Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars ©JPL/NASA
This period does not need to be daunting, be feared or to cause any of us to suspend living our lives in any way. Making allowances and/or taking preemptive actions to minimize the unavoidable retrograde effects will help with keeping retrograde cycles bearable. So, be especially aware of when faster moving planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars) are retrograde and plan accordingly.
Retrograde cycles, especially of faster moving planets, may pose more challenges to those with natal personal planets or house angles within the sign and degrees the retrograde planet is visiting.
To get an idea of how a planet’s retrograde motion might play out in your immediate world, consider: the planet (its function), the sign it’s transiting (its personality), and where (which astrological house) in your natal (with birth time & place) and/or solar (birth date only) charts the retrograde period (degrees visited/revisited).
Each astrological house represents a different aspect of our lives/of the self.
- 1st house ~ self, ego, potential
- 2nd house ~ possessions, income, material worth
- 3rd house ~ thought, communication, siblings, commerce, writing
- 4th house ~ private life, family, home, the past
- 5th house ~ creative projects, fun, pleasure, children, love
- 6th house ~ physical health/wellbeing, work/routine, servicing others
- 7th house ~ the shared self, partnerships, marriage
- 8th house ~ shared resources, investments, debt, regeneration, transformation, sex
- 9th house ~ higher consciousness/education, travel, experiential learning, publishing
- 10th house ~ public life, professional pursuits, goals, the future
- 11th house ~ friendships, associations, society
- 12th house ~ hidden world, spirituality, subconscious, mental health
For reference, here are the symbols associated with the zodiac signs.
Aries ♈ • Taurus ♉ • Gemini ♊ • Cancer ♋ • Leo ♌ • Virgo ♍
Libra ♎ • Scorpio ♏ • Sagittarius ♐ • Capricorn ♑ • Aquarius ♒ • Pisces ♓
If you don’t already have your birth chart, cast one at alabe.com ~ birth date, time and place required.
~ • ~
Mercury retrogrades about every 4 months for about 3 weeks. Mercury governs mental processes, communication, commerce, trade and affects all of these plus travel and electronics. Allow for delays, especially on the station days (the day when retrograde cycle begins and ends). Anticipate miscommunication so, ensure that all details are understood. Ask detailed questions to prevent misunderstandings.
If possible, until the retrograde period is over before buying a new computer, cell phone, or any other electronic items. If this is unavoidable, make sure the return/exchange/refund policy coverage is extensive enough that the purchased item can be returned/exchanged should it requires repair or replacement later. Consider buying the extra warranty offered, if the item is a costly one.
Reassess, as necessary and as much as you want, but avoid starting new projects, signing any contracts, or entering into any major agreements or commitments. It’s easy to overlook details or neglect to include information pertinent to the terms. A change of mind is also common. If you must enter into an agreement during the retrograde period, it is important to re-read all fine print, have another set of eyes go over it, and get all your questions answered before completing the transaction.
Do not underestimate the frustration, inconvenience and havoc a Mercury retrograde can produce, however.
2012 Mercury retrograde dates:
- March 12, 2012 (from 6° 48’ of Aries) until April 3, 2012 (back to 23° 56’ of Pisces)
- July 15, 2012 (from 12° 32’ of Leo until August 7, 2012 (back to 1° 30’ of Leo)
- November 6, 2012 (from 4° 14’ of Sagittarius) until November 25, 2012 (18° 31’ Scorpio)
Venus retrogrades about every 18 months for 40 days. Venus represents our relationships (all types — intimate, platonic, family and that with the self), our material wealth, our value system/s, our self-worth, our capacity to see beauty in the world and our desires.
When Venus is retrograde, this is usually a period ideal for — reflection, reconnecting, reviewing relationships, redefining worth, and re-examining value system/s. So reassess, as necessary and as much as you want, but avoid making any major financial, relationship or other life-changing decisions during this period. You might just have a change of heart later.
Venus retrogrades from May 15, 2012 to June 26, 2012, stations at 23° 59’ and retraces her steps all the way back to 7° 32’ the sign of Gemini. Station days (May 15 and June 26) can prove to be extra challenging days as the planet gets adjusted to the speed and direction change.
Gemini governs all manners of communication, interaction, thought processes, and relationships with siblings. This retrograde period might be a time to take a look at how we communicate, especially within our significant relationships. Is he/she listening? Am I listening? Am I saying what I need to say or are my words reacting to events surrounding the situation? With Saturn still in Libra, this Venus retrograde period could be an extra challenging time for those who have not been working out the lessons transiting Saturn may have for them.
In money matters, careful not to be overly optimistic or depend on what’s expected vs. waiting for actual results. If you are entitled to payment or receiving money/inheritance, there might be a delay in getting what’s owed to you so, have a Plan B in case you need it.
Try not to make any significant or major purchases. You might realize later that you have no need of it after all or that you didn’t need to buy this particular item/model/color/design, etc.
When Mars is retrograde, our energy level may be lower as our focus turn inward. Projects are stalled from initiating or newly begun projects may suffer delays from completion. Aggressions may initially be suppressed only for them to finally be impulsively expressed and with much greater intensity than if they were never held back to begin with.
Those with natal Mars in a water sign may internalize anger or frustration more so than usual, which is not healthy as raw emotions unexpressed leads to stress levels increasing.
Mars’ retrograde period is best spent reviewing certain aspects of our lives, reflecting upon how we normally handle anger or frustrations — do we blow up and move on? do we hold it in and let it fester?; re-examining what the motivations are behind our actions or decisions — do we act because we’re in control? or do we act because we need to react? do we typically initiate and are self-motivated? or do we take steps when we’ve had reassurance or feel supported?; and perhaps re-evaluating how we do things, how we make things happen — do we plan then act? do we rush to act?
It is, however, not ideal to start a brand, new project during a Mars retrograde. Two steps forward, one step back is something you might have to deal with.
Mars will retrograde on March 1, 2014 to May 20, 2014 in the sign of Libra. Mars stations for about two days; station days can prove to be extra challenging days as the planet gets adjusted to the speed and direction change.