Retrogrades

About Retrogrades

The phenomenon of Mercury retrograde and the chaos this planetary effect can sometimes wreak is fairly well-known even among those who don't follow astrology. But what most people don't realize is that Mercury isn’t alone: All of the planets in the solar system go through periods of apparent retrograde motion, with each carrying its own unique challenges. Which begs the question: What is a planetary retrograde anyway, and why should you care?

Seen from our vantage point here on Earth, all of the planets in the solar system periodically appear to stop their normal forward motion or orbit through the night sky, pause, change direction and then start moving backwards. It’s this apparent backward motion – which in reality is an optical illusion, albeit one with far-reaching implications – that astrologers call retrograde motion. Even though Mercury is the best-known planet to do this, each of the planets, when in retrograde, carries its own energy shift, contributing different a different flavor to our daily lives. Check out our Retrograde Calendar to learn which planets are going into retrograde, when, and what you need to know to prepare.
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Retrogrades Calendar

Retrogrades over the next 12 months
Mercury
July 7 - 19, 2019 (Leo)
July 19 - 31, 2019 (Cancer)
October 31 - November 20, 2019 (Scorpio)
February 16 - March 4, 2020 (Pisces)
March 4 - 9, 2020 (Aquarius)
June 17 - July 12,  2020 (Cancer)
October 13 - 27, 2020 (Scorpio)
October 27 - November 10, 2020 (Libra)
Venus
May 13 - June 25, 2020 (Gemini)
Mars
September 9 - November 13, 2020 (Aries)
Jupiter
April 10 - August 11, 2019 (Sagittarius)
May 14 - September 12, 2020 (Capricorn)
Saturn
April 29 - September 18, 2019 (Capricorn)
May 10 - September 28, 2020 (Capricorn)
Uranus
August 11, 2019 - January 11, 2020 (Taurus)
August 15, 2020 - January 14, 2021 (Taurus)
Neptune
June 21 - November 27, 2019 (Pisces)
June 22 - November 28, 2020 (Pisces)
Pluto
April 24 - October 2, 2019 (Capricorn)
April 24 - October 4, 2020 (Capricorn)

Planetary Retrogrades

How each planet's retrograde affects you
Mercury
Venus
Mars
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto

Clarity in the Fog: Your Easy Guide to Mercury Retrograde

Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap these days, with everyone keen to blame mishaps and misunderstandings on these regular periods of Mercurial mischief. But actually, Mercury retrograde can be a blessing as well as a curse. The key is to understand how and when it affects you – not every Mercury retrograde is felt by everyone, though.

What Happens When Mercury is Retrograde?

Retrograde motion – which happens to all planets, not just Mercury – is when the planet appears, as seen from earth, to be moving backwards through the zodiac for a period of time. Planets never move backwards, it’s just an illusion, caused because each planet has its own orbiting speed that sometimes gets out of synch with the earth’s.

Mercury is the most famous planet to do this, with most people having heard of Mercury retrograde even if they’re not familiar with astrology. Mercury turns retrograde sometimes four times a year, but usually three times a year – typically in the spring, late summer and last few weeks of the year. Each retrograde period lasts for approximately three weeks.

Because it happens so frequently, it’s not unusual of course for someone to be born during a Mercury retrograde period. If this is the case for you, then you have what we call a natal Mercury retrograde in your birth chart, which affects how Mercury’s energies will play out on a day to day basis in your chart.

Despite the myths that communication is doomed and everyone is affected by mistakes during a Mercury retrograde period, most people are largely unaffected by any given period. However, when Mercury turns retrograde while transiting a significant area of your chart, or when it contacts important planets during its retrograde, then you will definitely feel the effects.

What Is the Importance of Mercury Retrograde in Astrology?

Mercury is the messenger planet, linked heavily to communication and also to ideas, thoughts and intellect. When Mercury is retrograde, it can be like trying to communicate through thick fog or trying to piece together a complicated jigsaw in the dark, during a storm, having lost a third of the pieces. Thoughts are scattered, and because we’re not communicating clearly, words get misunderstood or lost in translation.

At work or in business, it can be difficult to get decisions finalized or negotiations underway while Mercury is retrograde. In your personal life, you may find it hard to voice your feelings or to compromise with your sweetheart.

Mercury also has a role to play in travel and transport, machinery and IT and if Mercury retrograde hits your chart just so you may find that your travel plans are disrupted, your appliances break down or your phone or laptop refuses to play ball.

Sometimes the effects of Mercury retrograde can be serious, but mostly they’re just irritating. Knowing what to expect can help you plan ahead, which is why astrology is helpful in highlighting these potentially disruptive weeks.

Mercury retrograde also brings benefits, however. It’s a chance to step back from the busy-busy of life and to either have some fun or to reflect on where you’ve been so far. Although it’s not a great time for making new decisions, it is an excellent time for reviewing what may have gone wrong in the past, so that you can tweak the future accordingly.

Mercury retrograde can also bring valuable down time into our lives. Make a point of switching off your phone and postponing meetings; use the time you save to engage with nature, to play with your kids or simply to daydream. In astrology, nothing is ever purely positive or purely negative; if you look for the bright side of Mercury retrograde, it’s not too hard to find.

Mercury Retrograde in the Natal Chart

If you were born during a Mercury retrograde period, then the way Mercury energy is expressed in your birth chart is a little different to normal. You may seem to have an unspoken link to the past and perhaps you experience karmic insight or déjà vu more often than other people. It can be difficult for you to express yourself as you would like, however, and some natal Mercury retrograde people can be a little shy.

