Life in Reverse: How Retrogrades Affect Our Lives

Life in Reverse: How Retrogrades Affect Our Lives

The later half of 2007 is special in that we have way more retrogrades of personal planets this year than last year. We not only have the three mercury retrogrades that happen every year (yes, there are three) but we also have a Venus retrograde, which we went through in August, and now we’re going to have a Mars retrograde Mid November and a Mercury retrograde coming up shortly starting on October 11th.

Retrogrades are often looked upon with dread, to say the least. But I think an understanding of the process can help to if not endure, but actually enjoy retrogrades when the happen!

We’re going to use the over-used metaphor of driving a car for the journey of life. OK, so it’s not an eco-friendly metaphor, but until we get around with corn fueled jet packs it will have to do.

So picture yourself in a car (even if you live in NYC and don’t drive) speeding along the highway. This is the time when there is no retrograde going on. You’re heading through your life, on course with where you think you need to be. But wait, suddenly there’s traffic up ahead! Or even worse, you suddenly realize you passed your exit 5 minutes ago! What happens? You put on the brake either to turn around at the next exit or so you won’t hit the cars ahead of you.

As you’re putting on the breaks knowing that you’re still moving forwards you feel thrown back as you slow down. This is an important phase in the retrograde process: because this is what astrologers call the “PRE-retrograde-shadow.” As we all know from Shakespeare, the Past is Prologue, and many times what happens in the “pre-shadow” phase will be very important in the actual retrograde.

Here’s where the numbers may help this concept better. The current Mercury retrograde will start at 9 degrees Scorpio and “move backwards” until it reaches 23 degrees Libra. However, to continue with the car metaphor, the “pre-retrograde” area was when you were driving from 23 Libra until 9 Scorpio and missed your exit without realizing it.

It’s at the 9 degree Scorpio date of October the 11th when you realize that your GPS failed you and you should have taken a different road somewhere between September 22nd and October the 11th. Yes, that’s the pre-shadow period. You’re driving along, thinking all is hunky-dory, listening to the B-52’s on the way to the Sugar Shack and as you approach the date of October 11th you may realize that things are not as they seem and the road isn’t looking very familiar at all. Suddenly you’re not in Kansas anymore! You’re now in the actual Retrograde period!

During the actual retrograde period, in this coming up Mercury retrograde from October 11th through November 2nd, you have some time to figure out where you missed your exit, or where you now are on the GPS if you can’t even find yourself on the map. This may take some time. Around three weeks to be exact.

Sometimes, you know where you need to go but come the retrograde period you encounter traffic, road blocks, diversions and delays. For some you need to re-plot your course. In either case, it’s a good time to re-think things becuase if you really want to get where you need to go, you may have to unexpectedly change course.

And after three weeks of re-plotting and figuring out your course, you can “start again” sometimes quite literally because you’re now covering from November 2nd through the 18th the same ground you covered from September 22nd through October 11th. You may some deja vou, or you may feel like you’re watching one too many re-runs in your own life, but most likely you’re viewing the same ground with different eyes.

And if life isn’t about re-viewing things you see all the time, with a fresh perspective, I’m not sure what it is. For the sunrises and sets every day and yet it all still seems beautiful if you can view it as a new day.

So after muddling around in mid to late October, we all get a chance to ride off into the sunset come November with a new map to life!


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