What Do Retrograde Planets Mean?


Many of you who have generated your natal birth chart on-line or even consulted an astrologer may have discovered that you have a retrograde planet or planets in your chart. Retrograde planets are indicated on a chart by the symbol Rx. Many people panic upon discovering this, believing they have a ‘bad’ planet or that this means something sinister when it’s just not the case.

First, from a scientific standpoint we need to understand what is going on when a planet moves ‘retrograde’ across the sky. Most planets that orbit around the Sun along with the Earth appear to move around the ecliptic in one direction. But when the Earth passes them – in other words when the Sun, the Earth and the planet in question are aligned, the planet will appear to move backwards for a while, before moving forwards again in the right direction. This happens most frequently with Mercury as it is closest to the Sun and orbits the fastest. So, the alignment takes place more frequently.

From an astrological perspective, retrograde planets often allow us to go back and gets things right. Think of this as being given an opportunity to re-take an exam we’ve failed. The great thing about astrology is that we are going to be constantly given chances to ‘get it right’ throughout our lives. For example, while a Mercury retrograde can play havoc on a mundane level with transport and communication, it gives us the opportunity to revise projects and systems, re-sit exams and re-visit old people and haunts.

Retrograde planets in a birth chart are operating in much the same way. Depending on the planet and the house of the chart the planet sits in, in karmic astrology terms the planet represents ‘unfinished business’- an unachieved goal or life lesson from a past life and you have chosen that particular date to be born in order to resolve this once and for all. So, retrograde planets point to our soul work in this lifetime. A good astrologer can open up this information in depth for you but here is a general guide to the soul lesson the retrograde planet may have for you and in releasing it.

Retrograde Mercury

Consider what you say before you say it – your words can hurt or heal, which is it to be?
Create positive inner dialogue for yourself
Express yourself in writing even if it’s just journaling
If you feel misunderstood by others, consider how you are getting your point across

Retrograde Venus

Learn to trust in love – you can doubt the love that others offer you is real
Offer love in turn unconditionally
Guard against obsessive or controlling behaviour towards loved ones
Take your time to really get to know someone before giving your heart – the 90 day rule is made for you!

Retrograde Mars

Learn to assert yourself – are you being treated like a doormat by others?
Don’t shy away from confrontations
Understand that anger is not a scary or negative emotion – it lets us know our boundaries have been breached
Allowing yourself to be exploited by others or repressing your emotions will lead to depression. Own your power.

Retrograde Jupiter

Are you settling for the crumbs other people leave? Know that you deserve prosperity and abundance!
Despite the fact that you don’t achieve your goals you feel superior to others in some way. Be open to asking for help and admitting you don’t have all the answers
Let go of thoughts such as: ‘money is the root of all evil’, ‘I have no interest in money’ and ‘life only rewards those who will do anything to get on’
Travel and study (formal or informal) hold the key to your soul freedom

Retrograde Saturn

May act out due to feeling that you are not good enough. Know you are perfect just the way you are!
Don’t be afraid of owning up to being afraid – in your fear lies your power
Be your own person – not who others expect you do be

Retrograde Uranus

Know you are here to do a special job and that a 9 to 5 career is not for you. Don’t feel pressured and take your time finding your ‘niche’
Be tolerant of others
Don’t rebel just for the sake of it – although your task may be to revolutionise something

Retrograde Neptune

Learn not to blame yourself when things go wrong – you’ve learned a lesson that’s all!
Allow others to see your sensitive side. Retrograde Neptune often acts like a tough guy to hide extreme sensitivity
You are incredibly intuitive and psychic. Learn to develop these traits
Don’t try to block what you’re feeling with alcohol or drugs

Retrograde Pluto

Don’t play mind games with people. Retrograde Pluto feels things so deeply they act like they don’t care or seek to control. Do this and you’ll end up with nothing.
Always look for the hidden truth behind any situation
You have the ability to dive down into the deepest levels of human existence and transform yourself and others. Consider using this gift when choosing your career

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