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Progressed Mercury, Venus, and Mars Retrogrades/Directs Part 2

When a Progressed Planet Changes Direction: Part 2

Yesterday we began our exploration of what it means when a progressed planet goes retrograde.

Most of us have at least one progressed planet go retrograde, or are born with one retrograde which goes direct at some progressed point in life. These are extremely important points in our inner world and represent major changes in how we view and express those planetary energies.

Before jumping into this material, you may want to do a quick review of some important foundational principles in play with progressions. Because all progressions are symbolic and internal, when something changes in our progressed chart, it is an internal movement, whether when a progressed planet changes signs or when it goes retrograde or direct.

Yesterday we briefly discussed when an outer planet either goes from direct to retrograde, or retrograde to direct. We also began a discussion of what might happen when a progressed Venus or Mars goes retrograde, which we’ll add more to later in this article. For now, let’s pick up the discussion with Mercury, since just about everyone who lives to middle age has Mercury retrograde, direct, or both in the course of our life.

When Our Progressed Mercury Goes Retrograde

Because Mercury goes retrograde 7 times in 24 months for around 3 weeks at a time, it’s a regular occurrence. As Mercury’s retrograde 160-170 days in a 730 day span, it would make it fairly common for many people to experience their progressed Mercury going retrograde, or their natal retrograde Mercury progressing and at some point going direct.

Clearly those born within a few weeks of a retrograde will probably experience their progressed Mercury retrograde. And as a Mercury retrograde only lasts 20-24 days, that means those born just a few days before a retrograde will go through the entire retrograde and experience their progressed Mercury go direct after 20-24 years of life. And of course, those born with Mercury retrograde will have it progress to direct motion at some point in the first 20 years of life.

For example, if we’re born 30 days or less before Mercury goes retrograde, then our progressed Mercury will go retrograde before our 30th birthday, stay retrograde for about 20-24 years depending on what part of the cycle our progressed Mercury retrograde is in, and then go direct when we’re in middle age. (Different Mercury retrogrades run shorter or longer depending on where they are.)

Of great importance is when a progressed Mercury retrograde makes an Inferior conjunction with the progressed Sun about half way through the progressed Mercury retrograde period. Mercury is at its slowest, is still inward turned or “backward looking,” and will speed up from there. An Inferior conjunction is a “fusion of life and mind” which will impact how you perceive and process information for the rest of your life. I discuss the qualities of the Inferior conjunction each time we have one.

What If You Have Mercury Retrograde in Your Chart at Birth?

People born during Mercury retrograde have it turn direct at some point before the age of 20. The interesting thing I’ve seen is that many with Mercury retrograde in their chart feel it’s an affliction, but after the progressed Inferior conjunct their progressed Mercury will accelerate in speed for most of the rest of their life. This means their ability to coordinate affairs and process information will be very fast relative to what they began with at birth!

Those born just after a Mercury retrograde period probably won’t have their progressed Mercury go retrograde, since it’s between 70-90 days between retrogrades. For those with Mercury retrograde at birth as well as those born just after the retrograde, the progressed Mercury will be very fast in motion for most of their lives, and just about everyone born during or just after a Mercury retrograde period will experience a Superior Conjunction at some point.

An important factor in our inner make up is when the progressed Mercury is retrograde or goes retrograde, and after going stationary direct, finally progresses to the degree where it originally went stationary retrograde. As the “shadow zone” is the span between the SRX and SD degrees, once the progressed Mercury again conjuncts the degree where it went retrograde, it completes its retrograde experience and moves forward into subsequent sign phases at a very fast rate of speed.

Examples of How it Works

An example of this is found in something I offered a client. They told me their progressed Mercury was at the exact position where it turned retrograde in 1977. It went direct in 1998 and it took until this time in their life to reach the original stationary point.

