unsplash-logoРуслан Гамзалиев

How to navigate 2018’s Summer/Autumn of retrogrades

This is part one of a two part Retrograde Summer experience.

In this piece I look at the effect and meaning of each of the 7 (yes 7) planetary bodies involved in our retrogrades this year. In part two, I look at the powerful release points where you can ease off some of this cosmic tension with a little moon magic and intention work. If you’ve been through the mill recently, why not join me in getting some clarity on when and how this will all pass…..

7 retrogrades!

Yes I know I’ve included both Pluto and Chiron in this list. I still consider Pluto to be a planet even though it was deregulated into a Dwarf planet in 2006. Anyone who has had a significant Pluto event will testify to it’s raw power. And Chiron….? It might only be classed as an asteroid/Centaur but is always in our solar system and crosses the paths of both Saturn and Uranus in its 51 year orbit. So I make the retrograde count it’s highest in August with all 7.

Meet the members of the retro club 2018!

  • Mercury (was retrograde between 25th July and the 18th August. It will come out of it’s shadow on the 2nd September)
  • Mars (went retrograde on the 26th June and the retrograde will end on the 27th August.  It will be out of it’s shadow by the 8th October)
  • Jupiter (was retrograde between 9th March until 10th July. It will be out of its shadow by 7th October)
  • Saturn (went retrograde on the 27th April and will be until the 5th September. It will be out of it’s shadow by 12th December)
  • Uranus (goes retrograde from the 7th August and stays retrograde throughout 2018)
  • Neptune (went retrograde on the 18th June and stays retrograde until 24th November. It stays in it’s retrograde shadow for the rest of 2018)
  • Pluto (went retrograde on the 22nd April, and stays retrograde until 30th September. It stays in it’s retrograde shadow throughout 2018)
  • Chiron (went retrograde on the 4th July and is retrograde until the 8th December. Thereafter it stays in the shadow for the rest of 2018)

Learn more about the retro club 2018!

Each retrograde carries a message or meaning for us. The retrograde causes a halt or U-turn effect with the energy of each particular heavenly body. Here’s a quick review of the intrinsic message from each member of the retro club this year:-


Mercury retrograde, lends an uncertainty to plans and communications, encouraging fall outs, miscommunication, delays and frustrations on a daily level. We might have found mail going missing, losing files of information on our computers, delays in agreements for example.

It is also a fabulous time to reconsider, reformulate and re-imagine who you are and what you’re about, seeing as there are communication delays and a natural lull in outward organised thinking. Mystics, artists and people who deal in creativity and visualisation can find this time useful in letting go of their judgements.

Whilst Mercury (at time of publishing) is now direct, it is still working through the retrograde shadow until the 2nd September. This means that, whilst information feels more forthcoming, and there appears to be movements forwards in business/relationships, people won’t truly be ready to concentrate and focus on clear communications until the start of September. Expect answers and resolutions to contractual issues to clarify in September.


Mars retrograde can have quite a nasty signature, as our energy drives and determination have been stalled, and there’s a need to work out why we feel angry, irritable and ill at ease. It’s time to realise where we have been stagnating and held back in our endeavours as soon as we can so that we don’t suddenly explode. Slow energy releases are favoured rather than haphazard emotion driven angry acts.

Given that Mars has been moving retrograde with the south node, it is highly possible that we have uncovered one of many roots to our own energy/anger imbalances, and these probably stem from childhood. During this time Mars is also ‘out of bounds’, lending it an unpredictability and extra explosiveness – so where situations deriving from childhood have festered, they are liable to cause some harsh and unruly reactions from those linked in to your patterns.

When Mars stations direct from the 27th August, much of the frustration of retrograde will ease off – the rawness and explosiveness of Mars retro will be tempered. That said, Mars won’t be clear of the retrograde shadow until the 9th October.

Until October, it is worth remembering what you have learnt about being ‘passive’ and how badly passive behaviour meets your needs. It is important to feel strong enough to stand up for your needs and your safety and explore how best to do it, with minimal fall out. This in itself is a lot to ask as the standard ‘western upbringing’ for most people is more about passive resentment, than learning assertion and clearing the air as a healthy life habit.

Themes of ancestral abuse and secrets will still be noticeable. Until Mars leaves the shadow on the 9th October, expect life to remind you each and every time you do something to dishonour your own sovereignty.


Jupiter retrograde causes our usual hope and optimism to dull, and what usually works for us, stops working. Questions of faith and growth, come to the fore as the lucky hunches and easy charm you might be used to are no longer there for you. What strategies can we use to keep growing our dreams?

Jupiter when retrograde and unchecked can also be bombastic and overbearing. So in our frustration at not being able to rely on our usual brand of luck, people might use heavy armed tactics to make themselves heard. And with Mars and Mercury retrograde – additional force makes things more explosive. Things can easily get out of hand as Jupiter inflates pride, and encourages belligerent attitudes.

Retro Mercury + Mars + Jupiter = situations getting unclear, out of hand, alongside overbearing pride and overblown ego tussles.


Saturn retrograde has slowed down projects and tested our patience. What it is asking us is, will your project work? Is it viable? How can you safeguard it more or enhance it’s longevity? This in itself is a useful consideration, though when Saturn retrogrades, we often find this occurs with less liquidity, fewer resources and a weakened immunity (especially with Mars retro too), so it has been much tougher than usual.

