Zodiac Signs

6 Planets Are Currently Retrograde—What Does This Mean?

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There are currently six planets retrograde. If you’re like most people with more than a passing interest in astrology, that sentence made you just slightly nervous.

However, it’s important to remember that retrogrades aren’t the end of the world. They happen frequently, for one thing; and for another, when the outer planets are retrograding, their influence is felt on a collective level.

That isn’t to say you won’t notice in your daily life, because you will. An ideological clash with your neighbor of a different religion is reflective of Jupiter retrograde, while the unpredictability of California’s recent “hurriquake” is an archetypal manifestation of Uranus retrograde energy.

It might not be the ideal way to usher in the holiday season, but with the inevitability of six retrograde planets during the final half of 2023, you’re going to have to learn how to harness these challenging energies in a constructive way. Here are a few ways we can see the energies at work.

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Our collective beliefs are changing.

With Jupiter retrograde in the fixed earth sign of Taurus since September 4th and stubbornly staying put until the end of the year, it’s fair to say that our views on religion, spirituality, higher education, and travel are being re-examined right now. Since Taurus is associated with wealth, it seems likely that this unfolding process will culminate in change related to how finances are used to support religious organizations, universities, and the travel industry.

We’re having trouble trusting our intuition.

If this past summer felt gloomier than usual, blame Saturn. On June 17th, the disciplinary planet went retrograde in the mutable water sign of Pisces. A planet known for its restrictive and authoritarian essence doesn’t exactly feel comfortable in the spiritual and reflective sign of Pisces, and since it went retrograde, Saturn has been casting doubt on our spiritual dreams and ambitions. We are struggling to keep our heads above water, feeling more vulnerable to doubt and self-deprecation. Saturn won’t move direct until November 4th, so try to keep the faith.

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We’re fighting for change in the midst of chaos.

Uranus is the planet most closely associated with social revolutions, technology, and unexpected weather events. We’ve had our fair share of all the above since Uranus entered the stubborn sign of Taurus back in 2018, but since it started its backward motion on August 28th of this year, things have gotten considerably weirder. Expect the unexpected as the planet of eccentricity and humanitarianism struggles against the bounds of status quo-loving Taurus, forcing us to reconcile our desire for change with our need for tradition.

We can’t tell what’s real.

The boundaries between what is fact and what is fiction have become increasingly blurred since Neptune entered the sign of its exaltation, Pisces, back in 2011. We can thank Neptune in Pisces for the cultural re-emergence of astrology and rise in spiritual consciousness, but also for the recent trend towards escapism. The popularity of AI has provided us with a clear-cut example of what happens when the planet of dreams and fantasy turns retrograde: it becomes very difficult to discern the truth. Neptune started spinning backwards on June 20th and won’t station direct until December 6th, so this is the time to maintain a healthy level of skepticism about anything that sounds too good to be true.

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We’re preparing for a changing of the guards.

Pluto is the slowest moving planet in the solar system, and its influence is felt most intensely in relation to government structure, politics, and large-scale transformation. Since Pluto entered Capricorn way back in 2008, our attitudes towards money, power, death, and rebirth have been shifting very gradually. We’re nearing the end of a very lengthy Pluto cycle, at which point the dwarf planet will move into the idealistic sign of Aquarius. We already had a brief taste of it back in the spring. However, Pluto dipped back into Capricorn and will remain retrograde until October 10th. Breaking away from massive institutional structures takes more than a few years. It’s a long, painful process. But if you feel like something is on the verge of changing, you’re not wrong.

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