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Retrograde versus Direct Motion Planets
Much is made of retrograde motions when they hit in
astrology. There is the term “Mercury retrograde” and it raises
eyebrows when it is about to hit. Astrologers know that when Mercury is about to hit retrograde motion that communication
problems of all sorts are about to happen. Why is this? Because Mercury represents communications in all its forms in
astrology. So what does retrograde versus direct motion all about and how does it affect the personal planets in astrology
when it happens? The following
The term retrograde is a bit misleading as no planet is
actually ever retrograde (moving backward in the heavens). The
appearance of retrograde motion is due to the “perceived” retrograde motion of the planet in its orbital relationship to
planet earth. All planets move at different rotational speeds in the heavens, including planet earth. When earth pulls
ahead of certain planets it appears that the other planet(s) are moving backward from the earth's perspective. But it is
not actually moving backward in “real time.” What this causes on the “energetic” level is a delayed energy regarding
the magnetic pull it represents. As all planets (save for planet earth) all represent something different in astrology
symbolically, when a planet goes retrograde, what that planet represents in astrology comes under a microscope.
(Earth does represent the challenges of the flesh, but for astrological sakes it is not used this way).
When the planet is moving at its regular rotational speed and is the same as the
earth, it is said to be in direct motion.
When a planet is retrograde, its benefic in the heavens is weakened, hence delays or problems. The following table
shows how long certain planets can be in retrograde, what they represent in astrological terms, and what areas of life are
affected by their retrograde motions.
**The Sun and Moon are never in retrograde or stationary motion, so they will not be included here.**
Mercury – retrograde 24 days and is stationary for one day before and
after. Rules the 3rd house in astrology which is
communication and immediate surroundings. Deals with communication of all sorts: conversations, emails, contracts,
legalities, agreements, as well as our ability to think clearly or understand things clearly as Mercury deals with the mind
and thoughts, and anything which can take place within a house. All areas of communication in life can experience delays,
miscommunications, frustrations, and misunderstandings.
Mercury Retrograde for 2008
January 28 - February 19, May 26 - June 19, September 24 - October 15.
Venus – retrograde 42 days and is stationary for 2 days before
and after. Rules the 2nd house and 7th house.
are money and partnership houses respectively, also self worth. When Venus is in retrograde the areas that get affected
are money and possessions, as well as our values and beliefs. Partnerships and things to do with love and contract
signings as well. As Venus also deals with self worth, our ability to see ourselves in the proper light and give ourselves
credit can be hampered also our earning potential. But love issues and money issues are the 2 front runners here.
Venus Retrograde for 2007
July 27 - September 8
Mars – retrograde for 80 days and is stationary two to three days
before and after. Mars rules the 1st house which is
the house of identity and personality. Mars rules passion, charisma, drive and zest. It shows how we express our
outer selves. When Mars is retrograde the areas of life that get affected are our abilities to start projects, initiate plans,
anything to do with leadership and our passion for things overall.
Jupiter – retrograde for 120 days and is stationary for 5 days
before and after. Jupiter rules the 9th house which is
all about higher education, our perspectives in life and philosophies, travel, expansion and opportunities. It is
actually considered to be the “lucky” planet in the zodiac. When Jupiter is in retrograde, the areas of life that are
affected are opportunities, areas for expansion, growth in life in general, our philosophical perceptions and
possibly any travel
Saturn – retrograde for 140 days and is stationary for 5 days
before and after. Saturn rules the 10th house which
deals with public status, career standing, and marriage. Saturn is about structure, organization, ambition and
discipline. Also it rules our lessons and restriction. For this matter, it is the planet that rules karma. When Saturn
is in retrograde, the areas of life that get affected are stability, finishing touches on projects, structure to plans
and to a large degree the reality behind the picture. This is because Saturn rules our lessons. It tells us to
“get on” with things and not waste time.
**Note** It is important to remember that though the areas of life and what the
retrograde motion does to
the planet listed above, it is extremely important to understand where these planets are in your own
personal birth chart. Though the retrograde motions affect most of the personal planets and they affect us all, it is
important to understand where it affects you personally. For example, one person may have Mercury in their
partnership house whereas another may have Mercury in their career house in their birth charts. They will each
experience different degrees of the Mercury retrograde in their lives however the effect of the retrograde will be felt in
the same manner that is communication in both instances.