Planetary Retrogrades

“Outer changes always begin with an inner change of attitude.”

— Albert Einstein

Meaning & Significance

When planets are Retrograde they ‘speak more loudly’ as they are closer to earth.  Their energies are inwardly intent, and more potent – especially during their beginning and closing stationary positions, as they prepare to shift direction.  Retrogradation turns attention inward and backward, offering time to review, reconfigure, reconsider, reconstruct, so that when we do move forward we build the new, not a repeat of the mistakes of the old.  It’s the ‘re’- time, and is better spent sitting quietly, and listening, before making important decisions. As a nation, we are not good with going on pause,’ hence the destructive reactive processes are visible everywhere.  We presently have a president who does not know the meaning of the word wait, reconsider, or re-check your facts, and you see how he burns bridges, knocks people over, and makes instant enemies.  

Retrogrades offer time to ‘be’ rather than ‘do.’ In a ‘being state’ we are powerfully able to RE-flect, RE-envision, and RE-align what gives life importance. As the world moves faster and faster, our vibration needs to pick up its pace, and we do that better when we take time out to rest and BE one with Self. Removing ourselves from world turbulence as much as possible gives us the ability to help the world far more than if we were yelling in the streets.  Meditating to send peace into every neighborhood, a higher consciousness to world leaders, and healing for the earth, are reflections of using Retrograde time periods very effectively, and wisely.

During the plentiful and oh so potent 2020 Retrogrades, there is the potential to develop toward a superconsciousness, a collaborative consciousness serving Self and the world.  Certainly lengthy Retrograde time periods are an invitation to develop a higher vibration.  Our future depends on it.  Creating this new internal DNA requires time in deep inner journeys, where we practice listening to our visionary ideas, and question what stands in the way of new potentials.  

Retrogrades help us heal the past, as we turn to memories and people of our past. Often they suddenly show up with a call, or email.  Some on the doorstep!  We develop a 2020 hindsight, providing perceptive forward vision.

Planetary Retrogrades 101

by Transit & Natal

If a planet is Retrograde at birth, the following energetic information is with you in some form, until the planet shifts to go forward.  With some of the long, outer planets, it’s yours for a lifetime.  But what you will slowly notice if-when the planet does shift to go forward, is that you approach the issues of that planet differently, just like you do when it’s a transit.  For most off us this is a subtle shift, which we need to choose to be conscious about.

Sun: Does not go Retrograde

Moon: Does not go Retrograde


Is likely to be more reserved, especially in communication. As ‘the trickster’ slows down it is more able to understand its own thinking process, and be comfortable with introspection. If Mercury re-views, re-invents, re-aligns, and re-considers during the three weeks of Retrograde that happens three times a year, then when it moves forward, life is smoother, and plans are better made.  We all know the negative aspect of its Retrograde: technology snafus, cars go out of commission, papers are lost, mis-communication is rampant, we are often late due to lost keys, lost messages etc., We can be more fearful, or reactive when expressing our own truth and opinions.

 Natal Mercury Retrograde

The person tends to be slower to speak.  With a difficult Mercury, one can stutter, or not speak at all.  The mind tends to move more slowly, depending on the sign it’s in.  But in that slowness, lies a depth-charge.  When you learn something, despite the fact you may have to repeat the process many times over, it becomes yours.  You totally own the information at a deep level.


This Goddess grows more subjective, more interested with inner beauty with curiosity about spiritual sensibilities.  When Retrograde, she does not evaluate by worldly standards.  This can create difficulty in being intimate or vulnerable.

The Venus Retrograde Cycle is a passage of transformation. It highlights where we are out of balance, in need of reform.  Unlike other planets, Venus has a dual nature as she transitions from Evening to Morning Star, changing her face from the Love Goddess to Warrior Queen. Her Retrograde cycle offers an opportunity to heal dissonance in broken relationships.  It also offers a time of inner strength to reassess our values, and self worth. When Venus retrogrades, we are turned toward the heart of her dual archetype, Like most archetypal tales of feminine empowerment, the dual nature of Venus has been predominantly lost, or reworked. From the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar illustrated atop a Lion clad with weapons, heralded as a skilled pilot, fierce in battle and feared for her wrath, Venus has over time lost her Lion, her weapons and her warfare skills, and never seemed to regain the clothing removed on the descent into the Underworld.


Depending on the sign it’s in, Mars may hold back, and have difficulty with follow-through, or follow-through of goals. We feel more lethargic, and dopey, rather than motivated.  Mars Retrograde can more easily turn anger in on itself, which often create bruising and injury through accidents.  Like all Retrogrades, it provides a review time for threshing through motivations, physical ability, passion, commitment and anger issues.


Like most retrogrades, we again turn inward, and with Jupiter, expand inner riches and gifts. Because Jupiter is known for his generous, gassy abundance, when Retrograde you may feel less generous, or forthcoming in some way. You will probably be less rambunctious, carefree, or gassy.  Because Jupiter is always interested in the expansion of our ideas, travel, philosophy, learning, and religion, when Retrograde, we will be more focused on spiritual growth, metaphysics, and internal contentment.  You may travel as much as you wish, but you will ‘armchair travel’ in books and Ipods. 


As master of inner endurance and self-protection, these qualities ramp up. Again, depending on the qualities of the sign it is moving through, and or/ you’re your choices!  Saturn can take the high road to grow inner strength and regenerative stamina under pressure.  He can also become manipulative, too power-hungry, and uber critical.  

When Saturn is Retrograde at birth, it often denotes a difficult childhood, one that is constrained, or controlled, and felt unloved in some way.


When the God of chaos, change, and Electric-Magnetic-Thinking goes Retrograde, we have greater opportunities for high-level intuition, sudden “Ahaaa’s and synergistic events. We more easily access a higher vibration and planes of consciousness.  Unfortunately, we can also be unfocused, not practical, lost in exclamation points, disorganized, and distracted.


This is a planet where I find she simply becomes MORE of who she is, taking us down below the surface of her great sea to swim through inner reaches of spirituality, empathy and ‘meta’ aspects of life.  Like Uranus, intuitive, even psychic moments are more plentiful, if we have slowed down enough to accept them.  But difficulties can arise from greater sensitivity to allergies as well as becoming too feeling sensitive.  There is also a sense of being lost, and/or losing friends and loved ones, positions and awards. Neptune’s image is one of great beauty and spirituality until it’s not.


Our most distant and diabolical planet is profoundly psychological, able to understand, and transmute motivations, as it explores the unconscious. Pluto always works way-in, and when Retrograde may pull in so deeply it isolates, building barricades no one wants to cross through.  Some with Pluto’s reversal have tremendous stamina, both physically and psychologically.  There is an ability to face death, or a vast fear of death, if working from shadow.  Pluto transforms, and when Retrograde, the transformational process is never-ending.


The ‘Wounded Healer’ traveling backward often brings in an ability to heal others well.  There is an inward turning that hears what is needed to remove blocks, and offers a spiritual awareness that helps others see their pain from a better perspective. But, the shadow side of the Retrograde is one can more easily fall into victimhood.  The choice is always there, but often difficult to discern.