By Eric Francis
ARIES — One of my boldest, most outgoing girlfriends ever, a French woman named Sabine, once said to me, in a fit of frustration and angst: Someday I will succeed, and speak. Ask yourself what you have not said. Take these next six weeks of Venus retrograde in Gemini and make an inventory. Keep your own counsel for a while, and reflect in a deep and sincere way. Write it all down: what you have not told lovers, parents, friends, children, or colleagues. Once you get a sense of what the scope of the material is, ask yourself about your need, or motive, for not speaking up. Do you feel like something is stopping you? Are you blocking yourself? Do you gain something, or lose something, as a result? I am not suggesting you open up now, but rather use the Venus retrograde phase, approximately now until the end of June, as a time of reflection. Be aware that silence has consequences. You may already be aware of that. Speaking your truth also has consequences, and is the first step in reclaiming your power.
TAURUS — You feel two ways about many things. There’s often a dialog going in your mind, which at times makes you want to go out for ice cream and leave yourself behind. The question you might ask is, are you really involved in a true dialog in there? Or is it something else? A dialog would lead someplace useful, so you might use that as a metric. The central matter of Venus retrograde involves deciding how you feel about some of the most important personal matters. This may seem like it will take a lot of sorting out, though the chances are you already know how you feel, and the endless ongoing deliberation is what derails you from getting with your true values. There is also the matter of commitment. Vesta, directly involved with the Venus retrograde, translates commitment to devotion. The difference is that one is usually an external assertion and the other is an internal state of being. What you’re devoted to is usually revealed in who and what you keep coming back to.
GEMINI — Venus stations retrograde in your sign this week. This journey, which spans between May 13 and June 25, has the potential to be a turning point event in your inner life. You are meant to discover something in your relationship to yourself. While this will not happen overnight, there will be moments of discovery and revelation. Your role is to notice them and bring them forward into your conscious life. Your new knowledge becomes the basis for new decisions — that’s what it’s for. It’s up to you to make your personal truth into something that has substance and also remains open to fresh information — but mostly, to use what you know. Twice before in recent times, you’ve been at a similar turning point: this time of year in 2004, and then in 2012. Consider both of those in terms of their “before and after” value. This time, though, you’re ready for something you may not have been ready for in the past. There is something you must give up, to make room for something you must gain.
CANCER — In astrology there is a concept known as the 12th house. It’s the zone in one’s awareness where it’s difficult to acknowledge and admit what is there, because it’s not so easy to perceive. It’s like there is a place in the mind that plays hide and seek with you, or you with it. Now, though, you have an advantage, as there is some unusual presence: the retrograde of Venus, in a conjunction with Vesta. These are powerful allies in your quest for inner truth, particularly in some of the most intimate and sensitive aspects of your life. Just one thing is asked of you: come back to the work every day, and in a sense, keep at it all the time. You bring the quality of devotion: of attention to your own thoughts and feelings. These might not be easy to discern at first. You are clearing an inner fog, which means that at the moment your sight distance is limited. But at least you know that, and you can develop other sensitivities. For example, sound travels better under these conditions, so for now you might depend on your hearing, and simply listen to yourself.
LEO — One of the most overwhelming aspects of life in our time is the obsession over image. Life was not always a nonstop public relations campaign. Over the next six weeks of Venus retrograde, it will help if you take time out of public view. With much social life happening in social media, this may not be easy for you. Yet as with certain scientific or medical procedures, there is something you can learn only under sterile conditions, which in this instance means in the sanctity of your own mind and feelings. What you’re looking for is an understanding of how you shape and mold yourself to be presentable and acceptable to your “constituency,” which is a distraction from your inner work and inner awareness. Give yourself the time and space to reconnect with the person within you who is not subject to all of this modification and image grooming. Remember what your life was like before every word you said or wrote was documented and scrutinized.
VIRGO — Your most important mission may not be the most lucrative. In our money-based society, that’s too often how we think of it, frequently filtering out important work because it does not meet the criteria in dollars and cents. I suggest you set that aside for now, and notice what you are devoted to as a matter of an organic calling, that draws you in year after year. True devotion is something that works through you. It’s like flowing water following the lay of the land. Yet a fire metaphor is more appropriate: the flame you keep returning to tend. It may be something you consider important, or something you might not think is so relevant. It’s what you keep coming back to. Do more of that, and deepen your relationship to it. Do not place upon this work the burden of being profitable. Be willing to support it any way that you can. As you do this, a particular inner conflict will resolve, and you will gradually find your way to a clear space.
