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How This Fall's Astrological Retrogrades Will Affect Your Sign

This autumn, we'll all be confronted by the effects of Venus, Mercury, and Neptune retrogrades.

by Annabel Gat
Oct 5 2018, 4:32pm

Art by Leila Ettachfini

Blessed be, Broadly readers! As the cosmic tides pull in and out, we find ourselves confronted by Libra season and cuffing season—and multiple retrogrades, too. This autumn, as the planets continue to move back and forth through the zodiac wheel, we have: Venus retrograde in Scorpio and Libra; Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius; and the end of Neptune’s retrograde.

During a retrograde, a planet moves backward through the degrees of the zodiac, revisiting themes, people, and situations that must be brought up to the light. During the pre-retrograde shadow period—which occurs when a planet reaches the degree it will eventually retrograde back to later—we begin seeing which themes will be revisited during the retrograde. During the post-shadow period, the planet moves forward, or is "direct" as astrologers say, so it's no longer retrograde, but still moving back up through the previous degrees, giving us one last chance to clear things up and get the information we need.

Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and values, entered its pre-retrograde shadow on September 3, and begins its retrograde in Scorpio on October 5. Venus then re-enters Libra on its retrograde journey on Halloween and ends its retrograde on November 16—but it won't clear its shadow until December 17, making the rest of this year a major period for rethinking what’s really important to us. From now until November 16, Venus is out of her usual comfort zone of diplomacy, sweetness, pearls, and frills—instead, Venus is in Scorpio’s realm of mystery, shadow, latex, and leather. Scorpio might be a water sign, but don’t expect to be chilled out at this time—Venus retrograde in Scorpio means it’s time to go deep or go home. When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra in November, the planet is back in her comfort zone—but that doesn’t mean things will be easy! Justice will be served, and some cuties from your past will come back into your life.

Communication planet Mercury enters its pre-retrograde shadow on October 29, and begins its retrograde in truth-seeking fire sign Sagittarius on November 16—the same day Venus retrograde ends! Mercury retrograde ends on December 6, and the planet clears its shadow on December 24. Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius means that we get to enjoy this loud mouth sign for even longer than usual this year—details are missed, and grand, sweeping statements are made, retracted, and made again! No one knows that they’re talking about, yet everyone is acting like a know-it-all. The theme of this season’s Mercury retrograde is "we’ll have to wait and see." Avoid traveling if you can, as there may be many delays, and avoid signing contracts or making commitments. Everyone seems to be running late!

Neptune, the planet of illusion, began its retrograde in creative and empathetic Pisces on June 18—you might remember that this past summer was astrologically hectic and intense, thanks to multiple retrogrades and eclipses. But Neptune stations direct on November 24, signaling us to move forward with our dreams and fantasies, to hope and to heal, and to develop creatively, spiritually, and even psychically. Because Neptune spends so much time retrograde each year, we astrologers don’t give it the same hype as we do Mercury or Venus retrograde. However, the week or so that Neptune stations—or pauses in the sky before or after a retrograde—brings especially potent, heavy energies. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling especially tired or sensitive. Neptune is the planet of fog, and when it’s in water sign Pisces, the mist is dense—if you feel like you’re not sure what’s going on around you, know that some confusion at this time is normal. Trust your gut without feeding any paranoid fantasies.

Libra

Questions for Venus Retrograde: Libras are famous for bending over backwards for the people they care about, but with your ruling planet Venus retrograde this autumn, you’ll be learning lessons about your worth. Let yourself be a bit demanding, Libra! Issues concerning money are coming up for you while Venus is retrograde in Scorpio, and when Venus re-enters your sign on Halloween, your focus turns to how you want to be perceived in your relationships, which could mean anything from changing your clothing style to switching up your relationship status. Beauty and self-esteem are big themes for you during Venus retrograde. You usually love your reflection, but what does it mean when you don’t?

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Though you’re usually so charming, Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius finds you putting your foot in your mouth more often than usual. Think before you speak. Slow down! Mercury retrograde also means you should avoid signing contracts or important paperwork, if you can. Expect everything and everyone to be running late.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: With Neptune changing directions, it’s a perfect time to approach your to-do list with mindfulness—editing your closet can be a meditative experience! Play hooky if you need to, but remember that ditching your responsibilities won’t make things easier for you—if your schedule isn’t working, try talking to your boss or advisors about how to make things more manageable for you, or find a new way to split chores at home.

Scorpio

Questions for Venus Retrograde: With Venus retrograde in your sign, you’re being asked: Who do you want to be in your relationships? How do you want to be loved and valued? Depth is so important to you, Scorpio, but are you getting that in your relationships? Are you able to be your true self? Secrets will surface with Venus retrograde, and when the planet re-enters Libra on Halloween, even more will be explored. You love a good mystery, but you don’t like to be kept in the dark by people you’re supposed to trust. If people are doing that in your life, now’s the time to ask yourself why.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius is teaching you major lessons about money. The most important thing is not to lose your wallet! When it comes to making financial plans, look at the big picture—and don’t sign any contracts until mercury retrograde ends on December 6.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: A Scorpio’s ideal relaxation method usually involved getting lost between the sheets with a lover, but distracting yourself with one-night stands may leave you feeling confused or used instead of relaxed and recharged. I would never suggest not sleeping with anyone—I’m just noting that Neptune’s change in directions will make this a sensitive arena for you at this time.

