Retrogrades happen. Yes, every single year. But don’t get caught unprepared by these planetary power outages. Here are all the 2023 planet retrogrades to help you plan ahead. Mark your calendars!
The 2023 planet retrogrades include: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Yes, that’s pretty much all of ’em, since the Sun and moon (referred to as “planets” in astrospeak) don’t go retrograde.
You may only have heard about Mercury retrograde. Since these signal-jamming backspins take place 3-4 times every year, it gets the flashiest headlines.
But Mercury’s not the only member of the retrograde brigade.
With the exception of Venus and Mars, ALL planets have retrograde cycles every year. The outer planets—Jupiter through Pluto—spend 4-5 months annually in snooze mode.
Venus turns retrograde every 18 months and Mars shifts into reverse every two years.
In 2023, all of the planets will have a retrograde phase. This also happened in 2022, but doesn’t actually occur every year. (Uhhhh, lucky us?)
The 2023 retrograde cycles can be a blessing in disguise if we use them to our advantage. These forced timeouts provide a window of time to slow down, review and refine.
Those pregnant pauses could be blessings in disguise in 2023, which we’ve dubbed “The Year of ‘What If…?'”.
Read on to prep for the challenges—and find the secret opportunity—of every planetary retrograde in 2023.
But first: What are planet retrogrades?
In astrology, retrograde means that from the vantage point of Earth, a planet appears to be spinning backward.
What’s really happening?
Well, the Earth is completing its orbit around the Sun at a different pace than other planets outside its orbit. Periodically, it will outpace them (or vice versa)—and that’s when retrograde mayhem breaks loose.
Much like a speeding car or train passing a slower one, the planet that’s being passed will appear to stop and move backward—which is the apparent retrograde period.
Then, once the Earth completely passes this planet in its orbit, the motion appears normal again, and the planet is said to be “direct” or “prograde” (to use the snappy scientific term). Chances are, you’ve been in a vehicle that felt like it was moving in reverse when it was passed, so you know the feeling!
What about the retrograde “shadow” period?
It ain’t over ’til it’s over!
Each planet retrograde cycle has a “shadow period”—the awkward adjustment of the retrograde planet from apparent backward to forward motion, and vice-versa.
For that reason, you may feel the stirrings of a retrograde cycle for several days, even weeks, before it officially begins or ends. We call this a planetary “station” in astrology, as in “Mercury is stationing direct today.”
Read more about retrogrades in our article: Retrogrades in Astrology: What It Means When Planets Go “Backward”
And about the show period in our article: Stationing Planets: The Retrograde’s Shadow, Explained
2023 Planet retrogrades
Mercury retrograde in 2023: Communication breakdowns
2023 Mercury Retrograde Dates:
Dec 29, 2022 – Jan 18, 2023
Apr 21 – May 14
Aug 23 – Sep 15
Dec 13, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024
Unless you live under a hunk of fallen meteorite, you’ve probably heard about Mercury retrograde, the quarterly mayhem that occurs when the messenger planet passes the Earth, appearing from our vantage point to go backward.
For three weeks, we can blame every Internet outage, petty fight and canceled plan on a spinning rock 48 million miles away.
Mercury is the ruler of information, communication and our intellectual processes. The closest planet to the Sun, Mercury orbits through each zodiac sign for approximately three weeks. These cycles shape our cultural interests. From the topics we buzz about to the ways we communicate, whatever sign Mercury occupies plays a role.
Each year, Mercury turns retrograde for three cycles and appears to travel backward through the zodiac. During these reverse commutes, it lingers in one or two signs for approximately 10 weeks.
While the scrambled signals can be agonizing, we have a chance to dive into deeper discourse. People from the past may reappear, like old friends, estranged relatives and exes, with unfinished business.
In 2023, Mercury begins and ends the year in retrograde, bookending the holidays with its notorious signal-scrambling effects!
From December 29, 2022 to January 18, 2023, Mercury backs up through Capricorn.
Check out our article about this Mercury retrograde cycle that includes New Year’s Eve (and our pro tip for delaying resolutions!): A New Year’s Mercury Retrograde Puts the Cork on Party Plans and Stalls Resolutions
From April 21 to May 14, 2023, Mercury reverse commutes through money-minded Taurus.
The economy could go through another spin cycle as interest rates and prices fluctuate along with the availability of labor. Don’t count your cryptocurrency before it’s hatched!
From August 23 to September 15, 2023, Mercury is retrograde in Virgo.
This is a good time to review your day-to-day systems and protect your important data. Cutting corners could have detrimental effects. Virgo rules health but with Mercury in reverse, you could get a false test result or misinformation. Get a second opinion!
From December 13–23, 2023, Mercury backs up through Capricorn, then through Sagittarius until January 1, 2024.
The final retrograde of the year arrives like an unwelcome Grinch at the holiday festivities. On December 13, the messenger planet U-turns in Capricorn for the second time in 2023, turning traditions on their ear. Then, on December 23, Mercury backs up one spot in the zodiac to Sagittarius until New Year’s Day 2024.
