde Venus will extend and intensify what are otherwise normally very brief Venus transits. Where normally Venus will, if you’re having a transit of Venus to one of your natal planets, it’ll come and go over the course of a day because Venus transits are very brief kind of similar to Mercury or Sun transits. But when Venus goes retrograde, it will actually transit the same planet three times in your chart if you have a natal planet that it passes over around the time or during the time of the retrograde. So let’s see. Going back to our previous diagram, if you just imagine that you have a planet right in the… I’ll draw on it. Let’s say you have a planet right here, it means when Venus is first moving forward before the retrograde, it’ll pass over that planet once. Then when it goes retrograde, Venus will turn around basically like she’s driving over a planet in your chart. But then she stations retrograde and then puts the car into the reverse, backs over that planet like a second time, and then when Venus eventually stations direct, it will go forward and it’ll move over that planet or that degree in your chart a third time. So that’s really important again just as a basic astronomical phenomenon when trying to understand what a Venus retrograde means, in general, is that it means a normally fast Venus transit that would only come and go once very quickly over the course of a day suddenly gets extended into a three-pass Venus transit that you’ll experience in pretty quick succession over the course of a few months. Or it’s not quick succession, a pretty long succession of three months, you’ll have the same exact transit three times. So it’s like if that’s a positive transit, let’s say your Jupiter is there, then Venus will conjoin your Jupiter three times and that could be something more experienced as more subjectively positive or auspicious. But let’s say you have a more challenging placement there, then it could be experienced as something that’s a little bit more challenging that then gets elongated over the course of a few-month period.

PW: Yeah, it’s like a big deal of a Venus transit as opposed to a regular pass through that sign.

CB: Right. So that’s one thing it does. The other thing in terms of elongating transits, another way that it elongates or intensifies transits is that if you have especially a planet around the stationary degree, where Venus is going to station either retrograde or direct, then it means that you’re going to have that transit not just pass three times really quickly, but you may actually have… For example, if you have a planet right here, like let’s say your Sun or something, if Venus stations retrograde right on top of that, then it means you’re going to have an exact transit of Venus that’s going to get extended over the course of a week or two as Venus is kind of hovering around that degree. Which just creates not just a very long Venus transit, but also a very intense Venus transit at that time.

PW: Yeah.

CB: Yeah. Any other points to add about that?

NDB: Not specifically. No, beautifully done.

CB: Okay, cool. So those are some of the ways that Venus retrograde is important. I meant to show this diagram because this is an illustration from Stella from Reddit who wrote this illustration for the current Venus retrograde period between July and September 2023, and just showing how it’s activating that range of degrees especially between 28 and 12 degrees of Leo, as well as the same corresponding set of degrees in the other signs that that are aspected or that Venus will aspect when it’s retrograde in those degrees. For example, since Venus is going retrograde between 28 and 12 Leo, it’s going to be opposed to 28 to 12 Aquarius. Or it’s going to be squaring the same number of degrees in Taurus and Scorpio or trining the same number of degrees between Sagittarius and Aries and so on and so forth. So it’s going to have an extended transit of whatever that aspect is where it’s going to hold that aspect or hit it three times during the course of the retrograde period.

PW: Yeah, the only other thing I’d add to that is you would also want to take into account the transiting planets that are aspecting Venus as well during the retrograde because that will distinguish different Venus retrograde periods that happened in the same signs eight years apart. Those individualized conditions of the planetary arrangements of those periods will qualitatively distinguish the different Venus retrograde periods in the signs.

NDB: Yeah. In other words, at once you’re looking at Venus in this isolated sense where it’s pattern sort of plays a role unto itself. But of course, always Venus is interacting with the different planets. And they’re not moving in an-eight year cycle, so with every eight-year return, Venus’s relationship to the other planets will be entirely different than the previous one even though Venus itself is just sort of doing the same thing over and over. For instance, in 2007 the Venus retrograde in Leo interacted with Saturn because Saturn was moving from Leo to Virgo at the time, whereas in 2015, the Venus retrograde in Leo was interacting with Jupiter because Jupiter was in Leo at that time. And that, negatively or positively for different individuals, did sort of mold or shape the nature, more specifically the Venus retrograde transit and how it was experienced by different people.

CB: Yeah, and I’ve got a diagram for that from the last Venus retrograde that Kyle from archetypalexplorer.com made for me where, with that Venus retrograde in Capricorn back in late 2021 and early 2022, Venus stationed retrograde and it made a conjunction with Pluto around that time because Pluto is also in late Capricorn and Venus went retrograde in late Capricorn. So that ended up resulting in three exact Venus-Pluto conjunctions that were spread out over the course of a few months where the first exact conjunction took place December 11th when Venus was still direct, but then when Venus went retrograde, it backed up and then conjoined Pluto again on December 25th. And then eventually, Venus kept going retrograde and then stationed direct. And then after it went direct, it eventually caught up to and conjoined Pluto one last time on March 3rd at the end of Capricorn. So it’s not just that Venus retrogrades can have this triple transit to natal planets in your chart, but also part of the quality of Venus retrogrades is based on what planets Venus aspects during the course of its retrograde in the sky as well.

PW: That was a loud one. [laughs]

NDB: Yeah, you can say that again. Yeah, we’ll come back to that one later.

CB: Yeah. All right. So that’s one of the things. It elongates and intensifies a normally brief Venus transit. Other things in terms of what Venus retrograde means, since it’s a retrograde and since Venus slows down and starts moving backwards in the order of signs, it goes backwards to retread old ground or it returns back to degrees of the zodiac that it’s already passed over and sort of looks backwards for a period of time instead of looking forwards. And so symbolically, retrogrades in general can also involve looking back into the past and sometimes this symbolically or literally means looking back into the past during this period for people. Sometimes something from the past is brought back to you or is brought back into the present. Or sometimes the period can involve reconnecting with something from earlier chronologically, which can show up in a number of different ways, I think in a person’s life. Right?

NDB: Yeah. So… Oh, go ahead, Watson.

PW: I was just going to say with Venus, especially exes, you know? It’s probably the number one booty call transit, right? Where people from your past who you thought were gone, they have a way of resurfacing. But not always. To just repeat the same experience can often serve as a kind of reminder of maybe the reasons you left it behind in the first place. So, I just want to add that.

CB: Yeah, to the extent that Venus is like a planet of relationships, sometimes old relationships resurfacing or going back and re-looking at or revisiting old relationships is pretty standard.

NDB: It’s definitely one of the ways. It’s not the only thing that can happen, but it’s certainly one of the things that people find happening to them during these times. Yeah.

CB: Yeah. Well, I’ve also noticed that it also depends on what house it’s going through in your chart. And sometimes it can be revisiting different types of relationships from the past but they don’t necessarily have to be romantic ones. Like in 2020, we had a Venus retrograde in Gemini and it went retrograde and stationed on the degree of my IC which represents family and origins and roots and things like that. And I had an uncle that I hadn’t seen in almost 20 years reconnect with me as well as meeting a cousin that I hadn’t seen in over 30 years and another cousin that I hadn’t met, but also talking with my uncle about my dad and learning about him a lot and his story. That was really interesting going back and reconnecting with my own roots in a way with Venus retrograde around my IC, and some of those fourth house topics coming back or being revisited at that time.

PW: Yeah, I definitely relate to that.

CB: So that’s a possibility. Another thing that comes up sometimes with Venus retrogrades is reviewing or reconsidering current relationships in your life of different types, because it involves Venus slowing down and looking backwards in order to decide, you know, sort of assess where it’s currently at. But it can also act as a pivot point in terms of deciding where you want to go in the future. But sometimes when you’re at a crossroads in your life, it’s not just about looking forward but also looking backwards and trying to determine where you want to go from here based on what led you up to the present point.

PW: Can definitely function as a relationship stress test. And sometimes it survives, sometimes it doesn’t.

CB: Right.

NDB: I think in many ways, the Venus retrograde transit involves reconsiderations or rethinkings and re-applications of strategy. Yeah, the principle you’re describing is actually a lot more expansive than that in terms of the ways things can return or the ways that things change during this part of the cycle. Internally, externally, what have you.

CB: Yeah, and I’m glad you mentioned internally because that’s probably important also because Venus slows down and goes retrograde and then it disappears from view and it goes under the beams of the Sun and then conjoins the Sun, but that’s when it’s at its least visible and sort of hidden. And in some ways, there’s an internalization that happens during that process where occasionally there can be especially periods of reflection or like the dark night of the soul types scenarios.

NDB: Yeah, certainly. One sort of shorthand approach that I use Venus retrogrades for in consultations; if someone’s got a rising sign that is one of the five signs where Venus goes retrograde– so say, people with Leo rising coming this summer– very often I find just in a broad sense, and everyone that comes to me for consultation tends to confirm this, the idea is after a person has lived their full life and someone wanted to write a biography of that person, the periods when the Venus retrograde crosses the person’s Ascendant makes these very sort of natural places to start a new chapter in that book. Like you know the way biographies are written, there tend to be, you know, if there’s 20 chapters or 10 chapters or whatever, there’s just very natural places. Even though you’re describing real events in an individual’s life, there are these natural places to sort of end one chapter and begin a new chapter of the book because the person moved from this phase in their life to that next phase in their life, whatever the context may be. And yeah, virtually without fail, you can always look to that particular transit as being at least one of those periods were like, “Boom! Chapter two. And then so and so went on to do such and such.”

PW: They end up forming some of those unavoidable narratives of someone’s life.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Right. So it’s like a transition point or a turning point or a pivot, which is really striking because astronomically as we saw in that animation from the astronomy program you use, literally in the sky, Venus does this kind of circle or this pivoting motion over the course of a few months. And a pivot or a turning point like that very much can symbolically mean a turning point in a person’s life.

NDB: Yeah. It’s really really reliable technique and I’ll put it right out there.

CB: Sure. Another thing or another area for Venus that’s a major part of Venus retrogrades also is that a retrograde represents something that is symbolically, and from an astronomical standpoint, something that’s anomalous, something that’s weird, or something that stands out because it goes against the grain. Because normally all of the planets, or normally Venus most of the time is moving forward in the order of the signs of the zodiac. Normally, it’s always moving forward in the order of degrees from zero to 30. But then all of a sudden during this brief period, it’s doing something different and it’s doing something that stands out as odd or kind of weird in a sense because it’s contrary to what it’s usually doing most of the time. So as a result of that astronomically, sometimes that shows up from a symbolic standpoint as well, where it can coincide with events that relative to Venus are kind of weird or odd or go against the grain of something that is normal that comes normally for that planet. Yeah, we’ll get into some specific examples of that, for sure. I know one of the things that you bring into that sort of connected with that is themes of social consensus. Right, Nick?

NDB: Yeah. The rules that we all follow, be it how we dress or how we sort of consider certain kinds of relationships or… It’s just the sort of agreement and disagreement that we have as a society or as a community in terms of what is done and not done, as they say. Politeness and rudeness, you know? Again, I want to stress the dichotomy that the whole breadth of thing as opposed to like, a lot of times astrologers will talk about Venus and they’ll just talk about the pleasant stuff. But Venus is absolutely the spectrum of pleasant and unpleasant.

Cb: Okay.

PW: Yeah, the social norms, the social contract. That is the sort of broader view of Venus.

NDB: Yeah, and those who want to break the social contract or change it.

PW: Or preserve it.

NDB: Yeah. Well, yeah, or restore it. Not preserve it. It’s always either restore it or advance it or, you know? [laughs] It’s not preserve, it’s always about changing it. Either changing it or changing it back depending on the individual and the circumstance.

CB: Right, revising the social contract.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Okay. And then Patrick, did you have other points about that?

PW: Well, since Venus has that social dimension because Venus is in some ways a compromised position, when it’s moving backward it can coincide with delicate charged or really complicated social situations and social breaking points. Even if you look at your own chronology, especially if you’ve had relationships in your life especially romantic relationships, you can often see how these periods where Venus is retrograde may coincide with important developments along those topics in your life. It can be the formation of new relationships, it can be breakups, it can be breaks in the relationship. It can also be times of marriages. So it’s not always one thing or the other, but it just seems to highlight that those things are sort of happening. And oftentimes, the complicated social situations that can come up in relationships coincide with these Venus retrograde periods. Like I mentioned, breakups or divorces, sometimes you see cheating, infidelity, the sort of naughtier side, I guess, of Venus retrograde. It just shows these things that sort of fall outside the norms of expected behavior. And so that’s how you can sometimes see Venus retrogrades coinciding with those set of delicate or charged or complicated social situations because it’s elevating the principle of desire in challenging ways, either progressive or regressive.

NDB: And speaking of which, sure, things like extramarital affairs can occur during the time. But more specifically, the revelation of extramarital affairs can emerge. Venus retrogrades have a terrific history with regard to scandal because that’s part of what you get when you’re challenging the social consensus. You get a pushback like, “What? So and so did what?” and that kind of thing. This is not done, again, that idea of this is done or this is not done. And you’ll have two camps chanting one or the other.

CB: Got it. Okay, cool. Well, I think that sets us up well to transition into the next section where I wanted to first talk about how sometimes Venus retrogrades show up sometimes importantly in important or notable world events. And then after that, we’ll transition into talking about how Venus retrograde shows up in example charts in people’s individual lives and isolated instances like that. So, sometimes Venus shows up in world events. In terms of Venus retrogrades, I always think of in this current Leo retrograde that’s coming up to this summer. I always think back to the last time that Venus went retrograde in Leo, which was about eight years ago now in the summer of 2015. And one of the notable things that happened in the buildup to that retrograde that always stood out, because we started doing the monthly forecast episodes of The Astrology Podcast around that time so it was like one of the first major events we commented on in doing the forecast episodes, and it was that on June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court decided the case Obergefell versus Hodges, which essentially legalized same-sex marriage in the United States nationally pretty much overnight at that time. And I always remember that partially because there was a Venus-Jupiter conjunction that was happening in the sky at that time that was actually very visible and very bright because Venus was pretty far from the Sun and so you could actually see Venus and Jupiter in the evening just after sunset and those two planets were coming together right as that happened. But also because that preceded a Venus retrograde that was about to happen and that was getting ready to happen in Leo, that was just getting ready to start at that time. And one of the things that ended up being really interesting in retrospect is that Venus then went retrograde in July just like it’s about to do this year and it’s retrograde for 40 days and 40 nights. And I read a Gallup poll later on that said that one in 10 weddings were same-sex couples in the summer of 2015, and it said something like 96,000 same-sex couples were married between July and October of 2015, which would have been sort of centered on during the course of that Venus retrograde as well as the pre- and post-retrograde shadow periods which we’ll get into I think a little bit here pretty soon and talking about that. But that was a really major and notable world event that occurred at that time. And for me, it was kind of interesting because it was characterized in a relatively positive way by the fact that Venus was getting ready to go retrograde and it was conjunct Jupiter at the time. And there was this positive basically social thing that happened that affected a lot of people, and also was clearly directly related to Venus in that it was connected to the topic of marriage and who could get married, and allowing a lot of people to get married who couldn’t previously.

PW: If you think of Jupiter in terms of confirmation or validation, or even archetypally judges. [crosstalk] Yeah, the judicial confirmation and approval of Venus as a principle.

NDB: Again, the distinction I’d make between Venus and Jupiter and their conjunction in this instance is beautifully illustrated. Because yeah, Jupiter is the law, whereas Venus is sort of the rules, you know? [chuckles] And so this was a merging of the consensus with law, if you will, of the unwritten rule to the fact that people of the same sex do fall in love and do want to be life partners to the law sort of merging with that change.

CB: Yeah. Well, and also maybe representing the changing of consensus, and those watershed moments where something builds up and consensus is changed. Because what was so striking about that is it wasn’t too long before that, it was only in 2012 for example, I think, that during the 2012 presidential election, that Obama openly endorsed same-sex marriage for the first time as a leading presidential candidate whereas even before that in 2008, he didn’t. And no candidates did prior to that time. But over the span of a relatively short span of time of years, suddenly it’s like the consensus in the country had changed enough that there were these important turning points.

PW: He made that announcement in May of 2012, which was [crosstalk] Venus retrograde in Gemini. And then eight years prior to that in 2004, Massachusetts was the first US state to legalize gay marriage. So you can see the eight-year synodic cycle with the Venus retrogrades in Gemini kind of coinciding with these important developments for the progression of this topic. And there’s another one-

CB: Yeah, I was going to give a shout-out to… Maurice Fernandez pointed out to me, the astrologer Maurice Fernandez pointed out that the first country to legalize same-sex marriage was the Netherlands on April 1st, 2001, and that was a Venus retrograde in Aries. It was right in the middle of the Venus retrograde cycle, shortly after the conjunction between the Sun and Venus in Aries. So Venus was at seven degrees of Aries, retrograde, and the Sun was at 11 degrees of Aries. So it was literally right after the Sun-Venus conjunction which is right in the middle of the Venus retrograde cycle.

