Planetary retrogrades typically inspire all kinds of despair, but really, they are nothing to fear. Retrogrades are a great time to slow down and re-assess recent decisions, process old dilemmas with fresh insight or revisit an old dream! Of course, the planet that is retrograde will have an impact on the themes that play out and the house of your natal chart where the retrograde is happening will determine which areas of your life you will experience the energies most.
We begin April with two retrogrades already in progress, Venus Rx and Jupiter Rx. Later in the month, Mercury, Saturn and Pluto will be joining in on the Retro fun.
Also, even though Venus goes direct on April 15, she doesn’t clear her shadow until mid May, so we will still be integrating the lessons of this Venus Retrograde through the end of the month!
So, because it would be unrealistic to hide out the entire month (or anytime there is a planetary retrograde, for that matter...) here is a breakdown and some tips for surviving the energies!
This Venus Retrograde occurs from 13* Aries through 26* Pisces. Venus entered her shadow on Jan 30, began her retrograde on March 6 and will go direct on April 15. She clears the shadow on May 19. Aries issues will likely center around self-love. She then retreats on April 2 back into the sign of Pisces--where we hold our lofty ideals -- so expect your personal values to be put to the test!
Venus, of course, is the planet of love -- how we love, who we love and how we love to be loved. But first and foremost, Venus symbolizes our values. Where Venus appears in your natal chart will tell you what your soul values in this lifetime and needs to feel fulfilled.
During times of Venus Rx, we are called to reflect on our values and the people, things and ideas that we love (or don’t love.) A time to re-evaluate why we do what we do, love whom we love, manifest the things we manifest. At the core of it all, Venus answers “The Big Why?”
So, if you are living out of harmony with your personal values, your retrograde experience will likely return to you: past lovers; commitments of the heart; issues around your possessions; self love issues; relationship issues; personal values. The retrograde is a good time to lean into your heart and tie up loose ends in any of these areas.
If you are living in harmony with your heart, then a retrograde experience will present opportunities to test your personal values. The advice here is to “proceed with caution.” Don’t get swept away by currents of emotion, but take it slow and enjoy the experiences. If you meet someone new and exciting, don’t commit to a longterm relationship until Venus clears her shadow.
You might experience a set-back related to your place of residence (Venus rules the home, er where the heart is…) Don’t freak out, but use the energy to get really clear on what you need in a home, where you long to live and keep a positive outlook on manifesting your dream home.
Venus retrograde asks you to reconsider your finances -- how do you make money? Do you have a savings account? Do you invest your money, or do you spend your money on quality items that seem like a good investment? What debts do you owe? Do you pay your bills on time? Do you have a plan to get out of debt? Now is the time to tackle this project with love.
You might also reconsider your personal style. Have you been meaning to clean out your closet and donate your ill-fitting clothing to charity? Now is a great time to do that, and start pinning looks you like on your pinterest boards. When Venus clears her shadow, with the money you’ve found from your new budget and the ideas you’ve pinned, you will definitely enjoy the shopping experience.
Your values might be tested. In this political climate, it’s not unusual anymore to be called to stand for what you believe in. Feminism, equality, water rights, human rights and even matters of the arts and humanities are being called into question right now! It’s as if everything is up for the test. Stand firm. Stand your ground. Venus Retrograde wants to test these boundaries to see how strong you really are.
Venus is associated with Taurus and Libra and rules the 2nd and 7th houses. To see how this retrograde will affect you personally, you can look up the houses in your natal chart where where 13* Aries - 26* Pisces reside. The themes related to those houses, as well as any planets in your natal chart transited or aspected by Venus during this time, will be at the forefront.
Jupiter began its retrograde in February 6. This retrograde is long term (ends June 9) and will be hanging out between the degrees of 19* - 15* Libra during this month.
Along with Saturn, Jupiter is one of two “social planets.” Unlike the personal planets, where a retrograde is a “personal” lesson, when social planets go retrograde, the impact is felt in terms of how we interact with the world. Jupiter loves freedom, likes to expand anything it touches, and is generally good for growth. Jupiter is the perpetual “yes” man. (Saturn is the “no” man...more on that later.)
Jupiter is the sign of luck, a fun loving energy that expands anything it touches. This is usually a good thing, but during a Jupiter retrograde, there is a tendency toward selfishness and greed. In the sign of Libra, the issues here are about partnerships and the precautionary advice is to continue to monitor our selfish needs as it pertains to your relationships.
Jupiter is associated with Sagittarius (and Pisces!) and rules the 9th house. To see how this retrograde will affect you personally, you can look up the houses in your natal chart where where 23*-13* Libra reside. The themes related to those houses, as well as any planets in your natal chart transited or aspected by Jupiter during this time, will be at the forefront.
Mercury retrograde begins April 10 at 4* Taurus through May 4 when it goes direct at 24* Aries.
Mercury Rx starts in the sign of values and when it retreats backwards into Aries, expect flare ups related to matters of your identity (identity theft, technology scams, etc..), your fitness, your desires. Mercury rules communication, travel, commerce and technology. Mercury is knowledge, data and information; travel issues, vehicles, merchants and sales; technology, mobile devices, computers etc… Mercury is the totem for travelers, liars and thieves!
