This month sees two planets turn retrograde. A planet is said to be in retrograde motion when it appears to travel backwards from our earthly perspective. All the planets do this periodically and the faster moving bodies do it more frequently. The Sun and Moon, also known as the Luminaries are the exception and always move in a direct or forward motion. Astrologically a planet in retrograde will express itself in a more inward and personal way.
Mercury will be in a retro phase from 18 April through to 11 May. Mercury is the planet of communication, acting like quicksilver, fast and hard to pin down. It also rules local travel and our thinking process. Although it has become popular to expect everything to go wrong during a Mercury retro phase this is far from the truth of the event. The slowing down and backward motion provides us with an important chance to re-evaluate, re-negotiate or re-consider where we might otherwise have pressed ahead only to have to return to it later. Use this phase to catch up with the paperwork.
The slow moving Pluto is also about to turn retrograde, 7 April through to 14 September. The nature of this heavyweight ‘planet’ is to purify and transform all that’s not working towards our best interests. It does this from within and will often bring to light previously unrecognised problems that have been blocking our progress. Pluto acts as a purging agent and can sometimes feel uncomfortable. We are often quite attached to the things, habits, beliefs, relationships or structures that need to be cleared out to make way for a new and improved version! This is a great time to undertake any kind of psychological therapy, diet cleanse or detox programme. Pluto turning retrograde in Capricorn will remind us that our outer world is only as good as our inner world and that there is work to be done. Specifically it will show us where things are not working within our social systems, governments, financial and other institutions as a result of our collective human failings. Though we may have already seen the result of failures in our social structures we may not have seen much change in their way of operating. This important retrograde period is a big ‘reality check’ and will initiate a deep reconsideration about the long term sustainability of these organisations. Attention will have to be given to our personal social responsibilities and obligations to the wider community. During this Pluto retrograde phase we will see the beginnings of necessary change at the very grass roots of our society.