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Keep calm and understand retrograde planets - Part 1

Posted on 28 April, 2016 at 23:05

At the time of writing we have five planets that are retrograde: Mercury in Taurus, Mars in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius and Pluto in Capricorn.  Now if you like astrology based or spiritual pages on Facebook, you're likely to see posts about Mercury Retrograde.  That's because it happens around three times a year for about three weeks.  There is a lot of hype around retrograde planets, especially Mercury, where we fear technology or signing contract, travel or communication.  I have bought into that fear before and would blame everything going wrong in life on Mercury Rx.  A more positive way to look at retrograde planets is to think about the RE in REtrograde and REvise, REvisit, REthink, REstore, REjuvenate, REtreat.  It is often a time to go back over something to either learn the lesson we didn't learn the first time around or to take a step back and look within.  We cannot keep up the fast paced, hectic environment that this world seems to demand of us.  We cannot always be switched to "ON", we need to switch "OFF" at regular intervals.  A retrograde planet helps us do that if we tune into the energy of the retrograde planet and actually take the time to retreat, rejuvenate, revisit, rethink, revise and sometimes reinvent.  We then have the ability to move forward again with a clearer perspective and perhaps a lesson learned.  FYI: A retrograde planet is a planet that appears to be moving backward in the sky.  It is not actually moving backwards but has slowed down enough that it looks like it is going backwards.  Much like when you pass a car on the freeway, as you are doing a faster speed as you pass them it looks like they are going backwards.  


So let's take a look at each planet and how it affects us in retrograde and what we can do in each period to use it to our advantage.  Firstly we'll start with the personal planets, Mercury, Mars & Venus.


Mercury

This one is always a big one.  Mercury is the planet that people tend to freak out about being retrograde.  We are warned that computers will break, travel plans will be disrupted, communications will be mixed up, and that may very well happen but we need to look at the bigger picture.  Mercury is the planet of communication, learning, language.  So a retrograde period is a good time to review how we are communicating and whether it is serving us well.  Life cannot stop during a Mercury retrograde period and because it happens three times a year, coming to a complete halt is just not practical.  However, it is a great time to clear the backlog of work, do the filing, delete old files and emails from your computer (and backup!!).  Use this time to review your goals, rethink your strategy or plans, take the foot off the pedal for a bit.  A great time to take a deep breath because when Mercury goes direct, you can be ready to forge ahead again.  I would also recommend reconfirming all travel plans and critical communications.  Although it may not seem like it Mercury retrograde follows a pattern and at the moment you will find that all Mercury Retrogrades until December 2017 will be in Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), so the focus during Mercury Rx over the next 18 months will be on practical matters, security, home, job, body.  It is time to concentrate on the practicalities of your life and take care of the seemingly mundane tasks during this retrograde period.    


Venus

Venus goes retrograde around every 19 months for about 40 days.  It is the planet that concerns what we value in life.  Themes around money, beauty, possessions, the arts, creativity and relationships are all connected to Venus.  During a Venus retrograde it is a good time to spoil yourself. A great time to go on a retreat, book a holiday with your partner, treat yourself to something that you really value.  Also it is a good time to reflect on your relationships and ask yourself if you feel valued in these relationships.  Most people create a budget at the start of the year or even at the start of the financial year, however it is said that creating a budget or savings plan during a Venus retrograde is a good idea too.  (Something I would like to try!)  If you are experiencing disharmony during a Venus retrograde, it signals that you are not living in accordance to your core values or creativity.  It is a time to contemplate what your needs are and how you are going to go about fulfilling them.  The next Venus retrograde occurs in March 2017.


Mars

Mars retrogrades around every two years for about 8-12 weeks.  Mars is our planet of action so during a retrograde period it is good to take the foot off the throttle a little and relax.  Our energy may be low during a Mars retrograde so it is important to focus and channel our energies into what needs it most. In other words, don't waste your energy during this time.  Revisit your goals during a Mars retrograde and channel your energies inward to ensure that your goals are still relevant.  Try not to take on too much during a Mars retrograde as you are likely to burn out quicker than you usually would.  It is a time to get clear in your mind about what you want so when Mars goes direct you can put your energy towards going after it.  Projects or ventures may be postponed during a Mars retrograde and they may even terminate all together.  You may find that you are stagnant or waiting for things to happen during a Mars retrograde, so watch your anger and frustration.  Find creative outlets for your frustration during this time.  The current Mars retrograde ends at the end of June 2016.  


To see if a planet is retrograde, check the below table for the current planetary positions.  If there is a backwards R before the sign, that means the planet is retrograde.  More on the remaining planets to come...  



Categories: Astrology, Retrograde, Mercury

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