Retrograde April

OK, so I told you to begin something new with the new moon in Aries on March 27th, when Venus was retrograde, and Saturn went retrograde on April 6th, and then Mercury turned around in Taurus yesterday, and you may be thinking -- what was the point of beginning anything?

Then, when you realize that Jupiter is already retrograde, and Pluto goes retrograde on April 20th, and that adds up to five retrograde planets this month, you just want to go back to bed. But I don't think the situation is as intense as other astrologers are making it out to be.

First of all, the retrogrades of the slower-moving planets last forever. Jupiter goes retrograde for about four months every year; in 2017 it's February 6th through June 9th. Saturn will be retrograde until August 25th, and Pluto will be retrograde until September 28th. Mercury moves fast, but he goes retrograde four times a year, for three weeks at a time, so we spend roughly 1/4 of every year living with Mercury in apparent backwards motion. If you keep track of the shadow periods, Mercury retro periods add up to more like half the year. It's actually more rare to have all planets in direct motion at once; someone is usually retrograde.

That's why I maintain that the only really interesting thing about most retrogrades is how they interact with other transiting planets and with your natal chart. Jupiter retrograde this year, for example, means that I have another chance for the Lord of Blessings to conjunct my Libra sun. Where Venus is retrograde, between 13 Aries to 26 Pisces, pay attention to the houses she crosses in your chart, and whether she's conjunct, opposite, square, or trine any of your natal planets. When a planet goes retrograde in a sensitive part of your chart, it means you're about to experience another "hit" of the transit you went through recently. If the retrograde planet makes a significant aspect to another transiting planet, as Jupiter has done by squaring Pluto again, that's a transit "hit" for all of us.

The internet freaks out when planets go retrograde because we hate the idea of slowing down. We can't stand delays, time off, reflection, or revision. So astrologers get a lot of clicks for articles with titles like "How to Survive Mercury Retrograde!" Survive? You probably didn't know about Mercury Retrograde for years of your life, and you survived just fine. 

I do think it's better to know about retrogrades than not to know. You get a chance to see how it affects you, and you can work with the energy instead of fighting it. Venus' current retrograde and Mercury's retrograde through Taurus both present us with a chance to consider our values and sense of self-worth. Mercury in Taurus says "stop and smell the roses." Take your quarterly Mercury-sponsored time off to reflect. Figure out what it is that you value, and ask yourself if you are giving yourself enough. With a stronger sense of self-worth, how would you change your relationships? How would you change your relationship to money?

If you began something new at the Aries new moon, then you started that project before Mercury went retrograde. It might take a little longer to finish than you hoped. There might be some delays, and you might re-think your process. But starting something was not a bad idea just because you're encountering some obstacles along the way.

April showers bring May flowers. What you figure out during these retrograde cycles in April will ultimately help you to create something even more beautiful next month.