Astrology suggests that you are highly intelligent, but that you doubt your own mental abilities. This may lead to a lack of confidence at school, unless someone finds the right way to nurture your talents. Going back to education in later life is often highly successful, as by that time you will have found your feet and will be able to let your natural abilities shine.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Mercury retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 1st House
Use this energy to review how you’re coming across to others. It’s not that your image or your attitude need to change but try to make sure that you are expressing yourself clearly and that others understand what you want or need from them. Figure out where your communication style has failed in the past and fix it.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Use this time to streamline your finances and to cut back on unnecessary expenses. It is not a good time for new investments or for big spending, but it’s a great time to work out a budget, get a better deal on a credit card or re-set your schedule to allow you extra time to work on lucrative projects.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
Be flexible. Your schedule is likely to be chaotic during this period, and other people will let you down for meetings and appointments. Give them the benefit of the doubt, because you might end up letting someone down too. Adapt, reschedule, re-think, do things a different way. Being determined to stick to a plan will only end in tears.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 4th House
When Mercury is retrograde in your home zone, it’s the ideal time for decluttering. Get rid of objects which no longer serve you and give your home a thorough refresh. This is also a good time to think deeply about your family relationships; if you have difficult relatives to handle, observe how you could try a different approach next time.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 5th House
Creativity may stall during this period, but your imagination and ideas can be revitalized by seeking out inspiring places and people. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perform; instead, just focus on having fun, whatever that means to you. By bringing light and laughter into your life at this time, you’ll naturally find renewed inspiration.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 6th House
This period is perfect for clearing office or work-related clutter, and for re-organizing your diary or setting up a new time management process. It’s also important to pay attention to your health. Quiet niggles and things you’ve been meaning to attend to for months may now become more urgent – nip that in the bud by being proactive with your wellbeing.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Revisit the unspoken rules which govern your relationship – who does what, what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Some of this likely isn’t working for you or your partner, so renegotiate and rethink. In business, avoid signing contracts at this time and seek more time for negotiation.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Just as this energy has been good for de-cluttering in other areas of the chart, Mercury retrograde in the 8th house is good for de-cluttering your mind. Forgiveness is a big way to do this. Forgive those who have hurt you, so that they no longer take up your head space. Do it for your own sake, not for theirs.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 9th House
Travel plans are especially vulnerable while Mercury retrograde transits this house, so double and treble check the details before a lengthy journey. Elsewhere, don’t be surprised to find your beliefs challenged, especially spiritually. It’s OK to change your mind if you learn something new and discover you have been wrong.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 10th House
In your career, making a good first impression is likely to be difficult at this time. Your best bet is to focus on existing clients or customers. It’s not a great time to job hunt and misunderstandings with colleagues may abound. Having said that, it’s a great time for a vacation away from work altogether!

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Don’t pay too much attention to gossip in this period, as it’s likely to be untrue. It’s important not to judge others without having the full facts, so be fair-minded with friends, even if they let you down. Double check the details of social events as these are liable to change or become muddled. It’s a good time to cut back on social engagements for a couple of weeks.

Mercury Retrograde Transiting 12th House
Dreams can be very important during this Mercury retrograde period; note them carefully and look for insights which may help with your current problems, or themes which may suggest a karmic or past life influence. If you feel sadness or regret over something, sit with the feeling and acknowledge it. Only then can you let it go.

Handling Love and Money Issues : Your Easy Guide to Venus Retrograde

Venus is the planet of love and harmony, but when Venus turns retrograde, what does that mean for your relationships and your peace of mind?

What Happens When Venus is Retrograde?

Venus retrograde is a period of time during which Venus appears to be moving backwards, as seen from earth. It’s important to note that this is an optical illusion, caused by different orbital speeds; Venus never actually moves backwards. Nonetheless, the symbolism of Venus retrograde is important in astrology, which is after all a language of symbolism.

Venus turns retrograde approximately once every 18 months, for about 40 days at a time.

Some people are born when Venus is retrograde; if that’s the case for you, then you have what we call a natal Venus retrograde in your birth chart, which subtly affects how Venus energy plays out in your chart.

As Venus shifts into retrograde motion, the position of the planet at that time affects all of our natal charts too, in what we call a transit. Transiting Venus retrograde means the way in which Venus’ position at that time relates to its own position at your birth, and the position of all the other planets when you were born. In astrology, we pay particular attention to the astrological house of your chart that Venus is transiting through when it turns retrograde.

What Is the Importance of Venus Retrograde in Astrology?

Astrologically, Venus rules love, kindness and peace – but during a Venus retrograde period, these things become harder to attain. Love relationships may be more tetchy, people are less inclined to be nice to each other and it’s easier for antagonism and anger to get a foothold in the world. Some relationships will breakdown while Venus is retrograde; others may have a bumpy ride but emerge from the difficulties stronger and healthier.

Venus energy is also associated with money and finances, so during a Venus retrograde period, it’s not unusual to experience financial shortages, gaps or losses. Money management becomes somewhat vague or muddled and it may be difficult to get your financial priorities in order.

In astrology, Venus also tells us about your values, so when Venus is in retrograde motion, we often find ourselves re-considering our values, changing them or coming to a different conclusion about what really matters in life. Venus is a creative energy too, and here you may find that during Venus retrograde your creativity seems to come from a deeper, more meaningful or even more spiritual direction.

Venus Retrograde in the Natal Chart

If you were born during a Venus retrograde period, then the way Venus energy is expressed in your birth chart will be subtly different. Venus usually lends us social graces, but those with Venus retrograde in the birth chart may find it difficult to socialize or may feel awkward in public even though others don’t see them that way. You may be something of a loner, or you may deeply value one or two close friendships but decline to expand your social circle any wider.

When it comes to love, those with Venus retrograde in the birth chart take things very seriously indeed. You may be secretive about your love life, or you may struggle with feelings of self-worth, leading you to reject those who are trying to get close to you. It’s important to shore up your own self-esteem before expecting to be successful in love; if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else.

Your relationship with money may be secretive too, or you may feel unusual levels of shame or guilt over being in debt. Watch out for a tendency to try to buy love or affection via lavish spending. Creative therapies such as art therapy will be a great help in getting your feelings out and helping you to value yourself more as a person.

Venus Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Venus retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 1st House
This is a good time to change your personal image in some way. If how you look isn’t how you want others to see you, then by all means make superficial changes, such as to your hairstyle, to improve your self-esteem. Don’t be misled into judging yourself by your own appearance, however. Remember that true beauty comes from within.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Discontent and frustration over money may have a serious impact on your life at this point. However, the issue is deeper than you think. It’s not simply that you don’t have ‘enough’ (money, time or whatever else you think you lack) – it’s that you don’t truly know what you want, or what you value. Spend some time working this out.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
This period is often characterized by a desire to cut down on your social life. You won’t want to see as many people as normal and your appetite for socializing is low. You can turn down invitations and avoid events, but be sure to do this tactfully, so that friends and family don’t take it personally. You simply need some time and space; this is not a permanent state.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 4th House
Within your family, your values will be shifting at this time. Don’t be surprised if you feel the need to change the ‘rules’ at home or to take a different approach to parenting. Try things out until you find out what makes you feel comfortable and secure. Reflect on the way things have always been done but remember that traditions can be changed.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 5th House
This is an important period for you, creatively. It’s not an ideal time to discover new artistic talents, but it is the perfect moment to dig deeper into the creative hobbies you already have. Let your emotions flow through your creativity and work hard to avoid self-censoring. There is something which needs to be said through your creativity – let it out.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 6th House
This period is an opportunity to take better care of your health. Figure out how you need to eat better, sleep better or exercise better. Typically, retrograde periods are not ideal for starting something new, but this is an exception: any new habit which nourishes you can now be started successfully with good intent.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Communicate clearly within your relationship and allow minor niggles to pass unheeded. This energy is about re-connecting with the reasons you fell in love in the first place. It can be a raw and painful time, especially where a partnership has been struggling, but it’s vital that you address the issue rather than burying your head in the sand.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Look to the past during this period; a former love affair may resurface, or a former financial issue could rear its head again. It’s time to pay off your debts, both financial and emotional. Learn from what has gone before but think very carefully before re-starting a failed relationship; there were reasons for what happened last time. Has anything really changed?