NDB: I was really thrilled Maurice reminded me because it just so happens I was living in the Netherlands in the spring of 2001. I was there when this happened and sort of witnessed the event. And it was an interesting spring, we’ll get to another example I knew in a minute, involving the Netherlands during the same time period that also relates to Venus retrograde. But yeah, it really did sort of… You know, here we were in a brand new century and I found myself in this generally speaking progressive country. Although you can misunderstand the Netherlands I think to some degree, more than anything, they’re more pragmatic than progressive and any law they pass is because it makes common sense to them. That was a big part of the rationale behind their taking the lead in this in this situation as well.

PW: Interestingly, Australia voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage in November of 2017 at a Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio. Venus wasn’t retrograde but there was still that same Venus-Jupiter signature that we saw from June of 2015. So it’s almost like astrology works, you know? I’m almost convinced.

NDB: That’s crazy talk, Watson. That’s crazy talk. [Patrick laughs]

CB: Right. Get off this podcast.

NDB: Where do you think you are?

CB: Yeah, if I had known before I brought you on here.

NDB: So embarrassing.

CB: So, one other thing this brings up, we should mention, is I want to mention the pre- and post-retrograde shadow period. Because it’s kind of been alluded to already when I talked about the three passes of Venus. So we’re focusing here and we’ve been focusing up to this point largely on the retrograde period itself, and this is the 40 days and 40 nights when Venus is actually moving backwards from our vantage point astronomically. But during that time, it’s retreading a series of degrees that it already passed through when it was direct in the lead-up to the retrograde period. And so what we call this at this point, or what astrologers generally have started calling it over the past few decades is the pre-retrograde shadow period. It’s the range of degrees that Venus first moves through that it will later come back to during the retrograde period. So an astrologer named Roxana Muse I think is the first person who coined this terminology and really started promoting it in the 1980s of paying attention to the range of degrees that Venus passes through before the retrograde period. And that in some ways, the retrograde period kind of begins in some ways during the pre-retrograde shadow period because Venus starts moving through degrees that she will later come back to. And as a result of that, it can sometimes set up a sequence of events during the pre-retrograde shadow period that will then be revisited during a period of intensification during the retrograde period itself. And then eventually when Venus stations direct and starts moving forward again, it will go through the same set of degrees a third time. This is what’s called the post-retrograde shadow period, which is sometimes like a cleanup phase where it’s going over the same degrees again a third time. And at this point, the third and final phase of the Venus retrograde story happens and we get the tail end of it. Sometimes there’s a closing down or there’s a third act or a final cleanup from the entire cycle. So sometimes this creates kind of three acts where you have the first act is the pre-retrograde shadow period. Then there’s the second act, which is the retrograde period itself. And the third act is the post-retrograde shadow period.

PW: I’d say electionally you’d almost prefer to maybe do something Venusey in that post-retrograde shadow because it’s no longer going backward but it’s sort of newly direct and moving forward with that initial momentum of having stationed direct. And so when you’re studying people’s chronologies, you will often see that post-retrograde shadow period show up is when Venus is seemingly set up especially powerful almost as if you were to draw an arrow back and let it go. That post-retrograde shadow period I think is kind of underplayed or undervalued or overlooked.

NDB: The thing about this part of the Venus cycle is it’s not just the retrograde, but there’s a whole sort of dance that indeed includes the shadow. So even though you’ve got the 40-day retrograde, the shadow periods are well over 30 days, between about 32, 33, 34 days before and after the actual 40-day retrograde period. So it really does sort of expand that range but I think there are important points to mark, that if you’re just focused on the actual retrograde motion itself, you’re missing a bigger picture. That’s really, really critical to understand.

CB: Yeah. And to tie in with what both you’re saying and what you said, Patrick, it means that sometimes if there’s an event that occurs in the pre-retrograde shadow period, especially if Venus hits an important natal planet in your chart and if you have an important event here, sometimes it’ll seem like that should be a one-time event because under a normal Venus transit that would be it. It’s like you have a Venus transit, it comes and goes, you have a good day, you have a good meeting with somebody or whatever and that’s the end of it and Venus keeps moving on. But with this entire Venus retrograde cycle with the shadow periods, what can sometimes happen is if you have the first event during a pre-retrograde shadow period, sometimes you’ll end up revisiting that event during the retrograde period when Venus comes back to that spot. And then finally, you may end up revisiting it for the last time under the post-retrograde shadow period when Venus passes by the same spot again for a third time. So, that can be important to pay attention to and that’s going to come up because sometimes when we’re talking about Venus retrograde periods, we’ll be talking about not just the 40 days of Venus being retrograde, but we’ll be giving some examples that include the pre- or post-retrograde shadow periods because it’s still tied in with the broader phenomenon of the Venus retrograde during that timeframe.

All right. With that in mind, that’s why we have in the diagram from Stella, we note not just the retrograde periods but also that the pre-retrograde shadow period this year begins on June 19th when Venus passes 12 degrees of Leo because that’s the degree that Venus will later retrograde back to when Venus stations direct later on in September. So the pre-retrograde shadow period begins on June 19th when Venus passes 12 Leo, it goes retrograde on July 22nd at 28 Leo, it will retrograde and move all the way back to 12 Leo before it stations direct on September 3rd. And then finally, the post-retrograde shadow period is not going to be over until Venus leaves and passes 28 degrees of Leo, which is the degree that it originally stationed retrograde at. And that final post-retrograde shadow period will end on October 7th. So when you look at it from that standpoint, it’s kind of elongating the whole Venus retrograde timeframe from this 40 days and 40 nights that is the actual retrograde period itself and it’s turning it into a much broader thing that’s taking place between June 19th and October 7th of 2023. And although we’re explaining this primarily within the context of this current retrograde period, this is going to be applicable essentially to all future retrogrades as well.

NDB: Yeah. And in astrology in a broader sense, we tend to look at any planet’s retrograde phase, we tend to look at the shadow periods in that context as well. So it’s not just Venus. But, yeah.

CB: Right. Okay, so that’s important because then again situating that within context of the 2015 Venus retrograde in Leo, when the Supreme Court decision happened, Venus was already in her pre-retrograde shadow phase. So in that way, the Venus retrograde circumstances surrounding that retrograde had already started to build up for many people in their life. Then Venus went retrograde in July, almost 100,000 marriages took place between different same-sex couples that suddenly were able to get legally married in different areas that they couldn’t previously, and then eventually, that whole retrograde and shadow phenomenon wasn’t over until October. But interestingly, that just happened to coincide with this period where there’s this great intensity that was noted in that Gallup poll of all these people being married between July and October. All right. That’s one major example of Venus retrogrades and major world events taking place that are relevant to many people. In other types of Venus retrograde events there can sometimes be scandals, which you guys have both mentioned already, one of the most famous scandals was the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal broke during around the time of the Venus retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn in 1998, right?

PW: Yeah, it was really close to the actual Sun-Venus interior conjunction itself. Yes, it was right in the heart of the retrograde and of course that was pretty explosive because it brought up all those questions about, you know, what’s the right way to act? What are the boundaries of the marriage? [crosstalk] I mean, it goes on and on.

CB: So here’s the… So January 17th, 1998, the Sun is at 27 Capricorn and Venus is at 25 Capricorn and Venus is retrograde. So it’s right in the middle of the halfway point in the cycle. And what happened was just that this is when the story first came out.

NDB: Yeah. Matt Drudge, I believe, was the one who reported it, which boosted his career. The famous Drudge Report would be infamous from then on. From there, it bled into mainstream media pretty quickly and yeah, exploded. I remember at the time, I was an astrology student at the time and the very early days of the internet, America Online and all that, and what astrology forums existed at the time. Astro.com, Astrodienst had this forum that myself and whoever was around at the time participated in and yeah, it was something that we were analyzing to death. It was, for me, my sort of entry into astrology. At that point, I had been a student for about three years. Yeah, it was where for me astrology started to merge with day-to-day politics and the kind of work we’re still doing now where we’re looking at astrology in the world. Whereas in those first three years of study, I was mostly doing natal astrology. I was looking at transits, but really it started to make me aware of astrology happening in the world and astrology reflecting changes in the world.

CB: Because Venus the planet of relationships was going retrograde, all the astrologers were talking about that. Because this would have been halfway through the retrograde cycle so you would have seen everybody already talking about how the planet of relationships is going retrograde and there should be major events with that. And then all of a sudden right in the middle of that, one of the most talked about and newsworthy and explosive relationship scandals of the decade happened right in the middle of that retrograde cycle. Every media outlet was talking about it constantly.

PW: Right. I also think the beginning of that story is so fascinating that Bill Clinton first met Monica Lewinsky at his birthday in 1995, which was on the day of a Sun-Venus exterior conjunction in Leo conjunct his Sun and conjunct her Venus.

CB: Right. Yeah, so it’s just part of the broader Venus cycle and the conjunctions with the Sun. In the synodic cycle, the important relationship between the Sun and the Venus is kind of at the core of this. And even though we’re often focusing on the retrograde period itself, which is when Venus is really far away from the Sun, at the very core and the very heart of that is actually the conjunction with the Sun.

NDB: Yeah, and there are also five exterior conjunctions between the Sun and Venus, just like there are with the interior conjunctions with the retrograde. So you’ve actually got two five-pointed stars that have some perfect symmetrical overlay. The exterior conjunction in 1995 on Bill Clinton’s birthday happened four years after and four years prior to a Venus retrograde interior conjunction in the same place in the Zodiac in 1991 and in 1999. So there’s this eight-year facet to the Venus cycle with regard to perfect returns, but there’s also a four-year operation where you get these opposing parts of the cycle facing each other in turn.

CB: Right. Yeah, and I talked about this previously last fall in an episode with Arielle Guttman which was titled “The Venus Star Point Cycle”, which is what she calls it. And you can find that on… It’s episode 371 of The Astrology Podcast titled “The Venus Star Point Cycle with Arielle Guttman”. Yeah. Anyway, so that’s an example and we’ll move on from that. But just the significance of that, for people that weren’t around at the time, was just that this scandal broke and then it ended up dominating and being the focal point of a large part of the remainder of Bill Clinton’s presidency and legacy. He was also eventually impeached for it, which was a notable, important way that it impacted his career and legacy. And even though he stayed in office and it didn’t end his presidency, it ended up becoming a blemish on his presidency in some ways during that time, so it was a pretty significant event.

NDB: Although immediately at the time, his popularity actually rose. He actually rose in the polls. I agree in the long term, it’s very damaging for him. But during the presidency, he actually reached a peak in popularity after it was all over.

CB: Well, but it wasn’t because people were endorsing it. It was because he denied it initially and I think people weren’t clear what the truth was or was going on. Yeah, but it was just a major event. It wasn’t just a natal event for him necessarily, but it was also something that the entire country and US and the different decisions even potentially that the US was making at that time. Some have speculated, I don’t know if that’s true, but even militarily whether there were decisions that were made that were partially connected with that or resulted from it and things like that. But it was a whole thing that happened. Anyway, that’s one example of types of things that can happen sometimes under Venus retrogrades. Other things that are notable in terms of mundane things is sometimes, Nick, you talked about taste and what is in good taste or bad taste. And that can be a very Venusian thing. So, sometimes changes in trends or things that become trendy can be relevant during Venus retrogrades or around the time of Venus retrograde transits. One of the ones we’ve talked about is that Nirvana released Nevermind, which kicked off the grunge fashion era as well as a huge change in music and fashion. And that was right after a Venus retrograde period ended, I believe. Right?

NDB: Yeah. And it was part of the reason of the explosion. I mean, it was an excellent album. But in that summer just prior to the album’s release– or not too long before, it might not have happened specifically in the summer but it started to really change things in the summer– was there was a change in how record sales were monitored and how records reached the charts. It went from being done just sort of eyeballed by record store managers, to being digitally scanned. You had the barcode and a record was scanned, and so every sale was registered. So there was this sort of reality check that the music industry had where they realized that the records they were trying to promote and the records they were saying were the number one records on the charts weren’t selling as much as say underground rock pre-grunge or hip hop. And then older people were listening to more country music than they thought. Garth Brooks’s career got a similar boost to Nirvana for this very same change in the technology. So it completely revolutionized the industry. So there’s the fact that yeah, Nirvana had this hit album that came out of nowhere and changed the aesthetics of rock music. Everyone had been wearing what we called hair farmers, there was a hair metal, these guys with all this hairspray and these acid-washed jeans. And then suddenly overnight, everyone went to flannel and ripped jeans and dirty hair or dreadlocks and tattoos started becoming fashionable.

CB: Right. Well, the end of the ’80s type rock era in many ways?

NDB: Yeah.

CB: And I think you said that they recorded the video for their hit single Nevermind-

NDB: Smells Like Teen Spirit.

CB: Smells Like Teen Spirit. Yeah, yeah. And that was during the retrograde?

NDB: That was during the Venus retrograde in Virgo, which was Kurt Cobain’s rising sign. And yeah, maybe later when we’re talking about profections, we’ll come back to that.

CB: Yeah, that’s a profection example too because he was in a Venus profection year.

NDB: Yeah. He was 24, so he was in the first house profection year so you had Venus going retrograde in his rising sign as they filmed this video which was– for those of you who haven’t seen the music video, it’s set in a sort of dystopian high school gym with these anarchistic cheerleaders and the janitor mopping to the music and all this. [laughs] And the video sort of erupts in a riot. So it’s also sort of Venus retrogradey in that the relationship between the band and the audience is completely blurred and merged rather by the end of the song.

CB: Sure. So this is the same Venus retrograde in Leo that we’re about to have. It’s part of the same cycle if you take it back in eight-year increments. I don’t know how many years is that since now. 1991… 30-something years. But also one of your points is that-

NBD: 32.

CB: 32 years, okay.

NDB: Multiple of eight. It’s a multiple of eight. It’s always a multiple of eight.

CB: Right. But one of your points… Even though one of your points is that Kurt Cobain, and maybe we could just mention it since we’re already talking about it, but he was born with Virgo rising. And the Venus retrograde that summer it stationed retrograde in Virgo.

NDB: Yeah, quite early in Virgo, basically opposite his Sun. Not quite on his Ascendant, but in his rising sign. So speaking in terms of profections, it was yeah. And it’s interesting because if you think about it, the retrograde in those days went from Virgo to Leo. These days it just happens in Leo. But he was in a first house profection year and the Venus retrograde went retrograde in his rising sign, but then it retrograded into his 12th house. Which if you think about it really reflects his story in terms of his relationship to stardom and fame. Like, he had a very sort of 12th house ultimately. Sure, he made this great album and he wanted people to like it and he made the video and hoped it would be a hit. But the thing he got, in the end, sort of pushed him back to the 12th house like, “Whoa, I can’t handle this.”

CB: Right. Well, he’s somebody that always had that tension of, on the one hand, he wanted to be a famous musician and pushed for that earlier in his life and strived for that. But then also, he was a very sensitive and somewhat shy type of person. And so when they released that album, suddenly he became one of the most famous and sought-after people in the world and somebody that suddenly became the face of his entire generation. And he was completely unprepared for that level of fame and stardom.

NDB: Yeah, and coming back to the matter of taste and distaste. As you know, I’m only a year and a half younger than he was and so we’ve all got the Pluto-Uranus in Virgo in that generation. We, Gen Xers, and especially from that little period of time, we’re just mortified by anything commercial or popular. And so there was this whole thing like, I think part of it for him was he found it distasteful to be involved in the music industry with other elements that he found distasteful. Like having to go on award shows or any of this kind of stuff that wasn’t necessarily… It didn’t suit his aesthetic, which is another great Venusian word. So yeah, the whole thing. He was changing the music world but also the music world was sort of changing him, and not necessarily as positively as the other way around.

CB: Right. Yeah. And that goes to your point about if a Venus retrograde happens in your rising sign, sometimes that can be a really important year and a really important turning point in your life.

NDB: Right. And if you write a biography of Kurt Cobain exactly, starting a new chapter with filming the Teen Spirit video and the release of Nevermind and everything that changes is a perfect illustration of how that kind of thing works. In this case, this is actually someone that people do write biographies about.

CB: And what were the dates on that retrograde, just in general? Do either of you have those?

NDB: In the summer of ’91, it would always be… Probably it was early August– August 1st or August 3rd, something like that– up until second week or third week of September. Second week of September, 40 days.

CB: Right. And then with the shadow periods, that extends it on either side by a few weeks or a month?

NDB: Exactly. Yeah.

CB: Okay. So, that’s very striking. Let’s just do the profection. So, what profection was he in again?

NDB: The first house. He was 24.

