For the first time in a decade, we have 5 planets retrograde at the same time. You might be reading a lot about how this time is all about pausing and not being able to get much done, but actually, from a Soul perspective, this is going to be a hugely productive time. Whenever a planet goes retrograde, it offers an opportunity to review, re-visit, remember, re-wire, re-do, re-claim, release.
Imagine a building that had an original blueprint of glorious architecture, stunning interior design, unique features. But over time, we see the effects of wear and tear, of outside influence, of other people’s contributions. Bricks have been built over the original sandstone. Rooms have become cluttered. Original wooden floors covered in carpet. The building we see today is a far cry from the creator’s vision, and from what actually still exists at the core – were we to remove the bricks, outdated carpets and clutter.The combination of all of these retrogrades happening at the same time are like sending in a bunch of restorers, renovators and cleaners to bring the building back to its true glory, to what it has really been all along, this time with even more sparkle and shine.
Let’s start with Mars. He is all about action, energy and assertiveness. Now, you might think that with him in retrograde we would have less of those things than usual. And in some cases, where less is needed, that will be true. If you need to slow down, if you need to chill out, if you need to look before you leap into any situation, then absolutely Mars retro will ensure you do that.
However if energy is needed in a situation, where there is usually no energy or low energy, if the waters need to be stirred because they have been dormant or inactive for too long, if an old issue needs to be brought to the surface, addressed and cleared out, then Mars will not be shy about adding some of his fire and ‘get things done’ gusto to the equation. Mars can come along like the assertive big brother, shake you by the shoulders and say ‘Snap out of it, here’s what you need to know, here’s what you need to do, let’s go!”
If go go go is your usual tempo, then you will likely get some messages to take a breather. However if standing back is your norm, if being passive is your uncomfortable comfort zone, if procrastinating is a bad habit, then you will likely get a very clear insight into how that’s (not) working for you. Allow yourself to open up to whatever Mars is wanting to tell you. Much like George in Seinfeld when he decided to do everything opposite to usual and suddenly found himself succeeding in every area, so too Mars retro can influence you to do things opposite to the usual way you express your energy and it may just lead to the breakthroughs you have been hoping for.
Remember, a planet is not actually going backwards during a retrograde. It just looks like it is from our Earth’s perspective during particular times. It is like when you are overtaking a car. You are both travelling in the same direction but in that moment of overtaking, the car could seem to be driving in reverse. All of this retrograding over degrees business is actually an illusion from our perspective. An illusion with influence, but an illusion nonetheless which means the energy of those planets are still present and in effect. It is just the way in which they are influencing us that is different, due to our temporarily changed vantage point. Which brings potential for a lot of positive shifting. Seeing things you wouldn’t usually see. And yes – not seeing things you usually would which is why the motto during a retrograde is be cautious in whatever you do/buy/sign. Do your homework. Check out the contract/car/house inside out.
Speaking of illusion - how big a role does our perspective play in creating illusion upon illusion in our life? Answer: A HUGE ROLE.
Our thoughts, beliefs, memories, subconscious issues, ancestral DNA, social conditioning and more, all murky the waters of our perception, influencing what we see on the movie screen of our life and how we interpret things. Drop certain beliefs, drop certain thoughts, release certain issues, and boom, the images on your movie screen change. Sometimes situations literally change, other times the way you see them changes. The point is: how we see what we see is so often an illusion based on our cloudy perspective.
Life events, cosmic shifts and planetary transits come along from time to time to literally clear our head and sweep away those clouds, allowing us to see ourselves, our lives, and life itself more clearly.
Onto Pluto, head honcho of transformation. Pluto doesn’t muck around. If he sees that something in your life or within yourself needs shifting, he will demolish or renovate without waiting for permission, without apology. I see the female equivalent as being the great goddess Kali, and in these times of the awakening (with a roar) Divine Feminine she is more present than ever in our lives, especially wherever radical transformation or Soul awakening is due. I can’t talk about Pluto without mentioning Kali because it feels like her energy is right alongside his in any Pluto transit, if not taking the reins herself while he’s busy making calls to book in demolition experts.
