The Venus Flytrap: Surviving Venus Retrograde For Dummies


Venus, my beloved cosmologically-savvy friends tell me, is in retrograde. Which means that it looks like it’s moving backwards in the heavens (or in the regions beyond the gravitational influence of the earth, if you’re a soulless skeptic), but it isn’t. Kind of like when your columnist appears to be gossiping and procrastinating on Gtalk, but isn’t – I assure you she is having really incisive conversations plumbing the depths of the human psyche, letting her findings percolate, deciding on an appropriate sociocultural context, then spending several hours editing the resulting treatise apropos the word limit, all to entertain you for four minutes over Saturday morning hangover coffee.

So Venus is not moving but she looks like she is. This means your relationships, creative pursuits, travel plans, business investments and sartorial choices are all liable to be royally screwed for a six week period that occurs every year and a half. As I am a penniless celibate sociopathic manquée prone to hanging ostrich feathers from my septum piercing, I can’t really tell the difference. My royal screwage is probably congenital.

You, however, may see Venus backtrack blazingly through your life, but thanks to my vast expertise in astrological spam mail and related Facebook applications, I’d be delighted to guide your remaining two weeks of disasters in all spheres relating to love, lust and luxury. Yes, this retrograde cycle is almost over, and if you’re not also finished by then, cross my palm with silver. Except it loses colour in this abominable weather, so I’d prefer gold.

A strikingly obvious feature of Venusian retrograde is when former flames make an appearance into your thoughts, or your life itself. Take time then to reminisce about the instances they dressed better than you, beat you at Scrabble or set fire to your cat, because you may be currently extra liable to deluded nostalgia. Please note however that if your ex’s reappearance in your life happens while you have coincidentally set up shop in their neightbourhood, this is not a planetary effect. It merely means that you are a stalker with a business strategy. That’s not karmical, just comical.

Avoid beauty procedures. Plastic surgery, radical haircuts and the like are obvious taboos, but may I recommend adding showering to the list? It will avert suitors, and new alliances formed at this time tend to be star-crossed anyway. If you’re tempted to invest in the stock market, don’t. My reasons aren’t that romantic. It’s called an economic crisis. If you need an astrologer to tell you that, remember that I am worth every gold ingot (per minute, taxes extra). Don’t travel – you may cause envy in your astrologer. If you find yourself stagnating on your magnum opus, join the rest of us brilliant tortured types at the bar. You may meet someone suitably inspiring. Just don’t propose marriage. Venus is on rewind, and you’re probably just on rebound.

When Venus goes direct in the middle of April, trees should flower, birds should get operatic and damsels should have frequent wardrobe malfunctions near you. Provided you’ll have heeded my advice, very little should interrupt your bliss – except for Mercury going retrograde three weeks later. Then, however, I can’t help you. Merc rules communication, and you may find that your correspondences to me remain mysteriously unacknowledged – I mean, undelivered. I assure you that such silence is a purely cosmological phenomenon and has nothing to do with your hourly messages to me during Venus retrograde. Or the paanwalla pushcart parked near my house. In such cases, let me just say that all my Venus Flytraps stay firmly zipped.

An edited version appeared in The New Indian Express. “The Venus Flytrap” is my column in the Zeitgeist supplement. Previous columns can be found here.

6 responses »

  1. Why did they shift your column at the bottom of the page? it looks like a land locked place;on top and vertical, it had the appearance of a river,flowing into other spheres: it was better. and who put that sub-head ” It is…lives”? makes no sense, at least to me!
    and at the cost of sounding like one of Celal’s(Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book) ‘more pretentious’ readers, i think I got it now: I have been wondering at the sudden shift in my fortunes recently. Really,thanks for the piece!

  2. wow, the first thing i remembered was a book; i just finished “You are here” , by Meenakshi Madhavan,

    You have a cool blog man!! keep it up !!

