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Inner Planet Retrogrades: Mercury, Venus, and Mars in 2007
Written & published: January 2007

This year all three of the inner planets will turn retrograde at least once. Mercury turns retrograde three times every year, but Venus and Mars retrograde periods are less frequent, so all three in one year is worth looking at together.

When a planet goes retrograde it appears to move backwards through the Zodiac, going contrary to its normal direction in the sky. It also literally moves closer to the Earth and so looms larger in terms of visibility. These two facts have psychological parallels which give us clues about how to make the best of these phases.

During retrograde periods the psychological approach to take is to stay in your centre but orient yourself towards the planet and examine it more closely. Exchange with it, and use the phase to come into balance vis-a-vis that planets' issues in your life.

This article will give some clues and pointers, questions to ask for introspection, contemplation, and exploration. There are no concrete interpretations here, and no answers, but there are plenty of starting points and thematic possibilities for you to open up. What the retrograde periods mean for you specifically can only be elucidated through a process of inquiry that you must embark upon, and these words can be your starting blocks.

The diagrams that follow are the paths of the inner planets' around the Earth during 2007. The Earth is not displayed, but is actually in the centre and looping around it are Mercury, Venus, and Mars respectively. Each diagram shows the full orbital motion starting from 1st January 2007, continuing through to 1st January 2008. The lines go from the top, starting with the yellow-gold colour, down to the right, and finishing with the dark blue colour as 2008 begins.

Mercury retrograde in 2007 -
What connections do you need to make?

Mercury 2007
Mercury retro is about having a word with yourself, first and foremost. Contemplation needs to be part of every person's life, but when Mercury is retrograde it's time for heightened introspection and reflection.

The three Mercury retrogrades this year will be in Water signs, showing that how we feel, and how we communicate empathically, is a core topic to think about.

14th Feb - 8th March
When Mercury turns retro on 14th February it will be at 10 Pisces. Some good questions to ask yourself during this time are: Where are the links I'm making, whether between ideas or people, false, mistaken, or fictional? What confused signals or mixed messages am I sending out? What self-justificatory stories am I telling myself and others? Where am I blinded, fogged, dreaming fairy-tales instead of seeing things as they are? What are my ill-founded, inaccurate, or just outdated assumptions that underlie my perceptions?

Am I pretending to speak for others when it's actually my own views and agenda that I want to put forward? Or am I speaking my own agenda as a martyr to the cause of others? Can I separate out my own thoughts from those of others? Where do my thoughts end and theirs begin? Clarify the boundaries and then, if appropriate, consciously speak with one voice.

Because Mercury will station on 14th February in aspect to the Moon and Uranus, the issue of appropriate levels of emotional attachment and detachment is likely to be key. What psychology terms 'the freedom vs. closeness' dilemma might well be at the forefront of people's minds. The 14th is also, of course, Valentine's Day and so the relationship issues that people will be discussing could revolve around this freedom-closeness topic.

There may also be issues about being the outcast, the outsider, the weird one who doesn't fit in, based on your opinions or interests. Alternatively, you may look at others as outcasts and outsiders and hold them in self-righteous judgement because of their 'weird' views. The perils of 'groupthink', group consensus, conformity and unorthodoxy, are the themes to change your thinking about during this Mercury retrograde period. Do your views cause you to belong because they agree with everyone, or cause you to be cast out? This is a time to review and reflect on the assumptions beneath these ideas and discard what no longer works.

On 8th March Mercury will station at 25 Aquarius and resume direct motion.

14th Feb 2007    10 degrees of Pisces        Turns retrograde
8th Mar 2007      25 degrees of Aquarius     Turns direct

15th Jun - 10th Jul
This second Mercury retrograde period of the year takes place entirely in the Zodiac sign of Cancer. When Mercury stations on 15th June it will be at 11 Cancer and conjunct the Moon. This is a clear signature about the connections - and disconnections - between thoughts and feelings.

The 'emotional mind' is the theme of this one. Some good exploratory questions to ask yourself are:
How is my thinking distorted by my feelings? How are my feelings shut out by my rationality? Do I value thoughts and feelings equally, or do I prefer one or the other? Is it safe for me to speak my mind? Can I tell the difference between thoughts and feelings?

What opinions do I hold that are actually rooted not in a rational and objective appraisal of the facts before me, but in emotions, or memories of experiences that I've long forgotten? Where is my mind hooked into the past instead of being fully present in the here and now? Is my mind pulling my emotional strings? Are my feelings pulling my mental strings? How can I have a balance between thought and emotion?

How do my past experiences help and hinder my ability to communicate what my views? How do my own personal associations interfere with my ability to truly hear what others are saying to me?

On 10th July Mercury will station at 2 Cancer and resume direct motion.

15th June 2007     11 degrees of Cancer    Turns retrograde
10th July 2007       2 degrees of Cancer     Turns direct

12th Oct - 1st Nov
This third and final Mercury retrograde period of 2007 links the Zodiac sign of Scorpio with that of Libra.

When Mercury stations on 12th October at 9 Scorpio it will be forming a grand trine with Mars and the North node. This is a very different flavour to the previous two retrograde periods. This time the topic is deeper emotions and how to handle them - how to communicate openly and clearly without subtexts, covert agendas, power struggles, Machiavellian intrigues, and back-stabbing.

During this period it is imperative to look beneath the surface of one's own thoughts and words. It may well be easier to fly off the handle at this time and blame other people for provoking you, so arrange a safe outlet for your passionate feelings in advance. Good questions to ask yourself are: Am I speaking vindictively in the guise of honesty? What thoughts of 'you owe me' or plots of revenge do I have that I need to face up to and let go of? What arguments am I involved in where I've vowed to fight to the death, so to speak?

