Latest Articles

Trans-Neptunian Objects Cetus Chart Shapes Synastry & Composite Part of Fortune Minor Aspects Tarot and Astrology Correspondences More Articles...

Planet Retrogrades


Athen Chimenti

7 October 2023

Introduction to Planetary Retrogrades

Hermes sitting down taking a break

Planetary retrogrades are a very important part of astrology. These events are often associated with a period of reflection, reassessment, and re-evaluation. The term 'retrograde' refers to the apparent backward motion of a planet when viewed from Earth.

While this is an optical illusion, the effects of a retrograde are very real and can be felt in various aspects of life. Each planet's retrograde has a unique impact, influenced by the planet's underlying symbology and meaning.

For instance, when Mercury, the planet of communication, goes retrograde, it often leads to miscommunications, information delays, and technological mishaps. On the other hand, Venus retrograde might stir up past relationships or cause us to reevaluate our values and desires.

Understanding the meaning of each planet's retrograde gives us valuable insights and guidance during these reflective times. It also helps us understand more about the planets that are retrograde in our natal charts. To see what planets are retrograde in your chart use our sidereal chart calculator.

Mercury Retrograde

drawing of the planet mercury

Mercury retrograde is perhaps the most well-known. This event occurs three to four times a year and lasts for about three weeks each time.

Mercury governs communication, short distance travel, and our every day routines. Its retrograde periods can lead to missed messages, travel delays, and things needing repair. It's a time when the things we normally depend on may go awry, and miscommunications are more likely than usual.

However, Mercury retrograde is not all doom and gloom. It's also a time for reflection, reassessment, and reevaluation. It's a period to slow down, review past decisions, and make necessary adjustments. It's also a great time to take the initiative on repairing and doing maintenance on things that we normally rely on. Editing things from the past and revisiting things we skipped over or missed is a great way of working with Mercury retrogrades.

Mercury retrograde can be a productive time if we approach it with a positive mindset and use it as an opportunity for growth, learning, and improvement.

Venus Retrograde

drawing of the planet venus

Venus retrograde happens less frequently than Mercury —about once every 18 months—and lasts for approximately six weeks.

Venus is the planet of love, beauty, and values. When it goes retrograde, we may find ourselves reevaluating our relationships, our sense of self-worth, and what we truly value in life.

Old flames may reappear, or current relationships may be tested. It's a time to reassess what and who we value, and why. It's also a time to reevaluate our personal sense of beauty and worth.

While Venus retrograde can be a period of uncertainty, it's also a powerful time for personal growth and self-discovery. It's a time to reassess our values, our relationships, and our self-worth, and make any necessary changes.

Mars Retrograde

drawing of the planet mars

Mars retrograde occurs approximately once every two years and lasts for about two months. Mars is the planet of action, drive, and desire. When it goes retrograde, our energy levels may dip, and we may feel less motivated to pursue our goals.

Mars retrograde is a time to reassess our desires and our approach to achieving our goals. It's a time to slow down, reflect, and re-strategize where we're putting our energy.

While this period can be frustrating, it's also an opportunity to reassess our goals and the methods we're using to achieve them. It's a time to slow down, reflect, and make necessary adjustments.

Understanding the impact of Mars retrograde can help us navigate this period more effectively and use it as a time of reflection and strategic planning.

Jupiter Retrograde

drawing of the planet jupiter

Jupiter retrograde occurs roughly once every 12 to 13 months, lasting about four months each cycle. As the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter symbolizes expansion, abundance, and philosophy. Its retrograde phases encourage us to delve into our inner wealth, exploring our spiritual beliefs and finding growth within.

During Jupiter retrograde, it is common for people to reassess their moral compass and their philosophies on life, love, and personal happiness. It’s a time where we might explore our spiritual and philosophical beliefs, possibly reevaluating the doctrines and dogmas that we adhere to.

