Anyone else feeling overwhelmed lately, and wondering what the heck is going on?!
*Grab a tea, because this ones a long but worthwhile read!*
Well, as of September 27th, we’ll be entering into the Mercury Retrograde transit in the sign of Libra. Which also brings us into the seventh planet in retrograde this year! No wonder why 2021 has already been one for the history books.
But don’t panic! Retrogrades can be great opportunities to embrace introspection, healing, and growth.
Before we get into discussing each retrograde, let’s take a moment to understand what the term “retrograde” actually means:
The term retrograde comes from the Latin word “retrogradus”, which means “to take a backward step.”
Retrogrades happen as Earth is passing, or being passed by other planets in what appears to be a backward or slowed down motion. A planet seemingly moving backward is an illusion though, as planets always revolve around the sun in the same direction. The appearance of retrograde motion occurs because of the relative difference in speed the planets orbit at. It's like when you're sitting at a stop light and the car next to you speeds off unexpectedly— you may then have a temporary feeling or perception of moving backward. Similarly, it's when planets are at their closest approach to Earth, that apparent retrograde motion occurs. Retrograde motion is caused by an illusory side-effect of planetary proximity.
Just as each planet appears to stop and move backwards on its cosmic path during a retrograde, we're being asked to do the same thing within our own lives. It's a time to press "pause" on our lives, as many of us are way too caught up in busy schedules. Each retrograding planet's jurisdiction of influence, will cause us to slowly review the path we've been on to re-evaluate and find better solutions.
During retrogrades, any issues that we've tried to suppress are most likely to come to the surface, pressuring us to deal with them whether we'd like to or not. Even issues that we thought were already dealt with and packed away (or information and feelings surrounding them) could trigger us again in some way, requiring us to come to new resolutions for healing and growth.
Retrogrades are also connected with karmic events in life, so we may find that the universe does a little bit of redirecting and adjustments for us on our current paths. This is why we have a tendency to experience blockages on our plans, run into issues within relationships, or face personal crises and confusion during these periods. You can think of these struggles as the planets' way of reminding you toward doing the necessary retrograde work, rather than continue to wander around lost without properly taking in these cosmic lessons to guide you.
So, as we were saying, there will be seven retrogrades this month. Although that number sounds ridiculously high, there’s no reason to freak out. After all, the majority of these retrogrades involve outer planets, and in astrology, outer planets are already retrograde nearly half of the year, which makes the impact of their retrogrades less noticeable (at least at first). Also the outer planets deal more with long term themes of our life, even their retrograde transits are longer, giving us more time to reflect on the lesson themes. Whereas the inner planets affect more of our daily routines, thoughts, and actions. Which is why the effects of the inner planet retrogrades are felt more noticeably, as they are much shorter and faster transits too. So it’s like major abrupt sudden changes to interject and cause us to force a pause on everything to realign with our highest selves and paths.
We’re going to start with discussing the influences of the furthest planets, work our way inwards, and then end with an overall summary. Want to know how these planetary retrogrades affect you personally? Here are some suggestions: Look at what sign each planet is in your chart, it’s aspects with other planets, and what house the planet it shows up in. Sound confusing? Feel free to book a one on one session with our astrologer Alexandra Blaauw to do so for you, or book an intuitive guidance session with our spiritual practitioner Allison Shaw.
In Retrograde in the sign of Capricorn from April 27th - October 6th 2021
Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As God of the Underworld, Pluto can help to bring our deepest and most buried compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution. Pluto is also the ruler of the sign Scorpio.
On the lighter side, Pluto is associated with renewal and rebirth. It represents endings and new beginnings, as well as spiritual growth and rebirth on a soul level of transformation. Where we find Pluto in the chart is where we either seek change and transformation, or have it thrust upon us if we refuse to accept our deepest needs.
Pluto is the planet of transformation, and this small but mighty celestial force has the power to catalyze intense and deep-rooted changes within ourselves and the world at large. Pluto transits bring up issues related to the hidden energies of our subconscious mind — so during Pluto retrograde periods, we have a chance to dive beneath the surface and start examining our psyches on a deeper level. Because Pluto is a slow-moving generational planet, it often has an equally profound effect on the collective in addition to our personal lives, so the retrograde could also have us taking a long, hard look at some of the power dynamics, control issues, and structural shifts taking place within our society as a whole (which in 2021 I’m sure we all can agree we are experiencing a lot of).
