The retrograde Mercury in Cancer can impede the flow of language in your daily interactions. Although you may normally be a brilliant speaker, this planetary period can muddle your thoughts and word usage. You may find it difficult to locate the proper word to convey exactly what it is that you mean.

You may not be particularly verbose, but you may feel a great deal more sensitive on an emotional level. What could happen at this time is that you become a bit touchy about subjects in your conversations with other people, which can lead you to retreat from social gatherings.

In an attempt to control your environment better, you may also unconsciously manipulate with words to get a desired result. The recipient will not be too pleased with your shenanigans. If you are spending more time at home, you may want to turn your focus on hands-on activities such as home repairs, interior remodeling, and cleaning.

This planetary influence is wonderful for domestic endeavors, especially any home project which has needed your attention for awhile. This would also be a good time for family reunions. However, don't sign leases for a new rental or buy a house at this time.

Learn more about Mercury retrograde in the signs: Mercury retrograde in Aries, Mercury retrograde in Taurus, Mercury retrograde in Gemini, Mercury retrograde in Cancer, Mercury retrograde in Leo, Mercury retrograde in Virgo, Mercury retrograde in Libra, Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, Mercury retrograde in Pisces

Venus is our next-door neighbor here in the solar system, and therefore it is retrograde the least amount of time of all the planets -- only once every 18 months, for about 6 weeks at a time.

That amounts to about seven percent of the time, total. Compare that to Pluto, which is retrograde forty-four percent of the time!

When Venus, the Planet of Love, goes retrograde, it’s no surprise that relationship issues come right to the surface. Things you (or your lover!) have simply been tolerating all of a sudden become intolerable. One or both of you may say or do things that you otherwise wouldn’t.

Some folks have been known to make sudden, unilateral relationship moves when Venus was retrograde -- but we don’t recommend it. Far better to talk it out and give it some time. You can make a permanent decision later on, when Venus goes direct and you become more sure of what you want and how to make it happen.

By the same token, it’s best not to begin a relationship under Venus Retrograde, either. However, it could be a great time to reconnect with someone from your past. Just be careful not to repeat mistakes.

Perhaps the most valuable feature of Venus Retrograde is the opportunity for you to reevaluate what is important to you: What do you value? You perceive your value system with new eyes during this period, and can adjust your life accordingly.

When Venus is retrograde, it is considered a poor time to get married or open a bank account. Don't purchase luxury items, as they are likely to be overpriced. It's a great time, on the other hand, for shopping in antique stores, secondhand stores and flea markets.

Learn more about the other retrograde planets: Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde, Mars retrograde, Jupiter retrograde, Saturn retrograde, Uranus retrograde, Neptune retrograde, Pluto retrograde

The retrograde Mercury in Virgo may generate some frustration for you as you charitably give your support and assistance to others in need. Although you may see a lot of obvious solutions that could elude other minds, your insistence to help save the day may be misinterpreted and resented by your recipients.

You could also be resentful of others who try to help you, insisting on solving a problem that you feel only you have the brainpower to solve. During this planetary period, expect to expend a great deal more time deciphering technical issues. Things are not always what they seem.

There tends to be a close-minded response to mental challenges that arise during this time when creativity and openness could actually be of benefit. A stubborn, narrow desire to tackle it all yourself is what makes this planetary influence especially daunting. An effective use of this time would be to revisit old projects that have been on the back burner for a while.

If you've left a software manual half unread, now is the time to wade through remaining chapters. Organize and systematize the clutter off your desk. Be careful with investments, and avoid any new projects.

The retrograde Mercury in Scorpio is a powerful influence that can throw your reasoning ability right out the door. Although your perceptions may be quite keen, the words that stream from your mouth indicate a less than rational mind.

You may find yourself more suspicious and insecure for some unfathomable reason. As a result, negative thinking or feelings can color the way you express yourself. You may be rather sharp tongued, lashing out words like a whip on your unsuspecting audience.

You could also be using more codependent language on those closest to you, striving to gain some control in a chaotic world. Conversations can be rather heated with resistance from the other party. This would not be a good time to debate a subject.

You should also be cautious about embarking on any financial dealings as well. A great use of this planetary influence would be to spend it in self reflection. Deal with old baggage and examine your knee-jerk reactions.

