A summer of romance and dreams of the most pleasurable things, Venus really does bring out that girl in everyone. It’s clear that no one escapes the subtle or drastic effects of a Venus retrograde. But what happens during a Venus retrograde echoes well into the coming seasons.

What Does a Venus Retrograde Mean?

When a planet is in retrograde, it means it appears to be moving backward. Retrogrades are full of invitations to look at the other side of a situation; to dwell where things are a little less easeful and infamously less favorable. Some consider retrogrades to be a time in the shadows, i.e. an opportune moment to look into the innermost, darkest parts of us. A Venus retrograde typically lasts for 40 days and happens every 18 months.

When it comes to a Venus retrograde, the most common themes include beauty, love and romance, intimacy and connection. Think social circle dynamics shifting, asking the scary questions in your romantic relationships, or suddenly feeling bolder and noticing never-before-expressed desires. The Venus retrograde reveals what is, and always has been, lurking behind the scenes of the show of your life, waiting to finally be addressed in confident and unmistakable ways (because Venus is all about passion and flair after all).

Venus also rules over money and finances which means that themes of worth, value, spending, and financial habits often rise to the surface. With Venus retrogrades there seem to be abundant opportunities to revisit relationships with money and earnings and invite new realities, no matter how impossible it seems in the moment.

A Venus Retrograde in Leo

For the first time since 2015, Venus is in retrograde in the fire sign represented by the lion itself, Leo. Since July 22, Venus has been in retrograde and will only station direct on September 3. With Leo being playful, loyal, and all about self-assertion, the retrograde calls on these themes heavily. Pair Venus’ decadent, shamelessly indulgent energy with Leo’s audacity and radiant vibe and you’re in for extremes. Think extremes in definitions and redefinitions in relationship statuses, extremes in how you present yourself (drastic haircuts, new wardrobes, and more), and extremes in what constitutes as authenticity.

After a Venus retrograde in any fire sign, there will likely be a sense of release and exhale. Fire signs (that’s Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are intense, and the cosmic flames can cause emotional burn out. With Leo being a fixed sign, the energy around romance and partnerships in particular, may feel more testing and a whole lot spicier than usual. Devotion to personal style and creative expression might take priority and leave you feeling hyper-visible.

What to do Now?

As of September 3, 2023, the Venus retrograde that defined summer will be a thing of the past (for now). The post-shadow period will last until October 7, 2023 and may continue some of the themes from the retrograde itself. Thankfully there are some things to do to keep yourself on top of things in the coming season.

Dating Life

Whether you’re in a committed relationship or extremely single, there might be a few shifts in your romantic life following the retrograde. It’s best to commit to any of the changes (no matter how terrifying) if you feel that they’re pushing you in the right direction. Retrogrades are all about coming out of the dark phase with new knowledge that signals improvement. Resist returning to pre-retrograde dating habits (whether it’s an ex, a ‘type’ or otherwise) to avoid repetitions of what no longer applies.


Journaling about themes and recurring patterns during this retrograde period is a great idea. This will help you reflect and move forward with more clarity and confidence, the two shining stars of any retrograde.

Notice Any Past Experiences

Venus retrogrades have a habit of serving repeated past experiences, with all the added drama. Did you find yourself in a duplicate of a scenario you’ve already been in? Notice it all and decide how it makes you feel, how it affects your values around pleasure and sense of self.

Remember It’s a Transit, Treat It as So

Venus retrograde is a 40-day transit and it deserves to be fearlessly understood as so. Coming out on the other side of a Venus retrograde is all about being brave enough to see the potentially difficult side of love, romance and money-handling. Allow the old to fall away and gently let the new solidify. Just as the planet transits back to its normal state, you’ll need time to adjust and expand and let blockages naturally disappear, the Venusian way.

Related: What Your Venus Sign Says About Your Romantic Side