This period is not necessarily problematic. Instead, it invites us to explore internal abundance and personal growth, redefining our understanding of prosperity and success. While external expansion might slow, internal growth becomes especially fruitful, providing an opportunity to reassess and realign with our intrinsic beliefs and values.

Understanding Jupiter retrograde allows us to use this time for inner exploration, philosophical pondering, and spiritual deepening, creating a foundation that supports our actions and decisions once Jupiter goes direct again.

Saturn Retrograde

drawing of the planet saturn

Saturn retrograde takes place once a year, lasting about four and a half months. Saturn, as the taskmaster of the zodiac, governs structure, responsibility, and discipline. When in retrograde, it prompts a reassessment of the foundations upon which we build our lives and our boundaries.

During this period, you might find yourself questioning established structures, reevaluating goals, and reassessing your commitments. It is a time where prior limitations may be tested, and where past decisions and structures may be reevaluated for their effectiveness and utility.

While it can bring about certain challenges, particularly in areas of career and public standing, Saturn retrograde can also be a valuable period for re-establishing personal boundaries and rebuilding structures that better serve our purposes. Taking time to reassess and solidify our foundational elements ensures we build our future success on solid ground.

Embracing the reflective energy of Saturn retrograde allows for a constructive reassessment, ensuring our life structures are stable, supportive, and aligned with our long-term success.

Uranus Retrograde

drawing of the planet uranus

Uranus retrograde occurs once a year and lasts about five months. Known as the planet of innovation, rebellion, and change, Uranus retrograde tends to shake things up in unexpected and sometimes disruptive ways, asking us to reevaluate where we may be stuck in a rut.

During Uranus retrograde, our internal desires for change and progress are heightened, making us more aware of where we are resisting change and where we need to break free from limiting patterns and beliefs. It's a time where external change may slow but internal changes are abundant.

Although potentially destabilizing, Uranus retrograde can also be seen as a period of liberation, where we can identify and release ourselves from rigid thought patterns or outdated beliefs, enabling a more genuine self-expression when Uranus moves direct.

Aligning with the transformative energies of Uranus retrograde allows us to boldly reimagine our future, releasing limiting beliefs and embracing our innovative spirit.

Neptune Retrograde

drawing of the planet neptune

Neptune retrograde happens once a year, lasting for about five months. Neptune is the planet of dreams, intuition, and spiritual connection, and its retrograde phase is a time where the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thought to thin.

During Neptune retrograde, we may find our dreams more vivid, our intuition heightened, and our spiritual senses more attuned. It’s a time that may bring confusion in the material world but offers clarity in our internal and spiritual worlds.

Though it may bring about illusions and misunderstandings, Neptune retrograde can also provide a rich period for spiritual growth and creative expression. Embracing this time can allow us to connect deeply with our inner selves and our spiritual beliefs, enriching our understanding of the unseen world.

Utilizing Neptune retrograde as a time of spiritual exploration and creative expression allows us to navigate through its misty realms with a sense of wonder and intuitive guidance.

Pluto Retrograde

drawing of the planet pluto

Pluto retrograde occurs annually, lasting about five to six months each time. As the planet of transformation, rebirth, and regeneration, Pluto retrograde takes us on a deep dive into the underworld of our subconscious, unearthing hidden truths and buried feelings.

During this time, we’re invited to confront our shadows, embracing both our fears and our power in the process. It’s a period where secrets, both personal and collective, may come to light and where we may be forced to confront aspects of ourselves or our lives that have been hidden or suppressed.

While it can be an intense and sometimes challenging period, Pluto retrograde also offers profound opportunities for healing, transformation, and empowerment. Engaging with this time deeply and authentically allows us to harness its regenerative energy, facilitating profound internal shifts that can alter the course of our personal evolution.

Aligning with the energy of Pluto retrograde, we can courageously face our inner demons, transform our deepest fears, and emerge with a newfound sense of power and authenticity.

Mercury Retrograde Explained

Stay up to date with articles like this one - Join MTZ Insiders