Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 5, 2011

A Q&A Session on Retrograde Natal Planets by Erin Sullivan

All Q&A material (c)3-5-2011 by guest blogger, Erin Sullivan

Donna Cunningham says: Today we continue Skywriter’s popular series of Question and Answer sessions on various facets of astrology, led by guest experts. I’m happy to introduce my long-time colleague, Erin Sullivan, an internationally-known astrologer, author, and teacher who lives in Victoria, BC Erin is especially well-regarded for her work on retrograde planets and for what has been the definitive text on this topic: RETROGRADE PLANETS: Traversing the Inner Landscape from RedWheel/Weiser. She’ll be leading a session about retrograde planets in the natal chart.

For an introduction to Erin’s perspective, see an excerpt from that book here: The Retrograde Planet as Maverick.  

How the Session Works:  The process is the same as previous Q&A sessions here on Skywriter. Readers will pose questions related to the topic in the comment section. Beneath them, Erin will write her insights. We’ll continue until she’s answered about 25 of the group’s questions.

What to ask:  Erin says that since retrogrades are a book-length topic, we’ll be focusing here on questions about retrogrades in the natal chart, excluding transiting or progressed retrograde planets.

She also notes that for her session, the question should be about your own personal chart rather than someone else’s. Give the sign, house, and planet, and you can also say a bit about how this placement has affected you.

The Q&A Rules for this session: 

  • One question per person per session
  • You can only ask about one retrograde natal planet
  • No cross communication between readers this time

Note: Visit the comment section below this post to see how Erin works with retrograde planets.  Perhaps another reader asked your question.


 Note: Erin Sullivan’s major text, RETROGRADE PLANETS: Traversing the Inner Landscape is available at -Buy Now!  in both paperback and Kindle Edition. You will also find several MP3 recordings including Venus Retrograde Cycles on her website, along with information about her books and special appearances.

About the Author: Erin Sullivan is an internationally renowned astrologer and author since the late 1960’s. Canadian born, she has traveled widely and in 1988 moved to London where she spent ten years. While in London she was the Series Editor for the Contemporary Astrology series, published by Arkana-Penguin, and taught for the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, where she remains a faculty member. She has written numerous books, including “Saturn in Transit” and “Dynasty: The Astrology of Family Dynamics”. Erin Sullivan lives and practices in Victoria, BC but conducts consultations by phone worldwide through Skype. You can contact her directly at her website, For a private session with Erin to gain insight into your own retrograde planets write to her at  or SKYPE:  erinsullivanwork for an appointment.

Past Q&A Sessions by Guest Bloggers:


  1. Hello, Readers, I’m so pleased to be able to present Erin Sullivan today for a question and answer session. So many of you have posed questions about retrogrades over the last few months, and we’re very lucky to have such a noted expert on the subject. The session is now open for questions. Be sure to read the rules and instructions in the article itself.

    Erin, I just want to add that what you wrote about introverts with no retrogrades in yesterday’s book excerpt really stunned me with its accuracy. I am an extreme introvert and have no retrogrades natally and will never have one by progression either unless I live into my 90s. What a revelation your interpretation was! Thanks so much, Donna Cunningham

    • Hey Donna, thanks! I was wondering that when we talked about you having no retrograde planets. The list of those with no retrogrades in the book is full of introverted, self motivated, creative and internally fired people!
      Like you!

  2. Hello Erin and Donna,

    Great topic, Thank you so much

    Erin you may or may not remember me – I knew you back in 1983 / 1984 in Victoria and you chose our wedding chart (and came to the wedding). Our wedding chart has Rx Mercury which is not ideal but Mercury was in Virgo and you placed it on the MC. We have been married 27 years and to this day communication remains a challenge 🙂

    Mercury will always be within 28 degrees of the Sun so many people will have Mercury conj the Sun.

    In my case Mercury is epimetheus 12 min conj Sun in Sag in 11th Tri Pluto (Leo) Rx in 7th, opps my natal Mercury is Retrograde sorry. My mouth is certainly my biggest asset and worst enemy.

    What is the effect of both being Rx with Retrograde Mercury cazimi the Sun / within 17 min of the Sun?

    Kind Regards Ineke (NZ)

    (Note: to see the answer, scroll down a ways.)

  3. Cancer rising, natally Mars rx in Taurus, H11. Sextile Saturn in Cancer H12, quincunx Sun-Pluto in Libra H4.

    Defending/presenting my needs/boundaries is a HUGE challenge.

    thanks much.

    • Hi Keva
      Well, yes, this is complex . . . it is all very complex but not an illness!
      I am thinking you have Mars singleton retrograde . . . and this is something that your parents likely did not quite understand . . . as a primarily loving and relationship orientated person, you have a “split” in there . . . The Mars rx is not fulling “out” . . . Mars is our ability to define ourself, our boundaries, our limits and our personal space.

