Retrogrades through the end of 2023

August begins to see a pileup of retrograde planets, a trend that continues through September. Mercury and Uranus add to the mix at the end of this month, and we will be doing everything in our power to stay organized. If you’re patient with possible delays or mix-ups, this could be a good time to take a break from your regular routine. But no matter what you do it won’t be ‘business as usual’. 

September is full of restriction, delays, frustrations and irritation as only Mars is moving directly in the sky. Jupiter retrogrades for the rest of the year. Mercury and Venus move direct early in the month, but will need time to clear their shadows before things feel normal again. 

Pluto moves direct in October and curious events may pop up on the world stage, as it tries to take advantage of these last few months in Capricorn. Two eclipses in October in Venus-led signs Libra and Taurus will clearly show us our values and how to set boundaries around them. 

We will all welcome November, as chaotic eclipses and retrogrades are mostly behind us. Saturn stations direct in Pisces and this month we will be putting the puzzle pieces of life back into place. Just know the picture may look different than it did at the beginning of the year. 

Neptune and Jupiter join nearly every other planet in direct motion in December, but Mercury Retrograde will put a damper on holiday spirits. Buy your gifts early and you won’t be disappointed! We head into the New Year with some regret over what we couldn’t accomplish this year, but with fresh ideas to take aim at in 2024! 

Venus Retrograde: July 22-September 3, 2023

Venus is the planet of relationships, beauty, and love. Venus may be dominant in your chart if you are a romantic. Venus is the goddess of creativity and virtue. This feminine planet is all about joy and tranquility, and she brings abundance to everything she touches. 

We haven’t seen Venus Retrograde since January 2022, which has helped relationships and self-love to stay on track since. Unfortunately, 2023 sees the planet backtrack through Leo at the tail end of summer – and no one is more irritated by this news than Leo. 

Leo brings a larger-than-life attitude to the zodiac, and will less than pleased to host the sign of beauty and love in a retrograde phase. Leos are frequently known for their perfectly coiffed manes, and Venus Retrograde will simply not jive with trying a new hairstyle or even makeup trend during this period. Not to mention this occurs over the lifecycle of Leo’s birthday – if you’ve never heard your lion friends roar, the claws may come out now.

All signs will feel this, however, whether you have strong Leo placements or not. Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun, and much like Mercury, has a great personal effect on each of us. Just like Mercury Retrograde is not a time to sign contracts, Venus Retrograde is not a time to get married, try a new beauty routine, or even start a new business partnership. It is a good time, however, for vow renewals, bringing back an old trend, or possibly even giving your ex the benefit of the doubt. 

The good news is that once this retrograde period is over, we have smooth sailing for Venus until March 2025 as Venus Retrograde only occurs every 19 months.  

Mercury Retrograde: August 23-September 15, 2023 and December 13, 2023-January 1, 2024

Mercury is our planet of communication, technology, and short travel. It rules over our mind and intellect. At its best, Mercury is imaginative and clever – even humorous! At its detriment Mercury is scattered, confused and incapable of connecting ideas. 

Mercury is associated with the Greek God Hermes, the sandal-winged messenger. He ensures that we are always in touch with one another by communicating information with clarity and precision. Mercury is best seen as the conduit that carries wisdom and knowledge to us from the higher levels.

Mercury moves nearly as fast as the sun itself – always staying within two signs of our solar star – so you can be sure it’s doing its best to share knowledge from the Sun, which rules over the soul. 

Mercury can be fickle and unstable. This is where Mercury Retrograde comes into play, moving backward through the zodiac for three weeks at a time, three to four times a year. Because 2023’s first Mercury Retrograde period begain in December 2022, we will see a fourth Mercury Retrograde at the tail end of the year. 

The (mostly) good news is that three of the four retrogrades occur in a singular sign. While this heightens the intensity into one are of our charts and has a tendency to affect those signs more strongly, it’s far easier than the dual-signed retrogrades we experienced in 2022. 

When Mercury retrogrades through two signs, it has a greater effect across the zodiac, including vastly different energetic shifts in the middle of an already chaotic period. We will see this occur with the final retrograde of 2023, when Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn shifts back into Sagittarius on January 1, 2024. 

In the meantime, we can focus on the Earth signs of the zodiac, as they are the target of this year’s Mercury Retrogrades. This may feel like familiar territory, as we also saw Mercury Retrograde partially through each of these signs in 2022. This is going to lead to a heavier feel for 2023, as we are either ‘grounded’ – aka stuck – or can’t seem to get traction under our feet during these periods. 

Capricorn particularly has felt the brunt of Mercury Retrograde the past couple of years. By the time December 2023 rolls around, Capricorn will have hosted Mercury Retrograde a whopping four times in two years! Hold on tight, Cap – once Mercury moves on to Sagittarius 2024, we will be free of this energy in earth signs until 2029!

Uranus Retrograde: August 24, 2023-January 22, 2024

Uranus is our planet of the future, always looking far ahead and coming up with new, compelling, and surprising ideas. Uranus encourages us to be open to new ways of thinking, doing, and being. It’s a generational planet because it stays in one sign for so long, and we find kinship in how we want to change the world among those with the same natal placement. 

This innovative planet has been in Taurus since 2018, and will continue its stay until 2026. Taurus is our steadfast sign of conservation and growth, but is not so open to new ideas. You can see how that might create some tension! In fact, this period is often known for economic upheaval, and we have already seen many ups and downs since 2018. 

