2018 Retrograde

I have had a couple of people ask me about this years retrograde cycles and what they mean for us as we come into the last half of the year, so I thought I would do a post about them. At any given time, we have several planets in retrograde influencing our daily lives. Right now, we have five. This is interesting because July is eclipse season so we have that energy interacting with the retrograde energy as well. 

A retrograde cycle has three stages. The leading edge, which is the slowing down time. It is during this phase that we begin to see and feel the effects of the retrograde. The reversal period which is the time where the planet appeard to be standing still, and the cool down period where the energy drains bringing us back to normal.  

We need to keep in mind is that a retrograde is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, they slow things down and can be inconvenient, but they also give us an amazing opportunity to make changes in our lives that we might be resisting.  If we use them well we can make some real progress in our lives.  

Mercury is the only planet that has multiple retrograde cycles a year. This is, of course, because it is so close to our sun. The further away from the sun we move the length of the cycle grows, meaning we feel the effects longer.  

It takes 88 days for Mercury to complete one trip around the sun. This gives us an average of three to four retrograde cycles a year. Occasionally we have a fifth but that is pretty rare. We have already had one cycle this year. The second has already begun. We entered the leading edge of the second retrograde cycle on July seventh and are probably feeling the effects. The full cycle will be from July 26th to August 19th when it comes direct, with the post cycle energy being completed September second. 

The final Mercury Retrograde begins with the pre-cycle lead in on October 28th. The retrograde itself begins on November 16th and comes direct on December sixth. The post cycle is complete on December 24th, just in time for Christmas. 

We all know that when Mercury is retrograde there is a real opportunity for confusion in anything to do with communication. It’s always a good idea to back up your work, have copies of important documents. Don’t sign anything, don’t buy anything or start anything new. This is a time to quiet ourselves and look within at our personal communication. Are we communicating well with ourselves and others? Is our self talk positive or negative? Mercury Retrograde is a time for planning, review, research, meditation and getting ready for action when the cycle is over. 

Venus takes approximately 225 days to complete a cycle around the sun so she goes retrograde about every 18 months. Venus is not currently in retrograde but it’s coming. We will enter the pre cycle on September second. Venus will go full Retrograde from October fifth to November 16th with the post cycle being complete on December 17th 

Venus is named for the Goddess of love so this retrogrades impact is on all relationships. We may have trouble with them or relationships we though were long over might come back around for another go. During this cycle we have the opportunity to get some perspective on our relationships and decide if they are good for us or whether we need to let them go. Any relationship that begins during Venus Retrograde might change or end with the cycle. As a side note, Don’t invest money during this retrograde, it might not go well for you! 

Mars is currently in retrograde. It takes 687 days to complete a trip around the sun so we have a retrograde cycle about every 26 months. We entered the lead in phase on May 12th. The retrograde is fully active from June 26th until August 27th and the post cycle is complete on October eighth.  

Mars is all about fire energy so this retrograde will slow down any direct action we might want to take. Anything we want to do is going to, at best, be a challenge. I’m sure you have been feeling this, I know I have! Traveling might be more difficult. Initiating a project can be harder. Are you trying to find discipline in your life or start an exercise plan? Good luck. I’m not saying things will be impossible during a Mars Retrograde, but they will be difficult.  

With Mars Retrograde it’s a good idea to not try to initiate anything. Use the slow down to look at things you have started but not finished. This is a perfect time to clean all this stuff up.   

Jupiter takes 12 years to make a trip around the sun. This means that we experience a retrograde cycle about every 13 months. It entered the pre-retrograde phase last year on December 12th and came direct a couple of days ago, July 10, so it is now in the post retrograde cool down until October sixth. That is a long cycle! 

Jupiter brings our personal belief systems into focus which also determines how well we can manifest change in our lives. A retrograde is the perfect time to slow down and take a look at what we believe and why. It is the perfect time to get rid of negative beliefs and ideas that do not reflect who we are, what we believe and where we want to go in our lives. Even though we are in the cooling down aspect of this retrograde cycle we still have a good deal of time to do the work in this area to help bring a positive change to our lives. 

Saturn takes 29.5 years to make a complete revolution of the sun. It goes retrograde approximately ever 140 days. This is another one that is currently in retrograde at the moment. Saturn entered the lead in stage on January 10th of this year. It went into full retrograde on April 17th and will stay there until it goes direct on September sixth. We will be done with the post retrograde energy on December 12th of this year. 

This planet is about structure, discipline and responsibility. When it is retrograde we have the opportunity to take a look at our long-term goals in all areas of our lives. Saturn will test us to see how determined we are to reach them. It is the perfect time for us to get a new perspective on our choices; to look at our behavior and see where we need to make improvements. It helps us to see areas in our lives where we might have failed, forgive ourselves, make changes and move forward. 

Uranus takes 84 years to complete a trip around the sun and goes retrograde about every 148 days. We entered the pre-phase of this cycle on April 20. It will go into full retrograde on August seventh and stay there until January sixth of 2019. We will be out of the cool off energy on April 23, 2019. This is a very long cycle.   

When direct we can fall into our comfort zones and stay all cozy. Happy to never try anything new. Uranus Retrograde rips our rose-colored glasses off and challenges us to step out of our comfort zone and be brave. To try new things, to find a new level of inner freedom. This can be a scary one but if you are brave, boy can you make some strides forward in your life! 

Neptune takes 164 years to travel around the sun. We entered the lead in phase of this retrograde on February 26 of this year and into the full cycle June 18th. We will stay in the retrograde until Neptune turns direct on November 24th. The post energy will cool down and we will be done with this cycle on March 15 next year. 

Neptune is about our inner peace, our spirituality, vision and focus. When it goes still we are faced with another period where the rose-colored glasses come off and we are challenged to be real with ourselves and look at what is working and what isn’t in our lives. We ask ourselves if it is worth hanging onto what isn’t good for us, can we change it, fix it. Bottom line if it isn’t working toward our highest good; this retrograde will encourage us to let it go.  

Pluto takes a whopping 248 years to make a journey around the sun so you know its retrograde cycle is going to be  lengthy. We entered the pre-phase on December 31st of last year and the full retrograde on April 22 of this year. We will be in full retrograde until Pluto comes direct on September 30th. The post retrograde cool down will take us through the end of this year and complete on January 21, 2019.  

I am sure you have noticed that the further out the planets are form the sun, the emotional and spiritual work they encourage us to do gets deeper. Well Pluto, the Roman God of the Underworld, in retrograde invites us to go real deep and take a look at our dark side. We all have one, but not everyone is comfortable looking at it. If we are to find a perfect state of balance in our lives we need to come to terms with our negative side. This retrograde challenge is to look at our level of desire, our need for power and material wealth and how we are motivated by them.  

This is a full on, five month reality check geared to what motivates us. Do we do charity work because we have a real desire to help the needy or do we want to look like a saint in our community? Do we want to do well in our career because we love it or because we want to impress our family and friends  with how much money we make? Do we want to get into shape because we are concerned about our good health or do we want to be an object of desire?   

All the retrograde cycles offer us an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and grow. Of all the planets, I personally find Uranus, Neptune and Pluto the most challenging and beneficial in the long run because they require us to get out of our comfort zone and really look at who we are, how we need to change and where we want to go in life. Change is never easy, it isn’t meant to be but it’s always worth it.

Blessed Be ❤ Sharon  

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