      The dilemma you experience is likely due to the fact that you are a powerful woman, a great mediator, a person of intense experience, (SU/PL) but you want to please people.

      Being Cancer ASC, this too, is the caretaker position, but it is not a doormat, neither is Libra, both are Cardinal, they get what they want in the (very) long run

      The complex I mention is what I call “the Freedom Closeness” dilema. YOu want to be with people, and have ease with relationships, but you also feel an anxiety about being trapped, and put in a position of full responsibility.

      This is both nature (the planetary array) and nurture . . . your family did not know what you needed to feel strong and independent. They are not to “blame” but have fed into the anxiety about being “out there” and finding your “revolution”.

      Mars Rx in the 11th is you looking for a good tribe who is angry about the same things you are, and in this case, I think it is human rights, ecology and all manners of social oppression

      I would think you would do well in conflict mediation, ecological revolution, dealing with other people of like ideology . . . and not with trying to be what others want.
      Draw your boundaries inside yourself, define what you will not do, keep that promise to yourself, don’t be angry with yourself about YOURSELF! It is hard work to tell people the truth.
      Libra’s can “lie” just to not hurt others, but that is only an excuse to keep you from hurting yourself, or fearing rejection.

      You are not weak, just a bit fearful . . . this may help you to know: You have to define your boundaries, else you will spill over them, and others leak into them!
      Take back your power!

      Stay in the Centre . . . Erin

  4. Hi Erin and Donna etal, I have a question about retrogression venus by secondary progression. I would like to get an idea about how this manifests by house or rather how it changes expression by house and by coming into contact with other chart elements as it travels backward back over areas it contacted going forward. aloha, U P

    • Aloha uhanepono
      Well, actually that is a very complicated question, with many parameters to it, and likely needs to be “personalised” – as a general question, I think best to refer to the Venus section in my book – it will give long and good descriptions of the stations, by progression and so on.

      I am going to assume you are asking about YOU and not a general tutorial query because that is all I am dealing with in this blog?

      Can you please personalise your question? Is it your Venus? How has it happened/
      So I can think of the actual query as a personal experience!

      • Yes, sure thing, venus was in libra at birth conj nep and the MC. it passed over saturn and then the moon by 2nd progression and then went into the 12th house where it stationed retrograde @ 0 degrees sag. and has, recently reentered scorpio. and the 11 house. this is using placidus house system. it will be passing over the moon and then sat and back to it’s birth position when I am old. I am wondering mostly about when it contacts other chart elements by aspect as it travels. in this case it will aspect itself and neptune and the MC by sex in about a year, it is currently making a trine to natal Jupiter in the 8th (which it squared by birth). At the same time transiting uranus is forming a grand trine from the 3rd to both of them and the progressed moon has just passed by and over taken the progressed venus retrograde. Should I buy a lottery ticket or ___? I will get your book off the shelf to check the house positions which was my way of posing a didactic opening for you but no need. Aloha and thanks, U P

  5. Hi Erin, Here is one to sink your teeth into…

    Retrograde Mars in Pisces, 9th house.

    I have survived anorexia, percriptioin drug addiction, and alcoholism.
    I thrive in learning environments but I underachieve professionally.
    Is there hope for me professionally?

    • Hi VT, good to hear from you and thank you for sharing your experience . . . I don’t know of many who have Mars in Pisces itself who haven’t had their reality melt in front of them, both internally and really.

      Well, professionally – is there hope? Yes.

      Is there a will? Well, that is what you need to explore, isn’t it?

      Just how ambitious are you? Do you measure your success by the masculine yardstick we are all indoctrinated by for the last several millennia, especially the Pisces age

      With Mars in Pisces, the empathy and love for the lost, the lonely, the disenfranchised, the victims, the “lost boys” in society is very deep for you. This is not a “I pity them” thing, it is a “I empathise with them, but I am NOT one of them, and want to rise above my own self-defeating habits”
      AND, in thinking that, and finding a war to wage against victimisation on a such bigger level than the personal or the relationship aspect of life, and working in a humanitarian project (not rehab or drug counsel, or mentally ill – never, never,never), but in an administrative and organisational way.

      You would make a terrific addition to any humanitarian, ecological and health orientated non profit organization. I wonder if you might even find a way to go to university and do a certificate or a degree in non-violent communications, mediation, conflict resolultion . . . I do know a uni locally that offers such a thing near you, so you might want to check with that!

      Consider your profession as a learning experience, I don’t think you are too old to go into a sphere of “life coaching” and communications like I have suggested you explore. Not a full 4 year degree, but a certification via this uni I know, is worth exploring!

      Then you can use your “I am insulted by the horrors of the world, its lack of sensitivity to its own self, and the people (all creatures) in it.

      IF you are swallowed by the sadness and pain, then, clearly drugs worked sort of.

