Retrogrades : Venus & Mercury

Venus 15 May 2012 to 27 Jun 2012

Venus Love

Venus Love

This week Venus moved into its retrograde state. It’s affects will influence our emotions until the end of June.

How Retrogrades Impact Our Lives
Sometimes when we look out into space, other planets appear to be traveling backwards through the sky. Although planets are always moving forward, an optical illusion throughout the year causes the planets to appear to be traveling backwards. We call this motion a retrograde.

From an astrological perspective, these optical illusions impact the flow of energy here on Earth. Thus each planetary retrograde affects us as individuals and as a global society. How they affect us depends on the energy of the planet and it’s impact in the astrological charts.

The term retrograde is from the Latin word retrogradus – “backward-step”.

“Retrograde” is an adjective most commonly used to describe the path of a planet as it travels through the night sky, with respect to the zodiac, stars, and other bodies of the celestial canopy. In this context, the term refers to planets as they appear from Earth, to briefly stop and reverse direction at certain times, though in reality they perpetually orbit in the same uniform direction.

Although planets can sometimes be mistaken for stars as we observe the night sky, the planets actually change position from night to night in relation to the stars. Retrograde (backward) and prograde (forward or direct) movements are observed as though the stars revolve around the Earth. Ancient Greek Astronomer Ptolemy in 150 AD believed that the earth was the center of the solar system. Hel used the terms retrograde and prograde to describe the movement of the planets in relation to the stars. Although we know today that the planets revolve around the sun, we continue to use the same terms in order to describe the movement of the planets in relation to the stars as we observe them from Earth. Like the sun, the planets appear to rise in the East and set in the West. When a planet travels eastward in relation to the stars, it is called prograde. When the planet travels westward in relation to the stars (opposite path) it is called retrograde.

What Are Astrological Retrogrades
In astrology, the chart of an individual and the planetary effects are impacted and influenced by their spin and movement. Typically, from our perspective here on Earth, planets rotate on a forward path. There’s a brief period, called the stationary period, when the planets slow and appear to have stopped moving altogether. But at times, after resting in a stationary position, planets will also appear to be spinning backwards. This phenomenon for astrologers means that the planet is in retrograde.

A retrograde can have an inverse effect on our world, through world events and individual interactions. Retrograde effects can sometimes reverse situations and change our feelings or activities, alter usual communications between people, or affect our ability to discern information in a complete and detailed manner.

Each planet has its own unique cycle it takes to orbit the Sun. This cycle determines a planets frequency and duration in a retrograde period. The planets closest to the Sun have a shorter cycle (for example, it only takes 88 days for Mercury to go full circle, whereas Neptune requires 165 years). The effects of planets in retrograde might vary based on your own astrological characteristics. Just as when and where you were born effects your personal chart, so do the effects of planets and their current cycle at the time of your birth. You can check the current Retrograde Schedule to help you plan for these affects.

If you’re looking to the stars for guidance, keep in mind that a proper reading, such as your own unique astrological chart, is the sum of all of its parts. Real astrology is quite complex and analyses are made based on intricate calculations and even then, it’s only a guide. Putting too much weight on any single aspect of astrology is a mistake and can provide mis-information instead of helpful perspectives.

Retrogrades and Past Lives
Whither you believe in reincarnation or not, “Past lives” can be a metaphor to help understand the meaning of a retrograde. If you do believe in reincarnation, the lifetimes you’ve brought into this embodiment have a significant impact on your current life. Looking to a past life for guidance, can help clarify the lessons you need to focus on today. These past memories can help to attain enlightenment by reviewing past choices that have created karma, or shaped patterns in your life today. By reviving these past memories, you can also retrieve knowledge and wisdom from these past lifetimes which can help you make better choices now and explain why you handle certain situations in the manner you do.

If a planet appears in your birth chart in its retrograde cycle, they are indicative of a monumental happening that once occurred in a past life. This could suggest that you pay attention to the lessons you never learned in that past embodiment and that you strive toward achieving these goals in this current embodiment.

Combining these sources of data about your spiritual past and your present mission not only helps one understanding why things are occurring the way they are, but also can assist in resolving the lesson once and for all.

