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Retrograde Planets in 2012 and Their Effect Upon Us

by Whitney McClough

The planet, Mars started retrograde motion on January 24, 2012, and will remain so until it turns direct on April 14th, 2012 at 3 degrees of Virgo. As Mars rules energy, and action; its effect will be to slow life’s events down. We may feel as though we don't have much energy, or that it seems to take forever to get things done. Be patient; write your plans down, and eventually, when the planets turn direct, you will find the time and energy to bring your plans to fruition.

The word retrograde means to "back up". While the planets do not actually back up, it does bring a time when issues in our lives function on a different time frame.

An example of a retrograde planet is easy to visualize. Two trains might pass each other, both traveling in the same direction, and one moving much faster than the other one. The train moving more slowly will appear to back up, but it's just an optical illusion. The train does not back up, but it certainly does appear to do so. The planets do not back up either out in the heavens, but the effects of their "backward or retrograde" time brings very interesting effects into our lives.

When planets are retrograde their usual energies are not as powerful in our lives, but we can use the energies of the retrograde planets to go within, and create a vision. Then, when the planet turns direct, we are ready to move ahead, with a well thought out plan of action.

As Mars will be in the sign of Virgo during the entire retrograde period, we may find ourselves being far too analytical, criticizing everything and anything. While we won't want to miss any little detail during this time, we also don't want to drive ourselves or anyone else around us into a frenzy of perfection. The message here is to lighten up, make your plans, and then, wait with as much peace and dignity as you can...it will pass!

When a retrograde planet turns direct, it releases the energy and we are able to finally move forward. When the retrograde planet returns to the point where it went retrograde, it activates that point, degree and sign, and we are sure to see something manifest depending on what degree and sign it is in, and other detailed aspects that it might make to your natal chart. This is a good time to call your professional Astrologer, as it is very complicated this year, and we want to get the best, and the most from the ups and downs of the retrograde and direct times.

On February 7th, 2012, Saturn turned retrograde at 29 degrees of Libra, and then turns direct on June 25th, 2012, at 22 degrees of Libra. As Saturn rules lessons in life and 29 degrees is what we call a "critical degree", (critical degree: 29 degrees of any sign), it is a highly important time when we need to focus upon the energies of the planet which it rules.

As Saturn is in the sign of Libra, ruled by Venus, issues ruled by Venus will be noticed. This means that love, creativity of all varieties, and money are at a very high point of importance to us- far more so than at other times. You should come out of this time with a new and deeper understanding of love and money in your life. If you know where any of these retrograde or direct times happen in your transit chart, you are sure to use these times with greater wisdom.

On March 12th, 2012, Mercury turns retrograde at 6 degrees of Aries and remains there until April 4th, 2012 when it turns direct at 23 degrees of Pisces. As Mercury rules our thoughts and ideas, we will all start this time period with a very powerful mindset. As Aries is a fire sign and rules entrepreneurial venture, use this time to launch something new, and adventuresome.

Take advantage of all of these dates, write them down on your calendars and put your ideas into motion at these times. With Mercury in Pisces, our minds turn to spiritual communications, meditation, creativity, music, art, and dream work. Ask that your psychic abilities be heightened, and then stay tuned. And, as they say, be careful what you wish for this year- as it will arrive.

One of the best ways to use the energies of these times is to find a professional Astrologer, see where these retrograde or direct points fall in your chart, and make a plan for the year ahead based on ancient wisdom. With this kind of rich information supporting your life plan you simply can't go wrong.

Venus turns retrograde on May 15, 2012 and returns to direct motion once again on June 27, 2012. As Venus rules those things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts, (love, money, music, art, etc.) we can’t help but notice its effects. Venus rules the sign of Libra and Taurus, so these Sun signs will feel it most of all. The signs that oppose (Aries and Scorpio) and square Libra and Taurus may also notice stressful effects. (Note: Rob’s Sun sign is Taurus- this retrograde occurs two days after his birthday!) Mars turns retrograde every three years for approximately 60 to 71 days, while Venus stays in retrograde motion for 29 to 44 days. The time of retrograding depends on how far the planets are from our home, the EarthNeptune turns retrograde on June 4th at 3 degrees of Pisces, and remains retrograde until November 11, 2012, when it returns to direct motion once again at zero degrees Pisces. As Neptune rules spirituality, and the highest forms of art, music and psychic connections, it will be an amazing time to take classes and learn some way to make a connection to a higher source. Or perhaps, you could learn to paint, dance (Pisces rules the feet), write, or even write down your dreams in a journal.

Whatever you do with this energy, turn your head upward, and speak to "God" in whatever sense you have, as this will allow you a new and divine, inspired connection. This is an auspicious time to create your vision board, and watch it manifest.. What will it be for you personally? Open your mind to new horizons, and ask for manifestation. This should be an amazing year, with all of us surprised by its outcome, especially if we do our work.

For more information from Whitney visit her website: www.visionsbywhitney.org or email her at visionsbywhitney@aol.com.

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