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Venus Retrograde in Leo: Love Wins, Hearts Heal (July-September 2023)

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

The summer of 2023 brings an astrological event with it that happens every eight years: Venus, the planet of love, turns retrograde in the sign of Leo on July 23rd at 28° - an event that lasts until September 3rd, when Venus changes back to direct at 12° Leo.

In this article, we'll break down the themes and how they impact us personally, and worldwide. At the end of the article, you'll also see a quick list of impact via sign. You can skip to that section through clicking here.

What Is Venus All About?

Venus is the planet of beauty, love, what we place our worth in, money, creativity, harmony, and relationships. It’s also associated with women and the arts.

It is one of the inner and therefore fastest moving planets in the sky and goes retrograde every 1 ½ years, though it returns to retrograde in the same sign every 8 years.

But wait…

What Is a Retrograde?

In a nutshell, retrogrades are when a planet appears to move backward in the sky. This is associated with a planet’s sphere of influence being impacted in very obvious ways.

Scientifically, retrogrades are a phenomenon that can be best explained by comparing them to an optical illusion. Imagine you were sitting in a high-speed train that’s passing a slower-moving train that goes in the same direction you do. For a moment, it’ll look like the slower-moving train stopped in its tracks, then changed directions (moving into the opposite direction you’re going into). And then, the other train will seemingly stop moving again and go forward once more. The same thing happens to us on Earth when we pass other planets in our orbit around the Sun: the planet appears to stop, go back, and then stop and go forward again.

So, we’re (on Earth) passing Venus – therefore it looks like Venus stops moving, starts to Moonwalk backward, and then stops to go forward again.

Astrologically, retrogrades are a time when the planet in question changes its modus operati. Therefore, we usually notice (even with no knowledge of astrology), that something’s different with relationships, money, creativity, and everything beautiful.

Essentially, retrogrades make you re-think, re-do, re-consider, and re-structure things in the area of influence the planet speaks to… so, they can lead to a re-ally interesting time in your relational life.

Leo in a Nutshell

Leo is a zodiac sign that already has a lot of overlap with Venus: Leo, too, deals with love, creativity, and the arts. Leo, however, is less about relationships and more about our relationship with ourselves. It’s about authenticity, the courage to show others who we truly are, and (in its shadow), becoming someone we’re not to get love and validation – or just prancing around on stage so people will hopefully, one day, think that we’re cool.

Leo as a sign is a part of each and every person’s personal astrological blueprint. Some people (f.e. with Leo Sun, Moon, Rising, or Venus) will feel this astrological event more keenly, but we all have Leo somewhere so we’re all going to be affected.

Other things that Leo rules are pleasure, making art, generosity, and where we want to shine. Therefore, having Venus Retrograde in this sign is particularly interesting. Let’s explore.

Venus Retrograde in Leo

Venus Retrogrades are times when listening to our hearts is of paramount importance. This is doubly true when Venus Retrogrades fall into Leo, as your relationship with yourself, with others, and with love itself comes up to the surface… and you can expect many changes here.

(Warning: lots of Astro-Jargon incoming – but don’t worry, the next paragraph is going to be easier to understand as we skip most Astro-words and focus on what these things mean.)

This Venus Retrograde is going to be square Uranus and Jupiter in Taurus, and also square Psyche in Scorpio. Furthermore, it starts in an opposition to Eros Rx in Aquarius and trine to the North Node in Aries (as the retrograde progresses, it’ll be trine Chiron in Aries as well). Venus Retrograde also starts as the tip of a Yod with Pluto Rx in Capricorn and Neptune Rx in Pisces.

Essentially, this means that this Venus Retrograde is going to be a big one that may lead to more physical changes (specifically ones that may feel like fate) than usual in that time frame. There will likely be many things that used to be stuck or seemed unchangeable, and that now suddenly become unstuck. This astrological event will also be a lot about the things that we feel passionate about, fate, and intense love.

But what makes Venus Retrograde in Leo different from other Venus Retrogrades is that it’s first and foremost a very healing transit that first focuses on our relationships with ourselves – and then affects things like creativity, arts, worth, money, and lastly, relationships. Let’s go in-depth on this.

