This is the summer of retrogrades, plain and simple: it seems like every other week there’s another planet going retrograde and creating havoc in our lives. Seriously, what’s up with the Universe? If you’re confused by the number of retrogrades happening right now (six of ’em, by the way), you’re not alone. What does each of them mean? And how will they affect our lives? We’ve got the answers for you.
First, let’s talk about what “retrograde” means. A planet being in retrograde means that, to us here on Earth, it appears to be moving backwards due to an optical illusion. “Retrograde” planets usually get a bad rep because they seem to upend the status quo. And since most of us are uncomfortable with change, we tend to get anxious and cagey about our disrupted lives. However, when a planet goes retrograde, it’s actually presenting us with an opportunity to get honest and clear in our lives. We gain more insight into who we are, including our innermost desires, as well as outdated patterns and behaviors that are no longer serving us, and we can move forward with more depth, self-love, and healing.
So, in fact, a planet going retrograde can be a pretty powerful time for us—if we choose to let it, of course. Here’s what’s going down with the six retrogrades this summer.
Saturn Retrograde: April 18th to September 6th
This retrograde helps us go deep AF. Saturn represents career, our outer world, and karma, and when it’s in retrograde, we approach everything with more spiritual integrity. It’s a slow burn, so big changes don’t happen right away. Instead, we patiently rebuild structures in our lives to reflect our inner world. Think new daily routines, new spiritual practices (maybe taking that yoga class, for example), and realigning our career goals with a greater truth. We choose fulfillment over momentary gains.
Pluto Retrograde: April 22nd to September 30th
Things get intense when Pluto goes retrograde. We tend to get more reflective and introspective, and we are forced to deal with our shadow sides—the parts of us that need the most healing and understanding so we can move forward in our lives in a more positive way. Pluto Retrograde is the time to let go of the reflex behaviors that are no longer in our best interests, and to dig deeper to become the people we truly are.
Neptune Retrograde: June 18th to November 24th
The veil is lifted when Neptune is in retrograde; we’re finally able to see through old illusions that have only been holding us back. Breaking free from our comfort zones and getting super real are key here because it’s easy to see what we want to believe. Get real with yourself during Neptune Retrograde, because the more honest we can be about what no longer serves us, the more we’ll be able to live an authentic and freeing life. Meditating and journaling can help us get centered when times get confusing.
Mars Retrograde: June 26th to August 27th
When Mars—the alpha male planet if there ever was one—is in retrograde, our energy and actions are halted as we second-guess our instincts and question what we think we know to be true, especially concerning our careers and sex lives. Use this time to reassess where you are in life and come up with new strategies to tackle that new project and/or relationship. “Wait and see” is the name of the game during Mars Retrograde as we also discover that honey attracts more bees than vinegar.
Mercury Retrograde: July 26th to August 19th
Oh, Mercury Retrograde. The little planet that messes with our communication and technology a few times a year. During these times, it’s essential to not only strive to be as clear with your intentions as possible, but to also remain patient and level-headed. Try to go with the flow more. Look at where your anxiety stems from and ask yourself, “How can I bring more peace to this situation? What’s my lesson here?”
Uranus Retrograde: August 7th to January 6th, 2019
This retrograde is our nudge to get honest with ourselves and where we’re headed, which is true on both a personal and global level. If we remain flexible and open, as well as connected to our higher selves, we’ll be able to transform our lives in new and beautiful ways. Don’t be surprised if you change jobs or let go of certain relationships in the process.