LIBRA — In our world, way too much emphasis is placed on belief. We would do well to eliminate the concept entirely, and instead, replace it with something useful, like the quest for knowledge and understanding. To believe something is what we do when we don’t know, don’t understand, and are not on a conscious quest for answers. Belief goes right to the supposed destination without actually getting there, but it has an even more serious problem. Most belief is based on some external authority, in the style of “That person said that what that other person said is (or is not) true, so therefore I believe it (or I don’t).” Your faith is not about all those other people. This is particularly true in matters that pertain to you, and your relationship to existence. We might say your relationship to yourself, but that can get messy in terms of all the inner voices involved. Existence is your relationship to what is vastly bigger than you are. Here, belief is a shabby substitute for your true quest.
SCORPIO — You are entering an unusual phase of your relationships, though you may have picked up some indications of what is developing. It may seem like a relationship partner is changing, perhaps becoming less available. Maybe there has been a shift in the dynamics of your sexual attraction, which you cannot quite identify or name. You may feel like you’re not getting something that you dearly need, or as if someone previously close to you is not available. I would propose that you frame the situation this way: what can you offer someone to facilitate their growth, in some way that might not benefit you? In fact you may see it as working against your interests or emotional needs, which it’s now your opportunity to set aside in service of their needs, desires, or current situation. That may include holding space for their ambiguity, including about your relationship. Supporting that will mean suspending your expectations and allowing someone you love the space to seek their own self-understanding.
SAGITTARIUS — Our society in its fictional presentations emphasizes the romantic elements of relationships, which include all kinds of passion and glory, or meaningful tragedy. There is a kind of grandiose quality to stories where people’s love becomes the center of the known universe. Then what we mostly get is everyday ordinary life. It is noteworthy when people share mutual respect. It’s significant when they offer themselves the space to truly live their lives as individuals as well as members of a partnership. You need enough distance in a situation where you can feel directly that you have a relationship with yourself, the people you engage with have relationships with themselves, and then there may be a few places where the two meet. There may not be fireworks or moonlit balconies at those juncture points. But there would be honesty and that will facilitate a sincere conversation, which may begin with agreement on one seemingly simple idea.
CAPRICORN — You have some leftover work to do from the past. This is the completion phase of a much longer project: what could be called closure. You are soon to embark on a new and unfamiliar phase of your personal journey, and I would propose it would be best not to bring along any unresolved material that you can actually address. You may know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, consider what matters keep coming up again and again for you, even if you thought you left them behind somewhere in the past. I suggest you turn around and face directly whatever this might be. Address any feeling that you will never get over it, or that the scenario is hopeless. Pay particular attention to where you feel guilted or shamed. That, in particular, will orient you on the nature of what you’re working with. Take a new look at this. Notice any assumptions you’re making about the “quality of your character” or whether you’re good enough to be approved of by someone. That is your material, not theirs.
AQUARIUS — One potential downfall of Aquarius is its serious cast. Your sign can have a heavy or perhaps rigid intellectual quality that has a way of holding you back. What this week’s beginning of Venus retrograde emphasizes is your sense of play. I suggest you retrieve the little kid in you and make friends with him or her, or maybe it’s twins. Do something you love just because you love it. Productivity is irrelevant; this is about pleasant activity that offers you the space to indulge your curiosity. That means eager to know and desirous of seeing for yourself. As you do this, you may notice the ways you held back this craving in the past. Did anyone tell you that what you truly cared about was in some way irrelevant? Did you pick up on someone’s signal and tell yourself? Explore your way through that feeling and get to the part where you give yourself permission to have fun, for its own sake.
PISCES — Your home is your most precious resource, and in particular, your kitchen. Let’s start there: invest time and resources into your food preparation area. Do some deep cleaning. Attend to the stove area first. Then dig out the fridge as an offering to the goddess, wash and recycle, and replenish with your favorite foods. Then go through your home room by room, space by space, and organize each around a central principle. This is the greatest gift that Venus retrograde in Gemini has to offer you. You probably like things bright and fresh during the day and the lighting subtle and understated at night. Make all that possible. Your home is what feeds you. It’s where you belong, and it’s the one place in the world where you must feel both safe and confident enough to be yourself. If you live with others, sign them up for this program. Your leadership here will come naturally, and people will feel good about the results.