Venus Retrograde happens every 18 months or so. If you’ve never heard about this before you can you can read more at this sight here. Basically it’s a revisionary phase of the planet that rules love, fashion, art, commerce and values.
This year it went retrograde in the sign of Scorpio, which brought a deeper, darker and more emotional component to it.
As I wrote on Instagram back in October
“This mirrors the classic story of Inannas descent into the underworld. She is also knowns by the name of Persephone. A quick google search will send you down a rabbit hole of discovery if you’re not familiar with this story cycle.
It is a powerful one for every woman to be familiar with.
This will be a time of reclaiming the seed of new growth from the darkness and pain in our hearts. It’s a time of recalibrating hope to navigate us in a health self loving direction. Whether you are looking for love, healing your self love story your money story or deep diving into you Feminine beliefs now is a very powerful time. ”
I have noticed that over the last few years really big shifts in perspective friendships and relationships have happened during Venus retrograde, including the classic pop up appearances of exes (not to be encouraged!) and old friends coming to visit (definitely a highlight!) So this year I was ready to use this 6 week transit to consciously take a deep dive with the Goddess of love, and get clear on my values, how I treat myself, and deepen my relationship with the divine feminine.
Across the 6 weeks of Venus Retrograde;
I took two online self care courses (one my own!)
Travelled for 3 weeks to the UK to visit with girlfriends I’ve known almost all my life and Greece to attend a feminine tantric yoga retreat “Huntress of Pleasure” .
After a year of a lot of transition and foundation laying it was wonderful to take time to get really clear about what I value, the importance of the feminine relationships in my life and anchoring into practices that support my daily self care, whilst still being in the world.
Venus was definitely having her way with me.
At the end I will share 4 free resources that have come from these experiences and become the pillars of my self care practice.
I started this transit off with the second round of my online course Boundaried
Working my way through the 21 days with this group was such a beautiful gift. The coaching calls were full of such simple and powerful gems for the women attending and watching on the play back.
On Day Fifteen I talk about giving ourselves permission to ask for help and knowing how and who to do that with. This includes creating safe and nourishing support circles in our lives. Women are not meant to live in total isolation. Patriarchy has had us pitched against each other for the very reason that we are so very powerful when we support and respect each other.
There are many wounds to heal here, and the power of self forgiveness and the very real experience of feeling the support of other women during the course so far has been beautiful to witness.
It was with my heart full of the call of sisterhood that I flew to London. I wrote about it here.
What I will say time and again is that time spent with women I adore, both new and known is so deeply healing.
Investing time and money to cross oceans to say ” I love you and I miss you, thank you for seeing me,” will be the best money you will ever spend. Hands down.
And if you think these kinds of friendships and connections are out of your reach think again dear sister. Attend a circle in your area, join an online forum, join a meet up, there will be hits and misses but we are out there.
Somewhere in the middle of all this I began the beautiful course Radiate by Claire Baker. If you haven’t heard of her please do yourself a favour and head over to her page and down load her free cycle charts. You won’t look back!
As an acupuncturist of 18 years it would be so easy (and incorrect) to say that I know as much as I need to know about hormones and periods and all things lady garden. I’m so delighted that I took this course. What I know to be true is that even if you ‘know’ a technical piece of information, there will always be nuances and subtleties that different people will bring to the topic, and new layers for you to gain another level of understanding on.
Claire has such a way with how she shares all the information offered. I found my self feeling and sensing new elements to my own cycle and my relationship with my wombspace that I am still integrating. There was so much I loved about this course, the meditations especially helped me sink into the wisdom my body was wanting to offer me.
Improving how I access my inner cycles has been super helpful in planning out how I work, and not getting bogged down in those days that see mood and energy swinging wildly.
The 10 days that I spent on the Island of Amorgos attending the Huntress of Pleasure retreat hosted by Devashi Shakti were deep and transformative. I will write much (much) more on this soon.
Amorgos was the island that the famed Circe of Greek Legend was said to be exiled on. It was the site also of an ancient water priestess oracle, which now of course has a church built over it. (The sacred spring prevails) The beauty and magic of the place is undeniably nourishing.
The week was structured around morning feminine yoga practice, meals eaten in sacred silence, tantric body work in the afternoons and meditation in the evenings. Sacred silence was maintained for the majority of the day with the exception of a couple of hours when we were in circle in the mornings.
What this practically meant is that we couldn’t use idle, superficial chit chat and intellectual distraction to distance ourselves from how we were feeling and we couldn’t engage in habits of counselling or fixing with other women. It also gave us permission to KEEP all the energy generated in the course of practices for our own restoration and nourishment. It was a gorgeous and necessary respite from lives that are usually focused on service and care of our clients, family and communities.
So here are the 4 practices that I feel you will love exploring and integrating into your self care practice.
Seriously this cannot be underestimated and is definitely something I will be exploring more in my daily life. It might be a solo day at home or a morning in silence before work and I really enjoyed the silence premenstrually.
Even if it feels beyond you, I’d invite you experiment with just being silent until after breakfast on a Sunday morning or choosing a time in your week that will cause the least inconvenience and give yourself a few hours of space. The benefits are not speculative and have been proven to help brain cell renewal, hormone regulation and decreases in stress.
Journalling Your Menstrual Cycle
This practice came out of Claires course, and it’s something she also talks about in her Socials. There are a number of ways she suggests to journal through your cycle. The one I have been playing with is where in a separate journal you take 28 (or more) pages and dedicated each page to a day in your cycle, then rule the page into 4 pieces so across the passage of 4 months you will see 4 versions of each day at a glance and be able to observe patterns and reoccurring themes.
Now I have been hit and miss with getting into the ritual of this, but I am continuing with it as I am now heading into my second month of journalling this way and I am seeing lots of reoccurring themes and patterns. There are still some days that are blank (hello inner summer) but there has been some beautifully tender days that when I look back on exactly the same day in my previous cycle there have been similar feelings, ideas and desires occurring.
This has been so helpful in inviting myself to be more compassionate for where I am at and I imagine in the future I will be able to clearly see the ebb and flow of energy and even plan self care, days off, and work around this information.
I am ALWAYS banging on about knowing what your values are. It is such an essential element to getting clear about what’s important to you, why that is and in turn helps you understand how to make decisions that will serve you best and support you to make discerning choices. This free online questionnaire here is a great start.
I am not in any way affiliated with this group, they will ask for your email to send you the feed back which is comprehensive and helpful. You can read more on values on Wiki here
I dive into knowing your values in all my mentoring work and in Boundaried also. As we evolve and our lives change so too will our values grow and evolve.
Boundaried Self Care Phone Tree
The last resource I would like to offer you is the self care “Phone Tree”
It is one of the resources in Boundaried. I borrowed the idea from the movie Practical Magic. It is one of my all time fave movies and included in the course curriculum!
The phone tree in the film contained all the names and numbers of the women at school to call in case of emergency. So too your self care phone tree has all the practices, people and resources you know can help. Again it sounds obvious right? The thing is though that the moment we become stressed or find ourselves in a panic a reminder and a simple grounded list of what to do next is one of the most simple and helpful things we can offer ourselves.
Download your phone tree fillable PDF here.
The way we integrate, interpret and work with any process is always going to be a very individual process. It is my intention here that you explore these ways to support yourself and find what works for you.
As always I would love to hear how this unfolds for you.