You’ve heard of Mercury retrograde, but did you know that all of the planets have apparent retrograde motion? That’s right, each planet appears to move backward in the sky at specific intervals—some for weeks and others for months at a time!
Mercury retrograde gets a bad wrap for causing horror stories and comedy acts, but astrologers believe that retrogrades are great times for deep contemplation and reflection.
Here are lists of ongoing and upcoming retrogrades, as well as an easy guide for understanding them better. Learn how to utilize retrograde cycles for personal healing!
2 Factors That Make Up A Retrograde
In astrology, retrogrades are thought to affect different aspects of life based on two factors:
1) The planet that is going in “reverse.”
2) The zodiac sign that the planet is moving through (transiting).
Planets closest to the Sun (Mercury, Mars, and Venus) affect individuals on a personal level while ones farther away (Jupiter and Saturn) affect society. The ones even farther away and slower moving (Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto) affect whole generations of people.
What Planets Are In Retrograde Now?
Here is a list of planets that are in apparent retrograde motion now, along with questions to consider during these times:
Pluto retrograde in Aquarius and* Capricorn: May 2—June 11 and June 12—October 10, 2023, respectively.
- What changes need to be made for the sake of everyone involved? (Aquarius)
- How can we improve on recent changes to institutions such as government, health care, education, and nonprofits? (Capricorn)
Uranus retrograde in Taurus: August 28—January 27, 2024.
- How can I be more involved with my community?
- How can I create space to spend more time connecting with people in person?
Neptune retrograde in Pisces: June 30—December 6, 2023.
- Are my spiritual practices serving me or am I?
- What is the benefit of regular meditation, prayer, and journaling?
Jupiter retrograde in Taurus: September 4—December 30, 2023.
- Am I being overly optimistic or cautiously pessimistic about my financial situation?
- What is the energy of optimism around money?
- What would it be like to feel more valued in this world?
Upcoming Retrogrades in 2023
Here is a list of upcoming retrogrades in 2023:
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and* Sagittarius: December 13—24 and December 25, 2023—1, 2024, respectively.
- How can solitude benefit me? (Capricorn)
- Where have I been too serious? (Capricorn)
- What is the benefit of planning? (Capricorn)
- Where is my faith wavering? (Sagittarius)
- What adventures have I been afraid to take due to belief systems that are not serving me? (Sagittarius)
*Note: On rare occasions, planets will move through one sign and into another before resuming regular (direct) motion.
3 Steps For Working With Retrogrades
Retrogrades are a time to review the past rather than continually jogging forward. If you’ve ever wanted to impact humanity through your own thoughts and actions, these are great times for doing it.
In hindsight (that’s a pun for you), looking back and “going in” may be the best way to leap forward.
Here’s a fun exercise for understanding and contemplation in three steps:
1) Identify The Planet
Identify the planet going through a retrograde and imagine it has a personality. If each planet was a character in a play, here’s what they might be:
Mercury is like an ever-present reporter, just wanting to communicate findings.
Venus is like Marilyn Monroe. She concerns herself with the beautification of life.
Mars is a top-notch Roman military general ready to pounce on his enemy. He’s brash and ready to take action.
Jupiter is the cosmic cheerleader for society. She shouts “H-O-P-E!” across the global stadium.
Saturn is the cosmic thumb. Like a stern grandfather, he prefers limitations and a slow pace.
Uranus is futuristic and unique. She brings change, aches for freedom … and she wants it now! (Remember, these outer planet personalities affect generations of humans.)
Neptune is the dreamer, lounging near the ocean’s edge, thinking and feeling deeply all the while.
Pluto is like a Tasmanian devil. He has power to regenerate and evolve life. He will wipe out the old to make space for the new.
With these planetary personalities firmly in place you can take your next step toward retrograde work.
2) Imagine The Planet Is Wearing A Costume
Once you have identified the retrograde planet’s personality, visualize it wearing a costume (according to the zodiac sign it is transiting). Here are some ideas—plays on their classical, astrological attributes:
Aries: Roman helmets, shields, and spears.
Taurus: Comfortable overalls with silver coins and vegetable seeds in the pocket.
Gemini: Plaid shirt with a pocket protector, glasses, and notebook.
Cancer: Fluffy pink bathrobe with bunny slippers.
Leo: An itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini and a microphone.
Virgo: White lab coat and a magnifying glass.
Libra: The famous white Marilyn Monroe dress with peace symbols on it.
Scorpio: A black hoodie with hood pulled up, black pants, black sneakers.
Sagittarius: Jeans, t-shirt reading “BLUNT,” Carl Jung books and a backpack.
Capricorn: Three-piece business suit and a clipboard.
Aquarius: Silver jumpsuit with blue-tooth capacity.
Pisces: Kimono style beach cover up and a box of tissues.
3) Meditate On Self-Reflective Questions (Examples Listed Above)
Finally, walk that planet to the nearest meditation cushion to contemplate what’s going on! Take a deep-dive into the recent past and start asking reflective questions (See suggestions for these in the lists of time frames above).
A Final Thought
It’s easy to ignore the more delicate astrological energies at play, such as those that an outer retrograde planet creates, but for the sake of new potentials and options, don’t ignore them. These occasions for providing input toward universal shifts can have a great impact.
Our “Moon Deck” consists of 52 beautiful watercolor cards that show how the planets, zodiac signs, and houses relate to each other.
You can use them to understand the current position of planets or to decipher your natal chart.
They’ll even teach you how to benefit from a retrograde!
The information on the cards is kept simple with basic words and high-level themes. Great for beginners.
Join The Discussion!
Have you ever felt the effects of retrograde motion—Mercury’s or otherwise?
How do these self-reflective questions make you feel?
What questions do you have about planetary motion and astrology?
Let us know in the comments below!
Tam Veilleux is an accomplished writer, life coach, and artist. She is the lead writer of the Energy Almanac, an annual publication focused on simplifying personal and professional change through astrology, wit, and wisdom. Tam Veilleux has written a children's book (Growing Up & The Facts of Life), two self-help publications, and multiple ebooks. She also contributes to Spirit of Change and Retail Insights magazines. For more information visit: www.choosebigchange.com