Venus is our next-door neighbor here in the solar system, and therefore it is retrograde the least amount of time of all the planets -- only once every 18 months, for about 6 weeks at a time.

That amounts to about seven percent of the time, total. Compare that to Pluto, which is retrograde forty-four percent of the time!

When Venus, the Planet of Love, goes retrograde, it’s no surprise that relationship issues come right to the surface. Things you (or your lover!) have simply been tolerating all of a sudden become intolerable. One or both of you may say or do things that you otherwise wouldn’t.

Some folks have been known to make sudden, unilateral relationship moves when Venus was retrograde -- but we don’t recommend it. Far better to talk it out and give it some time. You can make a permanent decision later on, when Venus goes direct and you become more sure of what you want and how to make it happen.

By the same token, it’s best not to begin a relationship under Venus Retrograde, either. However, it could be a great time to reconnect with someone from your past. Just be careful not to repeat mistakes.

Perhaps the most valuable feature of Venus Retrograde is the opportunity for you to reevaluate what is important to you: What do you value? You perceive your value system with new eyes during this period, and can adjust your life accordingly.

When Venus is retrograde, it is considered a poor time to get married or open a bank account. Don't purchase luxury items, as they are likely to be overpriced. It's a great time, on the other hand, for shopping in antique stores, secondhand stores and flea markets.

Learn more about the other retrograde planets: Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde, Mars retrograde, Jupiter retrograde, Saturn retrograde, Uranus retrograde, Neptune retrograde, Pluto retrograde

Ah, Venus -- the sweet, affectionate and romantic planet of love. Venus is all about pleasure, about bringing people together and uniting them in harmony; so this planet rules not just love and dating but also friendships, partnerships and any social gathering. It also rules finances -- the means by which you treat yourself and your friends to a wonderful dinner out or a spontaneous, romantic gift of flowers or chocolates.

Where Venus lies in your chart influences how you approach any kind of partnership. Are you comfortable with intimacy, or just a little bit leery of getting too close and dependent? Do you live for love or are you just fine with being on your own? And when it comes to friendship and business, how do you work with other people -- do you avoid trouble by letting the other person lead, or do you tend to assert your vision regardless of what the other person wants? All of this is related to the workings of Venus.

Money is also within this planet's realm. It will show if you're good with money -- cautious, conservative and only taking calculated, well-thought-out risks. It will also show if you tend to be more indulgent and less prudent, spending too much, believing that more is better and pleasure is priceless.

Venus rules the affectionate signs of Taurus and Libra; read about Taurus and Libra to learn more about these signs and Venus's influence on them.

The planets are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Venus, reputed as the 'Goddess of Love,' is the second closest planet to the Sun and has an orbit of 225 days. Because it’s in between the Earth and the Sun, it is never more than 48° from the Sun from our viewpoint.

Venus has hot, perpetual acid rain and a dense atmospheric pressure. It spins on its axis in the opposite direction from other planets: If you were on Venus, the Sun would rise in the West and set in the East. Venus takes much, much longer to rotate on its axis than it does to orbit the Sun, which means that a Venus day is longer than the Venus year!

Five Venus revolutions take exactly 8 Earth years; when plotted on a zodiac wheel, they create a perfect 5-pointed star.

From Earth’s perspective, Venus appears to go retrograde only seven percent of the time because it is so close to the Earth. When Venus does go retrograde, it's time to mull over the quality of your romantic relationships. It’s usually not a great time to take permanent action in love; it’s more suited for working things out and focusing on self-love.

Like Mercury, Venus is both a morning and an evening star and is beautifully brilliant due to its proximity and its highly reflective atmosphere. At its brightest, it is the brightest planet visible to the eye.

Venus returns to its natal position in a chart about once a year. When it does, the focus tends to be on relationships, values, possessions, artistic endeavors and money.