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  • Writer's pictureLori Barnes

Retrograde Dates in Astrology for 2023

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Personal Planets in Retrograde: Mercury, Venus and Mars

The personal planets, also called inner planets, are Mercury, Venus, and Mars. They move at a speed that is fast compared to the slower, or outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Saturn and Jupiter, while not outer planets, are considered slower moving when it comes to retrogrades. They are known as the social planets.

Mercury is the planet that represents how you express yourself, communication – both verbal and non-verbal, learning style, intellect, trade, and business commerce. Mercury goes retrograde three times a year.

Venus is the planet that represents your relating style with others, how beauty is experienced, and speaks to receptivity and your core values. Romantic and other close relationships can be better understood by looking at your Venus sign. Venus goes retrograde around every eighteen months.

Mars expression is about how you take action, the quality of assertiveness, your inner motivation and drive, and how you respond to stimuli. Mars is about physical energy which is why Mars retrogrades can be especially exhausting. Mars goes retrograde around every two years.

Retrograde Dates in Astrology for 2023

These are the retrograde cycles I recommend you work with:

  • Mercury for regular reflection, refinement, and realignment of what is going on in your life, your goals, how on target you feel for working toward your life purpose, and anything related to commerce.

  • Venus for reflecting and realigning how you interact and relate with others. This is a period of time where people and situations from the past may come up asking you to resolve something. You may be called to reach out to people from the past and they may reach out to you. Any qualities of your relating style that have become outgrown will call for your attention to make updates to how you interact moving forward.

  • Mars retrograde is about evaluating where your time and energy are going. You may be called to cut activities from your schedule and revise how you move forward. Your inner motivations and drive may come into question. During the process you may feel more exhausted and fatigued. This is especially so if you are not heeding the reflective call of nature to fine tune your use of available energy. You want to refine where you spend your finite amount of physical energy, and how well you are managing the inner fire driving your desires and motivations.

Mars Retrograde December 2022-2023

  • Pre-shadow Begins: 4 September 2022

  • Retrograde Begins: 30 October 2022

  • Direct: 12 January 2023

  • Post-Shadow Ends: 16 March 2023

  • Sign: Gemini

  • Degrees: 25 – 8

Mercury Retrograde December 2022-2023

  • Pre-shadow Begins: 3 December 2022

  • Retrograde Begins: 29 December 2022

  • Direct: 18 January 2023

  • Post-shadow Ends: 7 February 2023

  • Sign of Retrograde: Capricorn

  • Degrees: 24 – 8

Mercury Retrograde April 2023

  • Pre-shadow Begins: 7 April 2023

  • Retrograde Begins: 21 April 2023

  • Direct: 14 May 2023

  • Post-shadow Ends: 1 June 2023

  • Sign of Retrograde: Taurus

  • Degrees: 15 – 5

Venus Retrograde July 2023

  • Pre-shadow Begins: 20 June 2023

  • Retrograde Begins: 22 July 2023

  • Direct: 3 September 2023

  • Post-shadow Ends: 7 October 2023

  • Sign of Retrograde: Leo

  • Degrees: 28 – 12

Mercury Retrograde August 2023

  • Pre-shadow Begins: 3 August 2023

  • Retrograde Begins: 23 August 2023

  • Direct: 15 September 2023

  • Post-shadow Ends: 30 September 2023

  • Sign of Retrograde: Virgo

  • Degrees 21 – 8

Mercury Retrograde December 2023

  • Pre-shadow Begins: 25 November 2023

  • Retrograde Begins: 13 December 2023

  • Direct: 1 January 2024

  • Post-shadow Ends: 20 January 2024

  • Retrograde Signs: Sagittarius and Capricorn

  • Degrees 8 Capricorn to 22 Sagittarius

The Social Planets: Jupiter and Saturn

These two planets sit between the personal planets Mercury, Venus and Mars, and the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Both Jupiter and Saturn will go retrograde in 2023. You may want to work with these retrograde cycles alone if you are on a deep astrological journey this year.

Otherwise, you may want to work with these retrograde cycles only if they are directly activating a part of your personal chart such as the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Ascendant, Midheaven, or Lunar Nodes.

Jupiter is about how you pursue growth, indicating qualities of your belief system, how growth-oriented you are, and where you can learn more about the expression of optimism, opportunity, or overindulgence.

Saturn is the expression of being grounded, boundary setting, structures, hard work, where effort is needed, the experience of discipline, authority, and limitation. Where Jupiter is about expansion, Saturn is about consolidation. They are complementary to each other and the balance of the two in life is a valuable thought to ponder and meditate on.

