Uranus is the planet of change. It rules the sudden, the unexpected, the original, and the different. Uranus is independent, and embraces individuality. Yet it also rules the masses, our causes, and how we can impact large groups and the world. But when Uranus is retrograde, this may not be the way it operates. Instead, it's impulse, impatience, and rebelliousness.
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What does it mean if a planet is retrograde?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth (it isn't actually moving backward, only looks that way because of the way the planets move in relation to one another). Uranus is retrograde for about 5 months every year.
What does it mean when Uranus is retrograde?
When Uranus is retrograde, it gets reckless. Uranus always wants things to be happening, big change to occur, and that slows down in a big way when retrograde. We either want changes that we can't work on for some reason at the moment, or we experience changes we don't care for and have to adjust. The retrograde period for Uranus is a good time to adjust to the changes that have already been made instead of fighting them. Be flexible and go with it.
We can get super frustrated by this though, and that can lead us to act impulsively, irrationally, and impatiently. We don't usually want to wait for things to happen, and try to force it. Taking initiative can be a good thing, however there's a season for everything, and Uranus retrograde may not be the season for that for you (depending on what it's doing to your natal chart, along with what Mars is doing, the planet that takes initiative). And, part of the problem is, we may not be very smart about it because we're just jumping into things, and that doesn't work out for us (especially once the retrograde ends). Anything we do, we need to take a deep breath, think about it logically, and make a plan. Be smart!
Rebelliousness is often super high during Uranus retrograde. Like with taking initiative, rebelling against the norms can be a good thing - when it's in season! When it's the right time (in general or for you specifically based on what's happening to your natal chart). Otherwise, it's rebellion without a plan or purpose, and it's rebellion that's just acting out and releasing frustration. And that kind of rebellion doesn't usually lead to good things, or at least any lasting positive things.
We may feel a little stuck with Uranus retrograde because we're not as free to pursue the changes we want, and this is part of what makes us frustrated, impulsive, and rebellious. We can curb that by finding smaller ways to make changes with the little things. It may not seem like much at first, but it can lead to bigger change over time.
Uranus retrograde lasts for several months every year, and this can be strongest for you if you're ruled by Uranus (so an Aquarius Sun, Moon, or Rising). For each of us, the areas of life ruled by the houses the Uranus retrograde occurs in, and ruled by the house Uranus rules in your chart (so the house that falls in Aquarius), may get most of the attention.
For the most part, you'll only need to worry about the potential challenges if Uranus will make a hard aspect (conjunction, square, opposition) to any of your natal planets while retrograde. If that doesn't happen (or if it only makes sextiles and trines), then you may have a quiet, or even positive, retrograde period.
Suggested Reading: The Transit Uranus page for general interpretations