Retrograde Planet Survival

By Renee: What is a retrograde planet and how do we survive these transits? Three (sometimes four) times a year, we are bombarded with memes about Mercury going retrograde. Mercury is blamed for everything that goes wrong from delayed flights to messages never received and even car accidents. What’s that all about? Is Mercury Retrograde something to fear? And what about the other planets? They all go retrograde! Does that mean chaos? Right now we have both Mercury and Mars retrograding through the skies. How will it affect you? Why does it happen? What do you need to know?  

First, let’s talk about what ‘going retrograde’ means. We think of it as a planet going backwards and  treat it as such, but honestly it’s an optical illusion. It’s much like how when you are in a sitting car and the car next to you moves it can give you the effect that your car is moving, too. This is an experience most of us have had who’ve driven through a car wash when the washers are moving across the car and it feels like we are moving, but we are sitting still.  


As the planets circle around the sun each of them periodically (in a very patterned and expected  way) station retrograde. The closer the planet in the sky, the more impact that planet has and the more frequently they retrograde. Mercury is the fastest little planet in the galaxy so we hear the  most about him because he is close and impacts us, and has the frequency of this happening 3-4 times a year for about 3 weeks at a time. So while we may not hear much about the others, just about everyone, astrology buff or no, is familiar with this Mercury cycle.  

Mercury rulers communication and all things electronic and that has engines. This is why we often hear about, and experience, situations where there are breakdowns in these areas of our lives, especially things like lost messages and delayed or lost paperwork. As a rule, do not sign anything you can avoid during this time, especially loans and contracts, avoid making large  purchases (especially electronics, cars, and homes) and it’s not the best time to travel or start a new job. Of course, sometimes things are unavoidable. So what do you do?  

Slow down.  

Yes, you read that right. Slow down.  

You see, we were not designed to run full tilt 24/7. Nature builds in these little “breaks” for us in  the form of retrograde planets and solar/lunar eclipses. Yes… there are likely to be snafus, but these happen because we are continuing to go at normal speed when we really need to take a  breath and slow down. Every living thing needs to rest in order to be their best. Isn’t it wonderful that Nature wants us to have time outs? All we have to do is work them into our lives. Yes, I am proposing procrastination! It’s procrastination with purpose! Rushing through when Mercury goes retrograde, this is a time to reflect. Not act. Action will be best served after  the planet stations direct. At this time, if you use this time to reflect, plan, get organized, discard what no longer serves us? We will be ready to jump in. This is the time to purchase that home or new TV, take that trip, or go for the new job.  

If we slow down and plan our time, it won’t matter so much if the train runs late. You’ll be moving slow and steady and leave earlier or make conditions for if this should happen. Foresight and planning are your friends during this time! Because Mercury rules communication? This is also not the time to have those big, deep discussions with your significant other or boss. It’s not the time to decide to leave your husband or quit your job or change your degree major. It is a time to whirl that around and think about what speaks to your heart and what you really need all in preparation to act on it when Mercury is back direct and flowing through the sky on his path. Mistakes, sometimes life changing mistakes, can be made by rushing a decision or making a huge one when our little speedy planet appears to be traveling backwards.  

Mercury retrograde will station directly on November 3, 2020. Give him another week or two to clear his retrograde shadow, then go about your business. And luckily, he will be direct just in time for Black Friday and holiday shopping! You can make all your big purchases then.  

Now what about Mars? Mars has been retrograde for a few weeks now in his home sign, and favorite sign of Aries. Now when Mars is in Aries he is at his best—he’s a leader, a fighter for what’s right, an action superhero. When he’s retrograde in Aries? All of that Aries and Mars fire is strengthened and his shadow side can emerge—war, destruction, chaos. Think how you feel when you are overheated, when an injury is inflamed? This is how Mars will act up. This is most definitely a time for planning and laying low. It’s a time for holding your tongue and following your health regimes and creating new ones. You don’t want to become ill during Mars retrograde.  

The unfortunate news is that Mars won’t go direct until November 13, 2020 and it will take most of the year to clear his shadow. Things will finally settle down around the end of the year. In early 2021 you will feel things becoming more settled and less chaotic and doors will begin to open to more opportunity. If you need to act before January, try to wait until at least after November 13. If you have something serious to deal with? Try and hold your temper (Mars can make tempers hot!) and hold your tongue. Listen to the other person. Try and see their point of view. Know that Mars, as well as Mercury, affects all of us and even more so those who are Aries  and Scorpio or have those as their rising signs or have significant action in those areas of their natal charts. If you know where your Mars and Mercury are located, you can see more about what area of your life will be affected above and beyond the qualities I am giving here related to  the planets themselves. For instance, if you have Mars in your 7th House of Marriage? Or if that house is ruled by Aries or Scorpio, you might want to make no decisions around that partnership. 

If you are not aware of your natal chart, this is a good time to check in with an astrologer and learn about this information. It truly helps in the planning and organization of your life. Astrology can make predictions, that is true. It is also extremely useful in learning how to navigate the ebb and flow of the planetary energy so you know when to act and when to plan and reflect and when the odds are totally in your favor. There’s nothing like planetary support to help you get into alignment and live the life of your dreams. If you feel you are fighting too hard and swimming upstream, it might be time to learn how to get in tune. You are so much more than your sun sign. I would love to help you on this quest.


Love and Light,


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An Astrologer, Crystal Healer and Reiki Master with more than 25 years of experience that will help you on your life path and purpose.

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