Brace Yourself: Venus Goes Retrograde Right Before Christmas 2021

The love planet makes a six-week pivot every 18 months and this time it’s during the holidays. From December 19 to January 29, Venus is retrograde in traditional Capricorn. Here’s how every zodiac sign can cope—and keep relationships intact.

By The AstroTwins

Are you ready for a romantic revolution—or just a more reliable signal for when you need to tune in to the wisdom of your heart? That chance could come before the holidays as Venus goes retrograde before Christmas (on December 19, 2021) in earth sign Capricorn, until January 29, 2022.

The planet of love and money spins back through the zodiac every 18 months. This time, she reverse commutes through traditional, goal-oriented Capricorn. As the calendar turns, you have the perfect opportunity to review—and if necessary, rewrite—the future of your love story. 

It’s never fun to discover a planet is going retrograde, especially during the holidays. (Consider yourself on notice to avoid that toxic ex, even if they send the sweetest, sexiest text when you’ve had three cups of brandied eggnog.)

Retrogrades make us work harder, dig deeper and look into those agonizing shadows we’d rather avoid. But there’s a purpose to these “review periods,” too! If you’re willing to do the inner work, you’ll emerge with a clear vision of what’s right for you—and what steps you should take to make it a reality.

P.S. Ready to write a new love story and put old, outdated ones to bed? Join us for Romance Reset, our online course designed to guide you through this Venus retrograde cycle.

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Venus Retrograde Pre-Flight Checklist: Examine these things while Venus is retrograde in Capricorn…

Retrograde Venus offers a chance to plunge into a deep examination of how you “do” relationships. Ask yourself:

  • What would you like your love life to look like 10 years from now? 10 months from now? 10 days from now? Let yourself visualize and write it down. 
  • Is your fixed vision of love preventing you from being present and open with your S.O. or dates?
  • Do you need to review your “criteria list” for a partner? Make sure it’s clear, but also not so hardcore that there’s no room for anyone to delight you.
  • Do you feel free to be openly passionate, affectionate and romantically expressed? Or are you suppressing yourself for fear of what others will think? 
  • What unlived #lovegoals do you want to bring to life in 2022?

Questions like these weigh on us all as Venus’ retrograde pushes us to do all those “re” activities like reviewing, revisiting, reassessing and reconnecting. And no, it’s not gonna be a cakewalk (real love seldom is). But those who are willing to do the work of self-examination and course correction might be rewarded with a fulfilling new chapter in love in 2022.

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Here’s what every zodiac sign has in store when Venus goes retrograde before Christmas

Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces

ARIES (March 20 – April 19): Realign your love goals

Love is in the air, Aries, but don’t just free-fall into any tantalizing situation dangled before you. It’s not that you need to be goal-oriented about relationships, but you can start clarifying the future you want for yourself in 2022. What—and who—do you consider valuable, Aries?

Venus goes retrograde before Christmas (on December 19). The love planet’s backspin only happen every 18 months. Until January 29, she’s backing up through Capricorn and your purpose-driven tenth house. You may start to notice the disparities between longings of the heart and the rationale of your mind. Some people can only meet the criteria on one plane, and that’s fine! But people who can stir you at a soul level AND anchor you in reality are the ones to keep around. Rare as they may be, they do exist.

Since retrogrades rule the past, it’s possible you’re already acquainted, or have been circling around each other’s orbits. Over the coming six weeks, your existing connections could deepen in unexpected ways.

The tenth house also rules your career, and creative, value-minded Venus may illuminate the hidden treasures of your own capabilities. In driven Capricorn, leadership and expertise are highlighted. Maybe it’s time to enroll in a training program to sharpen your natural skills or start pouring your knowledge into a new training or workshop that you can offer online.

TAURUS (April 19 – May 20): Brutal honesty?

Get ready for a huge internal shift, Taurus, as your red-hot-lover of a ruler Venus goes retrograde before Christmas (on December 19) in Capricorn and your ninth house of truth and optimism. This begs the question: Have you been using positive thinking to try to sidestep a conflict? You can’t cheer yourself out of your honest feelings or put off speaking up because you don’t want to rock the boat! Stop painting sunshine over a legit issue and start addressing it directly. While broaching certain topics will be uncomfortable, once you open the floodgates, you’ll feel so relieved! How can you move forward with loved ones unless you’re being heard?

