The Ultimate Planetary Retrograde Guide & How They’ll Affect You In 2018

At this point, you have almost definitely heard of Mercury retrograde. It's an astrological phenomenon that refers to the moment when a planet is spinning so quickly that it looks like it's spinning backwards. It's not actually spinning backwards, of course, it's just an illusion as the planet overtakes Earth. At some point, people started to believe that the gravitational pull from Mercury affects certain things, like our moods or the way we act. Mercury retrograde, for example, usually means that things will be going haywire — backwards, if you will. It usually results in confusion, technological issues, and some difficulty communicating. But while Mercury retrograde is discussed all the time, it certainly isn't the only planet that can retrograde. Each of them can, and you should know what every retrograde means for you.

Because Earth's orbit isn't identical to any of the other planets in the solar system, each planet will appear to move backwards at certain points. The planets that are farther from the Sun than Earth will have more noticeable retrograde patterns because they're visible at night.

When a planet is retrograding, it can affect us here on Earth in different ways. According to Look Up The Stars, "retrogrades in general represent the necessity to rebel, to withdraw, and to retreat." That said, there are differences for each planet. Retrogrades are also usually thought of as something negative, but that's not always true.

As usual, each planet will retrograde at some point this year. Getting an idea of what's in store for you from an astrological perspective can mean understanding what each planetary retrograde means for you. Check out the below to find out what you can look forward to during each retrograde.

Mercury Retrograde

Giphy

The most commonly discussed planetary retrograde is, of course, Mercury retrograde. When this happens, you can expect a lot of chaos. Mercury retrograde generally makes communication more difficult, can mess with technology and travel, and can make it harder for us to try new things. Why is there so much more attention on Mercury retrograde? According to astrologer Katrin Haiba, it's because Mercury represents and rules communication, information, and coordination. Haiba says, "Our society is incredibly dependent on fast and flawless flow of data. We’re used to getting instant answers and feedback. We’re addicted to the idea of progress, forward motion, and rushing off to embrace the next thing. Anything that interferes with this onwards-and-upwards trajectory messes us up, making us fume in frustration."

During Mercury retrograde, we can expect confusion and some difficulties, but you don't need to let that hold you back. Use this time to reflect and recharge before starting anything new.

Venus Retrograde

Giphy

Venus goes retrograde every 18 months, and it's the planet that rules love, harmony, and compassion. Because of this, Venus retrograde will affect relationships. According to Find Your Fate, money and love areas are reviewed when Venus goes retrograde. Old relationships could be brought up or begin again, or they could be completed. New relationships, especially romantic ones, could get a little tricky.

That doesn't sound so great, but it could also be positive: it could give us a chance to step back and get more perspective on our love lives in a much-needed way. Venus retrograde is a good time for planning and setting some new intentions for yourself. Just don't make any big financial decisions during this time. You can, however, use Venus retrograde as a prime time to create budgets and financial plans.

Mars Retrograde

Giphy

Mars goes retrograde only once every two years or so (it happens on June 26 in 2018), but will then stay that way for 55 to 80 days. Yikes! When Mars goes retrograde, any direct action can be difficult — that includes traveling, finishing tasks, and renovating. The underlying meaning of Mars retrograde is that we all lack energy. This means that you probably don't want to do something like start a new sexual relationship, a new job, or a new workout plan.

Unfortunately, you might feel like you want to do these new things during Mars retrograde. When avoiding them, channel that energy inside in a positive way by having some deep thinking sessions and making plans for when retrograde is over.

Saturn Retrograde

Giphy

Saturn is another planet that goes retrograde every year. Saturn represents "structure, discipline, and responsibility." When it does retrograde, it will ask you to test your strength — it's the planet that's in control of keeping the other planets in check, after all, so it typically reminds us of our own limitations. Saturn is known as the "karma planet," so when it goes retrograde, it gives us the chance to rethink our own set of rules. It gives us the chance to get out of our comfort zones and push boundaries.

Saturn retrograde is a time to examine a lot of failures and learn how to move past them. This is a learning period for everyone, and a time to really be careful. It can also be kind of a cool time, though, so don't let it bring you down.

Pluto Retrograde

Giphy

Pluto goes retrograde every five to six months. Pluto is deep, you guys. When it goes retrograde, it will make you reflect in a way that is a little more serious than other retrogrades. During Pluto retrograde, you should look deep within yourself at everything — this can even bring out your dark side.

Tarot.com says, "So when Pluto goes retrograde, it forces us to focus on our own personal shadow sides — specifically, the unpleasant parts of our personalities that we may not really like. Two big themes that Pluto likes to highlight are power and desire. With Pluto retrograde, we'll have to get honest with ourselves about how much we're motivated by a need for recognition, money and authority."

Jupiter Retrograde

Giphy

Jupiter also goes retrograde every year. Usually, Jupiter is associated with good fortune, wisdom, and progress. It can help us figure out how to reach our goals and help motivate us to get there. When it goes retrograde, though, those effects don't get to us as easily. It gives us more time to move towards our goals, which can be good or bad.

Jupiter retrograde also gives us more room for mistakes, and encourages you to try and experiment more, even if you fail. This is a pretty forgiving retrograde and it's really great if you've been feeling the need to slow down a bit. This is actually a great time to work on yourself, figure things out, and become happier.

Uranus Retrograde

Giphy

Uranus also goes retrograde once a year. This planet is known as the "rebel" of all planets, and when it goes retrograde, the power of it changes. Uranus retrograde gets us out of our comfort zones, and has been known to start revolutions, wars, and major change. Uranus retrograde will push you into confronting your fears and give you big moments of realization. It helps us realize what we need to fix and change in our lives, which can be intimidating and scary, but may also be much-needed.

This retrograde will force us to really see what we want and who we are, and it will give us the motivation to make the changes we need to make. It just wants us to get real with ourselves, end the things that are no longer serving us, and give us the strength we need to get through that.

Neptune Retrograde

Giphy

Neptune retrograde happens every year for about 150 days, which is a pretty long time. Don't let that freak you out, though — Neptune is described as a "dreamy" planet that helps us explore spirituality, faith, and fantasy, which can lead to us living in denial about the bad stuff we want to ignore. When Neptune goes retrograde, though, we'll get a harsh wake-up call. It forces us to question our dreamier sides, helping us get real and figure out what's actually working for us and what isn't.

Neptune retrograde will help you figure out if you need to make a big change in your life, which can be a good thing.