Do I say one thing and do another, and if so how do I need to change? Am I pretending that I can be taken at face value when I know that I am secretly thinking or feeling things I don't want people to know about? Where do I use verbal attack as a form of defence, to shut people out, block them, or ride roughshod over them, and how can I learn a gentler way to proceed with turning my thoughts into action?

On 1st November Mercury will station at 23 Libra and resume direct motion.

12th Oct 2007      9 degrees of Scorpio      Turns retrograde
1st Nov 2007       23 degrees of Libra         Turns direct

Venus retrograde in 2007 -
Where is the love?

Venus 2007Venus retro has something of the "mirror mirror on the wall" about it. It is a time when relationships are to the fore, but in a different way than Mercury retrogrades.

During Venus retrograde periods it is particularly important to look into the mirror and recognise yourself in it, good and bad, virtues and vices, the parts you like and the parts you don't like and would prefer to disown. It is easy to lose yourself in the mirror though, to mistake our own reflection for someone else. What is 'out there' seems genuinely out there, and perhaps it is, but it is also 'in here' and if you can find it in yourself then, to paraphrase Gandhi, you can be the change you want to see in the world.

Sometimes it is easier to see the best in ourselves if we look at ourselves through someone else's eyes. During Venus retro, make a list of all the qualities you admire in the people around you, then find them in yourself.

You can also make a list of the qualities you dislike in other people but which you refuse to admit are part of you too. Reflect on who pushes your buttons and why. If you can find the roots of your reactions you can smooth out your relationships, and make yourself more whole.

Both of these lists can help you feel more complete within yourself, less likely to project onto other people, and thus less dependent on and at war with those around you. 

Venus will station on the 27th of July at 3 Virgo, conjunct Saturn and trine the Moon, and opposite the North node. The lesson here is about the perils of rigidity and perfectionism in terms of what is considered attractive, pleasing, desirable, alluring, beautiful, and lovable.

It is important during this retro period to purge the negative judgements and the self-righteousness that pervade all human relationships. In particular, not 'measuring up', not being 'good enough', and being 'too good' are the themes to address. Withdrawing, coolness, being regal and aloof, iciness, withholding love, measuring and regulating love, comparison of the self with others, and shutting down in relationships are due to be explored in this Venus retro time.

It is a good time to learn how to 'harvest' in our interactions, not in a way that uses people for what they can provide for us but in the sense of amplifying what is valuable, pleasurable, and worthwhile in the exchange, and letting go of habits and patterns that are not conducive to harmony, fun and mutual satisfaction.

Retro Venus has an 8-year cycle so you might find that the issues arising in your life during this time echo your relationship themes from July to September 1999.

On 9th September Venus will station at 17 leo and resume direct motion.

27th Jul 2007           3 degrees of Virgo       Turns retrograde
8th Sept 2007         17 degrees of Leo         Turns direct

Mars retrograde in 2007 - What's the force behind the power?
Mars 2007

Mars retro is about how we are using our will. Most readers of this website live in societies where there is an excess of 'yang' behaviour, and an over-valuing of the 'yang' in general. When Mars is retrograde the yang needs to be reviewed and adjusted so that it is appropriately balanced.

Good questions to ask yourself to explore these issues are: Where am pushing too hard instead of recognising that something is not flowing well? Where am I not using my will to get things moving, where am I being too passive? Where am I being too pushy and need to take a back seat?

How can I better align my will with the wills of other people? Which people am I angry with and what does that say about what is happening with my will-power? Which people are angry with me and what does that say about how I am using my will-power, perhaps in a way that I have been unaware of?

In what ways do I fight myself, sabotaging my own goals or desires? Where and how am I scoring an 'own goal'? Where do I push against myself? Why do I obstruct myself? Who do I get in the way of and why?

On 15th November Mars will station at 12 Cancer, in trine to Uranus. The themes of this time involve families - both literal and surrogate, such as teams at work - and how to coordinate within them. What does the family unit (or similar) do with its anger? How does the family go about getting what it wants? What is my role within that? How do I get my emotional needs met at the same time as effectively linking up with everyone else to get their needs met?

After its trine with Uranus Mars will move back into Gemini, taking the issues into the realm of siblings, cousins, neighbours, and colleagues. Mobility issues may come to the fore, reflecting on some level where you feel that you are not moving fast enough, where people seem to be blocking other people. Learning how to coordinate efforts to get where we all want to go in a timely, calm, and un-angry fashion is a topic for this time.

The danger is of splitting up, fragmenting, not being able to get one's act together and be 'joined up' with other people, thus jeopardising effective action. At this time, rage should not be rationalised or intellectualised, but understood for the message it brings to you about where you feel thwarted or overridden. It can then lead you to creative and healthy solutions.

15th Nov 2007     12 degrees of Cancer      Turns retrograde
30th Jan 2008     24 degrees of Gemini      Turns direct

More information

Previously published articles on this website about the retrograde periods of the inner planets can be read by clicking these links:

Mercury retro   Venus retro   Mars retro

These links will open in this same window.

Applying astrology to political lifeTony Blair, Menzies Campbell, David Cameron, European Union, USA, War on Terror, Uranus in Pisces & Neptune in Aquarius, & more

Applying astrology to business life Euro Currency, NHS, BBC,
USA economy, Ofcom, Concorde,
W Edwards Deming, European Central Bank, Anita Roddick, & more

Applying astrology to people's lives Health, emotional intelligence, zodiac elements, understanding change, Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Germaine Greer, & more

Astrology for the 21st Century - Bringing the sky down to Earth


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