What actually happens when planets are in retrograde, and why is it so chaotic?

15 Feb, 2023 | Astrology

5 Minute Read

Words by WYLDE MOON staff writer

Share this article…

“Tin hats on everyone…Mercury is in retrograde!”

But what on earth (‘scuse the pun) does that actually mean for us? Why does the mention of a planet in retrograde spark fear amongst zodiac lovers and non-believers alike?! We wanted to lift the veil on retrograde scaremongering and find out what cosmic shifts in a galaxy far, far away really mean for us earthlings.

The term ‘retrograde’ is a description of a planet appearing to be moving backwards. In reality, the planet itself is not actually moving backwards, it just gives the illusion it’s moving that way. According to NASA this illusion of planetary movement occurs at various times during their journey in orbit around the sun.

According to astrology, each planet holds its own unique meaning. When the planet is then in retrograde it is seen that the meaning of the planet is turned on its head. For example, Mars is seen as the planet of passion and action, so when Mars is in retrograde, we are told to expect disruption in relationships, new projects or any other aspects of your life that require those energies.

In our quest for the truth, and sources do vary, here’s a general consensus of what astrologists tell us the planets represent:

The Sun

The Sun is associated with; ego, energy, vitality and focus.

The Moon

The Moon is associated with; emotions, mood, behavior and intuition.


Mercury is associated with; mind, ideas, reason, and communication.


Venus is associated with; love, relationships, beauty and harmony.


Mars is associated with passion, action, determination and aggression.


Jupiter is associated with; luck, growth, hope, optimism.


Saturn is associated with; structure, strength, ambition and responsibility.


Uranus is associated with; change, freedom, individuality and rebellion.


Neptune is associated with; imagination, spirituality, dreams and intuition.


Pluto is associated with; transformation, power, evolution and regeneration.

One thing to remember though, whilst retrograde is usually regarded as a negative phase it can actually be an extremely positive time, bringing uplifting changes in communication, work life and home life. For example, when Jupiter, the planet of luck and optimism is in retrograde, it is said that you can expect great fortune and inner growth!

So, fear not, dear reader. Retrograde, doesn’t always need to send you into a spiral of despair. If we’re honest, sometimes it’s actually quite nice to have some other worldly event to blame when things go wrong!

Share this article…

Whilst WYLDE MOON consults with experts, no advice should replace that of your registered doctor. As such, the information we publish is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider for any medical conditions, and never disregard professional medical advice because of information you have read from WYLDE MOON.

By participating in programs such as the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program WYLDE MOON may make affiliate revenue if you buy a recommended product, but we only recommend the absolute best in the eyes of our experts.

You may also like…