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Astrology in 2020 - When Mercury, Venus, and Mars Go Retrograde, What Does It Mean

Astrology in 2020 - When Mercury, Venus, and Mars Go Retrograde, What Does It Mean

How Are They Related To Past and Future Retrogrades?

We are now about 4 weeks into a 6 month run of “tag-team” inner planet retrogrades. So what do all these retrogrades mean, and how can we use the energies wisely?

This one began when Venus went stationary retrograde at the same time that both Jupiter and Saturn also went retrograde around the time Mercury squared Mars. Venus is now helping us review and re-value people and things from our past so we can examine what we like and why we like it. Venus will remain retrograde until late June, when it will go direct and remain in its shadow zone through the end of July.

However, before it goes stationary direct, Mercury will go retrograde in mid-June, and remain retrograde until the second week of July. It entered its shadow zone in early June, and will not leave its shadow zone until late July.

At the exact time Mercury leaves its shadow zone, Mars enters its shadow zone, where it will remain until early January 2021. During the time Mars is retrograde between early September and mid-November, Mercury will again go retrograde, entering its shadow zone around the September Equinox, going retrograde between mid-October and early November, and remaining in its shadow zone until the third week of November.

When this 6 month run began with Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn all going SRX in mid-May, Pluto was already retrograde, giving us 4 retrogrades at this time. When Mercury goes retrograde in mid-June, we’ll have 5 planets retrograde, and when Neptune goes retrograde, we’ll have SIX planets retrograde for a few days!

When Venus and then Mercury go direct, we’ll be back to 4 planets retrograde until mid-August, when Uranus goes retrograde, and then Mars going retrograde in early September will boost us back up to 6 retrogrades for about a week, Then Jupiter goes direct, followed by Saturn going direct in late September and Pluto in early October.

Of course, Mercury quickly goes retrograde again in mid-October, bringing us back up to 4 retrogrades through early November. In November Mercury, Mars, and Neptune all go direct, leaving us with only Uranus retrograde by December. So between mid-May and early November we bounce between 4 and 6 planets retrograde except for a short time in early October!

Past Tag Team Retrogrades

The past several times we had this “retrograde following retrograde tag team” phenomenon were similar and different. In late 2013 through mid-2014, we had Mercury RX followed by Venus RX followed by Mercury RX followed by Mars RX followed by Mercury RX. That mirrored the Venus RX period before that one, but with the order of Venus and Mars reversed bookended by Mercury retrograde periods.

The Mars RX in April, May, and June 2016 wasn’t an exact “tag team” with other planets, but in late April and early May we still had no less than five planets all retrograde simultaneously! This happened again and was topped in August 2018, when Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were all retrograde at the same time.

In 2018, we began the run of retrogrades in March with Jupiter and Mercury, with Saturn and Pluto going retrograde in April. Then Mars and Neptune went retrograde in June, Mercury was retrograde in late July through mid-August, joined by Uranus going retrograde in early August. Venus went retrograde in October and Mercury went retrograde in November, ending the run.

What’s the big deal when the inner planets go retrograde? What does this mean?

Let's begin with what "retrograde" actually means. All planets go retrograde as a function of their orbits except the Sun and Moon. All planets speed up and then slow down in their orbital speed relative to the Sun and Earth. This is also true for the Moon, but we don't call it retrogradation.

The Sun seems to speed up or slow down a little based in what sign it's in relative to the Earth. (And yes, it’s actually the Earth that is speeding up or slowing down in its orbit, based in whether it’s at perihelion or apehelion relative to the Sun.)

So all the planets from Mercury out to Pluto go retrograde at regular intervals. Mercury is retrograde 3 or 4 times a year, Venus every 18 months, and Mars every 26 months, mas o menos. The outers all go retrograde once a year for several months.

A retrograde re-traces ground already covered once by that planet. First, it crosses a sector of the zodiac as it moves forward through the signs. Then if a planet retrogrades, it moves back across that span again, retracing those degree points. Then when a retrograde is done and the planet goes direct in motion it again moves across that span of degrees. That span becomes an area of importance in our lives, since we get 3 experiences of that part of the zodiacal reality.

All retrogrades help us integrate what we learn as we move forward in our lives and affairs. Some parts of our evolution move forward quickly as the planets move forward in motion through the signs. But then at some point, they slow down and we get a new look at ground already covered. Then when they resume forward motion, it symbolizes a time when we can take what we learned, then re-learned, or viewed and reviewed, and apply those lessons in new ways.

In its orbit, Mercury (mind, the coordinating principle) speeds up for a while, then slows down for a while, then speeds up again, then slows down again in an eternal dance of racing forward to get new information, then slowing to reconsider that information. We can apply this speeding up and slowing down to other planets as well.

The type of information depends on which planet is involved. For example, when Venus is direct in motion we get Venusian "information." Then when it slows down and goes retrograde we get a new view of what we just learned about those energies.