In all your closest connections, put long-range goals on the table and see how they align. Though you may discover you want very different things, that doesn’t necessarily portend a breakup. Use the next six weeks to cleverly brainstorm ways you can support each other’s dreams. Head’s up: to get through a rough patch, you may need to temporarily reconfigure finances.

Are you still ruminating over the one that got away? Venus’ pivot could bring an old flame back into the picture; perhaps someone who moved away. If the connection is still strong, you may feel inspired to stoke the embers. Just don’t expect to have full clarity until la love planet corrects course on January 29.

Gemini (May 20 – June 21): Get vulnerable

Cupid hurls a curveball into the game, Gemini, as amorous Venus turns retrograde before Christmas in Capricorn and your erotic eighth house. Between December 19 and January 29, you simply can’t rely on your intuitive senses—or your tarot deck—to read what’s going on. If you want to deepen intimacy, you’re going to have to pry open the chamber of secrets and (glug) get vulnerable.

The good thing about a planetary retrograde is that it can help you plunge into deeper waters. If you raced ahead romantically without reviewing practical considerations (like, say, divergent life paths or different ideas about raising kids), here’s your chance to tap the brakes. Or maybe you’ve been hiding something that’s really important to you for fear of coming on too strong. Bare your soul, bit by bit. Eventually, anyone you date will find out the truth. That’s the beauty of true relationships, that you’re  loved for ALL of who you are. Conversely, the object of your affections may share a deep, dark secret. Don your sexiest Sherlock cap and create a safe space for authentic communication. Ask questions in a relaxed tone—without expecting a “right answer.” If you hear something jarring, you don’t have to freak out. But definitely don’t sweep it under the rug.

Between now and January 29 you may be doing some hardcore negotiating to figure out if your styles mesh—and if you can establish enough trust to accompany the lust! Retrogrades stir up the past and things could heat up with an old flame again. But if you text a toxic ex on NYE, don’t kid yourself about developing a friendship. Just follow this three-step plan: ignore, delete, block!

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Cancer (June 21 – July 22): Relationship U-turns ahead

We all have a past, but doesn’t yours need a little cleanup, Cancer? Venus goes retrograde before Christmas (December 19 until January 29) and this one’s a bit of a double-whammy since it takes place in Capricorn and your seventh house of relationships. While the U-turn can dredge up unpleasant issues, it offers a brilliant opportunity to wrestle all your connections back into a happy, healthy balance.

Buckle up, buttercup: If the holidays alone don’t excavate buried issues, Venus’ backspin will. An ex could resurface with unfinished business, perhaps the second chance you’ve been hoping for. But be careful about opening those doors while Venus muddles your judgment. Some Cancers may be torn between two lovers, or uncertain about what the right next steps are. Allow yourself to consider “unconventional” arrangements and don’t force the script of someone else’s love story to be the narrative of yours. This will shake out over the next six weeks if you stay honest—with yourself most of all—and have the difficult dialogues Venus retrograding through this no-nonsense sign demands.

Happily coupled Crabs can take advantage of this window to enjoy nostalgic bonding. Organize your honeymoon photos into a printable album (finally!) or take a long weekend trip to that adorable ski town where you had your first couples’ getaway. 

Leo (July 22 – August 22): Review your routines

How’s your heart health, Leo? As Venus backtracks through Capricorn, it sends up smoke signals in your sixth house of wellness, service and routines. Although you love the forward momentum of passion and dreamy plans, hit the breaks. Between now and January 29, you’re directed to slow down and take a measured approach to your feelings. You don’t have to react to every whim and mood; in fact, learning the art of restraint can be a game-changer. Instead of firing off an angry text, turn on that fitness video, do a five-minute meditation, pour yourself a mug of calming herbal tea. If you must unleash, take it up with your journal or save that message to drafts. Once your rational brain has taken hold again (instead of your reptilian one) you’ll be so glad you waited. In fact, you might even realize that you need to be a little MORE supportive of your partner’s goals.

Take a look at your routines. Do they bring you pleasure or are you a stressed-out wreck at the end of each day? Now’s the time to tune your schedule and systems so you can bring your whole life into better balance. With beauty queen Venus retreating here, self-care is the ultimate glow up. Nourish your body with clean, green food—and make sure that you’re eating at regular intervals to keep your energy from spiking and crashing.  Getting your gut health up to snuff will boost your immunity.

Virgo (August 22 – September 22): Passion interrupted?

