Venus Retrograde Conjunct Pluto: Scrutinizing Power and Respect in Relationships
On December 19, 2021, Venus will be stationing retrograde in the sign of Capricorn – she won’t be turning direct until January 30, 2022. In my last podcast and post I went through the meaning of Venus conjunct Pluto through the houses, which still applies here as well.
Venus goes retrograde every 18 months, and when she does relationships are being challenged: we are asked to review what is working, what needs to be adjusted and perhaps what needs to come to an end. However, this does not just mean romantic relationships, it can also speak to how we relate to our neighborhood, our family, our ancestry and so on. The topics that might come up for you will depend on which house has Capricorn on the cusp in your natal house.
To gain additional insight into how this might affect you personally, it’s also useful to think back to the last time Venus went retrograde in Capricorn (and was also quite close to Pluto), which was from December 31, 2013 to February 1, 2014. The topics and themes that came up for you at that time will help give you a preview of what might come up this time around.
Pluto is very much about power and the hidden, particularly that which we fear. With Venus retrograde conjunct Pluto, I think a lot of issues will be coming up in the collective around (poisonous) power, the abuse of power and powerlessness (all Plutonian themes) and particularly how they pertain to women and sexuality (Venus) in terms of respect, or lack thereof, within structures (Capricorn).
Planetary attunement ritual
As I mentioned in the podcast, I’m personally locked into this Venus Pluto retrograde cycle because it will be sitting directly on top of my own natal Venus in the 5th house. I plan to channel this energy into some creative projects (the 5th house is perfect for this) as well as do planetary attunements to lean into things a bit.
So what is a planetary attunement?
A planetary attunement is a short ritual you do on the day and hour of a certain planet to check in and feel its energy. If that planet is doing great, the ritual will feel pleasant and easy going (unless its Mars or Saturn, in which case it will feel “good” in the way they do good). If it’s in bad shape (e.g. in the sign of its detriment or fall, getting some nasty aspect from the malefics, etc.) you’ll feel this too.
Sometimes people get nervous about doing planetary attunement rituals, because they’re worried this more challenging or negative energy might affect them in a direct way, but really you’re just checking in. In my experience, you feel the energy during the ritual and a little bit afterward, but it’s not something that lingers.
If you’d like to feel your way into what Venus retrograde conjunct Pluto stands for (instead of just trying to understand it intellectually), or lean into it if it’s affecting you personally, feel free to try out this little ritual. However, don’t feel like you have to. Plutonian energy is pretty intense, so if you don’t feel up to it or if you give the ritual a try and it feels overwhelming, you most definitely do not have to continue.
Venus planetary attunement
A Venus planetary attunement should be performed on Fridays (the day Venus rules) during the hour of Venus. Venus always rules the hour when the sun rises on her day, but if – like me– you’re not a morning person, you can choose to do the ritual on one of the other hours she rules on Friday (the afternoon one is usually between 12:30 and 3:00 depending on the time of year). To find the right time, check here.
Day and hour is the most ideal choice, but if Fridays just don’t work for some reason, you could do it during Venus’ hour on another day instead. If you want to throw yourself into things even more, you could do the ritual several times a week on any day during Venus’ hour, although I’m not sure I’d suggest doing so when the energy is this intense.
Once you have the right time, do the following (shout out to my teacher Austin Coppock for suggesting the first part here!):
Sit down and get comfortable
Light a candle and incense (for Venus, a good choice is rose, peppermint or anything that smells sweet and pleasant)
Close your eyes and focus for a minute on your breath
Now imagine your body is surrounded by a rich, verdant green. Breathe it in.
Now imagine liquid copper is flowing up from the Earth. It enters through the soles of your feet and coats your bones, going slowly up your spine, down your arms, all the way to the top of your head.
Imagine the planet Venus floating above your head. Once you’ve visualized this, imagine the symbol for Venus inside your heart.
Keeping your eyes closed, breathe and sit with the energy as long as you like.
At this point, I also usually recite the Orphic hymn to Venus before the final short meditation, so feel free to add that in if you’d like.
During this Venus retrograde conjunct Pluto period, I plan to try reciting the poem I wrote yesterday and read in the podcast. If it resonates with you, you can do the same, but please only keep it for your own personal use:
Oh Venus, fecund maiden, many splendoured queen, wrapped in furs and jewels;
Now stripped bare and smeared with mud and damp in the dark.
Leeches cling to your trembling limbs; they do not care that your skin is so cold to the touch.
Where is the joy in a freshly formed pearl, the beauty of a laughing child, the pleasure in a stolen kiss? Gone for now, but this too shall have an end.
I am with you on this journey, hand in hand, that we might face the darkness and emerge battered but not broken, our deep wounds drained of poison and cleansed, may they heal and never fester.
I am with you on this journey. You are not alone.