Collage by Leila Ettachfini

How to Survive April's Three—Yes, Three!—Retrogrades

Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn begin their retrogrades this month—but our resident astrologer is here to help.

Retrogrades are an irresistible explanation for everything upsetting—but not all retrogrades are bad! (And in case you didn’t know, Mercury isn’t the only planet that retrogrades!)

As planets move through the zodiac, they periodically pause and reverse their direction…or at least have the appearance of doing so! While the planets don’t actually turn around and change the direction of their orbit around the sun, they do create the optical illusion of moving backwards from our vantage point on Earth. As planets seemingly retrace their paths, we revisit the themes brought up for us on their initial journeys. In astrology, all planets except for the sun and moon (which are considered planets by astrologers) retrograde, and this month, three of our slower moving planets begin theirs: Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. Because they're slow moving planets, their retrogrades are not as disruptive as faster planets like Mercury's, and the most potent moments to watch for will be at the very start and end of their retrogrades (what astrologers call the station).


Jupiter Retrograde

Jupiter is the planet of expansion, and its retrograde—which begins on April 19 and ends on August 11—is an opportunity to pause and reflect on how much we have raked into our lives since the new year.

Pluto Retrograde

Pluto is retrograde from April 24 to October 3, and its change in direction is always intense. As the planet of the underworld, Pluto pushes us to confront what’s simmering beneath the surface. Death and rebirth are major themes associated with this planet, and its retrograde urges us to examine the transformations that have taken place in our lives since the new year.

Saturn Retrograde

Saturn retrograde begins April 30 and lasts through September 18, asking us to reflect on the responsibilities we’ve taken on, or shaken off, since this January. A serious planet known as the "taskmaster," Saturn's change in direction can be a somber period.

But don't be dismayed by all of these retrogrades—or how long they last—as this happens every year, and actually presents a terrific opportunity to consider the changes in our lives and whether we're headed in the right direction. Read your horoscope below to learn how these planetary shifts will affect your zodiac sign:



You’ve been so inspired by new ideas that have come your way this year, dear Aries. You've learned so much, and traveling more or publishing your fantastic ideas, but where do you want to head next? Perhaps your existing ideas could use some deeper investigation. You've learned plenty about being a leader and taking on big responsibilities. Make time to reflect on your relationship with authority…because you're becoming an authority on something yourself! Your reputation and place in the world is shifting, little ram. You do what you do in life not for reward or recognition, but because you have big ideals that mean the world to you. Now, you're learning that a reward or two wouldn't hurt, either!



You’re learning how to sit with uncomfortable feelings, Taurus. As a very tactile, sensual person, you loathe discomfort; however, you are learning the importance of holding your emotional, physical, or spiritual pain rather than denying it. You’re diving deeper into intimacy, too. Everything concerning the ways you expand your mind, from schooling to travel or spirituality, is undergoing a shift. Perhaps it’s time to revisit an idea that inspired you but didn't have the time for. You might be stubborn, dear bull, but are you closed-minded? Reflect on how you might open your options up. Is there an opportunity you refused that might be good for you? It’s time to reconsider your view on things.



So many inspiring new relationships have entered your life, and with each person you meet, you learn more about yourself. At this stage, take time to reflect on how you feel about your partners—are you idealizing someone? Get grounded in your partnerships, Gemini. It’s also time to sort out complicated financial situations—perhaps refinance a loan or get your taxes in order. Inheritances or debts require your attention. Do you owe something to someone? Perhaps not money, but an apology? It’s time to offer it. You’re a curious, social person who always keeps it moving, dear Gemini, and it’s unlike you to get bogged down. But sometimes, confronting big emotions—like ones concerning intimacy or grief—slows you down. Don’t resist this change of pace. Slow down and sit with your emotions—don’t run from them.



You’ve gained some wonderful new habits and added helpful routines and rituals to your daily life, plus new gigs have come your way—but it’s time to stop adding items to your to-do list and start focusing on what you’ve already got going on. Your relationships are undergoing reconstruction: As your partners step into new roles and responsibilities in their own lives, their relationship with you changes as well. Your crab shell is symbolic of your strong defenses, but you’re at a stage in life where you could learn to say "no" a little louder and with more confidence. Sorting out responsibilities with your partners is also a key thing to focus on now.



