The 4 Ways Retrogrades Will Impact You
Not every retrograde that occurs is going to impact you. There are plenty of times when a retrograde came and went and we barely felt a thing. There are some ways you can determine if a retrograde will be difficult for you or not. These are the four main ways you'll know that the retrogrades of Mars or Mercury will be difficult for you:
1) You have natal planets or your Rising in the sign the retrograde planets naturally rules (Gemini, Virgo = Mercury; Aries = Mars; Taurus, Libra = Venus).
Whenever the planetary ruler of a sign goes retrograde, the energy is slightly off. This will be associated with the areas of life ruled by the planet of that sign. It tends to be subtle, but always there, and you have a general feeling of things not going quite right. It tends to be strongest when it’s your Sun sign, Moon sign, or Rising sign ruler who is retrograde.
2) You have natal planets or your Rising in the sign the planet will retrograde in.
The sign that the planet will retrograde in gets completely thrown for a loop. Its energy is going in reverse, dragged backward by the retrograde. If you have any natal planets in the sign of the retrograde, the areas of life ruled by those planets can have a lot of issues during the retrograde, and you have to pay special attention to them.
3) The turn retrograde or direct will conjunct, square, or oppose a natal planet.
The turn retrograde and turn direct of any planetary retrograde tends to be very strong because the planet is stationary. Squares and oppositions are hard, difficult aspects (an aspect is when two points are at certain distances to one another; squares = 3 signs away, oppositions = in the opposite spot). So putting the two together, you have a planet that's hovering in the same spot, funneling continuous difficult energy to the planet it's squaring or opposing. It's like putting something under a magnifying glass in bright sunlight. The orb of influence can be up to 3 degrees.
4) The retrograde will conjunct a house cusp.
There are 12 houses in a natal chart, and a house cusp is the very beginning of a house, and is directly tied to the energy of that house. When the retrograde conjuncts (is in the same spot as) a house cusp, it's sending a massive amount of difficult energy to that house while it's on the cusp, which creates some challenges. It's especially difficult when it's one of the angles (1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th house cusps).
When It DOESN'T Impact You:
If the retrogrades won't do any of these things, and make no more than a couple of hard aspects during the retrograde, you can skate by relatively unscathed.The other time when a retrograde isn't much of a problem is when you were born while that planet was retrograde because the energy is natural to you, and you're operating on your normal wavelength. In fact, you can be full-steam ahead while the rest of us flounder! The only problem may be that other people can bring issues into your life (the non-native-retrograde folks).
To a lesser extent, you can also find it easier when your progressed planet is retrograde. Instead, the retrograde native experiences their issues when the planet ISN'T retrograde! An exception to this is if the retrograde will square or oppose a natal planet or house cusp; a natal planet retrograde only protects you from general retrograde energy and not from difficult transit aspects (unfortunately!).
The following worksheet can be downloaded and printed up for each retrograde to help you sort through what impact the retrograde will have on you: