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Retrogrades

Hello and welcome to the first episode of 2022! I hope everyone enjoyed the New Year weekend and let’s get right down into it. This episode is gonna be very full. It’s gonna be girthy. There’s a lot to cover, so I don’t want to waste too much time. We are going to be walking about planetary retrogrades today. 

I know that Mercury Retrograde gets all the glory and the attention, and originally, I was only going to talk about Mercury. Mercury goes Rx on January 14th, which is next Friday, and it will last until February 3rd, so it is timely that we are gonna talk about it. But it got me thinking that, you know, all the planets go retrograde at one time or another, and it does affect us in a myriad of ways.

 

So we are going to talk about all the planetary retrogrades, and discuss what that means to us and how it will affect us, and also just arm ourselves with some knowledge and some expectations, so that maybe we won’t get caught with our pants down, and just maybe we will make it through the year relatively unscathed by retrograde madness. Especially because this year, for a few weeks, September 9 to October 2, we will have 6 planets in retrograde at the same time.

 

Yes, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all have retrograde periods that will overlap for a couple weeks this fall, so we need to be aware of what to expect during this time especially. Now, what we call a retrograde period is the time during which a planet appears, from Earth’s perspective, to be traveling backwards in its orbit. Because planets all travel at different speeds on different orbits, these periods are individual to each planet.

 

Mercury Retrograde gets the most press for a few reasons. First of all, Merc goes retrograde four times a year, which is a lot. No other planet is retrograde this often. But mercury has to be special.

 

Now, in addition to the sheer number of times that it happens, Mercury retrograde also seems to do the most damage because the planet Mercury rules communication, which can mean a lot of different things. When Mercury is retrograde, communication, in all its iterations, breaks down. Unfortunately, for the most part, relationships pay the price. Merc retrograde distorts both how we interpret things, and how we express ourselves. So it can feel like suddenly you and your partner, your family, your kids, your boss, your coworkers, are all speaking a different language. You cannot get on the same page, you cannot seem to understand each other.

 

You will say things that you don’t mean, the things you say will come out all wrong, you will say something you think is perfectly clear, and be completely misunderstood. And conversely, people in your life are going to start saying things that piss you off too, because you are in turn misinterpreting them. It’s a total shitshow.

 

Being aware of the bullshit that Merc retrograde causes is a good start, and it can certainly help you to navigate these muddy waters until it goes direct again, but even that isn’t always enough. Sometimes it feels like it doesn’t even matter if we’re aware of retrograde and trying to make things run smoothly, because those around us don’t know that Mercury is to blame and they don’t really seem to give a shit. 

 

Mercury in retrograde likes to dick with communication technology as well, so expect problems with your computers, your phones, your internet, websites, apps, messaging platforms, social media platforms, etc. I know at work, our phones and internet go down during Merc retrograde like clockwork. So if you have projects at work due, or any online assignments, if you have an important Zoom meeting, give yourself a lot of extra time to solve any issues that may present themselves. Back up any work that you’re doing online, print physical copies if you can. And of course, double check your emails before you hit send to make sure you’re actually sending it to the right person, and that your message is clear and concise.

 

Another thing to be careful of during retrograde is getting into any contracts or binding agreements, because in addition to communication, Mercury also rules commerce and everything to do with it. If you can at all delay it until Mercury goes direct, it’s definitely worth it to try. If you can’t delay, just be damn sure about what you’re agreeing to before you sign anything. Read it once, read it twice, have someone else read it too, and ask a lot of questions if there is anything in the terms that you’re unsure of. Be especially cautious of fraud and dishonesty.

 

I really don’t want to make anyone feel paranoid, but we can’t anticipate everything that might go wrong. But with a little effort and foresight, we can definitely minimize the damage. So just show a little extra grace to others, make sure those texts are going to the right person before you send them, if you know what I mean, and just lay kinda low until it passes. It’s only about 2 and a half weeks each time it goes retrograde, we can get through this together. One last thing to mention is that Virgo and Gemini are ruled by Mercury, so I’m sorry to report that they are even more likely to feel the effects. 

