Let's Get Personal

Memorizing the Planets

Planetary Returns


2021 Retrograde Planets

Planet Start Position End Position Begin Retrograde Resume Posigrade End Shadow Period
Pluto 24:59 Capricorn 22:29 Capricorn 25 April 2020 4 October 2020 25 January 2021
Saturn 01:57 Aquarius 25:20 Capricorn 11 May 2020 29 September 2020 4 January 2021
Neptune 20:57 Pisces 18:09 Pisces 23 June 2020 28 November 2020 19 March 2021
Uranus 10:41 Taurus 06:43 Taurus 15 August 2020 14 January 2021 1 May 2021
Mars 28:08 Aries 15:14 Aries 9 September 2020 14 November 2020 2 January 2021
Mercury 26:27 Pisces 11:05 Aquarius 30 January 2021 21 February 2021 13 March 2021
Pluto 26:48 Capricorn 24:18 Capricorn 27 April 2021 6 October 2021 27 January 2022
Saturn 13:31 Aquarius 06:52 Aquarius 23 May 2021 10 October 2021 15 January 2022
Mercury 24:41 Gemini 16:16 Gemini 29 May 2021 22 June 2021 17 July 2021
Jupiter 2:11 Pisces 22:20 Aquarius 20 June 2021 17 October 2021 9 January 2022
Neptune 23:12 Pisces 20:24 Pisces 25 June 2021 1 December 2021 22 March 2022
Uranus 14:48 Taurus 10:49 Taurus 20 August 2021 18 January 2022 5 May 2022
Mercury 25:28 Libra 05:34 Cancer 27 September 2021 18 October 2021 3 November 2021
Venus 26:29 Capricorn 11:06 Capricorn 19 December 2021 29 January 2022 2 March 2022

Each of the planets (which include the Sun and the Moon for Astrological purposes) has a specific influence. Nearly everyone has heard reference to Mars as the God of War and Venus as the Goddess of Love. These references are not out of synch with their astrological influences and each of the other planets has a specific character as well, which is usually in harmony with mythological references. These characteristics will manifest themselves within the astrological sign and house in which the planet resides. This applies whether the chart is a Natal, Progressed, Solar Return or any other kind of chart. The character and personality of the planets do not change.  Naming an object has a strong and even mystical influence.

The signs all reflect the predominant trait of its ruling planet.  For example, Aries, like Mars, will be aggressive and flamboyant; Taurus, like Venus, will love beauty and comfort even as Libra will be uncomfortable without a relationship.  Follow the links in the above table to a more detailed description of each planet.  Their association with the Signs of the Zodiac are as shown below. Planets in parentheses are the ancient rulers as designated prior to the discover of the outer planets.


Sign Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Ruler Mars Venus Mercury Moon Sun Mercury Venus Pluto (Mars) Jupiter Saturn Uranus (Saturn) Neptune (Jupiter)


For each of the Sun Signs, the ruling planet largely defines the overall theme or focus of those born under that sign. There are exceptions, of course, particularly when a person has very strong influences such as a stellium, i.e. three or more planets in a single sign, which can counter-balance the Sun Sign. However, even as the Sun is a major influence in our lives generally, the placement of the Sun will usually define our basic character, which will be further defined by the ruling planet.  Other planets besides your Sign Ruler are considered Personal Planets as well.

Each planet has an elliptical orbit, which carries it around the sun in a specific period of time as noted above. Mercury makes a trip around the Sun quite quickly (approximately 88 days) while Pluto will not make a complete circuit in your lifetime (248 years).  Thus the slower moving planets that remain in a sign for several years are said to have a "generational effect" since all the people born during a given period will have those planets in the same sign, giving them similar characteristics. 

When  planet returns to the position it holds on your Natal Chart, you experience what is called a Planetary Return, which starts a new cycle related to whatever that particular planet rules.  More detailed information is contained in the section on Planetary Returns.

The basics for the various planets are contained below.  Follow the links in the above table to a more detailed astrological description of each.  (Hyperlinks below take you to a physical description of the planet at a NASA website.)




Orbital Period Time in Each Sign


Gemini, Virgo Communications, precision, information, logic, speech, writing, conscious thought 88 days Approx. 1 month**


Taurus, Libra Love relationships, affection, beauty, comfort, the arts, harmony 225 days Approx. 1 month**


Aries Aggression, energy, drive, impulsive behavior, assertiveness 687 days Variable Month


Sagittarius Expansion, intellectual, travel, lucky, extravagant, jovial, flamboyance, confidence 12 years 1 year


Capricorn Responsibility, wisdom, discipline, structure, authority, ambition, conservatism 29.5 years 2.4 years


Aquarius Surprises, unstable, spontaneous, innovative, undisciplined, rebellious, breakthroughs, freedom loving 84 years 7 years


Pisces Fantasy, dreams, imagination, deception, intuition, spirituality, transcendence 165 years 14 years


Scorpio Obsession, compulsion, fanaticism, death, passion, elimination, transformation 248 years ~21 years


Leo Basic self, appearance, sense of identity, father or husband 365 days 1 month per year


Cancer Moods, domestic nature, nurturing, home, mother or wife, memories, emotional center N/A ~2.3 days/month
**It's important to remember that astrological placement of the planets is with respect to the Earth, or a geocentric view.  Thus, planets that are between Earth and the Sun, i.e. Mercury and Venus, always appear fairly close to the Sun, such as when they are visible as the evening or morning star.  Due to this placement, Mercury and Venus actually take as long as the Sun and sometimes longer to go through all the signs of the Zodiac.


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