2019 Epic Retrograde Calendar - The do's and the don'ts
In 2018, none of the planets that could go retrograde let us down. Mercury did his usual tricky business, Venus and Mars tangled up our love life, Jupiter and Saturn had us reconsider issues of growth and responsibility while Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto went deep into issues at a collective, transpersonal level. In short, it’s been a tough time.
What about 2019? Will it give us some time to recover and to integrate all that we’ve been re-processing during this period? Luckily, Venus and Mars are in direct motion for the entire year, supporting us to move forward in our relationships or to find love if we’re on our own! This leaves us with 6 retrograde planets, 6 areas of life that need reconsidering this year.
- retrograde in Pisces from the 5th of March to the 28th
- retrograde in Leo and Cancer from the 7th of July to the 1st of August
- retrograde in Scorpio from the 31st of October to 20th of November
Retrograde in Sagittarius from the 10th of April to the 11th of August
Retrograde in Capricorn from the 30th of April to the 18th of September
- finishing his retrograde in Aries on the 6th of January
- retrograde in Taurus from the 12th of August until 2020
Retrograde in Pisces from the 21st of June to the 27th of November
Retrograde in Capricorn from the 24th of April until the 3rd of October
We say that a planet is in retrogradation if we see it as moving backward on the sky. It’s just an illusion caused by the relative speed of Earth to the other planets, yet it’s a powerful illusion, as we know that relativity is one of the keys of astrology. We care about how we perceive things subjectively here on Earth more than about what we see objectively on the skies. So if a planet appears to move in the opposite direction, the energy that we get from it is different: slower, less focused, more drawn to the past than to the future, often more extreme as well. In the domain symbolized by the retrograde planet, we’re likely to feel like we’re moving in quicksand or walking in place. In the same time, this triggers self-reflection and an awareness that we don’t usually have when we’re in the heart of the action.
1. Mercury retrograde: 5 March- 38 March, 7 July- 1 August, 31 October- 20 November
Mercury is the swiftest planet that can go retrograde, which he does three or four times every year. Mercury rules the mind, communications, short trips, but also our perceptions: the stuff that every usual day is made of. Things that normally go smoothly can now become messed up, making us wonder what we did to deserve such bad luck.
The good news is that it isn’t you, it’s Mercury! During this time, we might encounter delays or schedule changes in our trips, problems with our car, technology breakdowns or software malfunctions. Communication is generally more awkward than usual as if we’re speaking a different language from our partner, friends, family or co-workers.
Mercury is a swift, extroverted, chatty planet and retrogradation doesn’t suit him well! It’s difficult for him to stay still, silent, patient- which is exactly what we have to do during the retro time and a couple of days before and after if we want to successfully graduate this three-week course in disasters.
MERCURY RX- DON’T:
- sign contracts (without thinking twice and understanding all the implications)
- buy a new car or new technology
- start a new long-term project
- plan a trip/book tickets
- go with the “first thought, best thought” or “first version, best version” philosophy
MERCURY RX- DO:
- read carefully if you really have to sign something
- fix your car or problematic tech equipment
- reorganize your e-mails, your PC, documents at work
- continue working on projects you already started
- double check the things you write and think twice before speaking
- rest, reflect and regenerate
2. Jupiter retrograde: 10 April- 11 August
Jupiter retrogrades for about four months every year or so and brings to our attention issues linked to growth, success, happiness, but also fairness and temperance. When direct, Jupiter expands whatever energy he meets. In Sagittarius, for example (his current sign), he increases exuberance, growth, a desire for adventure and for risk-taking, as well as the tendency to hold one’s opinions high. In retrograde, this seemingly unlimited expansion is slowed down and confronted with a few check-ups. Are those risks that we’re taking wise or simply foolish? What does each of us need in order to grow? What is our personal (personal, not dictated by society) vision of success and happiness and what do we need to do to make it real?
Exaggerations, addictions, mindless risks, inflated opinions can now be confronted with reality, in need of re-assessment. This is why Jupiter retrograde can seem to turn the volume down on the abundance button: to make us realize what abundance is and how to handle it with temperance. How we handle our resources comes into focus now, so we can re-think and choose a path of balance and generosity: the more we give, the more we receive back from the Universe anyway.
It can also be a time of reconsidering our political, religious and spiritual beliefs, seeing if our commitments lie in the right place. Jupiter symbolizes justice and fairness, so information about people cheating or lying in any way can come to the surface during the retrograde period or shortly after.
JUPITER RX- DON’T:
- take big risks (in any area of life)
- exaggerate with anything (be it pleasure or work)
- join a new political, religious or spiritual group on a whim
- cling rigidly to your opinions
- get stuck in a lack mentality (being afraid to give, thinking that you don’t have enough of something)
JUPITER RX- DO:
- think twice and take calculated risks, if needed
- reconsider your addictions, exaggerations, bad habits
- take time to meditate and reflect on your personal beliefs
- reflect on your vision of success
- develop an abundance mentality: you deserve to have enough
- stay open-minded
- share your resources with others, donate to charity
3. Saturn retrograde: 30 April- 18 September
Saturn, the lord of time, is used to slow progress, obstacles, frustrations. After all, these are some of the instruments that he uses to motivate us to get our life back on track when we’ve let chaos reign. Retrogradation fits Saturn’s nature, which only means that during this time, we’re called with even more insistence to rethink our approach to responsibility and to become accountable for our own order or disorder.
