Venus retrograde – the significance of 40 days and 40 nights

40 days venus retrogradeVenus turns retrograde only every two years or so which makes it one of the more rare astrological events (the outer planets retrograde every year and Mercury retrogrades four times a year).  When a planet is retrograde, meaning it APPEARS to be moving backwards from our perspective on earth, its influence tends to be more hidden and we generally are urged to look backwards and rectify matters from the past.

 makes an interesting point – that the 40 days and 40 nights of the Venus retro period corresponds to the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus traveled in the wilderness.

Forty is mentioned in the bible often, but most famously when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for forty days. Could this be referring to the astrological phenomena of Venus retrograde? After all, Venus has two sides to her. She is the goddess of love and war according to the Babylonians. The word Lucifer (which is often confused with Satan) means light-bringer and refers to Venus in her morning star phase. The ancients said the first few days of her Lucifer phase was a particularly dangerous time. People born with Venus as a morning star are said to rush headlong into love affairs and are very passionate. Venus as an evening star is has more of the receptive, traditional meaning.

You might also be interested  in this earlier article I wrote about the two sides of Venus, and in this article about Lucifer as Venus, the Light Bringer.

I became curious about the significance of 40 days and 40 nights, because before Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for this length of time rain fell on Noah for 40 days and 40 nights.  Moses and the ancient Hebrews wandered in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights.  And then Jesus remained on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights after the crucifixion.  And Buddha is said to have fasted and meditated for 40 days and 40 nights before reaching Samadhi.  These 40-day periods seem to relate to periods of trial and being tested by YHWH.

Perhaps these 40-day periods of retrograde Venus can be seen in modern times as a period in which we are tested in our relationships and our values – to see if we have been able to successfully balance the warrior archetype with the goddess of love in a way that helps our relationships to be more effective while empowering us as individuals.

By | 2018-10-06T10:03:24+00:00 October 5th, 2014|Planetary cycles, Religion|8 Comments


  1. KaD January 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I wish Mercury only went retrograde every two years.

    • January 26, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Ha! funny, KaD.

    • roderick2012 January 31, 2014 at 9:41 am

      You and me both, KaD, especially since my ascendant is Virgo.

      It’s a real pain when Mercury is retrograde in my solar return chart.

      Only over the past couple of years has Mercury been direct in my solar return chart. I guess I need to pay close attention to when Mercury will be retrograde this year.

  2. Ashley January 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Interesting. Lots of conversation and dreams about sex,birth and food. Very Goddess like. And in a time of starting a new month…will we commit to our new year resolutions?

    • Greg F January 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Dreams about food make me think of Ceres, which is in late Libra now near conjunction with Mars and Vesta. All near my natal sun (25 Libra). Fascinating, as Leonard Nimoy might say. 🙂

    • January 26, 2014 at 8:17 am

      It’s likely that we will keep re-evaluating those resolutions in the context of our changing values, Ashley.

  3. mark January 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

    You brought an intresting persepctive to cognitive development. My DOB is May 8, 1967. My prenatal venus is in gemini. Sun, Moon, North Node and Mercury is in Taurus, and rising ascendant is in Aquarius.
    Eversince december I am contemplating to further my studies. This time i intend to pursue Phd program that i like. Unfortunately, I was told that i may need to take prerequisite courses for 2 years . This is from my expense . Later the school will pay me for my Phd program for 4 years. This is still on my mind. I am unable to make any commitments. I am waiting to discuss this with my mom this tuesday, 27 January. So the 40 days and 40 nights is something i can relate to now. wonder if i will pursue my studies? i dont know..

    • January 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Mark with transiting Saturn opposite your Taurus Sun and possibly squaring your ascendant depending on the degree, it’s not surprising to encounter delays. Saturn times are important for planning and evaluation and once the answer is clear you can move forward.

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