Planetary Retrogrades & You

Do you have any planets retrograde in your natal chart? Chances are, you do. Most people have on average two or three planetary retrogrades. You probably know that Mercury goes retrograde several times a year. The slow-moving planets, from Jupiter to Pluto, stay retrograde months at a time. So what does having a natal planet in retrograde mean?

For many people, Mercury Retrograde means computer glitches, cell phone malfunctions, and other communications misfirings, delays, and disconnects. It’s time to focus on inner communications – review, reset, and release belief systems. When a planet is retrograde, the energy goes inward. The energies are no less potent and because they can be hidden and suppressed, they are felt even more keenly and intensely.

Another perspective is that all things ruled by that planet have a link to past lives. What strengths and traits from previous lives are now ready for manifestation this life? What clearing, forgiveness, compassion, or deeper awareness are called now for the person to manifest these energies and qualities outwardly? If reincarnation is not part of your worldview, think of it as a person, for whatever reason, could not express themselves early in life. Understanding the planet and its natal house can be a source of greater self-understanding.

A person with a native Uranus retrograde may struggle to express their rebellious streak and so now may not trust any utopian beliefs. Why? It could be that in previous lifetimes, they found the only way to exist, to escape persecution, was to hide their Uranian traits. Now, in this life, they have an opportunity to transform these beliefs and release these limiting patterns. It’s time for them to embody their unique constellation of gifts. For them to fly their freak flag, so to speak. Take a closer look, listen, and feel – what choices are you continuing to make, what patterns are you perpetuating that keeps you locked in this past life energy?

Of course this is only one perspective. Jason Fleming of Sagittarian Mind Consulting, suggests forgetting everything you’ve ever read or been told and find your own meaning.

The challenge doesn’t necessarily lie in the expression of the planet itself, but rather in creating your own definition, outside of the status quo on how that planet should function in your life.

Jason Fleming

He also quotes Astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green from his book Uranus: Freedom From The Known:

A retrograde archetype, whatever planet you apply it to, is simply the need to withdraw, to retreat, to rebel from the status quo expectation of how that planetary behavior is meant to manifest from as societal point of view. This necessary rejection of the status quo via the retrograde principle accelerates the natural evolutionary pace. Why? Because when you’re withdrawing from the status quo you are arriving at your own unique and individual expression, essential individuality of whatever planet function is in retrograde.

Here are some ideas Jason Fleming offers in his article How to Work with Retrograde Planets in Your Birth Chart:

Jupiter Retrograde: What is MY definition of success? How does it compare to what society thinks about abundance or reward?

Saturn Retrograde: What ideas have I been conditioned to believe about my natural Authority? How have I defined who drives my life?

Pluto Retrograde: What’s my definition of power? Have I thought about what sweeping change of perspective means in my life?

planetary retrogrades in natal chart stock photo by Finding Dan Dan Grinwis

How do you know if a planet is in retrograde in your birth chart? Look for the letter R by the planets. Remember most people have two or three planetary retrogrades!


Planetary Retrogrades The Pagan’s Path [link]
Natal Uranus Retrograde The Astro Codex [link]
Retrogrades in Natal Chart Cafe Astrology [link]
Star School Lesson 17: Retrograde Planets in the Natal Chart The Tarot Lady [link]
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