We all hear about the dreaded Mercury Retrograde and how we should avoid our exes and back up all our electronic devices to avoid the nasty consequences of what might occur. Because Mercury enters retrograde much more often than the other planets, it gets much more credit and attention; however, all the other planets also go retrograde at specific points, and we are often not aware of how the planets in retrograde motion affect us.
What Does it Mean When a Planet Goes Retrograde?
Retrograde motion is when a planet appears to be moving backward when observed from Earth. This apparent backward movement mainly occurs due to an optical illusion caused by differences in planetary orbits. For example, imagine two cars on the highway going in the same direction in two different lanes. If one car is driving faster than the other car, the slower car will appear to go backward from the perspective of a person in the faster car, even if the slower car is going pretty fast in the same direction.
Below we will explain the impact of each planet in retrograde, the duration of each planet in retrograde, and what you should or should not do when this happens.
Inner planets orbit close to the sun and have a much more noticeable impact on us than the outer planets.
When: Every 3-4 months
Duration: 3-4 weeks
Mercury is the planet that rules over our mind, communication, and travel. When Mercury goes retrograde, the way we share and receive information changes. We communicate differently, and we express ourselves differently, which leads to confusion for everyone, as no one acts the way they usually do. It is also much trickier to get information from one place to another, which is why electronics can have issues, and travel plans can get ruined.
Do Don’t Find new ways to communicate Get in touch with your ex Back up your devices Travel Count to ten before you speak Get into an argument with your boss
When: Every 18 months
Duration: 42 days
Venus is the planet that rules over beauty, how we relate to others, and how we love. When Venus retrogrades, we experience drastic changes within our relationship dynamics, and we relate to others in a different way than we usually do. We re-assess how we connect to others and how we behave in our relationships. We also have a deep, hard look at ourselves, and we recognize our inner and outer beauty and the sides of ourselves that are not so beautiful. Venus retrograde is the ideal time to re-assess how we approach relationships and change how we engage with our loved ones and connect with beauty within and outside of ourselves.
Do Don’t Make new friends Change your appearance Try different methods of expressing love Break up with your partner Allow yourself and others to have imperfections Enter a new intimate relationship
When: Every 2 years
Duration: 9 weeks
Mars is the planet that rules over our passions, our primary focus, and our ability to act in life. When Mars goes retrograde, we question our actions, how we have been doing things, and we find new ways to go after the things we want in life. We might not be keen to do something we have been doing for a long time anymore, and we come into alignment with our authentic desires and needs. We let go of outdated methods of doing things, and we learn to adjust to new ways of survival.
Do Don’t Throw out items that do not serve a purpose Make promises Set up a new daily routine Do things that annoy you or make you unhappy Create a vision board Get overly stuck in a past routine or way of living
These planets are far away from the sun and have less of a noticeable impact on us. However, understanding how they do impact us when they are retrograde can help us be more aware of specific lessons and experiences we will face at certain times in our lives.
When: Once a year
Duration: 4 months
Jupiter is responsible for how we learn and how we use this knowledge to grow and expand ourselves. When Jupiter retrogrades, it reminds us that there are new ways to learn, and there are different methods we can use to grow and develop ourselves in this life. As a result, we become bored or frustrated with doing outdated things that do not allow us to learn fast, and we find new ways to grow our skillsets much more efficiently.
Do Don’t Buy a new book Do the same thing every weekend Enroll in a course Sit still for too long Travel to a new city Watch movies you have already seen
When: Once a year
Duration: 4-5 months
Saturn rules over authority, responsibility, and structure. When Saturn retrogrades, we realize how certain things in our life act as limiting factors to our growth. We open our eyes to external limiting factors in our lives, and we also realize how we limit ourselves. We do not need to walk all over mountains and speedbumps to get important things done. During Saturn retrograde, we go through a process of restructuring our lives to allow for more productivity and accomplishments.
Do Don’t Create a more productive workspace for yourself Do the same things and hope it will bring results Eliminate pointless tasks that zap your productivity Question those who are more successful than you Let influential people teach you their methods for success Put pleasure over work
When: Every 7 months
Duration: 150 days
Uranus is the planet that rules over the future, technology, and unpredictable changes. Uranus is the planet that brings unexpected events that shake up our life, and when Uranus is direct, these events are much less unsettling. When Uranus is retrograde, events occur that we could never have imagined, and we are forced to face troubling situations that challenge our sense of peace and stability. We are pushed to think out of the box, and even though Uranus retrograde can be tough to deal with, we come up with some of our best ideas during this time as we get pushed out of our comfort zone, and we find a new sense of freedom that comes from letting go of the past. Uranus Retrograde is a reflective time where we assess what we want to create and do in our future.
Do Don’t Learn to love the experiences that unpredictable events bring you Try to control everything Embrace change Get upset when things don’t go according to plan Take chances Try to fix things that are already broken
When: Once a year
Duration: 5-6 months
Neptune is the planet of dreams, illusions, and spirituality. When Neptune retrogrades, we go on a journey of self-discovery. We seek out a spiritual purpose, and we are more focused on why we are here over what is going on around us. We try to find a deeper meaning in life, and through this, we explore different possibilities and realities. We are generally more confused about everything during Neptune retrograde, and we can think we know the answers, but we often just avoid facing the truth. It can be easy to feel disappointed due to your assumptions and illusions during this time but try not to be too hard on yourself, as we all wear rose-colored glasses every now and then.
Do Don’t Get creative Confuse your dreams with reality Write down your dreams Blame others when you are wrong Meditate Watch too much TV
When: Once a year
Duration: 5-6 months
Pluto is the planet of power and transformation. When Pluto retrogrades, we undergo powerful subconscious changes. We think of past memories much more frequently, and this is because our subconscious mind is attempting to work through suppressed thoughts and emotions. Pluto also rules all things hidden, and during Pluto retrograde, it can be tricky to hide something, as things that are attempted to be hidden are much more easily exposed. We cannot hide certain parts of ourselves forever, and Pluto retrogrades allow us to deal with what we try to avoid and transform ourselves into better versions of ourselves not burdened by our subconscious fears and thoughts.
Do Don’t Pay more attention to your thoughts and emotions Avoid things Find activities that make you feel empowered Drink excessively Change your wardrobe Hold on to the past