We might encounter more limitations than usual during this period. Saturn doesn’t want to stop us in our tracks- only to make sure that all details are in place and that we’re doing our best through serious, dedicated work. This applies to actual work as well as to relationships, personal projects, lifestyle habits and any other life area that you can think of. If something just won’t get off the ground, if it moves forward slowly or seems to bump into constant barriers during this time, remember that Saturn is testing your patience, your staying power and your ability to discern what’s essential in your life from what is not, often prompting a restructuring, a new order in that domain of life.
SATURN RX- DON’T:
- let yourself brought down by pessimism, even though life may seem less joyful now
- avoid responsibility
- try to rush things. Saturn likes to take his time
- start a major new project, especially in business
- sign contracts
- try a completely new approach to things
SATURN RX- DO:
- reconsider your work ethic, your definition of responsibility
- accept that you’re the one responsible for your current life circumstances
- stay patient and persevere
- reconsider your routines, your daily schedule if needed; re-organize, restructure
- go back to old ways of doing things or take the advice of someone older/an authority figure
4. Uranus Retrograde: 1 January- 6 January, 12 August- 2019
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are transpersonal planets, so their retrogradation affects us less in a personal way and more on a collective level. Uranus is the planet of change and revolution and it retrogrades 155 days every year. Just like ebb and flow, our lives are made of reflection and change, inner shifts and outer manifestation. Uranus retrograde marks that time of the year when the inner change takes place, either as a result of or as a preparation of external change.
Maybe you’ve been thinking of getting a new job, shaking things up in your relationship or starting a new project. For these intentions to be born, your inner landscape needs to be prepared for them. Inertia has to make a place for a genuine need and desire for change. This is what Uranus retrograde does: it readies us for a future change. Other times, upheavals happen so fast in our lives that we feel like we don’t have enough time to process them. Once Uranus retrogrades, our inner world has some downtime for catching up with what happened.
Uranus is the planet of freedom, so during its retrograde, we’re faced with how we’ve been handling freedom in our lives. If we’ve been too rebellious without any solid reason or cause, Uranus retrograde is a time to take it slower and reconsider what freedom means to us. It’s the same if we’ve been shying away from expressing ourselves authentically- it’s time to prepare internally for making choices that honor our freedom.
When Uranus goes direct again, inner changes can translate into life changes. If you want something in your life to be different and you want it right now, remember to check if Uranus has your back!
5. Neptune Retrograde: 21 June – 27 November
Neptune rules illusion, dreams, deceit, addictions, mental health issues, but also spirituality, compassion, universal love. It’s an essentially introverted, sensitive planet, so when it retrogrades, this sensitivity can either be amped up or untangled through awareness.
Neptune retrogrades period for 160 days every year, marking a time when lies, secrets, beautifully crafted illusions can come to the surface, both on a personal and on a social level. Neptune usually has a difficult time being self-reflective through all his smoke and mirrors, but during his retrograde period, he can make it easier for us to see if we’ve been lying to ourselves, especially when it comes to addictions (food, alcohol, toxic relationships). If we’ve been building a fantasy life, relationship, career, then it’s time to wake up from our trance.
It could be painful as anxiety, guilt, confusion increase, possibly manifesting as psychosomatic issues as well. Of course, that’s only if we’ve been running from ourselves so far that it’s become difficult to find the breadcrumb trail back home. On the bright side, Neptune retrograde can increase softness, sensitivity, compassion and it makes a great time for any kind of spiritual activity, from reading self-development books to practicing astrology, meditation, divination or religious rituals.
6. Pluto retrograde: 24 April – 3 October
The planet farthest away from the Sun, Pluto can be cold, ruthless, secretive and overbearing. Astrology as we know it starts from the Sun, the ego, and ends with Pluto, where the ego either becomes ultra-defensive, controlling and manipulating, either surrendering to a higher power to be undone and reborn from the ashes. For five months every year, Pluto retrogrades, marking a time when our shadow side, our obsessions, our tendency to control others or to let ourselves controlled comes to the surface for reflection and reconstruction.
Events in our lives might ask us to renounce or to alchemize compulsions or obsessions, making us realize that a desire to control things excessively most often comes from insecurity and a fear of being vulnerable. Sometimes it’s easier to let others take the wheel so we elude responsibility, other times find us holding that wheel until we see nothing else around us. Pluto retrograde wants to bring us back to healthy personal power, which is always doubled by an awareness of the things we can’t control.
This brings us to our shadow side: those parts of us that we like to keep hidden under the rug, those parts deemed “wrong” or “evil”. Pluto retrograde brings them to light as well, prompting us to realize how none of us is a saint. That doesn’t mean that we have to let ourselves led by those darker traits; only that they are there, in need of our acceptance and our love, through which they can be transformed.