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2004 Planetary Retrogrades

Transiting retrograde planets in astrology. What is a retrograde planet? A planet is said to be retrograde when the planet "appears" to move backward in the sky. It is not actually moving backward, it just looks that way, from our point of view, down here on Earth.

Retrogrades are good times to reflect on where we are going in life, and to make any changes to help us move in a more positive direction.
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Updated January 13, 2004
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Mercury Retrogrades For 2004

Mercury rules many different things, including travel, timing and
perception, communication, as well as all one's basic mental and verbal processes.

When Mercury is retrograde, it will effect everyone differently, depending on which houses it is moving through in their natal horoscope and what planets it is aspecting.

From Christian Astrology by William Lilly ( pub. 1647), about the planet Mercury: with the good he is good, with the evil planets ill…[and] he is the author of subtlety, tricks, devices, perjury etc." In other words, Mercury takes on the characteristics of the signs, houses and circumstances in which he finds himself; he changes a lot.

And when Mercury goes retrograde, all these things can become somewhat unclear or muddled. It is not a good time to sign papers, make concrete plans, or have those little heart to heart talks. Many people experience computer, automobile, travel, telephone, and postal problems, during Mercury retrogrades, as well. Mercury can bring challenges to communication, self-expression and ability to complete projects that were
planned earlier.

I can't tell you how many people I know have their computers crash during the Mercury retrogrades. For me, I don't like to order anything for my store during this time, because something always seems to be broken or damaged, when it arrives or it never does arrive, at all.

There is a positive side to Mercury Retrograde. When Mercury is
retrograde, it is a better time for inner reflecton and looking to the
past, and past choices. Mercury retrograde is also good for brainstorming ideas, doing research, thinking about future plans, as long as you do not make your plans concrete. Any firm plans, made at this time, will most likely have many changes ahead.

Mercury usually turns retrograde about three times each year for a period of about 3 1/2 weeks at a time.

• April 6-April 30 -starts at 1° Taurus, goes direct at 21° Aries.

• Aug. 9-Sept. 7 -starts at 08° Virgo, goes direct at 25° Leo.

• Nov. 30-Dec 20 - Starts at 26° Sag, goes direct at 10° Sag.

Venus Retrogrades For 2004

As the mythological Goddess of Love, the planet Venus governs all relationships ~romantic, platonic, esthetic, diplomatic, etc. The influence of Venus is to beautify, harmonize and soften.

When Venus turns retrograde, you may find yourself assessing, either actively, through dreams or through just quiet moments of reflection, what you have accomplished so far. What have you built for yourself lately, through your close partnerships and alliances? How are you handling your finances and possessions?

Venus Retrograde may also challenge you with a sense of what you are missing, what you don't have, whether it be money, love, or personal self worth.
Venus retrograde is a good time for looking at your personal love relationships, your sense of aesthetic taste, or your finances, and deciding if they could use some improvement or change.

• May 17 -June 29 -starts at 26° Gemini, goes direct at 09° Gem.

Mars Retrogrades For 2004 

Mars represents our fiery energy, our ambition, drive, assertiveness, courage, and initiative. Mars also signifies our passion, our sex drive, and our anger.

During the retrograde period, the Mars energy is turned inward and does not work in a direct or forthright manner. It is possible for anger and resentment to build, creating an internal pressure that is released after Mars resumes its forward motion. Mars can challenge the way you express your ego and your will. Are you hot tempered, agressive, and impatient, or are you able to calmly and confidently stand your ground?

Have you been secretly angry or resentfull towards somebody or something?
Do you harbor long standing grudges? Think about it. Retrograde Mars is a great time for dealing with those kinds of issues. Try a little meditation, quiet time, or therapy, and allow these hidden resentments to surface. Once you face them, Mars will assist in the release, and you will feel better. You may even find that your health improves, afterwards! 

• Mars is not Retrograde durring 2004 :)

Jupiter Retrogrades For 2004

Jupiter rules your potential for growth and expansion on many levels; physical, intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and the accumulation of material assets, power, and status. It describes your optimism and aspirations.

Jupiter retrograde can show where we have overextended ourselves, our resources, and where we may be overestimating or over optimistic. Some challenges may even relate to trust and broken promises. Jupiter in retrograde isn't a great time for travel, as plans are likely to go awry or have to be changed.
During this retrograde period, you have a great opportunity to gain some spiritual or philosophical insight.

• January 3-May 5-Starts at 18° Virgo, goes direct at 8° Virgo. 

