Mercury retrogradeAs I was writing the Planetary Illuminations report for June (coming soon to an inbox near you if you are on my mailing list!!) I found that the discussion about retrogrades was substantial enough to deserve its own post.

Astrologically is not always astronomically correct because we observe the motion of the planets from our perspective here on earth.  From here, the planets sometimes appear to change direction and move backwards instead of forwards, and we call this “retrograde motion.”

As June begins, Saturn and Pluto are already retrograde, and during the month of June Mercury will turn retrograde on the 7th, followed by Neptune turning retrograde on the 9th, and Chiron will turn retrograde on the 20th.  By that time we will have five retrograde planets, which will tend to cause events to slow down and make it more difficult to move forwards.

If you think about a car making a U-turn you will get a sense of how the planet works when it prepares to change direction: Its motion slows down and then comes to a standstill as it makes the actual reversal.  When the planet starts to slow down its influence intensifies, especially if that planet is currently affecting planets in our own birthchart, and the energy of that planet becomes hard to ignore.  If it is Saturn, things feel heavy and we feel a great responsibility.  If it is Neptune, we may feel confused and lethargic but also crave music and meditation.

Once a planet turns retrograde, our attention is pulled back to the past.  Retrogrades provide us with an opportunity to revisit areas of our life that require further examination or revision.

The planet Mercury governs communication and learning, as well as other things involving the processing of information. Mercury is a fast moving planet and gives us four retrograde periods each year, for about three weeks each.  When Mercury is retrograde our attention is turned to the past and we have an opportunity to revise, restore, reacquaint – to re-do decisions or situations that were perhaps faulty to start with.

Mercury retrograde periods are not great for making decisions or starting new projects, for making big purchases or signing contracts.  However, people do these things all the time and generally they turn out fine, although there may be glitches and misunderstandings that come up along the way.

With Chiron (healing) and Neptune (seeking an experience of Spirit)  also turning retrograde and their motion being stationary for much of the month, the focus will be internalized with an increased longing to find that inner place of peace and joy.

Five retrograde planets is a pretty strong retrograde emphasis, so it will be helpful to expect this tendency to be held back and revisit the past rather than try to push against the tide and force events to fruition that are clearly not working.  But it’s also important to remember that you are only visiting the past – that you live in this present moment and any trips to the past must be only temporary.

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