      But, you don’t need them now, as you say! So, find a new drug. Learn, study, impose discipline upon your mental drive!
      Warmly, and thank you, Erin

      • Wow! Wow! Wow! Are we ever lucky today!
        Thank you Erin for your generous, personal responses, and thank you Donna for facilitating this!

  6. Hello Erin,
    I was born with 5 retrograde planets, but also have 6 cardinal planets. Saturn has been retrograde since birth. In 2014 Saturn will station direct. Saturn and Mars were conjunct retrograde with Mars in front of Saturn in the natal.

    Since I was 10 years old, Saturn due to retrograde has been in front of Mars. When I am 69 years old in 2015 both Saturn and Mars will not only be direct but Mars after 59 years will be in front of Saturn again.
    Now I not expecting to set the world on fire but I think that would be a sugnificant change.

    • Hi Adrienne
      Well, you know your chart well, and its perigrinations, that is goodl

      Leaping right ahead: The station direct of Saturn by secondary progression means that the p. Sun was in a trine to your Saturn about 10 years ago (I haven’t looked it up in the ephemeris, but this is an “ABOUT THIS TIME” . . .there is a list of timings for this phenomenon in my book Rx Planets) which heralded its Station direct. So, you have been gestating something very profound within your psyche since about then.

      You got some important ‘information’ back then, about what you are really about, you likely found a greater sense of personal authenticity and began to see the world through a lighter tinted lens; and that you say that Mars will also go direct by 2nd progression with a year of Saturn’s SD>.

      That is huge! You will find that you can release a tremendous amount of backed-up, stored, and gestating “information” about you own value and worth. As you approach your elderhood in the community, you have a lot to offer, and I do think you will set your world on fire, if not the entire globe!

      Do you think you could use this force of station direction of SA and MA within a year of each other to launch a new focus on your vocational direction? I would think yes, you will. And, reach a very good place within yourself about your drive, desire, passion, ambition . . . so you may want to begin working or studying toward that goal.

      The underlying “intent” of retrograde planets is to take its time in developing the psychological and manifest skills that you gather over the years . . . and that will be the time/

      I will leave the other, more esoteric, and complicated queries (re Mars), and keep to this theme for you . . . What you asked is very interesting and is lovley to think of having ‘latter years’ with a sense of accomplishment, especially after your uncertain beginnings!

      Warmly – and the BEST to you!

  7. HI Ineke! How lovely to hear from you! Ahh, still in NZ . . lovely.

    Yes, I remember setting up your wedding date horoscope, and the lovely wedding in the garden. Congratulations on 27 years of working to communicate! Love.

    OK . . .
    When Mercury is Rx, and that close to the Sun, there can be a “confusion of prophets” . . in that your perceptions, senses, ideas, concepts and so on can come out in a “solar burst” . . . which you call your mouth!
    I also have to say this is not an uncommon Sagittarian experience, to speak first and think later! Your real friends will find this amusing and funny, but yes, it can mean you have to re-think what you say, and do not be embarrassed to explain that to your ERSATZ “victim”, “Sorry I have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later . . . ask myself questions later!”
    Mercury in Sagittarius with your sun has been called “The foot in mouth disease”!! lol

    The contact with Pluto is having x-ray vision, thus you do see immediately beneath the surface, and are impatient with those who are a bit slower with the idea/response element . . . frankly, it can be difficult to have a Mercury Pluto close contact because you don’t suffer fools gladly – however, Ineke, there are a lot of them.

    Because you are more interested in the TRUTH, and NOW please, you will be impatient with those who avoid, won’t confront, won’t talk about it. . . I think I would call this a “solar directed life lesson” . . . your purpose is to teach. But, sometimes peeps don’t want to be taught! Bless.

    In an ideal world, this aspect can teach you so much about the “big picture” and thus, by broadening your interests, your horizons, and deepening your knowledge, you will find that you are less inclined to care what others think!!! And, be more fascinated with your own head and thoughts and ideas….but not as a “higher quality” but as a “higher mind guide”

    Notice when Mercury Rx cycles are in Fire signs, they are every 6 years, and for about 6 cycles in an 18 month period, these are GREAT times for you to become more aware of your feet and your mouth.

    Be well, talk true, listen to yourself before teaching others!
    Warmly Erin

    • having sag rising and sun/pluto(trine sag asc.)/mercury (which has progressed to retrograde) in the 9th I grok this lots. Altho for me I just wait to be asked, knowing that to match up in harmony (nep/ven conj MC) puts the brakes on any impulse to teach/ preach.

  8. Dear Erin
    I have Mars retrograde at 29 degrees Taurus in the 4th house. It is widely conjunct Moon, exact quincunx Venus, square Pluto and trine ASC. My sun is at 5 degrees Scorpio. By progression my Mars has been retrograde my whole life, and after it goes direct in my mid 50s it will never reach its natal position. Progressed Mars is at 16 degrees Taurus and has for years and will continue to be square my natal Uranus.
    I think this placement makes me extremely passive, a mighty stick-in-the-mud, and it is hard for me to instigate action. I have trouble with anger – it is hard for me to express it directly. I have trouble with getting into relationships (I’m a woman who has not had a relationship with a man for years). I process and edit everything before I externalise it. Of course this has some positive effects but I feel it is a very difficult placement.
    My question is: How can I use this placement in the most positive way particularly in seeking relationship? (very tempting to tack on a related question but I won’t!)


