According to many astrologers, planets which were retrograde at the time of our
birth indicate karmic lessons we’ve brought into this life.  Some say they’re an
indication of latent genius in areas pertaining to the planet and sign in which the
retrograde occurs, and which manifests later in life; still others, that those with
retrograde planets are here to increase consciousness and create change on a
global scale.

Others claim that those with retrograde planets in their natal charts are seldom
seen as they actually are. In other words, their full and true potential is hidden,
and that there is often much more to an individual with planets in retrograde than
 can be readily seen.  Because they are karmic in nature, this is an indication of
a past life influence.

Astrologer/visionary Barbara Hand Clow ,  states that retrograde planets allow us
to bring gifts/talents, skills, knowledge and abilities from past lives, with us into
the current incarnation.  Astrologer
Martin Schulman , says that retrograde planets
 are ‘absorbers,’ causing us to absorb or draw energy from others. While those
with direct motion planets (those planets not in retrograde) are radiators: they
tend to radiate their energy outward to others. Schulman also believes that 
through the retrograding planets, one is constantly attempting to resolve past-life issues, which in the current incarnation, seem to be unfinished.

The energy of a retrograde planet is expressed more on an inner level. Retrograde planets cause you to stop and reconsider consequences. Viewed in karmic terms, retrograde planets indicate areas it would be beneficial to review and perhaps “re-do.”  They can indicate internal struggles regarding unachieved goals or unfinished life lessons. Generally, natal planets in retrograde tend to internalize their influences, allowing you to work on your character.

I was born with not just Mercury retrograde, but also Venus, Mars, Saturn and Neptune, so you can say I have a lot to work on  :)

Below are some interpretations for retrograde planets found in the natal chart.  Use these ideas as a basis for figuring out how to best use the retrograde energy in helpful ways.

Natal Mercury Retrograde
* reconsiders before speaking
* lots of inner conversation and thoughts
* expresses self better in writing
* may feel misunderstood

Mercury involves mental processes and communication, exploring ideas, seeking knowledge, writing, public speaking, making contacts, short trips and commerce. Mercury is retrograde at least three times each year, and is our most frequently retrograde planet. During this usually three week timeframe, we’ve learned to look for misunderstandings to increase, mail to get lost, messages delayed, misdirection and frustration with miscommunications of all kinds.

For a few, this retrograde has the opposite effect.  I feel this is true for anyone born with the retrograde in their natal chart, it’s a powerful time for us.  New ideas, new speaking or writing abilities are often revealed in folks whose natal Mercury is retrograde. Are you normally hesitant or afraid to speak out? Do you find yourself very concerned with how others will take your words or what will happen if you speak your mind? You may tend to get improvements in both your usual internal and external dialogue.

In karmic terms, natal Mercury retrograde suggests you may be dealing with old lessons about the consequences of uninhibited speech. Motives mean a lot to you. You could find yourself attracting criticism or opposition to your ideas. You can learn to overcome your fears. Apply your curiosity and take an active interest in the welfare or interests of people around you. Half of your ability comes from listening.  If speaking to groups of people makes you nervous, let your thoughts escape into the outside world by writing. Make small talk wherever possible about any topics of interest, while you boost your self confidence and begin to overcome your hesitance of expounding your personal views in public.

Natal Venus Retrograde
* reconsiders before expressing love or affection
* relates awkwardly to others
* doubts the love others offer
* can become obsessed in relationships
* feels let down by the commitment level of others

Venus involves pleasure, love, romance, relaxation, aesthetics, peaceful feelings, harmony, money, and values. Venus tends to work by attraction. Approximately every eighteen months or so, Venus slips into retrograde for about six weeks. While Venus is retrograde, you are may find yourself much more concerned with achieving or maintaining external beauty, your flow of ready cash, questioning your ideas of pleasure, aesthetics, or even revaluating your feelings about romantic relationships.

Do you find yourself inhibited about seeking what you really want from your romantic partner? Does your ability to attract the money and attention you feel that you need seem to cause you problems? Is your natal Venus retrograde?

A natal Venus retrograde can cause you difficulty achieving fulfillment or finding your right romantic partner. You may be more in love with your ideas about love than you are with any real person you know. In karmic terms, you need to complete a life lesson about giving and receiving love and affection. You are here to determine what is truly of value to you and learn about creating a balance of give and take in your romantic life. You will have to be willing to experience loving and being loved in order to attract what you desire into your life and create the feelings of security you need.

Natal Mars Retrograde
* reconsiders before expressing anger
* finds competitive situations hard to handle
* tends to repress and so ....
* can become depressed

Mars represents direct energy, physical expression, individual action and assertiveness, as well as anger, desire, sexuality, competitiveness and motivation for self interest. Mars energies tend to burst forward, with short duration. Every two years Mars goes retrograde for two to two-and-a-half months. What often results are frustrations in daily life as emotions become internalized.

