Retrograde planets put the brakes on Planetary energies, that are normally pushing us forward or acting outwardly in expression. When a planet is retrograde the energy then turns inward, more self reflective, or internalized. But also karmically it tends to bring about some rather interesting things.
According to Martin Schulman, in Karmic Astrology: Retrogrades & Reincarnation book he says, retrograde planets break the time barrier. That the person brings memories of prior lifetimes into the present. That there is often a feeling of blending lifetimes with those of the past. a “blending of lifetimes” characterized by the person attempting to resolve issues that still appear to be unfinished or karmic.
The memories can be so vivid that the person does not recognize them as “memories.”. I guess more like dejavu or happenstance, meant to be, karmic or the such. There can be extreme circumstances or a feeling of struggling with age old problems, of a karmic nature with heavy attachments deep within their soul.
The person can often feel they are reliving something old, with roots in the past. Much like during a Venus Retrograde transit old lovers can reappear. Having Venus Rx in the natal chart can bring them back from many distant lifetimes these can be from long ,long ago.
Another thing that occurs with Rx planets kinda like Pluto, they can purge repressed feelings, especially during transit. We think about things differently, much deeper and more introspective. Repressed feelings often come out. It's important to wait until after a planet returns direct motion to make decisions because the overamplification can make something a lot worse than it is, and tempt you into a bad situation or decision. By transit they cause us to rethink as well as, a " Re-Wind" or Re-Do an opportunity to fix, re-work, just think Re.
So understanding how the retrograde planet is working for you, and where to focus your energy while a planet is Retrograde would be highly beneficial.
Karmic repercussions. A Retrograde planet in a chart is Karmic, and it starts early on and was inherited by a parental family line or from the individual's past life. In the case of an adult, where there may have been a lack of the planet element or expression in their life. For instance, if it was Mercury perhaps a lack of books, Internet resources or in the complete reverse a overemphasis around education.
With Venus, they were not surrounded by beautiful things, grew up an only child or a girl with many brothers, in which she was not exposed much to the feminine energies, or supported in things of beauty, art, and diplomacy. This transmutes later on into a girl who is unable to relate to others girls, or has difficulty with personal relations with others, having small talk, or understanding the latest fashion. Although the person was likely quite fashionable.
In love relationships, there was often a very powerful heartbreak involved early on, or their artistic talents were suppressed or not appreciated. There was a lack of all things Venus related. Venus Retrograde in a natal chart will bring past life relationships into the person's life as Retrogrades bring 2nd chances.
Although they were the product of non exposure, or lack of the positive attributes of the planet energy, they usually cause the individual advance further later, master, and utilize the planet energy efficiently later much better than most with it direct later in life.
In the natal chart when a planet is retrograde, there is a bit of Karma attached to it as well as a higher understanding of the planetary energies as time goes on.
When planets move into retrograde motion by transit, we begin the process of deeply analysing and reviewing the areas of the planets and the house the planet is retrograde in.
While Venus is Retrograde we can feel unsatisfied, IF we are turning a blind eye to our lack of the things that truly satisfy us. Relationships become under inspection, temptations present themselves, and there are decisions to be made, testing your love, values, and beauty.
It's a great time to get things out in the open, fix, repair, start over, re-do. Just realize during this time you are highly perceptive in these the above areas. Problems are enhanced, and sometimes aggravations, and nit picking occurs. If this is the case, then the relationship has reached a point to where the two of you need to make compromises or perhaps go separate ways.
In my observation below are some of the effects of Retrograde planets in the natal chart as well as by transit for I will refer to Retrograde as Rx.
Mercury retrograde natal
With Mercury Rx early on depending on how evolved you are in the process, perhaps up until today- You may have stumbled on your words, or your outward expression was turned inward, always re-thinking, analyzing, to the point that you may have had difficulty expressing yourself or relating to others. You may have felt misunderstood.
