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How to Survive All the Retrogrades This Spring Without Ending Up Broke and Alone

In our new astrological advice column, staff astrologer Annabel Gat counsels readers on love, money, and communication—three major areas of chaos during April and May.
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Retrogrades: Can't live with them, but the universe can't function without them. Welcome to our new astrology advice column by Broadly's own in-house astrologer, Annabel Gat, which will help you make sense of whatever shit storm your life has become by looking to the stars.

Venus began its retrograde in Aries on March 4, and it just ended in Pisces on April 15. This was an intense time for issues concerning love and money; it has also brought us a deeper understanding around our values what makes us feel respected. But the trouble's not over yet: Mercury began its own retrograde on April 9, which will end on May 3. Expect delays, technical difficulties, and miscommunications—unless, of course, you go with the retrograde flow by slowing down and going within.


Let's take a look at who needs help this month:

Dear Annabel,
After my relationship ended earlier this year, I messaged someone I'm connected to on Facebook, but who I've never met in person. We have been talking since every day, but he lives in a different state, and there has been some drama with an ex-girlfriend of his. She claims she saw him on a recent trip and that they hooked up, and that she knows for a fact he messages other girls, but I choose not to believe her. I find myself questioning whether he's really into me, or if he just likes attention. He also has no plans in the immediate future to visit me, and my life isn't so simple that I can just escape for a few days to meet him. Does this relationship have a future?

— Mixed Messages

Dear Mixed Messages,
Whether or not your relationship has a future, you two definitely have a present, and it doesn't sound like it's ideal. If this is the honeymoon phase, will it really get any better?

Venus has been retrograde for the past few weeks, meaning this has been a hugely important time to reflect on whether or not you feel valued. Does it make you feel good that he's not planning to visit you? How do you feel about this ex inserting herself in the picture? You've chosen to disbelieve her, which is trusting of you; however, it was not your choice to have to deal with her in the first place, which really sucks. If she's reached out to you once, she will likely do it again. Are you up for that?


It is what it is: He's into you enough to chat with you every day, but he's not into you enough to make plans to visit you. Venus retrograded back into emotional Water sign Pisces on April 2; it's likely that you came to some kind of emotional understanding around this time. The first half of April has been very astrologically intense, and it won't be very easy for people to hold in their feelings—they'll either spill their guts or, even worse, they'll make like a fish and flake.

Read More: Your Monthly Horoscope for April, 2017

Venus ended its retrograde on April 15, after Mercury began its retrograde in Taurus on April 9. Whatever wasn't revealed during Venus retrograde will likely become clear during Mercury's trip backward through the zodiac. Your relationship may or may not have a future, but there's definitely a lot of feelings to process, and it's likely that this situation will continue to develop—and most likely come to some kind of climax!—over the next few weeks.

Because Mercury is retrograde, I would suggest waiting for things to become clear on their own rather than suddenly instituting an ultimatum. Watch out for misunderstandings, and take things slow—Mercury begins its retrograde in Taurus, so expect a generally stubborn atmosphere, and it will reenter impulsive Aries on April 20, during which time it will be crucial that you think before you speak. That said, the plus side to Mercury retrograde is that you can gain some new perspective on much of what was unclear to you (especially in March).


Dear Annabel,
I was starting to see a guy and things were going smashingly! But then, less than a month after our first date, he said he wanted space. I gave it a week before I got in touch, and, when I did, he told me that he thinks we should take a month off and reconnect in April, saying that he is a mess and he doesn't want to hurt me. I'm furious and heartbroken—and I told him that this is bullshit. But a part of me is also holding my breath until the end of the month. Do we have a chance?
— Trapped in Relationship Purgatory

Dear Trapped in Relationship Purgatory,
Usually people take month-long breaks when they've been together for a very long time—not less than a month! Venus retrograde can bring back old lovers. Perhaps he's revisiting an old flame to see if it will work out—maybe he thinks a month is a solid amount of time to test the water! Whether or not he's in touch with an ex, he's still putting you on the back burner, which can't feel good for you—and Venus retrograde is all about getting real about what makes you feel like shit and what makes you feel valued.