  3. Hello…Ms Sharanya! hope u are doing fine !

    …all for a 4-min entertainment?…that’s quiet a lot of stuff…of matter and energy…to please readers whosoever is entertained so…sure…they ought to thank you…for…for the entropic tussle your body and mind undergoes to please them…

    so…you are penniless…celibate…sociopathic…a poet manque…Ooops! again that’s quiet a lot too! so am I…a Himalayan Beggar…in quest…of insights for outlooks of the femine sapiens…as I am of masculine sapiens…surfing the ogival androgyny of our species’ bodymindscape…diving at the inflexion points – those fractal Z-bends, U-turns and S-shapes matrix – of interpenetration of conscience…

    …when I read your Venus Flytrap’s proscilious narratives…I sense an arthalankaramic trait…interlaced within the fluid lines…coupling sensual metaphors and metaphysical allegories…an exploration…figuring out sound and sense…ensconsed…in archetypal patterns of experience of yours…which I hope would give rise to an hybridal genre in articulative style…a genre or strains of which…our ancient lit is rich in but the contemporary has only in patches…as the occasional passages or sentences of your fortnightly pieces have…

    Ann(i)e Dill(i)ard evoked a genre with Nature’s affine songs…she caught the glissandos of autumnal leaves or the giggling of plaited streams…in their switchback dance to gravity’s lovecall…but no genre breakthrough was made…she shifted lanes…Thomas Sanchez came out in style with the Day of the Bees and so was Jonathan Hull with his inimitable Losing Julia…but none were hitchhiked to any archetypal patterns of any consistency…but only of personal love…a sense of longing…missing…regaining…no genre breakthrough…you remind me of Anne Rice in patches…her own prose was scattered with patchy imaginations of hyperphysics and metaphysics…but again predominantly just storytelling of interlocked emotions…your prose is more earthy…but in dissipative structures…still exceptional I feel…your veilved ideas…en deshabille in expression…unveiled a bit allegorically…with a faint metaphysical resonance…I have not read your poetry except Indian reviews…but as usual the reviewers fail to discern between existence and essence!

    So…you are plumbing the depths of the human psyche…reminds me of nibban’o-gadham – the immergence into Nirvana – :-) looking forward to the bud to open into its full bloom…

    …yac citta tanmaya bhavati…as one’s thinking is, such one becomes…

    Bye for now!

  4. Hello…Sharanya!

    Once…columnists had an aura of authority…real or imaginary…but…of late…bloggers with their subjective texts…and too subjective tastes…occupy the publicspace in printmedia…its all about niche readership…not necessarily related to an eyeball matrix vis a vis revenue generation…even “brand” bloggers are promoted…an industrialized-compromised handshake between writers and media publishers…only a few stand out…notwithstanding the “manufactured entertainment” of the industrial houses…akin to TV serial in regional languages or English for that matter…so it should hardly surprise that one should write about vaginal whistling and another about Mercury retrograding…its all about running to stay in the same place on a moving escalator of the media circus…

    …yet…while reading some of your lines…in certain passages of your Venus Flytrap pieces…your lines resonates with what of anthropologist Clarissa Pinkola Estes called: hambre del ama – a starved soul…( I am referring to contextuality of the content and not to your real of the mind/soul) aboutwhich she notes: “A woman who is starved for her real soul-life may look ‘cleaned up and combed’ on the outside but on the inside she is filled with dozens of pleading hands and empty mouths”…your lines remind me of the archtypal patterns of femine lit with… angst and longing…a search and exploration…for a conjunctio – a higher transformative union of unlike subsbtances…intrapsychic processes…male and female – …your ‘silver palm’ conjures up the Hellenic archtpye of Haefestus’ silver hands…for a healing touch…just parallels or convergence…a promise of intentio and potentio in you…

    Will you be able to usher in a new genre – or a sub-genre in style – in fiction or essayistic prose as Estes did in anthropological lit ? …though your essayistic pieces lack consistency or continuity in archtypal metaphors…for they flit-in and flit-out in dissipative fashion…their syntropic canto hondo in ebbs and flows…sandwiched…betwixted industrially-compromised entertainment and personal aspirations…a psychic kerfuffle in a commercial age!

    …so…when I read you…I look for that arthalankaramic luminosance…though for now it is elusive…and…discontinuous in the narratives…


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s