The Power of Retrogrades

Since ancient times, people have looked to nature and the cosmos for guidance and power, and depicted what they experienced in drawings and symbols that resonate with us still. 2020 began with astrological phenomena not seen for 500 years – since the Renaissance, with its own dramatic life challenges, brought the global revival of ancient wisdom traditions, discovery of new worlds and expansion of human knowledge. Our new Renaissance asks us once again to rediscover wisdom, importantly by tuning in to our inner power.
As we enter summer, we find ourselves in a season of intense internal restructuring, as six planets station retrograde before the end of June, forming a suite of powerful influences. Let’s take a look at how the power of these retrogrades can help us navigate through this time of dramatic change.

Understanding Retrogrades

Retrogrades are misunderstood by most people, I have learned. First, planets do not move backward during a retrograde. The term describes an optical illusion based on a planet’s path in relationship to Earth. As planets’ pathways change, their influences on us also shift, which is most important. A planet in retrograde has a potent power.

Second, retrogrades have been thought to be times when things go wrong or backward. Not necessarily. Instead, retrograde periods can be seen as opportunities to internalize the power of a planet’s energy, to use it to restructure from within. This type of energy might cause delays or other issues that slow down our normally hectic outside activities, they offer an invitation to use the time to reflect and do some work inside. We are certainly experiencing that on a global scale now. More perfect cosmic timing – we are in the midst of an epic season of retrogrades that we can use to our benefit.

Note: The astrological symbol for retrogrades is Rx – our symbol for a medical prescription. These energies are big medicine indeed!

Retrograde Power Line-up

Pluto: Reveal (April 25- October 4)

On April 25, Pluto stationed retrograde, beginning a retrograde parade of planets that swells during the week beginning May 11th. Pluto is named for the mythological ruler of the Underworld, the place of fear and shadow that any hero must face and survive in order to be transformed. Pluto moving retrograde enhanced our growing awareness of hidden truths, questioning of the truth itself, and realizations about our shadows, within and in our external world: government, media, healthcare, law, and our daily lives. Our path to a new world takes us through some hades-like territory. We need to trust our inner vision, our discernment to reveal what’s true and what’s right. Stationed in Capricorn, this transit provides a unique boost to re-form any structures of daily life that are not serving us including government, law, business, healthcare or just everyday routines.

Saturn: Recalibrate (May 11 – September 29)

Monday, May 11, Saturn joins the retrograde parade, giving a boost to our long-term restructuring power. Retrograde in the sign of Aquarius, Saturn now asks us to unload rules or processes that just do not work anymore so we can carefully re-think how to move forward. We can use the opportunity to innovate, create new everything – and that is just what we need to do! Saturn is also seen as ruler of Kronos – time, and timing. How different is time in these pandemic days? We all laugh at not knowing what day or time it is, but we have all tuned in to a more natural “clock.” We are also paying attention to timing – to the signs that nature provides, to the cosmic currents. We are recalibrating before we can rebuild.

Venus: Divine Feminine (May 13 – June 25)

Two days later, on May 13, Venus adds her Divine Feminine Rx in the sign of Gemini. Here’s an opportunity to reflect and focus on relationships, new connections, partnerships business or personal, and abundance in all forms. The inward perspective allows us to learn better ways of loving ourselves. What special things might we do for our bodies, our emotional and mental health? How can we grow and share our inner gifts? Venus also invites us to consciously add a higher octave of love to the values that so powerfully inform all our actions and creations. The date of Venus retrograde, 13, is significant as the number associated with the sacred feminine power. 13 is the number of the annual lunar cycles, and the number of weeks in each of our 4 seasons. Venus retrograde is also rare – happening about every two years, so once again the cosmic timing is perfect. Venus retrograde in Gemini will also be an important contributor to the new moon in Gemini on May 22.

Jupiter: New Blueprint (May 14 – September 13)

The very next day, May 14, Jupiter provided enormous capstone power to the retrograde group. Jupiter has been in Capricorn since January. Capricorn represents the traditional ambitious and persistent achievement of worldly goals, wealth, and power. It is seen as the sign of the hierarchical world order- government, business, the law. Jupiter expands everything he touches. So – retrograde Jupiter in Capricorn can be troubling news for existing structures, economies, and governments, but that also presents an expanded opportunity for rebuilding from a new, more insightful place. Taken in context of all the cosmic currents now, we see an historic portal to a new kind of power, a chance to create systems that serve everyone better.

Mercury: Water Transforms (June 18 – July 12)

Mercury retrogrades happen most often, and many people are wary of them. This one has a kind of magic, especially when we view it in the context of the suite or retrograde power. Mercury, the messenger, communicator, fleet-footed operator, is retrograde in watery Cancer. So even though communication may be delayed or interrupted, we can use the pauses to re-think what we are creating and communicating, and maybe during this time the old ideas simply get dissolved or washed away. Here’s an opportunity to re-form, restructure relationships or dealings, businesses, any commerce into a more nurturing, Cancerian process.

Neptune: Go Beyond (June 23 – November 29)

Finally, Neptune joins the group retrograde in the sign of Pisces – more water for the Ruler of the Sea! Neptune’s power to inspire can help us to dive deep into our imaginations. We can see beyond the old beliefs and paradigms, move past our prior limitations – and release what no longer serves us.  Here’s an opportunity to envision the future and build bridges to new ways of living, repairing, restoring and growing. Neptune adds to the retrograde group energy of a new 2020 vision, discernment, and the ability to face uncertainty and disillusionment with inner clarity.

I hope you enjoyed this look at our jam-packed season of retrograde power. Remember to reach out any time if you’d like to explore ways we might work together to facilitate your Renaissance!