Most people know their Zodiac Sign, and some may have even heard about Mercury Retrograde, but most people don’t know about other Retrograde Planets.  Do you know what Mercury Retrograde means?  How about what Pluto Retrograde Means?   Each planet’s Retrograde cycle is different and has different meanings depending on the Zodiac Sign.  Retrograde Planets are not a huge deal if you know what to expect and know what mistakes to avoid.  This is a Survival Guide to Retrograde Planets.

Retrograde Planets…What does that Mean?

Webster defines “Retrograde” as “moving backward” or “going back to a worse condition.”  When a planet is retrograde it essentially means that the planet appears to be moving backwards in orbit.  Backwards!  That sounds bad and frustratingly unproductive. 

Fear not!  Although no one likes to think of going backwards or losing momentum, Planets go Retrograde all the time!  It’s a time to review and reconfigure.  It’s not time lost- it’s a “Do-Over!” 

This is huge.  You see, when a planet goes Retrograde, it technically retraces a set of Zodiac Sign degrees three times.  The Planet travels once forward, then backwards, and finally forwards.  The key is to understand each stage of the 3 stages to retrograde planets. 

Retrograde Planet Stages

Retrograde Cycle

Retrograde Cycle

1.      Pre-Shadow Stage

2.      Retrograde Stage

3.      Post-Shadow Stage

The “Pre-Shadow Stage” starts weeks and months before a planet physically starts moving backwards.  This is a time when the planet passes the actual degrees that will it will retrace while retrograde.  This is a very important time because it sets the tone for the retrograde to come.  Paying special attention to this time and these degrees in your natal chart will prove enlightening as to what to focus on and what to watch out for. 

Next, we have the “Retrograde Stage,” where the planet actually appears to be moving backwards.  This is the time that everyone complains about because this is when things go wrong.  When Venus is Retrograde matters of the heart and values are strained.  When Saturn is Retrograde tradition, career, and discipline are affected.  Each Planet rules a different are of life.  Each area is impacted differently.

Finally, we have the “Post-Shadow Stage.”  This is when the Planet stations direct (moves forward) and makes its final re-tracing.  This is like the movie “Groundhog Day,” in that it’s a great opportunity to get it “right” this time.  If you pay attention to the Pre-Shadow and Retrograde Stages, you should come to a closure point and leave the retrograde a better person.

Sometimes there is a weird pause between all the starting and stopping.  This is why things can go wonkers a few days before or after the actual Retrograde Period.  The exact time of the Retrograde is sometimes not as crucial as learning the area each planet impacts.

Retrograde Planets 2019

Retrograde Planets 2019

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury impacts our thinking and ability to communicate.  The location of Mercury in our natal chart reveals what and how we interpret information and make decisions. Mercury is the only Zodiac Sign that is neither positive nor negative in polarity or Masculine or Feminine in nature. 

Mercury impacts communication differently depending on the Zodiac Sign that it is in.  Mercury, the messenger God, rules Gemini and Virgo and finds itself in its’ detriment in Sagittarius & Pisces.  Mercury is exalted in Aquarius and in its’ fall in Leo. 

Mercury Enters a new Zodiac Sign every 2 weeks to 2 months depending on whether it is direct.  It only takes about a year for Mercury to travel through the Zodiac Signs.

Mercury Transits Retrograde three times of year and Mercury Retrogrades last about three weeks.  When Mercury is in Gemini, Virgo, and Aquarius, the cycle tends to be less disruptive because these Zodiac Signs are more conducive and comfortable for this planet.  Mercury Retrogrades in Sagittarius, Pisces and Leo Zodiac Signs are more strained.

Mercury Retrograde meanings include a need to clarify communication, restart projects, repair technology and automobiles, and a time for internal reflection.  Tips to Surviving Mercury Retrograde include prudence with communication, revisiting unfinished projects, and maintaining technology and vehicles.  What not to do during a Mercury Retrograde includes speaking without thinking or initiating new ventures.  Find out more about Mercury Retrogrades here.

Venus Retrograde

Venus, the planet of love, doesn’t just impact how we express ourselves in our personal and romantic relationships.  Venus affects our values and priorities depending on the Zodiac Sign it is in.  The Roman Goddess of beauty, Venus, rules Taurus and Libra but is in its’ detriment in Aries and Scorpio.  Venus is exalted in Pisces and in its’ fall in Virgo. 