Sagittarius

Questions for Venus Retrograde: Venus retrograde in Scorpio is asking you to catch up on time alone. You can be the life of the party, Sag, but this season, take time to explore your hidden desires and your dream world. When Venus retrograde re-enters air sign Libra on Halloween, your focus shifts to justice. What causes are important to you, and are you surrounding yourself with people who care about the same causes? How are you harmonizing activism and community in your private and public lives?

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in your sign is begging you think before you speak—because, dear centaur, you really don’t do that enough! This isn’t just about being polite—the information you’re sharing is likely to shift during this retrograde, and you don’t want to get someone’s hopes up, or worse, seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about when, clearly, you’re one of the smartest signs in the zodiac.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Usually, your home is a cozy place to hide away, but Sag, you sometimes have a strange relationship with the idea of “home” and worry that you’re not living life right if you’re not always going out. As Neptune changes directions this fall, spend time energetically cleaning your home, and enjoy time in it with loved ones.

Capricorn

Questions for Venus Retrograde: While Venus is retrograde in Scorpio this fall, your focus turns to friendship, community, and activism. Ask yourself: What are the causes that are most important to me? Am I surrounding myself with people who support these, too? When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, it impacts the sector of your chart that rules your career and public image. You’ll be asking yourself questions about how you want to be perceived by others, and what kind of legacy you’d like to leave.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in fire sign Sagittarius is begging you to quit your late-night texting—you’re losing too much sleep! Hide your phone from yourself altogether this Mercury retrograde if you’re drinking or feeling out of sorts; the messages you send out of impulsivity will only bring regret.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Playing video games or browsing your phone can be relaxing….but it can also be a distraction and a time suck! Reflect on mindfulness and choose quality ways to focus your energy and relax your mind as Neptune ends its retrograde. It’s also important for you to make time to meditate and connect with your inner-voice, as your psychic abilities may be heightened as Neptune changes directions!

Aquarius

Questions for Venus Retrograde: With Venus retrograde in intense water sign Scorpio, you’re being asked: How do you want to be seen by the world, and how do you want to be remembered? Do you crave popularity, and are you being recognized for your professional successes? When Venus retrograde re-enters air sign Libra on Halloween, your focus turns to travel and learning. Ask yourself: Do you long to see the world, or perhaps return to school? In your relationships, do you feel like you and your partners have the same values? How does spirituality come to play in your relationships? Communication is also an important issue for you this season.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: With Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, you’re examining your friendships and the communities you belong to. Expect to run into people from your past—and for them to say some surprising things! Mercury in Sagittarius means people will be saying whatever is on their minds, since since it’s retrograde, things might not be said in the right way—be careful of misunderstandings.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Shopping is fun, but retail therapy can be dangerous! Take it easy when it comes to financial issues at this time. Self-esteem issues are sensitive at this time, so come up with inspiring affirmations to recite every morning. You might feel silly doing it, but it could help!

Pisces

Questions for Venus Retrograde: Venus retrograde in fellow water sign Scorpio asks you whether you and your partners share the same political and spiritual values. Do you break free from your usual routine enough? A trip may bring kep perspectives at this time. When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, you’re reconsidering and reworking what you want from your sex life. This will also be a magical time to heal from your past. As issues from your past flare up this season, ask yourself: Do I reach out for help when I need it? Pisces people can suffer quietly because they don’t want to bother those around them. Don’t be afraid to bother people, Pisces!

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius is major for your public life and career, Pisces. When it’s in this bold fire sign, Mercury wants to say whatever it wants, whenever it wants! However, that doesn’t always work at the office, where one needs tact and diplomacy. Use this Mercury retrograde’s energy to finish up projects you previously put on the back-burner.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: As Neptune changes direction in your sign, it’s important that you make an effort to feel grounded. Embodiment practices can be key in this arena, whether that means deep breathing, massage, or just dancing in your room to your favorite music. Making art is also a great way to work with this energy.

Aries

Questions for Venus Retrograde: Venus retrograde in Scorpio brings intimacy front and center for you, Aries. If you can’t get deep with someone, it’s time to move on. And if you can’t get deep with yourself? Well, Venus retrograde in Scorpio will have some lessons for you, little ram. Debts, taxes, and other complicated financial issues come to the fore. When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, your focus shifts to your partnerships—both in love and work. Ask yourself: Is there a fair give-and-take in my relationships?

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius asks that you slow down, Aries! No more jumping to conclusions. A trip that was never taken or an opportunity that was missed may come back around—just be smart about when you book your events because Mercury retrograde is famous for causing delays.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Sleep is wonderful; make sure you’re getting enough! But not too much because that will make you feel like garbage.

