It’s more than obvious to us now that this is a year like no other. How will it go down in history I wonder? Perhaps as the year when humanity finally changed course through a new set of environmental and humanitarian values? It’s uncertain isn’t it? It can feel like we’re walking on shifting sands personally and collectively. Human beings like to feel safe and secure, in control, and that’s natural. But what if our consciousness is ready for a move beyond the illusion of having control, or of certainty? How then might we navigate these changing times in a new and deeper way? This year’s astrology points us there. These next few months in particular are pointing us inward.
Retrograde planets call us ‘back to the future’. Moving backwards through the universe from Earth perspective they are about engaging unfinished business. They point to the opportunity to return, revisit, reflect and review in order that we may claim deeper integrity in our unfolding creative expression. There are keys in these retrograde processes. They are the keys that unlock future potential. Without these keys we aren’t fully prepared for new life, even though we might think we are, especially when we have a goal in mind. Have you considered that perhaps it’s our goal and progress orientated thinking that is receiving an upgrade in these times? That ‘getting ahead’ is simply be that: getting a head, perhaps at the cost of body, heart and soul? Retrograde planets remind us of nature’s seasons and processes. They’re the pause of autumn and winter. They’re the calling to slow down, replenish and rejuvenate, to receive deeper insight into what’s truly needed. This year, particularly June through November, retrograde planetary rhythms are strong. Despite what we may want in terms of progress and achievement, we’re called to deeply enquire into the values and motivations behind our actions. It’s no coincidence that we have been stopped in our tracks collectively, for the need to examine where we are, how we got here and to evolve a new way of engaging life and each other is without question.
So where are retrograde planets pointing us in terms of reflection? Let’s take them one by one and explore.
Venus Retrograde: 13 May – 25 June, 21-5 Gemini
The Venus retrograde cycle offers a rebirth in Feminine intention in men and women. Key focus is self love, what we enjoy, how we connect and communicate, our beliefs and stories, how or what we create that deeply fulfils and contributes to a heart-connected abundant society. This is an opportunity to discover and re-evaluate our social connections and how they nurture us or not (particularly obvious through isolation and social distancing). When an aspect of our lives is removed, in this case Venus’s realm of love and enjoyment, we receive the opportunity not only to mourn but to value that life aspect more deeply. It’s a ‘back to basics’ exploration: how we express the desire to feel connected, loved, nourished and enjoy life; how when social stimulation or ‘entertainment’ is removed we need to discover new, more deeply fulfilling ways of connection; how we can uplift our creative potential and desire to contribute socially in new ways.
Mercury Retrograde: 18 June – 11 July, 14-5 Cancer
Mercury retrograde in watery Cancer connects us more deeply to our vulnerabilities, our feelings of rootedness and belonging, or lack of them. Cancer is one of the most sensitive zodiac signs and certainly the most personal. This retrograde is about getting in touch with what we need on a feeling level. It differs from Venus retrograde in that the focus is less on the social sphere and found within the intimate aspects of our feeling nature. The energy of Cancer desires the sweet intimacy of emotional connection, being held and nourished in tender caring ways. As Mercury retrogrades through this watery sign our personal feelings of lack, triggered by collective requirements, make themselves more deeply known. In that we may discover new ways to express self-nurture and caring, being kind to oneself and others, all held within a new field of deeper belonging to what’s really nurturing.
Neptune Retrograde: 23 June – 28 November, 20 - 18 Pisces
Neptune retrograde is a longer process as this outer planet spends half the year retrograde. Nonetheless it’s relevant here as Neptune changes direction on 23 June when the energies for reflection will be extra-potent. Neptune is strong in its own sign Pisces. It represents the soul’s journey; how we connect with and express the finer frequencies of our being, our spiritual nature. Neptune’s energy calls us to let go, flow, trust and find deeper compassion for our human existence with its challenges. It calls us to dive into the ocean of consciousness that we are beyond all circumstances, to root there, in the unseen and deeply trust the collective process we are engaged in, despite its trauma and tragedy. The realm of Neptune is what deeply opens us and sustains us, even through heartbreak. It asks: what spiritual practice, what creative inspiration, what connection to nature, truly opens and supports you when challenge is upon you or change is flowing?
This year’s energies overall are calling us deeply inward to create a fundamentally new foundation and orientation for the openings and opportunities that ripen later in the year. Retrograde planets heavily influence the universal energies all year, particularly now to mid July. Then personal planet of will, intention and action Mars in its own sign Aries turns retrograde also. From early September to November this year, any efforts to push or accomplish may simply prove to be wasted energy. Whatever plans we may have, or given our desire to keep moving forward, we simply don’t have the full picture yet. It is a time of diving inward, rest and recharge, taking small steps in what is deeply real, building the energy towards a birth point in December. The current eclipse season we’re engaged in, 5 June, 21 June and 5 July, provide us with pointers of what’s required in this process. They are shift points within the broader energetic sphere of slow-moving foundation-building evolution.
Key questions to ask oneself as we ride the waves of change: What am I trying to accomplish really? What’s behind my desire or need to be anywhere other than where I am right now? In the answers lie the clues to what needs deeper attention and what is evolving within you. What is changing, deepening and growing within will move towards fruition in right timing. Just like spring naturally emerges after winter. Now is a time to trust that deeply; despite how it all appears we are on track for profound change. As life falls apart and chaos ensues, the cycle moves inexorably towards renewal. We may then engage it with renewed energy and deeper wisdom.