Retrograde Planets In Astrology And Their Meaning

Retrograde Planets In Astrology

Retrograde Planets In Astrology And Their Meaning

Retrograde planets in astrology are not broken or backward. So whether you were born with one or are nervously eyeing off the next one in the sky, you can relax because they can be advantageous as well. The key is to understand them so you can maximize their beneficial effect while at the same time minimizing their negative potentials.

That said, before getting to the main section and looking at how a retrograde happens or how to interpret each planet’s retrograde, let’s start by a few basic rules you should have in mind as you get to the main section.

Easy, unfussy basic when it comes to retrograde planets in astrology

  • The Moon and Sun are never in retrograde
  • Planet retrogrades are basically optical illusions. Planets are not really stopping dead on their tracks and turning around
  • See retrograde phases as different modes for the planets to be in

What are retrograde planets in astrology?

Retrogradation (aka retracting in degrees and regression) has been derived from the Latin word retrogrades, which simply means moving backward. Therefore, retrograde planets in astrology are those that appear to move backward in the sky relative to their normal direction.

The symbol usually used to indicate a retrograde motion of planets in writings and astrological charts is ℞. But note that it’s not really unique to planetary and astrology symbols. In reality, it’s a generically used Latin abbreviation for words that begin with the letter R.

How do retrograde planets in astrology occur and how do they impact us?

Do you know those periods of time when everything in your life seems to be going haywire, and you cannot really figure out why? If that happens again, Lookup, star watcher. Because one or more planets could be retrograde, which means that from a geocentric point of view, they’ll appear to be spinning backward.

But what is really happening to these retrograde planets in astrology? Well, our Earth is going around the Sun faster compared to the other planets outside its path. This means that periodically, it will outpace all of them, and that’s when the retrograde mayhem breaks loose.

I love explaining this phenomenon with traveling inside a car.

When you were a kid and going on a long car trip with your feet sticking out of the window, what would happen when you passed a truck or a big car? It appeared like it was going backward, right? Well, retrograde planets in astrology are a lot like that.

Then, after the earth completely passes the planet in its orbit, its motion goes back to normal again, and the retrograde planet is said to be in “prograde” or “direct.

What’s more? All retrograde planets in astrology have a shadow period. This is the awkward adjustment of these retrograde planets from their apparent backward motion back to forward motion (or vice versa.)

For that reason, most people will start feeling the effects of a retrograde cycle days or sometimes even weeks before it actually begins.

Also note that all planets get into a retrograde form from time to time, which means the best we can do is embrace these unavoidable periods as a part of our lives and unique opportunities to build our characters.

As the Buddha said, “No mud, no lotus.”

So, what’s great about retrograde planets in astrology?

The prefix re- implies going back, so retrograde planets in astrology give us an opportunity to dig up projects we’ve set aside or polish ones that are already in the works. While it can be tumultuous for many, a retrograde turns our attention to the past and is actually a cosmic grace period we can use to finish up all things we’ve already started or strengthen our existing plans to ensure we do not move forward on shaky foundations.

Old lovers, friends, past issues may resurface as well, giving you a chance to revise or reconnect on those areas. If that happens, it can be a great time to renew commitments, research new ideas, revisit old ideas, or even resolve any arguments you may have left unattended.

Just tighten up your plans and routines during retrogrades and you will be more than prepared to rock once the retrograde planets in astrology conclude their cycle.

Retrograde planets in astrology we should always look out for

The most commonly observed retrograde in the realm of astrology is Mercury – which is the ruler of technology, travel, transportation, and communication. This planet goes retrograde three or four times a year and the period lasts three weeks.

During Mercury retrograde cycles, misunderstandings occur, computers start crashing all of a sudden, cars break down, and plans you had had for months start falling apart all of a sudden. With these effects in mind, astrologers advice that we take precautions by postponing our deals, backing up our digital files before the period starts, and prepare for arguments.

Another commonly observed retrograde is Venus, which goes retrograde once every 18 months. This period will usually bring back past paramours or reveal weak links in your relationship; so astrologers advice against weddings, proposals, and other major relationship steps during the 4 to 6 week period.

You may also realize that when Venus is in retrograde, tabloids will be peppered with celebrity breakup stories.

Mars and the “outer planets” (including Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter) all go retrograde for two to five months as well. So note that hiding under a rock isn’t an option because usually, at least one planet will be in retrograde at any time of the year(even though they’ll present different challenges.)

How to proactively use all retrograde planets in astrology

  1. Jupiter Retrograde

Jupiter is usually retrograde for around five months each year. So, if you were born during a Jupiter retrograde, you can relax, because so does almost half of the population.

Jupiter’s retrograde is most powerful when it’s stationing retrograde or when it’s turning direct, and such days give off the highest vibes of Jupiter’s energy. Whatever you do in that period is likely to amplify to higher levels than you had intended. But note that this applies to undesirable outcomes as well.

Being the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter is considered the Galaxy King and was even the boss of Ancient Roman/Greco pantheon deities. It is akin to Guru in Ancient Sanskrit and Ganesha in Hindu mythology – the destroyer of obstacles. Jupiter is also eponymous with Norse Mythology’s God of Thunder, Thor.

It has an affinity with the Pisces, rules the Sagittarius sun sign, and in the old days, the planet was also considered the patron of wealthy people or aristocrats with power. That’s why the planet has been linked to risk-taking for gains (gambling) and people having attitudes to sell off everything they have to fund their businesses.

With that in mind, when Jupiter is in between its retrograde period or direct cycle after shortly concluding a retrograde, you can expect huge surges of enterprise and ambition. And among people with a prominent Jupiter in their natal chart will usually be cheerfully resilient. They’re likely to spring back from challenges or downtimes with their enthusiasm levels intact.