    • Hi MRL!
      Well, you have a Mars Rx singleton, but it is with the Moon as you say . . . AND in your fourth house.

      That alone – which is what I will focus on – tells me a lot. You never knew WHAT to expect in your early home environment, and it is likely that your family of origins brought a frisson of deep, unconscious rage into “relating” within it.
      You would have been the one to pick this up . . . and to carry it as a sword to cut off all intimacy for fear it would suddenly shape-shift and rise up as something you don’t understand or even know.

      We are first introduced to relating in the family matrix, and thus, your retreat from relationships for so many years does tell me that your family is still a painful place, and that you can’t find a way to martial your forces, and cut them loose from your psyche – there are appropriate times to move beyond the family matrix as “a child of your parents” and come to a place where you are an individual within a weird family, and that’s ok. BUT, I would suggest that you find a method to extricate yourself psychologically out of this fourth house cage.

      I am not accusing you of any psychological illness here! But, I will suggest that due to the nature of Mars Rx, AND its natal placement, with moon in 4th, that passive aggression was about the only way you learned (were taught ) how to get your needs met. Now, passive aggression is very common, it is a most economical kind of emotion – you may have found that people around you are aggressive toward you . . . thus, they act out the anger you feel about your situation and how stubborn the family myths are!

      This is in ratio to the amount of personal anger you feel yourself, and may not have the “heart” to blame anyone, so don’t BUT do acknowledge that your family of origins was not the safest nest in the tree.

      With that, you can find more peace within, and not project out your anger/fear.
      Editing and translating everything is time consuming and not always productive, unless you are writing a book. If you are simply trying to have friends, a lover, a tribe, then it doesn’t work too well.

      I actually believe (even with my vast psych and analytical background, and my own ongoing off and on peer therapies) that too much therapy, thinking, machinating and introjecting is really bad for a Mars Retrograde. You are only poking a stick in your eye.

      You may need to use your Mars Rx in Taurus to move your body, to reorganize your cellular makeup, to operate more from your gut than your mind. If you can excercise physically, that would help, find outlets for OUTRAGE not INRAGE. If you can find a creative outlet, like pottery, glass work, and carving, that would be very healthy. As well as a “family” like collective, wherein you will find greater self-esteem and – wow – maybe a relationship!

      Finding a relationship for you entails finding someone through similar, same activities, interests and through common friends/groups. If you are isolating, then that is a hard habit to break, but it can be done. . . .

      I hope this helps a bit, my dear!
      Warmly. Erin

  9. Wow thank you so much Erin,

    So pleased you remembered the wedding – remember the drizzle and the Rainbow hitting the wedding cake as we said our vows (I didn’t see it) – the wedding chart has the Jupiter conj Uranus conj Asc, I remember your (and others) reaction to the rainbow.

    Yes you are right on all counts – ‘the foot in mouth’ I have tempered so what 🙂 As I have matured I have learned to listen more to myself and still find I learn as I speak to others, as it comes out I will silently go ‘oh my where did that come from’ and learn from it. Big picture, deepening knowledge – yes, yes, teaching it yes I do that in all aspects of my life mostly informally – I feel its what I give to the world, my world. Will go back thru Mercury Rx in fire periods and look to see what happened re my mouth 🙂
    Thank you again.

    Love Ineke

  10. Hi Erin and Donna,

    Erin what does it mean when all your outer planets are in the top half of your chart and all retrograde? (and all the inner planets are below the horizon and I am a behuind the scenes person for sure, but need to understand myself better.)

    Thanks and Blessings, Jules

    • OHHH! Hi Jules!
      Well, I hate to sell you a book, but I have a fantastic person-story in my Rx Planets book about jus this very configuration.

      Now, it is personal, because it is YOU. BUT, when this occurs, what it is in the solar system as we see it from earth, is that the entire gestalt of the majority of planets beyond earth are SPLIT OFF from the identity trinity (Sun, Mercury, Venus).

      I have found that there are two ways (well more but for an archetypal image) to see this:
      1. Voice of the collective
      2. Victim of the collective

      You are so fascinated by the outer world that you are dumbstruck! It is a place of total mystery. You may even have thought when you were a child “I wonder when my real parents will come and get me” . . . .

      This is a fantastic and rare configuration . . . you have a very special task set to your ego-self in this life . . . and it is about differentiating what is YOU and what is the COLLECTIVE experience. You must be having quite a time right now, as the world is in its massive metamorphosis, and you there picking it all up through your global antennae.