Venus Enters a new Zodiac Sign every 30 days to 2 months depending on its direction.  Venus is Feminine in nature and takes about 225 days to travel through all 12 Zodiac Signs.

Venus Transits Retrograde every 18 months.  Venus Retrogrades last about 40 days.   When Venus Retrograde is in Taurus, Libra, and Pisces the transit tends to be less stressful than Venus Retrograde Cycles in the Scorpio, Aries, and Virgo Zodiac Signs.

Venus Retrograde meanings include a time to reevaluate or reinvigorate romantic relationships and a need to focus on finances or prized possessions.  Tips to Surviving Venus Retrograde include introspective meditation surrounding love and financial prudence.  What not to do during a Venus Retrograde includes carelessness with loved ones or money.

Mars Retrograde

Mars rules our manner of action, impulse, and ambition.  Mars’ journey through the Zodiac Signs changes the energetic force of how we achieve our goals.  As the God of War, Mars is related to power, aggression and is Masculine in nature. 

Mars rules Aries and in the traditional system, rules Scorpio.  Mars is in its’ detriment in Taurus and Libra.  Capricorn is exalted in Aries and in its’ fall in Cancer.  Mars enters a new Zodiac Sign every 2 to 7 months and takes almost two years to travel through all 12 Zodiac Signs.

Mars Transits Retrograde every 2 years and 2 months.  Mars Retrogrades last about 70 days.  When Mars is in Aries, Scorpio, and Capricorn it tends to be less abrasive than Mars Retrogrades in Taurus, Libra, and Cancer Zodiac Signs. 

Mars Retrograde meanings include a revival or resentments, frustrations, and ineffectiveness.  Tips to Surviving Mars Retrograde include extreme caution with anger and physical accidents, review and release of resentments, and an increase in appropriate physical activity such as exercise. What not to do during a Mars Retrograde includes being forceful, losing your temper, or losing focus while working with dangerous tools.

Jupiter Retrograde

Jupiter rules our moral beliefs and shows the areas of our lives for expansive growth.  As the largest of all the planets, Jupiter is known to magnify based on the Zodiac sign it is in.  Jupiter rules Sagittarius and is in its’ detriment in Gemini.  Jupiter is exalted in Cancer and in its’ fall in Capricorn. 

Jupiter enters a new Zodiac Sign every year or so and takes almost 12 years to travel through the Zodiac Signs.

Jupiter Transits Retrograde every year.  Jupiter Retrogrades last about 120 days. When Jupiter goes retrograde in Sagittarius, Pisces and Cancer it tends to be less stressful than Jupiter in Gemini, Virgo, and Capricorn. 

Jupiter Retrograde meanings include overindulgence, travel mishaps, and a time to study.  Tips to Surviving Jupiter Retrograde include financial prudence, precaution with travel itineraries, and introspective time in study.  What not to do during a Jupiter Retrograde includes overspending or expecting exponential growth in projects

Saturn Retrograde

Saturn impacts our career and responsibilities we must face in life.  Saturn strengthens our character by showing us where we must practice patience and persistence despite limitation.  Saturn’s lessons provide fruitful and long-lasting outcomes.  Saturn rules Capricorn and is in its’ detriment in Cancer.  Saturn is exalted in Libra and in its’ fall in Aries. 

Saturn enters a new Zodiac sign every 2 and a half years.  Saturn takes almost 30 years to travel through the Zodiac Signs.

Saturn Retrogrades occur once a year and the Saturn Retrograde period lasts about 140 days.  When Saturn is Retrograde in Capricorn, Aquarius, and Libra it can be less stressful than when Saturn is in Cancer, Leo, and Aries. 

Saturn Retrograde meanings include a time for discipline, structure, and consideration for family traditions.  Tips to Surviving Saturn Retrograde include persistence and a focus on completing unfinished projects with family or work.  What not to do during a Saturn Retrograde includes being rash, lacking prudence, or attempting to get away with shortcuts in important endeavors.

Uranus Retrograde

Uranus represents our impulse for individuality and freedom.  Uranus brings unconventional and erratic action.  Uranus Rules Aquarius, and is in its’ detriment in Leo.  Uranus is exalted in Scorpio and in its’ detriment in Taurus. 

