Background – I must start this article by looking at the nature of retrograde cycles in general. The reason for this is that we are now entering a period that is very different from the typical retrograde patterns. Normally, retrograde cycles are a basic part of the astrological landscape, especially when we look at the planets in the outermost location of our solar system. Many of them spend 4-5 months each year in retrograde motion. Also, Mercury, the planet with the most frequent retrograde cycles, is retrograde every 4 months for about 3 weeks. All of these cycles are regular and thus have become a part of our life, even for those who know nothing of astrology. We have become accustomed to the natural rhythms of these predictable patterns. Right now, however, we are in a very unusual time period that can become much less difficult if we understand what is being asked of us.