RETROGRADE PLANETS [IN THE BIRTH CHART]: A retrograde action is a planet slowing down. In contrast to the velocity of the Earth, it appears to be going backward. No planet ever goes backward or leaves its orbit. It is always moving forward. The apparent backward motion of a retrograde is simply the loss of velocity. The Sun and Moon never go into retrograde motion.
Retrograde planets represent work that must be achieved in this lifetime because it was not accomplished or reconciled in a past life.
MERCURY RETROGRADE: A Mercury retrograde usually occurs every three months, so that there are three or four Mercury retrograde periods per year, each lasting exactly twenty-one days. When Mercury goes retrograde, if you were born during a Mercury retrograde, it is a time to really make contact with yourself. You will be inspired and moved to recognize your ideas and thought processes with clarity.
When a person is born with a Mercury retrograde, he has a communication problem. He can tell you what he thinks, but he can’t tell you what he feels. He doesn’t make contact with his emotions because Mercury blocks it. There is also difficulty communicating with the self.
VENUS RETROGRADE: If you were born during a time of a Venus retrograde, your inability to appreciate the self is obvious. You are unable to express self-love. You don’t know how to get what it is you want or how to satisfy the self. You must learn not to expect such things from others but, instead, develop them within yourself.
MARS RETROGRADE: The inability to act is created in a Mars retrograde. It is as though you have been victimized by others because you are not using your aggressive qualities correctly – you either don’t know how to be aggressive or you fear aggression. You water down your energies. This does not make for a happy person; it creates a person who internalizes his aggressions and anger. This is dangerous because a retrograde Mars can lead to brooding or nursing old wounds and, eventually, to health problems ranging from ulcers to anxiety. Angers that cannot be externalized wind up being internalized, which impacts one’s health. Retrograde Mars in a chart indicates the inability to displace its natural energy in a positive or productive manner.
JUPITER RETROGRADE: A retrograde Jupiter usually leads to an overbearing individual, especially if placed in the fourth house – it is a tyrant in that house. It creates an inability to empathize with others, which results in an insensitive and isolated individual.
SATURN RETROGRADE: Saturn retrograde relates to self-worth. The inability to judge oneself accurately shows up in a retrograde Saturn. Saturn, as a maturation planet, puts your self-worth into proper perspective. People who tend to place more importance on themselves than others will certainly learn the lesson – Saturn will restrict them until they balance their own worth with the worth of others.
URANUS RETROGRADE: For those born with a retrograde Uranus, the action of Uranus, which is slow, becomes even slower. The unique and unconventional quality of Uranus ceases to be because something is underdeveloped or undeveloped that must be caught up with. This creates the late bloomer, one who doesn’t readily discover his rare individuality.
NEPTUNE RETROGRADE: Neptune in retrograde is a humdinger. Neptune is a difficult planet, so in retrograde action the negativity of Neptune becomes prominent. Neptune has a depth that can be lifesaving; but when it turns retrograde, it goes underground and doesn’t resurface. All of the wonderful concepts, ideas, and creative forces that are generally in Neptune when it is well-aspected will produce irrational fears and anxieties when in retrograde position. These fears are considered irrational because they are usually not created within the context of this lifetime, but from past-life issues and unfinished business.
If born with a Neptune retrograde, it is necessary to maintain faith and courage in the face of all challenges.
PLUTO RETROGRADE: Pluto is generational. During its long revolution, many people will be born within each of its aspects. If Pluto is in retrograde motion, which it is for about six months of the year, half of the population will be born with a Pluto retrograde. This group of people is not necessarily going to act according to the rest of the group. These individuals will, sooner or later, stand out within that generation. They will either be famous or infamous.
— Ada Aubin and June Rifkin, The Complete Book of Astrology