You could resolve issues that have been haunting you from childhood. What are the key compulsions in your life? How can you transform them? You will probably be able to answer these questions with some thought.

The retrograde Mercury in Aries is a period which requires a great deal of conscious effort on your part with regards to your communication style and content with others. There is a strong tendency to blurt things out or to be blunt in ways that are less than useful.

Your perception of what other people say may be skewed by your overly eager and anxious desire for action. You are highly impatient to get things moving and that translates to impulsive words that may cause quite a stir in others. One of the hardest but most important feats to accomplish during this period is self-restraint, especially when feeling most passionate about a subject.

You will create equally passionate responses, and some of them will not be so fun to deal with. Make sure you say nothing that you'll regret later, especially words that are harsh and critical. Your words are more likely to be misconstrued even if you have good intentions.

Likewise, you are likely to misconstrue a comment someone else makes to you. One way to circumvent a potentially hostile conversation is by using neutral, non-threatening language. Try to stay on lighter subjects, if you can.

Learn more about Mercury retrograde in the signs: Mercury retrograde in Aries, Mercury retrograde in Taurus, Mercury retrograde in Gemini, Mercury retrograde in Cancer, Mercury retrograde in Leo, Mercury retrograde in Virgo, Mercury retrograde in Libra, Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, Mercury retrograde in Pisces

Neptune is often called the planet of illusion, because it rules all things illusory -- the intangible, the ethereal, the abstract and elusive. Dreams and fantasy fall within this planet's realm, as do spirituality and idealism.

It's easier to understand Neptune if you think of it in terms of that which can't be defined -- things that are changeable, that not only have no discernible boundaries, but that you literally can't put your finger on.

This is the planet that can make your day pleasant with daydreams but that can simultaneously confuse your sense of reality. Have you ever fallen asleep and had a dream, only to find when you woke up that you just couldn't be certain whether what you imagined was real or not? That's the filmy curtain of Neptune, drifting slyly between reality and fantasy and blurring the lines between the two.

Neptune makes life both more pleasant and more difficult. This is the planet that makes it easier to be taken in by a con man or a liar, someone who wants to capitalize on your vulnerability to artfully crafted stories that don't contain a lick of truth; but it's also the planet that increases your intuitive skills and your sense of spiritual connectedness to the universe.

Neptune is responsible both for the overwhelming sensation of falling in love, and for the utter disillusionment of finding out that you've been misled.

Neptune rules the dreamy sign of Pisces. Read about Pisces to learn more about this sign and how Neptune influences it.

The planets are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

We’ve all heard about Mercury Retrograde -- how communication gets confused, traffic slows down and luggage gets lost when this little planet appears to start moving backward in the heavens. Mercury, however, is not the only planet that turns retrograde. In fact, all the planets except the Sun and the Moon go retrograde regularly.

So, what is this mysterious retrograde motion? It’s a simple optical illusion that occurs when a faster-moving planet passes a slower planet in its orbit. It’s like driving down the freeway at a very high rate of speed. If you pass a car inching along in the slow lane, it will appear that the slower car is moving backward. It’s not, of course, but it appears that way to you, in the faster car. In astrology, retrogradation is the apparent temporary 'backward' motion of a planet when measured against the background of the celestial zodiac.

The periodic backward motion of the planets was first observed many thousands of years ago, and in fact, the urge to understand retrograde motion was a driving impulse in the development of mathematics and sciences.

When a planet is retrograde, it’s as close as it can get to Earth, and if it’s visible, it’s very bright. These facts give us a clue as to the importance of retrograde planets: Their effects are strong!

A retrograde planet makes three crisscrosses over the same few degrees of the zodiac within a limited time span. That illuminates another clue for interpreting its effects: During a retrograde period, you’ll have to try extra hard to focus, and sometimes, you’ll have to do things more than once before you get the job done right.

Often planets in retrograde are considered to have a negative effect, but this is not true. A much better interpretation is that retrograde motion turns the energy of the planet inward. That energy is now in concentrated form, helping us to understand and integrate it more holistically and completely. You could look at retrograde motion as a planet inhaling, and direct motion as the planet exhaling. It’s the breath of the solar system.