This year, Pluto will retrograde through the hardworking and no-nonsense Earth sign of Capricorn, which gives the planet an even more stern and diligent approach. Since Pluto is in Capricorn, we are dealing with matters specifically involving business, commerce, structures and foundation, patriarchal constructs, karma, and stability, both on the individual and collective level. We are being asked to evaluate how these themes play an influence on our inner selves, and as a collective. While playing our part to majorly transform what needs to be evolved.
In Retrograde in the sign of Pisces from June 20th - December 1st 2021
Neptune is the ruler of the sign Pisces.
Neptune, associated with universal love, is said to be the higher octave of Venus, which rules individual love. Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. Therefore, Neptune is highly compassionate, idealistic, and imaginative. It is considered a planet of inspiration, dreams, and psychic receptivity. Neptune rules spirituality, and all things subtle. The negative aspects of Neptune include deception, trickery, deceit, guilt, escapism, or even media and fantasy (which I’m sure many of us can identify where we’re seeing a lot of these themes in 2021). Its position in a person's chart would indicate both where there may be confusion or illusion, and also great creativity in the artistic fields.
Being the Master of Illusion means Neptune's effects are subtle, and even sneaky. When direct, Neptune will put a veil over our eyes, which sometimes helps us hide anxieties and unwanted realities. Once it is retrograde, Neptune loses its powers, and this illusion is slowly but surely stripped away; sometimes leaving us face-to-face with a harsh and painful reality. I’m sure we can all agree 2020 - 2021, has felt like non-stop bombardment of overwhelming and disheartening news. The rose-colored filters are gone, and we must face reality if it is going to be improved upon.
But ultimately, Neptune retrograde can help us find deeper meaning, not only in our dreams, but also in our entire existence.
Neptune retrograding in its ruling sign of Pisces, will enhance both spirituality and delusions simultaneously. So it’s important for us to tune into our intuition and focus on the highest truths. On an inner level, there is a great deal of psychological and spiritual transformation being called to us. You may experience new spiritual dimensions, and come into contact with hidden spiritual gifts during this time.
Neptune Retrograde is associated with stripping away illusions, dreams and any realities which have clouded your vision. Which as a result, may help to increase your intuitive and psychic abilities.This is a time all about taking the rose-tinted glasses off and facing our realities. Which can be extremely frightening and overwhelming for some, as we begin to realize how much suffering exists around us as well as inside us. But, as there is a mass awakening and ascension happening, a lot of our DNA and spiritual abilities are being activated, we are being given the tools to heal not just ourselves but those around us, and the Earth.
It is important to use our empathy during this time to focus on how healing towards being our higher selves, can serve towards a greater cause of helping the collective heal as well.
Chiron Retrograde in the sign of Aries from July 15th to December 19th 2021
Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid', which has shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek mythology who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may be in service to a higher practicality.
The Chiron 5-month retrograde phase is a critical time of year in which we are being asked to pay attention to our own healing journey. We can no longer ignore problems that we’ve been merely tolerating. It is time to pay attention to what caused them, and then fix them once and for all. Chiron not only shows us our wounds, Chiron also brings us the tools and methods to either heal and/or accept them for what they are. And that will be our job for the next 5 months of this Chironic journey: to go within, discover the wounds that are undermining our well-being, seek out the remedy, and apply it. It’s a journey about self-healing.
Therefore, may we allow Chiron to lead us towards our own healing journey, that we may be a light for others to follow.
With Chiron in Aries there are opportunities for humanity to grow in understanding of its deepest and most hidden traumas, especially those affecting the assertion of self in a higher way or in dealing with challenging feelings regarding our own self-acceptance. The level of progress that is possible now through individual action in concert with societal needs is extraordinary. We are all being tested and pushed on our boundaries and values more than ever, whether individually or as a collective. So Chiron is here to ask us what exactly we’re going to do about it in response, then once we answer, guide the way into doing so.
Uranus Retrograde in the sign of Taurus from August 19th 2021 to January 18th, 2022
The planet Uranus rules Aquarius. It is known as the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change, and the ability to visualize new possibilities. In its astrological symbolism Uranus typically defies and rebels from tradition and embraces change and originality. It is also associated with the coming Age of Aquarius. Uranus also rules the Internet, technological advancement, and mental studies. It’s position in your chart indicates the area of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.
With Uranus transits, we are reminded that change is inevitable, so might as well choose to evolve with it’s pace rather than suffer by resisting.
Without Uranus' unpredictable ways, many of us would settle deeply into our most familiar ruts and become stagnant. Uranus pushes us past our comfort zones, and further still—it is at these boundaries, somewhere between order and chaos, where genius and creativity thrive in the unknown.