If you have natal Mars retrograde, you may find that you are waging an internal battle.  This causes you difficulty in asserting yourself because you are afraid of the consequences of releasing your anger. You may tend to overthink before you act. You may find that you have a tendency to hold back. In karmic terms, you are likely to be attempting to make up for some past misdeeds you now regret. You are learning about yourself, defining who you are by what actions you take. You will need to let go of timidity or a lack of direction in order work out how you can initiate actions without creating the chaos of needless destruction.

Natal retrograde Mars are prone to be uncoordinated mentally and physically and experience sexual difficulties. They’re also more likely to be more full of guilt and blame than most others. Grounding through meditation will help to regulate the various bodily systems to reduce adverse affects.

Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher
Meaning of the Natal Planets in Retrograde

Natal Jupiter Retrograde
* has doubts about what they deserve and so ...
* finds it easy to settle for crumbs
* feels superior in some way inside
* abundance is felt on the inside
* looks inside for answers to religious questions

Jupiter represents the principles of expansion, gambling, speculation, luck, opportunities, optimism, abundance, travel, higher education, teaching, religion and philosophy. Approximately four months a year, this planet slips into retrograde. When it does, you are likely to see its influence roll through your life and society around you. Plans have a tendency to implode. Jupiter retrograde influences us internally to look within to seek new meanings. You may find you can best use these opportunities to revaluate your life and reach new levels of awareness and understanding.

Abundance is felt within as you search the world looking to discover truth and develop a broader philosophy of life and living. At the same time, you may feel hesitant about involving yourself too deeply in others affairs or sharing your views out of a concern for being thought so different that you may be cast out by public opinion. Speculations may not bring you all the external rewards you seek, but each time you take a chance, your adventures allow you to gain from a wide variety of experiences. You must remain open and honest with yourself in order to expand your spirituality and allow your inner voice to guide you.

Natal Retrograde Jupiter can cause you to encounter one impediment after another in your search for understanding and positive experiences, especially in early life. Positive abilities, talents, attributes and skills tend to come later in life. Higher education is prone to be delayed, if it comes at all. One of the beneficial aspects of this placement, is that you are more likely to be introspective, which assists in the development of higher spiritual ideals.

Natal Saturn Retrograde
* feels inside that they're never good enough
* indulgent outward behavior may mask inner feelings of inadequacy
* hides fears
* over-disciplines self to keep from getting out of control

Saturn deals with karma, limits, responsibility, tradition, conservatives, authorities, long term goals and accomplishments patiently created, taking responsibility, creating structure, and setting boundaries. Once a year the planet Saturn goes retrograde for about four-and-a-half months. During this influence, you will probably find it unwise to attempt sudden changes or to rush through things. Take practical steps and accept limitations while you take serious steps toward your long term goals. Saturn retrograde can cause you to become your own hardest taskmaster, limit your actions or leave you feeling blocked and pessimistic.

Saturn retrograde indicates that you are likely to have been abused by those with power over you. You may need to declare personal boundaries in order to work out conflicts with authority on a karmic scale. You could feel that fate conspires against your desires but it’s really you putting the brakes on through feelings of persecution or inhibition in the house where it is placed until you work out how to face whatever it is that threatens you. Your lesson is one of patience and steady application of hard work as you overcome the impatient urge to cut corners. Everything you gain will be hard won but you will eventually succeed, win the respect of others and actually can shine where you faced difficulties before.

Natal retrograde Saturn individuals are extremely introspective, conservative, frugal and serious. They are teachers who have brought much knowledge with them from past incarnations and are happy to share that knowledge with others. They are minimalists and overly disciplined, oftentimes to an extreme.

Saturn direct is restrictive, but Saturn retrograde often causes you to feel even more restricted. Consequently, you become frustrated when unable to bring to fruition, plans on which you’ve spent years developing. Yet Saturn also provides the tenacity and meticulousness required to bring those plans to culmination. However, allowing yourself to ‘go with the flow,’ and not resist lessons, you will ultimately experience the peace you seek.

Natal Uranus Retrograde
* reconsiders outward expressions of rebelliousness
* feels inside that they are different
* outward conformist behavior masks inner feelings of non-conformity or ...
* goes out of their way to upset others apple carts
* has a difficult time finding their niche in society

Planet of change, independence and risk, Uranus is retrograde for about five months out of every year. While it is, you can expect the unexpected. The situation is not secure. Things are subject to sudden fluctuation and you may be feeling a bit stubborn, rebellious, your emotions explosive and uncooperative toward anyone or anything that represents the status quo. Internally, you may feel like you are so ready to take a risk and just blow off conventional wisdom or prescribed ways of doing things.