Recognizing Your Gifts and Healing From Rejection

Part of growing up is to learn where you need to change how you show up in the world. It’s to realize where qualities that we have and hold are not easy, good, or wanted by other people. They may make us stick out rather than fit in, and they may make relationships with the people close to us hard or impossible. They may not fit into the cultural norms we were raised in – or they may set us up for heartbreak. And the tough thing is, sometimes those very qualities aren’t even ones that are potentially hurtful – like someone’s anger, bitterness, or wounds… they are our inherent gifts in this world.

Generosity. But the people around you don’t care about the depth of feeling that lies in every gift – they use you, or they reject you, with little thought to the consequences. (Maybe they do think of the consequences, and that’s why they use your generosity against you).

Truthfulness. But the people around you would rather be lied to, and only want the truth if it’s easy to swallow. (Maybe even the beautiful truths you give people are brushed aside, hours of pondering heartfelt words for nothing).

Transparency, vulnerability, authenticity. But the people you show your true self don’t appreciate it, or worse, use that information to mock or harm you.

Courage. But someone who’s courageous often doesn’t get to be seen at their weakest. Courage can be taken for granted, expected at every turn, and used until you burn out. People can be cruel when they see strength.

Deep love. The most hurt people are the ones who love deeply and whose love is rejected, taken advantage of, or used to harm them – over, and over, and over again. How could you not learn to reject yourself and your own love if that was your experience? At least a little bit?

But the good news is, for every person that rejected part of your soul or didn’t like your unique gifts, there are multiple ones who will appreciate those parts of you.

This astrological event shows you who these people are.

This astrological event shows you where (and why) you deserve more love than you’ve gotten.

This astrological event shows you where and how to find those people if you haven’t found them already.

This astrological event heals your heart.

The other good news is, the wounds of those rejections can heal again – and this transit of Venus Retrograde in Leo helps do just that. It shows you why your love matters, why your courage is a gift to others, why showing someone your true self is like handing them a diamond, why truth can be a sword that heals more than it cuts, and why your generosity is safe and something that makes you deeply beloved.

It also shows you where you deserve your own love and acceptance. This is a time when you get to fall in love with the qualities within yourself you maybe didn’t originally like or learned to equate with pain. This astrological event makes it easier to fall in love with who you really, truly are… and to amass the courage to show your true self to the world.


Not everyone will step out of the shadow and show the world their true self during this retrograde – retrogrades draw people more inward than outward – but it sets the foundation for you to do so.

In order to put yourself out there and into the limelight as you truly are, you need to be courageous… and that’s something this astrological event helps you become.

You also need to be aware of why you’re worth being seen and that’s something that Venus Retrograde in Leo shows you.

Lastly, you need self-knowledge: if I show you my true self, I need to be to some extent in tune with myself. Self-knowledge doesn’t have to be cognitive (though that helps), but it can also exist as a felt-sense of being at home within yourself. In order to be truly authentic, this is something you need to develop… and once you have it, every single moment of your life becomes an authentic expression of who you are. Venus Retrograde in Leo helps you develop that sense (and that cognitive knowledge) so your authentic self can bleed into all you do at all times… and that’s what shows the world what your true self means. You don’t have to go on Instagram and talk about deeply private topics or create a vlog on how often you poop in a day. You just have to be you. The world will notice.

Creativity, Beauty, and the Arts

Venus is all about creativity, beauty, beautiful things, and arts of all kinds (including music, fashion, theatre, dance, and so on). With Venus Retrograde in Leo, part of the process is to get honest about yourself and your creative processes. We can all fall into the trap of creating for the sake of validation – where have you fallen into that hole? But as the movie The Menu so sardonically shows, that can suck the soul out of any truly creative person.

It's time to go back to your roots. It’s time to connect to the heart of your creativity: what do you love to make? What creative works light you up? Whom do you want to share it with? Not everything is for everyone.

Art is something that moves people. It’s not always pretty and it definitely isn’t always perfect. Not just that, but art can be a way to make your own soul visible to the world. It can be cathartic to make art and it can be deeply connective to witness it. How often have you looked at someone else’s creation and felt it speak to a part of yourself you thought no one would understand? You thought you were alone, yet here’s this piece of inspiration that makes visible what’s deep inside you. Someone gets it. Someone made something beautiful with it. That’s why the art of all forms can save lives.

Creating those pieces almost always requires one thing: no, not skill – honesty. And that’s the crux of Venus Retrograde in Leo: it’s part of this transit to help people retrieve their sense of bone-deep honesty with themselves so they can make this art. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be skilled. It just needs to be – and it needs to be real.

