You may be wondering, what exactly does it mean when a planet is retrograde? From an astronomical perspective, retrograding planets orbiting our Sun only appear to move backwards during certain times of the year. However, the planets don’t really move backwards at all, they only appear to from our Earth-centered perspective.
Astrologically, retrograding planets are powerful, real, and mysterious periods that encourage a time of reflection to gain a better understanding of our present-life circumstances. As a planet retrogrades, we find ourselves contemplating where we’ve been and where we’re going. If several planets are retrograding at the same time, we are more likely to readjust our course in essential ways.
The Sun and Moon do not retrograde, however, all the other astronomical bodies do so at least one or more times annually. Since Mars only turns retrograde once every two years, I am making it the focal point of this article (see below).
Currently, alongside Mars, the following planets are/or about to turn retrograde:
Uranus Retrograde in Taurus
(August 24 – January 22, 2023)
While on its trek through Taurus, the planet Uranus is echoing themes associated with our individual and collective values. Because Uranus is related to unprecedented change, its retrogradation provides an opportunity to evaluate where we can make changes in our life that will provide deeper meaning, inner worth, and overall security. This revolutionary planet has been retrograde since August 25, 2022 and will turn direct on January 22, 2023. It will not retrograde again until August 30, 2023.
Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn
(December 29 – January 18, 2023)
Marking the end of 2022 this Mercury Retrograde highlights work, projects in general, and social-political dynamics. It can also become a reflective period, one where we observe our thought processes (Mercury) and determine if we need to uplevel our thinking. Is the cup half full or half empty? Can we surrender to the perfection and growth of our individual evolution? How have our experiences shaped us into becoming more compassionate and loving?
Mars Retrograde in Gemini
(October 30 – January 12, 2023)
Mars is a planet of passionate, outward action, and manifestation. It thrives on adventure and can exude a strong “warrior” quality. Its natural propensities are passion, independence, impulsiveness, and leadership. Most importantly, Mars’s evolutionary purpose is to initiate brand-new cycles of adventure and self-discovery. However, during a Mars retrograde cycle, initiating new cycles of becoming may be temporarily put on-hold as this time period is better spent looking in the rearview mirror at where we’ve been and where we’re going and preparing for new action once Mars turns direct.
Because Mars is retrograde in the sign of Gemini and Mercury rules this sign (think communication and travel), this retrograde period may feel more like a Mercury retrograde period. Due to Mars’s influence, if there is lack of meaning in your life you may feel disheartened, restless, bored, and even blocked from pursuing a course of action. Or you may be inspired by what is transpiring in your life; in both cases, you can utilize this period to strategize and plan how you will start new endeavors once Mars turns direct on January 12.
Lastly, while Mars is retrograde, it is best to practice considered response versus impulsive reaction to situations and people in our lives. This period will also provide an opportune time to examine our egotistic actions and make appropriate adjustments where necessary.
Key Phrases for Mars Retrograde
- Seek to develop truthful authentic communication by returning to my center “core” self.
- Monitor intense emotional responses to identify their origin and need for healing.
- Learn to listen more closely to my inner versus external desires.
- Explore how I can be more involved in community (or scale down if needed).
- Revisit my life direction and/or past projects that need updating or completing.
Mercury Retrograde: 2022-23
Copyright 2022 by Linda Kaye