Venus Retrograde in Scorpio: Fierce Beauty

The Last Mistress

Asia Argento as La Vellini in THE LAST MISTRESS directed by Catherine Breillat. Photo credit: Yorgos Arvanitis/Guillaume Lavit d’Hautefort/Flash Film.

Venus forays into the Underworld in 2010 from October 8 – November 6 in the sign of Scorpio (all the way back into Libra from November 7 – 18). While it’s hard to know how the once every year and a half advent of Venus retrograde will affect each of us individually, there are consistent general themes: re-valuations of relationship, value and self-worth. A friend recently reminded me of the MesoAmerican Venus, Quetzalcoatl, also known as the Morning and Evening Star; bringer of culture and civilization (evening) and impetuous, youthful & bloodthirsty (morning). Fickle. A varied Goddess, we will have unique experiences but can point our consciousness toward where we’ve been exiled from truth in beauty, sensuality, nature. By Venus’ heliacal rising (she rises again before the Sun 10/28 – 29), we too may re-emerge transformed.

The Honest Truth

“The ugly truth.” “The honest to God truth.” “The truth shall set you free.” Honesty is both ugly and a Goddess-send, at once sharp and liberating. And that sharp quality of cutting through obscurations and getting to the heart of the matter is Scorpionic. Although it can feel painful, there’s a difference between wielding the sharp knife of honesty to heal, or hurt. Conversations can feel like open heart surgery, but it can be a good hurt.  I went to a hypnotic regression workshop recently and during a psychometry exercise a woman shared what she ‘saw’ about her partner; a child she had lost years ago, and a recently deceased partner. Painful for the crowd to hear, for the woman receiving the information, it was clearly helpful and healing. Harm or heal likely depends on the level of compassion in the person delivering the message. A Venus in Scorpio friend of mine was once moved to tell me the honest to goodness truth of her experience of our friendship. While her experiences were valid, the blame and hurt about what I was ‘doing to her’ was laid on thick, making it difficult to have a conversation. Our feelings and pain are worth expressing, but a little truth goes a long way. Belaboring a point, speaking in extremes, to accuse or ‘rub it in’ makes open-hearted exchange impossible if not wounding. Too much honesty without compassion for the other’s experience can lay waste to a relationship quicker than you can say boomerang effect.

Rescuing Lost Desires, Wants

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In Scorpio, repressed Venus material surfaces out of the dark and into the light of day. We can see where we ‘have been in the dark’ about our self and our companions. Deep wants, desires, passions may have been disassociated or cut off from our day to day ‘above ground’ life which we now see. We may even find a wild child part of our self who has been living in a cave for months – or even years – and this part of our self may be undernourished, neglected, and starved for integration and attention. A client of mine had a shamanic journey recently and re-discovered an earthy, sensual, fun-loving feminine being, which had been psychically buried since she was a teenager. She said, ‘That was when I decided life was about getting a career, and getting ahead. In that life, there was no place for her.’ In our patriarchal culture where the feminine is constantly being abandoned for the rat-race thinking of getting ahead, almost daily we are faced with the choice of feminine self-abandon. When we lose connection with our fierce feminine intuition, our fertile imagination, our moist sensuality, the part of our self who unapologetically loves what it loves and desires what and who it desires, we also lose our connection to that part of our self who can gracefully ride the waves of life, love and loss with equanimity, and without any loss to self.

Yet when we finally see the light of day, we may also hit our edge with the old life. When Venus comes above after having been underground for so long, our un-civilized Venus self may not have the right words to say, know what to do, or even get things wrong – at first. Imagine a powerful appetite rising up, full of desire fully making itself known for the first time. As one of my clients said recently, “I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who feel passionate about something, anything.” Hunger, desire for abandoned parts of self-experience can be fierce, demanding. Journaling is incredibly helpful for Scorpio/Pluto transits, offering a place for sorting out new to this world thoughts and feelings; when our thoughts/feelings are incredibly intense, it’s good to get a mouthfeel for these previously ‘secret’ ‘hidden’ or ‘taboo’ awarenesses before we speak them.

The Dark Side of a Very Taboo Venus

Venus in Scorpio will give us the opportunity to look at the shadow side of Venus. One of her darkest shadows is over-accommodation. How many times have we said no and meant yes? Probably not as many times as we’ve said yes and meant no! Keeping life comfortable and pleasing, ministering to our mates, is admirable and lovely – but not when we bend so far we no longer recognize our own shape. Julia Cameron uses the term ‘energy debts’ to describe the resultant life force drain from twisting into a pretzel for others. Inevitably at some point the pretzel always snaps back, and it’s not pretty. No more Ms. Nice Gal or Guy! Instead emerges a bloodthirsty Kali ready to exact revenge on the nearest husband, co-worker, boss or best friend – the shadow of Venus in Scorpio.

Venus in a Mars-ruled sign will help us clearly see where we’ve been too soft, too nice, and where we could be far more fierce about claiming our need for individuality. Women take note: if we don’t act on our gut complaints we get whiny and self-defeating. Instead of complaining about displeasure, act from your gut ‘no’ or ‘yes’.

