Saturn, Venus, and Jupiter Turn Retrograde: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

May 11, 2020

In direct motion, the planets move from west to east across the sky, whereas in retrograde, they appear to move east to west, like the waters of Lake Michigan pictured here, flowing in opposite directions. Photo by msa.

Three of the five naked-eye planets begin their retrograde motions this week, beginning with Saturn on Monday, followed by Venus on Wednesday, and Jupiter on Thursday. 

All of the planets make an apparent retrograde motion, when it appears that they begin to travel from east to west across the sky. Right now Venus is our evening star, so once the planet begins its retrograde, it will appear to move westward toward the horizon, eventually disappearing in the glare of the Sun.

What can it mean when a planet turns retrograde? Because Saturn is regarded as Father Time, holding us to our duties, its retrograde period is a good time to review your responsibilities and to strategize about the way forward. Saturn will be retrograde until late September.

Venus is goddess of love and beauty, and when she is retrograde, it’s like an invitation to pause and allow her to work her magic. This may require slowing down to allow more moments of love and beauty, at least from now until the end of June.

Jupiter brings bounty, and the joyous anticipation of the future. When Jupiter turns retrograde it’s like the mask is removed from our forward momentum so that we can see where we’re really headed. The result can be a bit sobering, so Jupiter retrograde asks us to reassess our goals. Jupiter will be retrograde until mid-September.

By the time these three complete their retrogrades, they’ll have traded places in their current sky positions, with Venus resuming her role as our morning star, while Saturn and Jupiter will slip into the nighttime sky. With Saturn drawing our attention to what was, and Jupiter asking us to reconsider what will be, Venus invites us to pause and consider the power of leading with love.