Communication may have felt awkward, or you may not have been confident in what you have to say for fear of ridicule. You were not comfortable speaking your mind, or may have been shy or non communicative. You may have had tremendous fear of speaking in groups or being called on to speak in school. You rarely jump into anything without first thinking things through, and because of your over analysis you may have kept hidden some of your most brilliant thoughts. Your Karma comes back to you through the way in which you perceive, communicate or speak. You may have been denied early learning, or your parents did not recognize intelligence or acknowledge yours. Confusion surrounding area of communication.
Mercury Retrograde by Transit
The little trickster is quite the joker and has a lot of fun doing so! Double check all forms of communications, such as text messages( be sure you have the right person) emails, contracts, and direct communication, things are likely to get mixed up. Misunderstandings are common, and things that were said previous to Mercury retrograde are likely to come back to you for clarity. Now is the time to go back and reflect on these things and to re-do anything that may need more clarity. When Mercury goes direct things will come together much better than previously, or you will find you did it right the first time.
Venus Retrograde Natal
Your expression of your love nature is complex, you crave love and affection but your affection runs hot and cold. It's not that you are not affectionate you can be extremely affectionate, it's just that you are unsure of exactly how to express your wants and needs, so you often go without. You internalize your feelings rather than express them openly. You may have difficulty early on with love, and the timing. Fate seems to be a factor and until you learn to express your wants and desires you will have difficulty getting it. However as time goes on you will see that you have a better than average understanding of your true desires, love nature and attachment to money. Which then you become quite the expert on love and obtaining financial wealth.
Venus Retrograde by transit
This is a time when past loves come back to rehash what went wrong, you can either patch things up or you can finally get closure and move on. You will begin a review of love received and love given, you will ponder whether or not you are truly getting what you want out of love, or what went wrong in the past. Relationships are under inspection, so are your personal values, and the things you value in life. When Venus goes direct, you will have a hand on what it is you want in love, and just how to go about to get it.
Mars Retrograde Natal
You are the king of thinking before you act! you are learning the consequence of NOT thinking. You have experienced failures in exerting yourself and you either over exert yourself or don't exert yourself enough. This will force you to learn when the right and wrong time to exert your energy and personal will. You are probably quite athletic or at least pretty agile because the amount focus you apply to perfecting your use of energy. You hold your anger in and release it at awkward times. Mars retrograde wants you to learn the proper use of your energy, so think before you act but not too much to where you don't act at all.
Mars Retrograde by Transit
Your actions are up for review, this marks a time of deep contemplation and less action. You usually feel a little sluggish during this time, which serves to help you slow down and rethink your plan of action. It's not a good time to start anything new, it is best used to finish off a project you may have put on hold or to make a new game plan of the next two years. This is a time to relax and not push yourself, because most things you pursue will fall through, especially if they are new. How you assert yourself is under inspection as well, and you might reflect on your actions. The house is very important in finding out what areas you will most likely deal with during this time.
Your optimism, faith in life and generosity will need to be self willed. You may have lacked the easy come easy go luck in life and may feel that you create your own luck, and will find out in the end that this is very true. Your luck in life is attached to displaying these Jupiter characteristics with others, so that you yourself, will get others to do the same for you. Although it is not easy for you to be overly optimistic, or positive, it would suit you best to learn how by utilizing all the tools available to you. With a Planet Rx, that energy is missing, we must surround ourselves and create it ourselves. You did not have much of a example on faith or , positive things, you may have rarely if ever won anything, you may feel as if you lost out of luck in life. It's simply not true. When planets transit our houses, they make us feel a particular way and even affect our mentality and health. Pluto affects our hormones, Saturn our Bones, etc..( see, my Astrological Health Article for more). If you simply involve yourself is positive activities incorporate Jupiter's colors, get spiritual and listen to daily affirmations, you will be providing Jupiter for yourself. That's like taking Calcium supplements during a Saturn Transit. Mind over matter, Science has already proven our thoughts manifest.
