is a Retrograde Cycle ?
We often hear the term Mercury is retrograde or Venus is Retrograde but what does it mean?
Technically we know that planets orbit the Sun, we have seen the diagrams
which show the sun in the centre and the respective
planets on their orbital paths. As well as this orbit,
planets also have epicycles, they rotate in a kind of
circle all of their own. So, they have a big orbit whilst
they are turning in an epicycle. It is this epicycle
which gives the appearance of retrograde motion from
our perspective. Please study the diagram below to gain
an understanding of this space motion.
planet when retrograde is considered to be impaired
or afflicted in its ability to deliver what it promises.
There are many considerations to take into account when
reading a chart and this is one important one. If a
planet is angular we consider this good but if that
planet is retrograde it is unlikely to deliver its positive promise and more
likely to be in a strong position to take away anything
beneficial. If one already knows the influence of that
planet and has read the house, sign and house cusps
to see what affairs it concerns then one only needs
to apply this knowledge but in reverse as it were. A
retrograde Mars in Aries is more likely to internalise
than take direct and assertive action for instance.
There is a need to be assertive but the inability to
be so will cause internalised anger, annoyance and frustration. The promise is assertiveness and direct action - the result is that neither of these things are likely to happen if Mars is in retrograde motion. The ability of the person is impaired in this regard
Sun and Moon are never retrograde. Other Planets have
varying times and duration of retrogrades.
Mercury retrogrades 3 times per year for about 22 to
Venus retrogrades once per year for about 41 –42
Mars retrogrades occur roughly once in just over two
years for about 2 months
Jupiter retrogrades occur just over a year apart for
about 120 days (4 months)
Saturn retrogrades are annual for 4.5 months
Uranus retrogrades are annual for 5 months
Neptune retrogrades are annual for 5 months
Pluto retrogrades are annual for 6 months
you can see the faster moving planets have shorter retrograde
phases so to be born under such a retrograde becomes
a bit of a lottery. However, with the planets from Uranus
to Pluto it becomes more of a certainty that for almost
half a year there will be a retrograde. Although I consider
outer planets in many things I do not consider them
in a truly personal sense, where they may
act directly and influence the personality of the person.
It is difficult to place a great deal of credence on
the retrogrades of the outer planets although there
will be people who disagree. The Retrograde of Jupiter
and Saturn can cause delays and reversals when beginning
Planets are shown as being retrograde in the natal chart
but retrogrades also occur by transit. That is, planets
continue on their path after birth and from time to
time make a contact with the original chart, they cause
events to happen in our lives and can be predicted.
Sometimes these transiting planets go retrograde and
take us back over old issues. For dates of planetary retrogrades see my articles on Mercury Retrograde and retrograde dates, the links are top right on the side menu.
When you are considering the natal chart you begin with
the planet. Determine what it means, what is its nature? Determine how it is modified by the sign it is in. Determine the area of life it affects through its house placement. Then you look at whether or
not the planet is direct or retrograde.
If direct in
motion then the energies are projected outwards, if
retrograde then the energies are thwarted or blocked
from positive and direct expression.
Jupiter, in good
condition, in the first house promises wealth or good
fortune for a person, but if it is retrograde it is likely
to take away fortune rather than bestow it. This is
the influence of a retrograde planet. Other factors need
to be taken into account too. The dignity of a planet will show, for instance, how much of its promise, if any, it will deliver or whether it will deliver its promise and later destroy it as we so often see with tycoons going from rags to riches and back again.
Retrogrades are not an optical illusion. This can be clearly seen as the planet in retrograde motion goes in the reverse order through the signs and degrees of the zodiac. The diagram above shows you how the epicycle causes the planet to appear, from our perspective on earth, to be moving in a retrograde motion.
Also see links to articles top right
Mercury retrograde and other Retrograde Dates
You can also learn more about Retrogrades by doing a module in
Astrology Courses, see link on the menu bar above
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