Venus Retrograde Transiting 9th House
You can’t make progress towards what you want if you’re not really sure what that actually is. This is a period for thinking about your calling, your vision, your dreams of the future. Try to narrow down specifically what you’re aiming for instead of talking in vague terms. Only when you truly understand the destination can you plot the route.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 10th House
Expect to be very bothered about what other people think during this period. You’ll be very conscious of your image and your status and you will likely take any criticism both hard and personally. Try to move beyond this. What you think of you matters. What your boss thinks of you, or the random woman in the store, is much, much less important than you think.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Social relationships require work and effort, but it’s easy to not be bothered during this period. You may feel too lazy to attend groups you normally enjoy, or you may feel jaded by your social circle. In itself, this feeling will pass, but you should ask whether it may be symptomatic that your needs are not really being served by your current tribe.

Venus Retrograde Transiting 12th House
Secrets come to light during this transit, whether you like it or not – especially secrets which involve love or money. This can be a highly uncomfortable and intense period, but you can head off much of the problem by simply being scrupulously honest. Take back your power by telling the truth yourself; don’t sit back and wait for someone else to expose it.

When the Warrior Turns Inwards: Your Easy Guide to Mars Retrograde

You probably know Mars as the warrior planet, associated with anger, drive, sex and passion. Every so often, however, Mars turns retrograde, and when that happens, we need to re-assess the energy of this highly charged planet.

What Happens When Mars is Retrograde?

Seen from our perspective here on earth, Mars sometimes appears to be moving backwards. It isn’t – it’s always orbiting on its normal path with forwards motion – but because Mars orbits the Sun at a different speed to earth, this optical illusion occurs. It is this period of time, when Mars seems to move backwards, that we call Mars Retrograde.

Mars turns retrograde once every two years, for approximately 60-80 days each time.

In astrology, Mars retrograde manifests in two ways. Some people are born during a retrograde period and therefore Mars is retrograde in their birth chart – we call this natal Mars retrograde.

The other way it manifests is through transits, which we call transiting Mars retrograde. Transits are the current movements of a planet (Mars in this case) considered against or superimposed on your natal chart. In particular, the astrological house of your chart that Mars is traveling through during its retrograde period gives us insight into how the retrograde energy will reveal itself in your life at that time.

What Is the Importance of Mars Retrograde in Astrology?

We generally associate Mars with high energy. When the planet is retrograde, this energy is lacking, and what energy there is tends to be turned inwards upon ourselves rather than expressed out in the world. This means that Mars retrograde is not the ideal time to start something new and important, such as a new relationship or a new job. You may struggle to sustain your energy or interest, which could lead to problems when Mars finishes its retrograde period and turn direct again.

During Mars retrograde, the anger that Mars sometimes brings is internalized. This can lead to emotional and physical frustration – something of a pressure cooker atmosphere. We also find it more difficult to act on impulse and as such we spend a lot of time second-guessing ourselves, perhaps missing or wasting opportunities due to hesitation or fear.

Clearly, Mars retrograde does bring some problematic energy into our lives. However, as with all retrogrades, it also brings a learning opportunity. This is a very good time to look back on previous arguments, rows and power struggles, and to recognize how your actions contributed to the problem. By understanding this, you can handle such situations better in future.

Mars Retrograde in the Natal Chart

If you were born during a Mars retrograde period, the way Mars energy is expressed in your natal chart will be subtly different. Although inwardly confident and self-assured, you may find it difficult to be challenged. This struggle to stand up for yourself may lead to you becoming angry with yourself and focusing on your perceived shortfalls instead of your talents.

Those with natal Mars retrograde will find that their energy is more slow-burning than full-on. There will still be ambition and determination, expressed through the zodiac sign where Mars is found, but success will tend to come in fits and starts rather than in a sustained way. You may need to cultivate patience and self-belief – if you keep going, you will succeed, but the key is to not be too hard on yourself when success doesn’t land in your lap immediately.

If Mars is retrograde in your natal chart, this can also sometimes signify sexual frustration or an impaired sex drive. Sometimes, these issues can lead to self-harm, so it’s very important that you seek therapy or counseling to help with any frustration or tendency to self-blame.

Mars Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Mars retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 1st House
Slow down and don’t push too hard in your efforts to get what you want. What you think you want may not be what you actually need, and you’ll only anger others and frustrate yourself if you are too insistent. Take time to acknowledge where you have hurt others and take responsibility for your own actions.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Tone down your spending and try to put major financial commitments on hold if you can. Impulse spending could land you in trouble at this time, so don’t be wilful when it comes to buying things you don’t really need. Take care not to allow jealousy in relationship to become the dominant factor in your love life.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
Ideas and plans are not thought through properly during this period, which can lead to a lot of wasted energy chasing dead ends. It may be difficult to stay organized, so keep lots of lists and schedules if you need to stay on track. Don’t expect others to be true to their word if they offer support or encouragement – you should also try not to make promises you can’t keep.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 4th House
During this period, you won’t be able to push ahead against an obstacle. Your starting point – your foundations – are not quite right. Fix that before you expect to make any progress. At home, try not to be passive aggressive with your kids or your spouse. Beware of expensive DIY projects which turn out to be a liability.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 5th House
Your focus may be too narrow at this time. Widen your options and try different things; don’t be afraid to have multiple projects on the go. You won’t finish them all, but somewhere in the chaos there could be a nugget of gold. This is one of those rare times when it’s a good thing to have almost too many irons in the fire.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 6th House
A lack of physical and emotional energy is the biggest issue here. If you have a demanding job or family life, you will need to pace yourself and to perhaps stagger your tasks instead of expecting miracles from your own energy reserves. This period can be stressful if you have a lot of responsibilities to juggle. It’s OK to ask for help, and to delegate.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Conflicts within a relationship can come about due to misunderstandings. There’s no animosity here, but you probably haven’t heard your partner properly, nor they you. It’s important to keep talking and to reach a compromise, otherwise the suppressed frustration of Mars retrograde will quickly build up to something bigger.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Start with what you already have. This is not a good period for acquisition – whether, that’s money, property or a new love affair. You already have more than you need. Look to see which of your emotional or material resources are under-used and under-valued, and work to maximize what is already at your disposal.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 9th House
There are bigger picture issues at this time, and you may be too obsessed with detail. Have you lost track of where you’re heading? Take time out to review your roadmap and your progress towards your goals. Don’t be afraid to take a detour; things which you may ordinarily consider a waste of time can be very illuminating just now.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 10th House
Tone down the competitive urge in your career and your ambitions. You’ll make more progress at this time through collaboration or a sideways move than through trying to win by force. Finding a solution which works for you and benefits others too is a more sustainable route through a potential career impasse.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Teamwork suffers under this influence, because the blame game begins. Be aware that it’s not always someone else’s fault, especially not within your social circle. Sometimes, it’s you. Regardless who is to blame for a problem, this is actually a good time to renew bonds of friendship – provided you genuinely care for someone are not just using them.

