This welcome news comes in the wake of three retrogrades ending, back-to-back-to-back: Uranus, which had been retrograde since August, stations direct on January 22 shortly after Mercury ended its recent retrograde on January 18, following Mars also stationing direct on January 12 after its own three-month backspin. All of this retrograding came directly following New Year’s Day, “which means we entered 2023 by continuing to deal with matters of the past,” says Marquardt. (Quite the contrary from a clean slate.) While the related reviewing and reassessing certainly serves a purpose—this reflection offers us a chance to learn from our actions, after all—retrogrades can be a hassle while they’re happening, seemingly impeding forward motion.
“When all planets are direct, we have an ability to build momentum on anything we want to achieve.” —Ryan Marquardt, astrologer
And now, we’re freed from that energy until April 21, “a three-month window during which the universe is giving everyone a green light to move forward,” says Marquardt. No planetary retrogrades essentially means no resistance, he adds: “When all planets are direct, we have an ability to build momentum on anything we want to achieve.”
Much like all the planets on their forward roll, we tend to move forward more quickly, too, during times when no planets are retrograde. “We feel the storylines in our life unfolding more swiftly and with more ease,” says Marquardt. That could also mean new people, things, or events start to present themselves to you, all of them posing the opportunity to move you further along the path that you’re traveling in life.
But because that forward progress can happen at hyper-speed during no-retrograde periods, it’s important to take note of exactly what direction you’re headed, cautions Marquardt. “You could easily experience a snowball effect in whatever direction you’re channeling your time, energy, and resources,” he says. “It’s as if you’re pummeling down a path and picking up steam as you go, so just be sure to choose that path wisely.”
In any case, this chunk of time is ripe for setting new plans or ideas into motion (and receiving fated support for their success). But even if you aren’t actively pursuing anything new or any particular element of self-growth, expect the universe to bring new storylines into your life, anyway—and don’t ignore the opportunities they might signal, says Marquardt. “After all, this is the only time this year during which we’ll escape the retrogrades entirely.”
Once we approach April 21, the energy will start to shift, as a couple planets begin to slow down, preparing to go retrograde once more. (First up is Mercury, which goes retrograde in Taurus, and immediately after is Pluto, which goes retrograde in Aquarius.) “Once these retrogrades begin, we’ll have a cascade of them for the remainder of the year, which means we’ll be doing a lot of rethinking, reworking, and revisiting past themes,” says Marquardt.
To be clear, that isn’t to say things will all just go downhill during the back half of the year. Rather, you might just face some obstacles or delays as you go about starting anything new—at which point, it’s helpful to view these roadblocks not as random annoyances getting in the way of your path, but as part of the path itself, says Marquardt. (That is, a part whose purpose you may not understand until after you get through it.) But again, that’s a bridge we’ll all cross when we get to it—on April 21. And until then, says Marquardt, “let’s just enjoy the free-fall feeling of all planets moving forward!”