So their progressed Mercury went SRX in 1977 and went direct in 1998. During its retrograde period it re-traced the 21 degrees it originally transited before 1977 when it went SRX. So in the example, the progressed Mercury transited the Shadow Zone in the early 70s, went RX and got a new look at that sign material, and then from 1998 to now again progressed through those same degrees a third time, but at a much faster pace than it did before when it was slowing and then retrograde.

In my life, my progressed Mercury went SRX in March 1964 at 9 Taurus. The Inferior conjunction was August 1974 at 5 Taurus, and it went SD on December 25, 1987, at 29 Aries. So it was in its Shadow zone from birth (I have Mercury at 30 Aries) and was slow through 1974 when I was 23. It then sped up, finished its progressed retrograde Christmas 1987, and it finally passed out of its shadow zone a few years later.

That means my Mercury function was very slow in my childhood up to the age of 23, when it slowly began to speed up, and has been at maximum speed in my 50s, 60s, and 70s! So I got a look at the issues involved between 29 Aries and 9 Taurus three times from birth up to age 54 when my progressed Mercury left 9 Taurus and entered 10.

So to recap, progressed Mercury begins to slow rapidly as it approaches its Shadow zone, and continues to slow through the Inferior conjunction when it again picks up speed until the next Superior Conjunction a few weeks later. So the progressed Mercury function slows in the years before and after it goes stationary retrograde, and then after the progressed Inferior conjunction the Mercury function again speeds up for the rest of the life.

The benefit to the period between the SD point and when it passes out of the Shadow zone is we then have the benefit of having had the experience twice before. The third time gives us a chance to move forward on the basis of the multiple angles of understanding into the unknown zones after Mercury leaves its shadow zone. In terms of progressions, that means the entire span of slowing to retrograde, then retrograde, then direct through the shadow zone runs over 40 years.

Remember that we’re dealing with progressed Mercury, so its entirely about internal states of mind rather than external circumstances, which are indicated by transits. A progressed Mercury retrograde is good for getting a different understanding of an experience by taking note of different things we may not have considered the first time we had those experiences. As I offered yesterday, it is somewhat the same with Venus and Mars retrograde, but of course those periods involve Venusian and Martian energies and “departments of labor,” not Mercury.

More on When Progressed Venus or Mars Go Retrograde

As I gave you yesterday, most people go through life without their progressed Venus or Mars going retrograde, since these happen far less frequently than Mercury retrograde. Because they both have longer retrograde periods than Mercury, if either your progressed Venus or Mars go from retrograde to direct or direct to retrograde, you’ll be dealing with that phenomenon for many more years than if you experience Mercury going retrograde or direct by progression.


Because Venus’ retrograde period is about 40-43 days, if you have your progressed Venus go from direct to retrograde, depending on what age you are, you could conceivably have Venus entirely in its shadow zone your entire life. This would give a highly specific focus to all your Venusian affairs this life. Of course, we’ll be VERY old by the time that process is done.

When the progressed Venus goes retrograde, we retrace the Venusian steps we've taken before then, but again, with a different perspective. I've found my clients with progressed Venus RX spend time reconsidering the inner connections to what they like and why they like it, and get to the subconscious reasons behind those things. They are not quick to disclose much to others, probably because they’re running what they’re seeing through a filter of wondering why they value what they do.

Some texts associate Venus retrograde with disappointments. Rather than experiencing "disappointments," I’ve found Venus retrograde is excellent for getting to the root causes of old disappointments, suspicions, internalized hurts from adolescence and early adulthood. That way we can see them as useless echoes of memories of perceptions of echoes of memories and let go of them while seeing how we were programmed to believe in those "values and vanities."

I’ve also seen that rather than withdraw, during a Venus retrograde we can reconsider and claim Venusian things we never did before. Because Venus retrograde is a review, a progressed Venus retrograde can give us a review of why we think something is valuable or why we feel a push-pull when we’re with others. And like all retrogrades, a transiting retrograde can be a very favorable time for those with progressed Venus retrograde, since transiting Venus retrograde periods will feel very familiar.

