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Inner Planet Retrogrades 2009
Published: 1st February 2009
All three inner planets - Mercury, Venus and Mars - will be retrograde during 2009. Here is a table showing the dates, followed by sections for each planet with discussion of what each retrograde period can mean for us:-
During 2009 Mercury stations and turns retrograde four times, as opposed to its usual three. It doesn't complete four full retrograde periods, however - the final one runs into 2010.
Mercury's retrograde/direct patterns link up with each other, by occurring in the same degree of the Zodiac but switching the retrograde direct station for the retrograde station.
For instance, in 2009 Mercury is stationary direct at 21 degrees 45 minutes of Capricorn on the 1st of February. Later in the year it stations at this point again, but this time retrograde. So the stations pick each other up, returning to the same degree but from a different vantage point: one turning forwards, one turning backwards.
Mercury's retrograde stations in 2009 are in the Air Signs: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra. Then at the end of the year it begins a series of stations in the Earth Signs, beginning with Capricorn.
Air Signs pertain to forming connections between things, both interpersonally and cerebrally: they are the Signs of thought and of relationship. Similarities and dissimilarities of viewpoints and conclusions are the stuff of all human interactions, both those that are harmonious and those that are conflict-ridden.
While Mercury is moving retrograde in these Signs the appropriate activities are to review our concepts and the connections we make. The mental maps we make of the 'territory' of our lives and the patterns of our relations must be continually updated, and these times are ideal for doing so.
The house positions of Mercury retrograde in your own chart will determine the area of your life, and your psyche, in which these processes are underway. Any planet/s or angles that Mercury aspects during any of its retrograde periods will be highlighted, and you will need to review the issues and associations of that planet or angle during the retrograde phase.
7th May - Gemini
When Mercury turns retrograde on the 7th of May it's kind of on its own. It forms a quintile to the Moon and two septiles, one to Mars and one to Saturn, but no 'major' aspects. There could therefore be a sense of disconnectedness throughout this retrograde period.
Quintiles and septiles are generally subtler than aspects such as trines, squares, and so on. During this retrograde phase there is the need to consciously connect with feelings, instincts, and all things feminine, alongside finding new ideas about achievement, drive, power and authority. All these things must be connected in one's own mind, before they can be successfully communicated to others.
7th September - Libra
Mercury is once again fairly disconnected save for a square with Mars and a septile with Venus. In Libra there is a need to have non-violent communication, and the septile with Venus suggests that this will be an inspiring goal around this time, but the square with Mars symbolises a lot of fiery impulses to deal with at the same time.
The two must sit side-by-side, neither one receiving precedence, both being given their due weight in the true spirit and practice of the scales of Libra. Only when this is done can they form an amicable alliance.
26th December - Capricorn
Having completed its retrograde sojourn through the Air Signs, Mercury now begins its retrogrades through the Earth Signs, beginning with Capricorn.
As it stations and turns retrograde on the 26th of December - Boxing Day in the UK, St Stephen's Day in various other countries - Mercury forms a sextile with Uranus and a conjunction with the north node. It's therefore once again fairly unconnected, uncoloured by most of the planets.
Grounded in Capricorn, this review period necessitates bringing one's ideas down to earth, getting a grip on reality, seeing things without embellishment. The sextile with Uranus indicates a desire for the uncompromising truth to find expression, and be made workable in some way. A combination of blue-sky thinking with radical pragmatism is the keynote of this time.
Venus turns retrograde only once every two years, and every eight years it returns to the same degree, which means that occurrences and developments around the 6th of March will probably contain echoes of whatever went on in your life 8 years previously, particularly in the sphere of human relationships, and the giving and receiving of love.
On the global level, Venus's retrograde period often correlates with diplomatic crises. It is also a planet associated with finance and the economy.
With Venus being retrograde in Aries the image of Venus at this time is somewhat Amazonian. Venus in Aries conjures images of Pallas Athena, rather than Aphrodite. Pallas Athena was a goddess of the art of war: the theme during this retrograde period is strategies and tactics to deal with conflict fairly and squarely.
When Venus turns retrograde it will be semisextile the Sun and square the Moon. This suggests that the relationship with our fathers and mothers are of central important during this retrograde period, and that it's necessary to sort our areas of disagreement and enmity. Venus's simultaneous sextile with Jupiter suggests a need to bring a broader perspective into play, and to find where there is a capacity for mutual enjoyment.
At this time Venus will also be involved in an aspect configuration involving septiles: Venus, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto will all be in septile aspect with each other, and in addition to that Pluto will be on the midpoint of Venus/Saturn, and Neptune will be on the midpoint of Venus/Pluto. This suggests a potentially heavy, dramatic time for relationships, diplomacy, and finances, with considerable hope of tapping into inspiring new ideas too.
The house position/s of Venus retrograde in your own chart will determine the area of your life, and your psyche, in which these processes are underway. Any planet/s or angles that Venus aspects during its retrograde period will be highlighted, and you will need to review the issues and associations of that planet or angle during the retrograde phase.
Mars turns retrograde only once every two years, and in 2009 it begins but doesn't complete its retrograde phase. This is shown in this diagram by the incomplete loop:
When Mars turns retrograde on the 20th of December it will strongly highlight the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune by opposing it - Leo to Aquarius. It will also pick out the Saturn-Pluto square.
What this adds up to is that there is likely to be a whole heap of issues around tremendous aggression, functioning passively and in a collapsed and therefore destructive way. These issues will require direct and clean honesty, owning, and careful, sensitive handling of boundaries.
Mars will also be in trine with Venus, and in quincunx with Mercury, showing a need to harmonise and bring balance, as well as to find a way to keep communicating despite what seems like a total inability to find common ground. Sometimes what needs to be fought for is neither the personal ego nor the group ego, but shared understanding. This is one of those times.
The house position/s of Mars retrograde in your own chart will determine the area of your life, and your psyche, in which these processes are underway. Any planet/s or angles that Mars aspects during its retrograde period will be highlighted, and you will need to review the issues and associations of that planet or angle during the retrograde phase.
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