We’ve been receiving non-stop asks about the retrogrades, so I figured I’d go ahead and make a post about them in order to have all of the information in one place.
Q: What is a retrograde?
- A retrograde is when a planet appears to be moving backward. The planets aren’t actually moving any different than they normally would; it only seems that way because the position of the planets effects how we see them from Earth.
- Astrologically, when a planet is in retrograde it means that it’s effects are thrown askew. As in, whatever it is that a planet controls will be off balance and can effect us in a negative way. For example, Mercury controls communication and thinking, so when Mercury is in retrograde those aspects of us aren’t functioning as they normally would and could cause us to say/do things we normally wouldn’t.
- When a planet is in retrograde during your birth, i.e when you have a retrograde planet in your natal chart, it means that the things that planet controls are turned inward. For example, a person with Mercury in retrograde in their natal chart might have troubles with communicating, and organizing and expressing their thoughts.
Go here to find out in you have a planet in retrograde in your natal chart. You’ll see a little chart, look under ‘Zodiac in degrees’. It’ll list a placement, what sign you have in that placement, and the degree your sign in that placement is in. If you have a planet in retrograde, there will be an ‘R’ next to the degree.
Q: Who will a retrograde effect?
A: A retrograde will effect everyone. However, you will experiences amplified effects if:
- you have the same sun sign as the one the planet in retrograde rules (example: Mercury is in retrograde, and your Sun sign is in Gemini)
- you have the sign that the planet rules in the planet’s placement (example: Mercury is in retrograde, and your Mercury sign is in Gemini)
- you have the planet as your dominant planet (example: Mercury is in retrograde, and your dominant planet is Mercury)
- you have the planet in retrograde in your natal chart (example: Mercury is in retrograde, and Mercury is in retrograde in your natal chart)
- you have the sign the planet is retrograding in as your Sun sign or the sign of the planet in retrograde (example: Mercury is in retrograde in Libra, and your Sun sign or Mercury sign is Libra)
Go here to find out your sun sign and what sign you have in the planets.
Q: What does it mean when a planet is retrograding in a sign?
A: The dates that a planet is in retrograde will, of course, always match up with a sign. That sign is what the planet is retrograding in. For example, Mercury is in retrograde May 8 - June 11, which is within the Gemini range, so Mercury is retrograded in Gemini.
Q: How does the sign the planet is retrograded in effect people?
A: The energy of the planet in retrograde will be influenced by the energy of the sign it’s retrograded it. This means that we will feel the planet in retrogrades effects more in the way that the sign it’s retrograded in would. For example, if Mercury is retrograded in Gemini, we will likely want to focus more on our communications, while if Mercury is retrograded in Virgo, we will likely want to focus more on our thoughts.
Q: What retrogrades?
A: All of the planets (excluding Earth), many small satellites and moons, comets, asteroids, and meteoroids. Not all of these apply to astrology, though. There will only be information about the planets throughout this post.
Q: How often do the planets retrograde? / When was the last retrograde date and when is the next retrograde date?
- Mercury goes into retrograde every 3 months, and the retrograde lasts 2 weeks. (Most recent date: May 18, 2015 - June 11, 2015. Next date: September 18, 2015 - October 9, 2015.)
- Venus goes into retrograde every 20 months, and the retrograde lasts about 40 days. (Most recent date: December 21, 2013 - January 31, 2014. Next date: July 25, 2015 - September 6, 2015.)
- Mars goes into retrograde every 2 years, and the retrograde lasts about 2 months. (Most recent date: March 1, 2014 - May 20, 2014. Next date: April 17, 2016 - June 29, 2016.)
- Jupiter goes into retrograde every 9 months, and the retrograde lasts about 4 months (Most recent date: December 9, 2014 - April 8, 2015. Next date: January 7, 2016 - May 9, 2016.)
- Saturn goes into retrograde every 12 ½ months, and the retrograde lasts 4 ½ months. (Most recent date: March 14, 2015 - August 1, 2015. Next date: March 25, 2016 - August 13, 2016.)
