Retrograde Planets in the Birth Chart

Retrograde Planets in the Birth Chart
Retrograde Planets in the Birth Chart: “Woman Drying Her Hair” by Joseph DeCamp (1898)

Retrograde Planets in the natal chart usually indicate an evolutionary need to undo or redo something with regard to the archetypal symbolism of that planet. In this post, I will briefly* address the possible meaning(s) of each retrograde planet in the birth chart, regardless of all other possible factors which may modify these basic interpretations. Therefore, please keep in mind that these are only possibilities rather than certainties:


Perhaps we only leave
So we may once again arrive,
To get a bird’s eye view
Of what it means to be alive.
For there is beauty in returning,
Oh how wonderful, how strange,
To see that everything is different
But know it’s only you who’s changed.

Erin Hanson

Retrograde Mercury:

This is often an indication of an evolutionary impetus to slow down and re-examine one’s content and style of thinking. The soul might have been underexposed or overexposed to information, languages, or means of communication in previous lifecycles, and this lifetime would be a great opportunity to achieve a degree of intellectual equilibrium and discernment regarding what information is to be retained and what is to be discarded. A direct Mercury, on the other hand, usually shows that the current flow of information can be accessed in a relatively judicious manner and with an inherent degree of discernment. [Please note that this baseline interpretation can be modified by the presence of various aspects to Mercury.]

Alternatively, retrograde Mercury in the birth chart may indicate past life dedication to learning a skill that could not be easily mastered, or an inability to learn a skill one was passionate about because of certain physical or environmental limitations. In this life cycle, therefore, one is to meditate upon the intrinsic importance of “trying” and dedicating oneself to intellectual endeavors or learning skills, even if one may not be able to achieve absolute mastery in this process. 

Retrograde Venus:

This may show that the soul carries a memory of being over-dependent, under-socialized, over-indulgent, or excessively deprived regarding material necessities. Therefore, there may exist an evolutionary need to retouch one’s interpersonal skills or balance one’s relation to the material dimension of existence. A direct Venus, on the other hand, can simply indicate that the soul is not bound by previous lack or excess, and one can thus regulate her relation to people or things in a more moderate manner. [Please note that this baseline interpretation can be modified by the presence of various aspects to Venus.]

Alternatively, retrograde Venus in the birth chart may indicate a past life tendency to under-value or over-value oneself. In this case, one is to learn how to balance one’s perception in relation to oneself. A meditation on the nature of the human soul and how we are all “intrinsically” and “equally” valuable would help regulate this energy, as well as practicing to see oneself as objectively as possible by asking for feedback from those near and dear to one.

Retrograde Mars:

This may indicate that the soul has an evolutionary urge to re-act, possibly as a result of under-action or over-action in previous life cycles. The soul might have relentlessly pursued her desires without much consideration for the “other,” or the soul’s legitimate desires might have been frequently nipped in the bud by the “other.” The current life cycle, therefore, would be an arena in which new possibilities would arise for the soul to practice her muscles of action and initiation. A direct Mars, on the other hand, would generally point to an uninhibited desire for action and initiation in a timely and effective manner. [Please note that this baseline interpretation can be modified by the presence of various aspects to Mars.]

Alternatively, retrograde Mars in the birth chart may indicate a past life episode of being a victim of violence or inflicting violence upon others. In this life cycle, therefore, one’s mantra should be “meditation before action,” as a karmic vicious circle of violence may exist in this case, which is often perpetrated by an inner urge to punish oneself because one has previously participated in a violent act, or has allowed it through inaction. 

Retrograde Jupiter:

This usually shows that certain belief-formation mechanisms, moral principles, or intuitive frameworks which have bestowed “meaning” to one’s life have been carried over from previous life cycles and are now to be scrutinized, reconsidered, or discredited. A direct Jupiter, on the other hand, usually shows that this lifetime is a chance to subscribe to certain philosophies (or dogmas) which are probably “new” to the soul, and would then be carried over to future incarnations.

Alternatively, retrograde Jupiter in the birth chart may indicate that in a past life cycle one may have subscribed to certain ideologies, or may have rejected them without properly examining them or as a result of unscrupulousness. In this life cycle, therefore, one has to meditate upon all the beliefs and moral structures one is to adopt, without falling prey to social or cultural “norms,” or one’s own self-righteousness. 

Retrograde Saturn:

This often indicates releasing or concluding karmic patterns which have defined the structure of “consciousness” in the previous life cycles, whereas a direct Saturn usually shows the acquirement of new conditionings which would then be carried over to (and to a degree, define) the structure of “consciousness” in future lifetimes. Another possibility is that one might have been over-disciplined or under-disciplined in constructing one’s legacy in previous cycles, and has now been given a second chance to build a life of realism and integrity.