CB: Okay, so this is an example of that we’ll come back to later that if the Venus in annual profections where you count one sign per year from the rising sign and it’ll highlight an important sign for you that year. You can use that sometimes to determine if a Venus retrograde is going to be more important for you. Because one of the things is if Venus goes retrograde in the profected sign, that is going to mean that that Venus retrograde may be much more personally relevant for you than it might in other times.

NDB: Exactly.

CB: Cool. All right. So that’s a good example, an example of sometimes trends changing in connection with Venus retrogrades. I don’t know, do you want to briefly mention that other example, Patrick?

PW: So eight years before the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit, there’s this movie Risky Business starring Tom Cruise that premiered on August 5th, 1983. And it’s a fairly risque movie. [laughs] It certainly contains many Venus retrograde themes. But one of the interesting things that came out of that movie is that because Tom Cruise was so charismatic in this role, the company that produces the sunglasses that he wears in the movie is Ray-Bans ended up being able to turn that company around after the release of that movie because everyone wanted to emulate how cool he looked.

CB: Because he wore some sunglasses in the movie and popularized those?

NDB: Yeah, these Ray-Bans that today we think of being really basic. But at the time, it was this sudden fashion icon thing.

PW: You sometimes see this with Venus retrogrades where maybe a certain movie star or a certain musician or movie comes out that kicks off a new trend in fashion or in art styles or music styles. It’s kind of a complicated thing to study, we can’t give a comprehensive history of art and fashion and [crosstalk].

NDB: It’s all over the place when you… Yeah, exactly. It’s all over the place when you see it. But that’s exactly it. Talk about the consensus. When a bunch of people start wearing Ray-Bans or a bunch of people start wearing flannel shirts and torn jeans when a few months earlier they were wearing hairspray and acid wash, that’s Venus retrograde changing the consensus. We’re no longer this, we’re now that.

CB: [crosstalk] But sometimes also the opening of that can initially, because it goes against the grain and it stands out and it’s different, initially there can be some reaction to it that’s like a push back or is like, “No, that’s weird.” Or that looks odd or is different from what we’re used to, and some people can find it distasteful. But sometimes with the Venus retrograde, it’s like there’s enough people that find it different and interesting and unique, partially because it’s different that it represents something fresh, that there is sometimes a groundswell or there’s a breaking point where something becomes popular at that point that maybe either wasn’t previously or that had fallen out of popularity and then comes back from the past.

NDB: Yeah, yeah, which in many ways, you know that the advent of the whole grunge phenomenon is a bit of both of that. It was somewhat retroactive, there was some elements of it that recalled ’60s counterculture or the punk counterculture certainly of the ’70s and early ’80s. But then it was also at the same time utterly fresh and completely different from anything that had existed before, and it had elements of both those at the same time. But you’re absolutely right. I mean, you still hear any musician who was in one of the hair metal bands that were sort of outclassed by grunge, they still complain about how Nirvana ruined their lives and their careers and everything.

CB: Right. Well, the iconic trade-off that happened at that time was between Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose who, you know, no band represented ’80s rock more than Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses. And then all of a sudden, Nirvana comes out and takes over and becomes the new thing for that point forward.

NDB: Yeah. Although I would say… I mean, Guns N’ Roses… Until Nirvana came out, Guns N’ Roses probably were the band that was starting to do what Nirvana would do a lot more thoroughly, which is to sort of take hard rock back from this glittery hairsprayed totally shallow hair metal stuff that was really popular.

PW: By the time you get to 1999 eight years later, then it’s like the rise of the boy bands and pop princesses.

NDB: Oh, yeah. [crosstalk] Yeah, 1999 is like the summer of Britney and all that.

PW: [crosstalk] Christina Aguilera.

NDB: And Christina Aguilera, all of them. Yeah, absolutely. So it’s all fresh new thing that comes in. So yeah, I think Guns N’ Roses felt like Nirvana was stealing the revolution from them, if you will.

CB: Right. And this is really important because sometimes it’s like pop culture has really important tastes, and change in taste has really major impacts on people’s lives sometimes in ways that subtle. I saw this video that came up in my feed, I’m trying to find it now but I can’t but it was just listing the popularity of different babies’ girls names in different years, and how sometimes you just see those years where all of the states, a bunch of them all of a sudden there’s a name that takes off that becomes the most popular name for the next several years and then ton of babies are named that name. And sometimes it’s as a result of some name being popular in pop culture for some reason.

PW: Or the reverse, you know? Like with the name Karen or something like that. [laughter] You know, unfortunately.

CB: Like a name falling out of popularity if something not great happens.

NDB: Yeah. Like in the ’60s, Bob Dylan was popular and suddenly Dylan became this name that parents named their boys, you know? You don’t find a lot of guys named Dylan born in the 1950s, you find a fair number of born in the ’60s and ’70s.

CB: Right. Yeah, that makes sense.

PW: We got a lot more Khaleesis after 2010. [laughs]

NDB: Yeah. No, exactly.

PW: Game of Thrones.

CB: Right, after Game of Thrones. Yeah, that’s a good one. All right. So that’s a major trend and that could show up in a number of different areas that we won’t get into, but it’s something to pay attention for in terms of changes in tastes and the popularization of different things with Venus retrogrades. Another one that you wanted to mention I know, Nick, that’s notable from a mundane standpoint that affects lots of people is that you’ve noticed that peace treaties come up sometimes during Venus retrogrades.

NDB: Yeah. The Peace of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War was signed about 27 days before Venus went retrograde so it was in its shadow period, the pre-retrograde shadow. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox that ended the US Civil War occurred about seven days before Venus went retrograde. The surrender of the Nazis in World War II was signed the day Venus stationed retro- stationed direct, rather, it had been retrograde and it was stationing direct the day that the Nazis surrendered. And then even things like the October Missile Crisis, which wasn’t a treaty or a surrender but it did lead to, you know, it was this crisis that led to this new understanding and cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union vis-à-vis nuclear weapons, resulting in 10 years later, the signing of the SALT 1 Treaty between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev– the first treaty to ban any kind of nuclear weapons use. That was also during a Venus retrograde this time in Gemini.

PW: So, intensification of Venusian peace.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. Well, the thing about these situations, again you come back to the basic theme that Venus is changing the consensus. We were at war and now we’re at peace. We were about to blow each other up and now we’re like, “Hey, maybe that’s not such a great idea after all.” So yeah, even in that sense very much. Now, of course not every Venus retrograde results in a peace treaty. Lots of wars can begin during a Venus retrograde or intensify during a Venus retrograde, but what is pretty consistent is they often tend to end during a Venus retrograde.

CB: Okay, that’s a good one and we’ll come back to that theme later with some examples I know. There’s some more examples. All right, I want to take a little break right now and then we’ll transition into the next section about looking at natal charts and Venus retrograde as an important turning point in people’s lives.


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All right, so we’re back from break. Let’s transition at this point into talking about how Venus retrogrades can coincide with important events in a person’s life and important turning points when it lines up with their natal chart. So, some famous examples I know, one of them that was notable is when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got together, two actors, during the filming of the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2004. That this was connected with the Venus retrograde, right?

PW: Right. Well, at that time, Brad Pitt was very famously married to Jennifer Aniston and so that’s what makes this a Venus retrograde story. This wasn’t just the bringing together of two actors who like each other on a film, this is Brad Pitt’s pivotal turning point where the principle of desire is elevated. He makes this choice, he falls in love with Angelina Jolie, and even though he’s already in this other relationship, he can’t help himself. [chuckles]

CB: So it’s like he’s presented almost with a choice, I guess. It’s like he had to make a choice at that period between those two people in one way rather than another.

PW: Sure. Sure. The actual timing of this is that the filming of this movie took place between January 5th, 2004 through April 22nd, 2004 and Venus entered the pre-retrograde shadow on April 13th, 2004. So we can see that towards the end of the filming of this movie, this is when we start getting into this Venus retrograde type territory. And then actually the first reports on this affair came in May of 2003 shortly after filming had wrapped. There were these photos that had been taken and Venus stationed retrograde in Gemini on May 22nd, 2004. What’s interesting is we can see how the story sort of develops from that because eight years later when Venus returns to make this retrograde in Gemini, that’s actually when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got engaged to be married. So we know that this Venus retrograde should be important and it’s very classic Venus retrograde, an extramarital affair.

CB: Right. And I think in his birth chart, he has Sagittarius rising so this Venus retrograde in Gemini was in his seventh house of relationships and partnership and marriage.

PW: That’s right.

NDB: Yeah, so it was crossing his Descendant. Another interesting-

PW: Which would have been opposed to his Sun, right?

NDB: Yeah, the retrograde would have been quite close to being opposed to his Sun. The station might have been exactly opposed to his Sun as I recall. Another interesting dimension to all of this, Jennifer Aniston was born about 34 days before a Venus retrograde station and her progressed Venus stationed retrograde right around April 2004 when her husband is running off with Angelina.

PW: Right. Also interesting in Angelina Jolie’s chart is she has the Sun roughly opposite Brad Pitt’s. So Venus went retrograde conjunct her Sun in her natal 12th house. And this is probably as she’s, you know?

NDB: Talk about star-crossed lovers. I mean, the whole reason Pitt and Jolie were paired in this movie, Mr. & Mrs. Smith in the first place is they were arguably the two most beautiful celebrities of the time, you know?

CB: And also leading blockbuster actor and actress in terms of the top of their respective… Yeah, in their field.

NDB:  Yeah, it totally had this feeling of star-crossed lovers. It made sense. You felt bad for Jennifer Aniston but there was something about this union that had a logic to it, for want of a better word.

CB: Right. It’s funny. Even that movie, Mr. & Mrs. Smith it’s a funny Venus retrogradey type movie because it was like they’re both-

NDB: It’s a married couple, they’re assassins and they’re trying to kill each other, but they’re married and… [laughs]

CB: They get together and they don’t realize that each other are both spies and assassins, and they both have these secret lives that they keep from each other and their marriage starts falling apart because it starts getting boring and they start drifting away. But then they realize that each of the other is leading these secret lives and then they start fighting each other and trying to kill each other, but then later make up at the end and fight together. And that’s the end of the movie.

NDB: What an unpredictable ending. [crosstalk]

CB: It’s one of those movies that didn’t have a great ending. It was like the first three acts… The first couple of acts are fine but then the ending is a little weak.

PW: Although it’s a little interesting that that was the plot of the movie as well considering that they’ve unfortunately now in more recent years they’ve been at odds. They’ve had lawsuits against each other and battling over custody of their children together and so it’s unfortunate that things have taken sort of this darker turn after they got engaged. They were together eight years and then got married, then they only stayed married for two years even though they’d been together a lot longer than prior to that.

CB: That is notable and also that is a recurring theme just the fact that, as you said, they got together in the Venus retrograde in Gemini, and then they were together and had a relationship and it was a very high profile relationship. And they had kids together and then eight years later when Venus goes retrograde in that same sign, they actually decided to finally make it official and get married.

PW: Yeah. Another little sidebar about Jennifer Aniston’s charts, I believe she’s Libra rising and the divorce with Brad Pitt was finalized at the Sun-Venus exterior conjunction in Aries in the spring of 2005 which happened in her seventh house.

NDB: And she has natal Venus in Aries, which as I said, stationed retrograde in her seventh house.

PW: But she also has Saturn in her seventh house so we can also see how there’s some pain there as well.

CB: With a Venus transit on Saturn.

NDB: I think Brad likes women who have Venus and Saturn co-present in a sign. Brad’s got a kink. Brad’s got a kink. [Patrick laughs]

PW: I think that’s a really good example of a classic Venus retrograde story being almost tempted by Venus and not being able to turn away from-

NDB: Venus retrograde is seductive. Yeah, it’s temptation and it’s exciting.

PW: Very naughty. [laughter] Naughty Venus.

NDB: Yeah, it’s those periods when the naughtiness runs amok. Sure.

PW: That’s going to be the new slogan for this Venus retrograde.

NDB: We’ll start making coffee mugs with that slogan. I’ve been looking for one.

CB: Yeah. So that’s very obvious because it’s tied in with relationships, it’s tied in with his seventh house, and other things like that. But in other instances in terms of Venus retrogrades, they can also sometimes just represent a really important turning point in a person’s life for different reasons. So one of my favorite examples of that was Tim Berners-Lee, the guy that invented the World Wide Web. He actually launched the first website around the time within a week basically just after Venus had gone retrograde in the sign of Virgo. And just that idea of the World Wide Web and how it’s connecting people together through these different websites, basically, and how that became so important for him. And yeah, it was launched just after Venus retrograde in Virgo.

PW: Wow, that reminds me a lot of how Facebook first got really big during the Venus retrograde of 2004. He released it in February 2004 but the greatest period of adoption among colleges was really in that May to June period of 2004 during that Venus retrograde. And that was actually a transit of Venus across the face of the Sun, like an occultation or a perfect alignment with Venus squaring across the face of the Sun. And there’s this enterprise, which ultimately united a large group of people together as friends as part of a network. So yeah, that’s really a great example, Chris.

CB: Yeah. All right, so that is an example of Venus retrograde and how it can show up as important. So one of the questions then becomes how do you know if a specific retrograde will be important for you, and how do you know how the retrograde will manifest in your life or in what area? Let’s talk about Venus retrograde natally first, because sometimes one of the things that’s important is if a person has Venus retrograde natally in their birth chart or if they were born under a specific Venus retrograde cycle, sometimes that can mean that that retrograde will be more important for you. So first off, how do you determine if Venus was retrograde when you were born? What’s a good way for doing that?

NDB: Become an astrologer and learn how to read an ephemeris. Sorry, that’s the snarky version of the answer.

CB: That was our previous episode that Patrick and I did just a year ago was “How to Read an Ephemeris”, which was episode 304 of The Astrology Podcast. Actually, it wasn’t a year ago, it was two years ago. So people can Google that, “How to Read an Ephemeris”, and you’ll find episode 304 of The Astrology Podcast.

NDB: A fine episode that was, too.

CB: With that, you can just get an ephemeris and look up the year and the day you were born and look to see if Venus was already retrograde or if it was stationing around the time of your birth, then that means you’re born with Venus retrograde.

NDB: Yeah, or even if you’re anywhere close then you know your progressed chart might have a Venus retrograde in it even if your natal chart doesn’t if you’re born like Jennifer Aniston, for instance. Or even if you’re a little bit after, Venus is still moving very slow after the direct station and it’s still notable to be aware that you’re born just after a planetary direct station.

PW: Another way you might check is to use astrological chart calculation software. You’re looking for usually a little red symbol that looks like an RX. That’s another way you might tell. So that’s what it sort of looks like. I don’t know what it looks like if you’re using an app like Co-Star. I don’t use it myself. [laughs]

NDB: Astro Seek is very good on describing Venus cycles in considerable detail, so I’d recommend astro-seek.com.

CB: Got it, okay. So let’s talk about some examples of some people that have retrograde natally in their birth chart. One of the themes that sometimes seems to come up is that theme of going against the grain, going against social consensus, changing social consensus, or sometimes just things that stand out as anomalous or kind of odd a little bit or different, let’s say. One of the chart examples I know that we wanted to mention first was Demi Moore. Here is her chart for those watching the video version where she was born with Pisces rising, and she has the Sun, Neptune, and Mercury in a conjunction in the middle of Scorpio along with Venus. And she was born right in the middle of a Venus retrograde cycle with the Venus retrograde at 20 degrees of Scorpio conjunct the Sun at 19 degrees of Scorpio.

NDB: So a day before the interior conjunction, in other words.

CB: You guys keep mentioning interior and exterior conjunction but that was never explained. Could you explain it briefly what that even means?

NDB: Yeah, we kind of explained it. But just more specifically, the Venus retrogrades occur when Venus is closest to Earth. So when it passes between Earth and the Sun, we call that an interior conjunction because on that two-dimensional pie chart that the Sun and Venus will be occupying the same zodiacal degree. Whereas when Venus is on the opposite side of the Sun, it makes what we call an exterior conjunction in that pie chart because Venus will not be retrograde but it will make a conjunction to the Sun. They’ll occupy the same degree. Yeah, actually funny enough, the astronomically correct terminology is superior and inferior conjunction. So what I’m calling the interior conjunction, they would call the inferior one and exterior would be superior. Ironically, a number of astrologers prefer this other terminology because it’s more precise, you know? I guess because a superior and inferior have different-

PW: Hierarchical connotation.

NDB: They have that connotation. They are terms that are multivalent and can mean different things, whereas exterior and interior is very sort of specific, you’re either on the opposite side of the Sun or you’re on this side of the Sun. And what we’re talking about primarily are the Venus retrogrades which involve the interior slash inferior conjunctions.

