For some background, planetary retrograde periods refer to when planets appear to be moving backwards in the sky, and these periods happen at different intervals throughout the year. While each planet has retrograde cycles, Mercury retrograde is the most common, happening three or four times a year (and known for complicating issues of travel, communication, and technology, in each instance). While retrogrades are a great time for rest and internal reflection, their backward-motion energy can also exacerbate feelings of frustration and being stuck. It’s not a great time for “doing,” to say the least.
“When all planets in the sky are moving forward, we’re able to access the external expression of their energies easier.” —astrologer Leona Moon
A retrograde-less sky, then, is a glorious one for getting stuff done. “When all planets in the sky are moving forward, we’re able to access the external expression of their energies easier,” says astrologer Leona Moon. “For example, when Mercury —everyone’s favorite retrograde planet—is direct, we’re able to engage in Mercurial activities with fewer consequences. It’s easier to sign contracts, we have fewer typos in our emails, people respond to our texts and emails quicker, and in general there’s less misunderstanding. Mercury’s energy is functioning as it should.”
That being said, you might not want to make quick movements yet. While Mercury having gone direct on February 20 may have cleared up some fog or confusion or minimized breakdowns, astrologer Adama Sesay says to mind the shadow period until March 12 (interestingly, the date that marks just about a full year of lockdown).
“I always advise my clients to practice the same things during the shadow period as they did doing retrograde,” she says. “This includes waiting on agreements, refraining from starting something new. This is a time to revise, revamp, and restore. Taking time to review your hopes, dreams, and wishes during this period was key so now you can focus on taking inspired action once the retrograde dust settles.”
Beyond that date, though, we have a glorious retrograde-free period until April 28, when Pluto begins its backpedal. So until then, we’ll be rid of that stagnant energy, and able to step towards the things we’ve put on hold. “When no planets are retrograde in the sky, we are able to access the planetary significations easier,” says Moon. “There is forward movement—this is a wonderful time to start new projects, try out new hobbies, and cross things off that have been lingering on your to do list.”
And when we do enter the next retrograde season, try not to panic. Though they can be annoying, Moon points out that retrogrades are inevitable, necessary, and common. “Pay close attention to whatever themes surface during a retrograde-free period because it’s likely you’ll find yourself reflecting and readjusting once the next retrograde hits,” says Moon. “This is a powerful time for forward momentum, but it’s also important to be mindful that retrogrades deserve a healthy dose of gratitude for the much-needed, forced slow down in a world that never seems to stop moving.”
So, do your best to enjoy the productive energy while it lasts.
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