      By finding a particular sociological focus that really is “you” or represents “you” and going into it in depth, is one very good way to realize and externalize this fascinating split.

      There can be a tendency to live two lives, literally . . . to be a very public person with a drive, desire, passion that is socially “active” and directed to a specific social need or activity. Then there is the inner you, who is totally into your own inner life, your personal experience of the world.

      Being behind the scenes is a great way to put it, you are on the stage of life, behind a “scrim”, a sheer netting that sets you distinct from the rest of the objects and people on the stage (as in a play) so you are “looming” through life!

      But, even by taking part in this blog, you are finding outlets for this collection of planets at the top of your chart! Your outer life is not actually split off from your identity, but you can make it feel like it is.

      It is your life work, really, your “task” to try to mediate this split, to be at the fulcrum of it – which you are by the way. . . .
      With that in mind, envision your outer planets RX on one side of yourself, and the inner planets on the other.

      and, you in the middle, like in the middle of a see-saw . . . FEEL that pull, excercise that imbalance, and image the SUN/MER/VEN as talking to its friends, family members, the other planets! What are they saying??

      Do that exercise and listen carefully! The mediation of opposites is a life work, as Jung said, but in your chart it is more than that, it is your destiny to balance the outer with the inner . . . can you do that in you work?

      I wonder if you are interested in detection work? Finding things that are mysteriously lost, or in secret places?

      I hope you are more in the clear with these hasty thoughts, Jules,
      Thank you,

      • Erin,

        Today’s my BDay and Thank You for the present!
        I will get that book and work on that meditation.
        Thank you for this knowledge!
        May the Goddess Bless You! Love, Jules

  11. Hi Erin. This is a great subject! I have 3 retrogrades in my chart, but since I can only ask one question, I would like to know more about retrograde Saturn in Aq, 2nd house. It’s conj the south node, and also the focal in a yod (to mars in the 8th Can, and sun in Virgo in the 9th).
    Thank you!

    • Hi Natalie
      Oh, thank you for your consideration on complexity!

      O, Saturn in AQ in 2nd . . . and I am considering your other configs you list here too, but lets go to:

      Saturn rx in 2 can bring a sense that your value, your very worth, your “investment” potential in life, is compromised by being concerned with whatever you do is not quite enough! That you are somehow informed (father?) that you need to prove yourself, and to do that in a socially acceptable way.

      Having it on your nodal axis, actually implicates your mother (I am not i the biz of indicting parents, by the way, they have psyche’s and charts too) as being difficult for you to get nurture from. This actually may have been a a problem at your very birth, she was unable to “feed” you as you needed, and as you grew, she may have had issues with depression or coldness . . . YOU would have been more conscious of these aspects if they are the case. Your sibs may not have had the “same mother”, in fact, sibs don’t have the same parent as their sib, they have their OWN parent/s

      So, I am thinking that your innate curiosity, ability to organize, to stabilize a rocky situation was abused, that you had to take on a collective type of responsibility which has given you a lot of inner strength.

      Being in the focal position to MA and the SUN, is really important!!!!

      Esp with the secondary progressed Sun as it moves to the square of your Saturn while you were in your first Saturn return. When you were circa 30, your progressed Sun moved to Square your n Saturn . . . at that stage, you would have experienced a separation from the old “decision making” task that came out of your family dynamic, and moved on with your own life. This is more than just the saturn return . . . it is how the retrograde planet works . . . see my book for that explanation of the Solar type Yod . . .

      So, since the horoscope is a moving entity (from natal it becomes a transiting condition) and this progression brought you to a massive decision, when you are 60 you will have a lovely sextile from your progressed Sun to your Saturn . . and your work will have been done! A reconciliation within yourself about your own personal worth, value and authority.

      A great deal of your sense of value and worth lies in your belief systems and your search for understanding why people do what they do. Also, it talks about a fascination with cultures, ancient objects, compariitive religion, languages, and how different cultures solve the same problem in a different way!

      Authenticity is a theme, for you, and finding it will come through actual practical work! Through your JOB, career and task-making and problem solving. I hope you have had the opportunity to study to your heart’s content . . . it is a learning type of configuration !

      May Saturn be your guide on your own Personal Heroic Journey!


      • Wow – just wanted to say thank you. I could check most of this – I was raised by a single mother and you were spot on about our relationship. When I was 30 I started writing for “real”, and have now published 18 books, so my job definitely gives me a sense of self-worth I didn’t have as a kid. Very enlightening – thank you so much! I’ll be looking forward to 60 now 😀

  12. hello. it’s great to have you here, Erin.

    I would like to ask about retrograde ruler of MC. How would this affect career/social status/etc?

    I have a retrograde Jupiter in Gemini ruling my MC and sitting in the 4th. I’m not sure what the retrograde part brings into the picture.

    thank you. I look forward to reading the whole session.

    • Dear Cris

      Well, Jupiter retrograde is “a stranger in a strange land” . . . it means that you are a global citizen, not just a local resident.

