Hold onto your seats (and your SOs): Venus, the planet of love and affection, is moving retrograde for the first time in two years. And its effects will be powerful. "Venus retrogrades less often than any other planet, and yet in the middle of the retrograde, it comes closer to Earth than any other planet ever does," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com. "That makes Venus retrogrades very intense."
This year, Venus will spend six weeks moving backwards in flirty Gemini, from May 13 to June 25. During this time, you can expect some extra friction in your love life.
"Since Gemini is one of the free spirits of the zodiac, this retrograde is set to bring the desire for freedom within relationships," says Montúfar. "That means that there will be more than the usual number of breakups."
Some relationship troubles may be brewing already — if you're quarantining with your partner, you may be butting heads or bickering more often than usual. Conversely, if you're not able to see your partner, the distance could be putting a strain on your relationship. The independent energy created by Venus's retrograde will highlight those sensitive spots. While it doesn't mean you'll definitely split up with a partner you love, it does mean that you'll have to put some extra work in to communicate effectively over the next several weeks.
Another reason this retrograde will feel especially profound is because it occurs in heady Gemini, says Stardust. "We will be overthinking the past, present, and future — but not living in the moment. All matters of love and money will feel super intense," she says. "Sensitivities and intuition will be heightened, as well as codependency, neediness, and paranoia around love and money matters," Stardust adds.
We'll be vulnerable to deceit. We may get sucked into a get-rich-quick scheme, or fall for a less-than-upstanding partner. It's a good time to have our guard up, and to focus on protecting ourselves first.
It's not all bad news, though. Although the Venus retrograde may come with some setbacks, it also gives us an opportunity to rethink and re-access our relationships with those closest to us — and ourselves, says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com.
"Love energy may be harder to come by during this period, but we may compensate for this by loving ourselves more," she notes. "Perhaps the greatest lesson of this retrograde during COVID-19 is to understand and be clear on who we love and what our true values really are." Self-love is always something we can get behind.