Given the current state of the planets — four are already retrograde and two more will join them in backspins of their own in the coming weeks — you’ll forgive us for having retrogrades on the brain.
These regular periods, in which a planet appears to be moving backward in the sky, are often assumed bad news, astrologically speaking. Sure, some certainly have the potential wreak havoc on our lives, but not all retrogrades are created equal — and neither are their influences on the signs of the Zodiac.
If you’re already familiar with your sign’s general attributes, you probably know its ruling planet. Save for Cancer and Leo (whose ruling “planets” are technically the moon and the sun), every sign’s ruling planet goes retrograde from time to time.
Although it’s a general astrological rule that people born under a given sign will likely feel the effects of their ruling planet’s retrograde more acutely, that doesn’t mean that that particular retrograde will be the most challenging for them.
For example, Gemini and Virgo share a ruler in Mercury, so they’re more sensitive to and aware of the communication planet’s retrograde periods.
But, for the most part, these two signs are pretty good at dealing with the effects of your average Mercury retrograde. After all, they’re used to being under Mercury’s influence. What these ultra-communicative signs are far less accustomed to are the effects of, say, a Saturn or Pluto retrograde.
If you’ve been marking your calendar for your ruling planet’s next retrograde, you may have overlooked the planetary backspin that really causes you trouble. Ahead, find out which planet has it out for you — and why your ruling planet’s retrograde isn’t that bad. It’s like they say, better the devil you know, right?
Aries Ruling planet: Mars
We’re not going to lie — you don’t handle your ruling planet’s retrogrades, as well as other signs, handle theirs, Aries. You hate being told to slow down or think twice — and that’s kind of Mars retrograde’s thing.
But, when given enough time and distance, you can learn to benefit from these periods (especially when you realize that playing the game gives you a better chance of winning).
The retrogrades that trip you up are the ones that occur more frequently, granting you less time to regroup and learn from your experience.
You should actually watch out for Mercury
Taurus Ruling planet: Venus
As much as you value your romantic mojo, you don’t go running for the hills when a Venus retrograde throws it off a little. That’s because you’re born knowing the core lesson of this retrograde, Taurus: Don’t rush into anything.
It doesn’t matter how brightly a new flame burns — don’t make any major moves until Venus goes direct. This is hard for others to learn, but it’s positively tailor-made for your slow and steady approach, Bull.
It’s when a retrograde urges you to make more changes to your lifestyle that you head for cover.
You should actually watch out for Uranus
Gemini Ruling planet: Mercury
Mercury retrogrades happen so often (about three times a year) that all that change can give some signs whiplash — not you, Gem.
As a versatile air sign with a signature, shall we say Mercurial, edge, you know how to roll with it when the heavens are playing you hot and cold.
What you’re far less familiar with retrograde that demand that you sit still, think critically, and face hard truths about your approach to self-discipline. Is it us, or did we just hear a hundred Geminis collectively sigh?
You should actually watch out for Saturn
Cancer Ruling planet: The moon
Your ruling celestial body can’t undergo retrogrades, dear Crab, but the moody moon still has the capacity to put you through the ringer when it wants to.
Luckily, you’re no stranger to riding the waves of intense emotions — by now, you probably know enough to retreat to your comfort zone when the going gets rough.
Things get hairy for you when you feel outside of said zone — when, for instance, a retrograde requires you to interact and cooperate with others, all the while threatening to throw off that careful social balance at any moment.
You should actually watch out for Mercury