CB: All right. Going back to Demi Moore, she was born with Venus retrograde and one of your points there, Nick, is that because she was born at the Sun-Venus conjunction with Venus retrograde, Venus is actually closer to the Earth during that time.

NDB: Yes, Venus is just about to pass directly between Earth and the Sun is what’s happening with that.

CB: And in some rare instances when Venus lines up with the Sun, not just in longitude but also latitude, you can actually see the body of the planet Venus move across the face of the Sun. I think one of those happened in 2012, right?

PW: Yeah, 2004 and 2012.

NDB: Yeah, Patrick mentioned earlier the 2004 one. So, 2004 and 2012. And then prior to that, it happened in Sagittarius in 1874 and 1882. The chart of Winston Churchill is pretty close to one of those occultations.  Yeah, it happens every now and again.

CB: So maybe that could be another reason from an astronomical standpoint why there’s this almost intensification, it seems, of Venus’ significations during a Venus retrograde because Venus is actually not just conjoining the Sun but is closer to us than at other times when, for example, Venus conjoins the Sun but is hidden and is further from the Earth.

NDB: Exactly, yeah, yeah. Venus is never closest to Earth as it is when it’s retrograde. It’s part of the reason it looks like it’s going backwards. Part of the reason for what is effectively a sort of a visual trick because it’s done through perspective. Venus is not actually making a loop, it just looks like it is because of where we’re watching it.

CB: Right. I think people often liken that to the effect of when you’re on the highway and you’re passing another car that’s moving slightly slower than you, and you have this visual phenomenon of the car starting to move backwards even though both of you are still moving forward on the highway.

NDB: Yeah, that’s a good- [crosstalk]

PW: But it’s a meaningful illusion. [laughs] A symbolically important illusion.

CB: One of the things that people don’t understand sometimes that astrology looks at observational phenomenon in the sky from the perspective of the observer, and the different unique movements of celestial bodies in the sky that they make has symbolic importance on Earth both in general as well as personally or individually in people’s lives. And that it’s the symbolic interpretation of celestial events that’s important. People get tripped up on that and think that sometimes because it’s just an apparent phenomenon, that that means it’s not important. But that’s actually not the case.

NDB: No, no, not at all. It’s every bit a law of physics that the universe has no real center, that any point in the universe can be a center. And therefore, the horoscope is cast in exactly that spirit that a given individual or event on a specific date and time has a perspective. Everything is effectively revolving around that person or that place. And this is what an astrological chart maps, is the appearance of things from a specific perspective.

CB: The perspective of the observer.

NDB: Yeah, exactly. If it’s a nativity, you know, everything from the perspective of the new human being who has just arrived

CB: Right. Okay. All right, cool. So let’s get into Demi Moore. How is she a good example of a native that was born with Venus retrograde?

NDB: She was always sort of provocative as a movie star. You know, Hollywood in itself obviously is quite a sort of Venus retrogradey type of institution. It loves to seduce us and it loves to start new trends and there’s a lot of things that tie in with it. But Demi Moore is someone who was both sort of a superstar but at the same time sort of bucking the superstar treadmill, if you will. She was doing things her own way. And in an age where women were starting to take on new types of roles in cinema, ones that had more of independence and depth to them as opposed to really being some actor’s leading lady. Yeah, she had a much stronger sort of… What’s the word I’m looking for? A much stronger personality, I’d say, in a way.

CB: Yeah, I remember one of the things when I was growing up was when she did that movie G.I. Jane where she was playing the role of a woman trying to get into it the Marines and shaved her head. And that was almost, I don’t want to say controversial, but it was like a unique, somewhat controversial, aesthetic sort of thing where she was going against the grain of normal social conventions or gender roles and stood out as a result of that, that she was willing to buck the social trend or the beliefs at the time about what things we’re supposed to be like.

NDB: Yeah, the movie itself has a sort of Venus retrograde string to it, right? Women weren’t typically allowed in the Marines and then there’s a change in consensus and suddenly some women, you know, the movie depicts this very change going from being an all-male institution to suddenly this introduction of a woman into this. Yeah, that’s a very basic Venus retrograde thing. I’d say, to my mind, the first thing I think of when I think of Demi Moore– and this is something that occurred during a Venus retrograde, doesn’t really have anything to do with any of her movies– in the summer of 1991, the same summer that the Nirvana video was was filmed when Venus was going retrograde in Virgo, she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair naked and pregnant. She’s covering herself, but she’s visibly naked and visibly pregnant. And it sounds really basic and boring today but it was incredibly provocative at the time and people… You know, it was the kind of thing she was really good at, at provoking the norms and getting a reaction out of people and doing something that had not been done before. And sort of setting a trend. Today there’s probably been dozens of women who have had photos taken of them naked and pregnant, but at the time it was revolutionary in the mainstream. So there was that event in 1991 when Venus was going retrograde. And yeah, some of her other movies, I think there’s a number of Venus retrograde themes in films she was involved in. Indecent Proposal, which came out in the spring of 1993 during the Venus retrograde in Aries. That’s the movie she’s in with Robert Redford and Woody Harrelson where she plays Woody Harrelson’s wife, and Robert Redford is this mysterious millionaire who offers this couple who are struggling for money I think a million dollars in exchange for a night with the wife, with Demi Moore. So that’s-

PW: How indecent! What an indecent proposal. [laughs]

NDB: Robert Redford, how dare you?

CB: I mean, it is Robert Redford. I think that was the gamble in the early ’90s as everyone was like, “Well, it is Robert Redford.”

NDB: Right. Right. Another one was Striptease.

CB: Well hold on, but with that one at the end of the movie, she ends up getting together with Robert Redford. I think that was the conclusion, wasn’t it?

NDB: You’re throwing in all the spoilers and the movie is 30 years old. [laughter]

CB: Okay. Sorry, I wasn’t supposed to… It’s just the premise we’re supposed to say. We just ruined a 30-year…

NDB: [laughs] If you haven’t seen it by now, I guess it’s okay.

CB: We better skip the Star Wars discussion then later if we can’t do spoilers because otherwise I’ve got some news for the people that haven’t seen it.

NDB: Okay. Well, just don’t ruin it for me, but I hope Luke and Leia wind up getting together because they seem to have great chemistry.

CB: Yeah, in the first movie.

NDB: Yeah. Another Demi Moore movie that came out during a Venus retrograde was Striptease in 1996 during the Venus retrograde that went from Cancer to Gemini at the time, or just in Gemini by that point. Yeah, in which she-

PW: I wanted to see it but I wasn’t allowed. [laughter]

NDB: I was allowed but I didn’t want to see it. [laughter] I’m from Montreal. Yeah, it’s the land of strip bars, or it was at the time, so it was like, “Why would I go see a movie?” So yeah, that was another one that was provocative. I never saw the movie, I think she’s supposed to be a housewife who starts stripping or something like that. I could get it wrong. But, yeah.

PW: Another interesting way that she kind of lived out Venus retrograde a bit was in the early 2000s. She got together with Ashton Kutcher and they were together for eight years. Again, there’s that interval again of Venus. And he was 15 years younger than her, she was in her 40s. No judgment, but at the time that seemed a little spicy. He was an adult, obviously. It wasn’t kind of inappropriate like that, but it was seen as a little risqué and that sort of typical Venus retrograde type of quality of pushing a boundary. But yeah, they were together for eight years. They didn’t get together in years of a Venus retrograde, but it just corresponded to that interval of Venus. So it’s probably like the- [crosstalk]

NDB: And Ashton is now with Mila Kunis who’s also a Venus retrograde birth, I believe.

PW: Oh, interesting. Ashton Kutcher himself was born with the Sun conjunct Venus in Aquarius, but direct.

NDB: Yeah. So, the flip side to the retrograde.

PW: The wheel turns.

NDB: The wheel turns.

CB: Yeah, that’s a good one. That’s a good example of somebody that can do things that go against gender norms or social conventions or other things like that. Another example that we’re going to mention was Jodie Foster. She was also born during a Venus retrograde in Scorpio.

NDB: Yeah, she’s born very close to Demi Moore. I think they’re a few days or maybe a week apart at most. But you see the Venus retrograde in Jodie Foster, but because it’s in her 12th house, you see it in a 12th house sense. Jodie Foster is an actress who has been provocative in her own way, but not at all in the same way that Demi Moore was. Jodie Foster, you know, she first became famous for playing Taxi Driver at the age of 12. Then there was another movie called The Accused, which is a really… I mean, it’s a good movie but she plays a victim and there’s a very graphic scene in there. So she had this courage to take on rules that I’m sure a lot of actresses just wouldn’t want to touch. Also, she sort of sets her own course. She went on to become a director and as a very sort of independent… She has enough star power that she could exercise enough independence as an artist and as a cinema artist to do the work that she wanted to do. But yeah, for her, that stellium with the Venus retrograde in Scorpio is in the 12th house. And she’s not Demi Moore, she would ne… I can’t imagine Jodie Foster being naked on a magazine cover pregnant sort of thing. She’s not provocative in that sense.

CB: She’s much more private in terms of very things in general, and especially about that area of her life. I think she’s famously reticent in interviews about what her orientation is or what her sexual orientation is. And she’s famously very private about that.

NDB: Yeah. And again, thanks to that Taxi Driver movie, she’s also famous for having been stalked by John Hinckley who went on to try to shoot– well, he did shoot Ronald Reagan– in a bid to impress her because in the movie Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro’s character attempts a political assassination and yeah, there was some sort of link there. I’ve seen a number of interviews with her and yeah, she handles this so beautifully. She obviously prepared herself and she’s obviously been asked these questions so many times she knows how to answer them. But anytime someone invades her privacy with regard to her sexual orientation or if they want to talk about John Hinckley, she doesn’t get nasty, she doesn’t get short or anything, but she very effectively controls that dialogue and veers it away from these subjects that are really nobody’s business.

PW: Just to make sure everyone knows what-

CB: Yeah, because I want to dwell on that point of what happened because it’s one of the things that… It’s a really major event in her life and that is very important in terms of just that Venus retrograde at 16 degrees of Scorpio. It’s in the 12th house, which is the house where you can sometimes find problematic characters or not for her, but it’s sometimes the place of enemies or people that you don’t get along with or people that cause problems or hardship or trouble in your life. And the Venus itself is conjunct Neptune, it’s also squaring Mars which is at 17 degrees of Leo, and widely squaring Saturn which is at six degrees of Aquarius, while still being under the beams of the Sun because it’s about 10 degrees from the Sun. So what happened is in 1981, there was this crazy guy that tried to assassinate and did successfully shoot the president at the time, Ronald Reagan, and he nearly died. And I think other Secret Service people were injured or I think there was one that was actually killed in the process of that, right?

NDB: Yeah, the Brady gun bill, I think is related to that. And by the time he shot Reagan, he had been… I forget if she went to Yale or, you know, one of the Ivy League schools. But he went to the campus where she was studying and stalked her there. Yeah, by the time he shot Reagan, she knew very well who he was and she had already had a huge problem with him.

CB: Right, so she was like a victim of stalking and of this crazy guy who eventually did something really terrible. And then she gets wrapped into it because of supposedly his obsession with her. So, that’s a very notable thing. And one of the things I noticed that was really striking about that is her Venus is at 16 degrees of Scorpio, and we actually have his chart. And if you look at his chart, he has Venus at 12 degrees of Taurus opposite to her Venus, and his Saturn at 16 degrees of Scorpio, and also Pluto for that matter at 24 Leo. So he has a Venus-Saturn opposition, and his Saturn is exactly on her natal Venus at 16 degrees of Scorpio. So that’s why, in some ways, that’s why that position is even more important and it shows you how sometimes Venus retrogrades and stuff it can tie in through synastry and other contacts in terms of the people who can activate some of those placements sometimes in our lives.

NDB: Absolutely.

CB: For better or worse.

NDB: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

PW: I think that’s a really great example in her chart of how it’s that principle of desire, which is sort of distorted not just through the retrograde, but then its placement in the 12th house of enemies, and then even into kind of madness with the conjunction to Neptune that it characterizes an enemy of hers who is driven by the desire. But it’s not wanted, it’s unwanted attention from an enemy.

CB: Because it’s like Venus is desire, but sometimes when you connect other planets especially like Pluto – he has that Pluto square – you get obsession and stalking and things like that.

PW: It’s just interesting that it comes from distorted benefic, you know? Like, desire gone wrong.

CB: Right, that’s a good point. I mean, the corruption of otherwise positive traits of Venus of love and affection and attraction and things like that that have positive manifestations, but those same qualities can be distorted into something that can be really dark.

PW: Yeah. And important for people to remember that because it was in her 12th, it wasn’t about herself, necessarily. It was about this other figure in her life.

CB: Yeah, sometimes the houses don’t represent you. The first house usually represents you but the other houses sometimes represent other people in your life or around you, and can manifest sometimes in other people coming into your life that play the role of that placement or the role of that transit.

NDB: Yeah. I mean, what did she do? She starred in Taxi Driver, which alerted this guy to her presence. But making a movie is not an invitation to that kind of attention. But that’s about as much agency as she had in the whole situation is that six years earlier, she had filmed this movie and one job in many.

CB: All right. So that’s a good example. It’s another Venus retrograde example, it’s a more challenging one. I want to skip to one… Muhammad Ali I know is one famous Venus retrograde example that ties in with that theme of going against the grain.

NDB: Very much. Very much. Muhammad Ali was born with Venus retrograde in Aquarius right on his Descendant. And we’re not going to go into his biography today but for those of you who are interested in Muhammad Ali, his biography is just jam-packed with Venus retrograde events. Three of his four marriages occurred during Venus retrograde. It’s just like, you know? That’s a little sidebar. But I think the one example we’re just going to focus on now is how he got into boxing. Right, Chris? We’re just going to talk about his natal Venus first.

CB: We’re just going to talk about his natal Venus first and just establish a theme of how he goes against the grain and he’s a really easy example of that.

NDB: Yeah. Well, when he became a World Heavyweight Champion, Venus wasn’t retrograde in that instance. That was in February of 1964. But it was not too long before the Venus retrograde that went from Cancer to Gemini and sort of the way he exploded on the scene. First of all, you know, until he won that first World Championship – the Heavyweight Championship in 1964 – he was known as Cassius Clay, that was his birth name. But he had, for the past year or so been involved with the Nation of Islam, the same sect that Malcolm X belonged to and Sam Cooke. And he had changed his name, or his name had been changed I think by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of that sect, to Muhammad Ali. But he declared it to the world… He kept it a secret until he won the championship and that’s when he told the world that he had this Muslim name. And then when he just turning 24 and when Venus was retrograde, you know, it had been retrograde in Aquarius just like it is in his natal chart, this is when his draft status-

CB: Wait. What was the significance of the first one? Why is that important?

NDB: Oh, because the Nation of Islam is a Black nationalist institution.

CB: Right. Hold on, I’m not talking about that. I’m just talking about imagine you’re explaining it to somebody from another country that doesn’t know who Muhammad Ali is, or doesn’t know the social context of it. It’s like it became controversial for a majority Christian nation for him to change his name and adopt a different religion and then to be very vocal in promoting that.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. And a religion that to the perception of White America seemed really hostile to White America. So that was the perception of it. And so here’s this guy, he was already sort of this arrogant young kid. He was the kind of athlete I think that a lot of people love to hate, although he would become immensely popular as time went on. But it was just so jarring to… I mean, 1964 White America was pretty conservative. You know, the Beatles were only just happening that same month, so the world was changing in all kinds of amazing ways. So yeah, it was really jarring. There’s this longer history of heavyweight boxing in America and race relations and how Black boxers were supposed to act or not act. There was this whole code that had been developed. Joe Louis who had been an earlier champion had sort of towed a certain line socially. So talk about sort of disturbing the consensus, talk about changing the rules, this is very much something that Muhammad Ali did. Most broadly, he sort of rewrote the rules, you know, changed the consensus in terms of how athletes were supposed to behave, and particularly how Black athletes could behave. Anything that has followed vis-à-vis sports and race relations in the US, you can really see an amazing starting point with Ali’s ascendance and an incredible career.

CB: Just to share the chart with the audio listeners, he was born with Leo rising and he has Mars in the Midheaven and Saturn and Uranus all in Taurus in the 10th whole sign house. And then they’re all ruled by Venus, which is retrograde at 20 degrees of Aquarius over on the degree of the Descendant at 19 Aquarius conjunct Mercury and the Moon.

NDB: Yeah, and that Venus of his is in a mutual reception with Saturn. So it’s this Venus-Saturn square that should be sort of daunting, but in fact really, really works in his favor.

CB: And square Uranus also at the same time.

NDB: Sure. Sure. But I’m talking about certainly the two of them together, but the fact that you’ve got the mutual reception between Venus and Saturn, I think really turns that square into something magnificent.

