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Retro-May: Saturn, Venus & Jupiter

Saturn, planet of work, fate and success, is the first of three major retrograde motions this month, on May 11th 2020, followed closely by Venus and Jupiter, which altogether give a feeling of review and consolidation. With Rahu also moving out of Gemini-Ardra (a central influence on Covid-19 ) on May 20th, this period will have a big impact on the pandemic, which in the UK and elsewhere is moving into a new phase. Authorities are loosening some lock-down restrictions, where politics will weigh as much in the thinking as strict health factors. No government can be seen to be cavalier about the virus, but there's a line between safety, civil liberties and protecting livelihoods.

Saturn exalts in Libra and is all about balance, so proper Capricorn calculation will be needed to judge the situation. The Lord of Karma goes retrograde for five months (a hundred and forty days to be precise), and brings a recent challenge back for a second-run, either to ground the experience or to let you cut your losses and move on. In its own sign, Saturn has dignity and stamina: keep a long-term strategy in mind and remember nothing is gained by rushing. Also in Uttara Ashadha nakshatra, Saturn brings prospect of ultimate victory, which appears inevitable in the end but comes through long preparation. A challenging scenario proves more drawn-out than expected, and you can’t simply walk away. Saturn’s retrograde arc is a perfect time to decide if you are to persevere or if eventual victory is worth the effort. In any case, past business arises again and you still have work to do, or else someone has a surprise for you.

An element of fate is usually found with any transit of Saturn which gives you a higher bar to clear – a task you wouldn’t have chosen but gives experience you end up strangely grateful for. This is the planet of karmic lessons, and handling its energy requires a mixture of courage and detachment: face up to the test but don’t become obsessed. The Lord of Karma requires a middle way, and success comes to find you when you prove you have a measured approach. In this case, use the extended time to make a professional job of your work, and Saturn rewards you in terms of freedom, lightness and wisdom.

Venus, planet of love and values, goes retrograde in her own sign of Taurus on May 14th until June 25th. This is her archetypal six week or forty-day-and-forty-night cycle that repeats from the same point in the sky every eight years. The Venus-Earth orbital relationship describes a five pointed star, or rose, with successive 'kisses' falling gradually back in the zodiac and this present pattern began with Venus retrograde of May 2012. Expect outstanding business from that time to be revisited. In the Vedic pantheon, Venus (Shukra) is the Guru of the demons (Asura Guru) the Goddess of love, marriage, beauty, comforts and Kama (passion and desire), which is identified with Mahalakshmi, wife of lord Vishnu. It is the karaka of the wife in a man's horoscope and relationship in general, and rules pleasure, luxury, aesthetic taste and fineness, and also signifies luxury vehicles and property.

A Venus and/or Lakshmi mantra, chanted on a Friday especially, has power to bring material and emotional abundance into your life. Venus spends proportionately less time retrograde than any other planet, turning round every 19 months, and she also spins in the opposite direction to all the other planets, suggesting compromise, accommodation and playing the go-between, which gives a clue how to act now. Venus is also about putting a spin on events, perfectly apt for the PR planet, symbolizing qualities of conciliation, compromise, grace, beauty, charm, wiles - eyelash fluttering and guile, or genuine heartfelt charm, Venus gets there by grace. We do business with people we like, and a pleasing manner opens doors that otherwise stay shut. A day on Venus is longer than a year, with one revolution on her axis being longer than her orbit round the Sun, which reflects a lazy, leisurely nature. Take your pleasures slowly! Venus also rules the arts, so your creativity might take a new turn, especially if it's a collaborative effort. It affects mundane shopping decisions as you choose between big-ticket items and belt-tightening measures. Image and appearance are important, and your look now makes a definite statement. Venus is known as a jealous goddess, and superficial or not, this emotion can be a lethal brew – still, use the power of Venus in her own sign to smooth out tensions in your friendships and love-life.

Unlike Mercury retrograde which brings old faces back into your life, Venus turning around is more about dealing with your existing relationships, with often a lesson in love. Simply put, you will see a subtle new side of somebody which makes you have to work a little harder at relating. A friend or partner who you thought held no surprises proves more complex than you imagined and you have to rethink your whole romantic approach. Venus is also a jealous goddess, and in Rohini especially you can be possessive – try to use the positive side of this transit to smooth out tensions in your liaisons and to cherish what is closest to you.

Finally, Jupiter retrograde gives you a second opportunity and also heals an area that may have been difficult or stressful. Guru is open and adventurous by nature, and future-oriented to the point where it lends you a kind of prophetic quality, so trust your instincts. Moving in reverse, it sees you in consolidation mode and reconsidering options that have arisen as you go back over old territory. This doesn’t have to be simply damage limitation if you capitalize on old luck and make something out of a past opportunity. Perhaps you weren’t ready first time around or there were still details to master, but now you’re ready and can seize the moment.

Jupiter is uncomfortable in cautious and calculating Capricorn, but returns into its own sign of Sagittarius by July 1st, where it is strong and healing. An issue or area you were struggling with last year may be resolved or reconciled and you flow back into it and try again. From July until November 21st altogether you can open up and experiment without worrying about the downside. Be a glass half-full.

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