Jupiter and Saturn Retrograde Cycles of 2023

Jupiter Retrograde

  • 4 September 2023 – 30 December 2023 or 1 January 2024

  • Sign: Taurus

  • Degrees: 15 – 5

Saturn Retrograde

  • 17 June 2023 – 4 November 2023

  • Sign: Pisces

  • Degrees: 7 – 0

The Outer Planets: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

The outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto retrogrades are important as they make long-term contact with something in your natal chart. Because of their slow motion, when they go retrograde, it will take course over a much longer time.

If the retrograding outer planet isn’t making contact with something in your personal chart, there are other more important astrological events for you to focus on than an outer planet that is retrograde. However, if you are a student of astrology or on a deep personal astrological journey, you may want to work with the outer planet retrograde cycles in relationship to the house(s) activated.

Uranus is about breaking up, disruption, and rebellion. Retrograde motion covers the same ground over a long period of time. This part of your chart is likely to experience change, a need for innovation, new approaches, disruptions, and where you need a lot of freedom.

Neptune is about letting go and moving forward on faith. Things become mystical, foggy, and there is a chance for illusion, deception, and confusion in this part of your chart. There is a beautiful, creative, and mystical potential. Your creativity can be advanced in this area of your chart. While clarity may be difficult, inspiration is more accessible.

Pluto is about big change, clearing out, hard times, deep transformation following big change, and its presence can shake you to the depths of your soul. Like the other planets, what gets activated in your chart by Pluto, and where it happens in your chart, will give you far more information on Pluto.

Outer Planet Retrograde Cycles of 2023

Uranus Retrograde

  • 24 August 2022 – 22 January 2023

  • Sign: Taurus

  • Degrees: 18 – 14

Uranus second retrograde in 2023:

  • 28 August 2023 – 26 or 27 January 2024

  • Sign: Taurus

  • Degrees: 23 – 19

Neptune Retrograde

  • 30 June 2023 – 6 December 2023

  • Sign: Pisces

  • Degree: 27 – 24

Pluto Retrograde

  • 1 May 2023 – 10 October 2023

  • Signs: Aquarius to Capricorn

  • Degrees: 0 Aquarius – 27 Capricorn

The Sun and Moon never go retrograde. Planets do not actually go backwards in the sky, they just appear so due to our view from planet earth of the planetary orbits around us.

Here is a YouTube video that explains retrograde in astronomical terms without astrological references. Disclaimer, you have to get past a snarky sarcastic remark at the beginning toward astrology, but the explanation is an excellent and quick over view of why planets look like they are going backwards in the sky.

I go into more detail about retrogrades in the Mercury retrograde survival blog. Read more about how retrograde pre and post shadows are calculated as well in the ‘Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide.

Your Chart and Working with Outer Planet, Jupiter, and Saturn Retrogrades

To work with retrograde cycles of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, you will need a copy of your natal chart and an understanding of how to find which sign occupies each of the twelve houses of astrology. The sign a retrograde planet is traveling through will activate a particular house, or two houses if it retrogrades to another sign. The placement of the signs is related to finding your ascendant sign, read more about that here.

Find the sign that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto is retrograde in. Find that sign in the house(s) of your chart. The topics, events, and people represented by the house will provide more depth and meaning to you personally. It will guide you on how to work with the cycle.

A retrograde planet that makes an aspect with a planet or important point in your birth chart is noteworthy. It indicates an important period of time for you if something in your chart is activated by an astrological aspect by a retrograde planet because it will make contact with that part of your chart three times, and sometimes five times, as it goes through its retrograde motion.

Astrological transit aspects that are the most activating in your chart are the conjunction (same sign), opposition (opposite sign), or square (ninety degree angle). Schedule a chart consultation with me if you would like to learn about your chart and how it is activated in 2023 by planets in retrograde.

Look for Aspects of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto to:

Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Lunar Nodes, and any of the four angles (Ascendent, Midheaven, Descendant, Nadir). These are called transits and is one of the central methods for astrologers to forecast what is coming up in the future and to help you improve your outcomes.

Schedule a consultation with me to learn more about your birth chart.

Wrap Up

The Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrograde combined with the monthly moon phases, eclipses, solstices, equinoxes provide a framework for working with astrological cycles through a calendar year. 

Building on top of the cycles just mentioned, you can go deeper into your personal astrology by working with Jupiter, Saturn, and the outer planets when they make contact with something in your natal birth chart as they travel through the zodiac. 

In astrology coaching with me, we go deeper into your life purpose and align that with the astrology of the current time to help you create better outcomes and maximize your impact in the future. Schedule a free initial consultation with me if you would like to learn more about astrology coaching.


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