As Taurus oversees finances, we are already seeing some of Uranus’ innovative effects in this sign, such as Bitcoin and NFTs. The market for these new financial tools has been unsteady, but this relatively new idea is taking off, and those who have already jumped on board are benefiting greatly. By the time Uranus exits Taurus, you can assume that these will be extremely mainstream. 

While Uranus stays in this sign, Taureans themselves (and those with prominent Taurus placements) are being asked to try new things, and get out of their comfort zones. Utilize this rare genius as much as possible, even when it feels like you’re going against your own grain. 

Similarly to 2022, Uranus began 2023 retrograde for the first 22 days of the year, and returns retrograde at the end of August. Uranus Retrogrades force us to find the revolution within. When Uranus returns to a direct motion, you may see yourself in an unexpected light or tap into your individuality in a way that helps you shine within your community. 

Neptune Retrograde: June 30 – December 6, 2023 in Pisces

Having Neptune in Pisces, the sign it controls, is a great blessing. Neptune entered Pisces in 2012 and will remain there through 2026. Neptune is a generational planet that also supports our spirituality and compassion for others. Those born in the years surrounding our birth share many of our views on these issues. We now have a chance to use our imagination to its fullest potential because Neptune also rules the dreamworld. 

Every year, Neptune retrogrades for 158 days, giving us a chance to bring the unconscious into consciousness. The second half of 2023 will be spent integrating what we thought about and imagined during the first half. We come to terms with our mental potential and reach out to the core of our beings. 

Saturn Retrograde: June 17-November 4, 2023 in Pisces

Saturn is our planetary task-masker, the one who makes sure we’re staying in line and receiving the consequences of our choices. Responsibility and maturity are required when Saturn aspects your chart. Saturn doesn’t come to play – he comes to make sure your hard work is well spent and goals are achieved. 

Saturn spends around 2.5 years in each sign, and has been plodding along in Aquarius since December 2020, where it has doled out its lessons on community and our need to work together. It also highlighted the cracks in the foundation of friendship, love, and work, and forces us to make changes that would benefit us the most. 

This year, Saturn will shift into heady Pisces, a difficult placement for the ringed planet. After all, it’s hard to rein in spirituality, cosmic consciousness, and the arts – topics that seemingly know no bounds. But orderly Saturn says otherwise, and wants to create some healthy boundaries in the sign of illusion. 

Fighting this energy could lead to self-destruction or extreme vulnerability for some. It could place structure for others who are used to living a more free-flowing life, and it may not be a welcome change. Still others will realize a new consciousness, evolving through the mass conspiracy theories and media distortions, and discovering how to put their innate talents to good use. 

The last time Saturn was in Pisces was between May 1993 and April 1996. Think back to this era as it will now repeat its lessons in similar ways. Those born between those years will experience their first Saturn Return, and with restrictions, shifts and higher calling that comes along with it. Saturn will remain in Pisces until February 2026. 

Saturn Retrogrades yearly, giving us somewhat of a reprieve from the stern and authoritative planet. We won’t be learning any new lessons when Saturn moves retrograde, but we will need to take a look at what we’ve learned recently and how to incorporate this newfound knowledge and wisdom into our lives. 

Focus this period on the shift from Saturn in Aquarius to Saturn in Pisces: what has changed? What feels different in your life? These first few degrees of Pisces will show us more of what to expect in the coming years. Once the planet moves direct, new lessons are in store. 

Pluto Retrograde: May 1-October 10, 2023 in Aquarius

Once again, we save the biggest news for the final planet of the zodiac. Throughout 2022, Pluto has returned to the exact degree at which it stood when the United States was ‘birthed,’ or signed into Independence. This occurred three times last year, and laid the groundwork for a shift within the country’s democracy. 

In 2023, we will see the continuation of this shift for the US, as well as a global shift due to Pluto. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, birthing an entire generation (Gen Alpha) that will help tear down outmoded forms of government and ruling structures to rebuild them for the betterment of humanity. 

Now, Pluto moves into Aquarius for the first time in 248 years. This will birth a new generation that will be incredibly innovative, idealistic, and humanitarian. Co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus, these Pluto Aquarians will acknowledge the rules, but not necessarily play by them, especially if it can benefit everyone. Pluto will remain here until 2044, so we will experience a slow shift over time. 

In fact, Pluto won’t spend all of 2023 in Aquarius. We’re just getting a taste of what Pluto has to offer in this sign. Pluto is our planet of transformation, ruling over death and rebirth. Since its discovery in 1930 it has been linked to Scorpio, which was originally ruled by Mars. But we can see the Scorpio themes through its inherent power in the zodiac – perhaps the most powerful planet of them all, as it metamorphasizes everything it touches. 

Pluto will retrograde back into Capricorn mid-year, allowing any final transformations to take place under the Saturn-ruled sign. Capricorn rules status, purpose and even the patriarchy. Any remaining strongholds in this arena will surely transmute thanks to Pluto before it moves into Aquarius for good in 2024. When Pluto is retrograde, we can expect inner transformation to take place, and we grapple with some of the tougher topics of life, including finances, sex, death and the afterlife. Find inner strength and resilience during these periods. 

Information from 2023 Planetary Preview Workbook by Writual (www.writualplanner.com)

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