Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Retrograde

In astrology, when a planet appears to be moving "backward" in its orbit, it is considered to be in retrograde motion. The planet is not actually moving backward; it's an illusion because we can only see it from the earth. But the effects certainly are not. 

There are two different kinds of retrogrades:
  • A natal retrograde is when a planet was in retrograde motion when you were born, and it has an overall affect on your personal astrological chart.
  • A transiting retrograde is when a planet is in retrograde motion during your lifetime, and it affects everyone. 

Most people are concerned with the transiting retrograde planets. Mercury, of course, is the one that everyone seems to be concerned about when it goes backward, because anything involving a number of different areas, including communications, has a greater tendency to go awry.

I'm not going to bore you with Mercury retrograde here...been there, done that. The most viewed post I have done is about it, and I've done more than one about the topic, so take a look at the archives if you're interested in that. Because it is such a fast-moving planet and is so close to Earth it does affect us quite a bit, but I figure you can navigate my blog archives quicker than I can type it all out again. :)

The only planets that do not go retrograde are the sun and moon, which are known as "the luminaries" in astrology. But the two other personal planets, Venus and Mars, have a significant impact when they are retrograde as well, and they're often ignored. I'll give you a few insights into both, whether they are in your natal chart or transiting. 

Please keep in mind as well that it's important to know which sign these planets are in, as that position will give you insight into what specific areas of your life may be affected. 

Natal Venus Retrograde: If Venus was in retrograde when you were born, you may feel awkward, shy, or unable to make small talk, or may feel uncomfortable relating to other people. Often, people with this placement have more than their share of commitment problems as well, questioning their worthiness of the love offered by other people.

Transiting Venus Retrograde: Venus is actually in retrograde less than all of the other planets, going "backward" only once every 18 months. During these times, outward appearances, money, and love matters may become less important. So this isn't a great time to start dating someone, get married, or throw big parties, either. Hold off on that new hairstyle or wardrobe as well. Couples in relationships may find that Venus Retrograde, true to form on its "re-" nature, may cause issues to re-surface so that any "unfinished business" may be resolved.

NOTE: Venus goes retrograde in a few weeks, beginning on May 15 and stays in retrograde through June 27, 2012. Its effects will be felt as early as April 12 and as late as July 31 of this year. 

Natal Mars Retrograde: If Mars was in retrograde when you were born, you may have difficulty asserting yourself or expressing anger, or dislike situations in which you have to compete with others. You need to be sure to stand up for yourself and for your interests, and not let others run roughshod over you.

Transiting Mars Retrograde: Mars goes retrograde once every 26 months or so. Definitely not a good time to start a business, transiting Mars retrograde can cause conflicts, at work or at home, to come to the fore, and also may aggravate any existing sexual difficulties. Mars doesn't like being held back, which is essentially what retrograde is. Expect major changes in big projects as well. 

NOTE: Mars was in retrograde beginning on January 24, 2012, and actually just went direct yesterday, April 14, 2012. However, you will continue to feel the effects of the retrograde for another few months, until it reaches its full forward speed on June 19, 2012. 

Thanks for dropping in! One more post for this week, my "S" post, will be up tomorrow. :)


  1. awesome! love learning about astrology. My cousin is a tarot reader and "gifts" seem to run in our family. glad to have found your site.
    Happy A-Zing!

  2. Thanks Nutschell! I appreciate your comment! Good luck with the A-Z Challenge as well. :)