Planetary Retrogrades
There are some basic attributes of planets in retrograde and their characteristics that can be a guide to each person. But keep in mind that how these planets appear in your personal chart can add more detail and clarification to how a retrograde effects you personally.

The most influencing retrogrades are Mercury and Venus. Both influence the manner in which we interact with others, but they show their impact in different ways.

Venus revolves around the Sun in 225 days and remains stationary for 3 to 4 days. Every 18 months or so, this planet slips into retrograde for approximately 6 weeks. Venus rules over relationships and feelings.

A Venus retrograde focuses on romantic relationships and intimate emotions. Suppressed feelings may come to the surface and you might find new ways of expressing them. People may reevaluate what they want, from life and from those around them. And during this retrograde, they may also seek these new desires elsewhere. Even individual value systems can come into question during these time periods. What we valued most may seem unimportant, or what we disagreed with before can somehow not seem so bad or different. We may find ourselves re-evaluating the meaning of personal views, such as friendship, love, intimacy or even spiritual beliefs. Because

Venus affects emotions it can also impact our sensitivities. We can become more sensitive to what is being said, how it’s being said and how we “take in” those communications. Our ego can become bruised easily. Our emotional responses can fly off the handle and we respond with knee jerk reactions, instead of thinking things through.   

Venus Past Life:



If Venus is in retrograde in your birth chart, you may have some relationship issues to overcome in this lifetime. It’s likely that in a past incarnation you felt inhibited or restrained from seeking what you really wanted in life. There were probably also external forces beyond your control that kept you and your lover apart, in either the same past life or another that’s also influencing your current embodiment. Therefore you may have never learned how to conduct a mature, productive relationship in this lifetime.

Today you probably find it hard to fulfill your dreams or desires with the people who are close to you. You may have difficulty connecting with your mate and sustaining intimate relationships with friends. You may also seek fulfillment from your partner, but that always seems to come up short.

Some of this influence that applies to emotional matters can also apply to financial matters as well. Especially in today’s society where we place personal happiness and financial security hand in hand. So you may never quite feel that you have enough in your pockets and therefore your self-worth can become a personal issue for you.

To overcome these lessons of relationships in this life, try to focus on what you really want in a relationship and consider your choice of partners carefully. Good advice for everyone, but especially for those with Venus in retrograde in their birth chart. But remember happiness cannot be created by taking it from others. Only you can make yourself happy. So look within yourself and ponder what you give back to your partner and those you are close to.

The Mercury retrogrades are perhaps the best known of all the planetary movements. Mercury requires 88 days to make a complete pass around the Sun. It remains stationary anywhere between a few hours or a few days, depending on the time of year. This planet goes into retrograde 3 times a year for about 3 weeks each time. Mercury has the highest frequency of retrograde activity, and stays in this cycle for the shortest length of time. Mercury rules over communication and thought or thinking things through.

Communication is greatly affected by this planet’s pull. During this period, messages may be misunderstood; whispers may be overheard and mail or email may be misdirected. Reviewing legal matters can become confusing, or unclear. Public speaking can become difficult, and those giving speeches can be easily misquoted. The biggest issue during a Mercury retrograde is ensuring what you hear is really what’s being said. People have a greater tendency to hear what they want to hear during this time frame, creating assumptions and uncomfortable situations. So be very careful how you “flirt” during a retrograde! Additionally, others may hear something totally different than what you said, reading between the lines from a place of fear and insecurity.

You may find it easier to provide self-expression through other forms of communication rather than verbal or written. Giving flowers or a card for instance, instead of relying on your own speech. 

Mercury Past Life:
If Mercury is in retrograde in your birth chart, communications are probably tough for you in general. You may find your words can get you into trouble or you may be afraid to speak your mind for fear of the consequences. As a past life influence, it’s likely that you were once scorned for speaking out; perhaps your words significantly hurt a person, or a people. You may have even influenced a riot and were then punished for your words. A Mercury retrograde symbolizes that you are afraid to say the wrong thing, or that people take your words in the wrong way. So you may find it easier to not speak at all.

To overcome these lessons, you should believe in yourself and the ability of your communication skills. Practice public speaking and celebrate the achievement of speaking to a group.

© 2012 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Spring’s Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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