Blast from the past alert, Virgo! Cupid’s arrows could lead you back through a time warp as Venus goes retrograde before Christmas (on December 19). The backspin is in Capricorn and your fifth house of passion and playful expression. While you’re innocently enjoying your holidays, don’t be surprised if an old flame pings you out of the blue—which will be both disruptive and (if you’re being honest) kind of titillating. But be warned! Common sense may fly out the window, especially if you’re feeling restless or bored. Those sketchy judgment calls can be disastrous until January 29, so willpower, please!

Do you keep hitting the same wall in a relationship? Attached Virgos may find themselves dialing in for couples’ therapy or a coaching session to process this recurring issue. Take heart: Even while retrograde, Venus helps you deal diplomatically. This backspin takes place through your fifth house of fame, helping you polish up your public image. Have you been hesitant to step into your true power or REALLY promote yourself? Use this six-week cycle to rework your “branding,” and don’t rush. Start by mood-boarding sites that captivate you with their words and graphics. Take a more curated approach to your social media, which might involve hiding and deleting posts and photos that aren’t really “2022 Virgo.”

Libra ( September 22 – October 23): Nostalgia and mood swings

Reunited and it feels so good, Libra! Dear friends and family will make a ceremonious return to your life when Venus goes retrograde before Christmas (on December 19)! Are you ready to repair some rifts? As your diplomatic ruler Venus turns retrograde in your sentimental fourth house, you don’t have to rush to extend the olive branch. But you may see this situation from a new light, which allows you to let go of anger and own up to your role in the meltdown. Instead of sweeping your feelings under the deep-pile rug, your mission is to honor each one and work through it. The wisdom of your heart deserves an equal vote to the logical voice in your head. Your emotional intelligence could increase by leaps and bounds by the time Venus corrects course on January 29.

As the planet of love and romance, retrograde Venus reminds you that like attracts like. To draw in an emotionally aware partner, you have to be tuned in to your own inner workings. By honoring your sentient self, your existing relationships will also improve. Bottom line: It’s not frivolous to feel! With the astrological aesthete spinning back through your home zone, you may suddenly see everything that’s “wrong” with Maison d’ Libra. But this judgment-skewing cycle won’t exactly bring out your best design eye. Start the mood boards and wait until January 29 before you turn your Midcentury dining room into a tiki bar. 

Scorpio (October 23 – November 22): Clear the air

Mic drop? Maybe you SHOULD put down the megaphone for a minute, Scorpio. With peaceful Venus spinning retrograde through your third house of communication, your attempts to be “diplomatically direct” could feel more like one of your trademark stings. Review your obligations. Did you say yes in haste? Make promises you can’t keep anymore? It’s possible that you hurt someone or led them on, Scorpio. Or maybe you simply forgot to say anything at all. Whatever the case, you’re going to spend a lot of time clearing the air over the next six weeks. Venus’ backspin can help you finesse your missives.

Under this flirtatious cycle, single Scorpios may feel the sparks with someone from the friend zone. Advance carefully because feelings will run hot and cold. Plus, this could all get SO much more complicated than you bargained for. If you’re on the fence, keep feelings in the “secret crush” category for now. Ask the obvious questions like, “Are you in a relationship?” You could attract people who are seductive but not exactly available—a mirror for any buried uncertainty you have about being “tied down.” (Tied up, on the other hand…now we’re talking!) If you’re not feeling all hot and bothered for your S.O. over the holidays, don’t freak out. Focus on strengthening the friendship aspect of your bond. You could fall back in love with each other’s minds (and the brain IS the “biggest organ” in the human body).

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Rein in spending

Whoa, Dasher! Venus goes retrograde before Christmas, so starting December 19, you’ll need to rein in impulsivity, Sagittarius. As value-driven Venus spends six weeks retrograde in Capricorn and your sensible second house, the reality checks are coming in strong. Embrace this forced timeout. Where is your love life leading you? And how’s your financial planning and management? This won’t feel like a Cinderella story, but truth is, you’ll be happy to get your glass slippers back on solid ground. PS: would returning those heels be the adult thing to do? It’s fine to be fanciful, sensual and decadent, but you might have to wrap up 2021 on a budget.

Abandonment issues may flare up periodically, especially if your romantic life is in flux. Don’t expect your partner to make it all better for you. Constant bids for reassurance could drain bae’s patience. (And frankly, Sag, “thirsty” is not a good look for you.) Instead, get yourself into a nurturing routine that involves regular workouts, healthy eating and developing your personal interests. It probably won’t take more than 24 hours to get back to confident once you remember how much you love reading fiction, watercolor painting and listening to business podcasts.