The most important points in the retrograde cycle are the degree at which the planet turns retrograde, and the degree at which it once again returns to direct motion. At these points, the energy of the planet is particularly noticeable and strong.

Find out more about Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde, Mars retrograde, Jupiter retrograde, Saturn retrograde, Uranus retrograde, Neptune retrograde, Pluto regtrograde

The retrograde Mercury in Libra could indicate a period of disharmony between people involved in relationships with one another. Misunderstandings tend to arise within close relationships between romantic partners, business associates, or even best friends.

Normal communications seem to go haywire for no apparent reason. Whether it's a simple misinterpretation of a few words or general disagreement about larger issues, your usual synchronicity with your partner can be off. You may not see eye to eye on matters.

What is required of you is extra patience. Instead of pushing forward aggressively, you may wish to take a step back and listen to what your partner has to say. Old grievances may also arise so this could be a chance for you to address problems that have remained unspoken but entrenched in each of your minds.

You may or may not wish to be more compromising, depending on all the factors involved. But if you choose to avoid an overdue confrontation, you may find that you can't escape it altogether. The conflict may resurface until it is dealt with. This planetary influence also makes social gatherings a little awkward since it is not conducive to friendly chatter or small talk.

Learn more about Mercury retrograde in the signs: Mercury retrograde in Aries, Mercury retrograde in Taurus, Mercury retrograde in Gemini, Mercury retrograde in Cancer, Mercury retrograde in Leo, Mercury retrograde in Virgo, Mercury retrograde in Libra, Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, Mercury retrograde in Pisces

Mercury Retrograde is a phenomenon that has worked its way into mass consciousness. The moment a communication snafu occurs, folks blame Mercury Retrograde!

The truth is, not all miscommunications can be laid at the feet of this little planet. But it does behoove us to observe a few simple principles about this event.

Mercury appears to turn backward in its path around the Zodiac three times every year, for about twenty-one or twenty-two days at a time. So every four months, you get a three-week pause in which to catch up on old correspondence, read the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand and make phone calls to friends and family.

Everyone knows that Mercury Retrograde is a great time to do things that start with ‘re’: repair, reduce, reconsider, recreate. But what else can you do to bring out the best energy of this period?

Certainly, thoughts turn more inward than outward, so taking care of personal affairs is a great idea. Follow your gut instead of following your head. This is a great time to practice yoga, meditation or any activity that centers your mind and body.

If you can avoid signing a contract during Mercury Retrograde, fine. If not, go through it carefully a couple of times and get help if you need it. Try not to buy electronic equipment during this period, or travel, because delays and snafus seem to abound. Above all, don’t worry! Life moves forward even when Mercury seems to be going backward.

Find out more about Mercury retrograde in AriesMercury retrograde in TaurusMercury retrograde in GeminiMercury retrograde in CancerMercury retrograde in LeoMercury retrograde in VirgoMercury retrograde in LibraMercury retrograde in ScorpioMercury retrograde in SagittariusMercury retrograde in CapricornMercury retrograde in AquariusMercury retrograde in Pisces

Pluto has an energy that is as subtle and yet powerful as mind control, which is just one of the many things that falls within this planet’s realm. Sometimes referred to as the planet of power, Pluto seeks to control and influence on a grand, if hidden, scale.

In fact, Pluto is all about the hidden side of existence -- secrets, affairs, behind-the-scenes manipulations and so on. But more than that, it’s about power, whether it’s negative or positive. Powerful experiences such as sexuality, death, destruction and regeneration are within this planet’s realm, as are powerful urges like will, control, obsession and, again, sex.

In order to understand Pluto’s influence in your life, think of a time when you were utterly overtaken by something or someone. Perhaps you fell in love and grew obsessed with the object of your desires, or maybe you were involved in a relationship with someone who tried to control your every move. Maybe you’ve had a memorably intense sexual experience, or an equally memorable period of self-destructiveness or addiction.

All these experiences define Pluto’s energy, one that has the simultaneous power to create and destroy, to make life both amazing and terrible; or, in short, intense. It can grip you in its jaws and rip down everything you’ve come to depend on, but it can also force you to learn the power of strength -- of standing on your own two feet, come what may.

Pluto rules the intense sign of Scorpio. Read about Scorpio to learn more about this sign and Pluto's influence on it.