Saturn Retrogrades For 2004

Saturn rules responsibilities, restrictions and limitations you are apt to encounter, and the lessons you must learn in life.
Saturn gets a bad rap, I believe. Many times Saturn can bring success, but it is a kind of hard won success, brought about entirely by your skilled organization, and hard work. You cannot rest on your laurels with Saturn.

In retrograde, Saturn can show you where you have failed to plan, where you need to lay strong foundations, get organized, accept
responsibilities, and where the floor may fall out, if you fail to do so.

Retrograde Saturn can be completely renovating some project, where you had previously tried to "get by" with a quick fix. It also involves unloading, paring down, streamlining. Retrograde Saturn can be great for getting rid of all those things, you think you "need", but are really just getting in your way.

• October 25, 2003-March 7, 2004-starts at 13° Cancer, goes direct at 6° Gemini.

• November 8, 2004-March 22, 2005- starts at 27° Cancer, goes direct at 22° Cancer.

Uranus Retrograde For 2004

Uranus, is the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and originality. In society it rules radical ideas and unusual people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus ushers in adventurous new ideas ... which then may require some study and incorporation to use properly.

When Uranus is retrograde, surprises pop out from every corner and this can be either marvelous or startling, depending on the situation. With Uranus, you may feel the need to break free in some area of your life, feel pressure to express yourself where you had previously kept it under wraps, no matter what...maybe you're aware of a stirring restlessness, an itch for novelty and excitement. It is a good time to think before you act, just a bit. Just be sure that you are ready to accept the consequences of your exploits, afterwards!

• June 10-November 11 -Starts at 6° Pisces, goes direct at 2° Pisces.

Neptune Retrograde For 2004 

Neptune rules visionaries, represents spirituality, mysticism, and ideals, musicians, abstract thinking, illusion. It rules drugs and alcohol, derangement, guilt, imprisonment, abandonment, and relates to those who are glamorous and charismatic.

Retrograde Neptune may bring a gradual dissolution of previously held attitudes or perceptions, breaking down internal barriers to higher awareness regarding issues that are ruled by the house it's transiting. 
Neptune may show you that what you thought about your spiritual path is somehow changing or needs to be redefined in some way. It is a fine time to look inward at your spiritual needs and beliefs. 

With Neptune retrograde, conscious thought can be affected. Consider paying closer attention to your intuition and instincts. Plan accordingly.

Neptune retrograde may also show you where you have some dependency issues that need to be attended to...

• May 17-October 24 -Starts at 15° Aquarius, goes direct at 12° Aquarius.

Pluto Retrograde For 2004 

On a personal level Pluto rules intense energy, signifying the areas in which you consciously or subconsciously seek to exercise power or control.
Pluto, linked to your karmic responsibility, also indicates those areas where you need to gain the deepest level of understanding.

Pluto just doesn't take "no" for an answer. Never did and never will. If you try to make the necessary changes that Life is asking of you on a personal level for your own health (spirit, mental, emotional), it will never harm you.

BUT, if you have been allowing fear to direct your life, instead of
listening to your inner self, and moving in that fear driven direction,  then Pluto has a very abrupt way of showing you the error of your ways, whether you like it, or not.

When Pluto is retrograde, the things that we hang onto most tightly can suddenly be taken away. Pluto's retrograde is also a time of destruction and rebuilding, rejuvenation and regeneration.

Retrograde Pluto can show you how and where you need to transform yourself and to question how you use your own power.

• March 24-August 30 -Starts at 22° Sagittarius, goes direct at 19° Sagittarius.

How to get the most out of the
planetary retrograde cycles:

•Look in the ephemeris and find out how far backwards(to what degree in the sign) the planet will move when retrograde. When the planet first passes this point in forward motion(before it is retrograde), this is when the challenge or oportunity will first present itself to you.

•At the point where the planet first appears retrograde (going backward), all progress stops. This is a good time for reflection, for assessing the problem, and for repairing the situation.

•During the retrograde, the planet will come to an oposition with the sun or a conjunction. At this point, a solution to your challenge should make itself known.

•The point where the planet moves in a forward direction again, is the time to impliment your solution or move on with your development of the oportunity.

•Once the planet, on forward motion, passes the point where it began to move retrograde(backwards), it is the time to resolve any problems or take affirmative action on your new oportunity.

I read about how to use the cycle of the retrograde in a piece by Sheila Conrad, a noted astrologer, several years ago, and it makes a lot of sense. Why not check it out for yourself. Does it work for you, and what can your learn from them?

Well, I hope this has been of some use to you astrology buffs, and
perhaps, has planted a seed for those that have never even looked at their horoscope.
This article will be updated from time to time.
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