More positively, Uranus acts as an awakener and catalyst of change. It brings us to face those things which we may intuitively know already, but struggle to confront. These wake-up calls, which are often brutally timed, may force us to let go of parts of our ego-identities which hold us back from evolving.
Uranus is the planet of revolution, sudden change and visionary progress, and spends about seven years in each sign. With Uranus in Taurus there is innovative energy to be put into practical application. It’s great to discuss changes and ideas, but this is an impatient planet that wants us to walk the walk and apply action!
There can be sudden changes in finances and values for the society as a whole during this transit (which I’m sure we can agree there’s been many drastic changes to the economy), and once made, they will be long lasting. Great progress can be achieved as revolutionary approaches to saving the planet and it’s natural resources are prioritized. This is a natural fit with the growing movement for conserving the Earth's resources and how many environmental issues we are trying to correct. The goal during this time is to evaluate how we can make our living situations on Earth more sustainable for every living being, finding new solutions and often even completely new structures and systems to do so. So we’re being asked to reflect on how we play both an individual and collective role to these themes.
Saturn is Retrograde in the sign of Aquarius from May 23rd to October 10th 2021.
Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn and traditionally Aquarius as well, and is the planet of limitation and restriction. This can include themes of responsibility such as self-discipline, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. While Jupiter represents expansion, Saturn influences setting parameters and restrictions. It brings structure and meaning to the world around us, and reminds us of our responsibilities and commitments. Because of this, Saturn is frequently associated with our Fathers, or other authority figures. While discipline isn't always easy or pleasant, it can sometimes help us grow. Embracing and understanding the challenges of the responsibilities in our lives, helps us to improve ourselves out of the foundation of structure and consistent work effort.
During Saturn Retrogrades, boundaries and limiting powers are actually enhanced—often bringing outdated lessons and reality checks into our awareness. Saturn is also known as “the Lord of Karma”, and when it retrogrades, karmic debts are being asked to be cleared by completing the lessons involved. As a fair and wise teacher, Saturn retrograde will bring rewards our way—especially if real efforts were made during the time it was direct.
Similar to all retrograde transits, Saturn's retrograde periods are excellent for reviewing what we have learned thus far from Saturn's transits with a view to continuous improvement and the continued effort to put in. Saturn retrograde periods are also ideal for revisiting form or structure and understanding how something may best be built to stand the test of time. Which we are seeing a lot of influence within global political structures around the world, in response to the pandemic or other major societal issues.
With Saturn in Aquarius there is an ability to focus with intensity on one's greatest visionary goals and aspirations. Group associations and friendships are likely to be examined with greater discrimination now and the realization could be made to us, that some of these are no longer worth holding onto. It’s time to align with our higher selves and surround ourselves with those who resonate. It’s time to collaborate and find our soul tribes, and people who will help us work together towards greater causes in the world. There is also an urge to break through the restrictions of the past and create new and more appropriate structures. So we are being asked to focus on the visions of our highest selves, and align with those who also support similar causes. It will take a global village to repair broken or outdated structures and our systems for a better future for us all.
Jupiter is retrograde in the sign of Aquarius from June 20th to October 18th 2021
Traditionally Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces.
In astrology, Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism, hope, and morality. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn), and the aspirations of the higher self. This could include a sense of humor, good will, or mercy. As for negative traits, Jupiter can also be associated with irresponsibility in the form of blind optimism and overindulgence. Its position in the chart indicates how one's faith, generosity, and tolerance will be expressed, as well as what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence and wisdom.
Jupiter's retrograde marks a period of profound inner growth. It is a chance to reconnect and realign with one's inner moral compass, inner truth, our values, our spiritual or religious beliefs, and greater, expansive consciousness—the source within us all. This manifests as a process and period of intense spiritual and philosophical growth.
Jupiter's retrograde will often also bring detours and chances for course corrections along our individual life paths. This is a retrospective time and journey, in which the purpose is to look at the big picture, where we’re headed, and re-align if we've strayed off course.
There's a sense of deep restoration or reaffirming of one's faith—in oneself, in the larger world, and in a greater invisible force that governs the laws of the universe and existence.
This marks a time to enter the inner journey of self-realization with greater awareness. Only then can there be a true discovery of one's gifts, and a greater appreciation for this gift of life.
Jupiter is the seeker. The retrograde phase suggests that what we seek is within ourselves.
