April 2017: Retrograde City

April 2017 shall hereby by be known as Retrograde City due to an unusually large amount of planets (five) being in Retrograde this month. The list is: Jupiter, Mercury, Pluto, Saturn, and Venus. It it going to be as bad as it sounds?

I love a good list so let’s start with looking at the dates that each planet will be in Retrograde. By the by, this would be a good list to copy into your Book of Shadows or Grimoire.

  • Mercury – Retrograde from April 9th -19 in Taurus; April 20th to May 3rd in Aries
  • Jupiter – Retrograde from February 6th to June 9th
  • Pluto – Retrograde from April 20th to September 28th
  • Saturn – Retrograde from April 5th to August 25th
  • Venus – Retrograde March 4th to April 15th

From April 9th through 15th five planets are in Retrograde, then Venus goes direct and there are four planet Retrograde until May 3rd when Mercury goes direct. This sounds scary, but every planet has a regular Retrograde period, and it mostly goes by unnoticed except during the shifts.

“Venus and Mars turn retrograde every couple of years, Jupiter for about four months each year, and Saturn about five. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are retrograde for about half of each year. The retrogrades of the slower-moving planets are generally most noticeable right around the time they are changing direction, either to move retrograde or direct.” – April Elliott Kent, “Cosmic Sway,” Llewellyn’s 2017 Sabbats Almanac

The Saturn Retrograde advises us to work hard now, but not to push forward with anything big until August. The Mercury Retrograde period starts in Taurus and ends in Aries. When a Mercury Retrograde is an Taurus I tend to spend a lot of money, so watch out for that. Aries is the hothead of the zodiac so with Mercury breaking down communication, I would be on the lookout for any fights. It may be a good time to put a pin in the conversation until mid-May, especially if it’s a big conversation. Now is not the time to make a permanent change to your life in any way. Basically, this isn’t a great time for walking out of your job (as tempting as it may be). Breakups that are a long time coming can and should happen, but sudden breakups that happen because of a single fight are probably ill-advised.

In general, when Mercury is Retrograde I try to lay low, and it pretty much never works. Things will come up, in part because of the Retrograde. In that case you have to trust your gut on things as much as possible. Mercury Retrograde will adversely affect things like communication, electronics, travel, and contracts. These are all things to be very careful with during this time period. As in triple check every single thing. Don’t try to sneak stuff in for the day before the Retrograde or the day after it ends, either. It’s too smart for that! There is usually a “shadow period” which still has influence, and, while I don’t subscribe to the extended Mercury Retrograde theory, there is clearly a halo to be felt around it.

Good things to take care of during both a Mercury and Saturn Retrograde would be contemplation. What’s working about your life and what isn’t? A Retrograde period is a good time to correct course. Getting resolution in some part of your life that deals with separation or loss, letting go of the past, or moving on are the good aspects of a Mercury Retrograde. Reconnecting with old friends or getting back to old, good habits and hobbies are more positives.

Retrograde City, all in all, isn’t as bad as it sounds. A lot of things may feel like they’re moving backward or standing still, but this is a good time to evaluate what isn’t working in life. Take the opportunity to tie up some loose ends in your life so you can step forward fresh when the cosmos slows back down.

As a side note, I’ve noticed that both my students and a lot of my social media contacts are dealing with sudden, unexpected deaths. This is not an astrologically informed opinion, but an anecdotal one; in the past few weeks no fewer than five people I know through association have passed away. I was hesitant to include this when I first started this article, but the number has been steadily growing. If you feel that it’s the right time, tell the people you’re close to that you love them and what they mean to you. It couldn’t possibly hurt!

Further Reading

Astro Style’s Guide to Planetary Retrogrades

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