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What It Means for Your Sign

By now, you’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard about Mercury retrograde, but guess what? All the other planets in the solar system have a retrograde cycle too. Most notably, for summer 2023, Venus, the planet of love, is shifting into reverse from July 22 to September 3, retrograding through the passionate, flamboyant zodiac sign of Leo.

This will shake up love as we know it. But is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Stay with us here as we lay out a few opportunities of this Venus retrograde in Leo.

You’ll have a chance to:

  • Not simply be a queen, but figure out what you want to be the queen of.
  • Reconnect to your turn-ons and dial down your turn-offs, such as stress or lack of sleep.
  • Get back in tune with what makes you feel the fiercest and find the lionhearted courage to invite romantic partners to support you in that. (Everyone wins.)
  • Set up your boudoir, playroom, love den, etc. as a safe space to explore your passions.

What exactly happens during Venus retrograde?

Every 18 months, Venus spins retrograde, turning back the clock for a 40-day reset. This period marks Venus’ transition from being an “evening star” (visible in the sky at dusk) to a “morning star” (visible just before dawn).

Metaphorically, it’s an opportunity to put old love stories to bed—the ones that aren’t serving you and may be interfering with your ability to thrive in relationships. And when Venus turns direct again on September 3? You’ll be free to pen a new chapter in your love story—or write a new one altogether!

Uh-oh, I’m getting married during Venus retrograde!

While it’s not astrologically ideal to get married during Venus retrograde, let’s get real: you’re not going to call off your nuptials because of this cosmic hiccup—nor should you.

Here are two workarounds for anyone with a wedding planned between July 22 and September 3, 2023:

1. Get your marriage license before or after the retrograde. That way you’re making it official during an astrologically auspicious time.

2. Renew your vows on your first wedding anniversary. Since Venus only spins retrograde every 18 months, it assures that you’ll be in the clear a year from the date.

What Venus retrograde means for fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius)

Aries: Drama alert! If life (and love) imitates art, things could get downright Shakespearean for you during this retrograde. Rein in competitive urges and remember that beauty is more than skin deep. Focus on what lies below the surface and discover chemistry that bubbles beyond looks and style alone.

Leo: Take a long, loving look at your reflection. This Venus retrograde takes place in Leo, and, like RuPaul, it’s here to remind you that “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?” Reclaim your time instead of racing to please another person. In the process, you’ll teach the world how to treat you right.

Sagittarius: Honesty is the ONLY policy during this Venus retrograde. Though timing is everything when it comes to your revelations, Venus’ backspin can help you be nakedly honest with the one you adore—and also, allow others a safe space to get real with you. If you’re single, give priority to people who lay all their cards on the table.

What Venus retrograde means for earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn)

Taurus: You’re more sensitive than usual and may need to process some family-of-origin and childhood trauma. Be careful not to take those feelings out on your mate. Cohabitation initiatives could stall; or, if you live with your love, you may need to reconfigure your floor plan so you both have the space you need.

Virgo: Fantasy or reality? Unnecessary drama or a legit concern? You may struggle to discern a green flag from a red one. Swaddle yourself in empowering support: therapy, group healing, spiritual counsel, and healthy friends. Setting clear boundaries may be tough—but start practicing! Saying yes and no honestly will keep relationships intact.

Capricorn: Pay attention to jealousy, competitive urges, or possessiveness—but don’t act upon these feelings in the heat of the moment. Think of them as a compass that is pointing to an unexpressed desire. Instead of getting angry, ask for what you want in a playful (and sexy!) way. How you share—and merge—resources could come up for review. Aim for transparency and make sure everything feels fair.

What Venus retrograde means for air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius)

Gemini: What haven’t you been saying, Gemini? Suppressed feelings and other ignored needs could bubble up. Timing is everything, but you need to get this out. New ways of cooperating could emerge. An attraction could arise from the friend zone. Explore! The common ground you share could be a great foundation for love.

Libra: You may feel resistant to the intensity of one-on-ones, but a promising connection could cool off if you distance yourself. Your flirty personality may rile up jealousy and anger from your partner, so don’t overdo that. Single? Hop off the apps and test connections in real time. If you’re not looking for anything serious, be transparent about it from the get-go.

Aquarius: You always go out of your way to listen to other people’s input, but how about stating your tastes, preferences, and desires? This quality information can help your love interest feel greater confidence with pleasing you. An attractive “opposite” could captivate your attention, even if they failed to woo you before.

What Venus retrograde means for water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces)

Cancer: Vagueness breeds contempt during this Venus retrograde, so give people the clearest signals possible and insist on straight answers. You may suddenly realize that you want a more traditional dating arrangement instead of a casual situationship. Money matters could become a hot (and charged) topic for couples. Deal with other brass-tacks issues, like schedules and shared responsibilities.

Scorpio: Are you being too goal-oriented or businesslike in love? Dial down the pressure or let things flow organically. By the same token, if someone’s been stringing you along, this may be your cue to cut bait and search elsewhere. Coupled? Use the retrograde to realign on your shared future.

Pisces: You’ve heard of clean eating—how about clean dating? If your relationship needs a seasonal reset, get unspoken issues onto the table. Delete the distractingly toxic exes, ghosters, and game-players from your profiles and contact lists. This is a great time for a couple’s health kick. Buddy workouts, anyone?

Headshot of The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut (a.k.a. The AstroTwins) are ELLE.com’s resident astrologers. They have written several astrology books, including Momstrology and Supercouple, and star as the astrological matchmakers for Prime Video’s Cosmic Love. The Eduts have read charts for celebrities the likes of Beyoncé, Karlie Kloss, and Emma Roberts. For their spot-on predictions, books, and online courses, check out our horoscopes coverage or visit astrostyle.com.

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