What even is a retrograde?! It’s an optical illusion that occurs when an orbiting planet gets closest to Earth (pictured above). As the planets pass each other, it appears as though one is moving backwards, but really they’re both moving in the same direction. So how or why would an optical illusion’s influence translate from the macro to microcosm? This is because of the proximity that is actually occurring. “Retrograde” planets really just mean that we can feel the space dust kicked up on us like a car passing by on the freeway. You can also think of it as the difference between a house party being down the street vs. in your living room. The energy is loud, intense, and in your face- it forces us to go inward and be in it’s energy.
Like a prescription ℞ from the doctor, a Retrograde works internally. It can feel as though outside events happen to us that are out of our control. But once you let the medicine work, you’ll be able to solve a problem, gain wisdom into how to handle situations, an underlying issue will come to surface, or maybe you’ll be able to remedy a mistake from the past. Retrogrades remind us to re-evaluate, re-do, re-examine, to go back and tie up loose ends. That’s another reason why these times can feel quite wonky, re-visiting problems that need fixing can be discouraging or frustrating at first, but worthwhile in the long run.
Mercury has been in shadow period and is about officially retrograde in Cancer on June 17, meaning our minds and intellect are being guided by a fiercely protective instinct; one that is powered by the strongest emotional currents in the zodiac. Cancer, which is elemental Cardinal water, ushers in a period of change and new beginnings, all of which start at home+within, and permeate outward. Safety for all is a priority we’re willing to fight for.
The mind, intellect, communication, commerce, technology and health are all ruled by Mercury. Any of these areas can be disrupted during Mercury ℞. While transiting Cancer, it’s asking the collective to know, to understand, and to harness the powerful emotional energy that can produce everlasting change. We can do some “emotional housekeeping” via meditation, self-care, and through moments of quiet reflection, just to make sure we are on the right path and connected to our intuition- and so our emotions are used wisely. We will need it in the months to come. Cancers love ferociously and know how to fight for what they love and believe in maybe even more than any other sign. It’s strength is guided and ruled by the receptive power of the Moon, whose simple presence influences all the tides on Earth. But even the Moon disappears for a few nights a month, to rest and recharge in order return full throttle.
Mercury will be joining Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto at the retrograde party. This mixture of personal and generational planets means the effects are felt all throughout the collective as well as within. Saturn ℞ in Aquarius guarantees there’s no escaping the collective karma right now. Everything, including inaction, is considered a statement. When it comes to Pluto ℞ in Capricorn, I can’t help but think of Plutocracy and what that means politically and astrologically given the current unrest and turmoil in the world. Pluto represents power struggles, the underworld, death & rebirth, and a Plutocratic government is one that is markedly ruled by the wealthy. Pluto struggles with power because of it’s ability to destroy and re-build, who and what decides this fate is something worth fighting over. This intense energy conjunct Saturn + Jupiter signifies major upheavals that affect societal power structures, beliefs and ideologies. These are not quick and easy transits, which is another reason to heed the advice of the retrogrades: revisit, rest+reflect.
Pluto ℞– 4/25-10/4
Saturn ℞– 5/11-9/29
Venus ℞– 5/13-6/25
Jupiter ℞– 5/14-9/12
Mercury ℞– 6/23-7/12
Stay tuned for the Solar Eclipse New Moon in Cancer, occurring on June 21. More on that to come!
Like the artwork? You can shop prints+more here!