To determine if you have a retrograde planet in your birth chart, go to astro.com > free horoscope > extended chart choices and construct a chart. Then, if you check at the table of planet positions, you could see a "r" next to a planet's location, indicating that it is retrograde. The r symbol can be found on all the major planets, except for Pluto which has been removed from the list because it no longer qualifies as a planet.
A planet in retrograde motion appears to be going backwards in its orbit around the sun. For example, when Mercury is retrograde, it goes from east to west across the sky instead of north to south like otherwise-familiar planets such as Venus, Earth, and Mars. Because Mercury rules communication, this means that our email, text messages, and phone calls are often delayed by issues with transportation or bureaucracy. However, as long as Mercury remains retrograde, it will always move in exactly the same direction (east to west) each time it crosses over a chart point. So although mercury retrograde can cause delays, it cannot alter its path.
If you're interested in learning more about retrograde planets and how they affect your life, check out my web page on the subject.
When a planet is in retrograde motion, it looks to travel backward. It has arrived at its closest approach to Earth. If you have a retrograde planet in your birth chart, you will experience it in a more subjective, interior way. You express the energy of that planet in a unique way that distinguishes you from the rest of your family. Other people may not even be aware of this distinction.
Planets exist in their own realm outside of ours. They move at different speeds, and some even turn completely around before moving forward again. A planet can be in retrograde motion for many reasons; sometimes there is no clear reason why it happens. Sometimes a planet enters into retrograde motion as a result of another event or series of events. For example, if a person was born during a solar eclipse, that sun will go through its own monthly cycle of rising and setting every month, but instead of heading toward Earth, it goes back away from us. This movement away from direct sunlight is called "retrograde."
The only planet that doesn't go through retrograde periods is Mars. It always orbits in the same direction, either closer to Earth or farther away from it. However, because it takes approximately 220 days to make one trip around Earth, we only see half of Mars when it's directly facing us. The other half is hidden from view as it travels behind the Earth.
Individual planets tend to influence individuals differently.
First and foremost: Look at your birth chart (you can make a free natal chart on Cafe Astrology) and locate Mercury to see if you were born during Mercury's backspin. If Mercury was retrograde when you were born, you'll see the letters "Rx" above the Mercury sign in your birth chart. The Rx indicates that you were born during a Mercury retrograde.
Mercury goes retrograde each year between August 23 and September 22. During this time, communication with others is impaired; orders cannot be executed; and problems related to computers, math, and science arise. This phenomenon affects everyone differently, so some people may not even notice it happening.
If you were born during a Mercury retrograde, then you'll experience some of these issues yourself or for someone close to you. For example, you might find that phone lines are busy when you call someone; documents sent through email don't arrive until several days later; or math formulas produce incorrect results.
These are just some of the many challenges that can arise from living during a Mercury retrograde. For more information about how Mercury going retrograde affects you personally, read our article on the subject.
Retrograde planets are one of the most challenging astrological factors to interpret. They frequently produce unanticipated outcomes, both good and unpleasant. Most astrologers believe that a planet in retrograde motion has at least a modest difference in influence. Planets moving backwards are closer to Earth. As a result, they are stronger than they appear from the outside looking in. In addition, as they move closer to the earth each day, they are able to affect people on a deeper level.
Planets in retrograde motion can be either beneficial or detrimental to your interests. Their influence depends on how you use it. If you try to make decisions based on a retrograde signal, you will probably end up disappointed. It is best to stay focused on what is happening now instead of getting distracted by signals from the past or promises for the future.
As mentioned, planets in retrograde motion are closer to the earth. This means that they can bring about change more quickly than usual. For example, if a planet in retrograde motion enters a new sign each week for three weeks in a row, this would be considered rapid movement and would likely mean that something major is going on with regard to those signs.
Some examples: Venus entered Sagittarius on February 2nd and will remain in retrograde mode until April 19th. During this time, she will be visiting all six zodiac signs, affecting everyone close to her.
The Planet in Charge of Your Birth Chart
Which sign is that planet now in?
When a planet is said to be "retrograde," it indicates that Earth is passing it in orbit and it looks to be travelling backward from our perspective. The bigger, outer celestial planets, such as Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto, and Chiron, all go retrograde for a significant period of time each year, generally four to five months. These periods begin when Earth is on the opposite side of these planets from their sun and end when we return to where they were in our orbit.
The reason for this is that when a planet is in retrograde motion it goes from east to west across the sky, just like Earth does when she is moving in her orbit. Since we are facing backwards, this would look like a clock rotating back over its own hour hand. This also means that when a planet is in retrograde, the stars it lights up over are on the other side of Earth from where it will be the next day. For example, when Saturn goes retrograde in early October, the last thing you see before midnight comes up over the eastern horizon are stars that will be visible again after morning twilight in late September.
Planets don't actually move from east to west or vice versa during their retrogrades. They simply appear to do so from our point of view on Earth. Due to precession, however, every 26,000 years or so (or sometimes longer) all the planets line up in order of distance from the Sun along the ecliptic (the path they follow around Earth).