Unless you live under a hunk of fallen meteorite, you’ve probably heard about Mercury retrograde, the quarterly mayhem that occurs when the messenger planet passes the Earth, appearing from our vantage point to go backward. For three weeks, we can blame every Internet outage, petty fight and canceled brunch plan on a spinning rock 48 million miles away.
But did you know? Every single planet goes retrograde at some point. With the exception of Venus and Mars, the planets all have retrograde cycles every year.
Grab your calendar: We took the liberty of mapping out all the 2022 retrogrades for you so you can use these planetary power outages as transformational cycles.
What is a retrograde?
A planet could be retrograde—meaning that from the vantage point of Earth, it appears to be spinning backward. What’s really happening? Well, the Earth is completing its orbit around the Sun faster than other planets outside its orbit. Periodically, it will outpace them—and that’s when retrograde mayhem breaks loose.
Much like a speeding car or train passing a slower one, the planet that’s being passed will appear to stop and move backward—which is the apparent retrograde period.
Then, once the Earth completely passes this planet in its orbit, the motion appears normal again, and the planet is said to be “direct” or “prograde” (to use the snappy scientific term). Chances are, you’ve been in a vehicle that felt like it was moving in reverse when it was passed, so you know the feeling!
What about the “shadow” period?
It ain’t over ’til it’s over! Each retrograde cycle has a “shadow period”—the awkward adjustment of the retrograde planet from apparent backward to forward motion…and vice-versa. For that reason, you may feel the stirrings of a retrograde cycle for several days, even weeks, before it officially begins.
Here is the schedule of every planet retrograde in 2022…
In 2022, all of the planets will have a retrograde phase, which doesn’t happen every year. Venus turns retrograde every 18 months and Mars every two years. But in 2022, they’ll both make U-turns and backtrack through the zodiac. Translation? This year wants us to take plenty of time to look before we leap into any big projects. Given the state of uncertainty in this “Year of the New Abnormal,” these retrograde cycles can be a blessing in disguise if we use them to our advantage. Read on to learn the opportunity of every planetary retrograde in 2022:
Mercury Retrograde in 2022: January, May and September
Messenger Mercury is the ruler of information, communication and our intellectual processes. The closest planet to the Sun, Mercury orbits through each zodiac sign for approximately three weeks. These cycles shape our cultural interests. From the topics we’re buzzing about to the ways we communicate, whatever sign Mercury is occupying plays a role.
Each year, Mercury turns retrograde for three cycles, appearing to travel backward through the zodiac. During these reverse commutes, it lingers in one or two signs for approximately ten weeks. While the scrambled signals can be agonizing, we have a chance to dive into deeper discourse. People from the past may reappear, like old friends, estranged relatives and exes with unfinished business.
In 2022, the 3 main Mercury retrograde phases will split their time between expressive air signs and grounded earth signs, demanding that we clean up our communication and pay better attention to the structures of our lives. (All times listed are Eastern Time)
January 14 – February 3: Mercury retrograde in Aquarius/Capricorn
- In Aquarius (starting at 2:10 AM Jan. 14)
- In Capricorn (starting at 10:05 PM Jan. 25)
May 10 – June 3: Mercury retrograde in Gemini/Taurus
- In Gemini (starting 7:47 AM May 10)
- In Taurus (starting 9:15 PM May 22)
September 9 – October 2: Mercury retrograde in Libra/Virgo
- In Libra (starting 11:38 PM Sept. 9)
- In Virgo (starting 8:04 AM Sept. 23)
December 29 – January 20, 2023: Mercury retrograde in Capricorn
- In Capricorn (4:32 AM Dec. 29)
Venus Retrograde in 2022: January
December 19, 2021 – January 29, 2022: Venus retrograde in Capricorn
Venus is the planet of love, beauty and luxury, lending its decadent energy to every zodiac sign for three to five weeks each year. Who will we fall for…and how? Venus sets the global vibe. Every 18 months, Venus turns retrograde. During this cycle, Venus is changing its “on-screen” time from evening to morning. In the middle of the retrograde, Venus disappears from view as it makes an inferior conjunction to the Sun. Approximately two weeks later, Venus reappears, glittering in the sky at early dawn. In 2022, the rebirth of Venus happens on January 8, which might bring a major perspective shift around love!
