As a follower of astrology, I feel that I must talk about what’s been going on in the skies these past few weeks of summer, 2018. The sun reached its pinnacle on the Summer Solstice, June 21, 2018 marking the longest day of the year. Days will slowly become shorter and shorter until the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2018.

So it looks like we’ve climbed the mountain and are surveying our journey back to level ground as we wind up the year. But before we do, the planets ask us to pause awhile at the pinnacle to enjoy the view, rest for a picnic, and carefully choose a path homeward – with a slew of retrogrades!

Retrogrades occur when planets appear to be moving backward in the sky from the point of view of Earth due to the nature of their elliptical orbits. Although the backward movement is just an optical illusion, it is significant, astrologically speaking. It usually represents a time of delays or disruptions dependent on the particular planet in retrograde.  Believe it or not, scattered over the remainder of 2018, a total of seven planets will be in retrograde!

Here is a brief look at what each of them are and the impact they will bring.

Mercury 26 July 2018 – 19 August 2018

Mercury is the planet that rules thought, travel and communication. During this period it is common to experience technical difficulties with electronic devices, traffic jams or accidents, stagnation in thinking and breakdowns and misunderstandings in communication.  This is not a time to start a new project or sign contracts or agreements of any kind. Be very careful when moving in the world in order to mitigate any danger or irreversible damage.

Mars Retrograde 27 June 2018 – 27 August 2018

Mars is the planet that rules energy, passion, action and initiative. We may have noticed a lethargy during this period as there is a feeling of rowing against the current. Progress is slowed or halted by delays or setbacks.  This is also the planet of war and aggression, so its important to be careful and aware of tempers at this time due to these setbacks. Take this as a time to see how a delay may be more beneficial rather than frustrating. Mars retrograde will teach patience and to wait for the right timing.

Jupiter Retrograde 9 March 2018 – 10 July 2018

Jupiter is the planet that rules expansion, freedom, travel, luck and abundance. With a retrograde in this energy, many may feel the need to go inward and slow down and step back from expansive activities which engage with the outside world. It is not a time to take risks and make big purchases, but to consider and research decisions before acting on them. It is rather like the inhale before the great exhale when Jupiter turns direct on its course again.

Saturn Retrograde 18 April 2018 – 6 September 2018

Saturn is known as the planet of karma and justice as well as discipline and authority.When this planet is in retrograde, it is important to take things slowly and proceed by the book rather than taking shortcuts. It is a time to have patience and to understand limitations, especially in relation to authority figures. Be mindful of boundaries at this time as saying YES when you mean NO will prove overwhelming later on when reality hits. This is the time to look inward and reassess to gain learning from past mistakes. We will emerge wiser and karma will have completed its cycle on these issues.

Uranus Retrograde 7 August 2018 – 7 January 2019

Uranus is all about surprises and the unexpected. It sparks paradigm shifts and revolutions and pushes humanity toward freedom and breaking from the normal conventions. With Uranus in retrograde, chaos may be experienced. We may be acting quite differently from our usual selves and how others expect us to behave. This is a time to re-evaluate what freedom really means to us and what needs to change to move into truer freedom. Expect epiphanies and revelations.

Neptune Retrograde 19 June 2018 – 25 November 2018

Neptune is the planet of dreams and illusions, the unconscious, the mysterious and supernatural. When this planet is in retrograde, we may find we bring our dreams and intuitions into the physical world. It can also be the reverse where we escape from the physical world into our dream states and therefore block the dream from becoming reality. It is important during this time to be open to the truth as illusions are exposed and to apply this truth to what we want to create.

Pluto Retrograde 22 April 2018 – 1 October 2018

Pluto (for those who still consider it to be a planet) rules transformation, specifically, death of old energies and birthing of new energies. When Pluto is in retrograde, it is a time to have an unavoidable look into our subconscious to transform what no longer serves us. It is a considerable force in having us face our shadows to bring them to light. Therefore, it may be less painful to accompany Pluto on the transformational journey rather than resisting, kicking and screaming through the transformation.

A brief word about Eclipses

If seven planets in retrograde doesn’t provide enough intensity, the universe has also brought us three eclipses!

Partial Solar Eclipse, July 13, 2018

Total Lunar Eclipse July 27, 2018

Partial Solar Eclipse, August 11, 2018

Think back on the past 4 to 6 weeks. Have you noticed an ending or new beginning in one or more areas of your life? Eclipses are said to signify a big change or meaningful event associated with beginnings and endings. These can be in our external worlds or perhaps a transformation within ourselves that takes place. Each person will experience this differently depending on their astrological chart.

The summer of 2018 has been a transformational period for many of us, and the planets are definitely helping us along!  I hope everyone makes it though the rest of the year with transformations that are beneficial to all.

About the Author

Julie is a Sociology and Psychology graduate as well as a student and teacher of piano. In her free time, she is a crochet adventurer and musical muse. In this blog, she'll share some of the thoughts and interests that wander in and sometimes stay a spell for tea