In the early days of next month, Venus stops and begins a retrograde period. These don't happen so often, every year and a half in fact, so Venus retrograde is in no way in the public consciousness as Mercury retrograde which occurs three times a year.
The facts - Venus always goes retrograde for 42 days. This time it stations retro on 3rd March at 13.09 degrees Aries and ends it's period in reverse stationing direct on 14th April at 26.56 degrees Pisces.
So what actually is retrograde motion and why is it important in Astrology? Well the planets turn retrograde because of an optical illusion. Say you were on a fast moving train and on your left on a different track was a slower moving one going in the same direction. If you look at the other train as you are passing it, you will see the slower one moving backwards to yours. That's retrograde motion, when the earth passes a slower moving planet and we see it effectively moving backwards in comparison to us. Retrograde planets are always at their closest pass to the earth, and you will see them more clearly and brightly in the night's sky, indeed if you are in the Northern hemisphere and you look up you will notice Venus without any trouble now, the brightest body of light in the heavens.
Now retrograde motion seems to give the influence of any planet a real twist. The planet takes on a more reflective and considerate hue, through them you see the qualities of that planet in a different way. The outward expression of the planet is held back, and is internalised instead. Rather than acting out the influence of the planet in the normal way, you consider things before acting. With retrograde motion any word beginning with the prefix "re" is valid for the effect - revisit, review, rediscover, redo, reinvent, restrict, re-educate, re-encounter, reassess, redact, revise, return, remember etc etc Wherever that retrograde planet is sitting or moving in your natal chart, that planet will act differently than you would normally expect.
If you have a retrograde planet in your chart, you'll know about it as your actions and reactions to certain situations will not be the same as most of society around you. The same goes if you have a planet direct at birth, but it turns retrograde a few days afterwards. I grew up with that scenario. I was born with Venus moving direct, but aged 6 days Venus turned retrograde. In secondary progressed terms, that Venus turned retrograde aged 6 years of age (day for a year) and thus I lived for 42 years with my progressed Venus going backwards. Venus, and progressed Venus rules money, relationships and your values and if one is affected in your growing up years with your ruling planet (I am a Libra Ascendant ruled by Venus) suddenly turning and going in the opposite direction than it should, it definitely holds you back in those areas of life, and I can honestly say that I have never understood love and relationships and I have never been in a situation where I have earned decent money. I know all about Venus retrograde as I have had long term direct experience of her.
Back to matters in hand and Venus as you will know rules love, attraction, emotional responses, your values and how you treat your partner. It also affects your income, how you earn and how much, what you own and possess, beauty, art and social contact. When Venus turns, all of these qualities turn in on themselves within you. So what might happen under a Venus retrograde? Well we may reassess the value of any relationship and work out what we need to do to make it work better. Remember in our assessment we might decide that the relationship is no longer worth holding on to and we split from our partner. Yes relationships come under scrutiny under Venus retrograde. We may meet people from times before or go back to an old flame. If you do, don't expect things to last forever. You may restart an old creative project or revamp an existing one. Reassessing financial situations is normal or you may budget and use your money in a different way. You may work out what you need and what you don't in terms of possessions, it's the perfect time to do a spring clean.
Transiting retrograde motion doesn't last for such a long time, certainly with the inner planets and it is going to turn direct eventually. If you start some new action under a retrograde, then when the planet turns direct, expect changes to the action you began. Worse still, if you start an action while a planet is stationary before it turns and starts to move again, then you can't expect things to run smoothly as the energy you are using will shift dramatically very soon afterwards. So here are some things not to do while Venus is reversing. Don't start a new relationship as it is very unlikely to last, don't start any fresh new work projects and don't make any important financial deals, commitments or investments.
Finally, this retrograde will work in two distinct parts. The first one between 3rd March and 2nd April will see Venus reversing in the sign of Aries, a sign it is in detriment passing through. Venus isn't so happy here in Aries, and as such we may still be very headstrong and prone to making impulsive on the spot decisions that you may regret. From 2nd April until 14th she moves back into Pisces where she is exalted. Pisces here is much more sacrificial and less prone to being impulsive, however she can be swayed by emotion and/or taken advantage of, and these are dangers and traps that you may fall into, also ones that may be regretted later, so be aware of the pitfalls and realise that it's better to be patient and wait until forward motion has resumed, before making life changing decisions.