Learn all the planetary retrogrades taking place during 2023! What you should avoid and how to best use them to your advantage this year.
What is a Retrograde?
having or being motion in a direction contrary to that of the general motion of similar bodies and especially east to west among the starsMerriam-Webster.com Dictionary
When in the context of astrology, retrograde refers to a visual phenomenon where the planet or celestial body in question appears to be moving in reverse to its usual pattern. A retrograde typically occurs when either the earth “passes” a slower planet during our yearly rotation, or a smaller & faster planet passes by us. Mercury is the most common retrograde to occur, because it rotates around the sun about once every 88 days. The other slower planets may only have one or two retrogrades any given year, and the length of the illusion can also vary depending on the planet and the speed that it travels around the Sun.
Astrologists believe that this retrograde period causes the energies that the planet usually rules over to become messier and conflicted. For example the infamous Mercury Retrograde is rumored to cause lapses in judgement as well as communication and technological errors ranging from ex’s texting you after long periods of silence to your cellphone freezing up.
Whether or not you are a firm believer in a retrograde’s effect on our lives, knowing the flow of the planets and how to embrace their energies in your magickal practice can be a huge boon to your workings if done correctly. All the dates mentioned in this blog are referring to EST times and may not be exactly correct for your location!
What is a “Shadow Period”?
The “Shadow Period”, a term coined by astrology Roxana Muise, is a section of time that occurs before and after a retrograde when the planet in question passes the degree of the zodiac that it will be retrograding in, and ending when it passes the degree that it first began its retrograde. This length of time is sometimes also referred to as a retrograde shadow or shadow point.
These shadow periods are typically viewed as an extension of the retrograde itself, where the energies of the retrograde are building (before the planet stations retrograde) and then receeding (after the planet stations direct).
The dates for the Mercury’s Retrogrades taking place during year 2023 are:
- December 29th, 2022 – January 18th, 2023
- Post-shadow: Ends February 8th
- April 21st – May 14th
- Pre-shadow: Begins April 7th
- Post-shadow: Ends June 1st
- August 23rd – September 15th
- Pre-shadow: Begins August 3rd
- Post-shadow: Ends September 30th
- December 13th, 2023 – January 1st, 2024
- Pre-shadow: Begins November 25th
Mercury Rules Over:
Mercury Retrograde Surival Tips:
Since Mercury is the most frequent planet to retrograde, it’s become rather infamous with the current rise of interest in spirituality and astrology. These retrogrades usually occur a couple times a year with just a few months gap between them. It’s impossible to hault everything during these periods, so here are some tips to help stay ahead of the game and be prepared for the dreaded Mercury retrograde.
- Make sure any travel plans are double & triple checked. Have backup transportation on standby, backup hotels, make sure your travel documents & IDs are safe and secure!
- Know where your backup electronic pieces are such as extra cords, chargers, batteries, etc.
- If you are someone who uses technology a lot for your work (such as me) save your work often. THis is also a good time to manual back-up your photos, documents, and so on.
- Keep a list of secondary programs for all your crucial computer needs. For example, if excel is having issues, make sure you have google sheets reachable; If you usually edit photos on photoshop, photopea is a great free backup.
- When communicating with others (especially when it involves touchy subjects) take your time and make sure that your words are coming across the way you want them to. Give space and be patient to others (and yourself!) during this time of communication confusion.
The dates for the Venus’ Retrograde taking place during year 2023 are:
- July 22nd – September 3rd
- Pre-shadow: Begins June 19th
- Post-shadow: Ends October 7th
Venus Rules Over:
- Creativity/The Arts
Venus Retrograde Surival Tips:
Venus retrograde can be a very intimidating time since it can effect two things that have great power over our lives, relationships & money. Here are some tips to help get through this potentially difficult time period:
- Double check your bank account and keep an eye out for incorrect or fraudulent charges.
- Don’t spend more than you have to, if you need to make large purchases double check how much you have first.
- If you have a job where income is inconsistent make sure you have a nice nest egg or lean into other planets such as Jupiter or Mercury to help counter income loss.
- Be careful with what you say especially to your loved ones, be calm, be patient. Consider just writing out or journaling difficult conversations and sitting on it a bit before bringing it up to the other person.
The dates for the Mars’ Retrograde taking place during year 2023 are:
- October 30th, 2022 – January 12th, 2023
- Post-shadow: Ends March 15th
Mars Rules Over:
Mars Retrograde Surival Tips:
Mars retrograde can be a tumultuous time period with many heated arguments and conflicts. Keep your cool with these survival tips:
- Take it slow! If you don’t have the energy don’t push yourself, take this time to live a little slower and easiers.
