This August, five of the planets in our solar system will be in retrograde—and that doesn’t even include the smaller, less-influential asteroids! Take a few moments and put these down in your planner, as some have already begun and others are starting this month. Trust me, you’ll be glad you paid attention.
If you’re a budding astrology nerd (or just one to panic about Mercury retrograde), it’s helpful to learn about the effects of retrograde patterns for planets other than notorious Mercury. If you don’t already know, a retrograde period happens when a planet hits a point in its orbit where it looks like it’s turning around in its path.
Emotionally and energetically, retrogrades can be a challenging time, when the “bad” effects of some planets are highlighted while the “good” effects of others are muted. Retrogrades often result in a flipped perspective on different areas of life, depending on what planet is in retrograde. For example, while Mercury moving direct fosters communication, Mercury in retrograde challenges communication, often leaving us confused and dissatisfied.
In many astrological traditions, because they’re so far away from Earth and take so long to orbit, the outermost planets affect whole generations of people in a subdued way (with Neptune retrograde being nearly six months long), while the inner planets have intense but short-lived impacts (like three-week long Mercury retrogrades, which luckily won’t be a problem we have to worry about this month).
One final note: don’t panic about retrogrades. These planetary ebbs and flows happen constantly throughout time. The universe is asking us to practice going-with-the-flow. Can we keep our cool and become more resilient through these cosmic shifts? I think so—but knowing all about them definitely helps.
Jupiter: June 20-October 18 in Pisces/Aquarius
Depending on your natal Sun and Jupiter placements, Jupiter retrograde often brings with it a sense of frustration that leaves you feeling as though nothing is going right and your luck has run dry. When the planet of good fortune seems to spin backward, it’s not hard to feel like nothing’s going your way.
Particularly if you’re a Pisces or an Aquarius sun/Jupiter, Jupiter retrograde has likely been inhibiting your ability to manifest and will continue to limit you until October 18. Save any big spell-casting for the fall, OK?
Saturn: May 23-October 10 in Aquarius
Saturn retrograde is a huge pain in the ass for career-related ventures and big life changes. Saturn is thought to rule and influence work and long-term planning, so it’s likely that buying a car or house or getting that promotion you’ve worked so hard for has been a pain, especially if you’re an Aquarius sun/Saturn.
Keep your nose to the grindstone and remember your worth—your efforts will bear fruit come October.
Uranus: August 19-January 18 2022 in Taurus
Uranus rules movers-and-shakers, forward thinking and shifting consciousness. Particularly because Uranus is moving retrograde in the stubborn-as-an-ox sign of Taurus, this period between late August and late January of next year could bring a significant butting of heads (politically, socially and spiritually) not just in the lives of individuals, but in the collective. Keep standing up for justice with as much peace in your heart as you can muster.
Neptune: June 25-December 1 in Pisces
Neptune rules the dream world and spiritual pursuits as well as the sign of Pisces itself, making this retrograde rather frustrating (since it’s in Pisces) for those of us who tend to be empathetic and highly sensitive.
Don’t be surprised if you’ve been having strange dreams, more vivid dreams, or even no dreams at all. It’s also possible that you may feel disconnected from your own intuition. Even in difficult times, trust that it will return; stay patient with yourself and the cosmos.
Pluto: April 27-October 6 in Capricorn
Pluto, while not officially a planet anymore, still remains significant in astrological forecasting and readings. This wee planet packs a punch, ruling over the energies of death, rebirth and transformation. During this Pluto retrograde, you may have noticed a feeling of confusion over your life’s purpose or a loss of direction and drive. You aren’t alone!
Since Pluto is the outermost planet, this is a broadly-impactful transit and placement for the entire world. Just because you feel a little wobbly and confused now, doesn’t mean that you won’t find stability in the long run. Hang in there, friends.