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    5 Things to Know When Planets Are in Retrograde

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    As astrology becomes increasingly a part of Western culture, we often hear people talking about planets in retrograde — but what does this really mean? Astrology is the study of stars and planets and how they impact our daily lives and even our personalities. So, it’s no wonder that when something is happening with the planets, it may impact us here on Earth.

    If you’re a fan of astrology, light up your zodiac birthday candles, break out your notebook and get ready to learn some of the more intricate details of astrology and retrograde meanings for different planets. 

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    5 Things to Know When Planets Are in Retrograde

    1. What Does Retrograde Mean?

    In astronomy, retrograde refers to the apparent backwards motion of a planet in the solar system. This means that this planet, in particular, appears to move in the opposite direction from the rest of the planets in the solar system. But, is it actually moving backwards? 

    No, planets in retrograde do not change their orbitary movement — all planets orbit the sun in the same direction at all times. Retrograde is an illusion caused by our perspective from Earth. Because every planet is moving at a different speed relative to others in the solar system, there are times when a planet will appear to move in the opposite direction. This alone suggests that retrograde periods in astrology are an opportunity to view situations with a different perspective down on Earth.

    2. There Are Different Types of Retrograde

    When we hear people talking about a particular planet in retrograde, they often lament the many obstacles or woes this apparent planetary movement can cause. But, most people do not realize that there are actually different types of retrogrades.

    Since every planet’s loop around the sun is unique, each pattern can cause different results. The three planets closest to the sun — Venus, Mercury and Mars — will typically have a greater impact on our lives when in retrograde because they are closer to the sun and our location here on Earth. The meaning of a retrograde in these planets may be in conjunction with something we hold personal and may be more difficult to overcome.

    On the other hand, Jupiter and Saturn have larger, less exaggerated orbits. While these planets each go retrograde once  a year, we do not tend to notice as great of an effect here on Earth during the retrograde period. These challenges tend to be easier to overcome or less important in the grand scheme of our lives- and instead impact the collective on a greater, long-term scale.

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    3. Mercury Retrograde Is the Most Common

    You’ve probably noticed that when people talk about a planetary retrograde, Mercury is most often the planet they suspect is causing chaos in their life. We talk so much about Mercury because it is the planet with the shortest orbit, so it surpasses Earth several times of year, causing that strange backwards motion effect. 

    Typically, this planet is in retrograde three to four times per year. It can cause issues with communication (especially regarding technology and travel) when in retrograde, as Mercury is the planet of communication, but if you stay focused, light one of your zodiac birthday candles during a relaxing meditation sesh, and avoid any big decisions or changes during this time…you should survive Mercury retrograde just fine.

    4. Effects of Planets in Retrograde

    When planets go into retrograde, they can cause disruptions. If you want to understand how each planet might impact you while in retrograde, you need to understand what each planet represents. For example, Venus is associated with romantic relationships and money, so when Venus is in retrograde, you may find yourself reevaluating aspects of your love life or career. 

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    5. Retrograde Disruptions Are Not Always Bad

    We often assume that disruptions are a negative thing, but this is not always the case. As a culture, we’ve come to associate a planet in retrograde with being problematic, but these disruptions can, at times, be enlightening. Perhaps Venus in retrograde opens you up to insights about unhealthy financial habits that then leads you to take control over your career or financial management.  

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    Reevaluating Retrograde

    Understanding what a planetary retrograde means grants us a greater understanding of astrology and the Universe. Each planet does enter retrograde (besides the luminaries- the Sun and Moon), but this can manifest in many different ways in our lives. Try to look at retrogrades in a more positive light and know that they can simply be an opportunity for a fresh perspective…and that they always end!.

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