Retrograde planets function as if they are closer to the earth – they have a stronger influence but their influence is inverted – we see the “other side” of the issues represented by those planets. Sometimes the influence of the retrograde planet is passive and we need to work with it to avoid frustration during retrograde periods; Venus retrograde can send love and financial affairs into a holding pattern. Saturn retrograde makes it hard to do restructuring or make real achievements in terms of the big picture plans – so work with Saturn when direct to make your plans, because Saturn retro happens every year for several months at a time. Build during Saturn direct, develop during the retrograde.
Understanding what the planets represent in retrograde we can work consciously to bring these principles out in our lives – especially if the retrograde planets are in the natal chart. We need all principles and influences represented by the planets to flow so unlocking these potentials is key to dealing with problems those planets may be causing through excessive or insufficient influence.
The retrograde motion of planets is apparent – the planets only go backwards from the perspective of the earth. Sun and Moon never go retrograde – the Sun is the spark of life and the Moon the body and mind. The lunar nodes – the shadow “planets” – Rahu and Ketu are always retrograde and represent the karmic axis which we are battling with in this incarnation.
Retrogrades in 2017
Mercury: Communication & Intelligence, Intellect & Speech
Mercury retrograde periods are a time of turning our logic, speech and intelligence inward. We are more reflective and hesitant to speak – if you are born with natal Mercury retrograde then you find yourself able to express what’s on your mind. Mercury retrograde is a time of mischief and mistakes, we either speak too quickly or can’t straighten out our thoughts or blurt out things better left unsaid, especially as Mercury approaches conjunction to the Sun. Mercury aligning with the Sun = speaking hot words. Mercury retrograde also helps us to communicate our inner ideas, see things from a different perspective or see the underpinnings of an issue that has been tangling us up for a little while. Mercury is the trickster and the messenger of the gods.
Mercury becomes Retrograde in Leo on August 13, 2017
Mercury goes Direct on September 05, 2017
Mercury becomes Retrograde in Sagittarius on December 03, 2017
Enters Scorpio on December 11, 2017
Mercury goes Direct on December 23, 2017
Venus Retrograde in Pisces
Venus: Attachment to desire, Love, Relationships, Beauty, Luxury, Comfort & Pleasure
Venus is exalted in Pisces. During this transit we receive an extended period of Venus’ blessing even during the retrograde period because of the benevolent energy Venus has in this part of the zodiac. Venus in Pisces makes us gentler, sweeter and more sentimental. We are more willing to be devoted, selfless and understand the importance of sacrificing the needs of our ego for the sake of those we love. Venus represents romance, love, affection, material and emotional attachment, luxury and income. Venus retrograde periods can lead to overspending but the influence of Pisces also brings a softening influence to look at where we haven’t given enough to our relationships or where we have been too sacrificing – Pisces Venus can be a martyr in love. The true purpose of love and longing is explored, relationship mistakes and joys are explored, reviewed, wept over and released in the waters of Pisces. Old flames reappear, flicker and float off again. Love is renewed in established relationships and finds a new spiritual depth.
Venus opposes her enemy planet, Jupiter in Virgo, there is a passivity and smallness to increases and losses in income at this time. It is a vague, drifting, sentimental time – take care to dream sweetly instead of dwell sorrowfully. If you explore your sorrow do it with the commitment to release it and move forward into the new cycle of Venus around the zodiac which begins when Venus enters Aries on May 31.
Venus becomes Retrograde in Pisces on March 04, 2017
Venus goes Direct on April 15, 2017
Venus enters Aries May 31, 2017
Jupiter Retrograde in Virgo
Jupiter: Law, philosophy, religious ideals, foreign ideas & places, good fortune, wisdom
Jupiter the lord of wisdom, learning, religious observance, dharma and blessings
Virgo is the sign of sensitivity, cultivation through care and diligence, intelligence, cleanliness and routine/rituals
Jupiter’s transit in Virgo opposes his sign of Pisces – this is not a strong place for the planet. Big strokes of luck – which we get with Jupiter in Leo – do not occur during Jupiter in Virgo. Diligent work, attendance to duty, health and routines of ordinary life are where we will discover the greatest spiritual lessons, religious knowledge & philosophical revelation. Small gestures, fulfilling our daily – sometimes boring – duties, performing our rituals and responsibilities with grace and humility brings blessings to our lives and those we serve.
Jupiter retrograde in Virgo is a time to review your health routines, religious commitments, find purpose in serving others and creating beauty through order in your daily life.
Jupiter becomes Retrograde on February 06, 2017
Jupiter goes Direct on June 10, 2017
Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius transiting back into Scorpio
Saturn: Karma, restrictions, accounting for conduct, judgement, difficulty
Saturn retrogrades can bring a relief from the hard edges and reality checks of Saturn, things tend to get a bit soft around the edges and it can be hard to make any serious structural progress. Saturn retrograde occurs for 142 days each year, this is like the dark phase of the moon, a waning of Saturn’s energy and a turning inwards that is almost half the solar year of 365 days. The Saturn retrograde is the time to check the foundations of your life, for weaknesses that need reinforcement or reconsideration. It’s a good time to focus on accounting for your time, effort, energy and abilities.
In the last 2.5 years Saturn was in Scorpio – this was a tough transit. The Scorpio intense energy of transformation and Saturn’s calling to account of every action, word and folly was a painful and difficult time for many of us. Saturn recently moved into Sagittarius lightening the atmosphere and pushing us to put our philosophies and ideals into solid form (for good or ill, there’s been a rise in fanaticism and ideological black and white thinking too). Saturn has been moving across the knot or gandanta between Scorpio and Sagittarius which is a transformative and not necessarily easy time, we get to the root of things but we realise there is more work to do if we are to uproot locked karmic patterns and change our destiny.
We never expect Saturn’s lessons to be easy – he is the task master of our lives, the Lord of Karma. He is the judge and accountant for our actions. He brings relief through release from our illusions by making us confront our realities and the consequences of our conduct – impartial and immoveable he is a terrible energy but he is a necessary one. Consider the house that Saturn is transiting in your natal chart and you will see his restructuring and challenging energy expressed in this area of your life.
Saturn forces us to grow through discipline and responsibility. He purges and purifies our souls of our illusions and weaknesses. Ultimately we see his role as son of the Sun as not so dark after all – but as a liberator.
Saturn becomes Retrograde on April 06, 2017
Saturn goes back into Scorpio June 21, 2017 – understanding the deep emotional turmoil of the last 2.5 years in a different light. Seeing the underlying structure, karma and purpose of this experience.
Saturn goes direct on August 25, 2017
Saturn re-enters Sagittarius October 26, 2017 – Saturn in Sagittarius helps us to be optimistic about the possibilities for our lives and begin to build a new form and destiny for ourselves.