 

Venus is actually in retrograde right now, and has been since December 19th. Venus will be going direct on the 29th of this month. If you’ve noticed a little friction in your romantic partnerships during this time, that could be why. Venus of course is associated with love and romantic partnerships and relationships, so when she goes retrograde, that’s where we tend to see the wear and tear. Merc retrograde joining the party on the 14th is going to make things even more tense than they may already be, so please be extra vigilant.

 

Guard your relationships from external interference, try to minimize the drama, maybe reschedule that dinner with the in-laws if you’re concerned it might end in a fight. Venus in retrograde means that little things in a relationship can start to feel like big things. This isn’t always negative, though. Relationships that aren’t meant to last are going to fizzle, and relationships that are the real deal can be strengthened by the intensity of the emotions that are flowing right now.

 

Venus in her most extreme state can be temperamental and self-indulgent, and she can express herself as a bit narcissistic, so be mindful of that in your own behavior. And if your partner begins to exhibit these behaviors, try to figure out if this is just Venus retrograde before you start a nuclear fight about it. 

 

Venus rules beauty and comfort as well, so when she goes retrograde, it’s easy for us to overspend. Which brings us to her secondary aspect, which is finances. When Venus is retrograde, watch your money. This might be when an unexpected bill comes due, or some annual fee that you forgot about, whatever the case may be. I’m just saying, check your account regularly and pay attention to what goes in and out. Those morning Starbucks runs, or the DoorDash orders might really seem to add up during this time. Ask yourself if you really need to make that trip to Ulta.

 

One good thing to bear in mind during Venus retrograde is that your intuition will actually be banging on all cylinders, so be sure to listen extra close to that little voice when it speaks to you during this time. Taurus and Libra are ruled by Venus, so you will likely be hit a little harder than the other signs. And Taureans and Librans, please PLEASE don’t do anything rash with your hair right now. I know you’re thinking about it. The good news is Venus only goes retrograde once every 18 months, so we won’t deal with this again for a little while.

 

Mars rules Aries, and it is the masculine counterpart to Venus. Mars rules aggression, action, and sex, so when he is retrograde, we can really feel those aspects of our lives start to flounder. Libido may take a nosedive, we can feel stagnant in our career, in general it’s going to feel like you’re not making any progress and you’re having trouble getting new ideas or projects off the ground. 

 

On the flipside, you may also be a little more impatient and impulsive, and so will the people around you. Mars retrograde begins October 30th and ends January 12 of 2023, AND it’ll overlap with Mercury retrograde at the end of December, so it’ll be around just in time to really stir the pot over the holidays. But on the upside, it won’t be retrograde again for another 26 months. So once this is over, we’ll have a bit of a breather.

 

Jupiter is the ruler of luck, joy, positivity, generosity, abundance and growth, so when Jupiter goes retrograde, we really feel it. It may suddenly feel like nothing is really going your way. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, so Sag, just keep your head down and power through it. It’ll be ok in the end.

 

Jupiter goes retrograde July 28th and goes direct again on November 23rd, and that’s going to be an especially funky time. Things are just going to be super sluggish and may just not pan out quite as you’d hoped, or at least not on the timeline you had hoped. 

 

So bear this in mind if you’re trying to get some new project going, that may not be the most auspicious time of year. Try to get things started well in advance of Jupiter retrograde or else wait until after it’s over. If that’s just not possible, don’t despair; you just need to be ready for things to have a slow start before they are able to get a good head of steam.

 

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which is the rules and limitations planet. He is very authoritative and inhibited. On the positive side, Saturn also rules discipline, organization, and patience, but he also makes sure that we earn the things that we receive. This can obviously be a very good thing when it comes to learning perseverance, but during retrograde, it can just feel like we are never going to get what we want. And Saturn is gonna squat in retrograde for like four and a half months, from June 4th to October 23rd, so when this hits, just settle in and ride it out.

