Category: Astrological News Written by Robert Wilkinson
It seems like we’ve been in an unending series of off-again, on-again “tag-team” inner planet retrogrades. After 6 weeks of Venus retrograde, we finally end this run in mid-September when Mercury goes direct. So what does it mean when we have all three inner planets in a retrograde sequence, and how can we use the energies wisely?
For the past few days, we’ve been in a swirl with SEVEN planets retrograde or on their stations! Now that Venus is direct things should feel like those areas are moving forward, while the Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto ruled areas are still looking back as they retrograde. Still as Mercury will go direct in September, Pluto in early October, and Saturn in early November, these planets are already turning from retrograde to direct.
When this 10+ month run began with Mars SRX in October 2022, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were already retrograde. That Mars retrograde period lasted through mid-January 2023, accompanied in late December through late January by Mercury also retrograde. That ended the first phase of the “tag team retrogrades” up till then. We then went through a very rare period of no planets retrograde between late January and late April, when Mercury picked the retrogrades back up at the same time Pluto went retrograde.
The second phase of these non-stop retrogrades picked up when Venus entered its shadow zone in mid June at the same time Saturn went stationary retrograde. Venus then went retrograde a few weeks later, joined by Mercury and Uranus both going retrograde in late August. Jupiter joined the retrograde party in early September, creating the recent SEVEN planets retrograde or stationary! We now approach the end of the inner planet retrogrades through mid-December, when Mercury again goes retrograde.
Looking at Previous “Tag Team Retrogrades”
The past 5 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 in 2012, 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 in August 2018, when Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were all be retrograde at the same time.
In 2018, we had Mercury RX from late March through mid-April, followed by Mars entering its shadow zone in late May, going RX in late June. While this was happening, Mercury again went RX from late July through late August, with both Mercury and Mars going SD. Venus then entered its shadow zone in early September, went RX in early October, and went SD in mid-November just as Mercury went SRX. That run ended in early December when Mercury went SD. So 2018 had Mercury RX, then Mars RX, then Mercury RX, then Venus RX, and then Mercury RX across a 9 month period.
In 2020, the last time we had Venus and Mars retrograde, the tag team run began with Venus going SRX in mid-May at the same time Jupiter and Saturn also went SRX. Mercury went SRX in late June just before Venus went SD at the same time Neptune went SRX. Mercury went SD in mid-July just before Mars entered its shadow zone. Mars went SRX in early September, Mercury went SRX in mid-October, and Mercury went SD in early November just before Mars went SD in mid-November. So the last time we got the tag team it lasted 6 months with a slight break in the 3rd and 4th weeks of July.
A Brief Review of Retrogradation
Even though I’ve given you this material in several articles related to Mercury and Venus retrograde, let’s review 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.
So Why Is It A Big Deal When Inner Planets Go Retrograde?
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.
(As an aside, 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.)
All Venus retrogrades give us an alternative view of Venus related things in both the inner and outer world, and a chance to glimpse subconscious images, vanities, and values to help us see a new way to relate to ourselves, others, and Spirit. Planets we have in Taurus and Libra are profoundly affected by Venus retrograde, since it shifts the view of the backdrop to those planets and how they function. You can find out more about the recent Venus RX in Leo by going to this article, Venus Retrograde in August 2023 – Rewind, Review, Reflection
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.
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 began in September and October 2022 was re-worked or re-planned or support work set into play before we picked the pace back up in January and sped forth after it left its shadow zone in March.
To learn more about what Mars retrograde may offer, there are many articles in the archives from previous Mars retrograde periods, the most recent being the one which began in late October 2022 at 26 Gemini and retrograded back to 9 Gemini, going direct in January 2023. We had to rework or slow some things down in our Gemini 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 December 2022. 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 October 2022 - Mars Stationary Retrograde at 26 Gemini as well as Long Wave Astrology in 2022-2024 – Mars Stationary Direct at 9 Gemini Affecting Us Through 2024 Pt. 1 and Long Wave Astrology in 2022-2023– Mars Stationary Direct at 9 Gemini Affecting Us Through 2024 Pt.2
More About How Planetary Retrogrades Work
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.
This applies to all the other outer planets as well. This year Jupiter went RX in early September and will go direct in late December 2023. Saturn went RX in mid-June, and goes direct in early November. Uranus went RX in late August, and will go direct in late January. Neptune went RX in late June and goes direct in early December. Pluto went RX in early May and goes direct in early Octber. 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.
It seems that 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 be retrograde for a little longer, and be in its shadow zone through late September, if you want to know more about Mercury retrograde in Virgo or in any of the houses, it’s all in there.
Also, I have an entire chapter devoted to Venus retrograde in my book The Magic of Venus: Friendships, Soul Mates, and Twin Flames. You can also get a Kindle ebook at that site.
I’ll be writing more about the immediate future when Mercury goes direct in the near future. Until then, happy retrograding!
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert 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.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
© 2022 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.
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