- Try to avoid conflict as much as possible, and when able to focus more on compromise.
- Don’t beat yourself up over goals not progressing right now, try to find an easier step to take instead.
- If you find yourself quick to anger, remember to take a step back and ask yourself why you are feeling this way? Is this a way you would normally react to the situation? Try to prioritize thought over action.
The dates for Jupiter’s Retrograde taking place during year 2023 are:
- September 4th – December 30th
- Pre-shadow: Begins June 11th
- Post-shadow: Ends March 23rd 2024
Jupiter Rules Over:
- Good Will
Jupiter Retrograde Surival Tips:
Jupiter retrograde can often mean that we begin to question our morals/ethics, success, and who we are. Carefully tread this time period with the following tips:
- If you are in a career or hobby that involves looking at analytics try to focus more on the long-term goals and numbers rather than short-term.
- You might find yourself feeling lost in many pathways right now such as career, spirituality, morals, etc. just remember to take it slow and that life is a journey! No decisions have to be made right away. Journal your feelings and reflect back on them later.
- Be gracious for the opportunities we’ve had (or have currently!), and don’t be too upset about any missed ones during this time period, they just might not be in the big picture for you!
The dates for Saturn’s Retrograde taking place during year 2023 are:
- June 17th – November 4th
- Pre-shadow: Beings March 11th
- Post-shadow: Ends February 7th, 2024
Saturn Rules Over:
- Removal of Blockages & Obstacles
Saturn Retrograde Surival Tips:
Since Saturn rules boundaries, limits, and obstacles, this retrograde is often seen as a time to confront these topics. Try these tips to best make use of this period of time:
- Revisit your boundaries you have in place, with yourself, your relationships, even physical boundaries. Are they still serving you? How can you improve them?
- Be aware of pressure during this time, whether it be from your peers, an employer or so on, don’t be afraid to set and enforce new boundaries in these areas.
- If you are feeling frustrated or afraid, take it slow. Dive into your Shadow Work journal and really try to understand where these feelings are coming from and why these obstacles are affecting you.
The dates for the Uranus’ Retrogrades taking place during year 2023 are:
- 2022 – January 22nd, 2023
- Post-shadow: Ends May 9th
- August 28th, 2023 – January 27th, 2024
- Pre-shadow: Begins May 12th
Uranus Rules Over:
Uranus Retrograde Surival Tips:
When Uranus is in retrograde we can find ourselves getting lost in change and lack of purpose. You might find yourself flipping your entire routine without knowing the reason why, or pursuing things that are really not of interest to you in the long run. This push in the wrong directly can lead to overall burnout in our lives. Here are some tips to help you get through Uranus retrograde.
- This retrograde can often express itself as rebelliousness without a purpose. Make sure you are rooted in your goals and aren’t expending energy needlessly.
- Try to embrace more structure to keep yourself responsible and on track.
- Lean into more mature planets such as Jupiter & Saturn for a more stable and disciplined approach.
The dates for Neptune’s Retrograde taking place during year 2023 are:
- June 30th – December 6th
- Pre-shadow: Begins March 9th
- Post-shadow: Ends March 25th, 2024
Neptune Rules Over:
- Psychic abilities
Neptune Retrograde Surival Tips:
If you include the Shadow Periods Neptune Retrograde extends for almost the entirety of 2023. Surviving this retrograde is less about avoiding what Neptune rules over and more about trying to adapt to a more tumultuous environment.
- Be wary of tricks during this time, stay on your guard and trust your gut when you feel something is off.
- During this retrograde we can also trick ourselves, try to be honest with your self when it comes to bad habits, addictions, or even just reality. Listen to others who voice their concerns to you during this time and don’t be afraid to seek outside council as well.
- Pay close attention to your dreams here, keep track of them in a dream journal if you can and look for patterns to see where you should be looking.
The dates for Pluto’s Retrograde taking place during year 2023 are:
- May 1st – October 10th
- Pre-shadow: Begins January 8th
- Post-shadow: Ends February 1st, 2024
Pluto Rules Over:
- Endings & New Beginnings
Pluto Retrograde Surival Tips:
Pluto is notorious for breaking down the structures you have in place and forcing you to rebuild. The planetary personification of the Tower tarot card can hit hard, try these tips to make it through the retrograde.
- While pluto can at first seem like a cruel power forcing upheavel in your life, know that it is always for the long-term betterment for you. When you see something fall apart, before immediately lammenting the loss of it first analyze it. Was it actually benefiting you? Was it a comfort that was encouraging you to stay content in the same rather than venture into new changes?
- Try to be adaptable, go with the flow and don’t be too attached to structure or habits during this period. Instead listen to your body and feel for what you need during this time.