It's totally possible that he genuinely needs to take things slow and, for whatever reason, he isn't in the place emotionally at this time to dive into something intensely emotional. However, this is a stupid way to go about it. Do you want to be with someone who does stupid things? No.

Read more: Your Life Sucks Because It Sucks, Not Because of Mercury Retrograde


Venus is the planet of love, money, and beauty, but it's also the planet of feeling valued and of understanding your worth. Don't you deserve better than being put on the back burner? Venus has been retrograde for the past few weeks, which was likely productive for you in terms of reflecting on what you deserve from a relationship.

Dear Annabel,
I recently moved out to LA, which was a super big, life-changing move: I left all my friends, family, and any withering love interests to pursue music, but I've had the worst writer's block. It's been three years. Any idea I come up with, I eventually hate. I've recorded an EP and thrown it away, and recorded and album and thrown it away. I saved up a lot of money to move out here and, to be honest, I was doing fine at first. Then I just kept wasting my money on pointless shit like food, drugs, and partying. But this month I literally found my self with 90 cents in my bank account—somehow, $10k just vanished from me. I've always had bad spending habits, but I'm tired of being broke and having writer's block. What should I do?
— Broke and Uninspired

Dear Broke and Uninspired,
You're telling me that you have writer's block, but you recorded an EP. You say you're tired of being broke, but apparently you have been able to achieve a major relocation, and had 10 grand in your bank account. You might be broke right now, but you're clearly a manifestation machine. You might have writer's block, but you're recording music, which means you have work ethic: You're able to find some sort of inspiration somewhere, even if you're not impressed by what you create.


First off, please give yourself credit for being able to make such a big move with ten grand in your pocket in the first place, as well as for recording an EP. Congratulations! That's really hard! Moving and making music is a dream many people have, and one that most don't ever achieve. You're already better off than most people thanks to your strength of will and determination. Industrious, serious planet Saturn is very proud of you (well, for working hard—not for spending your money like there is no tomorrow).

We really need to talk about the language you are using. You say your money "vanished" from you. Are you telling me that you left some money out by your window at night and by the time you woke up in the morning, it had literally evaporated? No. Instead, you're romanticizing how phenomenal you are at mindlessly blowing your cash by using language like "it vanished." You're longing for mystery and magic in your life, and, somehow, you've unconsciously decided money (and your lack of it) will be your focus.

It's funny how the problems we create for ourselves are often solutions that our unconscious mind is trying to create for us. Now that you're conscious of this, do you think it's time to shift how you're looking for inspiration? Neptune, the planet of illusions, delusions, fantasy, and fog, would be a great planet for you to meditate on (head to the beach for some quiet reflection, or even a place of worship: Neptune likes to get spiritual).


Venus is another planet that's affecting your situation—it's been retrograde for the past few months, and just turned direct this weekend. Venus is the planet of art and money, two things you're struggling with now. When Venus is retrograde, themes relating to this lovely planet will intensify, and you'll be forced to reckon with whatever bad habits or patterns you've gotten yourself into. This is an opportunity for you to make some huge changes! Think back to spring 2001 and spring 2009, which was the last time Venus was retrograde in Pisces and Aries. What was going on for you creatively then? What transitions were you making financially? You're at a very, very similar crossroads now, but you're older and wiser.

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To answer your question about why people hold on to money "like it follows you to the afterlife": It is because most people want to be able to afford a cab at 4 AM. It's a self-preservation thing.

I recommend that you stop saying you "hate" money. I might only be an astrologer, but I know a thing or two about the magic of manifestation: Your thoughts create your reality, and if you can have a more peaceful relationship with money in your mind, you'll find that issues around cash will become a little bit easier. If anything, do it for Venus. Venus rules art and beauty, but it also rules cash, and Venus won't send any musical inspiration your way if you're mentally shitting on money.

Do you have a pressing question for Annabel? Email us with the subject line "DEAR ANNABEL":