“Venus (in Scorpio) reminds us that beautiful is not pretty. Pretty has a pastel vulnerability. This Venus says: Beauty is fierce.” ~ Carolyn Casey

Boundaries, when not honored, and personal desires when not expressed can dim passion, and even love. Enter taboo topic: sex. Single people share plenty about their sex lives, getting it, wanting it, having it with so and so, but we rarely do we hear informed exchanges amongst those in committed relationships, talking about sex, asking one another for intimate advice- at least not until one or both partners are sexually frustrated, unhappy or contemplating an affair. A healthy sex life is not measured in frequency of sexual encounters, or even having ‘exciting sex’- kinky, on the table, or in an elevator. A healthy sex life is measured by our level of connection, co-participation and presence. Sex relies heavily on our connection with our eros, our desire. Which means if we don’t know what or who we desire or we’re not honest, even about whether we want to be having sex at all (maybe we’d rather be reading a book), we won’t be present to intimacy. The exchange of deep and felt soul truths -about what we enjoy, and when or how we would like to enjoy it – are so linked to sexual satisfaction that without core erotic communication, we miss the sacred in sex. Full erotic pleasures remain out of reach.

Trust or Dare

This Venus sign is a courtesan par exemplar: physically and sensually demonstrative to others, she can be fully emotionally engaged and at a deeper level be dissatisfied or unhappy. We can be sensually generous without ever really being deeply touched. Why? Once bitten twice shy, maybe it’s easier to stay at arm’s reach than to be vulnerable. Maybe we believe that if we let down our guard, if we’re real, if we confess our fears, soul truths or inadequacies, they will no longer find us lovable. Actually if we don’t share our deep self, we may miss the love.

Within months of first getting together (and knowing marriage – committing to being together forever – was imminent) we began fighting. I began needing more ‘me’ time, he became afraid that I would leave him. We were reacting from a place of fear – me, that I would lose my self to the relationship, and he, that he would lose me. Our fears circling one another like tigers, we began to fear for our relationship – right before we laid our fears out bare. At that scary point it became clear this was all about trust (we have a composite Scorpio rising in our relationship chart ) and instead of keeping our fears to ourself, we had to trust each other to hold our deepest fears. Otherwise, the relationship wouldn’t survive. Now, sharing our deepest fears and wounds is an integral part of our union. As you can imagine, with a composite Scorpio rising, it’s no longer a choice – it’s essential!

Open Pandora’s box with your partner and lance old wounds while Venus retrogrades through Scorpio-Libra and try not to become so mesmerized with the deep stuff that it’s all you see! Scorpio is fascinating & evocative, there’s richness in gazing deeply, playing resident psychologist, head detective, ouija board. The season of soul honesty and mystery may cause former aspects of self, as spectres, ghosts, djinns (wish-granting genies) to appear. The veils are parting so we can enjoy the spectre of our dark beauty. This Venus says, Beauty is Fierce.

About the Author

Jessica ShepherdJessica Shepherd is a blogger at and the author of A Love Alchemist’s Notebook: Magical Secrets For Drawing Your True Love Into Your Life.

Your Alchemical Goddess Venus Report is about You more fully stepping into your magical gifts and aligning with what and who truly makes you happy. Take a journey to self-love with a Gorgeous Goddess you already know, whose real life will inspire you to dare, dream & fearlessly love. Each lush 9-10 page report is rich in insight, humor and common sense wisdom.

About Jessica Shepherd

Jessica Shepherd is a counselor, astrologer, and teacher living in Fairfax, CA. For book related talks or workshops near you, visit To read her astrological writing visit or Venus & Beyond: Love on the Outer Planets on Contact Jessica at


  1. wow, it sort of explained what just happened to me in the past few days. i did opened pandora’s box and in a way it’s giving me a relief though it was painful for both of us to really talk about the real issue. at face value, it looks petty. but at this point of my life i think i need to let it all out to overcome my fears. might be a selfish notion, but there’s no other way i can think of coping, or healing all these wounds.

  2. Wow, this explains a lot! On October 8th, I met and fell in love with a man while I am still married. He seems to be everything I’ve ever wanted out of life. My life, mundane as I stay at home with my two small children. He made me feel like I was a teenager again, right before I met my husband.
    For the past week, I’ve been contemplating separating from my husband. I realize that this is a decision that cannot be made while Venus is in retrograde.

  3. wow thats alot not sure about all that or hwat it meant, Im a scorpio dateing another scorpio and darn this month has been bad. Im a scorpio under the first dante scorpio acendant scorpio and all that and shes scorpio acendt pices i think lol well my venus is in scorpio and hers in virog so im not sure w hat all that connects with us or her.

  4. cancerrising says:

    I love how Venus in Scorpio has been described as a fierce beauty instead of pretty…I’ve never found pretty beautiful anyway! Having a cancer ascendant and sun in libra, I’ve always found the shadow side of my venus in scorpio difficult to accept but oh! how I’m coming around that! This year has all been about accepting and growing comfy with my darker side! And about the over-accommodating bit…lol this Venus retrograde is keeping me so on the edge at my retail job – I’m so DONE accommodating others! And about hidden desires – well, well…only a venus in scorpio would understand the wild, wanton desire this retrograde has brought up – I’m finally getting to the point of weeding out all the crap and paving the way for a bright future as my saturn in libra is teaching me – my marriage has improved a lot! I just feel so, so good to connect with myself again – the extremely turbulent past two years had disconnected me from love which is like death for a venus in scorpio but having grown independent beautifully, I’ve reconnected with love as the disturbing past has given way to a hopeful future. Hope all benefit!

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