Celestially, five planets appear to be moving backward in the month of April, 2016. Of course Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are orbiting normally up in the sky. The backward or retrograde motion is a visual illusion from our perspective on earth. Symbolically important in astrology, retrograde motion indicates a period where revision, readjustment and rethinking occurs in the areas of life influenced by the planets.
Imagine you’ve been invited to a party at a friend’s house this afternoon. Jupiter in Virgo throws the bash, but in retrograde motion revises the guest list and in true Virgo discrimination rechecks with the caterer to see that vegan delicacies will be served. Mars in Sagittarius talks politics with anyone who will listen, revising opinion about Donald Trump after the latest primary results. Saturn in Sagittarius nods gravely and shares revised vacation plans to a favorite Greek isle due to anxiety over the immigration crisis. Pluto in Capricorn interrupts and tells of an urgent re-evaluation of all off-shore finances. Mercury is the last to arrive and mumbles about a website going down and how the concept of social media in our daily lives needs to be totally rethought. You stumble off to the bar and order a stiff drink.
Retrograde motion is an astrological gift, your opportunity to reconsider the areas of your life where these five planets vibrate. Revise, rethink and re-imagine in the areas of the planets’ foci. The personal planets Mars and Mercury require our attention in intimate, daily life patterns. Mars dares to achieve through personal assertion of will and less prudently in the aggression of battle. Take a moment to readdress your daily get up and go to get it done areas of life: sexual drive, career attainment, irritations and hot button, anger driven issues. The way a city dweller responds to a Mars like push on a crowded train commuting to work could lead to revised plan to buy a bike and cycle to work. Mercury communicates person to person through all mediums. Review the minutia of daily communication such as emails written, tweets entered, contracts drawn up and directions verbally given. Glitches, confusion and misunderstandings will be common. Take the time to straighten the lines of communication out before becoming completely tangled up.
Jupiter and Saturn retrograde periods are usually interior revisions with Pluto retrograde the most interior of all. Jupiter themes center on expansion, abundance, luck, extended travel, the rule of law, higher education and philosophies. In retrograde, Jupiter’s natural expansion tendencies will grow sluggish. Saturn worries about earthly burdens, boundaries, fears and limitations while demanding applied discipline leading to mastery of those anxieties. Saturn burdens and limitations appear to increase in retrograde motion and mastery takes longer. Pluto hides dormant in our transpersonal, collective shadows. Suddenly from deep within cathartic, explosive renewal occurs to ensure the family, group, tribe or culture survives. In retrograde, the pressure to eliminate, purge and transcend may center on old, unresolved “from the gut” issues.
Take a moment and reconsider these energies in the flow of your own life. If you have a natal chart handy, consider in which house (area of life) these planets are currently traveling. Note the sign each planet currently is in (describing the character of the planet’s energy). Are they in contact (in conjunct, square, opposition and with luck trine) any of your natal planets? These are clues as to where and how you should be applying this celestial redo. Take your time, these planets are symbolically moving slowly backward – and you should too!
- Jupiter Retrograde began on Jan 7, 2016 at 23 degrees of Virgo and ends May 9, 2016 at 13 degrees Virgo.
- Saturn Retrograde began on March 25, 2016 at 16 degrees of Sagittarius and ends August 13, 2016 at 9 degrees Sagittarius.
- Mars Retrograde began on April 17, 2016 at 9 degrees Sagittarius and ends on June 29, 2016 at 23 degrees Scorpio.
- Pluto Retrograde began on April 18, 2016 at 17 degrees Capricorn and ends on September 26, 2016 at 14 degrees Capricorn.
- Mercury Retrograde begins on April 28, 2016 at 23 degrees Taurus and ends on May 22, 2016 at 14 degrees Taurus.