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September 15, 2021 — 12:02 PM
It’s been an equally intense yet slow-moving past few months, with many of us feeling a bit…off. But there’s a reason, according to the stars.
If you’re at all into astrology, you’ve no doubt heard the term “retrograde” before. And lucky for us (read: sarcasm), we’ve got lots of retrograde planets in the skies right now, with a Mercury retrograde—the most infamous retrograde of them all—right around the corner. Here’s what that means.
Why things might feel a bit weird right now.
As mbg’s resident astrologists, the AstroTwins, previously explained, “When a planet passes the Earth on its journey around the Sun, it’s said to be going retrograde. From our vantage point on Earth, it is almost as if the planet is moving in reverse.” While the planet isn’t actually moving backward, “it’s a bit like two trains passing at different speeds—one appears to be going backward,” they add.
When a planet goes retrograde, the themes associated with that planet tend to get a bit wonky. Mercury retrograde, for example, can mess with communication, travel, and technology, as those are all under Mercury’s jurisdiction.
And believe it or not, the five outer planets are all retrograde right now (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto). If that weren’t enough, Mercury goes retrograde on September 27 until October 18, with a “shadow period” that lasts a few weeks before and after the actual retrograde. Later this year, Venus goes retrograde on December 19 until January 29, as well.
A quick look at the planets currently in retrograde:
- Jupiter: July 28–October 18 in Aquarius
- Saturn: May 23–October 10 in Aquarius
- Uranus: August 19, 2021–January 18, 2022, in Taurus
- Neptune: June 25–December 1 in Pisces
- Pluto: April 27–October 6 in Capricorn
- Mercury: September 27–October 18 in Libra
- Venus: December 19, 2021–January 29, 2022, in Capricorn
So, what does that mean for us?
Set yourself up for success with a good night’s sleep.*
Knowing that a planet going retrograde disrupts the things that planet governs, it’s no wonder things are feeling funky right now. To break it down simply, here’s what each of the planets is associated with:
- Mercury: Communication, technology, travel
- Venus: Love, relationships, wealth
- Mars: Passion, action, ambition
- Jupiter: Luck, miracles, growth
- Saturn: Karma, lessons, work
- Uranus: Change, rebellion, innovation
- Neptune: The subconscious, dreams, spirituality
- Pluto: Transformation, endings, beginnings
All five of the latter planets are currently in retrograde, with Mercury joining them soon. And while this energy can feel disorienting, the twins do offer some advice: Think of the prefix “re-” and review, reunite, reconnect, research. “Retrogrades aren’t the best times to begin something new,” they add, “but they can be stellar phases for tying up loose ends or giving a stalled mission a second chance.”
Take this time to assess the areas of your life associated with each of the retrograde planets (i.e., with Pluto in retrograde, you can review what things might need to end so you can make way for the new), so you’ll be ready to make moves when each of the planets go direct.
The bottom line is, yes, retrogrades have a way of throwing us for a loop—but they don’t last forever! In fact, while they can be overwhelming, they offer an opportunity to step back and reassess where we’re at so we can prepare to make changes when the planets go direct once more.
Until then, take things slow, give yourself grace, and get curious about how these retrogrades are making waves in your life.