Ah, the dreaded retrograde. The mere sound of the word might have you running for cover, believing that a retrograde means your relationship is going to end or your boss is going to fire you. But let's unpack the term "retrograde," shall we? Because to be honest, it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Even though several planets will retrograde in April and May 2020, there's so much to be learned from the whole experience. And who knows? You might even come to enjoy the energy these retrogrades represent.
When a planet undergoes apparent retrograde motion, all it means is that its energy is turned inward instead of outward. It encourages introspection, rethinking, and redoing. However, when a planet appears to be rolling backward in its orbit (because it's not really rolling backward, it just appears as though it is from your perspective on Earth), it does tend to inhibit some of that planet's potential. Luckily, that doesn't mean the planet is working any less effectively, only that it's working in a way it's not normally accustomed to.
Because a retrograde planet is also retracing its steps through the zodiac wheel and reconnecting with degrees it has already crossed over, a retrograde does tend to bring up issues from the past. That's why when Mercury — planet of communication — is retrograde, chances are high your ex will reach out to you (or you'll be the one reaching out to your ex).
Regardless, not all retrogrades are created equally. You tend to feel the retrograde effects of inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) way more intensely than outer planets (Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, etc.). This is because inner planets effect your life on a daily basis while outer planets effect your life over time, which spells mostly good news for the four upcoming retrogrades:
Pluto Retrograde: April 25 To October 4
Pluto — planet of transformation — spends nearly half of the year in retrograde, so this transit isn't all that alarming. However, that doesn't mean it's also not important. Pluto encourages creation and destruction, endings and beginnings. It concentrates on the dark side of life, where power is born. With Pluto's energy turned inward, you're being called to connect with your shadow self and accept yourself for who you are. This retrograde begins a slow and patient process of internal transformation. It helps you analyze your wounds and eventually, acknowledge the strength they've given you.
Saturn Retrograde: May 11 To September 29
Like Pluto, Saturn — planet of restrictions and karma — spends around four and a half months out of the year retrograde. In fact, chances are high either you or many people you know were born during Saturn retrograde. Since Saturn is associated with delayed gratification and long-term goals, this retrograde encourages you to rethink your priorities and witness the consequences of your decisions. If you've been messing up and focusing on the wrong things, it's a great time to correct course and get back on track. This retrograde helps you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, so to speak, and get back to work.
Venus Retrograde: May 13 To June 25
Since Venus is the planet of love and money, this retrograde reveals what needs improvement when it comes to your relationships and your financial state. Deep-seated issues regarding the way you perceive and function in love tend to surface, providing you with an opportunity for growth. Bad financial habits such as overspending may become apparent as well. Since Venus is an inner planet — meaning it has the strongest impact on your daily life — this is the retrograde to concern yourself with most. It's not the best time to make major financial commitments or relationship decisions. Instead, it's a great time for reflection.
Jupiter Retrograde: May 14 To September 12
Jupiter is also an outer planet, like Pluto and Saturn, meaning you might not even notice this retrograde as it's happening. That said, Jupiter retrograde will shape your life over time, and since this is the planet of adventure and philosophical growth, this retrograde asks you to temper your desire for adrenaline-pumping thrills to focus on internal expansion instead. Jupiter retrograde is an excellent time to return to studies you may have abandoned in the past or to reconnect with a belief system you used to have. All in all, it's about rediscovering your spirituality.