Saturn also represents parenting, authority and rules/law/narrative. It also highlights breakdowns and cutting ourselves off from situations (or being cut off!)

So if you have experienced a situation during this retro time to do with family or childhood issues, Saturn’s influence here can mean that there is also a theme of re-writing the family narrative, going against the ‘assumed family culture’ and possibly finding yourself in exile from the authority figures that you took your formative cues from.

The Saturn retrograde is easing off as we head into September, and by the 5th, you might begin to feel the wheels turning once again. But remember, Saturn remains in the retrograde shadow until 14th December.

What this means to you is that the period between the 5th Sept and 14th December is like an Amber light (not Green). It is best considered as part of a ‘strategy test’. Use this time to test, refine and further develop your life, narrative and thinking. By mid December it’ll be time to move forward in the knowledge that you will thrive, because of all the hard won experience you have gained.

Meanings from the outer planets

Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and to some extent Chiron, deal with the unconscious and generational, external impacts that teach us impersonally. These lessons are mysterious, cataclysmic and life-changing (sometimes permanent)


Uranus retrograde can bring about lots of disturbing revelations from the deep unconscious mind or collective unconscious. These shock, excite and overload us quite quickly. This retrograde can bring in change factors, that might need considering, to thrive during our next phase. Sensing necessary change can be bewildering if the change looks like a means to an end, rather a inspired course of action. This retrograde also has us considering how we can stay feeling free even when we have responsibilities to others.

With the Uranian energy being retrograde, it is important to understand that what shocks and disturbs you, even if it seems not to relate to you, has come to you for a reason. Part of the danger is understanding why something from the past has come up to be examined. As Uranus is independent and spontaneous, it is important to consider how we have unconsciously tethered ourselves and our behaviours to outdated memes and ideas.

Uranus retrograde is here to freshen, update and free us from that which no longer serves our best expression (even if in doing so, we experience trauma). This is an ongoing retrograde that you’ll also see at work in politics, media and earth events. We are being shaken to the core!


Neptune at it’s highest vibration brings about inspiration, divinity, unconditional love and purpose. At it’s lowest expression it compounds deceipt, self deception, false Gods and deviancy.

With Neptune retrograde we can expect to be reminded of our indecencies, shame, guilt and deviancy. Especially with Uranus retrograde (and Mars on the South Node), there’s a chance to clear up shame, guilt and confusion from a shocking past situation. Now is the time to reconsider your life through a new lens and realise that what you thought was true for you, was merely based on the projections that best suited your narrative and survival strategies from long ago.

If you are recovering from shame, humiliation and stories of darkness, it is important to rise above what you are being told and to see it as ‘information’ rather than personal attack. Keeping a cool head and clear heart is essential to ensure you don’t go further through the shame rabbit hole.


Pluto retrograde brings up old issues and transformations for us to remember, re-live and adjust from. These might be old memories you thought you had laid to rest, but now appear to have reawakened.

As with all Pluto impacts, it’s important to roll with it rather than fight it. Where you go into defense, situations get harder and infinitely more irresolute.

Pluto offers us the chance to breakdown and rebuild a life more geared to our true selves rather than holding onto patterns no longer serving us. Where perceived adversaries fight you to stay in their polarity, it is best to keep in mind your highest intention for finding yourself in the situation in the first place. For many of us it is clearing dishonesty, confusion, shame, guilt and anger, so that we can live more healthily and freely.

If someone is trying to keep you in a place of servitude and dishonour, it is time to walk out of their shadow and reclaim your light as impossible as that might seem to be.


And finally Chiron, our asteroid retro club member. Chiron is known as the wounded healer. He is the keeper of our old wounds, and our Achilles heel type ‘soft spot’ that we can’t seem to recover from.

With Chiron retrograde, the emphasis is put on recovering from our most primal of all wounds – those that have been behind most of our survival programming, and where our survival programming has become mal-adapted in subsequent years.

As Chiron moves in between the orbits of Uranus and Saturn, Chiron brings our unconscious memories and pain related from them, straight into our conscious minds and daily routines. It is for this reason I think it prudent to not ignore his message.

Chiron is now calling us to remember how these wounds came about and to walk through the pain, shame, and guilt of it. There is a gift to this which is not usually understood until after we have moved on.

Adding these messages together from all the retro club, there’s some very big themes occurring for many of us in our lives.

Those most affected by the retrogrades will have one or more of these retrograde planets connecting with their individual birth planets. In my own life, I had Jupiter retrograde over my ascendant, Saturn going over my Venus, Neptune over my Moon/Jupiter and Uranus opposing my natal Uranus. And don’t let me forget Pluto retro squaring my natal Chiron.

Have a look at your own birthchart and add in the current transits to see what’s where for you right now. For those not familiar with drawing up their own birthchart, you can watch my free 5 part series ‘Learn Astrology Easily’ by clicking here. To watch all 5 videos will take less than an hour.

Of course, If you prefer to have your themes explored by me in a consultation, then we can examine how and when these retrogrades will impact and what good can come of them. Sometimes it’s easier having someone else look into this to avoid additional overwhelm. Book your reading here

Alternatively, you can look out for the main release points of the retrograde activity in Part two of this blog


Published by

Louisa Tanner Munson

My life changed when my mum told me I was a Sagittarius. I've been bonkers about astrology since then!

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