The Heart of the Lion: Venus Cazimi 2023

The Heart of the Lion: Venus Cazimi 2023

Happy Venus cazimi!

What sorts of Venusian-themed insights have you had over the last day?

We are at the heart of the current Venus retrograde in Leo. Venus conjoined the Sun in the wee hours this morning, August 13, 2023, marking the midpoint of the retrograde cycle.

In astrology, the cazimi is a time when you often get sudden flashes of insight related to the planet that is at the heart of the Sun. Retrograde periods are often confusing and befuddling, and all the things ruled by that planet can get really murky and difficult to sort through. Retrogrades are often described archetypally as an underworld journey.

Inanna’s descent into the underworld is the most famous myth attached to the Venus retrograde cycle.

Here at the cazimi point, it’s like a skylight has opened above Inanna as she journeys through the underworld, and is suddenly illuminated by the piercing, fiery rays of the Sun.

Cazimis are brief, only in effect for about a day. They can bring welcome respite from the confusion of a retrograde cycle. We gain moments of clarity and nuggets of actionable intelligence that we can carry with us as we continue to journey through the underworld.

Alternatively/congruently, these may also be moments of peak intensity for whatever themes, topics and events the current retrograde cycle has stirred up.

Here are the key dates of 2023’s Venus retrograde (Rx) in Leo:

  • June 18: Venus enters the Rx shadow period
  • July 22: Venus stations Rx at 28 Leo
  • Aug 13: Venus cazimi at 20 Leo
  • Sept 3: Venus stations direct at 12 Leo
  • Oct 7: Venus exits the Rx shadow period

If you have any planets or points in Leo, especially between 12 to 28 degrees, you’ll probably be feeling this retrograde! The other fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius), as well as people with a strong Venus emphasis in their chart, may also be feeling this transit more intensely. 

Uranus is currently at 22 Taurus, square Venus-Sun. That’s adding an additional flair of chaos and disruption to this Venus retrograde cycle.

Venus retrogrades are periods of time to reflect upon all the Venusian themes in your life: relationships, love, pleasure, desire, beauty, material comforts, fashion, art, harmony, balance. 

Venus retrogrades occur every 18 months, and they always repeat in the same sign every 8 years. So, the previous times that Venus was retrograde in Leo was during the summers of 2015, 2007, 1999, 1991, 1983, 1975, 1967, etc. Think back to these time periods and see if you can spot any reocurring themes.

For myself, I have had some pretty intense and literal Venus retrograde experiences. My Ascendant degree is in Taurus and I have a Libra Moon, so Venus has extra importance in my chart. Additionally, Uranus is currently sitting on the exact degree of my Ascendant, squaring Venus Rx, so I’ve got the lord of chaos right up in my face.

This Venus retrograde cycle began with me getting really sick throughout the entire shadow period. (The retrograde shadow period is the time before and after a planet’s retrograde cycle, when it’s travelling through the degrees of the zodiac where it will be/was retrograde.)

It was pretty awful! The day after Venus hit the degree of the shadow period in June, I came down with a bad chest cold and laryngitis, and lost my voice for a full week afterwards. Taurus rules the throat, so as a Taurus rising this was an extremely literal manifestation of this transit.

I was sick all throughout the shadow period, for pretty much a solid month. The illness peaked on the day of the retrograde station. I spontaneously broke out in an angry, red, full body fever/heat rash that day. Talk about another literal manifestation of Venus retrograde in a fire sign! Yeesh.

I have been continually humbled this Venus Rx by how Venus, the lesser benefic and usually a welcome balm to almost any astrological configuration, can take on positively malefic qualities during her retrograde cycle. I’ve had some wonderful Venusian insights over the last 24 hours, thanks to the cazimi, especially related to family. (Leo is my fourth house, so that tracks.) But I’ve also heard from many friends and family about difficulties over the last few weeks that are directly related to this Venus retrograde cycle.

I’ve heard reports of divorces and separations (classic Venus Rx occurrences), overdoses (when desire and pleasure get out of balance), urges to pursue new creative and artistic endeavours, illnesses and challenges with friends and family (putting strain on relationships), lethargy and lack of energy (wanting instead to only retreat into creature comforts).

When the fair lady journeys into the underworld, she spares no mortal.

If you’ve been struggling this Venus Rx, this is a sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship to Venus and all the things she stands for in your life. Look at your natal Venus position, and which houses she rules in your chart, for ideas of areas that might need some revising, reviewing, or renovation. From now until the end of the cycle, you have a chance to work with all the nitty gritty aspects of Venus that this retrograde throws at you.

Remediation options for Venus Rx include daily prayers to Venus, taking care not to overindulge (especially in food/drink/drugs), and giving yourself more space and alone time to reflect.

Personally, I will be taking major steps to avoid another illness flare-up in September, when she crosses the degrees she was at when I was sick, and re-evaluating my approach to my daily health routines in general.

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