Almost every facet of our life can be influenced by the movement of the stars and planets that surround our Earth. Significant heavenly bodies are tied to our experiences, moods, and motivations, but these don't always occur so smoothly. When you feel that something in your life is off balance, it may be because a planet is in retrograde.
Planets in retrograde appear to be spinning backward in their orbit around the sun, and these periods happen multiple times throughout the year. Astrologists advice being aware of retrogrades when thinking about major decisions. For example, a Venus retrograde can exacerbate problems within romantic relationships and bring back past partners, which means it might not be an ideal time for wedding proposals.
When dealing with negative energy, it’s always good to have a crystal in hand as a secret weapon through trying times. Since each crystal can offer different kinds of comfort, using one specific to what you want to avoid or achieve at every retrograde can help your year go as smoothly as possible.
With eight planets (yes, including Pluto!) to keep track of, retrogrades may be difficult to prepare for, but this quick guide to those tricky planetary movements will make it a lot easier for you.
What to Expect: As the planet closest to the sun, Mercury goes on retrograde most often. It rules over communication, travel, and electronics, so people are bound to get into misunderstandings, get lost, or run into problems with their gadgets. This will be a good time to think twice about the things you say and put travel plans on hold.
What Crystal to Use: Crystals that protect you from stress and help you concentrate will be most useful during a Mars retrograde. Amazonite can assist you in filtering out distractions while making decisions, and fluorite can center your concentration to do the same.
What to Expect: During Venus retrograde, you can expect to start having thoughts about your more meaningful relationships, especially of the romantic nature—even when the relationship has already ended. This retrograde can bring old friends and past lovers to your door and lead you to idealize things that happened in the past, so contemplate on the meaningfulness of your bonds instead of hastily committing to new relationships.
What Crystal to Use: Crystals that protect your heart chakra while keeping the channels open for learning and growth are perfect when Venus is in retrograde. Keep a rhodonite nearby to aid healing from emotional pain and rose quartz for strengthening and attracting unconditional love.
What to Expect: Mars influences our passion and ability to assert ourselves toward a goal, so a retrograde may introduce a lack of motivation or capacity to create new ideas. Pressure and expectations that you might’ve been dealing with may also seem more overwhelming, but an awareness of your insecurities is something that can aid you in the long run.
What Crystal to Use: Let an obsidian light the way through all the negative energy that a Mars retrograde can bring, and consider a carnelian to make sure that your ambition and courage remain steadfast throughout the period.
What to Expect: As the planet that influences our friendships, travels, and luck, Jupiter focuses on our outward growth and expansion. When it's in retrograde, you can expect more inward thinking and reevaluation of ethics and approach in life, so use this to affect your good fortune moving forward. Friends may also decide to opt out of travel plans, so it's best to avoid them during this period altogether.
What Crystal to Use: As the quintessential stone for happiness and imagination, a citrine can help keep your positive outlook where it is throughout this retrograde season. A malachite can aid your introspection and clear your thoughts of lurking negativity.
What to Expect: Known as the planet with the most sensitive energy, Saturn usually keeps people focused and level-headed, but in retrograde, it may bring feelings of regret over past mistakes and a lack of control of the present situation. Difficult and draining situations may also arise during this time. Keep good track of your schedule and personal routine, and you may find stability during this trying period.
What Crystal to Use: To make sure your temper (at yourself and other people) stays in check, use a hematite to keep you calm and collected. A protective dark stone like an onyx can also reinforce your boundaries and help you feel in control.
What to Expect: Because Uranus is the planet of rebellion, chaos, and change, experiencing it in retrograde may be a tricky field to navigate. When Uranus is spinning backwards, you may feel restless for new opportunities and be motivated to seek out a new landscape, and all you have to trust is your gut feeling. Use this time to try new things and discover opportunities and interests that you previously didn’t have.
What Crystal to Use: For a season of incoming opportunities of unexpected nature, a clear quartz is your best friend. While it’s perfect and flexible for any intention, this crystal can bring out openness to different possibilities and energies.
What to Expect: Caught in the haze of a daydream, Neptune is the planet for love, mystery, and artistry. While Venus puts a focus on romantic love, Neptune does the same to a more general sense. Some of your nighttime dreams during this retrograde may start to seem confusing, but it should encourage you to think about your artistic pursuits and how they enrich your life.
What Crystal to Use: A labradorite can guide you into harnessing your inner magic and strengthening your intuition, but an amethyst will come in handy to make sure you don’t get carried away when making important decisions.
What to Expect: Known as the planet involved with our dark side, Pluto lords over metamorphoses, secrets, and new beginnings. In retrograde, you may experience the need to reevaluate your whole self—the good and the bad—and realize which areas in your inner and outer life need to change for the better.
What Crystal to Use: A tourmaline is a crystal known to protect its wearer, which makes it perfect for journeys of transformation, and an agate can keep you balanced physically, spiritually, and emotionally.