      To have a Sag MC and JU rx in your fourth would suggest to me that you have always felt foreign in your family and in your culture.

      The career/vocation segment of your chart seems very clear in a capsule:
      You need to find a way in which you can use your mind in an international way In a career in which there are no borders or concepts of boundaries,

      On one level it can mean being a travel planner; on another it can mean a social historian, it depends on your inclination and interest in study.

      But, certainly I find that your configuration speaks directly to finding a way in which to used information in an intelligent and intellectual way, where you can do both things: not only assess details and versatile situations, but also see the “big picture”

      You would have no problem understanding the mystery of cultural differences and in fact, may feel you are not born into your “real culture” and need to find ways of expanding your own borders and boundaries into a global perspective.

      You probably really like people who are from other cultures and have a strong affinity for a path or philosophy that comes from a vastly different religious background than your family. You seek to find something from the most divine aspect of spirituality rater than the dogma of organized religion.

      Making a study or survey of the world and its peoples, will bring you closer to home . . . you also may come from a long line of disenfranchised, bombed, blitzed, evacuated and otherwise victimized collective . . . that your ancestral line is full of wandering, change and relocation . . . some by choice, some by force.

      So, when you had Pluto transiting your MC, then your JU Rx “activated” and the ancestral league was calling you to grow your sphere of relating in the world. You must be very happy with this internet, since it has truly made us ONE WORLD.

      The “JU rx part” as you say, is the expectation to travel beyond the walls and mountains of your own culture . . . . and that was a dubious gift from your family! It means you feel more at home in a foreign environment than in your own culture, so it would be good to see how you could play that out in your work, life and home.

      May you enjoy your stay on this planet!
      Warmly Erin

  13. Hi Erin, I have a Rx Venus in the sixth in Virgo. Conjunct Mercury and square Neptune. Is it possible for this Venus to be loved like it wants to be loved?

    • Hi nray, I think I just saw you a moment ago!

      Well, aren’t you a nice wee nurse!
      Will you come and help me with everything I need?

      Ok, seriously, VE rx with ME direct – first that means that you are on earth, and as you orbit the sun, you were born when the planet Mercury was BETWEEN earth and sun, and Mercury was “on the other side” of the sun in its orbit . . . clear as mud? It is very clearly explained in my Book . . .

      A rx inner planet is between us and the sun, and the direct inner planet is on the other side of our orbit . . .

      So, your Venus and your Mercury are actually opposite to each other heliocentrically! Very interesting. Venus opposition to Mercury:

      Venus RX: You have a Platonic mind, you are a born metaphysician, you have always see the world as a very odd place indeed without much in the way of moral or intellectual content. How very boring and lonely! But. because you have your values in the same sphere as the ancient Pythagoreans, and locked into the Golden Mean, your values are your most important asset. You never should compromise them, but seek out others (like us and other idealists!) to communicate and learn with.

      You are not an Aristotelian, which is a philosophy of mind over matter, you are a Platonic, which is of the highest order of magical thinking brought down to earth in a rather imperfect form. You have so often found people and situations to be disappointing and lacking in depth. You are right. They themselves may not think so, which is fine, no point being a snob but don’t waste your time trying to fit in with the status quo… it doesn’t come in your size.

      So that is the argument between the consciousness of Mercury and the values of Venus retrograde.


      Yes, you can be loved – deeply, passionately and erotically. BUT do you find yourself (against your own better judgement) eventually, soon, finding fault in the beloved? Plato talks about the “lover” and the “beloved” . . . saying that “the lover is always in pain, but the beloved is always transcendent” . . well, that’s a paraphrase.

      Your ideals will never be met. That is because we are on planet earth, and there is no perfect time, day, thing, person, tree, lover. And, we are always a bit if not totally devastated by the lack of truth to our vision of the ideal. Bridging the Ideal and the Real is a very important task for you in your lifetime.

      Finding a place to have the ideal vision and make it ‘real’, bring it into hard copy, and then (sadly but with compasssion) realize that you are a person of great integrity and thus, need to be very VERY honest with any potential lover, and also be prepared to let go if it is a painful relationship.
      Please do not stay in a painful relationship. But, I hope you find a person who is worth making a few compromises for, and who recognizes you for the ‘beautiful dreamer’ you are, and doesn’t take advantage of your gentleness and your capacity for self-criticism!

      Do not think this is bad, it is the “Divine Discontent” of the artist, poet, lover, philosopher – it is your lifeline! It is great! Neptune is the cosmic womb, to which all idealists wish to return, and remain embryonic where it is all warm, salty and safe . . . so we can seek this in a real person. But, then, how ? Because if you aren’t perfect, and I am not perfect, how can he/she be?

      A great book: Love and Fateful Encounters. Ethel Spector Person . . . check it out on amazon!

      With my Moon/Neptune conjunction, I say, “Go forth and Idealize”!!!

