When people hear the word "retrograde" in an astrological conversation,
their first reaction is to let out a mild groan. It would be best to
change your perspective on this regularly occurring phenomenon because
all eight planets will spend time in retrograde motion this year. May
and August are key months due to high concentrations of this often frustrating
When planets are retrograde, you must turn your focus inwards. It is
time to release the need to control outer world circumstances. To explain
the retrograde planets, imagine yourself on the Amtrak train to Seattle.
Now imagine a high-speed train travelling in the same direction zipping
past you. For a moment, you are disoriented and even feel as if you
are moving backwards. This is the feeling of a retrograde planet moving
through your life.
It is like doing a country-western dance; you take two steps forward
and one step back. A retrograde period requires you to take a step back
to assess your actions and ambitions. It is not a time to give up, as
you may be tempted to do. Instead, you must check to see if you are
wasting energy, if your actions are in harmony with your goals, and
what renewed efforts are required. Words that start with the letters
"re" are popular during retrograde cycles: revise, re-think, redo, review,
etc. In short, it is time to pull within to see if your outer world
is on track with your inner vision.
During May, Mars (masculinity, aggressiveness, sex drive, warrior energy)
and Pluto (transformation, power, sex, death, hidden emotions) are already
retrograde. On May 6th and 21th, Neptune (spirituality, addictions,
petroleum) and Uranus (revolutions, freedom, computers) turn retrograde.
If you are a Scorpio, Aquarius, or Sagittarius, or have other natal
planets in these signs, you will be most strongly motivated to pull
back from the outer world. Reflect on whether or not your activities
in the outer world are in harmony with your spiritual vision.
Regardless of your astrological sign, do not drive yourself crazy if
the world does not unfold as you think it should between May
and August. You are likely to find that the Universe can provide better
solutions and miracles than you can imagine yourself. The key is to
let go of your need to control the outcome. Begin by visualizing the
life you want to create. For example, it is not a specific person for
a relationship you want, but the ideal relationship for your highest
good. It is not money that must come to you in a certain way, but overall
prosperity so that you can live your vision in the world.
During May, you want to capitalize on the retrograde planets by removing
from your life those activities, relationships, and worn-out beliefs
and values that no longer serve you. It is a great time for a garage
sale, both physically and emotionally. May and June is a time to ask
yourself how you can increase your freedom in the world while continuing
to maintain your integrity and responsibilities.
On June 3rd at 11:11 PM PDT, Mars ends its retrograde period. The weeks
following will help you to implement your revised ambitions. However,
you will need to exercise patience. Projects started now may not see
fruition until the spring of 2000.
Following are retrograde periods and meanings for the rest of 1999.
If you are one of the zodiac signs listed, or have natal planets in
these signs, the Universe is knocking heavily at your door in search
of needed changes. Regardless of your astrological sign, retrograde
planets require everyone to bring their outer world into harmony with
their soul path.
Mercury retrograde indicates a need to improve communications, repair
your car or computer, and think about what you really want in life.
Think back to your life events last March 10-April 2 to understand the
most recent Mercury retrograde cycle. Mercury is retrograde again July
12-Aug. 5 in Leo and Cancer. It is also retrograde Nov. 4-24 in Sagittarius
and Scorpio. Make your holiday travel plans well in advance this year.
Venus retrograde July 29-Sept. 10 in Virgo and Leo requires you to
review and simplify your relationship needs. You may also remodel your
home, take a lazy vacation, or restructure your finances.
Mars retrograde in Scorpio and Libra, March 18-June 3 indicates a time
to review your actions and ambitions. Many people are releasing old
relationships, old hurts, jealousies, dental problems, etc. You are
learning how to take harmonious actions based upon your core beliefs.
Jupiter retrograde Aug. 24-Dec. 20 in Taurus and Aries requires you
to pioneer your philosophical goals in a down-to-earth way. You are
rethinking how you can put your philosophy into the world and still
earn a living.
Saturn retrograde Aug. 29-Jan. 12, 2000 in Taurus has you restructuring
your values. You are learning how to put your resources (money, time,
etc.) where you will benefit most. Create something that is both lasting
and in harmony with your belief system.
The outer planets affect society as a whole and are less personal.
Uranus and Neptune are retrograde May through October in Aquarius. Inventions,
revolutions, and the desire for freedom for all humanity will be in
the news. Pluto, planet of power struggles and transformation, is retrograde
in Sagittarius between March and August. Right use of power, sexuality,
the legal system, and religion will all be up for review. Look in your
natal chart for the houses containing the zodiac signs mentioned above.
The meanings for these areas of your chart will help you to know what
activities in your life are being restructured.
As you can see, 1999 is a year for individuals and society to review
their goals, beliefs, and ambitions. It is a year of planting the seeds
of action for the new millennium. Invest inner time in visualizing yourself
in a happy, healthy, fulfilling, and prosperous lifestyle. You will
see the results of your efforts as we approach the alignment of seven
planets in Taurus in May of 2000. Retrograde cycles help you to manifest
a life in harmony with your soul path. Retrograde planets are indeed
a good thing!
Mark Dodich has been a professional astrologer since 1980. He provides
consultations internationally from his NE Portland office. For a free
copy of his quarterly newsletter, ASTROMARK, call Mark at (503) 252-1558
or visit his website at: