The Cavalcade of Retrogrades 2018

It was hard for me to get going this morning. I’ve had it on my mind for a while to re-connect with you, reader. And the time to write was neatly blocked out on my Outlook calendar, starting this morning at 9:00, sharp! But the prevailing winds kept blowing me backward, inward, or sideways. First, I saw our orange tabby cat outside and remembered that I haven’t played with him in a while (he was grateful for the attention). I was worried about him because of the heat, so I made sure he got some water. Then I remembered that I had to clean the downstairs before I have clients here tomorrow. Then I remembered an email that I hadn’t answered in too long. Then my husband was having a rough morning, so I made him coffee and toast. Then I remembered . . .

You get the idea. I’m sure you have had these kinds of mornings. A steady string of distractions seemingly conspire to keep you from your plans.

I anticipate that we will all have more mornings, and days, like this over the next few weeks. As I write this, Mercury has just stationed retrograde. (See dates for Mercury, Venus, and Mars Retrogrades at the bottom of this post). Mercury joins several planets that are retrograde right now: Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, and Mars. The retrograde of the Outer Planets and Chiron is not as unusual: Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron and Pluto are retrograde for a few months out of every year. But right now we are seeing an overwhelming concentration of retrogrades, all overlapping with one another. So many retrogrades at once increases the need to: Go slow. Be careful. Be flexible when plans go awry. Have a “Plan B.”

What is unusual about the remaining months of 2018 is that we have nearly back-to-back retrogrades of Mercury, Mars, and Venus. Mars and Venus go retrograde less frequently than the other planets: Mars does so about every 2 years for two months, and Venus about every 1.5 years for 40 days.

So what does this mean for the rest of this year? Should we all stay inside, read books, take naps, and do very little? Lay around looking at the sky for the next few months?

Hardly. (Although that may not sound like a bad suggestion to the major introverts among us. Ahem.)

But retrogrades, as I’ve said in the past, are not “bad.”

Retrogrades tell us to slow down, take a second look, or proceed with caution in regards to the things ruled by that planet. But this is not inherently negative. Retrogrades can give us an opportunity to re-think or re-do things. They prompt us to go inside of ourselves more often than we might be inclined. Within each retrograde, there is an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves.

Following is my brief take on the specific energies of Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrograde:

Mercury: Planet of cognition. Thought. Mind. Communication.

Mercury Retrograde times teach us to be more agile in our thinking. Frustrations occur when we resist a change in plans rather than going with the flow. Along the way, sometimes even “happy accidents” happen if we let ourselves see them that way. In order to make the most of this energy, be more reflective than assertive. Do more listening than talking. Observe the world around you. Watch for deeper insights to emerge. New visions and perspectives can come during Mercury Retrograde when you give yourself enough down-time.

Mars: Planet of desire. Passion. Energy. Assertion.

During Mars Retrograde, our desires are best pursued indirectly. If you’ve been going after something you want, and it has not been happening, this can be a good time to experiment with counter-intuitive approaches. This can be a challenging time if you keep going after something that is not actually a true desire, but is rather something you only think you should want. You may need to ask yourself whether, or why, you want this certain thing at all. If you don’t know the answer, it is best to use this time to hang back rather than to push forward. Wait until the end of August to gain more clarity on your real connection to the object(s) of your desire.

Venus: Planet of relationship. Connection. Attraction. Romance.

Venus retrogrades bring to the surface any issues in our closest relationships. To work in harmony with this energy, we must accept some discomfort. If we resist the changes that want to happen in our relationships, we set ourselves up for worse relationship troubles down the road. The good news is that we can see what stands in the way to closer connection with the most important people in our lives. Our friendships and partnerships can go through a testing period, but they can therefore grow even stronger on the other side. We are less able to keep things nice and polite, less inclined to sweep things under the rug. This induces a “cleaning house” effect regarding old relationship patterns. This is neither good nor bad—it is part of a cycle that needs to happen.

In general, I am telling my clients to allow for more quiet and reflective time during the remainder of 2018. I understand that is not always possible. We all have work, family, and other obligations that constantly pull at us. Yet, when you can, stop and ask yourself: Do I really want to do this? Why or why not? (Mars Retrograde). Or: How could this relationship be improved? And how can I address it with my friend/partner? (Venus Retrograde). Or: Am I going too fast? Where can I slow down in my life? (Mercury Retrograde).

Here are links to my posts on the previous Venus and Mars Retrogrades:

Venus Retrograde of 2017

Mars Retrograde of 2016

And the exact dates of significant retrogrades between now and the end of 2018 are as follows:

Mercury Retrograde (current): July 25th – August 18th

Mars Retrograde (current): June 26th – August 27th

Venus Retrograde: October 5th – November 16th

Mercury Retrograde: November 16th – December 6th

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