Illustration by Taylor Dow

Final Love Lessons

Venus is moving out of retrograde, finally, but that doesn’t mean it’s over quite yet.

After a 40-day retrograde that tested relationships, made exes emerge like ghosts, and poked old love wounds, planet Venus is turning direct on Saturday. But before you bust out the streamers and balloons, keep in mind: The heart focus isn’t over yet, and you can’t just coast through this final leg of Venus’ retrograde. As Venus slows and switches direction this week, you won’t be able to avoid peering into the abyss to face deep truths about what you value/d, how you love/d, and what you desire/d.

Maybe you once shared time and space with someone who was a main character in your life. Together you created memories both positive and painful. But that time is over. Whether your union was defined by love, lust, or addictive attachment—or some combination of these—it is no longer. Instead of agonizing over why the bond broke—peeking at the person’s Instagram account every hour, or passively expecting time to heal all wounds—consider this: You might have to actively, intentionally push away in order to truly move on. No planet’s movement can give you finger-snap healing without effort on your part. You have to show the Universe you’re serious.


While Venus returns to direct motion this week, Mercury’s retrograde intensifies, resulting in ideal conditions for examining how our past affects our present. Deciding to change your thoughts and behaviors is an option: You can refuse to send or respond to a 1 a.m. “I miss you” text. You can reroute your walk to work so you don’t pass your former friend’s apartment if you know the sight of it will upset you. You can conduct a private closure ceremony or cord-cutting visualization to help yourself grieve and release.

As much as we’d like people to show up for us, some just can’t. We may have to accept the fact that we’ll never receive an apology from that estranged family member; we might have to admit that an ex isn’t capable of building a mature friendship with us, and that no contact is a healthier choice. Since retrograding Mercury is in an earth sign, it’s also wise to comb through your home now and update your surroundings. Re-evaluate any emotionally charged mementos, postcards, or photo-booth strips that remind you of people or situations you’re trying to detach from. Is the object a source of joy or pain? That’s your call to make.


This is the Sun’s final week in assertive, action-oriented Aries. Due to recent Saturn squares, you might be facing delayed gratification, ongoing arguments, and unresolved tension. In addition, the Sun will reveal a whole lot of information this week. Because of the Sun’s tangle with Uranus, these revelations may surprise us. It’s all part of the learning curriculum. Keep taking notes; learn as you go.

In Tarot, the Judgement card depicts naked figures stirring from the dead, rising from their coffins at the sound of a trumpet. The Judgement card says we can make a conscious choice to forgive our past selves and wash away our poor choices (choices that ultimately taught us a ton). We can actually thank our flawed history for getting us to where we are today, then commit to trying harder in the future. If appropriate, we can forgive others for their shortcomings too.


The Scorpio moon on Wednesday the 12th stirs up sexy moods and deep discussions, yet you might uncover information that surprises you. Thursday the 13th asks you to view a situation in a new way and adjust your ideas about home and personal freedom, while Friday the 14th shifts your attention toward planning trips and grand dreams. Venus finally turns direct on Saturday the 15th, but not before tangling with Chiron (the wounded healer) to make us confront partnership issues and old narratives about suffering. Set an early alarm on Sunday the 16th, because just before sunrise Saturn will be clearly visible in the southern sky, near the moon. Viewing Saturn through a telescope (even a small one) will reveal its famous rings! Sunday may also bring health concerns or past relationship scars to your attention. A practical Capricorn moon makes Monday and Tuesday good for doing the hard work (including emotional labor) that you’ve been avoiding. But beware of a progress-blocking clash of views on Tuesday.

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