Oh, you thought Mercury was the only one?

By Sara Coughlin
Updated Apr 03, 2019 @ 5:30 pm
Credit: Nabi Tang/Stocksy

We may have survived last month’s grueling Mercury retrograde, and warmed up to the idea of Big Aries Energy, but that's just the beginning of our planetary stress. This month alone, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto will kick off their own retrograde periods and, in turn, send our minds a-spinning.

Before you go into hiding, It’s important to note that these planets don’t wield the same kind of power as good ol’ Mercury. Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are three out of the five “outer planets” of our solar system (those that appear beyond the asteroid belt), which rule the more abstract parts of our lives like knowledge, power, and faith. As significant as these concepts are, they probably aren’t top-of-mind for you on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the “inner planets” influence more everyday matters like our ability to communicate and show affection — and, if we’re being totally honest, we’re usually more concerned about our flirting game than we are with our relationship to higher knowledge.

So, while a Mercury retrograde period may have an immediate effect on your life (see: forgetting your passwords, missing your flight, dropping your phone), an outer planet’s retrograde will be more subtle — but that doesn’t mean all three April 2019 retrogrades will be mere blips on your astrological radar. Here, we’ll take a closer look at these distant yet mighty celestial bodies and how, exactly, their retrogrades will influence your life.

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Retrograde period: April 10 to August 11, 2019

Planetary ruler of Sagittarius and the innermost outer planet, Jupiter is kind of the wise professor of our solar system. It touches the parts of our lives that relate to knowledge, luck, and, most importantly, how we cultivate more of those two things. When Jupiter is direct (a.k.a. not retrograde), it can encourage us to pursue our academic passions with energy and zeal — but, when it hits its annual retrograde, it asks that we move at a much more gradual pace. Retrogrades in general are associated with the past and, when viewed in a flattering light, are considered opportunities to retreat, review, and reflect on old habits, actions, and projects. In Jupiter’s case, that might mean returning to develop a skill you set aside years ago or reconsidering how you learn best.


Retrograde period: April 24 to October 3, 2019

By astronomical standards, Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet a while ago, but, astrologically speaking, this little-planet-that-could rules some very big-picture concepts in our lives. Namely, Pluto oversees shifts in power and control — think major, systematic transformations that affect the structures around which we build our lives. When it’s retrograde, which happens once a year, Pluto tends to illuminate how you claim — or cede — your own power. You may realize that you’ve become a backseat driver in your career or that you’ve actually been too demanding of your friends. Either way, Pluto retrograde is the perfect opportunity to pinpoint these unfair dynamics and, if needed, make a plan to address and adjust them.


April 30 to September 18, 2019

The skies saved the most challenging retrograde for last for this month. As anyone who’s lived through their Saturn return knows all too well, the ringed planet is known to be stern and sudden in the lessons it doles out around discipline, responsibility, and long-term success, not unlike a feared authority figure from our childhood. It’s easy to feel cut down to size when Saturn begins its retrograde, as it usually reveals our deepest insecurities around our ambitions and work ethic — ouch. But, these periods usually arrive when it’s in our best interest to face these issues head-on. A good (if still daunting) first step is to ask yourself such difficult questions as: What am I working toward? What can I sacrifice now that will benefit me later? Your answers will help you form a clear plan for a more sustainable future.

By the time everything's moving forward again, you'll feel like you've got it all figured out.