Kali embodies power and authenticity, and goddess help us in those areas of our lives where we are not being true to those qualities within us. She can be ruthless, as is Pluto, and for good reason. We did not come here to be less than who we are, and if our ‘building’ needs serious overhaul then you want the best of the best coming in to ensure that happens.
So while Pluto going forward might activate power within us, Pluto retrograde will ask us: Do you see what has been activated here? Have you realized what you have to let go of? Have you accepted what is happening? Are you letting in the new energy that wants to emerge from within you?
You may feel Power as a major theme, confronting the ways in which you are in your power, and the ways in which you aren’t. You may get clear messages regarding what you are doing that is sapping your power, and what you could be doing to give you more power. We are not talking here about egoic power, rather authentic heart and soul power.
Pluto loves a good detox, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. So if you feel compelled to go on a health-kick, release old habits, purge some issues, go on retreat, do some hard-core healing, go on big clearing out spree of your house or wardrobe, follow that inner guidance.
The influence any planetary movement has on you depends on where it is occurring in your natal chart. If it’s on, or aspecting, a natal planet or significant point then you’ll feel the affects more than someone who doesn’t. Some people might barely feel a blip in their waters, while others will feel they are jumping on tip-toes through a land-mine filled paddock, just praying they don’t step on yet another one. The signs that these retrogrades are occurring in are all listed below. You can go to www.astro.com to get a free natal chart to see where the retrogrades will most be affecting you, or have a consultation with an astrologer to gain deeper insight.
Next we have Mr Mercury. Mercury Retrogrades every few months, and every few months for a few weeks we feel the following more than usual: issues with phones, computers, electronics, communications going haywire. On a positive note, we might get a second chance of communicating with someone where things didn’t go well the first time around, or we unexpectedly bump into someone from our past and get some closure or receive a message that helps us on our path. You’ll hear a lot to not sign any contracts or buy anything electronic (including cars) during a Mercury retrograde. Go with your own gut feeling with this. There are some people who purposely sign contracts during retrogrades because they know they will more than likely get the opportunity down the track to re-negotiate.
The thing with retrogrades is, there is no such thing as a ‘one rule fits all’. One person’s ‘in reverse’ healing remedy may well be to pause and take stock, while someone else’s might be to rev up once and for all. If you are on a roll with something and it starts slowing down, or obstacles or delays keep coming up, it’s handy to know “Okay, we are in a retrograde period. This is happening for a reason. Let me take a closer look here. Or let me relax a bit while things go slower than I anticipated.” Likewise if you are on a roll with something, and it keeps rolling, and it is flowing, and it is lighting up for you, and the momentum is carrying you forward with green lights all the way, don’t read an astrology article and think “Oh no, I better stop all this forward motion, a planet is retrograde!!” That retrograding planet may well be the boulder pushing you along. As with anything, keep tuning in to your own inner truth: How does this feel? What am I feeling guided (from within) to do? Is this lighting me up?
Jupiter will be first cab off the rank to move into direct motion on 9 May after having been in retrograde since just after New Year’s. Jupiter rules good fortune, expansion and abundance so if you feel like those things have taken a while to kick in during 2016 so far, you might start to see a turnaround once Jupiter does. It has been a good time to have an extended period of pondering your New Year’s Dreams and Goals list for the year ahead. Jupiter retrograde may have really urged you to get clear on: What areas of your life do you want to see expand? Where do you want to see positive growth? What needs to shift/change/acted on in order to make that happen? Where are you ready for your next level, and what ceilings are you done done done with?
If you are reading this thinking this seems to be a lot of pondering/shifting/clearing all happening at once you are right, it is. It feels like a major period of Karmic Cleansing and Purification. Well, any day from now into the next few years is that! But here we have a very condensed 4-5 months where it feels like a lot of people will go through a huge amount of profound, lasting shifts.