So, let’s talk about beauty. We live in a world where beauty standards are FAR away from biological realities. But that doesn’t mean that how you were made – warts and all – isn’t still inherently beautiful.

Venus Retrograde in Leo will show you where you are, as yourself, a truly beautiful human being. This doesn’t just extend to the body, but also to your personality, the way you show, up, and your soul. But your body, too, has beauty inherent in it, and it’ll be easier to find that. Changes in your personal style can also help you connect to that beauty more and enhance it – if that’s what you want.

Generosity, Money, and Worth

Venus Retrograde in Leo shows us our spending habits and how we make money – and where we could be more generous to others or ourselves. Generosity is the glue of relationships. This doesn’t have to be financial generosity though – a homemade gift that didn’t cost more than two dollars can make someone feel seen and loved much more than a diamond ring that carries no meaning (depending on the homemade gift, the giver, and the receiver of course). Similarly, you can be generous with attention, compliments, or acts of service.

With Venus Retrograde in Leo, it’s time for you to get real with how generous you really are – and where you just do things to get something back. This is a time for honesty and authenticity, for being true to your heart – give to people whom you love when it feels good, and get honest with yourself to where you can’t give more. Because this, too, is a part of this transit.

Generosity, however, isn’t a one-way street. For one, we all need to have our generosity appreciated by the people we love. No one likes to put all they have into a relationship only for the other person to shrug and not care. This transit shows you who’s worthy of your generous heart and who isn’t… and how you can tell the difference. Similarly, a relationship works better if both people are generous. Now, not everyone can be generous in the same way – some people don’t have the money to buy many gifts, or they don’t have the capacity to say “I love you” often… however, they may often be generous in different ways (time, attention, helpfulness) that you need to appreciate.

This astrological event shows you where other people are generous with you in their own way… and where they’re not, or where it becomes a one-way street. You can’t change someone else’s behavior for them, but you can make sure that you ask for what you need (in a gentle, non-forcing way), that you give back in your own way, and that you appreciate whatever it is you get. Often, that inspires people to be more generous with you.

This leads me to money. Venus Retrograde in Leo shows you if the way you spend your resources makes sense. A) does it work realistically with your lifestyle? B) does it make you happy and fulfill you? C) is it a true expression of what you place your worth in? Depending on your answers, you might make some changes under this transit.

Money shows us what we value – or it should. But also, money is an expression of worth. What is that hair tie worth to you? How much do you want to spend to have it? Venus Retrograde in Leo shows us the answers to that question (and not just for hair ties). It also shows us whether how we make our money is worth it to us… and where we may need to change. To some extent, it may also show us creative solutions to the necessity to make money to survive and the necessity of not sacrificing your heart, true self, or deep desires in the process. Obviously, this is not a struggle for everyone… but for the people who do struggle with that, there’s hope on the horizon.

Lastly, Venus Retrograde in Leo shows you where your worth is intertwined with money and validation. One: your worth as a person is never determined by your bank account or how others view you – though you may think that’s the case (consciously/deep down), you’re worth so much more than that. Two: this astrological event shows you where you may need to update your perspective on that account and that you’re perfectly worthy of love (and lovable!) no matter who you are, how popular you are, and how much you make.

Love Is All That Matters

Want to know a secret? Come closer… no, closer… closer… *whispers: people on their deathbed don’t ever regret not having worked more – they aren’t proud of work, either. All they regret, are proud of and even remember is love.

It should come as no surprise that love is one of the few things people remember when they’re about to die. Love is the greatest motivator. The greatest source of resilience, it’s what makes people get up day after day even after they’ve decided that the world isn’t worth going on for. Because the world doesn’t have to be worth it, their kid is. Or their pet. Or spouse. Or parents. Or best friends. Other people they’re loyal to and love, etc. Love is what makes you whole again after you’ve broken, and that fills you up when you feel empty.

Love is the greatest healing source and the greatest balm for things that can’t heal anymore. Love teaches us that we may not be perfect, but we’ve always been enough.

In Jordan Smith’s song, Only Love, he so wisely says:

“Only love can look inside a human heart

And see us for who we are

And who we are would be enough

If only there was only love.”

Love, at the end of the day, is all that matters to human beings. And Venus Retrograde in Leo reminds us of that and puts us in touch with the deep power love holds – regardless of the type of relationship.


