Why Some Retrogrades Seem Worse Than Others

Photographed by Rochelle Brock.
It's rare to encounter a retrograde period that qualifies as "fun." Even if it isn't that most notorious backspin, Mercury, each planet comes with its own unique set of challenges — er, opportunities. But we don't all feel those effects in equal measure. If you notice that you fare better during a given retrograde than your friend, it probably has something to do with your respective signs and, more specifically, your ruling planets.
Each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac is ruled by a celestial body: the sun, the moon, or one of the planets (yes, including Pluto). Your ruling planet plays a major role in determining your sign's personality traits. For example, the moon, which is associated with emotions and inner thought, rules over Cancer, a famously sensitive and intuitive sign. A few signs share a ruling planet, like Gemini and Virgo, which are both ruled by Mercury, but that just means they both reflect that planet's energy, possibly in different ways.
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Although the sun and moon never enter retrograde periods, all nine planets certainly do. If your sign happens to be one of the 10 that are under planetary rule, you are, unfortunately, more vulnerable to the effects of your ruling planet's retrograde. (Not sure what your ruling planet is? Find out here.)
Take the Venus retrograde we were under from March 4 to April 15 this year, which put matters of the heart (or a lack thereof) front and center in our minds. You Libras and Taureans out there probably remember this period a little more clearly than the rest of us. With your ruling planet in retrograde for over a month, the Astrotwins advised you, in particular, to be on high alert for any and all love-life crises, from running into a serious ex or ending up in a crush's friend zone.
Of course, this doesn't mean you're completely at the mercy of your ruling planet whenever it turns retrograde — Libras and Taureans survived Venus' last backspin along with the rest of us, after all. Rather, this might be the explanation you've been looking for if you're a Gemini and you feel like you can't do anything right during Mercury retrogrades. If nothing else, this is just one more excuse to blame a planet for your everyday problems (at least for a couple weeks).
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