Retrograde Planets in your Birth Chart

Planets never move backwards in reality but they can appear to do so at times when their orbits interact with Earth’s in a certain way. Astrology looks at what appears to be happening in the sky from a symbolic point of view which is why traditional Astrologers believed that when a planet appears to be moving in reverse, or against its normal direction, then its energies must be doing the same. But now we know that these retrograde “loops” cause beautiful, creative patterns of Cosmic Consciousness. They support our evolutionary process here on Planet Earth.


When Mercury is moving retrograde astrologers expect to see some back-tracking, hitches and glitches in matters to do with information delivery. Mercury is also connected with education, marketing, networking and making links between people and places so it’s sensible to expect about-turns or mis-information in these areas while Mercury appears to be moving backwards. An awareness that you seem to be taking one step forward and two back would tend to crop up during these periods. Mercury’s message is: it’s time to re-think this situation, so that you can see it more clearly. The good news is Mercury Retrograde periods are perfect for retrospective thinking and can be used to re-form opinions, revise ideas and re-connect dots that appear to have drifted apart.

MERCURY WAS MOVING RETROGRADE WHEN YOU WERE BORN People born with Mercury Retrograde might appear slower than others at coping with fast-paced learning but they are excellent at digesting facts and re-introducing them in a more imaginative form. You process information retrospectively and you prefer to review and revise any data you’ve been given. There could be a strong element of right brain (creative, artistic, intuitive) influence on your thought patterns.

Here are some famous examples of highly successful people born with Mercury Retrograde: entrepreneur and inventor Steve Jobs, first man in space and the first human to orbit the Earth Yuri Gagarin & first American astronaut to orbit the Earth John Glenn, singer songwriters Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Lady Gaga. But perhaps Mercury Retrograde is not the best placement for aspiring female politicians as both Hillary Clinton & Theresa May have it in their birthcharts!


When Venus moves retrograde there’s cause to reflect on situations involving our interactions with other people and with the use of our tangible talents and abilities. Relationships help us to become more tolerant of others by allowing us to understand and accept that there are ways of seeing the world that might disagree with ours. The successful development of the resources we were born with requires patience and determination to make the most of our talents & abilities. Material and financial wealth are worthless without a sense of gratitude for what Lady Luck has given us to enjoy and to share with others. Good fortune that comes too easily can be under-valued and the retrograde movement of Venus persuades us to appreciate our blessings, even when they come in disguise, or not quickly enough.

VENUS WAS MOVING RETROGRADE WHEN YOU WERE BORN People born with Venus Retrograde might take longer to chose who to partner up with and what to do with their talents. It is likely that they will wish to be absolutely fair and just in their dealings with others and they’d rather agree than argue. If that’s not possible, they may choose to stay away from relationships, or at least to retreat from them until they feel ready to try again. They admire craftsmanship and they’ll prefer to put their abilities to use in ways that demonstrate loyalty and commitment to their art rather than display results they don’t value. For this reason, there could be an ebb and flow in their engagement with their own creativity.

There is a dark side to this planetary pattern which can create narcissistic, self-obsessive tendencies – Adolf Hitler is an extreme example. There can also be complex problems similar to those which plagued Amy Whitehouse who appeared to not to esteem either herself or her remarkable talents. Other talented names born with Venus retrograde include: Audrey Hepburn, Mariah Carey, Kate Moss, Jodie Foster, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert DeNiro, Julio Iglesias, Jack Nicholson


When Mars is moving retrograde the implication is that there will be less impulsiveness and more preparation put into taking action. Practising & rehearsing for attaining goals becomes more important than ever as precision and focus are the magic ingredients without which effort is wasted. Self-motivation becomes the true driving force as there may be a lack of other factors to encourage achievement.

MARS WAS MOVING RETROGRADE WHEN YOU WERE BORN Please don’t believe any fatalistic warnings from old-fashioned astrology about how you’re unlikely to get much done if you were born with this planetary placement. World champion athletes Michael Jordan (basketball) and Billie Jean King (tennis) were born with Mars retrograde. And how about Mikhail Baryshnikov, the famous Russian ballet dancer who combined strength and grace in his spellbinding performances? If you read their biographies you’ll probably find that they worked hard, with persistence and determination, to develop personal strengths and overcome any weaknesses that threatened to hold them back from gaining their goals.


Life can appear less optimistic when Jupiter is moving Retrograde. Hopes that seemed to be in sight can start to fade and opportunities for expansion begin to disappear. Actually, these periods teach us to have faith. We are learning that when one door closes, another one opens. We also start to understand the true nature of our life experience. We didn’t come to Planet Earth for an easy ride – to grow fat, lazy and arrogant, or to exploit others. We are here to grow in wisdom and to develop our existing levels of knowledge and experience.

JUPITER WAS MOVING RETROGRADE WHEN YOU WERE BORN You could doubt your ability to rise to the occasion or to make the most of any opportunities that come your way. You may not recognise that you have a knack for being in the right place at the right time with the right thing. There could be a tendency for you to lack faith in the protection and guidance that is yours for the asking so that your life journey – however enthralling or exciting – seems lonely and unrequited in some way.

If you think about the lives of three famous names who were born with Jupiter Retrograde – Elton John, Steve Jobs and Donald Trump – whatever you think of them, you cannot deny that they have all had extremely interesting life stories. Each in his way has been a pioneer, treading his own path on his own terms. Yet there’s a sense of restless longing, of something yet to be discovered or accomplished. Standing still is never an option with this planetary placement.


Resentment of discipline or fear of reprisal can come up when Saturn is moving Retrograde. We tend to worry more about being oppressed by our responsibilities and therefore we try to avoid them. But our obligations never go away, they just wait for us to catch up with them again. This planetary placement can manifest as a “chip on the shoulder”, making us judge or compare ourselves with those we perceive to have more success or higher status than we do.

The UK “Brexit” vote, which has Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, suggests that there may have been a sense of envy towards European countries, their cultures and living standards within sections of the British electorate. At the same time there was a reluctance to put effort into matching those standards. It was easier to resent the authority of the EU and blame it for the UK’s failure to maintain ambitious levels of achievement for itself. Also, the Brexiter’s obsession with being overrun by foreign migrants could well be a symptom of their collective karmic guilt for having made Britain “great” by exploiting other nations and their fear that those nations will, in turn, exploit them.

SATURN WAS MOVING RETROGRADE WHEN YOU WERE BORN You could have a tendency to prioritise your fears about life and you may doubt your ability to attain your goals. You might judge yourself quite harshly, withholding praise even when you richly deserve it. This lack of self-belief makes it more difficult to achieve your ambitions and the effort involved in overcoming this obstacle can seem impossibly hard. There’s an expectation that you’ll fail, so why bother to try? You just have to remember that: “The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.” Roy T. Bennett

Page Header Image of Mars in Retrograde Motion by Socrates Linardos / CC BY-SA (

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