Under Venus Retrograde in Leo, relationships get a bit of a reality check and are (sometimes) up for changes.

First of all, this is about all relationships with people that you care about, be it people at work, in your family, in your friend group, or in a romantic context… what have you. It’s not just romantic love though and that’s important for people to realize. It’s also your relationship with yourself… but we’ve covered the important points of that earlier in this article.

At this time, you may receive information that shows you what’s working in a relationship, what’s not working, where you can grow closer (or whether you need to grow further apart), and what place this relationship has in your life. You can ignore the information or listen to it, but my advice is: be truthful with yourself and pay attention to your relationships at this time. Don’t discard information if it’s scary or not what you want to hear.

While you can hold on to a fundamentally flawed relationship under the course of this astrological event, holding on only delays the inevitable. Either you fix what’s wrong (which you can’t always do), or the relationship won’t survive. However, if you take any information seriously that you intuitively or cognitively receive at this time, you have a chance at protecting your heart or even salvaging the relationship.

This leads me to forming new relationships. Venus Retrogrades are a great time to get clear on what you want in a relationship and who you’re compatible with – be it in business partnerships, friendships, or love. This knowledge then helps you set up the foundation you need to start a good relationship. This means that Venus Retrograde in Leo doesn’t always coincide with an actual new beginning in love, but it sets you up for one in a really powerful way.

Sometimes, Venus Retrograde makes past people re-appear so you can close out a chapter completely. There’s an ongoing joke that exes of all kinds start coming out of the woodwork at this point in time to see if you guys can rehash things (and that you should run away screaming). Fact is that this doesn’t happen for everyone. You may be safe from exes and ex-best friends, so no need to fret. Similarly, there may absolutely be times when returning to a past relationship is the right choice, not the wrong one. That being said, Venus Retrograde in Leo is not the best time to start anew with an old person – a little after the transit works a lot better.

My advice would be to wait until mid-September and see if the ex in question is still around. If they are (and you want to try things again), feel free to do so… but during Venus Retrograde, it’s often wiser to keep things platonic and get a chance to clear up what went wrong last time. That way, you can see whether you guys have a shot at getting this right this time around, and you can set up a workable and healthy foundation for that new beginning. Still, there’s a reason why many astrologers warn people away from their exes completely at this point in time. Having casual sex with your ex to see if “the spark’s still there” and things could potentially progress to something serious (which a bunch of people will try at this time) is a recipe for disaster right now. It literally breaks your heart and doesn’t work out 90% of the time. That being said: you’re your own person, do whatever you want.


This Venus Retrograde in Leo also has much more significance on a global scale than Venus Retrogrades usually do. The reason for that is that it starts off in a direct aspect with three outer planets, most importantly Pluto. Pluto recently on March 23rd entered a new sign, Aquarius, which starts a 21-year-long astrological event. (Here are the two articles that explain this shift (1) and (2).) Now, it’s gone back into the previous sign, Capricorn, to “wrap up” the previous 15-year cycle (Pluto has an elliptical orbit, which means that it’s staying longer in some zodiac signs than in others).

Essentially, this means the following: Pluto is introduced to a new sign which means new energies and topics that will be up for total transformation (which is what Pluto is about). Now, it’s going back into the previous sign to take the new energy into the old topics. Pluto in Capricorn was all about changing large-scale systems: societal rules, the market, governments, tradition-based institutions like the Catholic church, and so on. It’s also about how we do work as culture, ambition, corruption, power, hierarchies, our history, whom we value as a culture in high-profile positions, and deeply ingrained rules of how to be a mature and well-adjusted, rule-following citizen. As Pluto shifts back into this sign (06/11/2023-01/21/2024), we’ll then take the energy and themes of Pluto in Aquarius (total innovation, power-to-the-people, transformation through massive technological progress, change of education, out-of-the-box thinking, power through being different, power of ideology) back to the topics of Pluto in Capricorn to wrap it all up. So, we’ll see the culmination of the change that’s been coming since 2008, only it’s much more radical now.

So, why is that relevant for this Venus Retrograde? Venus Retrograde in Leo triggers Pluto as it goes back into Capricorn. This means that the process of wrapping up the previous themes spills specifically into the area Venus is all about. Namely, money, authenticity, love, relationships, diplomacy, women, and the arts. Combinations like this often lead to large-scale worldwide changes or political events, especially because the presence of Uranus and Neptune in the mix heightens the power of this transit.

