From The AstroTwins
Pull the brakes! Last month was a high-speed cosmic chase, with two change-making eclipses sweeping through the skies. In the second half of April, Mars, Pluto and Mercury will slow down into retrograde (backward) motion, bringing the total retrograde count to FIVE planets, since Jupiter and Saturn are also in reverse.
While retrogrades can cause mixed signals and chaos, they also decelerate the action—something we may be happy to experience after all the swift changes of late. While this may not be the best time for splashy launches and grand debuts, it’s an excellent time to prepare for those. Contrary to all the freakout hype, retrogrades can be highly productive times to revise, revamp and correct course. Focus on the prefix “re-” and turn back to the past. Resolve conflicts, renovate your home, rekindle a relationship or friendship.
Here are some tips for using April’s retrograde cycles productively:
Mars Retrograde (April 17-June 29)
Mars is the planet of drive, ambition and raw primal lust. Rrrowr! It turns retrograde every two years, slamming the brakes on our fast-moving plans. Mars makes us impatient and even reckless, so this is a necessary reminder to downshift before we go off the rails. Mars is the warrior planet, so conflicts and tension can erupt now. Or, during an inward-facing retrograde, it can get pent-up and internalized. Make sure to have plenty of outlets! Mars retrograde can also make us accident prone, especially from rushing and haste. Easy does it! Mars will be retrograde in Sagittarius from April 17-May 27, then Scorpio from May 27-June 29. During the first part, we need to practice some cross-cultural sensitivity, and on a global level, to watch out for increased international conflict. In the second half, jealousy, possessiveness and scandal could erupt, as Mars backs through secretive Scorpio. Keep it clean—or destroy the evidence now!
Pluto Retrograde (April 18-September 26)
The shadow side of humanity—our unconscious urges and motives—fall under the domain of Pluto, God of the underworld. When Pluto starts stepping backward, which happens during approximately the same dates each year, it’s time to do some deep soul-searching. Pluto is retrograde in Capricorn, the zodiac sign that rules structure, authority and leadership. It also governs men and father figures. Where are we projecting some of our “daddy issues”? Where might we be engaged in a senseless power struggle? Pluto also rules the mystical and unseen forces. Feng shui or do a space clearing, try hypnotherapy or a past-life regression, tap into energy medicine and holistic healing at a sensual place like this.
Mercury Retrograde (April 28-May 22)
The most famous of all retrogrades since it happens three or four times each year, when expressive Mercury makes a U-Turn. Mercury’s reversal can throw off communication, travel and technology. In the first half of the month, back up data to the cloud, sign contracts and give the team their marching orders, because crossed wires and chaos can erupt. Mercury will be retrograde in Taurus this time, which rules money, work and security. It could be hard to stick to a budget or routine, so take extra measures to protect your cash and simplify your life.
For more on Mercury retrograde, see The AstroTwins’ post here.