Mars Retrograde Transiting 12th House
The situation feels out of your control – and it is, for now. This period is about surrender and acceptance. Try to leave behind your need to be in charge and simply allow life to unfurl around you. You won’t like everything that happens, but it’s your attitude and reaction to events which really counts, not whether you are in the driving seat.

Making Your Own Luck: Your Easy Guide to Jupiter Retrograde

If Jupiter is the planet of luck, does that mean that Jupiter retrograde is a particularly unlucky time? No – but it does mean that instead of expecting good things to fall into your lap, it’s up to you to find and create your own good fortune.

What Happens When Jupiter is Retrograde?

All of the planets, from time to time, appear from earth to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This backwards movement is what we call retrograde motion. This is an optical illusion – no planet actually moves backwards. Because of the variable orbits and orbital speeds in the solar system, it just appears to that way to us. The outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, have slow orbits and so appear from earth to be retrograde much more often than the inner planets, because from our earth orbits much faster, so these planets, seen from earth, spend longer moving ‘backwards’.

Jupiter turns retrograde approximately every 9 months, for up to 4 months at a time.

Because of this, roughly one third of the world’s population are born during a period of Jupiter retrograde motion. If this is the case with you, then you have what we call a natal Jupiter retrograde in your birth chart. This will subtly affect the way Jupiter’s energies play out in your natal chart, but often this is quite a generalized, non-specific influence.

Probably more significant is the effect that each Jupiter retrograde period has on any given birth chart, as the retrograde symbolically travels backwards through the chart in what we call a transit Jupiter retrograde. In astrology, the house Jupiter transits during its retrograde period becomes significant from a spiritual and philosophical point of view.

What Is the Importance of Jupiter Retrograde in Astrology?

The planet Jupiter’s astrological association with good luck and good fortune is well known. That does not mean that a Jupiter retrograde period is ‘unlucky’; on the contrary, it means that fortunate things can happen if you turn inwards for a while and start to learn some spiritual lessons.

Jupiter as a planet is the astrological teacher or guru, strongly linked with spirituality and the evolving of our life’s philosophy. Jupiter is also said to illuminate lessons left over from a past life. Those with a strong Jupiter in their natal chart are on a permanent quest for knowledge; during Jupiter retrograde, we’re all on a quest, for guidance and answers from within as shown by the relevant astrological house.

You may find during a Jupiter retrograde period that your own truth differs somewhat from the truth seen by those around you. It’s an important time for working out your own values, and for understanding that not everyone shares them. And that this is OK. Your own subconscious and unconscious will be hard at work sending you clues and messages; great personal growth is possible if you only take time to listen.

One of the more negative ways in which Jupiter’s energy manifests in the birth chart is in excess. During Jupiter retrograde, it’s important not to allow greed to get the better of you. When you find yourself thinking that you want more or need more – whether it’s love, money or donuts – ask yourself why, and remind yourself that you are already surrounded by blessings. If you’re into reincarnation, spend some time thinking about what in a past life may have caused you to become negative about your current abundance.

Jupiter Retrograde in the Natal Chart

Generally speaking, those born with Jupiter retrograde in their birth chart have less faith in life than others. They don’t feel ‘lucky’ and may tend to look on the dark side of life. If this is you, you may have tried to find answers through an established religion or belief system but been left disappointed. Natal Jupiter retrograde people often need to establish their own unique beliefs or to differ from the path in some way. As ever with this planet, it’s about finding what feels right rather than about conforming to anyone else’s expectations.

Astrology suggests that you may struggle with the concept of joy, finding it hard to understand how blessed you are. Keeping a daily gratitude journal can be beneficial for those with natal Jupiter retrograde – and once you start seeing the joy in everyday life, you won’t be able to stop!