Jupiter retrograde Transit
Your ethics are under inspection, and you will also see people for what they really are. When Jupiter lays off his expansion and possibilities your faith feels uncertain. You don't feel as optimistic as you normally do and it's best not to try your luck during this time. This is a good time to review areas that Jupiter is transiting and in these areas are where you will receive the most clarity.
Saturn Retrograde Natal
You probably don't have proper restraint and perhaps do things is excess often. Your boundaries aren't clear to yourself and so others may take advantage of the area that Saturn occupies. It is important that you learn boundaries, or others will attempt to suck you dry when they need emotional support. You most likely have had to depend on yourself for financial and emotional support so you are quite the survivor. You have the ability to bring structure to chaos and are great at helping others with there problems and the go to person in the middle of a crisis. You need to learn to embrace Saturn by setting up your own personal boundaries, restraints that are necessary for your own protection, you can do this by being clear on what is acceptable and not. Wherever Saturn is in your chart is where you need to develop self control or restrictions and perhaps stand up for yourself, for until you do, he will push strange circumstances upon you that will eventually force you. You are probably really good with structuring other peoples money, but perhaps not so good with your own. You're success will be by your own means, which is all yours.
Saturn Retrograde by Transit
The areas that Saturn is transiting in your chart is where you will be held accountable for all your previous actions. Things that were begun prior to Saturn's retrograde motion will be up for review again. If you did not make the proper actions in the choices you made with issues covered by the house in transit, then you will not be very happy during this time, however, on the bright side you get the opportunity to clear it away with a lesson learned. Saturn makes you responsible for your actions , he is the planet of Karma or the Judge. He serves to make you structured, and self reliant.
Uranus Retrograde Natal
Uranus Retrograde show a less risky individual that rather than having it's sudden shocks and revelations, you have been exposed to a constant flux of change and revel in it. Uranus retrograde in one's natal chart indicates that your need for self expression is greater than most and you are far ahead of your time. You are constantly buzzing with energy that may feel like a constant push to do something
in ordinary, in a big way. You can forsee parts of the Future and are pretty ahead the the game. Your unique approach to seeing life, makes way for one of the most brilliant inventors, designers, or anything creative and avant garde.
Uranus Retrograde Transit
When Uranus turns retrograde depending on the house he is traveling you will notice that you are reflecting on your desire to be more authentic to yourself. Its time to reflect on new ways that you can approach any given situation that will ultimately provide you with more freedom, and self expression of your true desires. You want to break free from mundane and spark up a new you. You need to be careful of a sudden need to break free, because when Uranus returns to direct motion you may have regrets.
Neptune Retrograde Natal
You may have difficulty understanding and fulfilling your dreams because of a lack of faith and compassion for yourself, and your desires, or perhaps you are one that because, of the lack of the "colorful" in life you have fallen deep within the dream world to escape. Either one is possible but mostly this indicates a disbelief or self effacing individual that does not know how to define oneself. There was likely much confusion growing up which made it hard for you to trust your intuition. Now you are in the process of developing and learning to use your intuition to help guide you in your decisions to help you achieve your dreams.
Neptune Retrograde Transit
Things seem confusing during this time, and all things spiritual or otherworldly are much more prominent. Your spiritual self is up for investigation and so are those of others. You are able to see deception much clearer, and may have tuned in to people on a subliminal level or are able to see the behind the scenes of things. Your intuition is stronger and you are relying more on the subtleties, rather than the obvious.
Pluto Retrograde Natal
You need to learn to assert yourself in getting what you want in life. Other's are likely to try to control or boss you around more than most. This can cause pent up anger and lingering deep frustrations if not faced correctly. The problem with this is that the person must defend themselves so often, and are put in positions where other's try to manipulate them or push them around, that they burst at the first sign of it, causing them to look like the abuser. The key is to believe in yourself, your inner convictions and when other's try to assert their will on you, you confidently but not erratically show them that you will not tolerate it. You need to take control of your life, your passions and what is or not acceptable in your life.