Warning: stubbornness and righteousness could interrupt peaceful coexistence. Are you the rare Archer who backs down too quickly from a fight? Look out world! This retrograde will give you the spine to push back against any “strong personalities.” But if anger and frustration have built up, don’t unleash that rage on loved ones. First, try to burn it off with exercise. Even while retrograde, Venus wants to help you bring back the loving feelings; not burn those bridges to the ground.

Capricorn (December 21 – January 19): Personal performance review

Now for some news that you might want to sit down for, Capricorn, or maybe recline on a velvet chaise lounge? On December 19, glam goddess Venus pivots into retrograde, gliding back through YOUR sign until January 29. Interesting astro-fact: Venus turns retrograde every 18 months, but every eight years, her reverse takes place in the Capricorn part of the sky, giving you a personal review period. Are you getting your needs met in love—and, if not, could it be that you need to spell them out a little more clearly? We teach people how to treat us. Perhaps it’s time to put bae through training––gently and diplomatically, please!

Remember this, however: relationships are a mirror. If you don’t like what’s coming your way, reflect on what you’re serving. Single Caps might take a Tinder time out so you can strengthen your own confident core. Attached? Give yourself the space you need to feel like a whole human, not a voluntary inmate in the couple bubble.

Since Venus is the cosmic creatrix, use this slower window to develop an artistic or musical project. Venus retrograde can help you plunge into more intimate places with ALL people—lovers, friends, potential partners, whoever. And for a change, you’ll have the patience to plunge into these emotional investigations. Hold off on any radical haircuts or color jobs. These updates could lead to regrets with beauty queen Venus in reverse. Take on a self-love challenge instead, embracing the natural wonder that you are.

Aquarius (January 19 – February 18): Spiritual lessons

Fantasy or reality? As love planet Venus turns retrograde in your enchanting, elusive twelfth house, you may not care to look for the difference. This six-week cycle probably won’t bring the best judgment calls, Aquarius. But when you’re awash in this much passion and desire, damming up that flow is a fool’s errand. Just know that if you plan to go “there,” the experience will probably come with deep lessons (if not a few regrets). Take command of this by pumping up the fairy-tale vibes in your life. Whether you’re wooing yourself with dozens of roses and weekly massages or spinning magic with your mate, don’t forget that you’re always in the driver’s seat. If you’ve been passive, you could wind up resentful, so cut that out, Aquarius!

Got some heart healing to do? You may be taking inventory of past loves and losses. Did you recently weather a breakup, loss or a disappointing experience in life? Are you still hanging on to some residual pain from a relationship that didn’t work out years ago? The time has come to finish your grieving so you can put this one to bed for good. You might even create a mourning ritual for moving through the pain. What parts of this person or situation will you always love (and really miss for a while)? Set up a temporary altar with photos or objects, allowing yourself to feel the grief fully as you sit before it. By January 29, you might even be ready to build a fire and do a ceremonial burning of a few of those mementos—or else pack them away in storage.

Pisces (February 18 – March 20): Due process

Nothing wrong with being a hopeless (or hopeful) romantic, Pisces, when Venus goes retrograde before Christmas. But how aligned are your visions with your current reality? As Venus turns retrograde in your idealistic eleventh house, you plunge into six weeks of introspection. As one of the zodiac’s most ardent signs, you have a tendency to put the cart before the horse. But Venus is backing up through pragmatic Capricorn until January 29, yanking in those reins and insisting that you follow due process in the game of love.

Slow down and, if you’re still single, think about chatting up multiple people instead of rushing into exclusivity. If you’ve had an unrequited crush on someone who keeps flitting in and out of your heart, this is the time to be more hardcore. If this person isn’t ready to be with you NOW, don’t take yourself off the market as you wait for them to come around. And if you can’t cut ’em out, limit communication to “out of practical necessity only.”

Coupled Pisces may have some real negotiating to do about your shared future, especially if your relationship devolved into a power struggle; or, maybe you’re having trouble expressing YOUR deep-down needs. It might be wise to book an appointment with a couples’ therapist who can help you LISTEN to each other. Even if things are going great, there’s always room to grow. How about using your holiday time to take an online course together, especially one that enhances communication or deepens intimacy?

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The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.