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde motion period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Jupiter retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 1st House
This is a key period in your spiritual growth and it’s vital that you challenge your own boundaries and rules now. Move beyond your comfort zone and don’t be afraid of the consequences. Do something which may seem mad, but which you instinctively know will benefit you. You can now truly create your own luck.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Instead of bemoaning a lack of money, try focusing on your own inner resources. Jupiter is highlighting your many under-used talents, and it’s about time you stopped hiding them. You have everything you need to succeed in this life, but it’s up to you to showcase your talents; you can’t expect the rest of us to come and beat down your door.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
Is something missing in your life? You may be taking more than you’re giving right now, and this Jupiter retrograde period is an opportunity to fix that. Try to get more involved with the local community. Speak your truth on issues of importance, campaign, mobilize and help others to grow a stronger community.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 4th House
Jupiter retrograde here has strong karmic links, so you may wisely spend this period investigating hypnotic regression or similar. Spiritual growth comes from re-visiting your roots, whether that’s going to spend time in a childhood haunt or researching your family tree. Find out what makes you you.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 5th House
The best thing you can do during this Jupiter retrograde period is to have fun. Spiritual and personal growth will come by following what makes you laugh and avoiding what makes you sad. It really is as simple – and as complex – as that. Make a conscious effort to cut negativity from your life and instead focus on the positive.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 6th House
Honor your body at this time by focusing on your physical wellbeing. It’s a good time to re-think your diet or exercise regime and to investigate alternative or complementary therapies. Create your own abundance by manifesting a healthier you – if you’re healthier in body, you’ll be healthier in mind and emotions too.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Surprisingly, this can be a good time to meet your true soulmate if you’re single. People you meet during this period may seem to have an instant connection with you, possibly from a karmic link. Look out especially for someone who you instinctively dislike at first but can’t quite shake off – there’s a lesson in there about judging people too early.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Don’t be afraid of emotional intimacy. During this period, open up to your sweetheart or to a trusted friend or ally. Let your fears show, let your darkness show, and trust that you will still be loved regardless. This is a very good time for working on trust issues, for seeking counseling or therapy and forgiving those who don’t really deserve it.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 9th House
Stop obsessing with details. There’s no point having the route between A and B mapped in infinite perfection if you have no idea how to get to C. Use this period to deliberately look at the bigger picture. Force yourself to let the day to day worries take care of themselves for a while, so that you can take an overview.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 10th House
It’s never too late to change your mind over what you do for a living. If your job doesn’t spiritually satisfy you, use this period to think about where your true calling may life. If that means re-training or taking a pay cut, so be it! You won’t be happy until earning money brings you a genuine buzz, not just a financial one.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Jupiter’s associations with luck take on a revolutionary zeal when retrograde in this house. You’ll be incensed at life’s unfairness and this is an ideal time to do something about it. Make small positive steps towards change in society, whatever that means to you. Join a political party, demonstrate, write, teach – be the change.

Jupiter Retrograde Transiting 12th House
Investigating faith is a good way to spend this period. If you’re religious, make progress on your own pathway. If you’re not, think about philosophy and spirituality in a more abstract way. Work on what you believe and why. Everyone believes something. Shore up your own belief position but be sure to listen to the views of others too.

Paying off Karmic Debts: Your Easy Guide to Saturn Retrograde

We know Saturn as the task-master of the astrological planets. If retrograde planets turn their energy inwards, does that mean that we’re our own worst enemy during Saturn retrograde? Maybe. Silencing that harsh inner voice can be difficult during Saturn’s retrograde period. More the point, however, it’s a period when karma becomes important. It’s not for nothing that Saturn is known as the Lord of Time!

What Happens When Saturn is Retrograde?

All planets turn retrograde from time to time, but what does that even mean? It means backwards motion, but it’s important to understand that no planet actually moves backwards through the heavens. When Saturn goes retrograde, it simply appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on earth. It’s an optical illusion, but in astrology, a symbolically important one.

Saturn spends around 4.5 months every year in retrograde motion, so Saturn retrograde is not an unusual thing. Around 35% of people are born during a Saturn retrograde period, so they have what we call a natal Saturn retrograde in their birth chart. For the rest of us, if the part of the celestial sphere that Saturn retrogrades through in any given year is also important in our natal chart, that’s when we feel the effects of this backwards tour most keenly.

What Is the Importance of Saturn Retrograde in Astrology?

In astrology, Saturn energy rules discipline, responsibility, hard work, duty and boundaries. Saturn is often blamed for placing roadblocks in our path – but that’s just this teacher planet’s way of making you step up and take the initiative.

When Saturn goes through a retrograde motion, that energy is inwards focused within us, rather than outwardly focused on the world. This means that Saturn retrograde is a very good time to learn from mistakes and to review how well – or not – we’ve taken responsibility for our own lives recently. If you haven’t done your duty or lived up to your responsibilities, then this can be a distinctly uncomfortable period with feelings of guilt or inadequacy. However, there’s always a positive with Saturn (even if you sometimes have to look hard for it!). By figuring this out now, you won’t repeat the same issue in the future.

Saturn is associated with karma and karmic destiny and it’s during Saturn retrograde that this becomes more obvious. Think carefully about what unconscious patterns from the past – or from a past life – you might be repeating. Saturn retrograde gives you the chance to nip this in the bud and to use Saturn’s astrological discipline to re-focus, re-think and re-aim.

Saturn retrograde is therefore a good period in which to try past life regression therapy, or to undertake counseling for anything which has negatively affected you over the previous year. This is an opportunity to dump your baggage and to more forward with a clearer head and heart.

A hidden positive of Saturn retrograde can be that depression lifts, especially for someone who has a difficult Saturn in their natal chart. External pressures may seem to subside, making it easier for you to see the beauty in life. You may also find it easier to discern your sacred purpose during a Saturn retrograde, which in itself can be a catalyst for better mental health.

Saturn Retrograde in the Natal Chart

Generally speaking, those born with Saturn retrograde in their birth chart may have been given a lot of burden and a sense of duty at an early age. These individuals take their obligations very seriously indeed but are plagued by a feeling of not being good enough and not wanting to let others down. It’s a great help for these people to be given considerable responsibility as the faster they learn that they can actually cope, the faster they will heal.

Some natal Saturn retrograde people may also struggle with boundaries, finding it difficult to say no to the demands of others. This can quickly lead to a feeling of being put upon and a considerable store of resentment.