CB: Yeah, that mutual reception is a major mitigating factor and it became something he was able to use in his favor. And so going against the grain and sometimes not maybe rebelling to a certain extent in that way or doing things differently became part of what he was known for and in some ways worked for him sometimes.

NDB: Yeah. He had his haters in White America, but when he eventually went to Africa to fight George Foreman in 1974, he’s this huge icon for people of color everywhere on the globe because of the way he asserted himself and there was no getting around his… You know, he was a formidable athlete. He wound up winning the heavyweight title three times. To his detriment, ultimately, because the broad consensus is that he was in the sport longer than he should have been because it damaged his health at the end of his life. But he sure went as far as he could go.

CB: Right. And other instances of him challenging social consensus were that he famously didn’t go into the army, even though he was drafted.

NDB: Yeah, that’s right and that’s what I was alluding to earlier. This began during a Venus retrograde in the same sign he has his natal Venus retrograde, in January-February ’66. He had already been declined for the… There was a military draft because of the Vietnam War and he had been declined for that draft because he wasn’t a very strong reader, ironically. Even though he had an amazing diction and he was a fascinating speaker, he wasn’t actually technically very literate, and that had disqualified him from the military. But I think because, you know, this is the inference is that because of his Venus retrogradeness, because he was this vocal Black nationalist, Muslim and et cetera et cetera, that there was a bit of a conspiracy to undermine him. So his draft status was changed to 1A, making him eligible for the draft in this period in ’66 and that resulted in a court case that ultimately he did not get drafted, but he was stripped of his heavyweight title and everything he had spent his life working towards was taken from him for no good reason other than not wanting to fight this war.

PW: So malefics in 10th. [chuckles]

NDB: Yeah, the malefic’s in the 10th and this made him a pariah in mainstream America, and he struggled for a few years and then eventually through another court battle managed to get his right to be a boxer restated, and worked his way… He had to spend a few years doing it but it worked his way towards winning his second heavyweight title. And yeah, [chuckles] you can go on and on. Like I said, he eventually won it three times and all this stuff but it’s in so many ways. That battle over the draft, you know, he was already this mega-famous athlete but it made him now a sort of a political icon as well. I mean, he’s one of the defining figures-

PW: That really puts him in the history books, really. [crosstalk]

NDB: Athletes are amazing for what they do, but usually they’re really good, they set a record, and then someone comes along later and breaks the record and they’re in the sports history books. But he’s much more than just an athlete, he’s absolutely a political and social icon.

PW: Yeah. He’s the guy who could beat anyone in a fight but wouldn’t kill anyone at the direction of the state. That’s really powerful. [chuckles]

NDB: Well, we can’t quote the famous line but it was basically like, “Why would I go shoot…” This is what he said the day the draft was changed. “Why would I go shoot the Viet Cong? They’ve never called me names.” Yeah, which was obviously true. To our knowledge, no one in Vietnam ever disparaged the man so why should he go shoot them and bomb them and all that? So, yeah.

CB: Yeah. One of the themes I think is coming up or that we’re starting to see come up over and over again is people that go against the grain and do something that’s controversial or goes against social conventions at the time, but then sometimes as a result of that they stand out and they end up setting the trend or setting a new social convention as a result of their own almost like rebellion or pushing back against it.

NDB: Exactly. When he was fighting the draft, when they were trying to draft him and he was fighting it, the Vietnam War was still kind of popular. I mean, ’66 was sort of early so there wasn’t as much protest. It would only be around 1968 where the country at large would sort of give up on the war or change their view on the war, which in turn made it easier for him to reclaim his right to box a little after that. So yeah, he was ahead of the time. When he first did it, people thought he must be nuts, he’s some kind of traitor, he’s not a patriot blah, blah, blah, this and that. Whereas within a couple of years, everyone’s like, “No, no, he’s got a point. You know, he’s got a point.”

CB: Yeah. Well, that brings up the other example, and maybe we could mention briefly that theme. But Ellen DeGeneres was somebody or is somebody that has Venus retrograde in Aquarius conjunct the Sun. And I know early on and in the mid-’90s, her coming out as gay was a major thing at the time. And even though now in retrospect like 30 years later, for example, that’s been normalized and so it doesn’t stand out as being that striking. Back then, it did. But in the process, it also kind of helped set the stage for things and to change things and set the trend, or at least change the trend up to that point.

PW: It cost her everything to do that. I mean, she lost her show, she really lost her career.

CB: How so? Explain that.

PW: Because she had her own show, Ellen, and her character on the show actually came out. That was part of the way that she did this. And viewership tanked after this happened and there was this perception that this is all the show was about. The cultural climate at that time was still very anti-gay and it was a few years off before there would be such a rapid popularisation or acceptance and embrace of gayness. [chuckles] So it took a lot for her to work past that. She came up a stand-up a few years after that happened, it was like a big sort of comeback, stand-up where she did this interpretive dance at the beginning to sort of creatively show how she went through this period of going through this terrible ordeal of losing everything and then rising from the ashes to go on to have a very successful career as a television show host. And I think while that’s sort of become more complicated more recently in recent years, I think she still stands out as a really good example of someone who, you know? Big example of someone who took-

NDB: That episode was a big deal when she did it and it did come against her. But it’s like with Ali, within a couple of years it was all sort of like, “Oh, you know? So what?”

CB: People who were ahead of their time. That’s a very close parallel then between the two of them in the same way that he was against the Vietnam War and then later that position would become even more popular, but sometimes being at the crossroads between the turning point of opinions, perhaps, and those people sometimes being the focal point or the pivot point around which some of those things turn.

NDB: Yeah.

CB: Not as if there, obviously… [crosstalk]

NDB: Yeah, that’s one way to put it.

CB: Yeah. But then not as if they’re the only ones, obviously, because we’re not trying to put too much on either of these two singular individuals, but they do become one important cultural example of that cultural turning points when things are changing. All right, so that’s pretty good. There was only one other example in this section that were a weird one natally that you wanted to mention, Nick, which was the Jack Nicholson and Eric Clapton one who both have Venus retrograde.

NDB: Yeah. Jack Nicholson, the actor, and Eric Clapton, the musician, they both have Venus retrograde in Aries and both of them have a very peculiar origin story. Both men were raised thinking their birth mothers were their sisters and that their grandmothers were their birth mothers. They were both born to single, young, unwed mothers and then raised by their grandmothers thinking their grandmothers were their mothers and in Nicholson’s case, he only found out when Time magazine was doing a story about him when Chinatown came out. So he was already like one of the most famous movie stars in the world and his mother and grandmother were already dead. They had gone to their graves without telling him the truth and it was this reporter from Time magazine who had to tell him, “Actually Jack, your family story isn’t quite what you think.” Clapton, I think found out earlier than that. I think by the time he was famous he knew the truth. But single motherhood was very taboo. I myself was born to a single mother but it was just as it was kind of becoming normalized. But in their day – Nicholson was born in 1937, Clapton was born in ’45 – this was something that could get you, for want of a better term, canceled back in the day in the neighborhood. The neighbors would think terribly of you. And they would think terribly of the family, not just at the girl, you know? That there’s a failure or there’s a whole sort of disgrace on the home.

CB: So that’s why? That was the motivation in Jack Nicholson’s case.

NDB: In both their cases. I think the grandmother pretended to be the mother to give the whole thing an air of respectability, which was not uncommon. Jack Nicholson and Eric Clapton are not the only two people this happened to, but they happen to be famous for other reasons and therefore we know their stories.

CB: Yeah. And that’s interesting just in terms of sometimes classically or in ancient astrology, the significators like Venus representing women in a person’s life, and just then their relationship to women or to their mother figure in that instance having something unique or having something anomalous about it, basically again, is going back to that theme.

NDB: Yeah. Well, both of them found out their sisters were their mothers. You know?

CB: Yeah, that’s pretty wild.

NDB: [chuckles] Yeah, talk about changing the consensus.

CB: Yeah. So Jack Nicholson, for the audio listeners, he has Leo rising and Venus is retrograde at 24 degrees of Leo, conjunct-

NDB: Aries.

CB: Oh, sorry. Yeah, Aries. Thanks. 24 Aries conjunct the Midheaven at 22 Aries and Venus is squaring Jupiter at 26 Capricorn and squaring Pluto at 26 Cancer, which is kind of notable. And Venus is ruling not just the degree of the IC at 22. I mean, that’s actually part of it. That’s really funny, actually… [crosstalk]

PW: Right, the third house and IC coincide…

CB: People sometimes ask that question. They’re like, because we’ve always had that rule that we always tell you, which is sometimes when the degree of the MC falls in a whole sign house other than the 10th or when the degree of the IC falls in a whole sign house other than the 10th, it can import fourth house topics. [laughter]

NDB: The mother is the sister in this. Yeah, exactly.

CB: Yeah, it imports fourth-house significations into the third house in this case very literally. And with Venus retrograde and all the things it’s configured to, it does so in an anomalous way of having that switch up there, basically.

NDB: Yeah. Jack Nicholson also just as a celebrity, as an actor, there’s something quite Venus retrograde about him as well. Because he’s not classically handsome and he’s not generally someone that you want to see wear the white hat and be the hero in the movie. He’s a great sort of antihero. He’s at his best when he’s playing a rogue or a villain or something of that nature. And we love that. The more contemptuous his character is, the more we just love the way he plays him, you know?

PW: [imitates Jack Nicholson] “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Nick.” [laughter] For all the audio listeners, that was my Jack Nicholson impression.

NDB: Oh, was that supposed to be Jack Nicholson?

PW: Yeah, that was… He’s got the eyebrows anyway.

CB: Yeah, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I like that you use the word antihero because it’s like it’s ruling his Leo rising is the Sun conjunct Uranus in Taurus and Mercury also in Taurus, and that’s his 10th whole sign house. And then he has Venus there on the Midheaven but it’s in Aries, which is the sign opposite to its domicile. And I’ve been playing with that term antithesis. It’s a translation for the original Greek term for a planet in its detriment because it has that notion of being opposite or anti to its normal significations. It’s funny that you use the keyword antihero there and that could be a good keyword for detriment as well.

NDB: Yeah, yeah, exactly. The hero being sort of someone who’s supposed to have a purity and a goodness and good intentions, and then there’s the flip side of that. The seduction of the wicked, you know? And that’s Jack at his absolute best when he’s being wicked, portraying someone wicked. He’s really a pretty decent guy who goes to basketball games all the time but, you know, on screen. That on-screen persona.

PW: He’s Joker, he’s Torrance.

NDB: Yeah, Jack Torrance and all that stuff.

CB: Yeah, I pulled up a definition. It says, “A central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes,” for an antihero. All right, so that’s interesting and also tied in with the Venus retrograde. And then Eric Clapton, just pulling up his chart really quickly so I can give the data on that, was born with Libra rising and Venus is retrograde at two degrees of Taurus in the 12th house. And it’s squaring his Midheaven at one degree of Leo and the IC at one degrees of Aquarius, and also has Pluto at eight degrees of Leo.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. So like I said, I think he found out the truth much earlier than Jack did. Jack was well into his mid-30s, almost in his 40s when he found out. I forget when Clapton found out but it would have been quite a bit before that. And the other anecdote I can tell about Eric Clapton that relates to Venus retrograde is the fact that he fell in love with his best friend’s wife and eventually married her.

PW: Is that George Harrison?

NDB: Yeah, yeah. Pattie Harrison, Pattie Boyd was her birth name. She married George Harrison during the Venus retrograde of 1966 and Aquarius. George Harrison wrote The Beatles’ song “Something” for her, which is a pretty amazing love song. Some people say the greatest love song of all time but then Eric Clapton wrote the greatest longing for love song for her. Layla is about her and it’s about the fact that he was madly in love with his best friend’s wife. Unfortunately, he did eventually marry her and he was like a real jerk to her, which I can never understand. I’ve read her autobiography and it’s really amazing. And I don’t think so highly… You know, he’s an okay musician, but I don’t think so highly of him because of that story. But Layla is quite a song. And yeah, he wrote it for her and he definitely almost totally came apart when he couldn’t have her at first. He sort of descended into heroin addiction and really fell apart.

PW: So you think Venus the principle of desire is retrograde in the eighth house in his chart? [crosstalk]

NDB: Yeah, he wanted what he couldn’t have. He and George both have these early Scorpio-Moons and as time went on, George and Eric called each other they were husbands-in-law. [laughs] It didn’t sort of screw up their friendship at all.

PW: So Nick, you could say the song Layla is really something?

NDB: Oh, geez. [laughter] Thanks, Watson. Thanks.

CB: Dad jokes. All right. So, to summarize…

NDB: He’s a dad, he’s allowed. He’s got a-

CB: Oh, yeah. You’re really getting into the dad jokes, really leaning into them. Anyway, to summarise some of the main points here from this section about natal retrogrades, we’re talking about people who go against the grain, who go against or buck social consensus or social conventions, but then sometimes as a result end up helping to change it, people who are ahead of the time. And also one of the last keywords we came up with is things are switched up a bit. Either people who switch things up or people who have things that are switched up in that area of their life. One of the things I wanted to mention is that sometimes when you’re born with Venus retrograde, then it means that at some point in your life, it will station direct by secondary progression. And that can be a really big year or a big turning point in the person’s life when Venus stations by secondary progression. I think you mentioned one example of that earlier.

NDB: Yeah. Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt left her for Angelina Jolie when her progressed Venus was stationing retrograde.

CB: Okay, so she was born with it direct but then that marriage kind of fell apart when Venus stationed retrograde by secondary progression.

NDB: That’s right. She was born 34 or 35 days before it went retrograde, which corresponds to 35 years which is the age she was when Brad left her.

CB: Got it, that’s a good example. Can you think of any offhand that are people that were born with the Venus actually retrograde, and then what happened when it stationed direct by secondary progression?

NDB: Not offhand at the top of my memory, but maybe I can quickly look and come up with something.

PW: I mean, I can sort of tell you about what happened when my father who had Venus… He was born before… My father was born before the retrograde and so his-

NDB: I remember pointing that out to you like in 2006.

PW: Yeah, Nick pointed this out to me just offhand without even having an ephemeris on hand, sort of like he was a human ephemeris or something.

NDB: That’s crazy talk.

PW: Yeah, my father was born just before a Venus retrograde in Aries. And when Venus stationed retrograde by secondary progression, that was the year that he had this big affair on my mom that kind of caused a lot of turmoil in our family life and things were never really the same after that. They held on for a little bit afterwards but eventually my parents split up. But the year that his Venus progressed to its retrograde station, that was when his life really took on a different trajectory because of this affair he’d had.

NDB: I don’t want to take too much credit but it might have been that night. I remember it was that summer of 2006 and I pointed that out to you. But that might have been the moment when you were like, “Yeah, this Venus retrograde thing is really worth looking into.” [Patrick laughs] That might have been that moment, I’m not sure.

PW: Oh, I was taken with you, Nick. You had me at Venus. [chuckles] Yeah. No, I thought that was extremely impressive.

CB: Did you find anybody in looking things up, Nick?

NDB: Yeah, yeah, I just looked up Muhammad Ali because that was an obvious one to go to. He was born 36 days before Venus stationed direct in his chart, which corresponds to the year 1978, which is the year that he lost his heavyweight title and then regained it for the third time. That really was sort of like no one expected that. He had already won it, lost it because of the draft thing, and then struggled to work his way up again like a good Capricorn and won it again. And then he lost to Leon Spinks and people thought, “Well, he’s over. It’s all over and he’s going to retire,” and this and that. And then it was like nine months between… When he lost the title, it was during a superior/exterior conjunction, and then nine months later at the Venus retrograde in Scorpio in ’78. So during a Venus retrograde transit, his progressed Venus was stationing direct and that’s when he made this really astounding comeback. It really should have been his last match, but it wasn’t. You know?

CB: Okay. Yeah, so…

NDB: But it’s the cherry on top for his career. To do it a third time was just, you know? He was already a legend. He was already this supreme athlete, and to do that just was… Yeah.

CB: Yeah, so that’s something people should pay attention to. If you’re born with a natal Venus retrograde, finding when Venus will station direct as being a hugely important turning point in your life. All right, I want to take a little break before we move into the next section, just a few-minute break and then we’ll regroup.


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All right, so one of the things I wanted to mention is one of the things I’m noticing that seems to be coming up a few times a recurring theme, but I mentioned earlier this theme of switching sides and making a choice to go from one side to another. And I think that does have to do with the fact that Venus starts somewhere at the beginning when it stations retrograde as it starts as an evening star, but then it changes sides when it retrogrades conjoins the Sun, and then emerges on a different side. And there may be something to that that’s actually really crucial that we’re coming up to over and over again here sometimes with often people that are literally switching sides and making a choice and moving from one partner to another. But sometimes otherwise making choices like that we’re met with two options. They go with one option or another, but that there’s a fork in the road and having to make a choice of which one to go down.

