Many of us see the new year as a great chance for a new start, and I couldn’t agree more. In order to make the best use of this opportunity, it is good to know when trouble may lie ahead. When planets are Retrograde, difficulties are more likely in the areas those planets rule. You can’t put your life on hold until all the stars are in perfect alignment, but knowing when these periods occur can help you better plan your year as well as prepare for the possible upcoming difficulties. Retrograde periods are also useful times to examine the areas ruled by that planet to see what changes you can make in order to move forward when that planet goes Direct.
Mercury will go Retrograde four times this year. Mercury is the planet that rules intelligence, communication, and travel. While Mercury is Retrograde, you can expect communications to break down, technology to go awry, and troubles in travel and transportation. Some people find their ability to think clearly is compromised, as well. Projects begun during a Mercury Retrograde are very likely to run into unexpected problems. However, there is no reason to suspend activities that were started previously to the Retrograde period, and this period is an excellent time to rest, relax, and reflect.
Mercury Retrogrades in 2016:
- January 5 through January 25
- April 28 through May 22
- August 30 through September 22
- December 19 through January 8, 2017
Venus will not be Retrograde in 2016, which is good news for your love relationships and your financial life.
We were fortunate to not have Mars go Retrograde in 2015. We aren't so lucky this year. Mars represents our drive or initiative. This planet determines how you get things done, how you defend yourself when you feel attacked, and how you get motivated. While Mars is Retrograde, you will find yourself with less energy, as though your get-up-and-go has gotten up and left. You will feel less assertive, and getting things done (or started) will be much more difficult. You are likely to find that things that you begin don’t go at all as you planned. Be especially careful of being the aggressor in an adversarial situation at this time as, during a Mars Retrograde, the initiator or aggressor is most often defeated. Be on guard, too, against any passive-aggressive tendencies, as they will not at all give you the results you were hoping for. This is a good time, however, to evaluate your temper, your violent tendencies, or your cruel side. Also consider what motivates you, as well as how you do things, and how you act on your own behalf. Are these patterns serving you well or getting you into trouble?
Mars Retrogrades in 2016:
Jupiter represents our good luck, optimism, success, generosity, and all those things that bring us joy. When Jupiter is Retrograde, good luck is much harder to come by. During this time, you will find it best to not “press your luck.” If luck is needed in a situation, it isn’t likely to go your way. Success is possible during this time, but the reward for it is likely to be delayed. Joy will also be rare, or will come from different sources than are typical of your life. This period is a good opportunity to identify the things that get in the way of your success and your happiness. Removing these things from your life will help you be ready for a positive change of luck when Jupiter goes Direct again.
Jupiter Retrogrades in 2016:
Saturn is the planet that rules our work ethic and our responsibilities. It is our celestial taskmaster, the planet that teaches us strength and wisdom through trial. While Saturn is Retrograde, you will often find obstacles taking you away from the job at hand. Your old playbook won't seem to work as well as usual. However, you will have a good opportunity to reevaluate the strategies you have employed to meet your responsibilities. Have they been getting what you want and need? Do you need to develop a new approach? Now is the time to develop a new playbook so you can put it into action when Saturn goes Direct.
Saturn Retrogrades in 2016:
- March 25 through August 13
Uranus is the planet of change and originality. It gives us that spark of creative genius and brings us both opportunities and shocking surprises. While it is Retrograde, you may find yourself forced to repeat tasks or revisit your past. You may be less creative and feel stuck in a rut. This is a good time to address things you’ve mishandled in the past and correct them. If you've wronged someone, you can now set it right. Freed from the burden of past mistakes, you will be ready to embrace change and opportunity when Uranus goes Direct.
Uranus Retrogrades in 2016:
- July 29 through December 29
Neptune is the planet of mystery and illusion, representing our dream life and mysticism. When Neptune is Retrograde, it does not negate the planet’s mystic, esoteric nature, but turns that energy inward. This is a time when you will can feel lost in your own thoughts, as well as will feel like you are hidden ,outside of the spotlight, even when the efforts were all your own. Now is the time to explore your deeper thoughts and desires: What are you hiding from the rest of the world? Do you need to bring these things out into the light? How do you find release when the real world becomes too much? If you practice a form of negative escapism, such as alcoholism or any other kind of addiction, now would be an excellent time to seek help. This period is a strong time for those who normally conduct their work behind the scenes for the common good, such as nurses, counselors, healers, even unpaid caregivers. If you have such people playing a vital supporting role in your life, now is an excellent time to give them the recognition they deserve
Neptune Retrogrades in 2015:
- June 13 through November 19
Pluto is the planet that represents dramatic transformations in your life, the planet of endings that clear the way for new beginnings. When Pluto is Retrograde, projects you thought you had completed will suddenly require more attention, problems you thought you had settled will keep cropping up again, fresh starts will be hard to come by. This is a good time, however, to assess those things that are no longer useful in your life and get rid of them. By doing so, you will truly be ready with a clean slate when Pluto goes Direct.
Pluto Retrogrades in 2016:
- April 18 through September 26
Chiron is the maverick shaman that forces us to heal ourselves in order to move on. Retrograde motion does not negate this energy, it intensifies it, making it more urgent, like a call to action. When Chiron is Retrograde, expect old, neglected wounds to be dragged, sometimes forcibly, to the surface to be dealt with. You can try to ignore this, but Chiron will find some way to force the issue. You’d best pay attention and act accordingly.
Chiron Retrogrades in 2016:
- June 27 through November 1