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Celestial Weather Report: Retrogrades

Venus is well into it’s retrograde motion now (until January 29th), and Mercury is in the “shadow” of it’s retrograde—a time where even though the speedy planet is not moving backwards from our vantage point yet, the energies are preparing to reverse and we are starting to feel it ramping up. It’s interesting that these retrogrades are arising when the Omicron variant, which is more contagious but thought to be less severe, is charging through the country. Getting sick forces us to slow down, rest, and reflect. And that is exactly the point of retrogrades.

Venus retrograde is disrupting our relationships (and possibly also our finances too), forcing us to look at if our connections and associations are true or toxic. Are we being honest with ourselves on what we need and want in our relationships? Are we giving too much of ourselves to others without reciprocation? Are we compromising on our boundaries to please others? Are we holding back how we feel and putting up a wall or are we giving away too much of our identity to others in our lives?

Being in the sign of Capricorn (ruled by Saturn), Venus retrograde is asking us to re-evaluate our limits and boundaries in relationships, and shrewdly consider if our relationships fit our highest values and are worthy and strong enough to go the distance of the long haul. It’s a marathon not a sprint with Capricorn/Saturn. Whatever type of relationship—romantic, platonic, familial, whatever—Venus retrograding in Capricorn wants us to look at our ties to others with an ice-cold eye now. If we hang on to what no longer serves us where Capricorn/Saturn is concerned, he will send karma to bring the message home and force us to face the music somehow.

Mercury retrograde is a similar reflective and slowed down energy as Venus retrograde, but with the focus being on communication and messages of all forms—including talking, technology, travel, and even our own thoughts. It officially starts on January 14th and ends February 3rd. This is your typical transportation delays, computers, phones, and other electronics backing up for days and ultimately deciding to call it quits, misunderstandings over texts (“k” and “ok” can have vastly different connotations during this time, despite their one letter difference), and lots of communication mishaps. Mercury retrograde is what everyone dreads and fears.

And yet, there is a definite upside to Mercury retrograde. If we accept its challenge to us, we turn inward, pause before we respond, think before we speak, and listen for the sake of understanding, not just as a waiting period to then make our opinions known. Mercury retrograde allows us to rest our voice and listen instead, suspend important decision making wherever possible, take a second look at travel plans and contracts, and quiet our thoughts by taking a breath and labeling them as just what they are—thoughts that are not necessarily supportive to our wellbeing (see my article When we take the time to pause, we get the opportunity to choose how we respond in ways that feel more aligned with our values and our true selves.

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