The usual standards apply here: back up your laptop; expect flight delays; don’t sign a contract without crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s! I’d also advise keeping cash on hand and having copies of your passport or gov’t issued ID on hand as a back-up, just in case!
Mercury is associated with both Gemini and Virgo and rules the 3rd and 6th houses. To see how this retrograde will affect you personally, you can look up the houses in your natal chart where where 4* Taurus - 24* Aries reside. The themes related to those houses, as well as any planets in your natal chart transited or aspected by Mercury during this time, will be at the forefront.
Saturn retrograde happens every 12-13 months and lasts for about 4 - 5 months. This retrograde begins on April 6 at 27* Sagittarius through September 25 (at 21* Sag).
Along with Jupiter, Saturn is one of two personal planets. Saturn is the perpetual “No” Man. Saturn is father time, the Karmic Enforcer. Conversely, in Goddess mythology, Saturn has been associated with the Goddess Kali, Hecate and, interestingly, Gaia. In fact, recent discussion posits that in ancient times, Saturn was known as a feminine force.
Saturn retrogrades are not typically malefic (Saturn loves slowing down, after all…), but they are times to re-evaluate the work we are doing. What kind of work still needs to be done? What is actually worth working for?
Saturn retrogrades remind us that our time here is limited, and if we are to do all we must do, we can not say yes to everything.
Saturn wants you to get serious about what really matters (a Saturnian word!) so that you can perform the work you are supposed to do in this lifetime!
As my personal astrologer, Erica Jones who runs the blog "The Real Imaginal" (based on the Saturn/Neptune complex) said, “Saturn wants us to do our best, but not more than our best-- that would be unreal and not true to Saturn. We would never *materialize*.”
If you are living out of harmony, the transit can feel heavvvvvvy. Saturn says no not as a kill-joy, but quite the opposite! Saturn retrograde is where we learn that our yes is worthless if we can’t say no!
This transit is not so much about crossing your t’s or dotting your i’s (like Mercury Rx), but as it is transiting the sign of Sagittarius, it will likely center around boundary issues, reeling in lofty ideals, and since it’s happening in the sign ruled by Jupiter (which is also in Rx), the energies are likely (again) to bring up issues of greed.
Preparation, discernment, maintenance...what needs to be maintained in order to proceed? What can be replaced? To what (or to whom) do you need to say no? What (or whom) is so precious that they absolutely deserve your “yes?” Can you say yes to yourself?
Saturn is associated with Capricorn and rules the 10th house. To see how this retrograde will affect you personally, you can look up the houses in your natal chart where where 27* -21* Sagittarius reside. The themes related to those houses, as well as any planets in your natal chart transited or aspected by Saturn during this time, will be at the forefront.
And finally, the transpersonal planet of Pluto goes retrograde on April 20 at 19* Capricorn.
Pluto has been transiting the sign of Capricorn since 2008, and won’t leave until 2024. Pluto is the great transformer. It rules the regeneration cycles of nature and will sniff out what is rotting in order to completely obliterate it and give it new life.
Pluto is the archetype of power, other people’s money, sex, death, rebirth, the taboo, occult, the hidden. It is intense. It secretly derives pleasure out of making you feel uncomfortable. Pluto is also a sacred witness. Just like the planet (not planet) looks inward as it holds the outer boundary to our solar system, the archetype sees you in all your snot-nose, ugly crying madness and holds space for your greatness to emerge into being. Pluto is associated with past life issues. Transits signify karmic healing opportunities.
Personally, Pluto retrograde starts the process of reinvention. It is a time to go deep within and remember your soul longings. It tasks you to stand in your truth and take back your power. It is the archetype that reminds you of your inherent ability to create life, and asks you to be in control of your own life.
This is a time to reconsider your role in power struggles and control issues. Address your fears of being in control, of where you give up control in your life (to others, addictions, habits, etc…) Time to reflect on personal power, on power over vs. power under.
Pluto Retrograde hates passive aggressive tactics, so a Pluto Rx is a good time to reconsider your role in your "victim" story. That is, are you actually a victim? Or have you given away your power? Are you the abuser or the abused? Are your deepest fears to be in control of your own life? Are you actively creating the life you want or are you handing over the reigns and allowing others to dictate it? Are you taking responsibility for your own actions? Or do you passive-aggressively create chaos in order to experience transformational initiation?
Pluto Rx and Jupiter Rx will square off in April. This planetary complex often expresses as an “obsessive-compulsive” energy, but this month, with all the other forces slowing us down, I suspect these two archetypes will have us addressing issues of greed, corruption, obsessive-compulsiveness --in our own lives, as well as on the world scale.
Pluto retrograde in Capricorn will no doubt shake up our government, institutions, traditions...Pluto will be retracing its path from 19* Cap to 16* Cap, and all issues that have been in the forefront since December 3, 2016 (when Pluto last transited 16* Cap) will be revisited.
Pluto is associated with Scorpio and rules the 8th house. To see how this retrograde will affect you personally, you can look up the houses in your natal chart where where 19*- 16* Capricorn reside. The themes related to those houses, as well as any planets/points in your natal chart transited or aspected by Saturn during this time, will be at the forefront.
My name is Dawn Champine and I am the Creatrix of The Goddess Diaries. I am very passionate about helping women remember their REAL GODDESS selves.