You’re probably familiar with Mercury retrograde, the period in which Mercury appears to be going “backwards” from our position on Earth. In astrology, Mercury retrograde sends communication, contracts, technology and travel into chaos. Mercury retrograde ended on March 28, but get ready for another kind of retrograde: Jupiter retrograde begins on April 10.
Before you start panicking, know that Jupiter retrograde doesn’t have a whole lot in common with Mercury retrograde. Because Jupiter is a slower-moving planet, its retrograde periods last longer and are less chaotic. Jupiter retrograde happens once a year and lasts for about four months; this year, Jupiter won’t move out of retrograde until August 11, 2019. Additionally, Jupiter rules different parts of life than Mercury: it's the planet of wisdom, luck, and progress. But Jupiter going retrograde doesn't mean that bad luck is ahead, either.
“Mercury zips around the zodiac quickly, so when it makes a change in direction (a retrograde), our flow of life feels suddenly switched up and indeed can be chaotic because Mercury rules all these things that keep our life moving (from email, to our cars, to cash),” explains astrologer Annabel Gat. “Jupiter, however, is a much slower moving planet, and it’s the planet of growth, travel, knowledge — it’s all about expansion.”
Jupiter has “a much loftier energy” than Mercury, says Gat, and “its change in direction doesn’t hit us in such a chaotic way. If anything, during so much growth, it’s often welcome to step back a bit to survey everything we’ve learned and gained.”
Jupiter retrograde is a chance to take a step back and reflect on the experiences you gained when Jupiter was direct, Gat adds. This is especially true for people who are “immersing themselves in a new, mind-expanding experience,” such as studying a subject or traveling abroad, who “will find that Jupiter is asking them to take stock of what they’ve learned and gained.” Additionally, you can look at the house of your birth chart that Jupiter will move through to gain insight in how it will affect you, personally. This Jupiter retrograde is in Sagittarius, and it will be most intense for Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces.
For the most part, Jupiter retrograde is “business as usual,” Gat says. “But, I will suggest this: It can be tempting to search for answers everywhere but inside yourself — in books, by traveling, a new spiritual teacher, a new circle of friends… in a big way, Jupiter loves this search for knowledge by jumping around from city to clique to library, looking for more. During the retrograde, go inside yourself for answers, instead of searching outside. While Jupiter was direct, we gained so many new experiences. Use this time to reflect on them.”