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 …