The Soul’s Mission and the Current Planetary Retrogrades.
We have five planets and one comet retrograde right now. Considering there are only eight planets, this is a big energetic time.
Before I started paying attention to astrology, I would hear, “Mercury is retrograde again,” my response to which was, “Sounds like Mercury is always fucking retrograde.”
The short answer is: kind of. Mercury goes retrograde four times a year, and some are longer than others. Then as I started to study astrology, I began to notice the feelings, confrontations, situations and overall thoughts that seemed to overwhelm or baffle me during a Mercury retrograde.
Mercury, the god of communication, was the first thing that popped into my head, remembering my fifth-grade Greek mythology, and I would reflect on how this lack of communication impacted my day-to-day.
Emails not making sense if they go through at all, conversations with coworkers or a loved one getting misunderstood. A lot of this was the starting point to the frustrations, stress and overwhelm I was feeling. Leading to a lot of head collapsing into hands moments.
The technical explanation for a retrograde is the appearance of a planet going in the opposite direction of the earth. However, this is an illusion. I believe it’s more about the motion and energy of these retrogrades then the technicality of it that matters.
Retrogrades affect everyone and everything, whether you’re aware of them or not. Reactions may differ, but the overall experience is the same. When I became aware of them, it was like applying aloe to a sunburn, it helps ease the pain but doesn’t cure the burn. Knowing about retrogrades has helped me understand why we are here: spiritual growth.
So the soul, this immutable energy that cannot be destroyed, only changes form. It comes into this life with a plan, a mission — that mission being the progressive elimination of all separating desires except for the one desire to return to Source.
Let’s break it down in plain English: Retrogrades are the side dishes to your order. The soul and the planets in your natal chart are the main course.
Visualize a burger patty as the soul, and each planet in your natal chart as the add-ons. The base of any burger starts with the patty (the soul), add cheese (Mercury in Gemini), add Lettuce (Neptune in Leo) and so on.
Each layer adds a different flavor and changes the complexity of the burger.
Now imagine your waiter brings you side dishes you didn’t order. French fries (Mercury retrograde), a bowl of soup (Saturn retrograde) and so forth. What does your meal look like now? It started as just a burger patty, but now there’s many layers to your meal.
Retrogrades are growth spurts in your soul’s evolutionary journey. Growth spurts can hurt, can happen while your’re awake, while you’re sleeping, or just plain beat you down. We are all in the continuing act of attraction and repulsion, wanting to return to Source and wanting to separate from Source.
Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are retrograde right now, and so is Chiron, even though it is not a planet.
My natal chart has five planets in retrograde. I came into this life time wounded and sensitive due to karmic law and/or evolutionary necessity. Some of the planets that are in retrograde now is what I came in with, Saturn being one of them.
Saturn, the ruler of limitations, structure, boundaries, law and order, the system and the constructs of the consensus world.
Now is the feeling of rebellion and disorder. Now is the time of that feeling like the world as we know it is coming down. World leaders are colliding, people are angrier than ever. Social structures and social norms are starting to crack.
Limitations and boundaries have a negative edge when read by a free spirit, but the roof over our head is a boundary. That roof protects us from the elements and gives a sense of security.
Saturn retrograde, in a nutshell, is a lack of security.
Saturn gives us the strength to endure the hardships, to overcome and plow through. Now imagine if this was removed.
75% of the world is still in the herd stage of their spiritual evolution and they will hold on, defend and even kill to keep that sense of security. This goes back to retrogrades affecting everyone, whether you know and acknowledge them or not.
Beautiful Uranus, the ruler of freedom, originality, rebellion, philosophy, revelations and the higher mind.
Uranus retrograde forces us to go inward, not before we blame everyone else and everything for doing us wrong.
During this time, the feelings of What’s it all worth and What’s the point, along with sudden waves of emotion and anxiety, flood in. This can be a real slap in the face especially if you’re an artist, healer or all-around free spirit. This is the time to reflect and to be true to ourselves. Where the beauty lies are in the breakthroughs when this is over.
Neptune, the ruler of spirituality, imagination, dreams, universal love, art, illusion and intuitive creativity, just to name a few.
Escapism and addictions can become more of an issue during this time. When Illusions are stripped away, along with love and spirituality, life will seem unbearable.
Visions are foggy, inspiration is lacking, and all meaning is lost. Idealism is shaken on a deep subconscious level, bringing you one step closer to evolution.
Mighty Pluto, the ruler of the underworld, death, rebirth, and transformation.
This can sound pretty scary to anyone in the metaphysical world, because you know all those underlying issues and unconscious urges are coming up with changes to follow. During this time, our deepest sense of unconscious security will be disturbed. We may feel threatened, we may feel compulsive or we may just feel sick of repeating these same patterns over and over again life after life.
Chiron — the wounded healer — will touch on our deepest spiritual wounds that we entered this life with. Chiron can remind us that we can’t heal the world without healing ourselves first. This may bring up deep issues or provide a guiding light for you to investigate.
Most of the time you only hear about Mercury being retrograde, but as you can see, there can be multiple planets retrograde at the same time. But is one retrograde or planet more powerful than the other? I don’t believe so. I think it depends on your natal chart and where you are at in life.
This goes back to a difference in reactions. For example, a Sagittarius (the seeker of truth), a Virgo (the analyzer) and a Gemini (the talker) may feel a Mercury retrograde to be very destructive, whereas a Capricorn (the planner) would find a Saturn retrograde to be more devastating. Just some examples of how we live in the duality, attraction and repulsion. Separate from origin, return to origin.
Desire is the cause of suffering. Desire is the vehicle in which evolution occurs in the human form. It is also linked with duality.
When we buy that big TV or that nice car, we feel good for a moment, then the overwhelming feeling of There must be something more comes in.
Each time we purchase a separating desire, we pull away from Source, but the law of duality will begin to pull us back to the desire of wanting to return to Source. Working through layers upon layers, and dealing with this issue, then Mercury goes retrograde again.
Remember that astrology is just a reflection of natural law, of life. We can always go backward, but do we really want to? Your soul put this together. Your soul built this life to experience lessons and evolutionary steps.
Try to give yourself a break, give others a break. Be compassionate. We all share the same collective ignorance, and are just trying to answer a thousand questions at once. Continue your search without judgment, with love and openness. And keep an eye out for those retrogrades, because they can, well, just plain suck.
Darren Hernandez is a musician , struggling artist, writer and a student of evolutionary astrology. He loves the ocean but not the sand. He has been married to his best friend and greatest muse for 13 years. He is a Reiki master and a resistant yogi. He is a rock-hound and lover of crystals, and loves cats when they act like dogs. You can find his artistic musings on Instagram.