Recently turtle made a request in the forums that I write a series on natal retrograde planets. I let her know that she must be psychic, because I was in the process of working on exactly that! Also, I LOVE requests like this, so I am happy to oblige!
When many of us see a retrograde planet in our chart, there’s a small moment of panic. We think about the horror stories of Mercury retrograde, the crushing weight of a Saturn station, or the long, burning grind of Mars staying on one sign for 6 months. They think they’re doomed!
Luckily, this isn’t the case at all! Most people have at least one retrograde planet, and nearly everyone born in the summer has several! And most retrograde planets function just fine, albeit a little differently. We’ll get into the details of each planet as the series progresses, but until then, here are a few of the most important differences.
- False starts – With retrograde planets, people often experience lots of false starts. Something seems great and shiny in the beginning but turns out to be just a little different than expected. Often this results in having to go back to the drawing board several times, or at least having to tweak, edit, and review before moving forward again. This can sometimes lead to paralyzing indecision around that planet’s area of life, but as the person goes through life and sees how their process actually serves them well again and again, this indecision often resolves itself.
- Delays – Just like when planets transit retrograde, natal retrograde planets can cause delays. We’ve all heard the Mercury retrograde stories of packages arriving weeks late. Now imagine that on the scale of a lifetime. People with Mars retrograde might not truly access their inner fire and drive until later in life. People with Venus retrograde may start dating a bit later than their peers. They always get down to business eventually, but these planets take their sweet time getting there.
- No Endings – Retrograde planets are a bit like compost piles. To keep them active, you have to turn it over to let the oxygen in. And when that happens, sometimes things that are long-buried come to the surface. Old issues or traumas you thought you had put to bed come back up over and over for further processing. The beauty here, of course, is that the person is able to engage more fully with their own depths as they encounter the same lesson again and again.
- Turning Inward – By far the most common and important manifestation of retrograde planets is that the energy tends to turn inward. The person becomes introspective or even a bit solitary in that area of life, sometimes preferring their internal landscape to the outside world. Someone with a retrograde Mars, for example, is more likely to be wrestling their inner demons than an external enemy. It’s not that these planets can’t manifest externally. It’s just that the most important processes happen internally first.
As we continue through the series, we’ll go over more examples of how these planets function. But for now, it’s important to remember that retrograde planets are a normal and even positive phenomenon that occurs in most people’s charts. I’ve talked before about how retrograde transits are valuable , and I believe natal retrograde planets have their own vital role to play. As the series progresses, we’ll see just how important they can be.
Do you have any retrograde planets? What do they mean for you?