by Lina Elisabeth Preston 4 min read

A Season of Retrogrades

Summer 2023 Retrograde Planets

Seven planets are going to be retrograde this summer. Nine, actually, if we consider Rahu and Ketu, but they always move counterclockwise, opposite from the direction of the planets. However, three of the planets (Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus), are outer planets not included in traditional Vedic astrology.

A retrograde planet slows down considerably. The retrograde planet is close to Earth and thus powerful, for better and worse. From the perspective of Earth, a retrograde planet appears to move backwards.

In the astrological chart, a retrograde planet is returning to the area where it was previously. Suppose you have planets in your natal chart where a planet is currently making a retrograde transit. In that case, these planets are affected by the transiting planet three times.

For example, Mars transits over your Moon in your astrological chart. Mars then goes retrograde and makes his transit over your Moon a second time during his retrograde motion. When Mars is direct again, he transits your Moon a third time.

It is as if a retrograde planet wants to make sure that we will experience its influence. We may have some obstacles to overcome that a retrograde planet will trigger. Retrograde planets tend to remind us of some unfinished karma. They often teach us about patience and perseverance. Planets moving retrograde have an internalizing effect, causing us to become more reflective, whereas a direct planet projects its energy outward.

Saturn Retrograde

Saturn is retrograde from June 17 to November 3, 2023 in Aquarius at 13° - 6°. 

Saturn is retrograde for about five months in a year. Now he will be retrograde in Aquarius from June 17th until November 3rd.

When Saturn is retrograde, we may be inclined to withdraw more than otherwise. It is a good time for seclusion and spiritual practices. Saturn in Aquarius will help us pay attention to health and healing. 

If you need to re-organize, now may be a good time. Saturn is a planet of service, and a retrograde Saturn wants us to give back or share some of the blessings we have received. Donations, service, and charitable work are favored. 

Venus Retrograde

Venus is retrograde from July 22 to September 3, 2023 beginning in Leo and ending in Cancer.

Venus goes retrograde once every two years. This can be a time when we reflect on our relationships and agreements.

Venus in Gandanta 

Venus moves from the water sign, Cancer, and enters the fire sign, Leo, on July 6. The end of a water sign and the beginning of a fire sign can hold tumultuous and confusing karma. Sometimes the cusp between a water and a fire sign is referred to as the karmic knot that is difficult to unravel. This can be a tumultuous time for relationships.

Venus goes through gandanta three times due to the retrograde:

  1. First, Venus goes through Gandanta between July 5 and July 8. 
  2. Venus turns retrograde on July 22 and returns to the gandanta zone a second time on August 5 - 8.
  3. And Venus enters the Gandanta zone for a third time on October 1-2 when the planet moves back into Leo.

As if this is not enough, Venus will not only be retrograde and gandanta but is also influenced by two malefics, Saturn and Mars. Venus is aspected by a retrograde Saturn and in the company of Mars, who will stay in Leo until August 18. 

You may need to re-evaluate commitments and relationships. During the dates of gandanta, it is good not to make hasty decisions based on emotions. Wait until the storms pass and you will be more objective and clear-minded.

Mercury Retrograde 

Mercury goes retrograde from August 23 to September 15, 2023 in Leo at 27°-13°. Mercury will retrograde in Leo for three weeks and will receive energy from Saturn, Jupiter, and Rahu.

Mercury retrogrades for a few weeks three times a year. 

Mercury retrograde does not have a good reputation. Still, a retrograde Mercury is very good for reconnecting and returning to something. You might want to return to a project that you put aside some time ago. You may need to re-write, edit or redefine something. Or you may need to reexamine your ideas. 

While Saturn and Mercury mutually aspect one another (both in retrograde) some reorganization or re-negotiation might be necessary. 

Jupiter Retrograde 

Jupiter is retrograde from September 4 to December 30, 2023 in Aries at 21°-11°.

Jupiter is retrograde about four months out of a year. This can be a time of inner growth rather than outward expansion. Jupiter represents wisdom, knowledge, and spirituality.

The Outer Planets

The outer planets, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, were more recently discovered and therefore weren’t used in ancient Vedic astrology. However, some Vedic astrologers include them (referred to as Neo-Vedic astrology) because they add to our understanding of astrological influences.

Pluto Retrograde

Pluto is retrograde from May 1 to October 10, 2023 in Capricorn, from 6° to 3°.

This powerful, intense, dwarf planet retrogrades in Capricorn in Uttara Ashadha nakshatra, indicating a deep and slow power transformation. 

Neptune Retrograde 

Neptune is retrograde from June 30 to December 6, 2023 in Pisces at 3°3 - 0°4.

Neptune in Pisces is very intuitive and imaginative. Explore your inner world, and try to see yourself and your beliefs as clearly as possible. This is a time to examine your dreams, belief systems, and desires in the cold light of the day.

Uranus Retrograde 

Uranus is retrograde from August 28, 2023 to January 27, 2024 in Aries.

Uranus expresses uniqueness, originality, and scientific breakthroughs. This may be a time to re-examine and re-evaluate where we stand after a speedy development in new technology.

Dates to Remember:

  • June 17 - November 3:Saturn retrograde  13°01  -  6°19 Aquarius
  • June 30 - December 6:Neptune retrograde in Pisces  3°30 - 0°41’’
  • June 30 - August 18:Mars in Leo    
  • July 3:Full Moon in Sagittarius
  • July 6 - August 6:Venus in Leo
  • July 22 -  September 3:Venus retrograde  4°25’’ Leo - 18°02’’ Cancer
  • July 8 - July 24:Mercury in Cancer
  • July 16 - August 17:Sun in Cancer
  • July 17:New Moon in Cancer   0°45’’
  • July 20:Mars in Leo in exact opposition to Saturn
  • July 24 - October 1:Mercury in Leo
  • August 6 - October 1:Venus in Cancer
  • August 28, 2023 - Jan 27, 2024:Uranus retrograde in Aries


Lina Elisabeth Preston
Lina Elisabeth Preston

Lina Elisabeth Preston has been doing astrological consultations for 20 years. She is a certified Jyotish Visharada and member and practitioner with the Council of Vedic Astrology. Lina also works with vedic gemstones. A long time meditator and disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, Lina lives with her husband Binay at Ananda Village, a spiritual community in Northern California. Lina and Binay founded their business Northern Lights in 1990.

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