Uranus enters a new Zodiac Sign every 7-8 years. Uranus takes almost 84 years to travel through all 12 Zodiac Signs. 

Uranus Retrogrades occur once a year and last around 150 days.  When Uranus is Retrograde in Aquarius or Scorpio it tends to be less disruptive then when Uranus in Taurus or Leo. 

Uranus Retrograde meanings include a need to delve into truths regarding Authenticity and Humanitarian needs.  Tips to Surviving Uranus Retrograde include being cautious of “group think” and reclaiming individuality.  What not to do during a Uranus Retrograde includes comprising in altruism or the needs of the whole.

Neptune Retrograde

Neptune illustrates the spiritual destiny and cultural expression of the generation.  Neptune, the God of the Oceans, represents collective subconsciousness.  Neptune rules Pisces and is in its’ detriment in Virgo.  Neptune is exalted in Cancer and in its’ fall in Capricorn.

Since Neptune enters a new Zodiac Sign every 13-14 years, it takes about 165 years to travel through all 12 Zodiac Signs. 

Neptune Transits Retrograde once a year and Neptune Retrogrades last about 150 days.  When Neptune is Retrograde in Pisces and Cancer it tends to be less detrimental than Virgo and Capricorn.

Neptune Retrograde meanings include the need to reevaluate emotional boundaries and dream analysis.  Tips to Surviving Neptune Retrograde include caution with escapism and meditation.  What not to do during a Neptune Retrograde includes skimping on sleep and abusing controlled substances!

Pluto Retrograde

Pluto represents monumental shifts and historical transformation.  Pluto rules Scorpio and is in its detriment in Taurus. Pluto is exalted in Leo and in its’ fall in Aquarius. 

Pluto takes almost 250 years to travel through the 12 Zodiac Signs.  Pluto enters a new Zodiac Sign every 20 years.

Pluto Transits Retrograde once a year for about 6 months.  When Pluto is in Scorpio or Leo, it tends to be less disruptive than when Pluto is in Taurus or Aquarius.

Pluto Retrograde meanings include a time for purging and renewal.  Tips to Surviving Pluto Retrograde include physically recycling and removing as well as focusing on spirituality.  What not to do during a Pluto Retrograde includes hoarding or resisting change.

Moon Void of Course

The Moon impacts emotional attitudes and everyday conduct.  The Lunar Cycle from New Moon, to Waxing Moon, to Full Moon, to the Waning Moon, swings our subconscious. The Moon rules Cancer and is in its’ detriment in Capricorn.  The Moon is exalted in Taurus and in its’ fall in Scorpio. 

The Moon enters a new Zodiac Sign every 2-2.5 days.  The Moon travels through all 12 Zodiac Signs in less than 28 days.

The Moon doesn’t go Retrograde but it does go “Void of Course.”  When the Moon is Void of Course things tend to go sideways much like a Retrograde.  It is also said that projects initiated when the Moon is Void of Course don’t come to fruition. 

The Moon is Void of Course when it is between it’s final aspect of a sign, until it enters the next Zodiac Sign.  The Moon can be Void of course for 20 minutes or 2 days.  The moon goes Void of Course often.  It is a time to take it easy, relax, and internalize.


Although the Sun doesn’t go Retrograde, analysis of the Zodiac Signs would be incomplete without it.  The Sun represents our external will.  Just as the Sun is a life-giving force, it is a creative energy source.  The Sun rules dramatic and bold Leo.  The Sun is in its’ detriment in Aquarius, exalted in Aries, and in its’ fall in Libra.

The Sun Enters a new Zodiac sign every Month and takes one year to travel through the Zodiac Signs.

What Next?

Phew that was a lot!  At first Retrograde Planets seam complicated but with time each planet’s energy and retrograde period becomes second nature.

If Retrograde Planets interest you and you would like to incorporate Planetary Transits and Retrogrades in your life on a day to day basis, get your free copy of “Mystic Family’s Quick Guide to the Stars.”  This easy to read, one-page Summary describes the Planets’ Energy, Retrograde Period, and Zodiac Signs Strengths and Weaknesses.  Sign up for updates at and be in the know!

Thank you so much for your interest.  Remember, knowledge is power and knowing about Retrogrades makes them way less scary!

Love, Light & Reverence,

Maria Mercedes O’Neill

Pin It on Pinterest