The Complete Guide to 2020 Retrogrades

Posted on January 06, 2020

Person standing with their clothes backwards.

Happy 2020!

As we’re focused on a new year, we can think about what the planets are going to do during 2020. What signs will they enter and when, how are those eclipses going to hit us, and of course - what about those confounded retrogrades?!

Never fear, and let this article serve as a planner for the 2020 retrogrades!

What is Retrograde?

Let’s first look at what retrograde means. A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward in the zodiac from our view here on Earth. It’s not actually moving backward (no planet actually moves backwards!). It just LOOKS that way (appearance is everything!). The Sun and Moon are the only planets that don’t go retrograde.

The normal motion for planets through the zodiac is forward, so when they’re retrograde and moving backward, the energy of the planet can get thrown off. Some are worse than others (looking at you, Mercury retrograde!).

When Planets Go Retrograde

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Chiron retrograde every year for months at a time, so their retrogrades tend to be more subtle. You’ll usually feel the impact if your Sun, Moon, or Rising sign is ruled by that planet, it’s occurring in your Sun, Moon, or Rising sign, or if it’s doing some hard stuff to your chart. Then it gets wonky!

Venus retrogrades for about 1½ months every 1½ years, and Mars retrogrades for about 2 - 2½ months every 2 - 2½ years. Both will retrograde in 2020 (oh joy!). Mercury retrogrades 3-4 times each year for about 3 weeks at a time. Mercury, Venus, and Mars are considered personal planets, so you can feel their retrogrades much more personally.

When retrograde, Pluto can give us a break from the transforming; Neptune can bring out some major fog; Uranus can slow change and increase rebellion; Saturn can bring karma and extra restrictions; Jupiter can slow expansion to find blocks; Chiron can increase reflection and focus on blocks to healing; Mars can elevate aggression and hostility; Venus can bring out relationship issues - and Mercury can throw off everything!

Check out this article about planetary retrogrades to understand even more about how each retrograde planet differs!

2020 Retrogrades: The Complete Guide

Alright, enough mumbo-jumbo, let’s get down to business!

Here is a list of the retrogrades in 2020, in order by when they begin:

Mercury Retrograde: February 16 - March 9, 2020

Starts at: 12° Pisces

Ends at: 28° Aquarius

Signs most impacted: Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius, Pisces

The first Mercury retrograde 2020 starts in Water sign Pisces and goes back into Air sign Aquarius March 4th to end the retrograde. With the start in Pisces, watch for energy to be extra dreamy, imaginative, and inspiring, yet also extra foggy, delusional at times, and we may be grasping for compassion and a softer touch. With the end in Aquarius, watch for super rebellious energy and out-of-the-box thinking (which can be good or bad!).

Pluto Retrograde: April 25 - October 4, 2020

Starts at: 25° Capricorn

Ends at: 22° Capricorn

Signs most impacted: Scorpio, Capricorn

We’ve had this retrograde for the last decade or so since Pluto has been in Earth sign Capricorn. Each year, this is a period where we can focus on the major transformations that have been worked on, and dig deeper to discover what we’ve been missing that’ll help push us further. Make sure to check out this article about the impact of Pluto retrograde in Capricorn for each sign!

Saturn Retrograde: May 11 - September 29, 2020

Starts at: 1° Aquarius

Ends at: 25° Capricorn

Signs most impacted: Capricorn, Aquarius

Saturn starts moving into Aquarius in March (the 21st), and starts the retrograde in this sign, which can bring attention to our hopes and dreams and how we’re going to bring some reality to them to make them actually happen. Saturn goes back into Capricorn July 1st and ends the retrograde in Capricorn, and this can be a time when work slows as we absorb some of the final lessons Saturn in Capricorn has to give us before officially leaving this sign in December 2020.

Venus Retrograde: May 13, - June 25, 2020

Starts at: 21° Gemini

Ends at: 5° Gemini

Signs most impacted: Taurus, Gemini, Libra

There was no Venus retrograde in 2019, so 2020 comes with one! In Air sign Gemini, a sign of communication and activity, this retrograde can focus on the way we communicate with one another, get our point across, engage with each other and our communities, and how the lines of communication are doing in relationships. Some may get something important off of their chest, and things that need to be said can be said. But be careful with your words - they may get you in trouble they can’t get you out of!

