What Is Retrograde and How Does It Affect Each Planet?If you’ve ever delved into the world of astrology, then there’s a strong chance that you’ve come across the word ‘retrograde’! Planetary retrograde is capable of making everything in your world fall into place or fall apart, so it’s crucial that you know when it takes place and how to act when retrograde is in full force. What is planetary retrograde, and more importantly, how does it affect you? Susan Taylor, our very own astrologer, tells us all you need to know…
Planetary retrograde is said to take place when the motion of a planet seems to change direction in the sky. Of course, its orbit doesn’t physically change shape, but it can often appear to do so due to its position in relation to the Earth. When this phenomenon occurs, massive changes take place, and your emotions will be more volatile than ever.
How Does Each Planetary Retrograde Affect You?
Whilst everyone's heard of Mercury retrograde, it might come as a surprise to learn that every planet goes through retrograde at some point. How does retrograde affect your planet?
Click on the planets and find out what happens when they go retrograde:
If you’re interested in learning more about the planets and astrology, why not find out which planet rules over your sign here!
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Has an effect on: Communication, transportation, technology, travel, clear-thinking
Retrograde frequency: 3-4 times a year (lasting approximately 21 days)
When Mercury is in retrograde, all forms of communication and connection are strained. It’s during these periods that misunderstandings should always be expected. Journeys will feel longer and more tiresome than ever before, and technology that works perfectly will appear to break overnight.
The key to overcoming Mercury retrograde is to avoid making any big decisions. It’s not that the people around you aren’t trustworthy, but the risk of misunderstandings is too great to sign any contracts or make any serious agreements. If any important events arise then it’s essential that you plan in advance so that you arrive in time and show the best of yourself.
Has an effect on: Reputation, social standing, structure, work, politics
Retrograde frequency: Once a year (lasting a few months)
When Saturn is in retrograde, it can have a tendency to boost your maturity. You’ll have a clearer view of your duties and privileges, and your smaller worries and anxieties will fade away as a result. That’s not to say that Saturn Retrograde is all positives though, as there’ll be fresh seriousness in your life that will prevent you from relaxing and leaving your work at the office door.
During Saturn retrograde, it can be a good idea to reflect on yourself! The Ringed Planet urges introspection, so put your habits and relationships under the microscope and consider the parts of your life that you wish to see last into the future.
Has an effect on: Love, marriage, partnerships, passion
Retrograde frequency: Every 19 months (lasting 42 days)
When in retrograde, Venus has a habit of causing havoc in your love life! Relationships can become frosty, and tensions have a tendency to arise. Venus retrograde offers up a clearer view of what you want from romance, which can force you to either bring an end to a relationship, or equally, throw yourself headfirst into a new one.
It’s during Venus retrograde that you’ll learn a lot about yourself and how you handle emotion. There might be problems bubbling beneath the surface of your relationship, and all it takes is Venus to lift the lid for you to learn what your love life is really made of. In addition, avoid embracing passion too quickly as you’re likely to regret the decision’s you’ve made once Venus retrograde passes.
Has an effect on: War, energy, motivation
Retrograde frequency: Every 25 months (lasting 80 days)
Mars symbolizes our drive and ability to act, so it’s no surprised that it does the complete opposite when in retrograde. You might be filled with ambition and desperate to see your life progress, but the Red Planet will refuse to make things budge- which has disastrous effects on your temper! Plans will fail to become a reality, and your patience will be tested to its very limits.
When Mars is in retrograde, it’s important that you keep a tight rein on your emotions. Frustrations will kick in, and your normally calm demeanor will be steamrolled by anger and rage. That said, this bubbling emotion will give you the chance to reflect on the unresolved conflicts within, and confront the parts of your personality that are holding you back.
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Has an effect on: Transformation, change, psychic energy
Retrograde frequency: Once a year (lasting approximately 5 months)
When Pluto retrogrades, we are often plunged into the very depths of our own identities. There’s a newfound sense of confusion, and it’s likely that you’ll struggle to come to terms with who you are and what your purpose in life is.
Pluto retrograde forces us to confront the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves, which can often have devastating effects. It’s key during these periods that you steer clear of anything too heavy as it can be incredibly damaging for your morale. Perhaps it’s best to keep yourself occupied so as to fight off the moments of introspection.
Has an effect on: Dreams, imagination, fantasy
Retrograde frequency: Once a year (lasting approximately 5-6 months)
Neptune has the ability to open our minds and souls at the best of times, and this is taken to a whole new level when it retrogrades. Spirituality arrives in full force, and whilst it does bring a little open-mindedness, it can leave you open to deceptions and delusions. Your sense of logic will take a backseat, and you’ll be left fantasizing things that will most likely never be.
When Neptune retrogrades, it’s essential that you keep your mind from the clouds and your feet firmly fixed to the ground. If not, you’ll find yourself crashing back to reality once Neptune retrograde ends and the rose-tinted glasses are gone. However, that’s not to say that you should completely avoid the fantasy, as you’ll be able to learn a whole lot more about yourself and your subconscious thanks to how vivid your dreams are during the retrograde period.
Has an effect on: Luck
Retrograde frequency: Once a year (lasting approximately 3-4 months)
Jupiter’s retrograde is exactly what you need if you happen to find yourself losing your way! The Giant Planet seeks out truth and wisdom, and so provides you with the opportunity to look at the bigger picture and point out where you’re going wrong. You’ll recognize how lucky you are to have arrived at where you are, and your appreciation for life will skyrocket.
During these periods of retrograde, the key can be found in self-improvement! Reflect on what makes you happy and how you can extend this joyfulness long into the future. Embrace the planet’s introspective abilities, as you’ll come away from the period with a newfound recognition of your own talents, and a closer spiritual bond between your mind and soul.
Has an effect on: Chaos, freedom
Retrograde frequency: Once a year (lasting 5 months)
Uranus in retrograde is the very bringer of enlightenment! Whilst other planetary retrogrades tend to force change out of your impulse, Uranus’s retrograde urge you to be more coolheaded and objective in your approach. There are negative parts of your life that you choose to ignore, but Uranus will send down a ‘lightning bolt moment’, and your eyes will be opened to the things that hold you back.
On realizing the aspects of your life that are in desperate need of change, it’s often the case that you’ll attempt to transform yourself rapidly. As a result, you can lose your sense of self, and damage relationships with loved ones that aren’t prepared for such a dramatic transformation.