NDB: Yeah, it certainly has to do with crossing a threshold. I mean, making a choice is certainly part of it but I think it’s sort of really entering a new… It’s kind of like walking into a new room, you know? The renewal element to it, I think is the central thing, which will involve making choices, but I don’t know, I think the choice is more sort of a consequence than directly related to it. Sure, like in Brad Pitt’s case, it involved making a choice, I suppose. But not for Jennifer Aniston; that’s just something that happened to her.

CB: Right. Yeah, being on the choosing end of the choice versus the receiving end of the choice.

NDB: Yeah, yeah.

CB: All right. All right, so let’s move into the next section. One of the things I wanted to focus on is that sometimes people born with Venus retrograde respond more to transiting retrogrades. And that’s something we’ve talked about a little bit just in terms of that coming up, but we have a few other examples we wanted to do. One of them was Rubin “Hurricane” Carter who was born with a natal Venus retrograde. And then one of the interesting and notable events that happened to him is that Venus went retrograde the summer that Bob Dylan recorded a song about him, which brought a lot of attention to his plight as somebody who was falsely imprisoned.

NDB: Yeah, that’s right.

CB: Could you set up the story on that, Nick?

NDB: Sure. Rubin Carter was a boxer. He was born in 1937 with Venus retrograde in Aries, same period as Jack Nicholson. And yeah, one day someone was shot in a bar in New Jersey. I forget who, I used to know the story perfectly, I have a chart wheel, but it’s been a while since I saw it. But anyway, someone was murdered and he was tried and convicted of the murder. But he was not responsible and there was eventually a mounting campaign to retry the case and get the man some justice.

CB: But it was after many years at that point, right?

NDB: I know the murder was in June of 1966. And by the time Bob Dylan gets involved, it’s 1975. So it’s like nine years already since the murder when Dylan records and then re-records the song “Hurricane” for his Desire album.

CB: And here’s the chart for the audio listeners. He has Leo rising. His Ascendant is in Leo and Venus is retrograde at 19 degrees of Aries in his ninth whole sign house, and the degree of his Midheaven is up at 28 degrees of Aries, and his Venus is widely squaring Pluto at 26 Cancer and Jupiter at 27 Capricorn. As well as maybe relevant being co-present with Saturn at one degrees of Aries. So the notable thing about this is that when his story started becoming more known and we have Bob Dylan recording that song, I think you said that was the summer of a Venus retrograde in Leo.

NDB: Yeah, he recorded the song twice. The first time he recorded it was in July of 1975 as Venus was getting ready to go retrograde in Virgo to Leo. And then he wound up re-recording the song in October, not too long after the Venus direct station in Leo.

CB: Okay, that’s another instance of that principle that you talked about earlier. On the one hand, the principle that we’re illustrating with this is sometimes people born with Venus retrograde, important events can happen to them under Venus retrograde that are important turning points in their life. And then the other principle that we’ve already mentioned previously, which is that, especially if Venus goes retrograde in your rising sign or in a prominent part of your chart, that’s one of the ways to know that that retrograde is going to be really important for you.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. That’s it exactly.

CB: And what was the effect of Bob Dylan recording the song about him?

NDB: Well, it was still like another 10 years away before he would eventually get the hearing he wanted, and he would eventually be emancipated I think… I think it might have been close to 20 years later or 10 years later. It was a long time.

CB: Yeah, it was like 20 years total.

NDB: Yeah, it was a long, long time. So the song didn’t have an immediate… The song didn’t get him out of prison the next day by any means, but it really took this relatively obscure murder case and made it a huge call. Anyone who listened to Bob Dylan suddenly knew who Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was. It’s a fantastic song, it’s one of Dylan’s best, in my opinion. It was very catchy, it was played a lot, and it was on an album that was kind of a sequel to a big comeback album. Bob Dylan was himself becoming relevant again. So it just was a tide that lifted both their boats in a way.

CB: So one of the most famous or popular musicians of the era wrote a song and it drew a lot of attention to this case that otherwise would have been obscure or would have not been known about and made it almost like a household name.

NDB: Yeah, yeah. My understanding, it’s been a while since I’ve read the story, but there were some people from Canada who became sympathetic to him and really campaigned on his behalf. And that’s how he did eventually get released. Whether or not the Canadians who helped him were inspired to do so because they heard the Bob Dylan song first, I can’t recall, but that was the thing. Suddenly you had far more people aware of the situation and therefore it could very well have contributed ultimately to his release. If nothing else, it certainly made him a cult celebrity.

CB: Okay, so that’s a pretty good example. All right. So moving on, I wanted to mention how the actor Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, he was born with Capricorn rising and he was born the day that Venus was stationing retrograde in Virgo.

NDB: Direct.

CB: Oh, sorry, yeah, direct in Virgo. My apologies. So it’s coming out of the retrograde but it was stationary direct Venus in Virgo at two degrees of Virgo on September 25th, 1951. And when the first Star Wars movie was released, which made him a sort of a household name and also became the thing that even today even though he’s done a lot of other acting and voice roles, it’s still the thing that he is known for to this day is playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, when Star Wars was first released, Venus was stationing direct also basically pretty closely. What day was Star Wars released?

NDB: May 25th, 1977.

PW: I’d also say it’s probably important for George Lucas as well who was born with Venus rising. Not retrograde, but you know? But like a Venus-centered person.

NDB: I want to get to George Lucas, I have a few things to say. He’s later on the list. We’ll get to George.

CB: So here is the release for Star Wars and the Sun is over there at four Gemini and Venus is at 20 Aries having just stationed. So it’s literally just come off of the Venus retrograde and Venus is stationing direct so it has almost the exact same phase relationship as in Mark Hamill’s chart in terms of stationing direct at the end of a retrograde.

NDB: Yeah, it’s like a phase parallel, if you will.

CB: Right, which is almost like a recurrence transit in a way.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the interesting thing about that is most of the people involved in the making of Star Wars, really including George Lucas himself, thought it was going to be a flop. George Lucas was sure he had just ruined his career. But Hamill, it seems really had the vision. I don’t think he knew it was going to be what it was, but he seems to be the one who didn’t think the movie was ridiculous, who sort of took the whole thing seriously and served as a cheerleader of sorts to Lucas. The making of Star Wars was incredibly difficult for him. And I think some of the actors, Alec Guinness, a little bit of Harrison Ford were sort of like, “What is this thing?” They weren’t necessarily… They were doing their job and they were taking it seriously as professionals but I don’t think they thought they were in anything remotely important or special. But Hamill seems to have been different in that regard and really had a sense of it.

CB: Right. Yeah. Okay, that’s a good example. And then one last one in this section going back to Muhammad Ali and the beginning of his career as somebody born with Venus retrograde, he also had a really important early event in his career that coincided with the Venus retrograde as well.

NDB: That’s right. Basically, in October of 1954, Cassius Clay as he was known at the time was a 12-year-old boy with a bicycle in Louisville, Kentucky and he was with a friend and he parked his bike I think outside this community center, and when he came back out, the bike was gone and he was really upset. It’s not like it was a cheap bike, it’s not like his family had a lot of money to replace it. And he got really upset and he went inside, there was a policeman I think inside that community center. And so young Cassius went to report this theft and he mentioned that he wanted to beat up the thief. And the policeman turned out was sort of an amateur boxing teacher who actually hosted a local TV show for young boxers like young novice boxers to have matches against each other. So by November 12th, which can’t be more than a couple of weeks after this bike theft, Cassius Clay found himself on television in his first-ever boxing match. And because he is going to become Muhammad Ali 10 years after this, we know that this is an important event. At the time, he’s just a 12-year-old who’s on local TV getting into his first boxing match, but it’s the beginning.

CB: Which is still huge.

NDB: Yeah, it’s huge. I mean, it’s a big deal to be 12 years old and to be on TV, I imagine.

CB: Yeah, and even localized without the knowledge of the rest of his career, we probably would have considered that to be a huge thing at the time even then. But knowing it in the broader context, obviously it’s also important as a sequence.

NDB: Yeah, it turned out he even won that match in a decision. It wasn’t a knockout or anything, but he won it. But yeah, it’s a big deal in and of itself, but then taken in the context with the rest of his career, that was a really… That was Venus retrograde in Scorpio. And he’s Leo rising, he’s got Aquarius on the Descendant as we saw, so that retrograde in Scorpio would cross his IC.

CB: Okay, so that’s really important because it’s one of his angles and then it’s aspecting all of his angular fixed sign planets, which are a stellium in Aquarius and a stellium in Taurus, and even some planets and some stuff in Leo.

NDB: Right, and ironically, it’s 24 years later to the month in 1978 during another Venus retrograde in Scorpio that he has that third match I was describing earlier where he won the heavyweight title a third time. So that was also a Venus retrograde in Scorpio right when his progressed Venus would be stationing direct. This is the beauty. This is how I often use Venus retrogrades and Venus synodic cycles in consultations, is that you can take this event in 1954 and directly connect it to this other event in 1978 and fathom the link between them. You know, take someone’s chronology and just find these two sections that you know have a connection to each other.

CB: Well, it’s bookending his entire career.

NDB: Yeah, like I said, he did wind up boxing a little further. He had his very last boxing match as Venus was getting ready to go in Aquarius where his natal Venus retrograde is. Like I said, this guy’s just got Venus retrograde all over his life, but I don’t want to complicate things. So it wasn’t the end of his career, but it was the peak of his career. It’s when he should have ended anyway.

CB: Yeah, still basically bookending his career. His boxing career starts and then he hits his final last hurrah, and peak becomes that last one in the same retrograde. So that’s demonstrating multiple points at this point that we’ve talked about like one natal Venus retrograde, and then persons born with natal Venus retrograde sometimes retrogrades can be more important for them subsequently that sometimes when it’s hitting prominent stuff in the chart, the retrograde can be more important for you. And then also that Venus retrogrades connect things in eight-year increments, when Venus goes retrograde in the same sign, sometimes there can be echoes or connections with things in the future from the past.

NDB: That’s right.

PW: Sure.

CB: Okay. That actually is a transition point in our next section and that’s the next section we’re going to talk about was that every eight years Venus goes retrograde in the same spot in the Zodiac and sometimes this will always often activate the same part of our chart. And sometimes if you want to know if an upcoming retrograde is going to be important for you, all you have to do is jump backwards and look backwards in eight-year increments. And if you responded strongly to previous Venus retrogrades, then this heightens the chance that the next one in that same area or that same spot in the zodiac will be important as well. And that example with Muhammad Ali is an example of that. Sometimes the same topics will be activated because it’s going retrograde in the same spot in the zodiac, so we remember for example the Brad Pitt example where he got together with Angelina Jolie when Venus went retrograde in his seventh house, and then eight years later they got engaged when Venus again went retrograde in his seventh house. Other times, it will just connect events that happen earlier in the life when Venus goes retrograde in one spot in the chart. And then if Venus goes retrograde there in the future in eight-year increments– like eight, 16, 24 years et cetera– it can connect those events by virtue of just if there was a foundation for something earlier then the repetition of that can connect those two times in your life as in the case here with Muhammad Ali and his getting started as a boxer and then hitting one of his last peaks and last major comebacks towards the end of his career under the same one. What was that, like 24 years later?

NDB: 24 years later. And I didn’t want to… The story is so rich but in 1970 when he had lost the title the first time for the draft, when he was making his reentry into boxing after he regained his license, his first boxing match was during a Venus retrograde in Scorpio in 1970. So it’s always sort of this new plateau for him. You know, he first entered boxing, and then he sort of re-entered boxing 16 years after the first entry into boxing. And then eight years after that re-entry, he wins that third title. So yeah, there’s all kinds of ways you can connect this. And yeah, if you understand the cycle and how it functions, and it’s not hard to memorize, then you can look at a chart like Ali’s and really immediately jump to where a lot of those turning points are going to be. And if you happen to have him as a client, abstractly speaking, then this is the kind of thing that you can do as an astrologer.

PW: Yeah. I like the way you’ve put this before, Nick, where you’ve mentioned that it’s almost like beat one of a new measure in music. It’s that sort of rhythm, I guess you can say, of a life.

NDB: Yeah, it’s the one. It’s the one. For people who are musically literate, it’s the one on the beat. Yeah.

PW: Beat one.

CB: So, how do you use this for a client?

NDB: For instance, you know that the Venus retrogrades occur in Aries, Scorpio, Gemini, Capricorn, Leo these days. So if you see a chart of someone who’s got a lot of, you know, has angles or a lot of prominent planets right in the spots where you know the Venus retrograde transit occurs, you’ve got this sort of shorthand. You don’t have to do as much exploration and looking through the ephemeris, you know, “Oh, yeah. Every eight years, this person has Venus cross their Ascendant or Venus transit opposite their Moon or whatever the case may be in this retrograde phase.” Yeah, yeah. Sorry, I was distracted for a second.

PW: Oh, no worries. I use it as part of rectifications. Because when someone sends me that chronology and I see that maybe they’ve had a similar type of event occur within a given Venus cycle, especially if they’ve lived long enough, then it can sometimes give me a clue as to the house that that Venus retrograde is happening in. So for example, if they’ve mentioned a career event that took place during a Venus retrograde and another career event that occurred eight years apart from that, and then there’s a gap, I might ask about that gap and ask what were you doing professionally at that time? And if it fits that theme, then that gives me a clue to potentially, oh, maybe that could be the 10th house or where the Midheaven is. So it’s useful in that respect. I would also say that-

CB: With rectification, before you move on from the rectification point, the three of us famously recorded an episode on this earlier this month where Nick, you famously got a rectification right due to Venus retrogrades going through Hillary Clinton’s one of the rising signs that was possible.

NDB: It was Mars. No, that was Mars. That was Mars with Hillary. But same principle. Same principle. You know, Mars has also got its own cycle very different from Venus but its own pattern. And if you get to know it, once again, you can sort of look at a chart, “No. Oh, yeah, the Mars transits across the Ascendant happen at these times.” And then you can zero in on the person’s chronology. The other thing I was going to say, just in terms of using this as a consulting astrologer, is one of the greatest gifts you can give a client is to equip them with this knowledge. Because if you already know that such and such Venus retrograde transit over their Ascendant has always been sort of this pivotal peak moment, which, consultation after consultation this always shows up to be true, you’ve also equipped them for the future. For as long as they’re alive every eight years, Venus is going to keep doing its retrograde over whatever point we’re talking about. And so as long as they’re with us, as long as they’re here, they can understand it the same way we understand daytime and nighttime. They understand something about their ongoing astrology that they won’t necessarily get from consultations, you know? Because they understand their lives and how they play out.

PW: Another important thing to bring up about the eight-year repetitions is that after certain numbers of eight-year repetitions, you also have coinciding cycles or returns of the planet. For example at 24 years, that’s not just a Venus return but also typically a Jupiter return or close to it. At 32, that’s Venus and Mars meeting up in the same places that they were relative to the Sun. At 40, that’s Venus and Mercury coming back to the same places that they were. Now, you may not always have the opportunity to use those intervals but it gives you a way of kind of qualitatively distinguishing between those different iterations of Venus that they are also coinciding with the returns of some other planets. And so if someone has those planets’ configuration in the natal chart, for example, if someone was born with Venus conjunct Jupiter then you know that age 24 is going to be especially good because it’s not just Venus returning but it’s also Jupiter returning. [crosstalk]

NDB: Actually, just on a side point since Mars came up, the Venus synodic cycle over time intersects with the synodic cycles of other planets. So indeed, at the age of 24, you have a merging of the Venus and Jupiter cycles. And so for people who have Jupiter-Venus configurations or what have you, that tends to be like a really critical Venus return. 32 is an age where Venus and Mars returns are simultaneous. So at the age of 32 and 64, you’ll see if people have really strong Venus-Mars stuff in their chart, the age of 32 or 64 will often be like a really important turning point for them. So yeah, that’s a more advanced use of the Venus retrograde cycle, but it does come into play insofar as it interacts with the other planets.

CB: Yeah, we should move forward through that. We’re about halfway through our outline. [laughter] I’m getting a little nervous here because we’re three hours into this. So to clarify that point, though, about Venus specifically since we’re talking about Venus synodic cycles in this section, that this is taking us back to what we mentioned earlier with the five-pointed star, which is just that Venus goes retrograde in the same area of the zodiac roughly every eight years. So in the current cycle with the Leo retrograde that’s going to take place between July and September of 2003, we know that Venus went retrograde-

NDB: 2023.

