Venus retrograde 22nd June to 3rd September
The recent and deeply soulful Venus retrograde in Leo ended on 3rd September or maybe a day or two later, depending on where you are in the world. Venus had turned retrograde on 22nd June and what was notable about this period, which also coincided with Pluto going retrograde back into Capricorn on 12th June, was how many people checked out of planet Earth during these two retrograde cycles. No less than five friends of mine lost someone very close to them. Then we had the passing over of Tina Turner, Glenda Jackson, Michael Parkinson, Robbie Robertson of The Band, and most notably, the extraordinary Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, whose loss has left a void in Ireland which quite simply, no one can fill. In January and February of this year we also lost Burt Bacharach, David Crosbie and Lisa Marie Presley, followed by Harry Belafonte in April.
That’s quite the list folks.
My own Venus journey was quite extraordinary during this time. As many of you know, I returned to Italy for firstly a weeks sailing in Sardinia, followed by a week back in my beloved Lucca, a town I had not returned to in almost seven years. The trip had been planned around the only dates available on the sailing yacht and not in any way around Venus Retrograde. But that sure is how it played out! I was enormously challenged even before arriving as the holiday had taken a solid three weeks to book as there were a lot of logistics involved. On arrival at Alghero airport it was difficult to find the car hire desk, then an extra payment had to be taken due to not having a credit card. On arrival in Alghero itself on what was a scorching hot august Friday night, it took almost an hour to park. I changed accommodation at the last minute staying in the same hotel I had stayed in a few weeks earlier. The next morning I took my time driving to Cannigione, where the weeks holiday started.
As my time in Portugal ended up being a working holiday last November, I had decided very specifically that this would therefore be a full two weeks of switching off from all things astrological. Which I did. It was also an up levelling on a scale I had never done before – this was a “faffing about on a 54 foot yacht” type of holiday, not a learn to sail holiday. And faff about on this beautiful yacht I did! There were eight of us plus skipper and first mate. All Italian, with myself being the only non Italian.
In true Italian fashion, every Italian cliche in the book played out during that week! Our first briefing lasted all of ten minutes and consisted in prioritising times of breakfast, lunch and dinner, not a word about health and safety, or where the life jackets were, never mind man overboard drills! How refreshing!
We sailed between Sardinia and Corsica and I learnt that the Straits of Bonifacio are in fact one of the windiest places in the world to sail. Being Irish, that didn’t phase me too much! So we meandered amongst the Maddalena islands, and on over to Corsica, visiting several stunning bays off both islands and also spending a full day in Bonifacio. The highlight was drinking champagne at midnight for a fellow crew members birthday, during the Full Moon in Aquarius whilst berthed at Bonficacio. I still pinch myself at the memory, as I do at the memory of the stunning bays we visited, usually by dinghy with as many as nine of us squashed in. And of course there were no life jackets there either!
By the end of the week, during which time I constantly laughed myself sick, I had made seven new Italian friends for life. A reunion has already been planned in Bari in November. I’ll be the first to arrive. Once again this Venus retrograde reminded me of everything I so love about Italy – the family values, and above all the the way everyone is included in everything, the constant discussions about food, the outdoor lifestyle, the sun, the sea, the aperitivos, the siestas. These seven people are not transient friends, they are friends for life, I know that for sure.
The hilarity of the impromptu nail bar / nail painting sessions on board, the over the top late night “wedding”, the manner in which another Italian boat railroaded their way into docking alongside us in Corsica, reversing at about 50 miles an hour, whilst blatantly ignoring the panicked French port official who did not want to take responsibility for any nearby boat damage, saying “che spazio, va bene” Italian speak for “sure, it’ll be grand” – and indeed it was!
A lifetime of memories in just six days. Aquamarine seas the likes of which I had never seen before, beachside cafes which we had to swim to, lazy afternoon siestas, a range of kind thoughtful and utterly generous people to talk to – or not. Either was fine. Relentless teasing and winding up of each other. All done in a kind gentle manner, no harm intended.
The day after we disembarked, I slowly moseyed my way back to Alghero from where I returned to my beloved Lucca, which you can read about in the previous blog post here.
And yes of course there were several lengthy goodbyes over coffee before departing. By the time I returned to Ireland the following week, I had already received over 20 loving kind thoughtful messages from my wonderful new Italian friends.
Italy I love you so. I always will.
Never more than when Venus is retrograde. And on returning to Ireland I then also had the extraordinary realisation that my love and I had indeed also first met all those years ago in Cork…whilst Venus was….yes…retrograde!