Exploring 4 Outer Planet Retrogrades in August

In August, with so many planets in retrograde at once, we can feel more of an introspective focus that creates a catalyst for significant internal revelations.  This can also be a time when we are more focused on pasts events or experiences.

With Mercury also in Retrograde as of August 12th, we now have 5 planets in retrograde! There tends to be more information out there on Personal Planet retrogrades, like Mercury, Venus and Mars, which have a more ‘direct’ influence on us because they are in closer proximity to Earth.   But I don’t usually find a lot of information about Outer Planet Retrogrades, so, I thought I would give a break down of their current influences. Enjoy!

In this article I give an overview of the influence of ‘Outer Planets’ currently in Retrograde, which include Saturn, Uranus, Pluto and Neptune, while I explore Mercury Retrograde at length in a separate article, Mercury Retrograde August 12th-September 5th, 2017

Outer Planet Retrogrades

Here are some very general points about Outer Planet Retrogrades (Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Pluto & Uranus):

  • Outer planet retrogrades occur generally once a year and extend for an average period of 4-5 months each.
  • The influences of outer planet retrogrades are more ‘subtle‘ than for the planets which are closer to the Earth.
  • Outer planet transits represent longer term experiences and themes associated with our personal development.  As Pluto, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus remain in the same zodiac sign for several years, we experience more than one retrograde cycle in the same sign for those planets – these represent a series of learning opportunities, periods of growth or major life changes over an extended period of time.
  • The influence of the outer planets affects us all generally according to zodiac sign and on a more personal basis according to the house where we are experiencing that energy – this is based on your personal natal chart, which you can generate online for free or work with an astrologer to create.
  • With the exception of Jupiter and perhaps Saturn which are closer than the others, I don’t usually take the retrograde ‘shadow periods’ into consideration, however it is relevant to note that the influence of any retrograde period can be felt slightly before and after the actual dates noted here.  You will likely also find you are more significantly influenced by a planet’s retrograde if its zodiac sign energy is dominant in your natal chart.  You can also find out the dominant energies in your chart by having a private reading.


Outer Planets in Retrograde this August

Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius 4.6.17 – 8.25.17

  • Saturn is the ‘grandfather’ of the zodiac; it represents our system of values and calls for a tough ‘dose of reality’
  • Sagittarius energy represents our connection with the divine, learning and seeking universal ‘truth’, adventure, international travel and gaining wisdom about the world through our experiences

Saturn first came into Sagittarius in December 2014, which for many ignited a desire to become more enlightened and learn about the world through exciting new experiences.  Saturn in Sagittarius challenges us to be more engaged with life and experience new places, people and cultures ‘hands on’ –  it calls for us not to give up on our ‘big dreams’  despite distractions and setbacks.  Saturn here is also tempering reckless behavior and will bring negative consequences to those who take too many risks or ‘over indulge’.  Now in Retrograde, Saturn brings a more ‘inward focus’ to this journey and calls for us to look at our internal belief systems and values.  It calls for us to become more aware of the motivations behind our decisions.  It also calls for us to become more committed to our ideals and challenges behavior patterns if they are rooted in belief systems that are no longer relevant in our lives.

Uranus Retrograde in Aries 8.3.17 – 1.2.18

  • Uranus represents surprises and the experience of frequent, unexpected change
  • Aries energy represents our concept of ourselves as individuals, our physical bodies and our sense of confidence

Since March 2011, Uranus in Aries has been bringing an experience of instability to our general sense of identity: who we are and the foundation for our sense of self-confidence.  During this time we may be ‘testing’ new expressions of ourselves and our identity.  Now in Retrograde, Uranus brings us the ability to ‘step out of our own way’ and see the root cause of our problems as attributed to how we have been thinking about ourselves – tendencies towards aggression, negative talk or self sabotage come to light now and can be ‘put in their place’.  We are more aware of our personal priorities and can make decisions to clear lesser important items off of our plates.

Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn 4.20.17 – 9.28.17

  • Pluto is the ‘god of the underworld’, bringing radical transformation and ‘destruction’ in order to break ground for new beginnings.
  • Capricorn energy represents ‘our place in the world’, our sense of accomplishment and the ways in which we earn respect from others

Pluto is the slowest moving ‘heavenly body’: it entered Capricorn in 2008 and since then has been bringing a radical transformation to our ‘traditional’ definitions of success, power, authority and respect.  Over the past several years, Pluto may have brought about circumstances that ‘derailed’ us on our career paths for example, forcing us to consider options we would not have previously been open to.  Now in Retrograde, Pluto encourages us to take steps in transforming our internal values associated with these concepts and let go of the need for our success to be measured by the standards others dictate.


Neptune Retrograde in Pisces 6.16.17 – 11/22/17

  • img_1618-7Neptune represents the spiritual realm, our ideals and romantic notions.
  • Pisces energy represents our subconscious and the transcendent connection we share with all living things

Neptune entered Pisces in April 2011 where it represents the elevation of spiritual consciousness around the world.  This energy inspires us to have a more compassionate view of humanity and to envision our ideal for the kind of connection and harmony that can be achieved among all living beings.  This energy also brings greater potential for healing to ailments such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress which plague the subconscious mind.  In Retrograde, Neptune inspires us to look inward with the same sense of compassion and empathy that we might more easily give to others.  It also brings to light truths in our subconscious mind which can be a catalyst for healing once we fully acknowledge their implications.

Thank you!


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