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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - September 2023

A planet is said to be retrograde when it seems to slow down, stop and go back in the direction it came from. This is an optical illusion, based on the difference in orbital rate and shape of that planet relative to the Earth in our respective journeys around the Sun. Although retrogradation doesn’t truly describe the physical motion of the planet, it can alter both our experience or expression of its energy. This month there will be 7 of the 10 planets that will be retrograde for at least part of the time. Since the Sun and Moon never retrograde, this means that 7 of the 8 planets that can go retrograde will be. Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto will be retrograde at the start of the month, Jupiter will turn retrograde on the 4th the day after Venus turns direct. Mercury will turn direct on the 15th.

What is the significance of so many planets moving backwards and how can we benefit from them? When a planet is retrograde its normal expression of energy is skewed. Think of it as a retrograde planet being on the downbeat when a direct planet is on the upbeat. Harmony and normal rhythmic flow is off. The results of our intentions and actions will be similarly unusual. One option is to just plow ahead, doing things we normally do in the way we normally do them. We will find, however, that the normal results do not follow. Frustration and confusion will result instead.

To take advantage of these retrogrades we must slow down. At this time we will tend to experience these energies differently than we normally do. Each of us will react subjectively to these influences so that both individual and collective activities are affected. The benefits of retrograde planets is that they provide the opportunity to review and reflect on the way we usually experience and express these energies. A new perspective is emerging which enables us to realize whether those familiar patterns in fact conform to our desires, goals, values or priorities. If they do, we can be patient, waiting for the planets to turn direct and continue our journey. We could also use this retrograde time to refine the expression of these influences so that their outcome is even more productive or fulfilling. If, upon review, we notice that our normal behaviors are not in alignment with our current goals or desires, we have both the time and motivation to significantly alter those patterns.

Let’s look briefly at the retrograde planets this month. Mercury and Venus have been retrograde prior to the beginning of the month and are the only planets that turn direct this month. Mercury pertains to the mind, our perceptions, thoughts and patterns of communication. Venus focuses on our values, particularly those pertaining to social activities, money and aesthetics. Reviewing those things should have been done in July (Venus) and August (both).

Jupiter turns retrograde on the 4th and remains in that direction until late December. Now is the time to review our philosophical or theological orientation to life as well as our academic interests or goals.

Saturn turns direct in early November. Now is the time to review our goals and defined methods of achieving them. Working on our sense of empowerment is also a focus at this time. Defining and consistently enforcing limits and boundaries is a good way to do that.

Uranus pertains to inspirations and our freedom to act on them. This is a good time to reflect on our uniqueness and the comfort we have exploring, experimenting with and expressing it in various areas of our life. It turns direct in late January.

One of the main points of Neptunian focus is transcendent consciousness. That is, the way in which we connect with Divine Spirit. This is a good time to work on making a personal connection to Source. It goes direct in early December.

Pluto is the energy of transformation. It pertains to the big questions of life: what is the nature of life and what is our place in the universal scheme of things? It helps to let go of what we have outgrown and create what can be useful in orienting ourselves to life in present time and prepare us for major transitions. Now is the time to make sure that our belief system is in alignment with our experience. Pluto turns direct in mid-October.

Each of the signs is affected in different ways by these retrogrades.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Aries: The Full Moon will be in Aries on the 29th.In combination with the retrogrades, this is a good time to reflect on your emotional state. Specifically, how do you feel about important things in your life and what, if anything, can you do to enhance your sense of emotional security and well-being?

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
Taurus: After being retrograde for 5 weeks, your ruling planet Venus turns direct on the 3rd. This is a time to continue to make changes based on realizations you had about your life socially, financially and creatively when Venus was retrograde. That was review time. This is action time.

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Gemini: Your ruling planet, Mercury, will turn direct on the 15th. If you used the retrograde period to review intellectual interests, points of view and ways of sharing them, this will be a time of clear even inspired communication. Use this ability to clarify ideas and inspire others with your realizations.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Cancer: Around the New Moon in Virgo on the 14th, your mind should be quite active and provide information that leads to stimulating conversations. The Full Moon in Aries on the 29th is a time to initiate something new that can lead to more public visibility and emotional fulfillment.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Leo: Your creative interests could be highly stimulated this month. Use the retrograde influence to ensure that you are using all your tools and talents to render some of your most dynamic and artistic expressions. There should be no shortage of inspiration, so the focus could be making sure you are enjoying both the process as well as the product you are manifesting.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Virgo: Early month is a good time to keep your mind open to new ideas and perspectives, which could be flowing abundantly. Use this time to integrate the new information so that it can be clearly expressed and shared later in the month.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Libra: This is a good time to focus on new beginnings in your social life. They could pertain to new relationships or to functioning in new ways in both pre-existing as well as new situations. Balancing enjoyable social experiences with productive activities is a good point of attention for you this month.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Scorpio: This is a good time for all kinds of creative expression. Your sense of beauty as well as the inspiration to express yourself are strong all month and can provide the motivation to manifest something. With all the retrogrades, take your time in both planning as well as executing the project.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
Sagittarius: Continue reviewing and re-evaluating your values and priorities. This is a month when new ideas and opportunities pertaining to your work could come up. Growth can come from being open-minded as you integrate new information to previously defined concepts.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Capricorn: This month continues the theme of internal focus that has been present since March. One difference is that there may be challenges and opportunities to function in significant relationships. Growth can come from integrating new internal insights and realizations into pre-existing behavioral patterns, or, learning to augment those patterns in order enable those insights to be useful.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
Aquarius: You tend to be unconventional in your orientation to life. That can enable you to feel more comfortable and be affective even with all the retrogrades. While others may need to use this as a time of review and re-evaluation, you may find the energy to be more interactive. This could especially be true in both social relationships and financial dealings.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
Pisces: This is a time to balance your energies. There could be opportunities to be socially interactive and artistically expressive. But this is also a good time to focus inward, seeking clarity and direction spiritually as well as emotional well-being.

Rio Olesky has been studying astrology since 1967 and has been a practicing professional astrologer since 1976. The author of Astrology and Consciousness, A Manual for the Modern Mystic, and The Astroreader, Rio offers weekly classes through Zoom. You can call Rio at 707-887-1820. Check out his website:

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