CB: Sorry, 2023. That it also went retrograde eight years earlier between July and September of 2015 in roughly the same area, and that it also went retrograde eight years before that, roughly in July and September of 2007, and then eight years before that, and eight years before that. That’s what you’re saying about repetitions, Nick, and consultations is that in a consultation if you established for example that the retrograde in Leo was important for a client in 2007 and 2015, then that gives you a really strong basis for making a prediction that this upcoming retrograde in 2023 is going to be important as well, as well as potentially some ability to make an inference about the way in which it might be important either in connecting successive events from the past or in bringing up topics that match that area of the chart.

NDB: Exactly. And as I was saying, not only do you have that, but you’ve equipped the subject with the knowledge that long after they’ve seen you in July to September of 2031 and July to September of 2039 and 2047, it’s going to happen again and again. So if they live another 50, 60 years, they have this understanding, this basic understanding of how the cycles play out in their lives. And you suddenly have this totally different perspective of how your life is unfolding and what kind of control or lack thereof that one has over situations and choices and circumstances. So yeah, it’s knowledge that just keeps on giving. It’s not like a Pluto transit, like, “Oh, no, what’s this Pluto transit going to be?” And you tell them and then the Pluto transit ends and then you never have to think about it again. It’s not like that.

CB: Right. Well, you can’t do the same repetition because you can’t look back and say, “Well, 200 years ago the last time Pluto was in early Aquarius…

PW: Maybe if you have vampire clients, you know?

CB: Yeah, or you’re talking about past lives. But with this, you can actually do repetitions in eight-year increments. One thing we have to mention with respect to that is that there’s a two-degree offset because every year Venus stations retrograde two degrees earlier in the zodiac than it did the previous eight years, so that it slowly drifts over time. And so that’s why for example in this list of dates that I have, even though this upcoming retrograde between July and September of 2023 is going to take place, it’s going to start– Venus is going to station retrograde at the end of Leo, that previous retrograde previously it actually started at the beginning of Virgo and then retrograded back into Leo. So there was an overlap between Virgo and Leo. But from this point forward, because of that two-degree offset, it’s going to be entirely in Leo for quite a while.

NDB: Yeah, it’s two zodiacal degrees, two to three zodiacal degrees, and two to three calendar dates earlier than the previous time. For instance, you showed Mark Hamill’s chart a few minutes ago when we saw that he had Venus stationing direct in Virgo. So in 1951, that Venus retrograde was still entirely in Virgo. It hadn’t started wandering into Leo yet, which I think started in 1959 with the next return. So yeah, over time, it takes about I think 120 years for Venus to retrograde through an entire zodiacal sign. So this Venus retrograde that’s happening this summer in Leo, back in the 20th century, a lot of for the first half of the 20th century, it occurred in Virgo. And then in the 19th century, it occurred in Libra. So there’s even this very interesting way if you study history like I do, you look at charts of people born in the 19th century. And that was an era when Venus was retrograde in signs like Taurus and Libra, whereas people born in the 20th century have Venus retrogrades in signs like Aries and Scorpio. This almost speaks to, you know, people from the 19th century seem almost alien to us in terms of our differences in culture and character. And the fact that the Venus retrogrades happen in entirely different signs from century to century, it also sort of speaks to cultural change over centuries, you know, that we’re never the same community that we were 100 years ago, that something’s always shifting and we’re becoming… Yeah, we’re constantly changing, constantly becoming something else.

CB: Yeah, as well as tastes and aesthetics and longer-term generational shifts in terms of that.

NDB: Right. When Venus is retrograde in Libra and Taurus, women want to have these big flowery hats and whalebone dresses or whatever. [chuckles] And then it wanders into the Mars signs, and then it’s cut your hair, start drinking whiskey, smoking cigarettes, and running for office.

CB: Right. So, let’s see. Let’s do some examples of this really quickly. One famous time twins one that I know you like to mention is Charlie Chaplin, right?

NDB: Charlie Chaplin, and then a certain homeless Austrian painter who wandered down to Germany, fought in the First World War, and became a very powerful autocratic political leader in Germany. And he happened to have a very similar mustache to the one Charlie Chaplin wore in the movies. I’m speaking, of course, Joe Biden. [laughter] Joke. Joke. Joke. Everyone knows who I’m talking about. Kanye West has basically expressed admiration for this person.

CB: Yeah, they may not know. So the comparison is Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, who were born very close to each other. Right?

NDB: Four days apart. Charlie Chaplin was born April 16th, 1889 and Hitler was born April 20th, 4/20, 1889.

CB: Okay. So here’s Charlie Chaplin’s chart. He was born with Scorpio rising and Venus retrograde at 18 degrees of Taurus conjunct Mars in the seventh whole sign house, also squaring Saturn at 13 Leo in the 10th house. So there’s Charlie Chaplin’s chart. And then-

NDB: Not a mutual reception. It’s similar to Ali’s square but you notice not a mutual reception. So in other words it’s that Saturn. Yeah.

CB: Yeah. It’s also different because it’s a night chart so that Saturn is actually more difficult for Charlie Chaplin, whereas Muhammad Ali had a day chart.

NDB: Yeah, yeah.

CB: Yeah. Let’s see. Then Hitler was born with Libra rising and Venus retrograde at 16 degrees of Taurus conjunct Mars in the eighth whole sign house, and those are both squaring Saturn 13 degrees of Leo. This is interesting because it’s a day chart, so the sect is different. And sect is definitely a relevant factor in terms of interpreting a chart overall, as well as potentially for Venus retrogrades and how people respond to Venus in their birth chart and by transit. All right, so what are the striking… And the point of this focus of this one of them being time twins is that they both have some very interesting parallels of important turning points in their life that actually happened to coincide with Venus retrogrades.

NDB: Exactly. We’ll go to 1913, the year that both men turned 24. It’s in May of 1913 when Venus is again retrograde in Taurus that first of all, you know, Charlie Chaplin is a touring vaudevillian. He’s from England, but he’s in the United States touring with a vaudeville troupe. And someone, a filmmaker I think named Mack Sennett… Hears of him, I forget if he saw him or someone he knew saw him perform. And Charlie Chaplin, because of his vaudevillian performances, receives a telegram inviting him to come get involved in this new burgeoning industry called “cinema” in this strange place in California where people are starting to make movies called “Hollywood”.

CB: And he was born in the UK, right?

NDB: Yeah, he’s English. And he’s had a very rough childhood, part of it was spent in an orphanage because his mother had quite serious mental health issues and his father had abandoned them so there’s a whole sort of story there. But yeah, he grew up in the theatre and he’s a vaudevillian performer, which is theatre, for people who don’t know. Vaudeville, before we had movies and television, people just acted things out on stage, you know, comedy and musicals and things like that. So he was part of that culture in that industry and cinema was just starting to really become a thing. And he gets this telegram inviting him to come to Hollywood. Now, we know this is important because he’s going to be Charlie Chaplin, one of the biggest Hollywood icons of all time. I mean, even 100 years later his films still kind of have a power that most films that are over 100 years old don’t. So that’s an important invitation. And coincidentally, that same month-

CB: And this is tied in and also, I forgot to mention it just because he’s 24, that’s three Venus cycles after he was born. So it’s actually specifically tied into the one that he was born under, which is the Venus retrograde in Taurus.

NDB: Exactly. Yeah.

PW: And Jupiter.

NDB: Right. Right. And then coincidentally that same month, May of 1913 is the month that Hitler being an Austrian, moves to Munich. And because he is someday going to be the furor of Germany, the fact that this is when he moves to Germany, this is obviously a really important turning point. If he hadn’t moved to Munich, well, who knows how the world would be different today? So just setting the stage in terms of both these men arriving to their, you know, their destinies sort of find them or they find their destiny, if you will, by relocation in this case.

CB: Right. So they’re both born with Venus retrograde and they both have this crucial turning point where they move to the areas that would become so important for them and where they would become famous at that same time.

NDB: Yeah, and also both of them are in foreign countries. And like for Chaplin, this is going to be… You know, he’s got Saturn in the 10th house in a night chart. He’s going to live in the United States for the next 40 years but he’ll never get an American passport. He doesn’t become an American citizen, which… This is called foreshadowing, folks. Spoiler alert. That’ll be a problem for him in 40 years, and 40 years is a multiple of eight but we’ll get there when we get there. But yeah, he’s a foreigner in Hollywood. Of course, since he’s a silent film actor, it’s not like his British accent is going to ruin him for any audience. It’s part of what makes him such a huge success because his movies are loved by everyone. You don’t need to speak English to like his movies. But then Hitler being Austrian, moving to Germany. Part of the reason he leaves Austria is because he doesn’t like Austria. He’s a real sort of… Well, we know he’s a sort of German racist, right? He’s a racial superiorist. No, that’s not a word. He thinks the German race is superior. There, that’s the rescue. And so he’s going to Germany as this Austrian and the fact that he is a foreigner, it’s this weird phenomenon with world dictators, you know? That Napoleon was, of course, going to rule France, Stalin was a Georgian who ruled Russia, you know? There’s this sort of thing where the foreigner comes in and takes over a country. And that’s an important part of the Hitler story is that he’s Austrian. He’s not a born German citizen, so that makes him all the more enthusiastic, in a way.

CB: Yeah. In both instances, they’re outsiders that come in and then despite being outsiders end up becoming almost iconic within that culture in some way of not just really embracing it, but being fully embraced by the culture in an odd way. So let’s jump forward though to the… There’s a number of Venus retrogrades that are important for both of them but in 1945, there’s a Venus retrograde that ends up being hugely important for both of them at the same time.

NDB: Yeah. In 1945, Chaplin is involved in this very public scandal. Remember Venus retrograde is scandal. So he had already been involved in some scandals before, but in 1945 he’s on trial for a paternity suit. There’s a young actress that he had had an affair with about two years earlier. And he was grooming her, in the modern sense of the word, for a film career but she turned out to be less to his liking than he thought so he terminated their agreement and their relationship and she didn’t take that very kindly. And she wound up taking him to court on a paternity suit. Now as it happened, we didn’t have DNA testing in 1945 but there was a blood test that was used for paternity suits in these days, and his blood test turned out negative. He was not the actual birth father of her child. But because he was a much older, rich, left-leaning celebrity and foreigner, the court found him liable and responsible for this child anyways.

CB: Yeah, and this is a Venus retrograde that I think is notably a Scorpio rising. It’s Venus retrograde in his seventh house. He has that natally but it’s activating the seventh house and he has this big relationship scandal that happens at the time that kind of is very negative for him overall,  just in general. Summarising a very bad time in his life, and then… Is that a good summary?

NDB: Very bad time in his life. Yeah. Yeah, and this is April of 1945. So April of 1945 is also a big month for Hitler. First of all, he gets married. But then-

CB: Well, that’s nice.

PW: The next day…

NDB: [laughs] But the next day, he and his wife commit suicide because Russian troops are closing in on them. So yeah, not much of a honeymoon there. [crosstalk]

PW: The ruler of the 7th in the 8th.

CB: I mean, that was the honeymoon. The honeymoon was that they both committed suicide the next day because they’ve lost the war, the Russian and US forces are both coming in from both sides, the entire country is just in shambles and the end is near. And so in the end, he gets married but then also takes his own life. And it’s interesting in terms of him just because he had Libra rising and Venus was retrograde natally in his eighth house conjunct Mars and square Saturn. And that same retrograde that was in the seventh house of Chaplin, it was in the eighth house of Hitler and he ends up unaliving himself.

NDB: Yes. Yes, unaliving himself. Well, there’s one last thing just to say about Chaplin. So Hitler’s shuffled off and we don’t need to worry about him anymore. Eight years after Chaplin’s lost paternity suit, he sails to Switzerland with his wife and children because he’s now married. And while he’s gone, the American government revokes his visa. Like I said, 40 years earlier when he got that telegram, he never became a US citizen so he’s in the country at the good graces of the US government. And it’s the height of the McCarthy era and Chaplin is known to be a communist sympathizer, and he’s very suspect as an alien who has never applied for American citizenship despite living there and making a good life for himself for 40 years. So they revoke his passport and he winds up sort of settling in Switzerland for the rest of his life. He does finally come back to the United States in April of 1972 to receive an honorary Academy Award, and that occurs when Venus is about to go retrograde in Cancer to Gemini. So even there, that’s a later triumph. But just to focus on 1953, remember in 1913 he’s invited to Hollywood where he will settle and create this life for him. And then 40 years later in 1953 during the same Venus retrograde in Taurus, his American film career ends.

PW: And what was Hitler doing at that time? [laughs] Running? Yeah, I was just kidding.

NDB: Although there was a big East German uprising during this Venus retrograde in 1953. Germany itself actually had a Venus return from the devastation of the country. So there is something there.

PW: Which is also the peace treaty?

NDB: Yeah, exactly. Because it was just a couple of days after Hitler took his own life that the Nazis surrendered. Yeah.

CB: So with those two examples, we can kind of see the thread of it connecting events in eight-year increments. You know, Hitler moves to Munich, Germany. Hitler having been the source of the destruction of Germany and everything falling apart, ends his life there at the same time in Berlin. And then Chaplin going to Hollywood versus getting blacklisted from Hollywood in 1953 from the US, and basically having bookends or tail ends of his film career.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah.

CB: Got it. Okay, that’s pretty good. Patrick, I know you mentioned some research you’ve done on marriage. Right?

PW: Not my research, this is just from the US Census. So the US Census does all this research and statistics of the ages at which people get married and the length and duration of marriages. And so there’s this really interesting summary from one of these US Census reports about the durations of marriages. And we can probably link to this for the episode, but basically it says that first marriages, which ended in divorce lasted a median of eight years for men and women overall, and the median time from marriage to separation was shorter about seven years. It also says that the median duration of time between the divorce from a first marriage and a second marriage is about four years, [chuckles] and the median duration of second marriages that ended in divorce are also eight years. So we see the eight-year Venus synodic period being the average length of a first marriage and the average length of a second marriage, and that the amount of time even between the ending of the first marriage and the second marriage is another Venus interval. You know, four years, the halfway point. I mean, we’ve already brought up examples here already of the eight-year interval showing up in relationships but it’s even more insane that this actually shows up in the statistics themselves. And to the point where there’s even this really hilarious Psychology Today article, it says, “Why so many couples divorce after eight years.” Predictably, the article does not mention anything about astrology or Venus but this is very very obvious to anyone who’s aware of this cycle as you now are, that this is some fundamental part of the timing and rhythm of human social relations. And so in many ways very unsurprisingly, the eight-year interval happens to show up as a kind of average amount of time that a marriage lasts.

CB: Yeah, that’s really incredibly striking.

PW: There’s also in the newer census reports that summarize findings from 2016, they didn’t break it down into the median duration but they gave the median duration for different groups. And when I compared those times to Venus phases, they also matched up. So there were some groups where the average was 19.2 years, and that happens to be an exact number of Venus synods, basically, from whatever starting point you use. So the Venus phases end up showing up in these averages statistically. So I think that’s really cool.

CB: Yeah, that’s super cool. All right. So eight-year Venus cycle showing up in a lot of different ways connecting events, acting as a turning point, and sometimes being tied into a broader series. This also is true even in world events. One of the recent ones was the Venus retrograde that occurred last year when Russia invaded Ukraine. This was widely noted by astrologers at the time because it was exactly an exact eight-year repetition of when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine eight years before that in 2014. [crosstalk]

PW: They’re trying to get the band back together, right? That’s why it’s Venus. It’s trying to add or merge things that have previously been broken apart, right?

CB: Yeah, from the Russian perspective.

PW: Right, from the Russian perspective. I’m not obviously endorsing that perspective, but I’m just saying that’s what it was driven by on that part.

NDB: Yeah. And if you look back like the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Russian Revolution, the October Revolution so-called of 1917, both of those occurred not long before that same Venus retrograde that you would see cyclically in 2014 and 2022. So there’s also this broader story that involves Russia and its ongoing issues in that same return. So, you can do that. You can even go really far back and still find these patterns there.

CB: Yeah, so this eight-year cycle can even be applied in world events and in mundane events, especially studying countries especially for very long periods of time. That’s something you specialize in particular and that people can find more videos and different lectures and live streams that you’re currently giving on your YouTube channel, which I’ll put a link to in the description below this episode.

All right, so let’s move into the next section. One of the things we’ve already talked about is just looking to see what house Venus will go retrograde in, and that’s a really simple way to see some topics that may come up for you if a Venus retrograde is coming up in the future, where you can sort of anticipate what area of life some of that retrograde may pertain to for you. We’ve already done a few examples of that. Brad Pitt was the example of the Venus retrograde when he got together with Angelina Jolie, and then it went retrograde in his seventh house again eight years later when he got engaged to her. We had that example of Charlie Chaplin just now who had a seventh house one and he had that major relationship debacle that happened that was very public. What are some other… Do we have any other examples that come to mind of ones that happened in a specific house?