Venus Retrograde

The Venus RX in Gemini in May-June 2012 also coincided with what NASA called “a Venus event,” which was an alignment that occurs only once every 110-125 years. You can find out more by referencing articles about that period which I’ve included at the end of this one.

That Venus retrograde, as well as the one before that in 2009, at some point had Venus conjunct Mars. In 2009 Venus was in Aries and retrograded back to late Pisces where it began to conjunct Mars, continuing into Aries. In October 2010, Venus conjuncted Mars throughout Libra and then conjuncted it in Scorpio before it retrograded back into late Libra.

In the current Venus retrograde, it entered its shadow zone around April 9, activating its current retrograde effect set into motion when it went retrograde at 22 Gemini on May 12/13. We’re now re-tracing ground we initially covered in the last half of April and early May. After it goes direct on June 24-25, we’ll be able to get insights into the main RX themes, as well as Venus-related areas of life between then and July 29 when it leaves its shadow zone.

Mars Retrograde

Now another look at Mars retrograde. Since Mars symbolizes momentum, its RX period usually operates at a very evident slower pace, where energy must be redirected before it can resume whatever began before it went retrograde. It's a time to "slow our attack on life," or blunt assertive or aggressive tendencies. The sign it's in shows us the specific retrograde lessons to be worked with.

Mars RX is a good time to take a new look at how you’re doing what you’re doing and why, and examine old internal frustrations to see how to unblock your energies. During the front end of a Mars RX period things can be difficult due to roadblocks which seem to arise out of nowhere, or feeling like the momentum is slowing tremendously.

I’ve found that it’s not time to push anything forward until we get past the Sun opposed Mars on October 13. Given this year’s opposition is immediately followed by Sun square Pluto and Saturn, and Mars square Jupiter, it’ll be time to lay low and keep our equilibrium and find the protection we need!

Prior Mars Retrogrades

To learn more about what Mars retrograde may offer, there are many articles in the archives from previous Mars retrograde periods. 8 years ago Mars went retrograde at 24 Virgo on January 23, 2012, reversing course until going stationary direct at 4 Virgo on April 13-14, 2012. That 2012 Mars RX in Virgo was a time to rework or slow some things down in our Virgo life areas so that we could take care of other things that needed to be done before we could pick the pace back up after the Sun-Mars opposition in early March. After that point, we were able to implement efficient activity, cutting through obstacles and making things more streamlined and practical.

You can find out more about that Mars retrograde period by revisiting Astrology in January 2012 - Mars Slowing Going Retrograde at 24 Virgo and Long Wave Astrology in 2012-2013– Mars Stationary Direct at 4 Virgo Affecting Us Through 2014. It then went through all the signs again in direct motion before it began to slow down during the next Mars retrograde period in this unending series of that planet speeding up, then slowing down, then speeding up again.

Mars was again retrograde in Libra between early March and late May 2014. It entered its shadow zone just after Christmas 2013, and stayed in that span of degrees through late July 2014. That put a long term focus on the Libra sector of our charts, and activated every Saturn lesson we went through while it occupied 17-28 Libra! You can find out more about that Mars retrograde period by revisiting Astrology in March 2014 - Mars Stationary Retrograde at 28 Libra as well as Long Wave Astrology in 2014-2015 – Mars Stationary Direct at 10 Libra Affecting Us Through 2016 pt. 1. and Long Wave Astrology in 2014-2015 – Mars Stationary Direct at 10 Libra Affecting Us Through 2016 pt. 2.

We had another Mars retrograde in April-May 2016, when it retrograded from 9 Sagittarius back to 24 Scorpio, echoing the Saturn track for the first 10 months of 2015. That one cut us loose to live a transfigured life! You can find out more about that Mars retrograde period by revisiting Astrology in April 2016 - Mars Stationary Retrograde at 9 Sagittarius as well as Long Wave Astrology in 2016-2017 – Mars Stationary Direct at 24 Scorpio Affecting Us Through 2018 pt. 1. and Long Wave Astrology in 2016-2017 – Mars Stationary Direct at Scorpio Affecting Us Through 2018 pt. 2.

The most recent Mars retrograde happened between late June and late August 2018 when Mars moved from 10 Aquarius back to 29 Capricorn. We pulled back from our own and others’ projections, and had to plan anew. We turned away from things which no longer attracted us, and opened to a new understanding. That understanding is now being structured and expanded with each pass of Jupiter and Saturn over the Mars SD point at 29 Capricorn.

You can find out more about that Mars retrograde period and how it’s impacted our lives since August 2018 by revisiting Astrology in June 2018 - Mars Stationary Retrograde at 10 Aquarius as well as Long Wave Astrology in 2018-2019 – Mars Stationary Direct at 29 Capricorn Affecting Us Through 2020 pt. 1. and Long Wave Astrology in 2018-2019 – Mars Stationary Direct at 29 Capricorn Affecting Us Through 2020 pt. 2.

