If you've ever paid attention to the mayhem that a Mercury retrograde period can add to your life, then you probably know that astrology has the power to majorly impact our day-to-day experiences. And planetary retrogrades are one of those cosmic transits that have a big reputation for disrupting our usual flow.
Right now we're in Taurus season, which is typically a pretty chill and relaxed time — but apparently the universe made alternate plans for us without checking in, because Taurus season 2020 brings not one, but a whopping five retrograde periods from some pretty significant planets: Pluto, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, and the asteroid Pallas are all beginning their backspins now. So with five retrogrades starting this month — all of which will affect our lives in different ways — you'll definitely want to get prepared for what's in store.
But first thing's first: Don't panic. Retrogrades happen regularly and they come in cycles. They occur when a planet appears to temporarily move backward through the zodiac instead of forward, and it's believed that the parts of our lives ruled by the back-spinning planet tend to take a step back during these periods, too. Astrologically, retrogrades ask us to review, reassess, and realign the paths that we're on in those particular areas of our lives — and of course, if we refuse to slow down and do the retrograde work, we're more likely to run into some snags and roadblocks.
While the already-stressful circumstances we're all living with right now might make these upcoming retrogrades feel pretty terribly timed, the extra solitude and reflection time that social distancing offers us is actually ideal for diving into ourselves and facing issues that we may have previously pushed to the shadows. Retrogrades can be challenging, but they offer us a chance to reset, restructure, and heal the things in our lives that hold us back.
"With five celestial bodies stationing retrograde this season, this period is an opportunity to redefine yourself authentically within the new structure that's emerging," astrologer Nura Rachelle tells Bustle. Planets that reside further away from the sun (including Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto) are sometimes referred to as "transpersonal planets" and "generational planets," as they move slower through the zodiac and therefore affect things on a more collective and less personal level — meaning that we're likely to see retrograde-fueled shifts both within ourselves and society at large over the coming months.
Here's a breakdown on the five retrogrades that will be kicking off over the coming weeks, how long they'll last, and exactly how they'll affect our lives — so you know exactly what you're in for.
Pluto Retrograde: April 25 – Oct. 5
Pluto may be small, but in astrology, it rules over some deep and intense themes. "Pluto represents our transformational power and how we evolve," Rachelle says. During Pluto retrograde periods, which happen each year for about five months, we have a chance to re-examine our relationship with power and secrets — and we also have an opportunity to transform ourselves on a core level. Additionally, Pluto (being one of the generational planets) has the power to create shifts in society during its retrograde by changing the power dynamics and bringing hidden truths up to the surface.
Saturn Retrograde: May 11 – September 29
Next up we have the strict and serious planet Saturn, which always doles out tough love and hard-learned lessons through its transits. Saturn retrograde periods are a time to redefine our personal and professional boundaries, as well as take a long, hard look at the responsibilities currently on our cosmic plate. And this year, Saturn is also working in tandem with the other retrograding planets to create change on a larger scale. "Pluto retrograde is being supported by the dismantling power of Saturn," Rachelle says. "There is much to be learned here around deconditioning and redefining our societal structures."
Venus Retrograde: May 13 – June 25
Perhaps the most noteworthy of the retrogrades beginning during Taurus season belongs to Venus, as this is considered one of the "personal planets" and has a major influence on our day-to-day lives. Sweet Venus rules over the way we love and value — and that includes everything from romance and beauty to money and luxury. "When you add the influence of Venus in Gemini to this retrograde season, it helps us redefine our values via the realm of truth, knowledge, opinion, and communicating our needs in relationships," Rachelle says. Venus retrograde will force us to reckon with our baggage surrounding both money and romantic relationships, so we should be ready to get real and use our words to work through the issues.
Jupiter Retrograde: May 14 – September 12
Just one day after Venus begins her backspin, Jupiter will follow suit. Jupiter is considered the luckiest of all the planets in astrology, as it brings blessings, expansion, growth, and learning in all different areas of our lives. That said, this Jupiter retrograde period should actually offer us a lot more outwardly positive and easy-flowing energy than some of the other planets. "Jupiter is supporting the magnification of our true well-being through its retrograde," Rachelle says. During the upcoming Jupiter retrograde journey, we'll be able to explore different forms of spiritual self-care, consider new philosophies on life, and discover other ways we can expand our consciousness and evolve who we are.
Pallas Retrograde: May 18 – September 5
Last but not least, we have the asteroid Pallas (aka Pallas Athena or Pallas Athene), which isn't technically a planet, but is significant in astrology nonetheless. Pallas represents our inner warrior of reason — this cosmic force governs over how we make big and difficult decisions or plans, and helps us to temper our base instincts (like rage or lust) with sound judgment and reasoning. During its retrograde, we may be forced to reconsider plans when it comes to personal projects or creative endeavors — and our society at large may have to do the same. "Pallas retrograde is the icing on the cake, reminding us to go back into history to find what has and hasn't worked in our societal structures," Rachelle says. "We can use what we find to level up our consciousness into a new collective paradigm."
There you have it — the scoop on all five retrogrades that are kicking of this spring. If you're intimidated by the cosmic intensity of the upcoming retrograde season, don't fret. Call on the grounding energy of Taurus season by doing a witchy self-care ritual, work with some protective crystals to stave off bad vibes, and keep in mind everything you should avoid during a retrograde to minimize the drama.