Jupiter Retrograde: May 14 - September 12, 2020

Starts at: 27° Capricorn

Ends at: 17° Capricorn

Signs most impacted: Sagittarius, Capricorn

Jupiter retrogrades entirely in Capricorn, and is in this Earth sign until December 2020. It’s a Capricorn year, for better or worse! The Jupiter retrograde in Capricorn can slow down the pursuit of opportunities for goals and ambitions, and you can focus on trying to eliminate issues that have gotten in the way. Jupiter links up with Pluto during this retrograde in late June, so dig deeper to find the issues and work on issues that have been a long-time problem.

Mercury Retrograde: June 18 - July 12, 2020

Starts at: 14° Cancer

Ends at: 5° Cancer

Signs most impacted: Gemini, Cancer, Virgo

The second Mercury retrograde for 2020 comes in Water sign Cancer. This is the sign ruling emotions, so emotions can be extra heightened during this Mercury retrograde. Try to find some comfort and give yourself and others emotional support. The Cancer energy is at odds with all of the Capricorn energy next year, so it’s a tough one (especially with a Cancer solar eclipse on June 21st and Capricorn lunar eclipse July 5th!). You may want to pay attention to your dreams as they can be strong with Mercury retrograde in Cancer.

Neptune Retrograde: June 23 - November 28, 2020

Starts at: 20° Pisces

Ends at: 18° Pisces

Signs most impacted: Pisces

And this is the foggy retrograde! Neptune is pretty notorious for the foggy energy, and that is even more the case while retrograde in home sign Pisces. Brace for clouded judgment, blurred lines, and nonexistent boundaries! This is always a good time to work on those boundaries, and to get into your subconscious mind (ruled by Neptune) to sort through old issues or karmic baggage. You may also benefit from a spiritual or metaphysical focus, and strengthening your intuition.

Chiron Retrograde: July 11 - December 15, 2020

Starts at: 9° Aries

Ends at: 4° Aries

Signs most impacted: Aries

Chiron is the asteroid of wounds and healing, and the period when Chiron is retrograde can be a good time for spiritual growth and reflection. In Aries, you may want to better understand yourself, your identity, and what you connect with on a deeply personal level, and how past issues have impacted your ability to be yourself and have good self-esteem and a sense of self.

Uranus Retrograde: August 15 - January 14, 2021

Starts at: 10° Taurus

Ends at: 6° Taurus

Signs most impacted: Taurus, Aquarius

Uranus is the planet of change, so while retrograde, that change can slow down and we get a break. Sometimes this can cause restlessness if there’s a change you really really really want to make, but you should try to take it as a breather from the wonkiness! If you feel extra stressed during Uranus retrograde, try some visualization to work it out.

Mars Retrograde: September 9 - November 13, 2020

Starts at: 28° Aries

Ends at: 15° Aries

Signs most impacted: Aries

Like Venus, there was no Mars retrograde in 2019, so 2020 comes with one! And this one occurs in Aries, the sign Mars naturally rules - so it’s extra fiery, extra aggressive, and extra impulsive! Try not to get caught up in the passionate energy when you get upset (micro-breaks can help), and allow for the slowing of energy to get some control over yourself and life. If someone or something really gets under your skin, view it as an opportunity to understand why and work it out.

Mercury Retrograde: October 13 - November 3, 2020

Starts at: 11° Scorpio

Ends at: 25° Libra

Signs most impacted: Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio

The final Mercury retrograde for 2020 starts in Water sign Scorpio and moves into Air sign Libra October 27th, where it ends the retrograde. While in Scorpio, revisit past challenging issues and enter the shadows so you can move forward with less heavy baggage since this is the last opportunity to do so (Mercury won’t retrograde in Scorpio again for some years). While in Libra, work on relationship issues, improve connections, and try to restore balance (after the wonky year!).

Parting Thoughts

So, there you have it! The full list of retrogrades for this new year. And a quick note - we actually started 2020 with Uranus retrograde! Only until January 10, so not much longer, and Uranus starts moving forward quickly so we can get on with the dreams we’re thinking of for a new year.

Maneuver the 2020 retrogrades carefully, keep an eye on your daily horoscope, and make it a great year!

Related Article: 5 Things That are Easier to Do During Mercury Retrograde 2020

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Nic Gaudette’s astrology career began in 2004. She’s performed thousands of astrology readings, helped thousands of students learn astrology, has written over a dozen horoscope… Read More »

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