Not only is this a warning to not invite that triggering relative to the tree-trimming, but, since Sagittarius is the ruler of travel, expect disruptions to your journeys. Maybe just stay close to home on NYE or ring in 2024 at a nostalgic locale that you’ve visited in the past.
Read more about All the 2023 Mercury Retrogrades
Venus retrograde in 2023: Love on the Rocks
2023 Venus Retrograde Dates:
Jul 22 – Sep 3
Venus is the planet of love, beauty and luxury, lending its decadent energy to every zodiac sign for three to five weeks each year. Who will we fall for…and how? Venus sets the global vibe.
Every 18 months, Venus turns retrograde. During this cycle, Venus is changing its “on-screen” time from evening to morning:
- In the middle of the retrograde, Venus disappears from view as it makes an inferior conjunction to the Sun.
- Approximately two weeks later, Venus reappears, glittering in the sky at early dawn.
From July 22 to September 3, 2023, Venus is retrograde in Leo
Love could imitate art while Venus retrogrades through Leo from July 22 to September 3—but this may not be a “midsummer night’s dream.” In the sign of the fiery, dramatic lion, affairs of the heart could feel more like an immersive theater performance. Or maybe a three-ring circus!
Passion or provocation? This six-week phase will be quite the storied one. Venus retrogrades can exhume ghosts of relationships past. Long-lost lovers may reunite but struggle to find their footing. Enjoy the dopamine rush of attraction but wait until Venus corrects course on September 3 before doing any future planning.
Got wedding plans during Venus retrograde? No need to call off the caterers and elope to Vegas. But it wouldn’t hurt to squeeze in one extra therapy session before the nuptials, juuuuuust to be sure you’ve worked out all those final knots and fears. We recommend a vow renewal on your first anniversary. Thankfully, Venus will NOT be retrograde a year after your wedding since its backspins only take place every 18 months.
Check out our related article about tapping into the magic of Venus cycles: Venus Retrograde and Its 8-Year Cycles: A Hidden Gift
Mars Retrograde in 2023: Fire and Fury
2023 Mars Retrograde Dates:
Oct 30, 2022 – Jan 12, 2023
Mars is the last of the personal inner planets—the planets before Jupiter which are closest to the Sun. This might explain its protective, and sometimes combative, stance. Like a celestial sentry, Mars readies us to fight for what we hold dear.
The red planet hangs out in a zodiac sign for approximately eight weeks, directing the global temperament. Every two years, Mars pivots retrograde, which keeps it locked in one or two zodiac signs for seven months.
Mars is retrograde in Gemini briefly to begin 2023, until January 12
Firebrand Mars will be a cranky voice in the chorus for the first twelve days of the year as it finishes a reverse commute that began on October 30, 2022. Maybe a hoarse one too! In curious, contrarian Gemini, Mars loves to stir up trouble and start debates. Many of us are already exhausted by all the polarizing, disinformation and other data-skewing hype that’s been raging for the past few years. And it’s only been more extreme with Mars in dualistic, fast-talking Gemini for an extended seven-month circuit, which started August 20, 2022 and lasts until March 25, 2023.
But happy news arrives on January 12 when Mars makes a positive pivot and resumes direct motion. We’ll get a chance to decipher fact from fiction in Q1 of 2023. Digging our way through the data and figuring out who deserves forgiveness (and to whom we need to extend an apology)? That could take a minute. Fortunately, Mars hovers in Gemini until March 25, setting the stage for healing, but direct, communication.
See our article about how to manage the Mars retrograde: Mars Retrograde in Gemini: How Every Sign Can Survive This Stressful Time
Jupiter Retrograde in 2023: Expansion Plans on Hold
2023 Jupiter Retrograde Dates:
Sep 4 – Dec 30
Wise, wild Jupiter is the galactic gambler, the global nomad and the eternal seeker. The fastest spinning planet in the solar system and the first of the outer planets, developments happen rapidly in this powerhouse’s path!
Jupiter’s job is to push us out of our comfort zones and into uncharted territory—even if that means leaping before we look. Jupiter turns retrograde annually, napping in low-power mode for four months.
From September 4 to December 30, 2023, Jupiter is Retrograde in Taurus
Jupiter turns retrograde annually, napping in low-power mode for four months. In 2023, the backspin takes place from September 4 to December 30, backing up through Taurus the entire time. As exciting as Jupiter’s developments are, they can also be exhausting! The retrograde timeouts may come as a blessed relief, giving us a window to integrate all the rapid changes the red-spotted planet has us striving to achieve.
Let’s be honest: Some of our gambling instincts do need to be tamed. While in reverse, Jupiter slows our rapid expansion before the sprawl becomes too stressful. This is a great time to go back to the drawing board to review goals, reconfigure plans, refine our efforts and make sure we are set up with all the right resources before we go back to the “build site.”
Saturn Retrograde in 2023: Fortify Your Boundaries
2023 Saturn Retrograde Dates:
Jun 17 – Nov 4
Where have we become excessive? When is enough just…enough? Whistleblowing planet Saturn reveals where we need to set better boundaries.