They are the perfect example of “get back on the horse” people. And it is not because they are insensitive – Jupiter people in retrograde just learn how to place everything they’re going through into a broad and philosophical context. It ensures they are not low in scope or narrow-minded.

If you think all this applies to you, then you can use Jupiter’s retrograde for timing, especially anything audacious like growth ventures. Usually, Jupiter goes into retrograde but then tracks once again through the degrees of the sun sign it turned in. Consequently, approximately five months later, it goes back to direct. This is when it catches up to the degree it was at when it went into retrograde. For that reason, if you’re timing something, then astrologers recommend that you wait for developments and shifts in times when Jupiter is turning retrograde, direct, or is returning to the point it was at when it first got into retrograde.

  1. Mars Retrograde

This planets retrograde in astrology isn’t as well talked about today as it was in the past. Even Shakespeare refers to it in his play by the name “All’s Well That Ends Well.” One of the characters refers to another as being obviously born with Mars Retrograde.

Why? Well, because the person always moves backward. But the other person replies that it’s an advantage, and after a closer look, you’ll realize that he’s right. Of all people born in retrograde planets in astrology, those under Mars are the most non-passive and usually don’t care whether you think they are winning or losing. They instinctively understand the advantage of looking like the less ambitious or weaker than they are.

In fact, in ancient times, no army generals would go into battle with Mars Retrogrades, nor did anything that would evoke their anger.

Mars’ retrograde takes place every two years and lasts around eight weeks. During these periods, you’re advised to assert yourself implicitly and pay more attention to tactics than the action itself. As some of you may already know, Mars is the warrior god, so conflicts initiated during its retro can go awfully wrong.

The astrologically and tactically aware individuals let other individuals make the more aggressive moves during these times, knowing in the back of their minds that the advantage will eventually go to the person that’s technically ‘on the back foot’ – and that is when they will have the opportunity to use their opponent’s strength against them. Note that people ruled by Mars (Aries Rising and Aries and to a less extent Scorpio Rising and Scorpio) are particularly the most sensitive to Mars Retrograde.

But what about individuals born with Mars’ Retrograde? Does that mean they will be permanently at a disadvantage? Does it mean they’re Pacifists? Not quite.

People born with Mars Retrograde are particularly good when it comes to sensing concealed hostilities and are also often the most hypersensitive to it. That’s why they are more likely to be uncomfortable in situations that might seem “okay” to other people around –they perfectly sense underlying anger dynamics than anyone else.

They dislike assertiveness or overt scenes and will do everything in their effort to avoid it. However, when they learn that a situation needs a forceful response, then expect them to arm up, take control of the situation, and conquer.

Also, since they seem tranquil and serene most of the time, the activation of this particular Mars Vibe will often come as a shock for people who do not expect it.

To conclude, Mars Retrograde individuals are better suited for crises, projects with tight deadlines, and challenging situations. On the flip side, they’re also likely to turn the Mars Retrograde heat on themselves by making harsh judgment calls they’d never dish out normally.

So they need a lot of practice to learn how to channel their energy.

  1. Neptune Retrograde

Neptune spends more than four months of any year in Retrograde, so rest assured that being born with the Neptune Retrograde is not that unusual.

Outer planets going through Retrograde usually means their energies are operating in stealth mode, which makes sense since Neptune as a ruling planet rules astral planes, perfumes, reincarnation, ghosts, anonymous realms, and the subconscious mind.

Neptune Direct and Neptune Retrograde days indicate when the veils between realms seem to thin out and almost appear transparent. Our past – even including our past lives – feel like the present, the everyday atmosphere seems cinematic and surreal, and we have allusions from the future as well as emotion infused flashbacks from random times. If you’re at all a psychic individual, all these traits become even more magnified.

Neptune also rules soul bonds, poets, art, and glamour.

That said, the downside of Neptune Retrograde is an addiction to toxic religions, lost causes, substances, or people. As you already know, seeking a deity or transcendence in drugs, gurus, or romantic love can easily end up breaking one’s heart.

So use a Moon calendar to see when this planet turns Retrograde (usually midyear) and schedule the days for contemplation/meditation, retreat, creativity focused moments, or ocean time.

It is also a great time to monitor your association with anything transcending or mind-altering.

  1. Saturn Retrograde

Since Saturn is known as the Time God, expect Saturn Retrogrades to feel more like time warps than anything. Just like most other Retrogrades we’ve looked at above, Saturn spends up to five months of every year in Retrograde, thus getting born with one shouldn’t be a big deal. But it does mean that you’re more likely to be a great time manager and perhaps the most conscious in that area than everyone else surrounding you.

Saturn also symbolizes the aspects of life we can’t avoid, including the limits of world values, taxes, and even human life.

The more mysterious side of Saturn is that it’s the Hermit of the Tarot, meaning ‘the fool who grew up to become wiser,’ thanks to the lessons of life. These people walk their own path, lit only by the lamps of their hard-won wisdom.

Also note that Saturn is mostly a patriarchal energy, and Hecate is its feminine counterpart. Hecate is also at times called the Crone Goddess, to remind us that crone came from “Cronos”/ time. Saturn, on the other hand, is also called Kronos.

With that in mind, if you’re born with Saturn Retrograde, you’re more attuned to the planet’s energy than everyone else, but you might not even be aware of it – so you may tend to assume that all people have your insight in pattern recognition.

Saturn Retrograde is also especially influential in the sun signs Libra and Capricorn as well as in the 7th and 10th Houses.

If you love this article on retrograde planets in astrology, I’m confident you’ll love this one on the 8 phases of the moon in astrology and their meaning.

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