Many of my clients and friends have been writing to me about all the retrograde energy coming on us. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto are already retrograde and Mercury will join them in retrograde from April 28 to May 22. It is actually somewhat rare to have five planets retrograde at the same time; according to some astrology researchers, it only happens about 4% of the time. I say “five” as I am a Neo-Vedic astrologer using the outer planets and Pluto is one of the retrogrades in question.
Here are some quick bullet points from my own astrologer’s notebook to help us sort it all out:
- According to Martin Schulman in Karmic Astrology: Retrogrades and Reincarnation, “retrograde planets break the time barrier” meaning that they can represent parallel or past-life issues that are unresolved and in need of balancing or healing. This is in relation to retrogrades in a natal chart but can also apply to transiting planets in their retrograde cycle when they are aspecting planets or points in a natal chart, thus triggering a need to examine and even root out unsettled karmic patterns from any time in the past, this lifetime or others.
- A retrograde planet’s energy is turned inward and is not less potent as some say, but its personal qualities can be experienced as more subjective, whereas its external effects can and will be slower to manifest.
- To really understand a retrograde planet and determine whether or not it is auspicious or inauspicious, we have to analyze its house and sign placements, lordships and the yogas it forms in a natal or mundane horoscope.
- Retrograde planets create confusion and a lack of clear understanding even among some astrologers because they are vakri, making a conflicted movement because they are appearing to move backward from the point of view of the Earth (geocentric), but are actually moving forward from the view of the Sun (heliocentric). This very fact is a secret for working with retrograde planets. We can get all hung up and worried about them, but the truth is when we follow the dharma, the path of the Sun which is unfolding the inner light of the Divine Self, the lila (divine play) of retrograde planets is simply another marvelous illusion in Mother Maya’s web.
- Depending on what a transiting retrograde planet is triggering in a natal chart, we can be prompted or tempted to relive the past and in the process, hopefully, to heal it. Things or people can come back to us to allow us to heal. We may have to repeat our past actions or make them right somehow.
- For instance, with Pluto retrograde now, depending on how it activates a natal chart, some of us will be intensely purging an unresolved past-life or current-life issue.
- Mercury retrograde can be a time when we experience maddening events like miscommunications, travel and transportation difficulties, and the breakdown of equipment. Note where Mercury goes retrograde over a natal planet or sensitive chart point as this will reveal where problems can occur. By observing the planet and house in a natal chart that is affected, one can be prepared to hopefully minimize any potential difficulties.
- Mercury on April 28, 2016 will station retrograde at the 29+ degree of sidereal Aries, so some with chart points or planets at 29 degrees may have a health issue or other difficult challenge ahead. The 29th degree is important in general as it has to do with some event or relationship that we thought was completed that is not, which is coming back to be reviewed or reassessed yet again. In general, with Mercury retrogrades we have an opportunity to revisit and complete unfinished business. Retrogrades can be awesome for reflection and retreat, a good time to regroup, reassess, and reconsider not only the past but also, our plans and dreams for the future.
- The outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move quite slowly so that their retrograde cycles may not be apparent unless they make a close aspect with a natal planet or angle cusp in the natal chart, in which case they can be quite a hornet’s nest.
- It helps to remember that when we have this many retrograde planets, the world may appear or feel crazier than usual. Key word is “erratic” as retrogrades do not follow the traditional path, but that can be a good thing in terms of developing deeper insight and differing points of view to help us create new and innovative solutions to problems.
- Keep in mind that we might be prone to changing our minds several times during these intense retrograde cycles, so this requires added caution and flexibility in decision making processes.
- Mercury (the mind, communication, travel, business) will station and retrograde in the sign of enemy Mars in the potentially restless, violent, impatient, and aggressive sign of Aries, in Krittika nakshatra whose nature is fiery and cutting, then moving back into Bharani nakshatra whose nature is nothing if not “extreme” in every sense of the word. So yes, the world will look crazier than usual as the pancha-maha-bhuta (five elements) go a bit out of whack and we have so much Mars-ruled energy descending.The mental faculties will generally have a tendency to be overheated and agitated. It can be helpful to take cooling herbs and foods, and also to rub pure sandalwood or jatamansi essential oil on the brow a few times a day to calm and cool the mind.
- Imbalances will come to light within us and within the world in these coming months of Saturn, Pluto, and Mars retrograde, but it may be especially difficult from now through May 9. On May 9, Jupiter will station direct and move out of the retrograde cycle where he has been in since January 2016. This is a positive thing when the planet of luck, grace, purpose, and wisdom starts moving forward, and should help to ease up some of the other retrograde frustrations.
- I personally feel that chakra clearing work is a great remedy for retrograde intensity. In addition, it helps to go within, listen, purify, and recharge with Source energy. Cultivate patience and mindfulness. It is not a time to take risks in these coming months (especially while Mars is retrograde through June). Sit back and wait for the clouds to clear if you are confused about a choice you think you need to make. Be cautious and above all, apply common sense to all matters.