During any Mars retrograde, expect the initiatives of its initial transit of its shadow zone to slow down, or get postponed or redirected in some way. It’s like a beta-launch, or a time when we understand that we’ll have to rework some things based in the information we get during the initial shadow zone transit. That implies whatever we begin in July and August 2020 will be re-worked or re-planned or support work has to be done in September and October before we can pick the pace back up when Mars goes direct in mid-November.

Retrogrades Applied to Other Planets

In an example of how the retrograde works with Saturn, we get new Saturn information and experiences when it's in direct motion, then get to review those experiences when it's retrograde. We encounter maturing or structuring experiences when direct, and get to internalize the wisdom forms in those experiences when retrograde. After that, when Saturn again goes direct motion, we then get to externalize those blended wisdom forms.

We can apply the reasoning around how retrogrades work to all the other outer planets as well. This year Jupiter went RX in mid-May 2020 and goes direct in mid-September 2020. Saturn went RX in mid-May, and goes direct in late September. Uranus goes RX in mid-August, and direct in mid-January. Neptune goes RX in late June and goes direct in late November. Pluto went RX in late April and goes direct in early October. As you can see, though the outer planets retrograde once each year, those periods are a phenomenon of longer duration than the inner planet retrograde periods.

Direct motion periods that precede and follow a retrograde period are times of getting new information. Then when it slows, it is called "retrograde," and shows a time when we're re-tracing ground we've already covered, but have an opportunity to understand the past experience from a new angle of vision.

We take a new look at information we've already experienced to whatever degree. Internal or external factors can trigger this review. Often things, people, memories, or other past circumstances engraved on our subconscious come up, which we must relate to what we've just been through and what we are about to enter into.

Since Mercury goes retrograde more frequently than any other inner planet, here's a little more on Mercury retrograde that may add to your understanding of how retrogrades work. When Mercury goes retrograde, we get a front end look at what is coming when Mercury occupies the stationary retrograde degree. It then turns back to offer a new look at things we've already seen or done as it slows in motion. "Retrograde" is simply a slowing of orbital motion.

Once it goes retrograde Mercury continues to slow down, offering a review of recent events, until it hits its slowest motion around the Inferior Conjunction. This is a “fusion of Life and Mind” that becomes an important point of reference related to how the inward-turned mind relates to Life in the Now.

After that, it again begins to move faster until it again passes the Sun in the "Superior Conjunction." After that it races ahead of the Sun until it again begins to slow in its motion several months afterward. If you want to know more about the Superior and Inferior conjunctions, please consult posts in the archives done around the time of past Inferior and Superior conjunctions of Mercury and the Sun.

When Mercury goes direct, it is at a platform from which we move forward, bringing the lessons we've reflected on or revisited during the RX period forward into our future life-in-the-making. The lens of retrograde exploration was the stationary retrograde degree. The degree of the inferior conjunction shows how life and mind must come together in a different, perhaps overlooked, but definitely useful view of what must be known.

The entire retrograde function is inward-turned, so we can get insights into what must be known to understand some things from a more holistic point of view. We can also note how our mind, ideas, or worldview are affected by our subconsciousness, or our receptivity to others' subconsciousness.

Mercury retrograde periods reveal their own unique rhythm in offering us a new look at things. Every period in some way echoes the messages of prior retrograde periods, and affects those to come. The process works the same way with regard to all the planetary retrogrades, though remember that Mercury, Venus, and Mars are planets of personality, and so affect us all in very personal ways.

That's why it's important to connect the dots with what was revealed in other past Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrograde periods. It provides us with ways to know how these planetary functions are revealing elements of our personality we may need to review and/or take a new look at.

When we connect Mercury retrograde lessons, we can see how Mercury, or Hermes, the "Guide of Souls," is leading us to our authentic Self. Regardless of appearances, or how difficult or easy, Mercury retrograde periods show us the path to our Soul.

You can find out a lot more about how Mercury retrograde works its magic in our lives in my book, A New Look At Mercury Retrograde, As Mercury will soon be retrograde in Cancer, and is already in its shadow zone and will be through late July, if you want to know more about Mercury retrograde in Cancer or in any of the houses, you can find out all you need about this retrograde, as well as past and future retrogrades, by getting the paperback 2nd edition of A New Look at Mercury Retrograde, and if you want an Kindle ebook copy you can get it there as well, or if you prefer, go to B&N's site and get their copy in Nook.

I’ll be writing more about the coming Mercury retrograde, Venus direct, the coming Inferior Conjunction, and what we can expect during Mercury retrograde in the next few weeks. By late August I’ll be offering articles on Mars retrograde, with a lot more in October about its opposition to the Sun. Stay tuned!

© Copyright 2020 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.

Credit

© Copyright 2020 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com

About the author:

Robert WilkinsonRobert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
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Reprinted on crystalwind.cawith persmission from Robert Wilkinson.

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