On the positive side, natal Saturn retrograde individuals are often wise beyond their years, and considerably more in tune with their karmic destiny than others.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde motion period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Saturn retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 1st House
Having Saturn retrograde transiting the 1st house can feel a bit like an astrological vacation. An easing of day to day pressure may lull you into a false sense of security, but this planet still means business. Try to focus on who you are becoming, rather than on who you currently are. If in doubt, look to your natal chart for karmic signals.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Look at your financial woes through a karmic lens. What patterns from the past are you repeating that are leading to excess spending or reckless financial management? Or are you denying yourself the pleasure of a few treats here and there because you’re obsessed with saving money? Your sense of security, or lack of it, is key here.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
During this period, you’ve no doubt got the gift of the gab, but you may be learning the hard way that being a great communicator carries a heavy burden of responsibility. Expect your words to be twisted or misinterpreted, and that’s nobody’s fault but yours. Absolute clarity of communication is the lesson here, so practice being truthful but firm.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 4th House
With Saturn retrograde in your family zone, your family responsibilities may be shrinking – but far from seeing this is a liberating thing, you may be horrified. Perhaps grown children are leaving home, or an older relative may move into care and no longer need so much of your help – this can bring sadness, for sure. Work hard to try to find the hidden blessings.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 5th House
You’ve taken too much responsibility for too many things for too long. During this period of retrograde motion, Saturn encourages you to put up boundaries and to let others know that you will no longer be used. Doing your fair share is one thing, but this transit is here to teach you that being a doormat is not good for your health.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 6th House
Saturn retrograde here can feel like a real challenge to your skills, especially if you’re not able to make as much progress at work as you would like. The key is to be humble. Be willing to work on the basics more and to refine your expertise. It’s not a race. Use this pause to become even better at what you do, instead of allowing resentment to take over.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Focus – intently – on your closest relationship. It needs some tender loving care during this period, but it also needs some realism. If you’ve been giving your lover a free pass for some irritating behaviors, now is the time to get these niggles out into the open. Expect to be told your own shortcomings too; that’s part of the deal. Work on your relationship. Actual work.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 8th House
This transit is all about control and your karmic need for it – or indeed, your karmic fight against it. Spend some time thinking about how you react to things you cannot control, and how this is affecting your mental health. Is there a better way to handle these challenges? How does power figure in your life? Are you grabbing it or giving it up? Think carefully.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 9th House
Spend some time questioning your own beliefs. This may be an uncomfortable process, but few things Saturn does are very comfy. They’re not meant to be. Figure out what you really believe and what you’re just clinging to out of conditioning, habit or tradition. Some of your beliefs or prejudices are holding you back and this is time to fix that.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 10th House
This is a major slow down in your ambitions and career, but it’s a very necessary slow down which will help you to clear some karma, some blocks and some hang-ups. Don’t expect to make a lot of progress fast but do expect to learn things about where your true vocation lies, and how you can get out of a career which isn’t making your heart sing.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Allegiances to groups are being tested during this retrograde period. If you’re not happy with the way a group has been led, you may want to jump ship at this point. Within your own social circle, this could mean a cutting of ties with someone who has let you down or failed to take your friendship seriously.

Saturn Retrograde Transiting 12th House
Saturn retrograde in the most spiritual part of your chart is a big deal and can feel very heavy. Expect to process some deeply held emotions, especially those regarding your past or any trauma you’ve experienced. If you feel that you’re struggling to cope, reach out for help and it will be given. You’re not alone. Trust in those who care for you.

Taming the Wild Child: Your Easy Guide to Uranus Retrograde

Uranus is sometimes known in astrology as the Great Awakener – this planet’s surprising, shocking energy is often the catalyst for breakthroughs in our self-understanding and our spiritual growth. Uranian energy can be chaotic, however, and hard to deal with – but during Uranus retrograde periods, we get another bite at the cherry; another chance to deal with the shock and awe we were so taken aback by the first time around.

What Happens When Uranus is Retrograde?

Retrograde motion means moving backwards, so when we say that Uranus is retrograde, we mean that, as seen from earth, the planet seems to be moving backwards through the sky. This is an optical illusion, similar to when one car overtakes another and the overtaken car, seen from the faster car, seems to fall backwards even though it’s still moving forwards. Uranus never actually moves backwards.

Astrology is a language of symbolism, however, so when a planet turns retrograde and appears to move backwards, symbolically this reflects a subtle change in the planet’s energy in our astrological charts too.

Uranus spends around 5 months of every year in retrograde motion, so it’s retrograde for approximately 40% of the time. This means that around 40% of people are born during a Uranus retrograde period – when this happens, we say that you have a natal Uranus retrograde in your birth chart.

All of us are affected to a greater or lesser extent by each Uranus retrograde period, whether or not Uranus was retrograde at birth. If the part of sky Uranus retrogrades through is particularly significant in your own natal chart, you may feel this quite keenly; at other times, not so much.

What Is the Importance of Uranus Retrograde in Astrology?

In astrology, Uranus represents change – especially sudden, dramatic change. These energies are also connected with shock, innovation, revolution, freedom and wildness. This most unpredictable of planetary energies is known for being, well, unpredictable.

It’s sometimes helpful to think of Uranus like a bolt of electricity. At the wrong time, in the wrong place, this can kill, burn or seriously harm. At the right time, in the right place, properly channeled, it can light up our lives and reveal our true brilliance.

During Uranus retrograde, some of the shock and awe factor of Uranian energy is dissipated, so we feel calmer and more able to think about what Uranus is showing us. For this reason, Uranus retrograde is a good time to get out of a rut in your life. Careful consideration of the area of the birth chart where Uranus is in retrograde will give a clue about where the problem lies and will also suggest how you can bring about positive change.

Uranus Retrograde in the Natal Chart

Because 40% of people are born with Uranus retrograde in the natal chart, this is not a significant astrological factor in itself. However, if Uranus in your chart is very close to or makes an important aspect to your Ascendant, Sun, Moon or ruling planet, the influence can be much more personalized and keenly felt in your life.

Those with a strong Uranus retrograde in the birth chart may struggle to fully express what Uranus truly represents – freedom, independence and human will. There could be a lifelong struggle with authority but being a rebel without a cause can lead to instability and depression in life. Where it’s strong in a birth chart, Uranus retrograde may need careful channeling to enable the individual to shine brightly instead of burning themselves up.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde motion period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Uranus retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 1st House
Let your eccentricities show! During this period, reflect on something which made you feel punished for being an individual. Can you see now how you can turn your individuality into a strength rather than a weakness?

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
This is a chance to move beyond materialism and to re-think your relationship with money. Finances may be stretched during this retrograde period, but Uranus prompts changes which help you to realize you can cope – with far less than you ever thought you needed.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
Say what you really think! As Uranus retrogrades in your house of communication, reflect on a time when you held your tongue and then regretted it. There are ways and means of speaking out tactfully, but speak out you should.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 4th House
This is a breathing space during some dramatic family or household changes. If you didn’t ask for or wish for these changes, you may feel overwhelmed and resentful, but this retrograde period is a chance to see the hidden blessings such changes bring.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 5th House
Allow your inner child to play! Uranus retrograde here is a reminder that you’ve been taking life too seriously. Enjoy a walk on the wild side, even if it shocks others. In fact, especially if it shocks others. This energy is about pleasing yourself and only yourself.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 6th House
This is serious get-out-of-your-rut energy and it brings you the chance to shake up your daily routines, your timetable, your lifestyle. The scale of change necessary may feel scary, but if you take it bit by bit, you’ll find that you can make large changes without losing your mind.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 7th House
No matter how much in love you may be, you’re still an individual and you still need your own space. During this retrograde, find gentle ways to enjoy some freedom from your lover. You’re not joined at the hip and this energy will help you overcome jealousy.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 8th House
This retrograde period can bring a shake up in who holds the power, especially in a relationship. If you’ve suffered abuse, reach for help and get out, using Uranus’ strength and bravery. In a happy relationship, consider switching up the household responsibilities.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 9th House
This could be a period of relative calm during some major travel plans or changes in lifestyle. It’s a chance to plan ahead – a little, not too much – and to adjust to a new pace or a fresh philosophy of life. Start to find your feet again.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 10th House
A career related shock may have left you reeling, but this retrograde period shows you how to quietly and calmly reclaim the high ground. Reign in your desire to be reckless; re-find your determination and your ambition. It’s nearly time.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 11th House
See through the labels on other people, and demand that others stop labeling you too. Socially, this is an innovative period, ideal for meeting a new tribe of like-minded souls. Existing friendships, however, may need some serious readjustment.

