What To Do When EVERYTHING Goes Retrograde

pattern3-1-e1497561416484.jpg

[full_width padding="30px 10px 10px 10px"]Kelsey Miller, Contributing Editor[/full_width]

[full_width padding="60px 0px 10px 0px"]astrology astrotwins[/full_width]

[full_width padding="60px 0px 10px 0px"]Astrology’s not everyone’s thing. But even if you couldn’t care less about planetary alignment, there are two things you’re almost certainly aware of: Your own sign, and retrograde. These days, the phrase “Mercury Retrograde” is shorthand for, “The universe has descended into chaos. Stay indoors and avoid human contact for the next 4-6 weeks.”[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]But here’s the twist: Retrograde is not all bad news. It’s not all about Mercury either. I spoke with Ophira Edut, of the inimitable AstroTwins, who gave us the real deal on all-things retrograde.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]The planets aren’t actually moving backwards.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Earth orbits the sun faster than other planets in our solar system, meaning that occasionally, it outpaces them. When that happens, the planet appears to be moving backwards, “much like a speeding car...passing a slower one,” Edut explains. Just an FYI, in case you thought planets were spontaneously changing direction. (Like I did.)[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Here’s why Mercury Retrograde is a doozy[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Mercury’s retrograde is the most infamous, probably for two reasons: First, it happens frequently, and for short periods of time. And second, Edut says, “It affects our daily lives.” Mercury is the messenger planet, ruling travel, technology, and communication. “Those are the things we rely on to function.” Traffic jams, computer crashes, a misunderstood text message that explodes into a fight—this is classic Mercury Retrograde. Most of us already have a fair amount of dread about dropping our phones or getting stuck on a stalled train, and that’s why Mercury Retrograde is so universally feared.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]But it’s also a little overhyped. As Edut says: “It’s kind of become the Pumpkin Spice Latte of retrogrades.”[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Everything goes retrograde—not just Mercury[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Mercury has the biggest rep, but the other planets go retrograde too. “And they really affect us,” says Edut (more on that later). You may not have heard as much about them, because the things they impact tend to be more big-picture and less tangible than, say, our phones. But also because their retrogrades are generally longer—meaning less transition periods. And truly, that’s what makes retrogrades so difficult.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Beware “the jerk”[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Stationing (AKA the shadow period) is the phase during which a planet is switching from direct to retrograde, and vice versa. “It’s literally like when a train pulls into the station, and it kind of jerks you, and gives you that moment of whiplash,” Edut explains. Often this clunky transition can be more unpleasant than the retrograde itself. Consider Pluto and Uranus, says Edut, both of which are associated with anger and hot-headedness. When they’re in retrograde, that rage is weakened and toned down. Then, during the stationing period, “Boom! It comes back with a vengeance.” [/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Change is always hard—but it’s also a constant. That’s why, Edut says, we’ve been approaching retrogrades all wrong.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Don’t fear retrograde. Embrace it.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]“There’s no denying that retrograde can throw some curveballs at you,” Edut admits. But retrogrades provide unique opportunities as well. Neptune, for example, “is known for whipping up drama and confusion. It can have a disorienting effect.” So, when it’s power is dimmed by a retrograde, you may have a sudden sense of clarity. “That’s when I get clearer about things I’ve been foggy on. I welcome a Neptune retrograde,” she says.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]There are major perks to retrogrades, and they don’t deserve the panic with which they’re met. Edut stresses that we’re worrying about them far too much. “Astrology can be misused [like this],” she explains. “It’s supposed to help give you coping tools—not make you even more scared than you already are.”[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Bottom line: When it comes to retrogrades, she says, “It’s all in how you use it.” Here’s how to start.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Mercury: Reconnect with old friends, give yourself time to reflect before responding to emails, and yes, take the opportunity to backup your photos. (When’s the last time you did that anyway?)[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Venus: While this can bring relationship issues to the surface—and potentially bring back old partners—it can also be a blessed break from romantic stress. “All that pressure single people feel to date,” says Edut. “Or couples, who feel the need to Instagram every fucking sundae they share.” Use this time to give yourself a break from all that. “Focus on you.”[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]Mars: Associated with anger, lust, and combat, Mars’ retrograde offers ample opportunity to hone your conflict-resolution skills. This is also a great time to confront something or someone you’ve been avoiding.[/full_width]

[full_width padding="15px 0px 10px 0px"]In general, a retrograde is a chance to clean up old messes, projects, or issues, “if you’ve swept something under the rug in your life,” concludes Edut. “And who hasn’t?”[/full_width]

[full_width padding="35px 0px 30px 0px"]Special thanks to the AstroTwins for sharing their insight and retrograde resources. If you want to read more (and learn about the outer planet retrogrades!), check out their guide here. ELOQUII readers also get 20% off their 2017 Planetary Planners. Enter 2017 at checkout.[/full_width]