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Retrogrades: When Planets Go “Backward”


You know those times when everything goes haywire, and you can’t figure out why? A planet could be retrograde—meaning that from earth, it appears to be spinning backward. While this is just an illusion, the areas that a retrograde planet rules may become weak or out-of-whack. Two major retrogrades to watch are Mercury and Venus.

Mercury, planet of communication, transportation and technology, goes retrograde for three weeks about three times a year. Arguments and misunderstandings rage, plans fall apart, cars break down, and computers crash suddenly. Back up your digital files beforehand, postpone any deals, and plan to be explain yourself a few extra times.

Love-planet Venus goes retrograde about once a year, and causes relationship craziness. Astrologers advise against proposals, weddings, and any major relationship moves during this 4-6 week period.

So what’s good about retrogrades? The prefix re- means to go back—and retrogrades are a time to polish up projects already in the works, or to dig up ones you’ve set aside. Old friends and past issues can resurface, giving you a chance to reconnect or revise. This can be a useful time to resolve any arguments, revisit old ideas,research an idea or renew a commitment. Tighten up your routine during these periods, and you’ll be ready to rock when the retrograde planet returns to “direct” (or forward) motion.

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