PW: Yeah. So, Machine Gun Kelly has Gemini rising and Venus went retrograde in Gemini in May of 2020 when he got together with Megan Fox. And then Megan Fox has Capricorn rising, and they got engaged when Venus went retrograde in Capricorn over her Ascendant. So they both had Venus go retrograde through the first houses as their personalities kind of became enmeshed or entwined with each other’s when they got together and then when they got engaged. So I thought that was kind of interesting because we might think of those as seventh house events, and they are and I think there are other ways you can account for that, but I think it was interesting that through their connection with each other, they kind of formed a new entity in some ways. They became this… Sort of reformed their own identities by becoming this…

NDB: Power couple.

PW: Yeah, power couple that’s a bit bigger than both of them.

CB: Sure. One of the ways in terms of this that you can know if a Venus retrograde is going to be important for you is if it happens on an angle. This is because the angles are the foundation of the birth chart. This is true, especially of any of the four whole sign angles, which are the rising sign, the fourth whole sign house, the seventh whole sign house, and the 10th whole sign house. So with that, some of the keywords that you can pay attention to if Venus is about to go retrograde in one of those is if Venus goes retrograde in your first house, sometimes issues pertaining to yourself, your appearance, or your body can come up as pretty straightforward ones in addition to just it being more important for you personally or relating to you personally because it’s your first house as we’ve mentioned in those two examples you gave. Sometimes those topics can come up. If a Venus retrograde happens in your fourth house, issues related to your home, your family, your roots, or your origins can come up. I used that example, for example, of Venus retrograde hitting my IC or stationing on my IC which also has fourth house significations and reconnecting with family. Yeah, seventh house can be relationships, partnerships, but also just your interactions with other people in your life in general. And the 10th house can be career, reputation, life direction, and superiors. Yeah, so those are all possible examples. Does the George Lucas one have an actual connection with the house topics or is it just that they’re obviously important ones that happened in angles?

NDB: Yeah. I mean, they’re important ones that happened on angles. They happened in his seventh house. I wouldn’t say they’re like… They don’t have to do with relationships, they have to do with his work.

PW: Does that boost his Venus?

NDB: No, but actually where it becomes a seventh house thing is that it has to do largely with other people’s responses to his work if you will. Or the considerations he has to make, not for his own artistic choices but in terms of how people respond to them or what his legacy is. That kind of thing. Is that where you’d want to go or do you want to find a different example, Chris.

CB: I’m feeling like moving on because we’re starting to get long and lose steam here, so I was thinking about jumping to the next section unless you have-

PW: I had a Venus retrograde in my sixth house when I lost a job. [laughs] So that’s always kind of stuck with me because it was specifically because of a challenged social dynamic I had with my assistant in that position, which again, this sort of sixth house thing. Basically, the issue was I was the music director and they were the assistant music director, but they were there for ages before I ever got there and kind of tried to usurp my authority at every turn using the institutional advantage. So they didn’t want to have the responsibilities of being the head, but they still asserted all the privileges. And so it just caused a lot of difficult circumstances but that assistant was a lot more popular with the staff so that’s why I ended up getting the axe. And that is a whole… Every Venus retrograde story is a wormhole, right? [Nick laughs] But yeah, that was just one example just from my own life of Venus in the sixth. I have a bunch of others I can think of off the top of my head. Venus going retrograde in my 11th was being introduced to this group that I started doing the piano accompanying for, this singing group. And that was also where I met my wife. It was during that Venus retrograde that’s when we started dating. And that was also a very complicated situation because she’d just gotten out of her marriage. She was freshly separated, not yet divorced, so it was kind of complicated. Anyway…

NDB: I can just say being Leo rising, the Venus retrograde in Leo is always this major new chapter in my life and I expect it again. It’s always this new step. It’s been very consistent, which I guess was part of what helped me recognize the power of the cycle. Although I first noticed it in other subjects I was studying before I really pointed it out myself. But without question, the Venus retrograde in Leo in my first house has that new chapter vibe.

CB: Nice. All right.

PW: I can’t believe how many Venus retrograde events I was able to find from my childhood that I sort of forgot about.

NDB: Yeah!

PW: I remember I was obsessed with my teacher from when I was only seven years old on November 5th, 1994. Because it was Guy Fawkes Night and that’s when she introduced me to her boyfriend at the school event and I remember just being distraught. [laughs] And it was a Venus retrograde in Scorpio.

NDB: You were seven years old. [Laughs]

PW: Yeah, and I had Venus in Scorpio. So it’s just crazy because I always remembered that, and then I finally put it together, “Oh, that was a Venus retrograde event!” Anyway, I just wanted to bring up a couple of other examples of Venus in the houses.

CB: All right, so moving on to the next section. One of the last things we wanted to mention was annual profections. This is another way that you can figure out if a upcoming Venus retrograde period is going to be important for you if it’s activated through annual profections. Because as one of the time-lord techniques, annual profections helps you to know which planetary transits are going to be more important in the coming year. And you can see some of the previous episodes I’ve done on annual profections just by searching through the podcast archives for more on that technique. We’ve already mentioned one, didn’t we, where somebody… I guess it was just a profected sign, but one of the primary things is-

NDB: Kurt Cobain, we mentioned. Kurt Cobain, we mentioned his profection.

CB: Yeah but one of the more straightforward ways is just if you’re in a Taurus or a Libra profection year, then it means that Venus is activated as the Lord of the year. And in those instances if Venus goes retrograde at that time, you’re going to want to pay more attention to that retrograde than you would in other years.

NDB: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: Okay.

PW: Megan Fox was in a 10th house Libra profection until May 16th, 2020. And just before her solar return in April to May of 2020 was when she got together with Machine Gun Kelly.

NDB: So when she’s starting the Venus retrograde.

PW: Yeah, exactly.

NDB: Okay, that’s a good one.

PW: So Venus was her ruler of the year and that’s when it happened.

NDB: Yeah, and they’re a very sort of Venus retrogradey kind of couple, like you said.

PW: For sure. We actually talked about it on the February 2022 monthly forecast when we were kind of doing a recap of, you know, what happened during that Venus retrograde? And we talked about the drama with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and their ongoing divorce saga, and the extremely almost unhealthy Megan Fox-Machine Gun Kelly dynamic with Venus retrograde conjunct Pluto in Capricorn at that time.

CB: Yeah. So yeah, pay attention too if you have Venus as the Lord of the year in profections because then it’s going to be more important. Or if Venus goes retrograde in the profected sign, like for example with this upcoming retrograde if you’re in a Leo profection year, then it means that that retrograde in Leo is going to be more important for you than it might be for other people. And we’ve used already the example of Kurt Cobain with that where he was in a Virgo profection year and Venus went retrograde in Virgo in the year that Nevermind came out, their biggest album came out.

PW: Machine Gun Kelly was in a Capricorn profection year when they got engaged during Venus retrograde in Capricorn. It’s actually a bit of a darker story than you’d think because it’s his eighth house that was profected. And at first they didn’t make sense so it’s like what’s so eighth house about this? But it turns out a little later, he released this song called Last November referring to November 2021. And he talks about this miscarriage that they’d had. And he has Saturn in Capricorn in the eighth house and that was their profected sign. But that’s also where Venus went retrograde just a month later, and that was when they officially got engaged in January of 2022. So there was this somber deathly story that was happening in his life at the same time or in the same temporal proximity to the engagement concern with Venus going retrograde in the profected sign. So, that example ends up being a good demonstration on a few of these different techniques.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Profections are super important, so people can check out previous episodes for more on that. Moving on to shadow periods. We’ve already kind of mentioned this, which is just that shadow periods extend the timeframe of the retrograde and you need to pay attention to some times that the first pass of the Venus retrograde transit if it transits a natal planet in your chart, can open up a sequence of events that will not be fully finished or wrapped up until the ending post-retrograde shadow period. So just paying attention to not just the retrograde itself, but for example putting up the chart for today, we know later this summer Venus is going to retrograde back to 12 degrees of Leo and that’s where it will station direct. So right now, today Venus is at seven degrees of Leo. So as soon as Venus gets to 12 degrees of Leo, that sort of begins the pre-retrograde shadow phase. And at that point, you sort of should start paying attention to events especially because there’s a build-up to the retrograde at that point and sometimes the events that are precursors to the retrograde will start happening once that pre-retrograde shadow begins.

PW: So with Venus square Uranus, maybe some one-night stands in the near future for some people. Right?

NDB: Or encounters with the alien life forms.

PW: [laughs] With Venus square Uranus.

CB: Or both, if you combine those. [laughter]

PW: Close encounters of what kind?

NDB: And Chris joins in on the ribald history.

CB: All right, so shadow periods. And then finally… Okay. Yeah. Well, that was it. Just paying attention to natal planets within the retrograde range because it’s going to hit them three different times. Yeah, I think that brings us up to the final section, which is just that we did want to mention your work, Nick, which is paying attention to the broader intervals and phases that these retrogrades are connected to and trying to track them in that entire sequence through those eight-year repetitions.

NDB: That’s right.

CB: And coming up with a classification or a way of categorizing those that’s not just tied to the zodiac but is more focused on the eight-year intervals themselves.

NDB: Yeah, basically what I’ve done is I’ve mapped that eight-year Venus cycle into a sort of diagram slash ephemeris that allows an astrologer to identify any segment of that eight-year cycle. It’s broken down into 20 components. Do you have the diagram? Do you want to show it so it’s easier to describe?

CB: Yeah, here’s one of them. Is this one that’ll work?

NDB: Yeah. Yeah, that works fine. So yeah, you can see that the inner ring is a 10 division with letters A, B, C, D, and there’s black and white five of each. Those are the phases. So the black D, the black C, the black B, the black A, and the black E, those represent Venus in its evening star phase. And then the white letters represent Venus in its morning star phase. And then that outer ring with the four colors, the red, white, blue, and black, these I call Venus intervals. And these map the changing speed of Venus because Venus moves at different speeds at different times of its cycle. And it’s the red intervals – you see the red one, the red two, the red three, the red four, the red five – these are where the Venus retrogrades happen. Chris has been talking about shadow periods, which start about 32-33 days before the retrograde station. I extend that a bit further back to 50 days before the retrograde station and 50 days after. That’s where the intervals begin because that’s where the greatest elongation, the greatest distance between Venus and the Sun starts. And that’s where I draw the parameters where you’re really entering into what I would call the Venus retrograde interval. So it’s an extra 16-17 days on either side apart before and after the shadow periods, but that’s where I really identify the very specific section of the Venus cycle where this Venus retrograde… You know, the thing we’ve been describing–the changing consensus, the revisiting the rules, the breaking the rules, all that kind of stuff– to my mind really begins in between the two greatest elongations of Venus where it begins and then you get the Venus retrograde and then it ends at the other greatest elongation. Watson and I meet every week to do a team stream and we talk about this material. So if you are interested, I’ve got a video on YouTube called “The Introduction to The Venus Synodic Cycle”, which explains it much better than I just did now. Yeah, we regularly do live streams now to explain this material. There are ways to calculate, like now on Astro-Seek, my what I call it the Phase Interval Map, so the PIM. Yeah, this is the video I made on YouTube about the PIM.

CB: So people can just Google or go on YouTube and search “Introduction to The Venus Synodic Cycle”.

NDB: Yeah, or you can look up my name and it’s sort of the pinned video on my YouTube channel. And yeah, regularly on live streams we talk about a number of different things related to astrology, but a good portion of it we talk about the Venus synodic cycle because there’s so much material to cover. So if you are skeptical or if you are interested or what have you, this is material that we really expand on. Even though this podcast is run four hours and 20 minutes, there is way more that we can say about the Venus synodic cycle. So if you’re interested in the intervals, please do come check it out. Astro-seek.com now has a feature where you can calculate these intervals and phases, so very grateful to Petr for doing that. And actually other people, Watson included. Watson’s made this Excel sheet to use to map the synodic cycle in my PIM model. And yeah, a couple of other people have approached me with projects that they’ve started and are really fascinating and that also include this PIM. So it is something that’s sort of catching on. The main idea is that it’s… Yeah, it’s a really… There you are. There’s the Astro-Seek Venus synodic cycle map.

CB: So people can just Google “Venus Phases and Intervals Astro-Seek” and that page will come up.

PW: Make sure to put a dash between Astro and Seek. Astro-Seek.com.

NDB: Yeah, that’s a great way to sort of if you’ve seen my introduction to the Venus synodic cycle video and you’re wondering am I a black 3, am I white four, or whatever the case may be, thanks to astro-seek.com, you can look that up yourself. And then yeah, check out the live streams that Patrick and I do to get some-

PW: On Sundays, afternoon.

NDB: Sunday afternoons. Yes.

CB: And people can find that partially through your YouTube channel, which is youtube.com/nickdaganbest?

NDB: Yeah. Yeah. It also runs on your YouTube channel as well.

PW: Yeah, it’s also on my YouTube channel. It’s also on my Twitch, it’s on my Twitter, I’m trying to get it set up with my Facebook. So pretty much anywhere that I am, you should be able to find a link to it.

NDB: Yeah. Yeah, on the Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook. And I want to add the Bluesky and the… What is it? Mammoth? What’s the other one?

PW: Mastodon.

NDB: Mastodon. I’m going to add them there. So yeah, even though this has been one of the longest episodes of this show ever, there’s a lot more to say. So I hope you’ll join us.

CB: Yeah, so people can check out your YouTube channels for that where you’re going through a lot of different biographies and showing how Venus retrogrades connect different events and turning points in people’s lives, and using this as a handy tool for using shorthand in order to divide those periods of time and do some of those studies with Venus retrogrades. Because it turns out Venus retrogrades can be more interesting and even complex than what we’ve gotten into here in this episode where we’ve kind of almost scratched the surface in some ways. But hopefully, we’ve given people some ideas for how they can understand and an access point for understanding Venus retrogrades in their own charts both in terms of natally, and especially with upcoming transiting retrograde periods and how that can work in their life. I’d love if some people could share some stories with us in the comments on YouTube, especially, of just how past Venus retrogrades have worked out for them, how it’s matched up with their chart, and also if they have any good anecdotes about those eight-year repetitions of Venus retrogrades and repetitions in their life, that would be interesting to hear as well.

NDB: I guarantee you, if you look, you will find it. It’s so reliable that if you follow the steps we’ve outlined, you’ll find gold. You’ll find gold.

CB: Yeah. All right. Concluding remarks. Do we have any concluding remarks about Venus retrogrades in general or things that we’ve learned during the course of this?

NDB: Be kind to each other, be honest with each other. Yeah, I don’t know.

CB: Yeah. All right. I mean, some of those things-

PW: All you need is love, man! All you need is love. Right? [chuckles] It’s pretty much the Venus…

NDB: Recorded and released in the summer of ’67, not too long before Venus went retrograde in Leo. The Summer of Love was definitely Venus retrograde, it was 1967. So was the Summer of Punk of 1975, so go figure. And the Summer of Grunge, 1991.

CB: Well, I think that people should pay attention to this upcoming Venus retrograde and see how it works out for them in that specific spot in their chart and then learn from that. But also just go back and study the previous retrogrades in eight-year increments, and once you do that you’ll learn a lot about how this transit works out in practice and how you can apply it in the lives of other people. Not just to understand what it means natally, but also just as a very complex timing technique using something that’s relatively simple as a transit that occurs every 18 months.

NDB: Indeed.

CB: All right, cool. Well, I guess that’s it for this episode. So thanks, both of you for joining me today.

PW: Thanks for having us.

NDB: Thank you, Chris. Thank you.

CB: Cool. I’ll put links to both of your websites and stuff in the description below this video on YouTube or on The Astrology Podcast website for the entry on this episode, and people can find out more information about that. Otherwise, thanks, everyone for watching this episode. Good luck in this upcoming Venus retrograde. Let us know how it goes in the comments, and we’ll see you again next time.

A special thanks to all the patrons that helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Mimi Stargazer, and Jeanne Marie Kaplan. If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it, then please consider becoming a patron through our page on patreon.com. In exchange, you can get access to bonus content that’s only available to patrons of the podcast, such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the monthly forecast episodes, our monthly Auspicious Elections Podcast or another exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast, or you can even get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information visit patreon.com/astrologypodcast.

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If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology, then I’d recommend checking out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune where I go over the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. You can get a print copy of the book through Amazon or other online retailers, or there’s an ebook version available through Google Books.

If you’re really looking to expand your studies of astrology then I would recommend my Hellenistic astrology course, which is an online course on ancient astrology where I take people through basic concepts up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. There’s over 100 hours of video lectures as well as guided readings of ancient texts, and by the time you finish the course, you will have a strong foundation on how to read birth charts as well as make predictions. You can find out more information at courses.theastrologyschool.com.

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