Alternatively, a retrograde Saturn in the birth chart may indicate that in previous life cycles one was not able to regulate one’s relation to figures of authority in a constructive manner. One may have been too overwhelmed by other people’s status or social influence or might have completely disregarded societal norms of success or propriety. In this life cycle, therefore, one is to meditate upon the necessity of having a purposeful life, and striving towards materializing one’s potential without losing one’s autonomy to the expectations of others.

Retrograde Chiron:

This may imply that the soul has not yet come to terms with the inherent “awkwardness” or “deficiency” of Earthly life and that there still exists a degree of discomfort regarding human pain or shame in general. To learn how to be “in between” the worlds, to dwell in the sheer ineptness of life without losing sight of its beauties, and to practice “Negative Capability” would be the ultimate evolutionary purpose of Chiron retrograding in the natal chart. A direct Chiron, however, usually indicates that the soul has a tendency to eventually come to terms with the “awkward” and “ugly” of daily existence, relieving them through helping and healing others (and thus oneself). A retrograde Chiron symbolizes a longer path in this regard, but probably a more fruitful one.

Retrograde Uranus:

This may indicate that the soul is carrying over a degree of inconsistency, excessive detachment, or inability to detach regarding the nature of human love, the imperfection implied in the human condition or the individuation process. In this lifetime, therefore, the soul is to re-cut herself from the unconscious patterns of thought carved in prior life cycles and re-approach such notions without falling into extremes. A direct Uranus, however, usually indicates that one is more prepared to detach when necessary, or that new unconscious patterns of thought would be etched unto one’s soul in the current lifetime to be carried over to the future incarnations.

Retrograde Neptune:

This may show that the soul is carrying over a degree of confusion, excessive attachment, or inability to attach regarding the nature of cosmic love, the interconnectedness of all beings, or sacrifice. In this lifetime, therefore, the soul is to re-connect to such notions and freshly intuit the infinite nature of the Creator, the multiplicity of Being, or the merits and demerits of sacrifice. A direct Neptune, however, would usually indicate that one is more prone to perceiving inter-relation of things, the infinity of the Soul, or the grace of God without these concepts necessarily overflowing into the boundaries of one’s material existence.

Retrograde Pluto:

This may indicate that some evolutionary refining and re-defining is in order, and thus the purpose of reincarnation of an individual with Pluto retrograding in the natal chart is streamlining the soul by a yearning to undo the deep-seated habits formed over many lifetimes. The consciousness of such pre-existing patterns may come more readily to such an individual, compared to someone with a direct Pluto in his or her birth chart: a direct Pluto, indeed, may be an indication of a lifetime during which new soul habits will be formed to be carried over to future life cycles. As there is a lighter burden of past patterns, in this case, one would have a heavier responsibility with regard to dictating new habits to one’s soul, and thus setting a new karmic trajectory for oneself.

In the next post, I will introduce you to Saturn, and we will explore the meaning of this planet through Signs, Houses, and in aspect to other planets in the birth chart.


* An accurate astrology reading includes interpreting each retrograde planet in the specific context of the client’s birth chart and his or her actual living experience. Retrograde planets, unlike what most people tend to think, have specific implications in each chart, which are quite pertinent to the specific evolutionary path of the individual.

25 Replies to “Retrograde Planets in the Birth Chart”

  1. Thank you! I have scoured the internet for clear meanings of the Rx’s in my chart. This is fabulous information that resonates.

  2. Hi thanks so much for this! I have 5 retrogrades. But with Uranus you said excessive detachment and Neptune Retrograde excessive attachment. Does that mean I had lives where I went either way? Also my Venus is retrograde so is that like my Neptune retrograde? One last thing the Day I was born Chiron was also retrograde and Direct what does that mean for me? Thank you!

    1. I am happy you enjoyed my article 🙂 Your questions have to be evaluated in the context of the chart, so I cannot really comment. Thanks again for being in the circle of my readers!

  3. Hello,
    I have six Retro planets in my natal chart : Uranus, Pluto, Neptune, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter. Also Juno and Ceres Could you tell me how affect people with six retro planets? In my experiences, in their natal chart, people having 6 retro planets struggle difficulties in their lives more than other people. Agree with me ? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi there, and thank you for your feedback. I don’t think retrograde planets per se mean difficulties; how we integrate them psychologically is the important issue here. I am sorry I cannot offer further advice in my response, as I have to look at the entire chart and work with an individual in order to offer help with the process of making these energies conscious and working with them effectively.

      1. How may I have you do this for me? Nearly everything in my natal chart is retrograde.

        1. You can schedule a consultation session and I will be happy to have a look at your chart, Rebecca 🙂

    2. It has definitely been my experience with 6 planets retrograde in my natal chart. I rarely come across many charts with more than 5, and no one I personally know has 6. I constantly feel alone and misunderstood and have struggled a fair amount. Mercury, mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are all retrograde for me.

