We have all had those times when it seems everything goes haywire, but we cannot really determine why. The answer could be as simple as looking up. A planet may be in retrograde which means that from Earth’s vantage point, it seems the planet is spinning backward. What is actually happening is the Earth completing its orbit faster than many of the other planets so it outpaces them periodically. This is retrograde and often when mayhem runs free. Once the Earth passes this planet in its orbit, everything movement wise will appear normal again. This is when the planet is considered direct or scientifically speaking, prograde. Each retrograde cycle has what is called a shadow period. This is the awkward adjustment from retrograde to prograde and back again. This means that we can feel the effects of retrograde for days or weeks before it actually begins. Retrograde planets are an illusion, but astrology followers can attest to the effects it has on people. The areas in which a retrograde planet rules can become troublesome or weak until retrograde ends. Since all planets go retrograde periodically, we must embrace the cycles and use the changes to build character, self-knowledge, and inner strength.
The most well-known retrograde planet is Mercury. Mercury is the planet of transportation, communications, technology, and travel. Mercury goes retrograde for three weeks three to four times each year. When Mercury is in a retrograde period, it is common for misunderstandings and arguments to occur often. This is also the time when cars break down, computers crash unexpectedly, and plan just fall apart. Astrologers advise precautions like backing up digital files ahead of time, postponing deals, and being prepared to repeat yourself often.
Venus is the love planet which goes into retrograde every 18 months. This can bring lovers back into the picture and reveal weak links in relationships. Astrologers tend to advise against weddings, proposals, and relationship moves during this period that lasts 4-6 weeks. Not surprisingly, tabloids are peppered with celebrity breakups when Venus is in retrograde.
Mars in retrograde occurs every two years and lasts for about two months. This is a time for conflicts and fighting. As for the outer planets, Jupitar, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, each goes into retrograde every year for four to five months. This means that throughout our year it is likely that at least one planet is in retrograde.
Positives of Retrograde
Retrogrades are a time to finish up projects that are already started and dig up those old ones that were pushed aside. Since retrogrades turn our focus to the past, they can serve as cosmic grace periods to finish up things and ensure when we do move forward, it is on solid ground. This can be a great time to reconnect, revise, resolve, and renew in all areas. Strengthen routines and plans during retrograde and you will be ready to go when it ends. Each planet’s retrograde can be used proactively, this is shared below.
- Mercury – Get in touch with old contacts and friends, back up all devices, dust off old projects, and clarify any thoughts you have during this time.
- Venus – Heal issues with relationships, moving on if necessary. Gain closure or reunite if the timing is better. Make peace with the women in your life.
- Mars – This is a time to learn how to handle conflict and pressure effectively. Lay down grudges, stop rushing, practice patience, and make peace with the men in your life.
- Jupiter – Slow down on risk taking and evaluate. Pick up abandoned entrepreneurial ventures and travel to old favorite places. If possible, go back to school to finish a degree.
- Saturn – Tighten up plans and rethink goals during this time. Practice delayed gratification and self-discipline while working through father issues.
- Uranus – Stop being a rebel without a cause during this time. Question your tendencies, your politics, and study humanitarian and scientific causes. Distance yourself from destructive people who cause chaos by their presence.
- Neptune – Resume creative or musical projects. Take this time to dive into healing work and meditation. Remove all energy vampires from your life.
- Pluto – Take this time to explore your shadow side and delve into limiting beliefs, old fears, and entrenched patterns. Protect yourself from unsafe people and situations as you declutter and cleanse. This is a perfect time for hypnotherapy.
Retrograde does not have to be all bad. Learn to use it for your advantage.