As a slower-moving outer planet, Saturn shapes longer trends. The ringed planet lurks in a single zodiac sign for 2.5 to 3 years and orbits through the entire zodiac in 29.5 years.
From June 17 to November 4, 2023 Saturn is retrograde in Pisces
Saturn turns retrograde annually for approximately four and a half months. These backspins may stall progress and shuttle you back to the drawing board to ensure that you’re developing plans on a stable foundation—and with proper levels of integrity. While Saturn’s in reverse, relying on empirical data is more important than ever. Knowing where boundaries lie is equally essential, and you could learn some tough lessons by dropping your guard during a retrograde. Read the directions and don the safety gear—before you make a move.
Lessons around time-management and authority tend to arise during Saturn’s backspin. These forced timeouts can be a hidden blessing, provided you’re willing to take the medicine. Sign up for a management training class, learn how to use project management software, whip your calendar into shape.
With Saturn retrograde in spiritual, subconscious Pisces in 2023, this is a powerful year for exploring your faith or healing from past triggers and traumas. No, this isn’t the sexiest stuff, but think of it this way: When your inner world is in order, navigating the external world gets a whole lot easier.
Uranus Retrograde in 2023: Care for body, mind and spirit
2023 Uranus Retrograde Dates:
Aug 24, 2022 – Jan 23, 2023
Aug 28, 2023 – Jan 27, 2024
Uranus takes 84 years to cycle through the zodiac, visiting each sign for approximately seven years. Because of its longer span, it’s considered a generational planet, shaping the mindset of an entire age group. Since Uranus governs society and collective consciousness, this planet’s transits shape mass culture.
Since August 24, 2022 until January 23, 2023, Uranus is retrograde in Taurus
It will be retrograde again from August 28, 2023 to January 27, 2024
Uranus has an annual retrograde cycle that lasts for approximately five months each year. During these spells, progress can slow to a grinding halt. Technology, which is ruled by Uranus, can break down and classified information stored online can be subject to security breaches. The best way to deal? Strengthen your passwords, then step back to reconnect to the analog world.
With the metaphysical planet snoozing in body-based Taurus, developing mindfulness practices can help you stay alert and aware. Get conscious about your every move—and your impact! Your interest in community work and activism may blossom in the process. Don’t forget to take care of your physical self, too. Those massages aren’t just a luxury—they’re preventative medicine.
Neptune Retrograde in 2023: Resist Temptation
2023 Neptune Retrograde Dates:
Jun 30 – Dec 6
Because of its distance from the Sun, Neptune has a huge orbit to make. It takes 165 years to circle el Sol, spending an average of 15 years in each one of the zodiac signs.
Every Neptune cycle shapes a generation, directing the music that moves us, the spiritual ideologies that resonate with mass culture and, the way we live out our dreams.
From June 30 to December 6, 2023, Neptune is retrograde in Pisces
Like the other outer planets, Neptune goes retrograde annually for about five months. These periods can be deeply introspective times—but ones that require extra reality checks. You may feel like retreating or escaping from the world, which can be a healing process or one that lures you back to a destructive habit. “Just this once” can become famous last words when Neptune is in retrograde. Set up support systems so you don’t give in to toxic temptations. With Neptune intensifying its boundary-dissolving effect in its home sign of Pisces, that advice goes double!
Pluto Retrograde in 2023: Power struggles intensify
2023 Pluto Retrograde Dates:
May 1 – Oct 10
Pluto can be a destroyer, tearing down what is begging to evolve, forcing us to rebuild from the ashes. As a result, great innovations are born during these cycles. But they are generally accompanied by grief, crisis and loss as we release the outmoded past.
Because of its distance from the Sun, Pluto has a long, inconsistent orbit, taking approximately 248 years to make one full journey around the Sun. This means Pluto hovers in a single sign for 12-21 years. As a result, it is one of the planets that shapes generational trends. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2011!
From March 23 to June 11, Pluto darts out of corporate Capricorn and into anarchistic Aquarius for the first of two warm-up laps before it settles into Aquarius from November 19, 2024 to January 19, 2044.
This is the mighty dwarf planet’s first sign swap since 2008! So yes, this is a very big deal!
And of course there is a 2023 planet retrograde…
Pluto’s retrograde takes place in two signs:
- The dwarf planet spins back through Aquarius from May 1 to June 11, 2023
- then slips back into Capricorn for the remainder of its retrograde, until October 10, 2023
Like its fellow outer planets, Pluto spends approximately five months of each year retrograde. While 2023’s Pluto-in-Aquarius prequel may not be more than a thunderclap, it’s our astrological duty to prepare you for the oncoming storm of transformation. Remind yourself that humans are supremely adaptable, because we’ll need to be as 2023 unfolds. We could find ourselves reeling from technological developments, ones that may cause a reordering of world powers.
On a personal note, we should expect changes in our communities as people align themselves around divergent ideals and politics. Finding consensus could be like herding cats. The challenge is to use these backpedals to get realigned, even if that means playing in separate sandboxes—without turning anyone else’s sandbox into a litterbox.