The concept of retrograde motion even perplexed famed astronomer and scientist Charles Augustus Young, prompting him to scribble profanities in what would eventually become The Elements of Astronomy. [Pictured above]
It feels a bit weird to be talking about retrogrades at the end of a retrograde season and at the doorstep of a direct season – however there’s an unlikely advantage to understanding this. Readers will have a full direct season to consider how to approach the 2022 Retrograde Season.
“Hold up. Retrograde season? Direct season? Wtf are you going on about? Are you talking about the ‘seasons’ when Mercury goes retrograde…?”
Right, let’s start there. Since “Mercury Retrograde” is the most popular one for folks to fear coming around. We already know that when Mercury Rx (Rx being shorthand for “retrograde” as well as “prescription” in medicine) comes around, there’s a watchlist that perks up the ears of esoterics and spiritual practitioners of all degrees:
“Watch out for exes or past lovers coming out of the woodwork to make trouble.”
“Technology and mechanical things are likely to break.”
“Communications can easily turn into conflicts.”
“Watch for breakups.”
“Travel plans can be interrupted, derailed.”
“Don’t enter into new contracts during a Mercury Retrograde.”
“DO NOT text your ex.”
These things are likely because Mercury is what we call an inner planet (basically, one of those that affect us in a much more daily real life, “rubber meets the road” way). In addition, it’s the one that deals with communication and moving parts, making it one of the most “noticeable” retrogrades that we encounter.
Yet the movement of planets is no different than seasonal weather or the measure of the days of the week. They happen, and they affect us whether we “believe in” them or not.
Both are inevitable, yet never exactly the same when they come around. No winter is the same, no summer is the same, no Tuesday is the same. Even adherence to traditions and the mundane (or esoteric) rituals of any given holiday are different, even if tradition is imposed.
In talking about astrology, I have often said “You don’t have to ‘believe in’ gravity for it to affect you.” This in part is measured in the psychology and functioning of those who wholly do not believe in astrology, Even “muggles” who claim hard atheism are affected by the ebb and flow of the planetary movements, but we won’t get into all of that in this article.
It is believed by some that “Our primary job is to heal ourselves,” and that anything else is secondary to that prioritization. The movement of retrogrades, and the fact that there are blueprints and instructions encoded in literally everything we encounter in these lives supports this idea.
Retrogrades of any planet aren’t just periods sent by the universe to fuck us up. They’re more like periods where heavy healing in the name of growth and progress are more easily accomplished. Part of the reason why retrogrades hurt so much is because of this reason. Culturally, we have shifted from prioritizing our own growth and healing (on pretty much every level, including the care of the earth itself). Instead of “healing ourselves” we’re overdoing whatever the fuck it is we think we are supposed to do. Since this isn’t the way the clockwork of the universe was designed, we sometimes get ground up and spit out in the gears of retrogrades – therefore we’re crushed by the time “direct season” comes around.
However, the actual way we should be working with the movements of the planets is to do all the healing, repair, maintenance, fixing, and diagnosis that we can during retrograde season, SO that we can do all the growth, movement, expansion, building, and progression possible during the direct season. This also aligns us to make brilliant NEW mistakes, and find NEW things to heal and work on for the following retrograde season. After all: Einstein did say madness IS doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
See, each planet rules some set of parameters. This is in terms of the actual planets out in the blackness of space doing some kind of clockwork dance, as well as our personal natal charts. Each planet has qualities that “feel expansive” as well as “feel restrictive,” but awareness of what’s doing what at any given time is no different than being informed of fairly standard things. For example, which seasons are better to plan weather appropriate events, or what days of the week to plan on running errands.
Tuesday will happen no matter what we want. So will summer and winter. So will every single retrograde. Might as well make the most of them.