Uranus Retrograde Transiting 12th House
Pay attention to the weird coincidences happening around you, the sensations you dismiss and the things you see out of the corner of your eye. Psychic and spiritual energies surround you, but you haven’t been listening. Start listening now.

Finding the Divinity Within: Your Easy Guide to Neptune Retrograde

The astrological Neptune is one of the most mysterious planets, simultaneously driving our idealism but also planting seeds of confusion and doubt. Neptune energy is notoriously nebulous and difficult to pin down, but during Neptune retrograde, some of the fog eases and it can become clearer to discern this planet’s influence in your life.

What Happens When Neptune is Retrograde?

Neptune is one of the outer planets, and is very slow moving in its orbit around the Sun. Every so often, as seen from here on earth, Neptune appears to stop moving forwards through the sky and starts to move backwards. This is an optical illusion – in reality the planet never stops moving forwards in its normal orbit – but it’s an important illusion, astrologically speaking, and it is rich in astrological symbolism.

Neptune turns retrograde every year, for a period of between five and six months. This means that every year, Neptune is retrograde for over 40% of the time. It follows then that over 40% of people are born during a Neptune retrograde period – these people have what we call a Natal Neptune Retrograde in their birth chart.

Neptune retrograde periods affect everyone, whether or not Neptune is retrograde in your natal chart, but they affect us to different and varying degrees. If the part of the sky where Neptune appears to be moving backwards is significant in your birth chart, then you may feel the effects of Neptune retrograde keenly that year; if it’s not particularly significant, you may barely notice any effect at all. Neptune is always a fairly subtle planetary influence, so to really feel the retrograde motion it needs to take place in a natal chart hot spot.

What Is the Importance of Neptune Retrograde in Astrology?

When you do feel the effects of Neptune retrograde, it can bring about a fundamental change in your self-understanding and your spiritual growth.

Normally, Neptune in astrology represents idealism. This planet’s sensitive, intuitive, healing energy is compassionate and spiritual, but it can also manifest as illusions and confusion. Often, Neptune brings forth our greatest fears and anxieties. When working well, however, Neptune in the birth chart can represent healing powers, an ethereal magic, psychic abilities and the power of dreams.

During Neptune retrograde, a lot of the confusion and fog around Neptune seems to clear from our minds, so this is generally a good period to harness Neptune’s energy for higher purposes. This highly spiritual planet is often associated with a spiritual quest, but during Neptune retrograde, we turn inwards and find the divine spark within us, instead of seeking gurus or teachers in the external world.

Sometimes Neptune energy manifests as scandal or paranoia, which can be challenging. However, during a Neptune retrograde period, we have the chance to own any such scandal, or to turn paranoia into conscious, positive awareness. During Neptune retrograde, your dreams are likely to be much richer in symbolism and easier for you to remember and interpret. It’s traditionally a very good time for developing your spiritual gifts, because you become more aware of your own links to the universal consciousness.

Neptune Retrograde in the Natal Chart

If you’re one of the more than 40% of people born with a Natal Neptune Retrograde in your natal chart, you may not particularly notice its effects. Because this is such a common thing, we don’t regard it as astrologically significant in every chart. However, if Neptune in your chart is close to or makes an important aspect to your Ascendant, Sun, Moon or ruling planet, its influence may be personalized and felt much more strongly in your life.

Those with a strong Neptune retrograde in the natal chart may struggle to shake of feelings of guilt during their lifetime. This can lead to too much people-pleasing, or a difficult level of gullibility and willingness to follow others. However, these individuals often have a very strong awareness of their own cosmic divinity, even if they struggle to express it. They may be on a spiritual quest for answers, but they will always need to guard against being too trusting with other more manipulative souls.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde motion period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Neptune retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 1st House
Stop thinking of yourself as a work in progress, constantly needing improvement. This retrograde period is about recognizing the divine spark within you and knowing that you are perfect just as you are. Find acceptance and peace will surely follow.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Break free from the illusions that money and wealth create. You don’t need more than you have. Start a gratitude diary and consciously notice your blessings. You are richer than you could possibly imagine, but you have been too materialistic for too long.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
Focus on speaking and communicating from deep within your heart. A painful truth, spoken with love, is much more valuable now than any number of kind but vague sentiments. Tears may flow as important things are said, but trust this to be a healing process.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 4th House
The focus of this retrograde period is forgiveness. Forgive those responsible for your past traumas and forgive yourself for not having been perfect. Meanwhile, allow your loved ones greater freedom – there is such a thing as simply too much nurturing.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 5th House
Your creativity can soar during this retrograde period, and inspiration should be easy to find. However, you must give yourself permission to play. Treating your creative ideas as just another chore will severely limit your progress at this time.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 6th House
Chaos and overwhelm in your everyday working life may start to retreat a little. Use this breathing space to create time in your daily schedule for meditation, yoga or something else which brings wellness benefits. This will help keep the overwhelm at bay.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Stop sacrificing yourself for the good of someone else, even if you love that someone else to the moon and back. This retrograde period is teaching you that you matter. Start by respecting your own needs, wants, wishes and boundaries.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Fears and anxieties over money or personal relationships can be intense during this Neptune retrograde period. Your challenge is to accept those fears and to sit with him. It’s OK to be afraid; only once you have acknowledged the fear can you work on removing it.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 9th House
Your idealism is laudable but may have been misguided. Are you sure that yours is really the only truth? During this period, open your heart and your mind to other ways of thinking, other beliefs, other opinions. To find what you are seeking requires a detour.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 10th House
Don’t censor your idealism when it comes to your career. If you sense that you have a calling or a vocation which is different to your current job, look within for the bravery and the power to change path. This is the ideal time for discerning your spiritual purpose.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Your association with a church or a hobby or social group of some kind may have been causing pain for a while. Use this retrograde period to figure out why it’s holding you back and to walk away from it if you feel that it is no longer serving your needs.

