When a planet is retrograde, it appears to go backwards in the sky. Astrologically, its energy tends to be internalised and intensified.
When a planet is retrograde, it appears to go backwards in the sky. It doesn't really go backwards — it's an optical illusion because we're viewing the planet from Earth's perspective. All planets except the Sun and Moon go retrograde some of the time.
Astrologically, when a planet is retrograde, its energy is internalised and intensified. It's often not easy to be objective about a retrograde planet's energy, or to work with it out in the world. It's a bit like trying to look at the under side of your chin!
In the case of Mercury and Venus, it's like watching someone on a merry-go-round or carosel. If you don't realize they're going in a circle, it looks like they go forward, then backward, from your viewpoint.
Pronounced: RET-trow-grade. See also my article series on Retrograde Planets.