  4. I have 6 planets in retrograde in my natal chart. I have come to believe that much of my anxiety around my daily life stems from a need to transcend or step beyond the mundane aspects of my consciousness. There are entire worlds in my mind. But these worlds do not always have any recognisable relationship to the one in which I live, work and breathe. Perhaps my retrogrades have given me a second chance so to speak to find these relationships. I don’t know. Confusion is normal for me as it is perhaps for most.

    1. I have 6 as well and feel the same about my consciousness and experience of the world around me. It makes for a deep, mentally active and often overwhelming existence most of the time. I try to take on meaning and pleasure just from the present moment, although I yearn to connect with others I feel I never really will on the level my consciousness expresses.

  5. Wow, this post is fantastic! I’ve struggled for a long time to understand my natal retrogrades, (Jupiter in the 7th conjunct the DC, Saturn in the 6th conjunct the DC and Chiron in the 8th). Your descriptions are spot on. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Persephone, for giving me feedback on this post! I hope you enjoy my other posts as well 🙂

  6. Thank you for the planets retrograde post.I have retro Saturn,and my child has retro Jupiter in dhnur lagana 1st house, and retro sun and Venus along with rahu in 6th house, and retro Saturn and retro mars in 10th house Libra.we are very much interested and liked your post..Thankyou for the efforts done by you.

  7. Dear Tina,

    I find your comments on retrograde planets fascinating as, firstly, I have Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto retrograde and, secondly, I act in my capacity as a shamanic practitioner and healer as one who heals and “sees, feels and hears” people’s past lives. The healing always need to be achieved/performed with planets and points where the person is in a “Ground Hog Day” situation and your explanation of retrograde planets is just wonderful in explaining this “why” we get stuck in certain ways of thinking, feeling and behaving in this life. Insomnia is a recurring plea for help on this level and clearing past lives clears insomnia. One sees the strangest of lives that one never expects. I do go into past lives through people’s horoscopes, so I am so very impressed that you link past lives and the action of one’s astrological chart in the clever way you do.

    I am so very pleased that you include Chiron. I would love to see an expanded version of a retrograde Chiron and a stationary and unaspected Chiron. I especially loved your sentence: ” To learn how to be “in between” worlds, to dwell in the sheer “ineptness” of life without losing sight of its beauties, and to practice “Negative Capability” would be the ultimate evolutionary purpose of Chiron retrograding in the natal chart. ” As I have just completed a book about liminal worlds, and hope to publish soon, I find what you say particularly true of Chiron and of some Chironic people and their practices. I would also love to hear you discussing and expanding on “Negative Capability.” I am so very happy that you include the need to evolve in our present life rather that just “be.” Your language and the way you use it is fascinating and just wonderful. It includes your audience and makes them think widely and deeply and well beyond the bell curve.

    I have a client who I have worked with as a shamanic practitoner and an astrologer and counseller. This person has a Capricorn ascendant, Chiron is Capricorn in the first house, conjunct the ascendant and Saturn and Neptune retrograde in Libra, in the tenth house, opposite Mars conjunct Venus in Aries in the 4th . Chiron is square Saturn, Neptune, Mars, Venus and opposite Uranus retrograde in the seventh. Sigh. Now here is a person coiled up like a watch spring, endlessly needing to be one of the herd or Joneses and consumed by insomnia so your article on retrogrades grabbed me. In my need to explain Chiron’s many archetypes I shall look at the sub-personality of Saturn retrograde conjunct Neptune retrograde in this person and search for the Chiron in Capricorn core archetype as a core of his Chironic archetypal persona. Perhaps I will find it in the past lives this person has lived that cause the insomnia. I am fascinated by your explanation of Neptune retrograde, which essentially is “let go let God” and being in a state of inner tension, because this person has had a lifelong belief in atheism. How interesting that transiting Neptune has just passed over his Ascendant and transiting Uranus has just opposed the Saturn-Neptune retrograde. What fascinates me is that slowly but surely healing negative past lives can erode any negativity from retrograde motion in planets.

    Your article has had perfect timing for me.

    Take care, many blessings and thankyou Tina,


    1. Dearest Hilary,
      Many thanks for your insightful and encouraging (as always) feedback, and also sharing this wonderful story with me regarding your client. I am happy that you like my “past life” meditation on planetary configurations… Also, understanding how stationary and unaspected planets may actually manifest in life has been quite fascinating for me… I will definitely try to write some drafts on Chiron unaspected and stationary based on my limited research, and I’m sure you can help me expand on the subject as well.
      Sending you love and light,

  8. With 3 personal planets and 2 outer planets in my natal chart Rx this is a subject of interest to me. Beside the interpretation of the individual planet it is also of significance to take into account the total number of planets that are Rx. Gregory Rozek has researched this subject and wrote his findings in this very interesting article that I would like to recommend for those who have a special interest:

    Tina, it is always a joy to read your blog!

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