Sun in Virgo & Venus Goes Direct –Five Steps for Working with Criticism & Finding Inner Beauty

September 2, 2023

The last week was challenging for many of us, me included. With both Mercury and Venus in retrograde and Saturn opposite the sun, it was natural to encounter some enlightening insights. These are not always easy to digest.  

Both sun and Mercury in Virgo make us reevaluate ourselves in a pragmatic, down to earth, detail-oriented perspective. Venus rules self-worth and Mercury rules criticism. Both show us everything that is wrong in the world so that we can fix it.

This week I heard many voices in my head, telling me that my progress was too slow, and that I needed to work harder; be more focused and accomplished.

But as I am writing the Venus chapter of my book, I reminded myself that flow and steady wins the race. Creativity is not a linear process. To be creative, we need to listen to ourselves and be attuned with universal forces. This is the feminine way of creation. It requires us to sometimes take things slow to go deep, to stop and recharge, and most of all, to enjoy the way.

Virgos, because of their intelligence and analytical skills, tend to be critical. But they are not alone in being overly self-critical. The truth is, we all are. Sometimes we criticize ourselves automatically and subconsciously, that we don’t even notice it. We are so used to hearing whispers in our ears, telling us we are not good enough, not beautiful enough, not capable enough, or not successful enough. We all compare ourselves to others, wishing we would be like them in some respects.

Often times, all it takes is one person who does not love us or does not get us, one unhappy client, colleague, or boss, one bad review, one time we lose control or say the wrong thing. Just one incident and we are thrown into a whirlpool of beating ourselves up.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.”

~ Elbert Hubbard

When I dealt with the criticism I experienced this week, I did not dismiss it. First, I listened to it. I asked myself what I could learn from it? How could I make things better? Sometimes it’s really not up to me. It is okay if not everyone likes me.

Then, I went into my body; I felt the pain of it. I breathed it in, and I breathed out healing to all the people who suffer from this type of criticism and frustration.

Most importantly, the medicine for criticism is trust: trust in myself that I am doing the best I can, and trust in the world that if my work is valuable, it will continue to be supported.

After taking these steps, and with a lot of encouragement from clients, colleagues, and friends, the criticizing voices stopped having power over me. I felt empowered by subduing them.

Both Virgo and Venus deal with the concept of beauty and appearance-related self-criticism. Many of us are harsh on ourselves and overly criticize ourselves for how we look and how we age. How many people look in the mirror and truly love what they see?

I used to think that beauty was not important, but now I know that it is. When we are surrounded with beauty, it expands us. When we feel beautiful, it expands us. But when I talk about beauty, I’m talking about an inner feeling, which has nothing to do with cultural standards.

We got used to the idea that we need to change something about ourselves to look good. We need our hair to be longer and fuller-bodied. We need our skin to be smoother, our thighs to be firmer, our waist to be slimmer. Our faces should be flawless and expressionless, and above all, we should not show any signs of aging. I am continuously exposed to a stream of ads for anti-aging products. There is always a new supplement, serum, tea, gummy, lotion, or device that promises the holy grail of eternal youth.

All these ads take us away from our beauty. They make us believe that we need them to look good, and it is never ending. There is always something new, something better, that we must add to our beauty routine. I am not saying that we should avoid beauty products, but no product will make us feel beautiful if we don’t do the internal work.

In one of my favorite TV shows, Sex Education, there was an episode of a girl who used to cover her boyfriend’s face whenever she climaxed. It turned out that she did it because she thought she was ugly when she orgasmed. We make the weirdest faces when we experience immense pleasure. It is not ugly. It is beautiful. Expression is beautiful, aging is beautiful. People who are aligned with their authentic self and have a strong sense of self-esteem, are beautiful, regardless of their physical features.

When we criticize ourselves for how we look, we criticize the divine creation. When we are grateful for how we look, our divinity flows through us more effortlessly. This is another medicine for self-criticism.

As Venus goes direct tomorrow, Sunday, September 3, we can embrace her lesson and learn to love ourselves, value ourselves, and appreciate our beauty, just the way we are. With Sun in Virgo and Mercury still retrograding in Virgo, we can continue to listen to our observations and work with criticisms, while empowering ourselves through them.

Suggestion for this week:

  1. Whenever you hear the voices of self-criticism, or external criticism, perform the following steps: (a) listen to it (b) learn from it (c) breathe in the pain of it and breathe out healing to everyone who suffers from similar criticism (d) remind yourself that you do your best and the world will respond accordingly (e) be grateful for being a part of the divine forces that created you just the way you are.
  2. Journal about your beauty. Do you think you are beautiful? What do you like about the way you look? What do you wish that was different? Can you look at all your “flaws” and see how they make you beautiful just the way you are? How would you want the people you love to perceive you? Can you see yourself through their eyes?
  3. Print a recent picture of yourself, write “I am beautiful” on it, and put it on a mirror or the fridge.

And there it was, again, my blunt truth. Instead of sounding needy or codependent, it sounded powerful and strong. I communicated what I needed from him. I wasted enough time waiting for messages that did not come. I was not willing to be in this place again. 

Read on Elephant Journal.

More Detailed Information About This Week’s Astrology:

Event of the week: Venus goes direct, Sunday, September 3.

Important retrogrades: Mercury retrograde.

Aspects of the week: Jupiter trine sun, Saturn opposite sun until Monday, September 4, Uranus trine sun from Tuesday September 5. Neptune opposite sun from Saturday, September 9.

More details:

  • Sunday, September 3, sun and Mercury retrograde in Virgo, moon, Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus, Venus goes direct in Leo, Mars in Libra.
  • Tuesday, September 5, moon enters Gemini.
  • Friday, September 8, moon enters Cancer.

Have a wonderful week,

With love,


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