Retrograde Planets and What They Mean


The planets in our solar system occasionally go through phases known as retrograde, when they appear to be moving backwards against the background of stars. The Earth itself experiences one of these phases every year, when the planet’s spin pulls it into what’s called its own elliptical orbit around the sun. But other planets experience retrograde at different times throughout the year, and these planetary retrogrades have an impact on the people living on Earth at the time of their occurrence.

Mercury Retrograde
This is often when communication breaks down, whether that’s over email, texts or phone calls. It’s also a time when things are said without really thinking about them first—just think of all those regrettable Facebook statuses! As much as you want to work on your communication skills during Mercury Retrograde, it can be difficult to do so since everything seems to go wrong. However, it’s also a good time for creativity, intuition and taking stock of our communication skills. The best way to handle Mercury Retrograde is to take things slow—both professionally and personally—and really focus on improving your communication skills long-term. Working hard now will pay off later.

Venus Retrograde
Our search for happiness often leads us down a path to materialism. Sometimes we mistake buying things for pleasure, believing that what’s on sale will bring us joy. Venus retrograde, however, reminds us that we can’t buy our way into happiness; we’re each responsible for our own contentment. Take a moment during Venus retrograde to reflect on your own true wants and needs instead of relying on advertisements and friends’ opinions of what’s cool or trendy. Focusing inward is particularly important during Venus retrograde—instead of spending money or worrying about status symbols, spend time connecting with yourself, your loved ones, and those less fortunate than you.

Mars Retrograde
Retrogrades are considered fairly minor events by astrologers, with most noting that they can lead to difficulties but not catastrophic results. Most effects are relatively simple, like delays in work projects or travel plans. For people who have significant relationships with others born under Mars retrograde planets, especially lovers or spouses, it might be helpful to spend more time together or share additional positive attention. The key during a retrograde period is to avoid impulsiveness—no signing contracts until after it’s finished! If your horoscope suggests that you were born during a Mars retrograde period (which happens every two years) try to remember patience as you go through any related events over these months.

Jupiter Retrograde
Jupiter is generally a pretty benevolent planet in astrology, promising growth in terms of business, love, etc. When Jupiter goes retrograde though it represents a time when we rethink something that’s been going on in our lives for a while. This has been said to make us more aware of what we want from life and how to get it. It can also represent falling behind on projects or falling back into bad habits.

Saturn Retrograde
The planetary ruler of discipline, structure, order, time management and hard work is known for his strict policies. When he goes retrograde you can expect things to slow down considerably; deadlines will extend or get pushed back, timeframes won’t be clear. It may feel like you’re not getting anywhere but it’s better to wait until Saturn comes out of retrograde before taking action. During Saturn retrograde try not to make any major purchases or sign contracts as this planet is known for triggering anxiety and impulsiveness.

Uranus Retrograde
Uranus is all about innovation, changing directions, breaking free from restrictions and generally just shaking things up. The more we can learn to embrace change as a positive—rather than something to be feared—the happier we’ll be. Those of us with planets or points around Uranus may feel its effects strongly during this time period. While some view Uranus retrogrades as bad news because it slows us down a bit which is why these periods are often referred to as a time for taking a break. This retrograde might actually help you reassess what you’re doing with your life and bring a sense a clarity with what you want.

Neptune Retrograde
No planet that’s dreamier than Neptune. This planet rules over your imagination, your intuition, your subconscious, and the ability to transcend reality. Neptune has an influence that is know to have a manipulative force that will get you to believe just about anything. This planet can also be quite illusive and disorienting. During Neptune retrograde, some of these illusions may be stripped away, giving you a deeper sense of clarity about the truth that surrounds you.
Neptune is associated with escapist or dissociative activities, be it drugs, alcohol, or other addictive behaviors The retrograde will likely aggravate any addictions you may have. Although it seems like an ideal time to give something up for good, I advise against it unless you can prove to yourself that your life will be healthier in every possible way.

This planet has quite a reputation for destruction, but during retrograde it is time to reflect on your deepest fears. You can transform these into something positive through introspection. How do you want to change yourself in order to overcome your weaknesses? Facing your Pluto issues will allow you to forgive past mistakes and move forward without regrets. This retrograde period is also good for letting go of things you’ve outgrown or feel no longer serve you.

Chiron is technically an Asteroid that aligns with your vulnerability and insecurity. Chiron is related to spirituality. This time is best spent soul searching, healing old wounds (self-healing) and preparing for something new. Meditating with crystals is one of many great tools you can use during these retrogrades. Focusing on your breath, letting go of what no longer serves you, cutting out negativity around you all help keep Chiron in perspective. It’s ok if not everything works out as planned. Life will happen when it needs to.

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