As Venus does have some associations with inner creativity, as per its association with the Empress, when it goes retrograde it can mark a time when you repolarize from outer to inner creativity. It is possible to find creative skills you never felt confident to claim before, or express things taking shape as a deeply felt personal experience that can be put out in ways that trigger others' subconscious "appreciation." And it can also mark a time of reunions with people you knew from past lives, both this one and others.


Because of the length of Mars retrograde periods, no one ever has it born direct, go retrograde, and then go direct. Those born in the weeks before Mars goes retrograde experience their progressed Mars go retrograde and stay retrograde for their entire life.

If your progressed Mars goes retrograde at some point, obviously those areas ruled by Mars and the house where Mars goes retrograde will slow down, and may even seem to “reverse course.” This could indicate you'll take a different approach to the house affairs ruled by Mars, or find a new way to act in key parts of your life.

It’s great for learning how to be a mediator or intermediary in some way. Just be aware of roundabout anger or agitation getting introduced into situations where it may not be appropriate.

Progressed Mars retrograde can be great for spotting indirect causes of anger, or anger that expresses itself in passive-aggressive ways. We can explore why we act or react to certain things, and undo the responses we need to. It can be great for finding an entirely new way "to do our being."

Again, during a Mars retrograde, the Sun opposed Mars marks the mid-point of the retrograde and will bring major revelations about the Mars function and how it’s operated directly or indirectly in the past or present. There are many things to learn during Mars retrograde transit periods, which can actually bring forth good things for those with progressed Mars retrograde.

Other Considerations

These are just a few insights about progressed inner planet retrogrades and how they can be useful in bringing “retrograde insights” we never had before which can help us to a more holistic view of our process. During retrogrades, both transits and progressions, we can get an entirely different take on all things related to those planets, and see how past impressions created current planetary actions and reactions.

Again, one blessing about having a progressed retrograde planet go direct in motion is from that point on, it will speed up. That means all the affairs ruled by that planets speed up as well, and we find ourselves moving through those sign experiences at a faster pace than we might expect.

Obviously, in the somewhat rare occurrence of a progressed Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto going retrograde or direct, these periods would be years of major changes in our lives, with the stationary point a major influence in all transits after that event. These take place over a several year period in our progressed existence, and mark major “sea changes” in how we manifest those planetary energies in our lives. I spoke of my progressed Pluto and progressed Saturn going stationary direct yesterday, and they both brought life-altering changes. And when I add Mercury, without going into specifics, I can state that early 1964 was world changing for me, as were the Summer of 1974 and the Winter of 1987-88. Each of these periods changed my life forever.

When a planet goes stationary retrograde it represents a threshold state marking the beginning of a time of review. When a planet goes stationary direct it represents a platform or foundation for subsequent experiences related to that planet, where we take the past we’ve reviewed and move forward with confidence in that area, since we have had 3 passes over that span of our reality.

While the retrograde period might put your learning at a different pace, you’ll discover things others aren’t seeing, and may find alternative ways and views of things related to that planet’s department of labor. And you can bet that if one of the outer spiritual planets goes retrograde or direct by progression in your chart, your life expressions will change in major ways!

You can out more about Mercury and Venus retrogrades by getting your copy of my books on the subject. If you haven’t already, please consider getting your copy of The Magic of Venus: Friendships, Soul Mates, and Twin Flames as it has an entire chapter on Venus retrograde, and of course my award winning book A New Look at Mercury Retrograde was the first book ever written about Mercury retrograde and everything one could ever want to know about it! As it now has a new lower price, if you don’t already have a copy, please get yours today. Just make sure it’s the 2nd edition with the award on the cover rather than the first edition by Weiser.

Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected. 

© Copyright 2024 Robert Wilkinson


© Copyright 2024 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.
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Reprinted on crystalwind.cawith written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.

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