Once every year and a half, Venus displays a curious phenomenon where it appears to move backwards across the sky. Although retrograde motion is an optical illusion, its effects have been noted by astrologers, mystics, and others since ancient eras. Currently, we are in the midst of a Venus retrograde that lasts until September 3, 2023.
In pop culture and many spiritual spaces, the word retrograde is carries the connotation of something unpleasant, difficult, or even outright harmful. We see this epitomized in the way Mercury retrogrades are treated today: everything that can go wrong will, and it’s always Mercury’s fault. Ancient astronomers believed that planetary retrogrades symbolized that planet’s descent into the underworld, thereby representing their relationship with the hidden aspects of the soul. Retrogrades are not inherently harmful, distressing, or out to get you–they are periods of reflection and opportunities for healing.
Venus retrograde is a time to review all the aspects of our lives ruled by this amorous planet: love, beauty, self-worth, intimacy and relationships, art, music, beauty, and pleasure. It’s an opportunity to unpack some of the baggage we carry around these themes and hopefully do some healing for ourselves. Thankfully, we can turn to our crystal allies for extra support in this process. Pictured above, you’ll find four of my faves: copper (top left), emerald (top right), dioptase (bottom left), and azurite (bottom right).
Copper is the metal ruled by Venus in alchemical traditions. It is a native element, and sometimes forms beautiful crystals. Copper has been connected to Venus for several thousand years, and it represents a mirror to the innermost workings of the heart that helps reflect what you carry within. This metallic mineral helps you make meaningful connection in life and can reinvigorate your relationships of all kinds.
Emerald is my favorite gemstone connected to the planet of love. It’s especially helpful during the retrograde, as it is connected to themes of descent, the underworld, and finding light amidst darkness. Let this gentle, green gem open your heart to the alchemical power of unconditional love to help you love yourself enough to prioritize self-care, personal growth, and pleasure.
Dioptase is an uncommon copper silicate mineral that crystallizes in deep shades of green and teal. It is a stone of forgiveness that catalyzes emotional healing; commune with this verdant stone to help you forgive yourself and find greater emotional freedom during Venus retrograde.
Azurite is a hydrous copper carbonate that has been used as a pigment for millennia. This deep-blue gemstone invokes mental clarity to foster deep insight. If old patterns are repeating during Venus retrograde, spend some time with azurite for a chance to better understand what’s happening and how you can change it for the better.
To learn more about all of these crystals, be sure to check out Crystal Healing for the Heart: Gemstone Therapy for Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being. You can buy a signed book, sign up for one of my upcoming events, or join my Patreon.