Retrogrades 101: A guide to understanding retrogrades

Updated: Jun 14



The term retrograde is used to describe a planet moving backwards, from our point of view. Every planet except Sun & Moon go retrograde each year for a certain amount of time. Of course this means that some of us have natal planets that are retrograde, and it means that each year we collectively experience retrogrades. What does it mean?  

When planets are retrograde in transit, it's a great time to collectively reassess, withdraw, and reflect. We are being asked to withdraw, go within, and stop trying to move forward at all cost. We're plunged in a time of (re): going backwards, going to past situations, reassessing, reliving, revising, revisiting. That involves having people from the past coming back in our lives, or re living past experiences with the current people in our lives. If you notice a pattern reappearing in our life, pay attention to it as it means you need to reflect on it and solve it. 



Retrogrades in general represent the necessity to rebel, to withdraw & retreat. The planet’s energy is internalized and processed on an individual level, meaning that whatever society will expect from you won't matter much, as the energy is coming from and directed to within.

Retrograde planets reject the expectations of how they should behave and want to do things their own way. On a karmic level, retrogrades planets talk about repeating and reliving past life dynamics to finish what was left unresolved. Retrogrades are usually painted as negative, but they aren’t particularly. It involves a bit of psychological frustration, because it’s like being stuck in a closed circle. It doesn't have to last forever though, only until the lesson is learned. The natal retrograde planet turning direct through progression will indicate when a cycle is closed.

Retrogrades in the natal chart: Repeat to resolve. Whatever planet is retrograde in the natal chart will function differently as expected. Something isn’t finished and the Soul is going to heal itself through repetition. It gives an introverted nature if there is several retrogrades in the natal chart, if there’s only one planet retrograde then the person is introverted only in the matters of the retrograde planet. Retrograde planets indicate delays, because there’s a need to start by healing on an internal level before expressing the external level.

Mercury retrograde: Someone who was very indiscriminate with the information they received in a previous life. This time they’re here to learn to only receive information that are relevant for their growth. Typically they have a non-linear thinking and they’re here to develop their intuitive part. Of course that could mean being misunderstood by some people because it’s not the way of thinking currently promoted. School learning can be a bit challenged, not because the intellectual functions are lesser than anyone else, only because there’s a need to learn in a conceptual manner. If a child has Mercury retrograde, do whatever you can to explain to him the bigger concept behind what he’s learning. If it’s math, why is it relevant, what is he trying to calculate and what’s the big concept behind. Mercury retrograde won’t just apply a random rule, it needs to get it.


Venus retrograde: Someone with Venus retrograde will repeat their key relationships with people from past lives. The person is going to reject the current value system regarding the planet matters. The person could decide they refuse the norm of having to be in a relationship, because they can’t stand how everyone is being conditioned to do so (rebellion). The planet is internalized, so they’ll focus on developing a relationship with themselves before having relationship with others.


Mars retrograde: The sex drive & anger is quite different from a direct Mars as once again, the energy is internalized. It doesn’t mean by any mean that the planet’s energy is weaker. There is an internal rebellion within the person, and a rejection of how anger and sex should be expressed. This internal conflict often produces creativity as a way to express the energy.


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