We have been in the midst of heavy personal planet retrograde influences now for the past 4 months and will continue to experience these influences for the next 7 weeks (we will be officially clear of personal planet retrogrades on May 21st), but what does that really mean for us? Should we hide out at home in fear? Should we put our lives on hold?
Of course not!
Here are some practical tips on how to best use the current Venus and Mercury retrograde energies between now and May 21st.
Astrological retrogrades, especially the personal planet retrogrades of Mercury, Venus and Mars have a significant influence over our lives, one that is stronger than any of the outer planet retrogrades. Venus has been in retrograde since March 4th and Mercury stations retrograde on April 9th, so April especially is a month to bear in mind the activities which are best supported during these cycles.
MEANING OF RETROGRADE
The word ‘retrograde’ literally means ‘to step backwards’ and this term is used in astrology to describe the times when, from our perspective here on earth, a planetary body is observed to be moving counter to its normal direction of orbit.
During a retrograde cycle, the energies which are expressed by that planetary body have a more ‘introspective’ focus. The usual ‘forward’ momentum shifts, encouraging us to ‘look backwards’. The best way to describe the energy of retrograde is that it is the energy of looking inward and looking to the past.
A retrograde cycle has 3 phases:
(1) Pre-shadow phase – the influence of the retrograde energy starts to be felt and grows stronger with each day. The planetary body which is about to go retrograde will be passing back over the path which it is currently transiting when the planet is in the retrograde phase. During the pre-shadow phase, the orbit slows down until it eventually reaches the point where it will switch directions.
(2) Retrograde phase – Orbit is counter to the normal direction, the planetary body is ‘moving backwards’
(3) Post-shadow phase – the infleunce of the retrograde is still felt but starts to slowly diminish with each day. The planetary body is moving forward again, retracing its steps for the third time over the same path. It’s moving slowly at first (it is said to be ‘sleepy’ during this time) but with each day it picks up speed until it fully resumes its normal pace.
On March 27th, we began to feel the influence of the Mercury retrograde pre-shadow period, which has been overlapping with Venus in retrograde. Venus stations direct on April 15th however we will continue to experience the retrograde energy until the end of the post-shadow period on May 19th and this overlaps with Mercury’s retrograde and post-shadow. Mercury will be in retrograde from April 9th-May 3rd, with the post-shadow continuing to have influence over us until May 21st.
The good news is that retrograde energies will diminish gradually during the post-shadow periods, so by the time we are in the first week of May, with each passing day we will be more clear of retrograde influence.
Venus retrograde influences love and relationships, personal and business finances and our sense of self esteem. Mercury retrograde influences communication, short-distance travel, plans and decisions. That sounds like a lot! So how should we deal with these retrograde influences??
When we learn to flow with astrological vibes and rhythms, we maximize energetic support for our actions and minimize ‘resistance’ by avoiding actions that are not supported by retrograde energies.
7 TIPS FOR HOW TO BEST UTILIZE THIS HEAVY RETROGRADE ENERGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Here are some tips on how best to manage through the influence of Venus and Mercury retrogrades and ‘dodge bullets’ between now and May 21st:
- Embrace the need for balance. Retrogrades represent a necessary universal balance in life. Think of the need for retrograde cycles in the same way that you think of your body’s need for sleep. In order to have the energy that we need during each day, we need to rest and allow other systems in our bodies to take over – cell regeneration, healing, digestion, and detoxification. These are natural cycles, and when choose to roll with them instead of against them, we exert less effort and can find it easier to maintain balance in our own lives.
- Be Easy-Going. The best advice I can give during a Mercury retrograde especially is to let go of ‘forcing’ any particular outcome. When we try to push or force something to happen is exactly when we seem to feel the ‘slingshot’ effect that whips us back. Let go of rigid plans and especially avoid making plans that require non-refundable financial commitments right now because the risk is a lot higher that plans will change unexpectedly.
- Take care of ‘unfinished business’. Both Mercury and Venus in retrograde signal to us that it’s time to take care of ‘loose ends’ and to finish projects which have been underway for some time. Retrograde cycles are very supportive of finishing up any work in progress in order to make space for new beginnings to come once we are clear of the retrograde influence.
- Let go of the past. Use this time to review what’s taken place over the past several months and to reconcile with how things have changed and evolved. It’s time now for a ‘final look’ to the past before moving on and to accept that you are in a different place now. In relationships, this can involve an experience of realizing that a current or past relationship was always meant to come to an end, leaving us with lessons that we were meant to learn in order to become a better version of ourselves. Another way to think of the energy during this time is that we are ‘shedding a layer of skin’. Let go, forgive, and release regret where you can. Allow hardened feelings of resentment to soften and fall away – you cannot change the past and it does not benefit us to carry thoughts of ‘what could have been’ into the future. Don’t burden yourself by trying to live in both the past and the present; when you release emotional attachments to the past you can fully experience joy in the now.
- Take care of yourself. Leave some extra space in your calendar for personal time, plan an afternoon at the spa, finish that book you’ve been reading or start a new one. Slow down and give yourself extra time for activities that you normally rush through, spend an afternoon cooking your favorite comfort meal or letting yourself linger someplace beautiful that inspires you; in a park or a museum. This is a time to feed your soul, to be grateful for all of your blessings and to simply let yourself take pleasure. Press the snooze button on ambition for the next few weeks and on feeling like you need something more to be happy.
- Let go of any inflated expectations. This is a time to be kind to yourself and to let unexpected outcomes delight and surprise you. Mercury retrograde reminds us that sometimes the best place to be is just where we are. Delightful miracles come onto our paths during Mercury retrograde when we release our attachment to the outcome. During Venus retrograde, we are often learning to accept ourselves and our loved ones simply as they are. We realize that we are human and we show compassion for ourselves as well as others. We ‘let ourselves off the hook’ and forgive our past indiscretions, knowing that we have the power to learn from our mistakes rather than to repeat them. Trusting that your own personal gifts, your inner beauty, your loved ones, and your possessions are just enough.
- Avoid major spending. Venus rules our personal finances and so in retrograde can tempt us to spend money when we are feeling insecure. It’s important during Venus retrograde to check in with the emotional ‘triggers’ which influence our actions. Also, as Venus rules finances and this energy is more focused on ‘looking to the past’, major investments made during this time do not typically have long-term sustainability so it’s best to wait until later on when we will have the support of Venus being direct and bringing ‘forward momentum’. Mercury retrograde is not a good time to make major decisions, financial commitments or to sign contracts because it is typically a time when we do not have all of the necessary information that is needed to make right decisions.
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Remember, Venus retrograde is about discovering greater SELF love! For more about Venus retrograde energies click here 🙂