If your natal Uranus is retrograde, you are ready to try something new and likely to experience wide fluxuations in circumstances. You have a tendency to push things to extremes. You are a catalyst for positive energies if you channel your rebelliousness into originality as you move toward independence and personal freedom. Karma indicates that you are here to learn about individuality, opening up to an attitude that change is very good.

Natal retrograde Uranus denotes an extremely unique individual who may be seen as rather odd, and whose genius may not be appreciated until later in life, generally seen as revolutionaries who change society for the better.

Natal Neptune Retrograde
* feels guilty inside and so ....
* tends to blame themselves when things go wrong
* super sensitive inside and so .....
* puts on a tough skinned mask

Neptune goes retrograde five months out of every year, a time when a lack of boundaries, imagination, creativity and a desire to experience the pleasures of the moment can get the best of you as logic is set aside, replaced by feelings and intuition. There is a tremendous amount of creative potential for you to achieve your dreams if you focus your activities and compassion outward as well as inward.

Neptune retrograde indicates that you could feel inhibited by the harsh realities of the physical world, choosing to spend a lot of time in your own imagination. Daydreams could replace active participation in life, inhibiting your ability to realize your potentials in the areas of life represented by the house where Neptune is placed. Substance abuse can be triggered by a need to escape and you can fall prey to your own illusions if you don’t accept people as they are and use your sensitivity to let go of limitations as you stay connected to others.

Retrograde Neptune Individuals are enigmatic and not easily understood. They may be extremely sensitive, and an old soul. They are capable of seeing realities to which most of us are blinded, including our own illusions. However, like the rest of us, they have their shadow side, and often chase unrealistic fantasies of their own. Because they are so highly intuitive, they can see the outcome of a situation without having to experience it.

Natal Pluto Retrograde
* keeps their chin up during crisis because .....
* they want to keep inner upheavals private
* they get what they want by acting like they don't care

Pluto is the planet of transformation, upheaval, reversals, and beginnings. It spends on average, five months out of the year in retrograde. This is a time of rebuilding when intense situations and outside forces intervene. Be willing to go to extremes and prepared to cut away the useless in those areas of life represented by the house your Pluto is in, releasing what no longer serves you in order to regenerate your life.

Natal Pluto retrograde indicates that you are here to learn karmic lessons about intensity, control, and struggles for dominance. While you are wrestling with your own inner conflicts, outside forces are likely to upset your life. You are likely to find public opinion can be fickle. The people who make up your world may revere you one moment and revile you the next. Part of your lesson is to refuse to get locked in a battle of egos. Penetrate to the essence of the situation uncovering hidden truth. Trust your instincts, being completely honest with yourself. Forgive yourself and others. You may not always be able to control what you face nor what is done, but you are in sole control of how you choose to respond and react.

Natal Retrograde Pluto is the epitome of the deepest form of transformation. Those born with this placement feel the world’s ills on a personal level, and feel compelled to change themselves in an attempt to transform society’s inadequacies and idiosyncrasies.

Natal Chiron Retrograde
* initiates us to discover unrecognized abilities
* looks within first to heal itself
* magnetizes healing from the outside

Chiron is the planet of the wounded healer.  Natal Chiron retrograde indicates that this is a time to discover previously unrecognized abilities. Often, the most beaten down parts of ourselves are actually our greatest strengths. However, they've never been developed or cultivated and remain in that wounded, beaten down state. This lack of growth somewhere in our lives is now holding us back. It's time to let these wounds heal, to let go of old grudges, to wake up to how powerful we can be if we cease being a "victim". Chiron is an initiator, helping us break through to possibilities undreamed of. However, we must be willing to take the initiative, consciously stepping out of life-as-usual.

Natal Retrograde Chiron
There hasn’t been too much written about Chiron up to this point, other than what
Barbara Hand Clow , Zane Stein and Martin Lass and a few others have touched on. ###

Use the above as a basis for figuring out how to best use the retrograde energy in your natal chart.  There are many websites that will give you a free chart to see where your retrogrades are, just Google “free astrological birth natal chart”.  It took me about 10 years of researching different astrology software programs to find one whose interpretations had the focus and text I wanted for personal growth and spiritual transformation. I make no excuses for using a computerized program. I've never had one so helpful.  If you want, I’m glad to do a chart and report for you for just $22.  I can email it to you within a few hours.

Discover your retrogrades and see what houses they fall in your natal chart.  Let me know the lessons  are and how you moved through them.

RELATED: Mercury Retrograde De Mystified

Interpretations adapted in part from
and from

Donate a dollar to help us continue this work