Before listing the actual dates (in a later post), let me make a few comments about retrograde cycles in general and what to do with them.
- Outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) spend almost half the year retrograde, and they don’t rule zodiacal signs, so for most purposes, one can ignore the retrograde cycles. The one exception to this is if the planet changes direction within a degree or so of one of your personal points in a chart (Ascendant, Midheaven, Sun, Moon, for example).
- Jupiter and Saturn each spend about 4 months retrograde in a given year. So unless you have a big focus of planets in their signs (Sagittarius, Pisces, Capricorn, Aquarius, Cancer & Libra [these last two are the exaltation signs of Jupiter and Saturn]) don’t worry too much about these. The most important thing here is to see what house it’s going through in your chart and accept that there may be some slow-downs and reversals in those areas.
- Mars will spend 2-3 months retrograde, on average, but it only happens about every 2 years. See above for Jupiter and Saturn for how to deal with this. Mars signs are Scorpio, Aries and Capricorn (exaltation).
- Venus goes retrograde about every 18 months, for about 6 weeks at a time. Venus signs are Taurus, Libra, and Pisces (exaltation). Venus also rules relationships in general, love, lust, and to a certain extent, fun. So this has the potential to affect everyone in these areas, as well as those who are heavily Venus-ruled.
- Mercury goes retrograde on average 3 times a year for about 3 weeks each time. Mercury-ruled signs are Gemini and Virgo, so if you have a lot of this in your chart, it may affect you personally. Also, Mercury is the natural ruler of communications, thinking, writing, and Merchants. So these things, as well as mechanical items, are usually affected more directly for everyone.