You’ve achieved new levels of wisdom recently, Leo! You’ve been traveling and studying, and new opportunities have come your way. Your mind—it sparkles! Spiritually and intellectually, you’ve gained so much knowledge. Now it’s time to assess it all. Your schedule needs to be reconsidered. Things at your day job are also undergoing a shift. Scale back from how many new projects you're taking on and hammer out the ones you’ve already started. You have some habits that need to be changed, little lion. You have some bad habits that need to be dumped, and some new habits you can incorporate into your day that will support your wellbeing.



Your home, or sense of home, has greatly expanded, Virgo. Perhaps you have more roommates, more family, or more space. Or maybe you’ve developed a stronger connection with your ancestors. You’ve made room for so much to enter your life! Now, it’s time to reflect on all that’s come your way. You have a devilish sense of humor and you love to party, despite your angelic reputation, Virgo—however, it’s time to step back and assess how happy you truly are in your love life, in your creative endeavors, and how you have fun in general. It’s time to go deeper into issues concerning romance, dear Virgo—superficial hookups won’t cut it right now. The same is true when it comes to your art. A deep urge for creativity is welling up inside of you, and what you create will change who you are.



Your communication skills have always been stellar, but they've improved even more—your voice is clearer and has a further reach, Libra! But so much information has also come your way, and it’s time to take stock of all the news you’ve received and what it means for you. It’s crucial for you to reflect on and set your boundaries—remember that they change with each new relationship or situation you’re in. Don’t be surprised if what worked for you last year won’t work now. You’re also craving more privacy and security as your home life undergoes a shift. You're organizing chores with your roommates, or managing issues between you and your family members. You might be moving or renovating. This is a good time to dust off your altar.



A boost in your self-esteem and your wallet has taken place, dear Scorpio! But with all this abundance, you have to be wise about your spending. You know the importance of organization, little scorpion, and this is what's being restructured in your life—everything from how you get to work in the morning to how you file your paperwork is undergoing change. I know this sounds incredibly boring, but it's the little things that can trip us up or make our day, and it's time for you to focus on the details. Your communication skills are also undergoing an upgrade, but this may mean you’re learning some tough lessons in being a better listener or how to express your needs.



Your name and face have been popping up everywhere, Sagittarius! You’re especially popular and you’ve made a mark on your scene. Now, it’s time to step back and reconsider your next moves. You’re one of the most gregarious signs in the zodiac, ultra generous and party-loving—but even though you're optimistic and sunny, you do have self-esteem issues that you need to make time to sit with and heal. You're also restructuring your budget—it’s time to get real about your financial situation. This doesn't only mean reconsidering how much you're spending, but also how much you're pulling in. Is it time to increase your rate or ask for a raise? Your time and energy are valuable.



You’re a practical, down-to-earth person who values logic, but you've recently discovered a deeper well of intuitive ability within yourself, dear Capricorn. With this newfound confidence in your intuition, you might also find yourself running away with your imagination—it's time to take a step back and figure out what's real and what's fantasy. You are going through deep transformations—this month especially you're feeling on a deep level just how different you are now than the way you used to be. This is exciting, but new boundaries also need to be set with these new changes. You’re a natural leader, but you’re figuring out what that means for you now that your responsibilities are changing. Perhaps there are some responsibilities you no longer want on your plate? Now’s the time to let them go.



You’ve grown in popularity, dear Aquarius! Everyone wants to hang out with you—but do you want to hang out with everyone? Make time to decide which social circles, groups, clubs, and associations truly deserve your membership. There is so much happening behind the scenes in your life, and your inner control freak isn’t too happy about it. There's also a lot going on in your subconscious mind—get some rest and schedule more time for meditation in your day. In general, you need to schedule more down time for yourself, Aquarius. Stop beating your fatigue with coffee, and instead, nourish yourself with whole foods and a whole lot of rest. Your psychic abilities are also getting a boost—read up on intuitive development.



You’ve taken amazing leaps in your career recently, Pisces! You’re in the spotlight in a major way, but now it’s time to reflect on which projects you want to continue working on and which ones you’re ready to end. More success, rewards, and recognition are on the way! Changes are taking place in your social life and within the groups and organizations you’re apart of, and your hopes and dreams for the future are evolving. You’ve been thinking a lot about how people share (or don’t share!) power and reflecting on how things need to change in your community, as well as what you can do to make a difference. It's said that birds of a feather flock together—are you flocking with some birds you shouldn't be? It's time to find a new crew—you're (almost) too famous to keep running with people who don't get you or share your vision.

What's in the stars for you in April? Read your monthly horoscope here.

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