What It Means When Your Ruling Planet Goes Retrograde

produced by Julie Borowsky; modeled by Kiara Sherman; photographed by Rochelle Brock.
Given the current state of the planets — four are already retrograde and two more will join them in backspins of their own in the coming weeks — you'll forgive us for having retrogrades on the brain. These regular periods, in which a planet appears to be moving backward in the sky, are often assumed bad news, astrologically speaking. Sure, some certainly have the potential wreak havoc on our lives, but not all retrogrades are created equal — and neither are their influences on the signs of the Zodiac.
If you're already familiar with your sign's general attributes, you probably know its ruling planet. Save for Cancer and Leo (whose ruling "planets" are technically the moon and the sun), every sign's ruling planet goes retrograde from time to time. Although it's a general astrological rule that people born under a given sign will likely feel the effects of their ruling planet's retrograde more acutely, that doesn't mean that that particular retrograde will be the most challenging for them.
For example, Gemini and Virgo share a ruler in Mercury, so they're more sensitive to and aware of the communication planet's retrograde periods. But, for the most part, these two signs are pretty good at dealing with the effects of your average Mercury retrograde. After all, they're used to being under Mercury's influence. What these ultra-communicative signs are far less accustomed to are the effects of, say, a Saturn or Pluto retrograde.
If you've been marking your calendar for your ruling planet's next retrograde, you may have overlooked the planetary backspin that really causes you trouble. Ahead, find out which planet has it out for you — and why your ruling planet's retrograde isn't that bad. It's like they say, better the devil you know, right?

More from Spirit

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.