Venus Retrograde begins on October 5 at 3:05 PM ET and runs through November 16, 2018. When Venus is retrograde, we go deeper into the mirror — not to study physical flaws or contemplate a makeover, but rather go below the surface.

Venus Retrograde happens about every 18 months; she moves in an extremely consistent pattern. Since her retrograde pattern occurs in 5 parts of the zodiac, she traces out a pentacle, the 5 pointed star. Because this star pattern occurs within her circular orbit, Venus traces a pentagram every 8 years.

The pentacle only occurs because Venus seems to backtrack. The planet that symbolizes Love reminds us to be consistent. Love requires nothing but attention. A child thrives within a safe structure. A relationship blooms when both people show up. Understanding and compromise occur when both sides are willing to explore the other’s platform. Venus Retrograde invites us to go back, listen well and reflect.

Venus Retrograde provides an opportunity to prioritize your values. What do you care most about? Are you able to give attention to the things that matter most to you? Is it time to invest differently? Speak up for what you deserve? You might need to recognize someone who deserves more of your time, attention, love. That person could be you.

But this Venus Retrograde seems to have a bigger than personal impact. It’s never been so obvious for so many, “the political is personal”.

This Venus Retrograde occurs when the Leo Moon is void-of-course. Sometimes void-of-course creates a non-event, but the chart of Venus Retrograde engages the U.S.A. horoscope in significant ways. This is not surprising, considering the highly charged mood of the country at present, especially in the area of values. The void-of-course Leo Moon opposes the U.S.A. Aquarius Moon. This suggests that the mood of the public continues to be polarized, but there are signs of change in the dialogue.

Retrograde Venus in Scorpio is separating from a trine with the U.S. Cancer Sun, but will revisit the trine with Jupiter (symbolizing justice and expansion) and then Venus. The explosion of #MeToo testimony has mined deeper veins in the public’s psyche through Dr. Ford. As women shatter the shame, we dig closer to the “land mines” of this nation. These “land mines” are steeped in denial and they compromise every value the U.S. wants to project.

The chart of Venus Retrograde is at odds with the planet Mars at 90°; this heightens the friction between what is valued and what is desired.

But not all women feel this call. They worry about their men and their sons. They have built worlds where they feel protected from these possibilities and they resent the assumption that they too have a dark secret. Both men and women experience pain and fear, whether they admit it or not. As we have the opportunity to re-imagine Venus, what is it we want from Love? How do we want to Love?

This Venus Retrograde is not only about the tribal divide that has increased in the U.S.A., it also brings home questions about what do we want to invest in as a nation? Who is entitled to what?

Are we interested in seeking compromise? Our digital communication has enabled a war on civility which in time may expand to irreconcilable divisions. Perhaps it already has. One way or another, the United States will change. If we could re-imagine Venus and how we can care for one another, what would it look like? If you meditate, allow the possibility to be there. Through meditation we can touch possibilities that seem inconceivable with the media buzz.

The tension between Venus and Mars occurs at the dark of moon, as we approach the Libra New Moon on October 8. New Moons invite fresh starts and in Libra the emphasis is relationship, justice, contracts, compromise and harmony. Once again we see the hard aspect between Venus and Mars, suggesting tension rather than coming to terms.

The real impact is felt from Pluto, which demonstrates a determination to win at all costs. Power is more valued than resolution which may seem to thwart a good outcome from this lunar cycle. This is only the case if one gets stuck on the first chord; a horoscope is a blueprint but not the end in itself.

If you find yourself in a power struggle, or an obsession or the inability to get off a road that you know goes nowhere — STOP. Give yourself some Libran refreshment. Go to a cultural event. Listen to music that makes you want to sing or dance (even if you cannot). Ingest beauty at a museum, park or natural environment. Turn off the noise.

Prepare yourself for that fresh start by mid-week. It’s often better to wait a few days after the New Moon once the raw energy has taken form.

As Venus continues her retrograde journey through October, she will backtrack to exactly oppose Uranus in Taurus. Venus at 0° Scorpio happened as Hurricane Florence took shape and Dr Blasey Ford was about to become public. We can expect a revisit of that. Both Uranus and Venus are at 0° again the end of October. This sky picture will bring surprise visits and events, relationship-oriented, contractual and financial.

Although Venus makes pictures to Uranus regularly in her 225 day orbit, this opposition has particular impact because Venus is retrograde in the dynamic sign of Scorpio. Uranus in Taurus is tenacious for change. Together they indicate tremendous persistence and resistance, two words that are in constant conversation now.

The energy itself has no agenda other than to promote a change of values, worth and priorities. How it manifests, positive or negative, depends on the players involved, the reactions and especially the decisions made as a result of what it reflects.

We can anticipate an unexpected event which may be an echo of what’s already been triggered in mid-September. If you personally have been feeling the turmoil of the past couple of weeks, use the Venus Retrograde to draw out the toxins. Like a homeopathic cure, things may feel worse before the healing begins.

Venus will be retrograde for the U.S.A. Election Day and I will write more about that soon.

For tips on how to make the most of a New Moon…