This article originally appeared on Yoga Journal
Each year, we are gifted a few precious months when all planets in our solar system are moving forward in their orbits, meaning there are no retrogrades to contend with, and we are out of Mercury retrograde’s shadow period. Beginning January 22, 2023, we are being given a respite by the cosmos until April 21, 2023, when Mercury once again stations retrograde.
What does it mean when all planets are direct?
All planets in our solar system station retrograde at some point within an 18-month period. The well-known Mercury retrograde happens, on average, three times a year. Although the other planets don’t station retrograde as frequently, they do spend some time traveling backward in our sky--or rather, they appear to be.
Planets in retrograde aren’t actually retracing their steps. The backward motion is an optical illusion created by the differing orbital rates of each planet. It’s the cosmic equivalent of traveling on a train and beginning to pass another adjacent train. The train you pass appears to move backward for a split second until the train you are on overtakes it. When the Earth aligns with another planet, the other planetary body appears to move backward until one of them speeds ahead.
Even though retrogrades are an illusion, they cause energetic shifts in our emotions and in our lives. Each planet brings a certain energy for us to work with in our days. For instance, Mercury governs communication, Mars governs passion, and Venus governs love and creativity. Retrogrades spin the energy of a planet inward and ask us to reflect, reprocess, and re-integrate whatever aspects of life the planet governs. This inward pull of energy can sometimes cause delays, misdirection, and confusion in the areas ruled by that planet.
While retrogrades provide an opportunity for us to reflect and realign ourselves, they can also prevent us from moving into the future. With no retrogrades in sight for a few months, we have an opportunity to make significant changes in our lives and to grow exponentially. This is a beautiful opportunity. When we harness that energy correctly, things can happen at lightning speed.
How to navigate life when all planets are direct
Have clear intentions
It’s important to have clear intentions about what you want in life. Anything is available to you if you commit to cultivating it in your life. Spend some time journaling and reflecting on what changes you wish to usher into your world. Know that any vision you have can turn into a reality. You have the Universe in full support of your growth and evolution. Whatever you choose to focus on, be clear about it to yourself.
As we move through this period, be aware that almost everything in life will tend to happen at a rapid pace. This energy can feel exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It can be very easy for the mind to spin out of control when viewing the various options and possibilities available to you at each moment. To align with the potential of this cosmic window, it’s essential that you stay grounded in your body through practices like yoga and meditation. Commit to practices that help you stay connected to your body and breath so that you can fully utilize the energy available to you.
At times, it may feel that you are being pulled in many directions because of the cosmic energy surrounding you. If you feel that you’re getting lost in a sea of options or that you can’t find your inner compass, return to practices that ground you. If you feel confused at any point, anchor yourself in the present moment with your breath and intentions. Tell yourself each day through your thoughts or mantras what you want to see happen. Remind yourself of what is most important right now.
Don’t say “yes” to everything
Another source of confusion or overwhelm may be the many unexpected opportunities coming your way. You might be compelled to say yes to everything because it presents potential. You might even feel that you have the energy right now to do it all. It’s important to not overextend yourself. Make sure that you can sustain any new commitments over the next six months. Be aware that everything will have an exciting spin to it right now, but that glimmer may wear off. Ask yourself, how might I feel about the things I’m saying yes to today in August?
Some opportunities will be short-term and may be easier to follow through to completion. Some will be long-term, and these are the new beginnings that will be the most important for your sustained growth. Make sure that each "yes" is reverberating with your intuition.
Revel in it
Overall, this is an exciting time. You may have felt that January was off to a slow or sticky start. Now, all cosmic bodies are in forward motion, and the future is calling you. The path to your highest vision is clear. Let this time be inspiring and hopeful. Enjoy it. Remember to ground your body, get clear about your intentions, and know that anything is possible.
This article has been updated. Originally published February 22, 2022.
About our contributor
Jill Wintersteen is the founder of Spirit Daughter, a lifestyle brand devoted to helping you live your best life through understanding the energy of the Universe. She also writes workbooks on each full Moon as well as other astrological events. Follow her on Instagram @spiritdaughter.
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