Intuitive Astrology: The Retrograde Effect

astrology retrograde

Eight of the planets are going retrograde in the next few months including Chiron, which is an asteroid but often treated as a planet by astrologers.

We all know about Mercury retrograde, but all other planets also have their own retrograde pattern as well. This year, with so many planets going retrograde at the same time, it poses a very distinct energetic effect.

When a planet retrogrades it is not in its full energetic expression. It is almost like the planet is ‘sleeping’ when it is in retrograde. This means that the energy of the planet needs to be used in a slightly different way.

For example, when Mercury goes retrograde its not a good time to start anything new, but it is a good time to revisit the old and ensure that all your current projects are up to scratch.

When Venus goes retrograde, it is not a good time to start a new romance, but it is a good time to revisit the old wounds of your heart and work out what is blocking you from receiving love.

Retrograde planets are not unlucky or bad, they just have a different energetic potential that needs to be understood.

Usually the energy of retrograde planets force us to move from the external to the internal. They allow us to turn our attention inward and think more deeply about the essence of our own lives.

With so many planets going retrograde in the next few months, we are definitely going to be feeling the effects.

We are going to feel a slowing down of energy and progress forward may seem slow and sluggish. We may also be forced to revisit some actions of the past or to dig up old wounds and karmic energy.

Why is the Universe doing this? There is a reason. (Isn’t there always?….)

The Universe has been presenting us many opportunities to change and grow. We ended a huge eclipse cycle just a few days ago as well, and now it it time to take a breather and just assess where we are at.

Moving forward at great speed is not going to be favoured under these planetary conditions. Instead we are going to have to take things slow and almost methodically.

The most significant retrograding planets this year will be Mars, Saturn and Mercury.

Saturn starts his retrograde on Friday 25th March until 13th August, 2016.

Saturn is currently in Sagittarius and will be helping all of us to work out what we stand for and what we believe in. While Saturn is retrograde, he will also be requiring us to get disciplined about our beliefs and choices and to think about what effect our choices may have on the world at large.

Saturn is always asking us to take more responsibility for our lives, and when he moves retrograde, we may be encouraged to look back and see where we need to focus more attention. Almost like we need to spell-check the last few paragraphs of our lives.

This is a very powerful energy to work with and if you can remain open and grounded with how you approach things, Saturn will help you to ensure your grammar and spelling is so perfect that you will be bumped up to the next grade.

The more you can work with Saturn and use his energy of responsibility and self discipline in a productive way, the further you will be able to travel.


Saturn get’s a bad wrap, but really he¬†is the task-master that helps you pack and prepare the perfect equipment, tools and resources for the journey ahead.

Over the next few days you may receive some messages, signs and clues as to what area of your life Saturn may be asking you to review. They may also tie into events that were happening around December 2015.

Mars, the planet of action and energy also moves into retrograde on April 17, 2016 until June 29, 2016. He will travel back through Sagittarius and into Scorpio, however everyone is going to feel it.

Retrogrades are rare for Mars and due to his proximity to the Sun we are going to feel this most strongly in our day to day lives.

Our plans may backfire or we may feel unmotivated to push forward. We may also feel held back in some way or that we are met with a lot of resistance. This may sound daunting, but really it is a chance for all of us to take things slow and play catch up.

Mars in retrograde doesn’t want us to move forward just yet. Mars wants us to plan, strategise and lay the groundwork first before plunging ahead. Mars also wants us to rest.

He wants us to move our attention away from the top of the mountain and instead concentrate on where we are right now in the present moment. He may even want us to take a nap on our journey so we can recover and recuperate.

To work with this energy, you need to be patient. You need to allow yourself time to digest and rest so you can continue moving forward.¬†Mars retrograde truly is the time to stop and smell the roses. If you don’t you may just miss something.

Mercury usually retrogrades at least three times a year, but this year he retrogrades four times. This is somewhat rare, and he retrogrades twice in Capricorn- once in January and again in December.

As soon as Mars wakes up and turns direct in June, Mercury will go into retrograde in August, which will force us to have to slow things down yet again.

Besides causing delays and technological issues, Mercury retrograde is actually a powerful time for us to delve into our shadow selves and work out what is holding us back and what we are not expressing.

Mercury rules communication, but when he goes retrograde, he forces us to look within and work through those more subconscious thought processes that we may not be communicating to the outside world.

We get four opportunities this year to work with Mercury Retrograde energy, so perhaps it is the Universes way of giving us the time to really go within and work out what we truly need to push forward.

When Mercury moves out of retrograde in September, we will then be hit with another Eclipse cycle followed by another Mercury retrograde in December.

Phew! As you can see, there is a lot going on this year in terms of retrograding planets and slowing down.

While things will be sluggish over the middle of the year, perhaps this is a welcomed energy that will help us to find our bearings and pack the appropriate materials for the journey ahead.

Use this energy to rest, relax and learn how to love yourself more. After all, isn’t that the ultimate message at the end of the day anyway?

Full list of retrograding planets 2016:

  • Mars Retrograde: April 17-June 29
  • Jupiter Retrograde: January 7-May 9
  • Saturn Retrograde: March 26- August 13
  • Chiron Retrograde: June 27- November 30
  • Uranus Retrograde: July 29- December 29
  • Neptune Retrograde: June 13- November 19
  • Pluto Retrograde: April 18- September 26
  • Mercury Retrograde:
    • January 5-26
    • April 28- May 22
    • August 30-September 21
    • December 19-January 8, 2017

About the author

Tanaaz

Creator of Forever Conscious and other things.

  • caren

    thank you for this. i have been wanting to find out more as my natal chart tells me mars, jupiter and saturn were retrograding when i was born… same with my son and except for jupiter the same with my daughter. do you have any suggestions around how i can better understand this or find out more? or the age-old question – what does it all mean?!

    • Hi caren, its hard to tell without looking at the whole chart but one theory that I think that fits when it comes to those born with retrograde planets, is that it is part of their past life experience to learn how to overcome the energy. Being born with retro planets force you to work harder in order to access the energy. This can turn into a huge strength if you know how to use it. For example, Michael Jordan was born with Mars retro and he is one of the top athletes in the world. Hope this sheds some insight.