This Is the Most F’ed Up Astrological Week of the Year

Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Source Imagery: Getty Images

Astrologers have long been predicting that 2020 would be a big year: intense, brutal, full of large-scale, world-shaking change. Most agreed that the biggest single planetary event of the year would be January’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction — a rare meeting of two of the solar system’s most intense and most powerful planets, bringing with it major changes in the structures our society is built on.

So while January may have held the marquee event of the year on a grand scale, on a personal level, this week might feel as intense, if not more so. Already this month, there’s been a lot happening astrologically. Last week ushered in a new cycle of eclipses, which are associated with dramatic changes and turning points, and on top of that, there was a full moon in Scorpio — a moon that can be relied on to dredge up and illuminate intense and previously hidden emotions. This week offers even more drastic change: On Sunday night, Saturn stationed retrograde; on Monday, Mercury entered Gemini; late on Tuesday night, Mars enters Pisces, and Venus stations retrograde; and on Thursday, Jupiter stations retrograde. If it’s not clear, this is an uncommonly large volume of astrological action to be compressed into the span of a single week. But what, specifically, does all this change mean for us?

First, when so many planetary events happen in such a short amount of time, it’s bound to feel intense, exhausting, even a little wacky. Change of any kind tends to be tiring, and right now, we’re being asked to process many types of changes at once. Fortunately, some of this week’s change is pretty clearly, straightforwardly positive.

In particular, Mercury — planet of communication and connection — is moving into curious, social Gemini, which signals great things. Gemini is the natural home of Mercury, one of the signs where it can express its energies most easily and most truly. Mercury will only remain in Gemini for about two weeks, but while it’s here, your thinking might snap into focus, sharp and sparkling. You’ll be able to express yourself to others clearly, and to use language with fun and curiosity and joy.

This week’s other planetary shift — action planet Mars’s movement into dreamy, emotional Pisces — might initiate a shift in your drives and desires. While Mars is in Pisces, your energy will likely be less straightforward and more indirect, your desires less concrete and more fluid, or more spiritual, or more abstract. This period will likely be frustrating and disappointing if you expect your actions to lead to specific kinds of linear progress, but if you can open yourself to dreaminess and unexpected possibilities, you may be rewarded.

In addition to these two planetary ingresses, three planets station retrograde this week: Saturn, then Venus, then Jupiter. In addition to Pluto, which has been retrograde since late April, this will bring us to a total of four planets in retrograde motion. This might sound frightening, even sinister, but there’s really nothing inherently bad about planetary retrogrades. Though it’s easy to imagine that retrograde motion turns a planet into a negative force, it’s more accurate to think of retrograde as a kind of low-energy mode. Rather than pushing outward, the planet’s energy turns inward; down here on earth, retrograde periods tend to go smoothest when we turn our corresponding energies inward, too.

Saturn and Jupiter are both outer planets that station retrograde once a year, for four to five months each, and tend to be associated with more abstract, long-term concepts, rather than deeply intimate or emotional subjects. Saturn retrograde asks us to reflect on what we’ve learned about our boundaries, our limits, and our responsibilities in the world; Jupiter retrograde asks us to take a break from restless expansiveness, and reflect on our intellectual and spiritual growth instead.

But because Venus is one of the inner, personal planets, its retrograde period can feel more personal and immediate, and therefore more difficult. Venus is the planet of love, beauty, sensuality, and money. When it stations retrograde, you might experience disruptions in any of these areas. Expect that your instincts around these themes might be a little off. What seems beautiful during Venus retrograde might lose its shine once the planet stations direct again; what feels romantic now might be dull or unappealing later. It’s a famously bad time to make big decisions about relationships or beauty (don’t give yourself a dramatic haircut!), but a great time to reflect on your desires, to find closure for unresolved issues from the past.

In general — with all these retrogrades, and with Mars’s movement into Pisces — don’t push yourself to do more than you feel like you’re able this week. There’s the potential for huge growth if you can just let yourself move slowly, let yourself wait to see how things unfold.

This Is the Most F’ed Up Astrological Week of the Year