Here’s how Venus retrograde will affect every type of relationship in 2022
Tap into the hidden magic of Venus retrograde’s 8-year cycles
This is how Venus retrograde in Capricorn will impact your zodiac sign
Mars Retrograde in 2022: October – December
October 30, 2022 to January 12, 2023: Mars retrograde in Gemini
Mars is the last of the personal inner planets—the planets before Jupiter which are closest to the Sun. This might explain its protective, and sometimes combative, stance. Like a celestial sentry, Mars readies us to fight for what we hold dear. The red planet hangs out in a zodiac sign for approximately eight weeks, directing the global temperament and fighting style. Every two years, Mars pivots retrograde, which keeps it locked in one or two signs for seven months. Mars will be retrograde in Gemini from October 30, 2022 to January 12, 2023.
Jupiter Retrograde in 2022: July – November
July 28 to November 23: Jupiter retrograde in Aries (until October 28) then Pisces
Wise, wild Jupiter is the galactic gambler, the global nomad and the eter- nal seeker. The fastest spinning planet in the solar system, developments happen rapidly in this powerhouse’s path! Jupiter’s job is to push us out
of our comfort zones and into uncharted territory—even if that means leaping before we look. Jupiter turns retrograde annually, napping in low-power mode for four months. This year, the backspin takes place from July 28 to November 23, starting in Aries, then backing into Pisces on October 28. As exciting as Jupiter’s developments are, they can also be exhausting! The retrograde timeouts may come as a blessed relief, giving us a window to integrate all the rapid changes the red-spotted planet has us striving to achieve.
Saturn Retrograde in 2022: June – October
June 4 to October 23: Saturn retrograde in Aquarius
Where have we become excessive? When is enough just…enough? The whistleblowing planet of integrity reveals where we need to set better boundaries. As a slower-moving outer planet, Saturn shapes longer trends. The ringed planet lurks in a single zodiac sign for 2.5 to 3 years and orbits through the entire zodiac in 29.5 years. Saturn turns retrograde annually for approximately four and a half months. These backspins may stall progress and shuttle you back to the drawing board to ensure that you’re developing plans on a stable foundation—and with proper levels of integrity.
Uranus Retrograde in 2022: August – December
August 19, 2021 – January 18, 2022: Uranus retrograde in Taurus
August 24, 2022 – January 23: 2023: Uranus retrograde in Taurus
Uranus takes 84 years to cycle through the zodiac, visiting each sign for approximately seven years. Because of its longer span, it’s considered a generational planet, shaping the mindset of an entire age group. Since Uranus governs society and collective consciousness, its transits shape mass culture. Like all of the outer planets, Uranus has an annual retrograde cycle that lasts for approximately five months each year. During these spells, progress can slow to a grinding halt. Technology, which is ruled by Uranus, can be the source of trouble. Slow down and get conscious about your every move—and your impact! Your interest in community work and activism may blossom as you do.
Neptune Retrograde in 2022: June – December
June 28 – December 3: Neptune retrograde in Pisces
Because of its distance from the Sun, Neptune has a huge orbit to make. It takes 165 years to circle el Sol, spending an average of 15 years in each one of the zodiac signs. Every Neptune cycle shapes a generation, directing the music that moves us, the spiritual ideologies that resonate with mass culture and, the way we live out our dreams. Like the other outer planets, Neptune goes retrograde annually for about five months. These periods can be deeply introspective times—but ones that require extra reality checks! You may feel like retreating or escaping from the world, which can be a healing process or one that lures you back to a destructive habit. “Just this once” can become famous last words when Neptune’s in reverse. Set up support systems so you don’t give in to toxic temptations. With Neptune intensifying its boundary-dissolving effect in its home sign of Pisces, that advice goes double!
Pluto Retrograde in 2022: April – October
April 29 – October 8: Pluto retrograde in Capricorn
What skeletons are rattling in our closets? Where do we go “unconscious,” unable to see our role in a crisis? As the cosmic ruler of the underworld, Pluto’s impulse is to conceal. Projection is one of this planet’s favorite defense mechanisms. Whenever and wherever you’re pointing the finger, Pluto is probably at play. Like the other outer planets, Pluto spends approximately five months of each year retrograde. During these times, we will often feel relief from the planet’s intensity. Retrogrades are times for introspection, and deep- diving Pluto’s backspin can bring penetrating insights. While in Capricorn from 2008-2024, we are reconciling issues of financial disparity, developing new monetary systems and grappling with the impact of industry on the environment. (Read about the historic Pluto return on 2/22/22 and the next American Revolution.)