With Jupiter in Aquarius, and especially in the beginning of this one-year period, it's time to think outside the box and break away from outworn rules. Aside from evaluating our own individual contribution to the global collective and consciousness, the focus is also on how collective humanitarian efforts will bring good fortune for us all. How can we each contribute our own individual gifts and abilities to a greater cause? There is an expansion of visionary and idealistic goals right now, and an increased ability to make a dream come true for yourself and others. Think about your associations and the work you can do with others to achieve common goals for betterment of a bigger picture. This is very relevant for 2021 as there have been more collective discussions on rebuilding society’s existing structures for the betterment of us all, or ways to create new more environmentally and spiritually conscious communities.
Mercury is retrograde in the sign of Libra from September 27th to October 18th 2021
Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, and also Virgo.Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence and communication. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where learning techniques and skills are available to you.
Mercury retrograde, which occurs three times a year for about three weeks each time, is interpreted particularly strongly. Mental pursuits and connections break down. The Mercury retrograde period is best used as a time for inner reflection. It is not a good time for making new decisions or new business plans, but it is ideal for reflecting on your current situation. It is best to quietly observe your inner process during Mercury retrograde, and to carry forward with your pre existing plans. Ask yourself: Where am I heading in my life at this particulartime? Then try to move forward with new directions only after Mercury has gone direct.
With Mercury moving backward through Libra, the sign of the scales of justice, we can expect to be pushed to review and re-evaluate our understanding of balance and how fairly (or not) we’ve treated other people. This may be a time where you experience a lot of interpersonal conflict. Confusion and misunderstandings are more common during this time, so it’s best to avoid arguments. However if arguments do occur, especially if they’re over reoccurring themes, it’s an opportunity to look at what hasn’t been healed that’s still causing these triggers.
Mercury retrograde in Libra can help recalibrate your relationship with old issues to bring about greater resolution. Since Libra is an air sign, the focus is on remaining flexible and agile while navigating through relational dynamics, gaining awareness on adjustments that need to be made.
Because Libra is about our interpersonal connections to others, this retrograde period is about re-evaluating the relationships in our lives. In fact, Mercury Retrograde could cause someone from your past to re-evaluate their relationship with you, so don't be surprised if you suddenly hear from a former flame you haven't talked to in a while. Just keep in mind that if someone is from your past, they are there for a reason.
Mercury Retrograde in Libra could cause you to question yourself in just about any love situation or love dilemma you're facing. Are you truly ready to commit to someone? Is your partner really the right person for you? Are you ready to take the next big step in your relationship? Regardless of what's going on, it's best to wait until Mercury turns direct to answer any of these questions.
Communicating with clarity may be a problem (especially for those most affected by Mercury in their birth chart Gemini and Virgo placements) and it might feel as if you and another person cannot get on the same page, no matter how hard you try. Try to keep things in perspective -- these miscommunications won't last forever and soon you will achieve clarity.
Overall this is a time for more rest, introspection, re-evaluation and planning ahead for where you want to continue on your journey back to your higher self.
Phew, so no wonder 2021 has been a rollercoaster ride!
But what these annual retrograde phases are here to offer us are: the tools and wisdom to complete outstanding lessons, that will help us evolve and travel through our journeys with more ease in the long term. This also helps us to better process, assimilate and make sense of the outer world and our role in it, as well as what our gifts and individual abilities are that we are capable of contributing to greater causes than just those within our own individual lives.
These annual retrograde phases are essential for our own internal growth. They also help us to put things on pause to do some healing work before we prepare for when the planets will be direct again, for when the speed of our lives drastically picks up again. Retrogrades remind us of the importance of practicing mindfulness and being present.
So just remember, retrogrades aren’t meant to be scary and cause us suffering. We were not put on this Earth to suffer. Abundance, love, and joy are overflowing and waiting for all those who seek it and allow themselves to be open to receive. Retrogrades are time periods where we are asked to look at the blockages and wounds we still need healing in order to do so. Or to evaluate the world on a collective perspective of where we can help alleviate suffering or injustice done towards others, for us all to continue striving for universal love and oneness.
Remember, your guides, and all the divine tools you need are always with you. Sometimes we just misinterpret what’s actually meant to help us, especially when it feels challenging to do so. Or are resistant towards doing the work ourselves. But help is always here, and we at 808 Co are happy to offer any healing or educational services we can to assist your journey as well.
Sending love and healing energy to you all.
- The 808 Co Family.
Alexandra Blauuw is as an Astrologist dedicated to helping you understand your birth chart with its planetary and house placements. To book a session with her hit this link!