Possible changes we can see in the world are:

- Feminist women’s movements as well as anti-feminist movements

- Things related to women’s fertility, especially on an institutional basis

- Big splash when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, specifically trans-women, and how they are /should be treated by law/institutions/as a rule

- A change in financial markets

- Peaceful protests using honest art (especially from women)

- The rise (and/or fail) of diplomacy

- Influential female narcissists uncovered

- Changes in the prison system (specifically of female prisoners)

- In some parts of the world: legalization of LGBTQ+ marriage

There’s obviously much more, but that’s the main topic.

Quick note: This article is for from over: the predictions for the single signs are still coming. But if you really liked it so far - I would love you forever if you could donate a sum of your choice to help support me in writing and publishing high quality astrological analysis! This is not required, at all, but it would go a long way to help me continue this work that takes a LOT of time and effort. Thank you!

How this Personally Impacts You the Most:

Look for Sun and Rising sign!

Aries: This transit hits your area of romance, play, vacation, children, creativity, the arts, and the inner child. If you have a kid or work with kids, this is a great time to show them some love. Other than that, be creative at this time of your life and do an inventory of your love life: are you happy in your relationship? If you’re single, what do you value in a partner? Remember, clarity may help you find them!

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Taurus: This hits your house of home, roots, family, and family of origin. You’re one of the most impacted signs: spend some time with the people who know you best. Think of how you can root your life in love… and bring some beauty into your home.

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Gemini: This transit hits your house of communication, perception, local life, learning, and siblings. What do you need to learn about love? Do you see the love in your life? Look for generosity and generosity finds you. Also, this is a good transit to show a sibling, cousin, or neighbor some love.

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Cancer: This impacts your finances, self-worth, and values the most. Maybe splurge on yourself a little and buy a loved one a gift!

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Leo: You are most impacted by this transit because it hits your area of identity, how others see you, who you are deep down, and your life path as well as your appearance and physical body. Show yourself some love and really build on your relationships at this time of your life: they matter.

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Virgo: This transit happens in your area of endings and letting go. Fear not, this isn’t a bad sign: it merely means that you’re EXTREMELY invested in the “cleaning out the past” aspect of this astrological event. You may also need this time to give yourself some love through rest and through getting clear on spiritual beliefs on love.

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Libra: You are one of the most impacted signs for this transit. For you, it happens in your house of planning the future, friendships, strategy, hopes, and dreams. What do you want from love? How many of your friends are actually your friends? What would a loving future look like for you? These are questions you should answer.

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Scorpio: This event happens in your area of career, mission, and the highest possible achievement as well as parenting and positions of authority. Where can you bring love into your career (or mission)? How do your career, passion, and money collaborate in your life? You may experience some changes.

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Sagittarius: This transit hits your house of beliefs, travel, and foreign cultures. So the first question is: what do you believe to be true about love? And is it accurate? Next, look at how people of other cultures “do love & relationships” may be life-changing for you… as could be travel.

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Capricorn: This astrological event falls in your house of intimacy, truth, trust, and shared resources. Where do you trust too much – or too little in love? How do you heal and broken heart, and where do you need to open it up again? These are the main questions of this transit. Other than that, keep an eye on the money you share with others, there could be important changes here.

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Aquarius: Venus Retrograde in Leo hits your house of relationships and commitment. This is literally the time to do an inventory of ALL relationships in your life. Which ones serve you? Which ones don’t? Do you feel seen by other people? It’s time to get clear, clean house, and meet new people where necessary.

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Pisces: This transit is all about your environment, chores, duty, pets, and health. Are you loving yourself by taking care of your physical body and mental state? How is love healing for you? Where is love a duty to you – and how do you integrate it into your regular, daily life? These are all questions of this transit.

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This Venus Retrograde is a time for self-love first, which starts by healing your heart of all things that created fissures and made you feel unlovable. It’s also a time for you to remember what makes you lovable and for remembering who you are. Next, it’s a time for a new honesty with creativity and art-making, and last, it’s about truths in relationships, what you need, and where you’re at with someone.

Overall, this will likely be a very interesting, healing, and lovely transit full of important information that can set you up for a future filled with love.

If you’d like to book a reading with me to explore this (or other topics) more in-depth, you can do so here. Also, here are some other articles that may interest you.

Until then,



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