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Retrograde Planets

Today’s article is especially dedicated to my clients and astrology students, but I hope it will be useful for other astrology lovers for whom this topic is important. I often get the question about the significance of retrograde planets, so I hope this article brings some clarity. I will divide the article into two sections (it will be a longer article, so arm yourself with patience!), explaining what the retrograde motion of a planet means and how this type of motion is interpreted astrologically and astronomically and I will continue to detail what the meaning of retrogrades in the natal chart is and what relevance does it have if you have certain retrograde planets in the natal chart.

One of the reasons astrology has always fascinated me is … movement! Because I am a dynamic person, I am attracted to concepts that are constantly evolving and changing. And astrology is incredible from this point of view!

We often define, in order to simplify the understanding of the concept of retrograde motion, that a planet goes in the opposite direction, that it does not go in the direct, forward motion … but is that really the case? For the curious explorers, below you have a detailed explanation, to see what a retrograde movement really means. We simplify the explanation to make clearer the idea of ​​how a certain type of archetypal planetary energy manifests … but astronomically and astrologically things are like this:

Astronomically, retrogrades happen as Earth is passing or being passed by other planets. Like the apparent movement of the sun through the zodiac, a planet seemingly moving backward is an illusion, as planets always revolve around the sun in the same direction. The appearance of retrograde motion occurs because of the relative difference in speed. It’s something like when you’re sitting at a stop light and the car next to you takes off unexpectedly—you may find yourself stomping down on the brakes because of a temporary feeling of moving backward. Similarly, it’s when planets are at their closest approach to Earth that apparent retrograde motion occurs. In short, retrograde motion is an illusory side-effect of planetary proximity.
Astrologically, when we try to understand the meaning of a planet moving backward, the first thing to note is that it’s a fairly rare occurrence. The vast majority of planetary motion is direct, so direct becomes “normal.” Most of the time, planets move in forward motion on, or relatively parallel to, the ecliptic, which we can think of as the main highway.
Simply by being contrary to the normal flow, retrograde motion represents an exception, or perhaps even a challenge, to this sense of normalcy. But since retrograde planets depart from the main highway altogether, perhaps it’s more appropriate to think of them as seekers or explorers who travel the celestial byways in search of something not available on the main highway.


We often hear that Mercury, Venus or another planet has retrograde motion … sometimes a major astrological event, a retrograde alignment … what does that mean and how does it influence us? Let’s take the case in which you don’t know your natal chart and you don’t know if you have retrogrades or not, you only hear that something is retrograde now and that it influences us all. Let’s take the example of retrograde Venus, which is still like this, until the end of June 2020. Usually retrogrades invite to introspection, to explore more deeply the meaning of that planet. Venus is related to love, relationships, morality, beauty and values. It is possible to suddenly start arguing with our current partner, or to wake up overwhelmed by the remembering of former relationships, to ask ourselves what our deepest values ​​are and how much we love and respect each other and the self. Retrograde energy can stir up, bring forgotten subjects to light, so that they can be understood and alchemized efficiently. It is often recommended that we not start new relationships on retrograde Venus, or we are advised to be careful about partnerships and love impulses. I am not necessarily a follower of imposed NOs, it is possible that relationships started now will help in deep understandings and integrations, if the partners are aware and assume their evolution … excellent!

As we know that retrograde motion is a side-effect of proximity, perhaps any problems we perceive during retrogrades are at least somewhat due to being too close to someone or something to see it objectively. So, what to do? Taking our time, getting a little distance, and changing perspectives may be very helpful. In the end, a change in perspective might just give us access to an opportunity we would have missed otherwise. Viewed through this lens, perhaps retrograde misadventures can become worth it—even transformative.


To simplify the “playing with” themes of retrograde movements in the different planetary energies, here are some keywords that I have associated, (you can work with them or you can contemplate them either when this energy is activated planetary or natally – in your personal chart). Mercury – Communication and Barter/Commerce, Venus – Love and Morality, Mars – Dynamism and Sexuality, Jupiter – Expansion, Beliefs and Prosperity, Saturn – Discipline, Rules and Family themes, Uranus – Unexpected Changes and Individuality, Neptune – Idealism and Spirituality, Pluto – Transformation / Reinvention and Alchemy. Below are some practical suggestions for working with these planetary energies:

How to proactively use every retrograde:
Mercury retrograde: Get in touch with old friends and contacts, back up devices and data, edit and clarify your thoughts, dust off an old writing project or course of study. Polish up your social media profiles.
Venus retrograde: Heal any issues in your relationship or blocks to love. Recognize when you’re in the wrong match and move on. Gain closure with an ex…or reunite if the timing is better. Make peace with a woman in your life.
Mars retrograde: Learn how to handle pressure and conflict more effectively. Release a grudge, lay down your swords. Slow down and stop rushing to avoid accidents. Have sex with an ex (with caution!). Work on practicing patience. Get back to an old sport or exercise routine. Find the courage to confront someone. Make peace with a man in your life.
Jupiter retrograde: Slow down the risk-taking and evaluate before rushing ahead. Travel to an old favorite place. Pick up an abandoned entrepreneurial venture. Go back to school, finish a degree or certification.
Saturn retrograde: Tighten up your plans, rethink your goals and career path. Practice self-discipline and delay instant gratification. Work through father issues (good thing Saturn goes retrograde once a year, eh?).
Uranus retrograde: Watch your contrarian tendencies and make sure you’re not being a rebel without a cause. Question your political stance, study up on politics, scientific developments and current events, reconnect with a humanitarian cause. Distance yourself from destructive and disruptive people who bring chaos into your world (you don’t need any more than you’re already getting!).
Neptune retrograde: Resume a creative, musical or artistic project. Dive into your subconscious, do healing work and therapy, explore and question your spiritual beliefs. Meditate to get more in tune with your intuition. Watch out for denial and codepence. Cut the energy vampires out of your life.
Pluto retrograde: Explore your “shadow side” and delve into old fears, limiting beliefs and entrenched unconscious patterns. Remove toxic energies from your world via Feng Shui, space clearing, burning sage, de-cluttering. Protect yourself against unsafe people and situations. Recognize where you are being bullied or dominated—or where you may be overpowering someone else—and resolve the situation. Watch out for projecting your own unconscious baggage onto others. Access mystical or buried parts of yourself through past-life regressions, working with a psychic medium, hypnotherapy.


Let us now explore the details of the energy of the retrograde planets in the natal chart. If you haven’t calculated your natal chart, you can do it very easily here. There are natives who have a retrograde planet, no retrograde planet, or have almost all of them retrograde. As their luck is. 🙂 Or how they chose their challenges for now’s life. I, for example (and many of those born in my generation), have all the outer-planets retrograde … and YES, I feel their energy circulating fiercely in my life. I don’t see having retrogrades in the chart as something bad, ugly and hard. This topic is often presented in a negative light, although this is not the case. Evolutionary astrology presents a very interesting perspective, highlighting the “impatience” that these natives have, as a restlessness, a desire to explore a certain topic before others. In my perspective, the path of those with many retrogrades in the natal chart is a challenging one, they usually lead intense, eventful lives, because in this way they learn, in order to be able to help others in the future. Many times we have to deal with the so-called “old souls”, with the archetype of the mentor or teacher, the type of leader who had to slay some dragons and to understand and integrate some lessons, so that he can radiate that specific wisdom. The energy of the pioneers is often here, of the daring and the misunderstood … because, as a rule, we are familiar with the planetary energy in direct motion … retrograde and retrograde type of people seem strange. Explore your natal planetary energy and see if the retrograde is a personal planet (Mercury, Venus, Mars), a brigde type of planet (Chiron – asteroid, Jupiter, Pluto) or a trans-personal / outer-planet one (Saturn Uranus, Neptune). We will feel our personal planets deeper, we will feel more challenged in the personal, intimate sphere, we will feel that we are a bridge between worlds with the activation of the energy of the transitional ones and we will feel a strong imperative of a higher mission – for the WORLD in the case of trans-personal ones. What does your story look like? What do you have retrograde and how do you feel this energy?

Retrogrades in the birth chart signify a person who needs to deviate from the norm from time to time. Most people have two or three planets retrograde in their chart. With Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde, there may be a focus or accent on the inner life, or a person may have a tendency to perceive things very subjectively regarding the affairs of that planet. With Jupiter and Saturn retrograde, a person may feel out of step with the dominant culture or an intense desire to effect change in society. The outer planets retrograde may signify generational or cross-cultural forces in one’s life which cause them to feel somewhat out of touch with current trends. More than three planets retrograde is relatively rare and signifies a person who may be largely out of step with the world around them—and strongly devoted to finding their own unique path in life.


If Mercury is retrograde, the invitation is to explore the area of ​​communication. You may find that you have difficulty making yourself understood, but you can be a wonderful teacher to others by helping them express themselves. Or maybe you have retrograde Venus and love is the battlefield with great lessons to learn in love and partnership, but you can be a very good mediator, a very good relationship therapist. Or maybe Mars is retrograde and the themes of sexuality, anger and impulses are the sources of growth and wisdom. Or maybe Chiron is retrograde and you suffer from an illness or you have a wound that makes you learn what your healing powers are. If Uranus is retrograde you may feel that your freedom of expression is limited or that you are severely punished for the rebellions acts of this restless planet, but you will be an “awakener” of the masses and an interesting nonconformist who will believe in and respect freedom – the personal one, as well as that of others. And so … I leave you to explore these wonderful challenges!

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