 

Be aware that you may find yourself or those around you acting overly rigid and unyielding at this time, or on the other hand, you may find that you aren’t exercising your usual self-restraint. If you find yourself overindulging in your favorite vices, or just generally being really lazy, unmotivated, and slothful, ask yourself if this is really the behavior you want to accept from yourself, or if you’re just letting Saturn retrograde get the best of you.

 

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and Saturn, which has got to be a little like having whiplash for poor Aquarians even during the best of times. The free spirit of Uranus is a stark  counterpart to Saturn’s rigid rule-following, so Aquarians are going to especially be feeling that push and pull. Uranus encourages us to try shit and see what happens. Uranus placement in your birthchart  is often where we find inspiration and innovation. The good news is that Uranus retrograde tends to make our lives actually run a little more smoothly for a change; there will be a bit less uncertainty, and fewer surprises. Uranus retrograde runs from August 24-January 22 of 2023, so it’s a nice long run. 

 

Neptune is where we go to daydream. This planet rules nostalgia and romance, but also escapism. So when it’s retrograde, we can find ourselves using really self-destructive means of avoiding reality. We can find ourselves drinking too much, we may start smoking again, we might find ourselves falling back into unhealthy eating habits, going back to that toxic ex. When Neptune goes retrograde, we suddenly find ourselves back on our bullshit.

 

Neptune in retrograde can also put us at a higher risk of getting sick, so be especially mindful of your health during those times and take your vitamins, drink plenty of water, and get enough rest. Pisces is ruled by Neptune (and also Jupiter, btw), so if you are a Pisces, be especially vigilant. Neptune will be retrograde from June 28th to December 3rd, so that’s just a little over 5 months, so it’s going to be important to stay mindful of not sliding into bad habits, poor health, and impulsive decisions, because 5 months is plenty of time to do a lot of damage.

 

Pluto rules, life, death, and rebirth. Pluto is a planet of transformation. Pluto is like the Death card in tarot; when there’s something we need to let go of to reach our next level, Pluto is there for it. Pluto will be retrograde for five months beginning April 29th and will not go direct again until October 8th. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto as well as Mars, so get ready Scorpio, because you are definitely going to find yourself doing a lot of internal exploration,whether you want to or not.

 

Pluto retrograde is going to have us all doing a lot of introspection though, a lot of shadow work, it’s going to be an excellent time for personal transformation and moments of deep understanding. And by the way, Cancer is ruled by the moon and Leo is ruled by the sun, so they are more affected by solar and lunar events than planetary ones. Just in case you were wondering why I didn’t mention them, although with that said, they are most certainly going to be affected by these retrogrades. No one comes out unscathed, but we can at least come out alive. 

 

So that’s what it is going to  mean for us as the different planets go retrograde, and I just kind of feel like it’s information worth having. It can be really helpful to know ahead of time what manner of asshattery the planets may have in store for us at a given time, especially if your ruling planet happens to be the one causing all the grief. I hope this episode hasn’t been like, super doom-and-gloomy, that really isn’t my intent. I just want us all to have every advantage that we can going forward, and we can use this information to help plan important life events, or travel plans, career decisions, or whatever the case may be.

 

Astrology is such a deep and layered course of study, and one episode on retrogrades is just barely scratching the surface, but any information is better than none. I suggest maybe googling the retrograde dates for the year and just penciling them into your personal calendar just to keep you aware. You can certainly buy yearly planetary guides that will keep track of that for you, there are some apps you can download as well, and if you have the means, I certainly recommend it. But as I always say, witchcraft isn’t something you need to buy. Google is a free resource and you can learn so much without ever once opening your wallet.

 

I am personally making it a priority for myself to reinforce my knowledge base of astrology this year, so while I promise, this will not become the Middle-Aged Astrology podcast, I’m sure I will be incorporating more astrology-related information into some of the episodes throughout the coming year. We can really set ourselves up for a lot more success when we are working with the stars rather than against them.

 

So keep watching the skies, and I’ll talk to you again next week. Until then, my name is Eli, and this is the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.

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