Zodiac

What It Means If You Have Retrograde Planets In Your Birth Chart

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zodiac signs and hand holding planets

While Mercury in retrograde gets a whole lot of attention, it isn't the only planet that does this.

In fact, all of the planets do, and many of us were born with retrograde planets — like Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Saturn — somewhere within the houses shown on our birth charts.

This fact is much less commonly known and understood than the phenomenon of Mercury in retrograde, and yet it has a huge impact on your life.

When planets are in retrograde motion, they appear to travel backward, but this reverse motion is actually an optical illusion caused by Earth speeding past them in their parallel orbits around the Sun.

Planets in retrograde are also closest to the Earth than at any other time, and this proximity causes the astrological influence of that planet to be felt more intensely than usual. That can be a good thing or a not-as-good thing, depending on the planet in question.

When planets are in retrograde, "good guy" planets send shock waves through your life by becoming "too" good, while "bad guy" planets wreck more havoc with you than they typically do.

RELATED: What Is The Mercury Retrograde Shadow Period? Everything To Know

How to tell if you have natal planets in retrograde

In order to find out how any of these planets in retrograde may affect you in particular, access your birth chart with this natal chart calculator.

If none of your planets has an "R" beside it, that means you weren't born with any of your planets in retrograde, and you can skip to the next section.

If some of your planets do, I'll take a moment to tell you what this may mean for you.

Note: I'm only covering the five major planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — for now, rather than also looking to the outer planets, because they don't rule houses. And of course, the Sun and the Moon, which are never retrograde.

Meaning of retrograde planets in your natal chart

There are two circumstances under which retrograde planets may impact you:

1. If you have a retrograde planet in your birth chart, meaning it was retrograde when you were born, and therefore will impact your life on a constant basis.

2. When, as mentioned above, the Earth speeds past a planet on its travels through the sky, activating important things in your personal stars.

So, for instance, if you have a "good guy" planet in your chart that's in retrograde, such as Venus, the planet of love and pleasure, you may potentially be too passionate, romantic, and indulgent during this time — to the point of possibly becoming obsessed or "addicted" to love and sex (and maybe even shoes!).

If you have a "bad guy" planet in your chart that's in retrograde, such as Mars, the planet of ambition and courage, you may be extra martial during that time, meaning you may feel excessively driven and prone to making risky choices without adequately weighing the facts beforehand.

RELATED: What Is The Mars Retrograde Shadow Period? Everything To Know

1. Natal Mercury retrograde

If you were born during Mercury retrograde, you have a strong intellect and love of communication. You learn quickly and love to read, write, and talk, and you are extra talented.

In relationships, you often have a different point of view than your mate, and you tend to overthink everything they say and do.

Surround yourself with people who mentally stimulate you and love to talk, and make sure to travel and socialize often.

2. Natal Venus Retrograde

You have a love of pleasure, fun, and creativity. You're skilled in any of the visual arts and design. You're a wonderful host or hostess, with a flair for fashion, decorating, cooking, and making everything beautiful and fun.

You focus on relationships and sensuality more than others, and your love life is unusual somehow or delayed. You require a mate who’s romantic and appreciates your well-developed tastes and needs.

3. Natal Mars Retrograde

You're athletic, ambitious, and competitive, and can also be impatient, restless, impulsive, and easily angered. Have a physical outlet like martial arts or regular vigorous exercise, and be sure to take your time before making big decisions.

In relationships, watch your tongue. If you can't say something nice — say it nicely. Be sure you get to know a partner for a while before making a commitment.

4. Natal Jupiter Retrograde

You're concerned with spiritual, ethical, and philosophical concepts, and are drawn to counseling, teaching, and the law.

You’re the friend that everyone turns to for advice. You're generous and optimistic, but be sure not to over-give or try to avoid problems with your "Pollyanna" perspective.

You may marry or have children late in life. Be careful of picking a partner you need to "save" or "fix."

5. Natal Saturn Retrograde

Being born during Saturn retrograde means you're responsible, reliable, and detail-oriented, skilled at things that require technical ability and focus. You always wish you'd "done more" or done things "better."

Be careful of being too picky or critical with yourself and your partners, as well as of being too private or unavailable when you're single. Once in a relationship, watch out for codependency. You're not responsible for the actions of others.

What does it mean if there are no retrograde planets in your chart?

If you don't have any retrogrades, you’ll still be affected when planets are retrograde in the sky, as we all are.

The theme of that planet will be obvious, and anything in your life that you need to improve or fix in terms of that theme will be up to you to figure out.

As always, be sure to take extra good care of yourself!

RELATED: 11 Ways Mercury Retrograde Seriously Messes With Your Relationships

Carol Allen is a Vedic Astrologer, Relationship Coach, and former radio show host. To learn more about this and other amazing truths at the intersection of astrology and love, sign up for her free newsletter.

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