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Ring in the New Year Retrograde-Free!

The planets boost us into 2012 with total forward motion

Ring in the New Year Retrograde-Free

You know that feeling of taking one step forward ... but two steps back? You put all your energy and intention into starting, advancing and finishing up things in your life, but no matter what you do you're just not making any progress. Ahh yes, welcome to the world of retrograde!

All the true planets go retrograde -- and in Astrology, yes, that means you too, Pluto! -- but how often they go retrograde, how long they stay that way and what it even means varies a lot. But no matter which planet is retrograde, one thing's for sure: we'll notice it. When a planet is retrograde, not only does it appear to be moving backwards in the sky and, therefore, turn us upside down and inward, but it's also at its closest to Earth, making that planet's energy and effects much more obvious.

In this second half of 2011, we've seen most of the planets go retrograde or turn direct, but we're not in the clear just yet. Uranus ends its five-month retrograde on Dec. 10, Mercury turns direct after three weeks of mayhem on Dec. 13, and Jupiter ends its four-month backward dance on Dec. 25. And do you know what this means? Come Dec. 26, there will be no planets in retrograde! That's right, the cosmos are giving us one month of breathing room so we can celebrate freely and kick off a fresh new year truly moving forward.

But... there are two key planets that ducked out of retrogrades altogether in 2011, and they're both geared up to take their backward turn early in 2012. What's more, these aren't outer planets like Neptune or Pluto whose retrograde influence is a little broader ... they're Mars and Venus, personal planets that impact us in much more noticeable ways. Venus won't turn retrograde until May 15, but action-loving Mars, he's the real culprit here, turning retrograde on Jan. 23 to end our month-long period of retrograde-free reverie.

So here's the message from the universe: you know those New Year's resolutions that are hard to make and even harder to keep? Well no excuses this year, because there's nothing working against you! You get this rare opportunity to hit the ground running without feeling like you're wading through the mud. But the key is you must get started ASAP, because come Jan. 23, Mars Retrograde could put a damper on your forward progress -- and after that it's up to you to keep the ball rolling. Imagine the amount of success you'll feel knowing you not only stuck with your resolutions because they're healthy, positive changes for your life and soul, but you stuck with them even in the face of Mars' resistance -- now we're talking power and strength!

Of course Mars and Venus aren't the only planets turning retrograde next year -- all the others will too, making it even more important that you use this big push of direct motion while you can, 'cause it'll be gone before you know it!

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