      • You’re fabulous! Thank you very much for this.

        P.S. I’ve often wished I was a nurse.

  14. Good evening from the other side of Atlantic,
    My question tonight is about my Saturn stationary retrograde placed in Cancer in the 8th house,making a trine with a Pisces Moon in a double Scorpio chart,both Sun and Asc placed there.
    It seem that i don`t fit in all the stories i`ve read about Saturn in Cancer, retrogade too,It`s true that he is so vulnerable,but my Saturn have an openness to express feeling towards people,to share and i guess i treated him right by the sign and house placed.
    That bad thing is that most of the time my Saturn expects the good to return in form of kindness and warm feelings and this rarely happens.
    What is my lesson?

    • Hi Inna, from the colonies over here on Vancouver Island!

      Well, having a Water trine in your chart (even if it is not exact by degree) we see a picture of you as a person of deep feeling who runs the feelings around and around inside, like in a closed circuit. That you have found your emotional display to work for you rather than remain inside and alone, is great . . . .

      Saturn rx in the 8th has a lot to do with psychology . . . your personal psychology . . . and that you have left no stone unturned in self-examination, and find that others are “mirrors” in which you see yourself . . . and that you feel you are a template for the human experience.
      You are capable of understanding ANYTHING a human being can do, including the most evil. You must be fascinated right now, with the great uprising against evil that is going on on our planet! There is a war against evil . . . and you are not afraid of looking at that, and finding it both fascinating and repelling!

      The Scorpio side loves horrible things . . . . I mean that in a very objective way. There is nothing that can shock you, lots of things repel and are horrific, but you are never a stranger to the human experience. This is SAturn in 8th rx at its best.

      That it is trine your moon, shows in your exceptional sensitivity and poesy . . . that you are a poet and artist by nature, and your love of “feelings” is great, BUT, you do not get the same return on your investment of time, love and money.

      This is a “personal worth” issue. What are you worth? the second house are our innate “investment potentials” which are: time, love and money. Basic stuff, but the blood of our value.

      I think the “bad thing” of not feeling you are getting full return on your investment in love, people, giving and so on is something you may have to come to terms with. You cannot be a cynic, no matter how you try, so that won’t work.
      You can’t “not care”, so that won’t work.

      Hmmm. how about re-framing your feelings. That you have more than others. How does that feel? You have more feeling tone in your chart than many others, and astrology isn’t everything. You may have not found a way to fully please your parents, so you seek to do that with all of us.

      Few people, really, actually DO have the level of emotional content you have, and so it is erroneous to expect them to respond to you in the way you can to them!
      If you keep this in mind, then you won’t be disappointed, embarrassed, or diminished by your average person who isn’t a psychopath, but simply isn’t capable of emotional demonstrations! It will take a lot of heat off you to “go there”.

      Aha! But for the people who use and take advantage of you? Move them right along . . . and say, “Next”?

      You must be getting to a place in your life where you are considering investing in something that gives you a return. I urge you to be wise with your feelings, and not expect return in kind on a regular basis, but to realize that some things are precious, and your feelings are, and should be reserved for those who truly deserve them. Even if they show their feelings differently.

      So that is the Saturn Rx, frankly, and it is a Life Task! Saturn is not a devil at all, but he is reticent to show up for emotional display . . .

      With great feeling,

      • Thank you so much for your thoughts.You wrote everything like you knew me very well.Amazing,,,

  15. … and not with trying to be what others want.

    With this Mars Rx in TAURUS, there’s most definitely awful angst over staying on the path of the values that reflect my core, versus by default deferring to others’. That this Mars rx singleton is also quincunx Neptune does NOT help.

    ‘n WOW Erin, that’s all an awful lot of eerily spot-on material to suss out so speedily.

    much, much appreciated… thank you!!

  16. Dear Erin,

    I have four outer planets (not Saturn) retrograde on the right side of my chart. Hard to decide which one to ask about. I am a Pisces rising, with a 29 degree Aquarius Sun in the 12th, part of a stellium including Mercury, Venus and Chiron. So I guess I’ll ask about Pluto retrograde in the 6th house in a very tight opposition to my Sun. Some people say when I’m sitting in my Sun all I look out and see is Pluto. My guru says it’s like being an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.
    I have been involved with more criminals and drug addicts in relationship than I care to count. I don’t have them as often, but my dreams used to be very frightening…people pursuing me and wanting to hurt me. I just feel like I’ll never completely understand this opposition. Any insight? I also have Neptune retrograde in Scorpio in the 8th, so if it makes more sense to address that, then I’m open…

    BTW Donna, thank you for the insight about seeing a homeopath (during the Chiron transit Q&A). I have an appointment next week with a very qualified practitioner 🙂



    • Hi Diane
      Oh, you have the “Russian Dance Master” aspect: Sun opp Pluto. Now, this is a hugely powerful aspect. . . . and it is one that takes a lifetime to mature into.