A lot of the stuff that will come up for us will do so via the mirror of other people. So if someone or something is particularly triggering us, that is a fantastic opportunity to ask ourselves: “What am I feeling here and why?” You might realise that this person is really owning some energy that deep down you wish you could own – and the retrograde is here to tell you, you can, and now is the time to own it! You might realise, I don’t like this behavior I am seeing and my opportunity here is to finally honour my truth/self-value/feelings and walk away from this situation/person/relationship/job.
Sometimes in the spiritual scene people will put up with things a lot longer than necessary because they think they have to stay to ‘get the lesson’. It is great to have the conscious awareness that we learn things from everyone, and yes definitely we learn some of our most significant lessons through some of our most challenging, difficult situations. However, if a situation is repeatedly using and abusing you, or a pattern keeps repeating itself via different people, it is safe to say that ‘the lesson’ has probably appeared and re-appeared many times. At some point, it is okay to say: “I have learned what I had to learn here, and now my current, new lesson is learning when to walk away, learning when to let go.”
Finally, Saturn who is in his first month of his 5 month retrograde. Saturn is the father of the zodiac. He loves discipline, commitment, hard work, structure, stability and support. He is the foreman walking around the building site making sure the foundation is strong and everyone is working according to the right codes of practice. During retrograde, he might make some people feel restricted because he doesn’t just let you go forward with a song in your heart, on a wing and a prayer. He, like any good father before setting their child free out into the big, wide world, will want to make sure you know how to take care of yourself especially financially, materially and structurally.
Whether you have your own business, work for someone else, or are a work-at-home mum or dad running the family and household, retrograding Saturn will want to know your house is in good, running order, pardon the pun. How is your day to day routine? Is everything running as efficiently and productively and feasibly as possible? Are there financial or energetic leaks anywhere, draining you or your business or family? If a part of the brickwork doesn’t look sturdy enough to hold up over the next decade or so, Saturn will ask you to rebuild it, brick by brick. Wax on. Wax off. It can be tedious work but you will see the fruits of your labour as time goes by.
So there we have it, a whole lot of re-adjusting taking place over what is essentially a relatively short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Dealt with consciously, this can be a really rewarding time where you feel more and more connected to your truth, or at least are aware that things are happening to get you connected.
Dealt with unconsciously, there can be a whole lot of projection happening, with unowned emotions and issues flaring up, manifesting as anger toward others and erratic behavior. If you feel strong emotions coming up in you, take a big deep breath before exploding onto someone else.
Know that people who are resisting the rise of their inner truth will go into drama. Unless absolutely necessary, (eg protection of someone’s wellbeing if they are in immediate danger) it is wise to not get caught up in the middle of someone else’s karmic explosion/resistance/demolition process/purge. If you find yourself in the midst of drama check in with yourself to see what feels right be it to listen without judgement, walk away until they calm down, or just observe without getting emotionally attached to the ‘story’ being played out.
All of our stories are right now attempting to be unraveled, like balls of wool that have been in tight balls for a long time. Attaching to stories and illusions that are in the process of unravelling will only create more knots and make the whole process take longer.
It would be really beneficial at this time to take some time to meditate each day. For myself I’m finding night time just before going to sleep works best. Sometimes it’s only a few minutes, other times it goes on for much longer. Length of time doesn’t matter. It’s mainly about closing your eyes for a few moments, and breathing in and out at least a few times. It gives your body, mind and soul a chance to stop, get back to its centre, and regain perspective on everything it has experienced and absorbed that day.
You don’t have to say anything special or consciously go through any particular process. If the only thing you do is just close your eyes and focus on your breath, you can trust the wisdom of your body, your soul and your subconscious to do what needs to be done.
How are you all feeling?
Mars Retrograde: April 17, 9 ° Sag – June 29, 23 ° Scorpio
Pluto Retrograde: April 18, 17 ° Cap – Sep 26, 14 ° Cap
Mercury Retrograde: April 28, 23 ° Taurus – May 22, 14 ° Taurus
Jupiter Retrograde: Jan 7, 23 ° Virgo – May 9, 13 ° Virgo
Saturn Retrograde: March 25, 16 ° Sag – Aug 13, 9 ° Sag