Taurus

Questions for Venus Retrograde: Venus retrograde in Scorpio asks you to reflect on what you want from your relationships. Scorpio is a water sign known for its intensity and desire to dive deep, so intense issues are sure to come to the surface. Superficial partnerships won’t make the cut. When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, you’re asked to check in on your habits and wellbeing, and to consider how accountability fits into your partnerships. Developing a schedule at work or home will help you feel more balanced.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius asks you to go inward and meditate. There’s a lot you need to let go of, but you may need to revisit some issues first in order to truly process what’s going on. Debts and taxes come up in conversation, and your sex life is a big topic, too.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Neptune’s shift in direction will find you doing plenty of day-dreaming about your future—making a vision board or getting involved with a non-profit are wonderful ways to work with this energy. It’s also a great idea to spend time with friends, as there will be a sensitive and empathetic energy in the air. Just don’t let yourself get sucked into any dreams. Be especially mindful about getting depressed about whether or not your hopes will come to fruition—they will!

Gemini

Questions for Venus Retrograde: With Venus retrograde in Scorpio this season, you’re being asked to hammer out details and kick habits. Venus loves love, but its retrograde vibe in this intense water sign is all business and no bullshit. It’s time to get real and practical. When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, past lovers may come back into your life to say hello. Issues in your love life and in your creative pursuits will be explored. Ask yourself: What do I really value in love and art?

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius finds you and your partners talking about issues that have previously been put on the back-burner. Expect the people you have close relationships with to say some unexpected things. Keep things grounded and moving slowly—avoid commitments at this time.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Neptune’s change in direction finds you putting your creative efforts in the public eye in a big way. Just remember that drowning yourself in work isn’t a cure for sadness—it’s a distraction that will ultimately bring you more stress. Embrace a better balance between work and play.

Cancer

Questions for Venus Retrograde: With Venus retrograde in Scorpio this season, your focus is shifting to your creative and romantic lives. Things are getting intense, but Venus retrograde in this passionate water sign asks you to go deeper and finds you running into past lovers. When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, it highlights how themes of justice and diplomacy play out in your home life and family history.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Organizing your schedule is going to be annoying, Cancer, so keep things open and don’t overbook yourself. Your old ways of getting work done just aren’t working anymore. Communication issues at work will come up, as well.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Travel is a wonderful way to gain perspective, and may be exactly what you need right now—but remember that being somewhere new won’t make your old problems vanish. Cultivating inner peace takes daily effort in mindfulness and forgiveness (especially of yourself).

Leo

Questions for Venus Retrograde: With Venus retrograde in Scorpio this season, your focus is on your domestic life, and issues from your early childhood or past in general will come up for you to deal with. Ask yourself: How do I create my most comfortable, secure-feeling home? When Venus retrograde re-enters Libra on Halloween, themes of communication will be major. You’ll be running into old friends and lovers, and maybe even having conflicts with your siblings. You’re considering the ways you seek justice for and in your community, and whether your energy is well spent in your relationships. You're going to have to make some difficult choices, Leo, but you can't go wrong if you follow your heart.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius asks you to reconsider issues in your love life and creative life. This isn’t the time to be spontaneous, even though you’re feeling impulsive during this unpredictable Mercury retrogrades. Take it easy, Leo! Go slow, and have fun. If a romantic date or creative project is delayed or otherwise made frustrating, don't sweat it too much—that sort of thing is typical for Mercury retrograde.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: If you need to punch a pillow, go for it. Need to disappear into the woods and release a guttural scream? Let it out! Don’t let your rage, fears, and anxieties carry you away—express your difficult emotions productively, or at least release them into the void.

Virgo

Questions for Venus Retrograde: With Venus retrograde in intense water sign Scorpio this fall, communication is a big theme for you. You’ll be running into old friends and lovers, and may even face some issues with your siblings. Ask yourself: Am I being an effective communicator and saying the things I think need to be said? When Venus retrograde re-enters justice-seeking air sign Libra on Hollywood, your focus shifts to money, and on a deeper level, self-worth. You’re reflecting on the fairness (or lack thereof) of your financial situation, and realizing which relationships are leaving you feeling unappreciated.

Lessons from Mercury Retrograde: Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius asks you to reconsider issues in your home and family life. Big shifts may take place at home, but with Mercury retrograde famous for mishaps and miscommunication, be sure to double check payments and appointments—and don’t make any major purchases.

Advice after Neptune Retrograde: Relationships are always confusing, but especially so for you at this time. Whatever you do, don’t jump into a relationship just to create a sense of security—there’s no way it’ll last, and you’ll burn more connections than you’d build. Take the time to connect with partners on a deep level. Taking things slow or collaborating creatively are good ways to build a strong foundation for something long-lasting and real in the future. Your intuition is boosted, so you’ll know if someone is right for you by taking the time to really get to know them.

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

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