Neptune Retrograde Transiting 12th House
This is a great opportunity to work on your tendency to blame yourself. Meditate on your karma and understand that bad things often happen to good people. Choose to step consciously into your spiritual gifts instead of being afraid of them.

Let It Burn: Everything You Need to Know About Pluto Retrograde

The planet Pluto sometimes gets a bad rap in astrology, where’s it’s known as a planet of destruction and chaos. Much like the Tower card in tarot, however, Pluto tears down only to allow for rebuilding, repurposing and revolution. There is a force for good behind the turmoil this planet can bring, and perhaps surprisingly that’s even more evident during a Pluto retrograde period.

What Happens When Pluto is Retrograde?

As an outer planet, Pluto’s orbit around the Sun is very, very slow. This means that as seen from earth, its apparent retrograde motion – the period of time when Pluto appears to us to be moving backwards through the heavens – is very long. Pluto turns retrograde every year, for five to six months at a time. Because this is such a common and frequent event, it doesn’t always impact us in as personal a way as, say, Venus retrograde or Mercury retrograde does. If Pluto retrograde hits a sensitive part of your natal chart, however, you’ll certainly know about it.

Remember that Pluto does not ever actually move backwards, and nor does any other planet. The apparent backwards motion – the retrograde – is an optical illusion caused by different orbit speeds. Because astrology is a symbolic language, however, the symbolism of this complex little planet traveling backwards can be significant.

Because Pluto is retrograde for approximately 40% of every year, around 40% of people are born during a Pluto retrograde motion. These people are said to have a natal Pluto Retrograde in their birth chart and if Pluto is an important planet in their chart, this can have a significant effect on the way that individual processes issues of power and control. Natal Pluto retrograde people can sometimes take the need for control to an extreme level, which can cause mental health or relationship difficulties. There’s often a need for secrecy with this planetary placing too, and perhaps an affinity with the darker edges of life.

What Is the Importance of Pluto Retrograde in Astrology?

Regardless whether Pluto was retrograde at your birth or not, the effects of a transiting Pluto retrograde are usually felt in the astrological house where the planet is traveling.

In astrology, Pluto is associated with power, control, compulsion and obsession. Used positively, these energies can result in enormous personal drive, ambition and success. All of these things can be a force for good. Often, however, they manifest in a more negative manner, perhaps with destructive or obsessive behaviors or a tendency to manipulate others.

During a planet’s retrograde period, the planet’s energies are felt inwardly by us, instead of being expressed out in the world. Pluto retrograde may well bring about the destruction of something about which we obsess – but when it does, it’s because that destruction was necessary in order to free us from a self-imposed prison. Once the ground is clear, we can rebuild.

Another of Pluto’s astrological keywords is elimination, so that’s a good way to think of this energy. You can use the Pluto retrograde period to eliminate from your life things or people which no longer serve your wellbeing.

True transformation comes from within, and it’s often true that no matter how many times external circumstances prompt us to change, we still ignore the signs and keep repeating the same mistakes. The power of Pluto retrograde is that it can bring about the necessary mind or attitude shift within ourselves, so that this time, we take notice of what we’re being taught, and we do make that important transformation.

Pluto’s retrograde motion is also a chance for us to grapple with our shadow self. Plutonian energies tend to expose us for who we truly are – including the not so nice personality elements we all carry. During this retrograde, you may find that your own faults become more clearly exposed to you, again, giving you the opportunity to eliminate or destroy behaviors which are holding you back.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting the Astrological Houses

When it comes to retrograde planets, the zodiac sign the planet is traveling through gives us an overall flavor of what to expect, but this changes during each retrograde motion period. For a better insight into what to expect during a Pluto retrograde transit period, we look at which astrological house the planet is moving through.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 1st House
The time is ripe for a personal re-invention; this retrograde period brings great possibility for big life transformations, so don’t waste it. You can be whoever you want to be, you just need to harness the willpower and the focus to make this work.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 2nd House
Money brings security but it can also bring greed and corruption. When Pluto retrogrades in this house, you’re being challenged to change the way you view financial and emotional security. Ground yourself within so that you don’t need material props for support.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 3rd House
If you’re constantly being misunderstood or your words are being twisted, ask yourself how much your own behavior is a contributing factor. An attitude shift is needed in your interactions with the world around you. Start with greater humility and go from there.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 4th House
Playing the blame game within the family needs to stop; you also need to stop trying to control and direct the lives of your loved ones. Hold a family council and agree to love one another faults and all. Set a new tone of freedom and mutual respect.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 5th House
If inhibitions of any kind have been holding you back, Pluto’s retrograde period is giving you the chance to over-ride or destroy those issues. This will take bravery and boldness, but you’re being shown that life is whatever you choose to make of it.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 6th House
Look beyond the excuses and the easy blames to find the real root causes of discomfort or dissatisfaction in your everyday life. You can’t address these issues unless you dig deep and practice some perhaps uncomfortable honesty. Only then can you break free from the rut.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 7th House
Pluto destroys, and when it’s a relationship under fire it’s not easy to see the bright side of this energy. However, you have a chance here to confront any of your own behaviors and attitudes which may be undermining your love life. Change is needed. Can you do it?

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 8th House
Money, power and sex make a toxic mix when Pluto retrogrades through this house. Use your new clarity of vision to disentangle yourself from any unhealthy relationships, sexual or otherwise. Use your highest motives and insist that others do too.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 9th House
It’s difficult to feel in control of things you cannot see, touch or hear. During this retrograde, you may experience a crisis of faith or a sense that you are being judged unfairly. Your challenge is to relinquish the need to control these things. Let the energies flow over you.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 10th House
Think carefully about your career ambitions. What kind of power are you seeking, and more importantly, why? Strip aside your ego and ask whether your career path is truly serving your higher spiritual purpose. If it isn’t, be prepared to let some parts of it crash and burn.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 11th House
Are you friends with people because you like them or because you think they can be useful to you? During this retrograde, your social motives are under the spotlight. Rethink any friendships which stink of manipulation – including those where you’re the manipulator.

Pluto Retrograde Transiting 12th House
The message of Pluto retrograde in the most spiritual zone of your chart is simple: love yourself more. Eliminate the feeling that you’re not worthy or that you should feel guilty. You cannot expect others to love you until you first love yourself.
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