      In transit, when the Sun is in opposition to the Retrograde planet in the sky, it is called (by me) the “FlashPoint” . . . this is when the full illumination of the secret of the rx planet is brought to the fore.

      You were born with x-ray vision. Pluto rules radiation, plutonium, and, because it is the outermost planet (most of the time) it is the radiant core of being reflected back to us humans – in our collective and individual consciousness only since 1930.

      So, to grow into your Plutonian power, means to accept that there is a self-centred nature to you (as there should be with all of us, in proper ways) . . . and that your ego-container needs to grow constantly to accommodate the tremendous force and radiation that is within you.

      Pluto is ‘Hades in Greek, the “Unseen One” and we are drawn to him because there is something profoundly sexy about all things Plutonian. Hades drew the short straw in Greek myth, and was awarded the underworld as his realm, while Zeus got the sky and Poseidon the seas and underground streams.

      With Pluto/Hades unable to get a girlfriend/relationship (who wanted to go to Hades?) he had to steal love. He had to rush up and grab Demeter’s adolescent daughter. No one has written in the classics that there is always a collusion between the abductor and abductee.

      There deep attraction in you for the dark, the unseen, the mysterious, the uncontrollable, the “bad boy”, the lost souls. This is, in part, because it takes super powerful charisma to really interest you. Good to find something other than fear to interest you. You have nothing to fear. Only something to work with in a spiritual and metaphysical way.

      Your trips to the underworld are privileges, only allowed to gods and demi-gods, in ancient myth. Your life is one of walking a fine line between the dark and light, and this is a gift given to very creative people, by the way.

      I would love to write more on this for you . . . but to get to the point before we have to close,
      I wills ay: I don’t know how old you are. BUT, as a practice, begin to look around you and see the “bad stuff” and work it . . . watch it, see the darkness as a new form of light. The more you are comfortable with your own core power the more you will be at ease and not frightened, nor attracted to “danger”

      Plutonium is contained in heavy water, (scorpion symbol) and then in concrete. So we have an image of a solar energy reactor. The sun is a series of nuclear reactions, and Pluto is the symbol for Plutonium on the periodic table.

      You are going to find your exploration of your own core power a very important thing . . . one thing I have to mention, is : Do not project this power onto anyone . . . not onto me, a guru or anyone. The power is within your solar plexus, which is the solar symbol in your chakra . . . and it is with time, practice and consciousness that your Pluto / Sun relationship will not be a power struggle or you thinking others are more powerful than you!

      No one is more powerful for you than YOU are . . . if you can relate to this core power image, and the containment of it by Saturn, and the cooling of the heat of the sun by heavy water, all this is imaged in your psyche . . . so see yourself as that: a positive nuclear container for the power of the Sun, which gives us both life and death.

      Choose life and study the mystery!
      Be in love with the mystery!

  17. Dear Erin

    Thank you so much for your insights. I’ve got a lot to consider there. Much of it rings true. I think the reason it has taken me so long to recognise why/how anger stems from my family of origin was that this emotion was totally hidden or denied. In many ways my family was loving, there was no abuse of any kind, BUT I certainly pick up well on hidden cues (v. strong Neptune conjunct Sun and lots of water). I do feel my real family is a community of like-minded people, not my family of origin, but have a hard time accepting this. I have done therapy for years, with a person I respect hugely, and your comments here are confronting. Certainly exercise is extremely positive for me, when I can will myself up off my backside! I see you can recognise relationships are very hard for me, and this is painful.
    Btw, I do write and edit professionally, amongst other pursuits, so I have put the editing side of Mars rx to some good use.
    I really thank you for giving your time to answer me – you have hit the mark and I’ll take a lot from what you say. Even if I’m slow I’ll be thorough in my Mars Rx way.
    Kind regards,

  18. Hello, Folks. Erin’s answers have been in such depth and length, far beyond what any of us might have hoped,
    so she wasn’t able to answer all your questions–she went for quality rather than quantity. She asked me to give her regrets to those whose questions went unanswered.

    Don’t forget that Erin has created a brand new service just for this occasion–a 1/2 hour private session by phone focused on understanding your retrogrades and how to use them well.

    If you’ve missed out on the opportunity to have a question answered here–or if you happen to have multiple retrogrades or a special situation coming up with transits or progressions to your retrograde planets, a private session would allow you to go deeper. For more information, go back to the post, just above Erin’s bio. Donna

  19. Hi Everyone,

    Thank you Donna, I have enjoyed this very much. Worked my fingers and shoulders and mind quite a lot!!!

    I am happy to take new clients, please do not be shy, people, I am “at your service” . . . Many of the questions demand a very good and responsible look at your whole chart, and that is what I do well!

    And, sorry not to have got to all of you, I so appreciate your coming on, and presenting yourself with your information.

    I enjoyed working with you,

    Bless, Erin


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