It's retrograde season, stargazers — a chance to rewind, review, revamp, and revise. These cosmic backspins have gotten a bad rap in recent years and we can understand why. In this progress-driven society, who really wants to turn back to reflect? But in truth, retrogrades — which happen when a planet passes the Earth in its orbit and appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point — can be a blessing in disguise. A time out, especially as spring and summer blossom, can be a major relief.
Joining the retrograde brigade this week are structure-junkie Saturn on Wednesday and Mercury on Sunday. Saturn turns retrograde annually for nearly five months. This one lasts until August 25 and takes place — for the third and final year — in Sagittarius, the sign of global and cross-cultural relations, travel, and higher education. Saturn's weighty impact has certainly brought those issues into the headlines. Police brutality against African Americans in the U.S. and Trump's reprehensible attempt at a Muslim ban are just a couple examples. But Saturn's impact is to bring strength and lasting structures. We've also seen the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and civic engagement to fight for equality at historical peaks. Saturn's backspin gives us a chance to go deeper with our efforts to build bridges instead of a "big, beautiful wall." Everything really is about race right now, and this engaging dialogue explains why.
Expressive Mercury turns retrograde three or four times each year and this one lasts from Sunday, April 9 until May 3. The first leg of the journey will take place in Taurus before the messenger planet scoots back into Aries on April 20. Bring on the fact checkers, number crunchers, and project managers! Data-driven Mercury retrograde in empirical Taurus demands solid statistics to back up, well, everything. Simplify plans that seem too "pie in the sky" or unwieldy. It's okay to start small and grow from there!