Turn It Around – Resolving Natal Retrogrades

I met my Twin Flame in October.  So in addition to it being the beginning of my favorite time of the year, it has become a time of wonderful memories and a much-welcomed life change.  I had never really believed that I would find someone with whom I would share my life, partly because my astrological chart wasn’t well aspected for romantic relationships.  But I beat the odds – and not by accident.  I worked at it.  And I finally turned it around.

I was born with four planets in Scorpio.  Sun, Mercury, Neptune and Venus.  Yes, Venus.  I hear those chuckles and titters.  I know what you’re thinking.  Scorpio in Venus makes people blush.  Especially when paired with Sun and Neptune in Scorpio, and Mars in Leo (that’s me, too).  EXCEPT for one thing.  Venus was in retrograde at the time of my birth.  I know.  Thank you for the sympathetic gasping.  And, yes, I know that Ted Bundy is among those of us who beat the odds (there is only about a 7-8% chance of being born while Venus is retrograde) and had Venus retrograde in his chart as well, so don’t rub it in.

A friend who is an excellent amateur astrologer once expressed dismay about my backward Venus.  Noting my years of relationship woes, he tried to give me hope, but would always end his encouragement with a furrowed brow and a softly-spoken “I’m sorry – it’s a tough aspect.”

Most of us have one or two (three is rare, and more is almost unheard-of and quite significant) planets in retrograde in our natal charts.  Depending on which planets are retrograde, these folks may seem a little “out of step” with the rest of the world.  According to CafeAstrology, when a planet or body is retrograde in the birth chart, its energies are turned inward. They’re often felt more strongly, but there is something about the planet’s energies that the native keeps hidden or undercover. There can be shyness, discomfort, or awkwardness in expressing the planet’s energy directly or overtly.  For a different interpretation, check this out.  If you’re wondering whether you have any planets in retrograde in your natal chart, you can have a free chart drawn up here.

This could mean that there may be denial, something lacking, or something missing in early childhood, and there are delays associated with the retrograde planet’s energies.  So, for example, those born with Mercury retrograde may do a lot of overthinking, or have obsessive thoughts.  Those born with Jupiter retrograde may suffer from a constant fear of  poverty or lack, or of “bad luck.”  Those with Mars in natal retrograde may have trouble standing up for themselves.  Folks born when Saturn was retrograde may suffer from constant feelings of guilt or self-doubt.

Those, like me, born with Venus in retrograde may have trouble expressing love, take social interactions very seriously, and be prone to self-doubt, or even self-loathing.  They take relationships very seriously, and may harbor deep insecurities about their worth.  In my case, there was a lack of parental love, a pervasive feeling of being unattractive and the inability to find a partner who treated me well, even though I was very intent (perhaps inordinately so) on being in a romantic relationship.  My self-esteem was very low, and I was hypercritical of what I said and did, and how I looked.  I had a dysmorphic body image.  I often expressed myself romantically in inappropriate ways, either coming on too strong or overeager, or appearing aloof and unapproachable.  I was awkward, and really not very good at interpreting romantic cues.  I also often misinterpreted purely sexual advances for love, or accepted behavior that was clearly abusive, making excuses for the other person or thinking that I likely did something to cause the poor treatment.

Loneliness weighed VERY heavy on me, and I couldn’t understand why my friends who were single were content in that state.  If I was not in a relationship, I felt that there was something “wrong” with me.  And yet, when I was in a relationship, it was usually with someone with whom I didn’t fit well.  I often found myself “settling” for someone who was obviously not right for me, or in abusive relationships, or on a seemingly endless stream of first dates because I felt uncomfortable refusing a date with someone for fear of hurting his feelings, even though I really had no interest in meeting him.

So what changed things?  How was it that I was able to turn this around (though it took me 50 years to do so) and seemingly thwart my natally-set astrological destiny?  Good question.  The honest truth is that I’m not really sure what sparked the shift.  But I can give a likely explanation a shot.

I believe that we choose our path before we are born.  In order to allow our Soul to grow in the direction in which we need the most work, to help us on our way to becoming our Best Highest Self, we need to choose a path that will be the most advantageous to achieving that end.  For example, if I want to learn compassion, my Spirit may choose a life full of pain, or turmoil, or hardship.  To know compassion is to understand how it feels to be miserable.  Then we learn to treat others the way we wanted others to treat us when we felt that way.  That’s why the Golden Rule is at the heart of most organized religions, in one way or another.

I feel that I chose to enter this life at a point when Venus was retrograde for a purpose.  People who are born during those times may struggle with a sense of isolation and loss – a feeling of not fitting in with the rest of the world, which seems to have no problem loving or finding love.  It can be a lifelong struggle (as it was with me for the first half of my life) with wondering “what’s wrong with me.”  It forces one to reach inside (an aspect brought on in some way by all natally-retrograde planets) to search for the answers and find resolution and clarity.  I had to put myself in the shoes of those I sought to love, those I loved and who rejected me and even those who repulsed me for one reason or another.  I had to look into their hearts, and into my heart, to find the commonalities and differences that form relationships – not only between two people, but between us and the world around us, with our vocation, with our environment and with ourselves.  I took it on as a challenge (things really shifted when my friend Steve passed over, and I lost another very close friend to a falling-out, and felt truly on my own and unloved), and I rose to it.  I feel that I have finally learned what I was meant to in this life, at least as far as this aspect was concerned, and this time around.  About other aspects of human life, I’m only just beginning to learn!  Once that was accomplished, the retrograde energy loosed its grip on me.

I think that we’re here not only to do the hard work that brings us learning, but also to experience joy, beauty and happiness.  The balance is an important part of ensuring that we feel whole, and don’t get discouraged, and see the “full circle” development of our life here.  I think that after over 50 years of “learning,” mostly through making mistakes, experiencing sorrow and feeling the tough feelings that my fellow human beings deal with every day (both in myself and as an empath), my Highest Self decided that I had learned enough to finally be given a chance to  experience the joy and happiness as well.  I had paid my dues – it was like a “graduation ceremony” to finally find love, not only for my special partner, but for myself as well.  With that ability, I also learned forgiveness, compassion and understanding.  What a gift.

So if your natal retrograde is causing you to struggle, turn that baby direct.  Tired of your Mars retrograde making you everyone’s doormat?  Get out of your comfort zone and speak up for yourself.  Start slow – and don’t let your bullies’ shocked expressions hold you back – start making yourself heard!  Retrograde Saturn making you take the blame for EVERYTHING, even when you weren’t even involved?  Stop apologizing and make it known that though you’re only human, you’re not to blame for all the problems in the world, either.  Don’t let the passive-aggressive narcissists of the world convince you otherwise.  Jupiter retrograde making you feel like “Bad Luck Charlie”?  Time to start acting like everyone’s lucky charm.  Bring the sunshine and light up the room.  Be positive and always hope for the best.  That’s the way manifestation works.  Luck is on your side!

Turning your perceived liabilities into assets is how we grow.  Turn that frown upside down, make a U-turn and run directly into the YOU you were meant to be.

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