Updated: Aug 22
By the first week of September, SIX planets will be in retrograde: Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. (Just a short reminder: retrograde planets only look like they're moving backward. That's because of where they are in relation to the Sun and Earth. They don’t actually move in reverse!)
In general, retrogrades redirect a planet’s normal energies from outer expressions to inner. While a shift to your interiors could be ok for a while, this retrograde season is a long one. Pluto stationed retrograde in early May; Saturn in mid-June; and Neptune in mid-July. Uranus and Jupiter will join the retro tribe at the very end of August and beginning of September, respectively. Venus' six week retrograde ends September 3 (whew - that's been quite the self-esteem, financial, and relationship vortex), with Mercury's retrograde ending September 15. The other six will stay in backstroke mode for the next few months. Uranus’ reverse trip won’t end until the end of January 2024!
What does that mean for you? It’s a massive amount of energy to have spinning around inside. With only one or two planets in retrograde, life can get intense. But six? Including all the super-influencers in the outfield – Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto? If you’ve felt exhausted this summer and frustrated by failed attempts to start or finish projects, you’re not crazy. We’ve had an extended “re-tooling” time this year and it’s not over.
However, there are some big upsides to this journey to the center of our interiors, and they’re available to you should you choose to accept this retrograde mission! Each planet has its own set of perks, but in summary, your levels of self-awareness, adaptability, contentment, discipline, creativity, and consciousness could experience big upgrades!
Here are examples of how each planet’s retro movement could change how you experience their energies. As you read, think back to the beginning of May. Where have these six planets shown up in your inner landscape? Write down what you recall, and how you responded. Then jot down the gifts you received from your retrograde mission. You'll take those forward with you - new strengths and capacities into 2024 and beyond!
Mercury’s communication becomes reflective, so you might decide to journal about a significant event in your life instead of posting about it online. This is a bit like the famous marshmallow test for 3 year olds: you're rewarded for thinking about what you want to say before you say it.
With Jupiter in backtrack mode, controlling our tendency to over-indulge is the name of the game. What might be, “Give me two big scoops of ice cream” or “Sure, let’s upgrade to a bigger four-wheel drive vehicle” could morph into, “I’m giving up sugar and committing to a three-month online health course” and “I bought three books on how to vacation in Europe without using a car.”
Saturn’s obsession with productivity and outer success is hard to break, but Saturn in retrograde can bring much needed rigor to what’s been allowed to grow untended in your inner world. Maybe you’ve been dealing with panic attacks, and you finally decided to start a bi-weekly meditation class: something with enough structure to get you out of the house and a new routine for regulating your anxiety.
Uranus’ flair for the revolutionary, innovative, and unpredictable may take a quieter form during retrograde season: maybe a hunch leads you to long hours of research. You make a discovery that could be groundbreaking, but there's a hitch somewhere in the process, so you keep testing. Or something out of the blue occurs in your family system. Either you or another family member moves, become ill, gets divorced, or estranged from the rest of the family. And you need to do an emotional deep-dive to right yourself.
With Neptune in retrograde for so long, you may be tempted to dip into “fantasy land”. So much so, it's a hard time coming back into your everyday life. On the other hand, maybe you will have a spiritual experience that has absolutely no precedence in your life. There you are, just sitting on a lawn chair and being blissfully present. No fanfare, no classes, no steps or gurus. Just you and an unseen world that becomes as real as your chair. And you don’t feel any need to advertise it.
Pluto’s “backward” journey could involve something that happened a long time ago, maybe in your childhood or a past relationship. Perhaps you’ve hidden it, not only from others, but from yourself. If so, it's become more difficult to tamp it down. Whatever happened is coming up in surreal dreams. And your daytime memories are getting more vivid. So, during Pluto’s reverse journey, you might decide to bring this truth out into the light of your own awareness. That's a first step. Think of it as detox for the soul.