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What to Expect from the Five Retrogrades Coming Up Next Month

By the start of May, five planets—Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto—will be retrograde. That's a lot! Here's how to handle all the frustration life will be throwing your way.
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Five planets will be retrograde when May begins. That's a lot! But what does it all mean?

Each planet's retrograde brings its own meaning and vibe. Before we examine our current and upcoming transits, let's review what a retrograde is: As the planets truck through the degrees of the zodiac, they occasionally pause, turn around and retrace their steps. This is known as going retrograde.

As the planets appear to retrace their steps in the sky, they highlight a specific sector of the zodiac. It's like when you're taking notes and you highlight or circle something important that you want to remember for later or pay extra attention to. That's what the planets are doing when they retrograde: They're highlighting a portion of the zodiac and letting you know that the shit that's going down in your life during that time period is important, worth reflecting on, and something that should be noted for later.


Let's look at our current retrogrades, as well as Mercury's retrograde, which is coming up later this week:

Mercury (April 28 through May 22): If you've ever been on the internet, you know what Mercury retrograde is. Mercury rules information, communication, travel, and commerce, so expect any situation relating to these themes to get funky and confusing. Expect delays, and book tickets to trips and events at another time. Don't sign any contracts or make any big commitments. Don't buy electronics, and triple-check that you're sending that sext to your lover, not your boss. Mercury retrograde does serve a purpose: To help you review the recent past and catch up on your work. If you allow yourself to slow down, Mercury retrograde can be a very healing and revealing time.

This Mercury retrograde will take place in Taurus, a sensual Earth sign that's often accused of being stubborn. Mercury's vibe is all about coming and going easily, whereas Taurus, the bull, isn't too easy to move around. Mercury, which rules the mind, becomes pretty heavy and inflexible in Taurus. On the bright side, however, this retrograde will give us a chance to review issues that we've been too rigid around.

When Mars is retracing its steps in the heavens, its phallus may fall flaccid. Sex can be pretty lame during this transit.

Mars (April 17 through June 29): Mars is the warrior planet, and when it goes retrograde, it's time to retreat—at least, that's what I recommend you do. Mars retrograde isn't a great time to initiate anything; this transit brings out impatience and anger. Taking a step back to review your plots and plans is the ideal way to deal with this retrograde. You can expect some outbursts and blowups can also go down during the next few months.


Mars is associated with men, so you might notice way more mansplaining and other annoying male behavior while it's retrograde. If you look at the symbol for Mars, it's a circle with an arrow pointing up—a big dick, basically. When Mars is retracing its steps in the heavens, that phallus may fall flaccid. Sex can be pretty lame during this transit.

In addition, people can be bitchy and unusually aggressive during Mars retrograde. This retrograde begins in Sagittarius, the sign of the philosopher, so you'll notice people being especially condescending and self-righteous. On May 27, Mars reenters Scorpio, which is when people will really start playing dirty and being manipulative and passive-aggressive.

We also have three of the outermost planets retrograde right now. Planets in this position go retrograde for very long time, and this occurs frequently. As such, we don't care about these transits as much as, for example, Mars retrograde, which only happens once for about two months about every two years.

The station—the period during which the planet pauses before turning retrograde or leaving retrograde—has the most potency. Here's what you may feel when these planets change direction:

Jupiter (January 7 through May 9): Jupiter is the sign of growth and expansion. When it shifts directions, we reconsider the paths we've been taking: Are we learning anything new and interesting? Are we gaining more success and joy? Jupiter also has a tendency to exaggerate, so during these stations, you may have to face some issues around overdoing.

Saturn (March 25 through August 13): The opposite of jovial Jupiter, Saturn is the grinch of the zodiac, ruling confinement, fear, and obstacles. Difficulties come up for examination during these stations. However, Saturn isn't always all that bad—this energy can play out in positive ways, like having an appreciation for the passage of time; getting connecting to cool, older people; working out your issues around commitment; and rededicating yourself to your professional goals. Saturn also rules structure, making this a time that those in your life are tested.

Pluto (April 18 through September 26): Pluto is the lord of the underworld. It rules death and rebirth, sex and power, debts and taxes. During these stations, power dynamics in relationships get highlighted, and third parties (like a hidden lover) are often revealed or confronted. Deep emotional issues often come to the surface, and obsessions reach critical points. Anything dark and dirty is ruled by Pluto and will often come up during this time period.

Check back on May 1 for your monthly horoscope to learn more about how these transits will affect your sign!