Peering through the Lion’s Maw
A 6 ½ week course
guiding you through this year’s
Venus Retrograde in Leo,
a journey through the
colors and shades of your heart.
The course runs
July 21st — Sept. 4th
(Familiarity with astrology is not required. The substance of this course is to engage with our psychological strata concerning relationships, rather than to studiously analyze the daily astrological signatures. This is not a course on astrology, though it will be used extensively. We can discuss the relevant or confusing bits during our weekly Zoom sessions.)
Every couple years, Venus stops in the sky, turns around, and travels backwards through the constellations —
the Goddess of romance retrogrades (fRx).
It’s actually closer to every 19 months, or a little over a year and a half. We often hear that the retrograde itself lasts for “about 40 days and 40 nights,” probably a nod to Jesus in the desert.
Archetypally, Venus pertains to many things, notably relationships, romance, beauty, conscience and values. When she’s retrograde, we are given the powerful opportunity to bring those topics inward and to reflect, supported energetically by the Goddess herself. It’s a rare chance for us to descend the stair steps of burnt bridges, and enter into the labyrinth of relational reckoning.
Who this course is for:
Anyone who has experienced heartbreak. This can be from any relationship, not just romantic.
What you get from this course:
An email from me everyday, with refections, assignments and insights
Weekly group zoom sessions
The astrology of Venus retrograde
An engagement with the astronomy and the perspective science gives to the spirit
A structured, guided environment in which to engage with heartbreak
Together, we will look courageously into the frightening mouth of the lion, past the bright or maybe rotten teeth, and towards the vortex throat. We will then enter that mouth, and see what colors lie dormant, awaiting the paintbrush, or perhaps the tooth brush, of our heart/mind. Each of us will individually contend with what we find, rebuilding the bridges that were wrecked by heartbreak. Throughout, I will invite us to mix our findings with other members in our group, to, eventually, collectively emerge from the lion’s maw, more whole and awakened.
Following is the chart for the moment that Venus goes retro, on July 22nd at 9:32 pm (all times used will be Eastern Time):
For ease and consistency, all charts will be drawn with 0˚ Aries at the cusp of the 1st house, using Whole Sign houses. I will not be adding the ascendant or Midheaven, since those depend on your location. (However, I encourage you to cast each chart for your location, if you desire, to fine-tune your analysis).
Instead of using the usual squares, trines, sextiles, etc., I am predominantly using only conjunctions, and 5th harmonic aspects, and mostly with a 1˚ orb. I chose this harmonic to reflect the 5-pointed star that Venus makes every 8 years. By focusing on only this aspect, we can narrow our poetic aspect interpretations of this particular retrograde period to a laser beam. This harmonic has elements of playfulness, creativity, humanity, originality, magic, and playfulness.
What to expect:
This course is a mixture of fun and serious, of curious exploration and sitting with your shadows.
It is meant to challenge you, but you decide how deeply you want to engage. As with all things, the more time and effort you put in, the more the potential for growth and transformation. You have the option of quickly perusing the daily writings in a couple of minutes, or of reading them carefully, thinking about how they fit into the context of the previous days’ writings, and sitting in mediation or reflection for an hour.
I will encourage you to keep a journal, but your daily entry could be just a sentence, or several pages. This fRx course is a container and a model for us to struggle through lost lovers and friendships. We are not looking to necessarily regain those friendships (though that may also a possibility); rather, we want to re-populate the missing pockets of our psyche with an animating spirit. The end result could look like just about anything. We are not looking to accomplish a pre-ordained goal. Rather, we are looking to engage in the moment, to just be with our particular difficulties, as we let the force of nature that is Venus pass through us, re-arranging our cells.
Throughout the 45 days, you will receive daily musings from me.
Those might be reflections on a frightened Aphrodite (can a Goddess get scared?); at other times a meditation; sometimes a poem; other times a story of a victorious Venus; and there will be suggestions, or loose assignments, that help us to do the deep work required to heal.
Our first day will be the day before Venus stations retrograde, and we will end one day after she turns direct. That way we can bookend her entire retrograde period with a forward-moving Venus, which is her usual motion through space, and thus more easily integrate the fRx with the rest of our life.
There will be seven weekly Zoom sessions, beginning on Day 1.
I will record them for those unable to attend, or for you to download. They will last about an hour. This will give us a chance to discuss any matter at all under the moon — the astrology of the fRx, the questions of our hearts, the meaning of life…
You will be expected to identify at least one real person, dead or alive, from your life, that you have had serious trouble with. You do not need to share anything with the group that you don’t want to, such as your chosen person’s name or identity. (Indeed, you don’t need to share anything at all. You are more than welcome to go through the course with us but keep to yourself.) You will then work through the issues that make/made your relationship difficult with that person(s), in the particular way that fRx encourages.
Themes (and sometimes charts) covered during the course will include:
Before she stations retrograde, she enters her shadow, which introduces us to some potential themes that we will have to directly confront during the retrograde period. This is a way of easing us in.
This year, she entered her shadow on June 19th in the middle of the night, and she leaves her shadow on Oct. 7th at 5:16 am. Although we will be working together for 45 days, this shadow gives each of us, individually, an extended period of time to work with Venus — over 3 ½ months.
Venus Chases Mars
Venus has been chasing her divine consort, Mars, through the sky for many weeks, and was just on his coat tails when she decided to slow down and stop the chase.
Why?? We’ll lightly explore the Venus/Mars cycle during our time together. When will they actually meet up? This chart shows the closest approach of Venus and Mars before her retrograde:
The 5th Harmonic aspects Venus makes to other planets
Every time Venus connects to another planet, asteroid, or chart point, it colors her feelings. She changes her pace, or paints her roses red, or maybe lime green. She co-creates after a solo retreat. The nature of these moods shift from week to week, possibly from day to day.
Venus Combust Sun
What happens when Venus joins the Sun? This is a big deal, and creates one point of the 5-pointed star that puts an image to the 8-year Venus cycle. We will look at the charts associated with this pentacle.
Venus Through the Constellations
We will explore fRx through the constellations, which differ from the astrological Signs. Paying attention to the stories associated with the asterisms adds complexity to the astrological interpretations.
The Mythology of Venus
One of the joys of astrology is relating the archetypes to the legends of ancient Greece and Rome. There is ample opportunity to delve into these stories as Venus draws into her own underworld, and potentially connects with other planets like Pluto, Mars, Persephone, etc.
The Astronomy of Venus
Periodically, we will investigate the scientific wonders of Venus, finding parallels with the various meanings we ascribe to our own fRx experience.
Venus Stations Direct
During this particular Rx, she stations direct a full 43 days later, on Sept. 3 at 9:20 pm. Here, at last, we move forward after all the hard work we have done!
Here is that chart:
Please join me for this fRx!
I went through the 2021 Venus retrograde in this way, and it had a profound effect. Although I only began working with one broken relationship, in my heart I was able to make amends with three separate people. In my case, I was then able to be better friends with each of them.
Email or call me to sign up. It starts this month!
The cost is $220
Sliding scale: If you feel drawn to join us, but feel you cannot afford the price, contact me and we can work something out.
Zoom sessions (times TBD):