Retrograde for Dummies

It’s that time of the year again - you guessed it, Mercury retrograde. I’m not trying to say that I’ve been obsessed with astrology since before it was cool...but I did wear an ‘Aries’ nameplate necklace every day in 2003 and that has to count for something. 

Now that astrology is buzzy and beginning to become mainstream, let’s get something straight: Mercury is retrograde. It goes retrograde. It is not IN retrograde. Retrograde isn’t a state, it’s a motion. The planet of Mercury isn’t actually moving backward, it just looks like it is as Earth passes it by it in its orbit. Usually when a planet is in retrograde, it signifies some type of cosmic interruption over here on planet Earth. What kind of prolonged annoyance we experience depends on which planet Earth surpasses. Each planet rules a particular area of our lives, and each of those pieces come together to form us as whole individuals. Planets and signs can seem contradictory, because they are. We contradict ourselves all the time. What I love about astrology is that it’s all up to interpretation. We as human beings are so multifaceted, it’s incredible to dig a little deeper and explore what makes us who we are. We’re mostly water anyway, right? 

Mercury - communications

Venus - love and connection 

Mars - energy and action

Jupiter - expansion and grace

Saturn contraction and effort

Uranus - individuality

Neptune - non-egotistical liberty

Pluto - transformation

Your natal chart is a complete guide of where the planets were at the exact time and place of your birth. It tells which astrological sign each planet is in and gives an interpretation about what that says about you. Although everyone collectively complains about Mercury retrograde, each planet’s retrograde affects various sun signs differently. 

Including Mercury, 5 planets are retrograde right now. Whoa! What does it all mean?? Mercury is retrograde until August 19. When this happens, it seems like our communication and interaction with others (texts not going through, plans falling through, etc.) is totally off. This affects Cancers and Libras the most, as they’re the balanced mediator or peacemaker of the group. Mars is in retrograde until August 27, which affects magnetic and ambitious Arians and Scorpios. Mars retrograde is the worst for me, as this is a “go with the flow”, just surrender and let the universe take the wheel kinda time. Saturn is retrograde in Capricorn until September 6th, which pertains to work and effort and will affect opportunistic Geminis and Sagittarii. Neptune is retrograde until November 24th, so you’ll have alllll the feels - especially dreamy Pisceans.  And finally, the last planet, Pluto, is retrograde until September 30th. It will affect loyal Leo and Virgo the most, as they dig deep to prepare for transformation.  

Retrograde is also associated with introspection; looking inward at each of the facets of ourselves and making ourselves better. Astrology can not only help us learn more about who we are, but it can help us enrich our lives subjectively. I love that every sign has the opportunity to live their best life...yes, even in Mercury retrograde.