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We Were Built for This Retrograde Season

Danielle BarlowJune 21st marks the Summer Solstice, a time when the day is longest. This year, it also comes smack in the middle of retrograde season, which gets pretty bumpy this Summer. We've already had three planets (Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto) in retrograde for over a month, but Neptune joined this backward dance on Monday, June 18th in Pisces and Mars turns retro in Aquarius on Tuesday the 26th. That's a total of five planets at once!

[Image credit "Midsummer" by Danielle Barlow]

With Mercury (communication), Venus (partners) & Uranus (reform) being the only planets moving forward, you can expect this to be a challenging moment on a collective scale but interpersonal influence can make great strides forward at this time, especially when led by women. The most obvious example of this in the news is the reported influence that the First Lady & Ivanka Trump had on their father to halt the horrific practice of stealing children from their asylum-seeking parents.

We are all lucky that happened before Mars goes retro in the humanitarian sign of Aquarius in a few days - I expect we'll see some reversals on this promise with Mars beginning to retrace its steps so it is good that protests are planned for June 30th, because I suspect we'll still need it. Men, in general, will have a hard time coping during Mars retrograde in Aquarius, feeling that everyone is against them. Grant extra grace and encourage the healthy expression of emotions before Mercury goes retrograde on July 26th or it will all come out sideways then.

[Image above is a screenshot of the 2018 Cosmic Calendar. It's the very best way to visually grasp the planetary motions at a glance.]

July 3rd is when Jupiter (expansion, luck & spontaneity) goes direct -  just in time for a reckoning on American soil about the white supremacists, colonial roots of the nations Independence origin story.  While it may be uncomfortable to look at, its important that America remembers that stealing people - be it the current immigration crisis or Native American children or slaves from Africa - is a part of America's history which has never been atoned for, let alone repaired. With Jupiter expanding possibilities, this means we can start collectively dreaming as a nation of new ways to heal this ill our nation has dealt - the work of reparations, in particular, will begin to build steadily when Uranus goes retrograde in August in Taurus, the planet of wealth & land.

Molly Costello
[We Were Built for this, Art by Molly Costello.]

Watch out for Mercury retrograde in Leo from July 26th to August 19th. This Mercury retrograde will be particularly dramatic with five or six planets retrograde at once. With just Venus (in Virgo & then Libra) and Jupiter (in Scorpio) moving forward during this period, the activities that will flow the best involve women gathering close to home in small groups focused on practical activities while it's in Virgo, then turning to fun social gatherings when Venus is in Libra.

This planetary activity conjures image of women quietly doing strategic advocacy planning followed by a lovely self-care indulgence before launching their plans on the new moon in September, when most planets have moved forward.

Remember, retrogrades are not bad, they are actually wonderful opportunities to see something you have missed before. They are evolutionary helpers. If there is one thing I might recommend for the summer is to catch up on reading to learn about the roots of immigration, slavery, original peoples and how capitalism, racism and sexism work as a systemic structure. 

By September, things settle down quite a bit and by December, all but one planet will be moving direct.



  • Hi Tinah, Yes – the North American Editions will be the most accurate for you. The only difference is that the moon phases and seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere, but the data will be correct.

    Julie Wilder
  • Hi, I’m from Brazil, Latin America.
    Do you have any calendars to me?
    I’ll adore buy one! 😘

    Tinah Lima

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