- Uranus goes into retrograde once a year, and the retrograde lasts 5 months. (Most recent date: July 22, 2014 - December 21, 2014. Next date: July 26, 2015 - December 25, 2015.)
- Neptune goes into retrograde once a year, and the retrograde lasts 160 days. (Most recent date: June 12, 2015 - November 18, 2015. Next date: June 13, 2016 - November 19, 2016.)
- Pluto goes into retrograde once a year, and the retrograde lasts 160 days. (Most recent date: April 16, 2015 - September 24, 2015. Next date: April 18, 2016 - September 26, 2016.)
Q: How will the *planet* retrograde effect people?
- Mercury rules communication and thinking. During the time of the retrograde, communication on all fronts will be unusually strained or difficult. Misunderstandings are likely to happen as people are unable to express what they want as clearly as they normally would. You may feel like you’re constantly being misinterpreted and frustration will build when you can’t seem to put your thoughts in order. It is advised that you don’t make any sort of substantial agreements, decisions, or changes in your life during the time of the retrograde.
- Venus rules partnerships and aesthetics. During the time of the retrograde, you will find yourself questioning who/what you truly value and what you consider to be beautiful. You may feel the urge to try to fill the feeling of discomfort with a new partnership of some kind. Impulsive buys are likely during this time, as you will be confused about your general taste in things. While pre-existing partnerships aren’t typically majorly effected, it’s unadvised to take a major step within your partnership during this time.
- Mars rules aggression and impulsivity. During the time of the retrograde, you will question the moves you make, and the motives behind them. Strong emotions may come up as you consider why you feel and act as you do, and it’ll be necessary for you to have a way to relax if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Our instincts are also effected during this time, and you may notice yourself and others responding to a situation in a way that they normally wouldn’t. It is advised that you try to avoid conflicts and situations where you’re uncomfortable during this time.
- Jupiter rules prosperity and expansion. During the time of the retrograde, you may find that your optimism and outlook on life lean more towards the negative side. Your motivation may be drained, and plans are likely to move slowly or halt altogether. You will find yourself questioning your position and where you’re headed in life. This is a time of reflection and growth within yourself, and it’s important that you try to view things in a positive light. It is unadvised that you attempt to make any sort of drastic changes centering around yourself during this time.
- Saturn rules practicality and limitations. During the time of the retrograde, you will feel the urge to test any sort of self-made boundaries. You will want to avoid responsibility and restrictions. You will seemingly suddenly want to take new risks and experience different things. You may notice people are you being more spontaneous and trying things that are out of their comfort zone. It’s advised that you do not make new commitments or decisions, especially financially, and instead use this time to rebuild and strengthen past ones during this time.
- Uranus rules individuality and inventiveness. During the time of the retrograde, you will feel the desire to expand yourself, especially where knowledge is concerned. You will find yourself seeking out information and answers to anything and everything that pops up in your mind. You may feel a compulsion to break down things around you, so that you can build them up bigger and better. This time offers a good opportunity to assimilate life and study it, but it is advised that you avoid making any hasty decisions or judgements during this time.
- Neptune rules idealism and compassion. During the time of the retrograde, your emotions will become heightened and more focused. Your perception and intuition will be stronger, and you will be able to understand things with more ease. It is important to listen to your inner thoughts during this time, as you may feel vague and uncomfortable dissatisfaction if you don’t. This is a good time to examine things you may be confused about. It is advised that you attempt to avoid negative energy as much as possible during this time, since your emotions will be more acute.
- Pluto rules transformation and power. During the time of the retrograde, you will find yourself evaluating the deepest areas of who you are. You will find yourself paying attention to and confronting the negative parts of yourself that you try to ignore. You will be able to recognize what you want and what you’re motivated by. This retrograde is a good chance to try to improve yourself internally, and it is advised that you focus on that rather than dwell on your flaws.
And that concludes this post :-) I believe I addressed all of the most common questions and most important information. If you’ve read through this post and are still confused about something, feel free to send an ask. Also, let me know if you see any errors/misinformation in this post. Thank you for reading!