Retrogrades! If a planet is retrograde when you were born, it is retrograde in your natal chart, which is a snapshot of the exact location of the planets, houses, and other bodies in the Zodiac at the moment you were born. The natal chart is a blueprint for your life and personality, and you can learn a lot about yourself - including your major challenges to work through - by studying your natal chart.
What is a retrograde?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth; it's not actually moving backward, and just looks that way. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto retrograde for months at a time every year, so their impact is more subtle, and it is fairly common to have at least one of them retrograde in your natal chart.
The personal planets are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars, and these planets are integral parts of who you are. The Sun and Moon don't retrograde, but Mercury, Venus, and Mars do. Mercury retrogrades for a few weeks 3-4 times each year, while Venus retrogrades for about 1 1/2 months every 1 1/2 years and Mars retrogrades for about 2 months every 2 years.
It's less common to have Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde in your natal chart because they aren't retrograde as often, and this is something that can stand out in your natal chart.
Natal Mercury, Venus, and Mars Retrograde
Mercury retrograde natives tend to suffer from difficulties with communication and expression since this is ruled by Mercury. They tend to feel misunderstood and made to feel like they're too different or don't belong.
Venus retrogrades natives tend to have issues with relationships and self-confidence since this is ruled by Venus. They tend to have bad relationships, attract the wrong people, have suffered love trauma, and question themselves quite a bit.
Mars retrograde natives tend to have challenges with using energy and drive since this is ruled by Mars. They can have trouble taking action when they need to, act as doormats to others, but have a lot of bottled up frustration and anger that can blow at bad times.
A Prominent Natal Mercury, Venus, or Mars Retrograde
If your natal Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde is more prominent in your natal chart, this can make the energy so much stronger for you, which means it can be much more challenging. Having one of these three planets retrograde in your natal chart is often the biggest challenge you have to deal with astrologically. Having that planet prominent makes it worse!
You may feel that planet absolutely dominates your personality or life, and most of your life struggles may be attributed to that planet. It's the root of all problems, the starting point you can trace it all back to.
You are NOT doomed though! At least, not if you work at it. It's true that until you do, you can have so much trouble. Youth is likely the worst period since you have so little control over your life and so little understanding of yourself when you're young, and that makes it worse.
Study the planet that is retrograde like your life depends on it (it does!). Understand what that planet is doing in your chart and how it has impacted your life. Find the positives, ways you can benefit from it. Like virtually all challenging positions in the natal chart, this has the potential to be your greatest strength and asset if you eliminate the issues and blocks, and work with the energy.
How do you know if you have a prominent natal Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde?
These are some of the way your natal Mercury, Venus, or Mars retrograde may be elevated in your natal chart:
Suggested Reading: Mercury Retrograde in the Natal Chart and Venus Retrograde in the Natal Chart; also the prominent natal planets series: Prominent Saturn, Prominent Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, Prominent Chiron, and Prominent Black Moon Lilith