8 to 13 orbital resonance of Venus and Earth

Dear Angelique,

I really enjoyed the information you shared about the power of the Venus retrograde and the deep stuff it’s stirring up.   My wife Stephanie said to me the other day that she learned that Venus can go retrograde only in five of the twelve signs of the zodiac and that it takes eight years to complete this five sign retrograde cycle.  I did not understand how this could be possible, so I thought maybe she meant only in one of five houses, or one of five positions relative to earth, or something, so I did some research.

The first thing I found was a very informative website called  Kelly’s Astrology.  There was an article about the eight year cycles of Venus Retrograde.  According to Kelly this was true, Venus can only start retrograde during a single person’s lifetime in five of the twelve zodiac signs.  Still I doubted.

I thought it would be impossible for Venus to start retrograde in only one of five signs.  It seemed to me that Venus and Earth are both revolving around the sun at different rates, and the retrograde occurs when there is a certain specific geometry between these three bodies, and it did not make any sense to me that this geometry would only occur in five of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.  After all, Mercury is closer to the sun that the earth, and it’s retrograde shifts through the signs as we go from year to year.   It seemed this would be true of Venus too.

And so I learned about something called “orbital resonance” which is when the ratio of lengths of the years of two moons or planets is a simple ratio.   It turns out that the ratio of Earth’s trip around the Sun to Venus’s trip is almost exactly 8 to 13, which means every time Earth goes around the Sun 8 times, Venus goes around 13 times.  In fact, this ratio is so close to perfect that you would only have to change the length of an Earth year by THREE HOURS to make a perfect resonance.

These numbers 8 and 13 are also early members of the famous Fibonacci Sequence that Dan Brown’s book The DaVinci Code made famous.  This is a sequence of numbers starting with 0 and 1, where the next number in the sequence is the sum of the last two numbers.  So you start with 0 and 1, add the zero to the one, and the sum is 1.   To this add the previous 1 and you get 2, and to this 2 you add the second 1 and you get 3, and to this 3 you add the 2 which was last and you get 5.  This sequence continues  All kinds of magical shapes are based on this sequence, such as the relative size of the chambers of a nautilus shell.  Its mysterious math also produces the flower of Venus shape created by mapping the relative positions of Earth and Venus as we go around the sun.

A little math helped me understand how this translates to the retrograde starting in each of five signs in sequence.  Imagine a circle with 360 degrees that is drawn around the earth with the 0/360 point exactly on the spot in Scorpio where Venus went retrograde in Scorpio last week.  Through some math that I have not quite figured out, this 8/13 ratio going around a circle results in each retrograde starting 144 degrees in the sky past the point where the previous retrograde occurred.  So if we add these up, the first one is at zero, the second at 144, the third at 288 degrees.  The fourth goes around past the zero to 432, so we have subtract 360 to get 72, and then we add the fifth which takes us to 216, and then like magic, when we add 144 again, we get 360!  So the shift of 144 degrees every retrograde goes perfectly into the 360 degrees of the circle.  (Don’t get confused with the 365 days of the year there)

So after each sequence of five retrograde cycles, the next retrograde starts right exactly back in same spot as the first one of the series–ALMOST.  There is an error that amounts to 3 hours per year, and this results in the starting point shifting two degrees every eight years, which means it will take 1,440 years for the cycle to go all the way around.

Each zodiac sign spans 30 degrees of sky, so the Venus retrograde starting point gradually transits a single zodiac sign every 15 cycles–120 years.  That means for many people, the Venus retrogrades start in the same five signs for their entire lives.  So Stephanie and Kelly were right! Amazing.  I will be interested to know how far into this cycle we are.

Some things have been coming to resolution after the very intense energy of the last week or so.  I am looking forward to October 31 when retrograde motion takes Venus back from Scorpio to Libra as it passes behind the Sun to become the morning star once again.

This will be another great Astronomical research project about Venus to learn the astronomy of how it shifts from the evening star to the morning star.  I wonder if that has any relationship to the retrograde periods.  So much to learn!

Anyway, we are starting to pack.  It’s always a big trip going down to Brazil, and everyone seems to maximize their baggage capacity.  I don’t know how those planes lift off the ground.  I’m glad they weigh each piece of luggage!

So thank you so much for the inspiring Astrology you shared around Venus.  I hope this Astronomical insight excites you!

Peace Love Forgiveness,


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