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“There are few things as powerful as the joy of someone who got a second chance and found their purpose.” Kim Reynolds

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 the personal planets MERCURY, VENUS, MARS, JUPITER & SATURN are moving retrograde in a birth chart they are seen to have a stronger and more direct influence than the outer planets which can spend prolonged periods appearing to move in reverse along their orbits.

Retrograde Planets in Life & in Your Birth Chart

MERCURY Planet of Communication & Information

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.

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 and first American astronaut to orbit the Earth John Glenn
  • singer songwriters Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Lady Gaga.

VENUS Planet of Relationships & Resources

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.

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

MARS Planet of Action & Motivation

When Mars is moving retrograde the implication is that there will be less impulsiveness and more preparation put into taking action. Practising and 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.

When the understanding of exactly how a physical movement or skill should be executed to suit the energy of the individual who is making it, that awareness will be retained and remembered and can be recalled and repeated whenever required. This ability ensures a consistency of action which is hard to beat.

People born with Mars Retrograde should not believe any fatalistic warnings from old-fashioned astrology about how you’re unlikely to get much done if you have this planetary placement in your horoscope. 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.

JUPITER Planet of Growth & Opportunity

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.

People born with Jupiter Retrograde. 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.

SATURN Planet of Status & Ambition

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.

If you were born with Saturn was moving Retrograde 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:

“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


It could be that Retrograde Planets point to situations and circumstances from previous existences which we have decided to re-visit during our current incarnation on Planet Earth. Some astrologers think that Retrogrades are about paying off karmic debt. I prefer to think of them as our Soul’s wish to continue working on from where we left off! Maybe we mastered a skill we would like to perfect, or encountered an experience we wish to explore further. Perhaps we recognised the potential for personal growth in re-living an important life lesson, to see if our understanding could be expanded.

© Pauline Gerosa Astrology Oracle 2021 Images & Text