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Back to the future...or to the past?- What is the message of the planets retrogression?

27 August 2010 / 12:08:13  GRReporter
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I will slightly divert before I continue the topic of houses ruling. The reason is that Mercury is in the so-called retrograde motion between August 20, 2010 and September 14, 2010. Mercury, in particular, has such periods about 3 times a year - roughly every four months for about 21 days. In fact, that is the planet that enters into such motion most often.

The frequency for other planets is different. In practice, there is at least one retrograde planet for most of the year.

What is the retrograde motion as phenomenon and what is its meaning?

Each planet (except the Sun and the Moon), moving along its orbit, has periods in which its path is unusual when viewed from the earth – it turns its direction – and the planet appears to reverse. These periods are called retrograde.

Many modern astrologers (and not only) consider that the retrograde planet is somehow blocked in its expression. Since it is seen to reverse when viewed from the Earth it is too easy to fall into the trap of superficial interpretation and perceive this motion as something negative. Do not interpret the word “retrograde” as backward, degenerative, decadent, worsening, retreating. The meaning is “I reverse to go again but in another way.”

Now, I will focus on astronomical facts a little to get a clearer picture of the retrograde motion of planets. Implicitly, astronomical facts are crucial to the very interpretation from astrological point of view.

Let’s have a look at the planets arranged in a straight line - like this:

Note where the Earth is. The planets the orbits of which are between the Sun and the Earth are called inferior planets. These are Mercury and Venus. The other planets the orbits of which are behind the Earth’s orbit (Earth is between the Sun and them) are called superior planets. These are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (plus Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). The Latin terms respectively are inferior (internal) and superior (external). All who use English can translate these words themselves. Inferior means low, lower, and superior – higher, senior, supreme. These terms have their meaning, but this is not the point now. I will only mention that there are no lower and higher planets within the meaning of the most.

Inferior planets actually do not go away from the Sun. In each horoscope you will always find Mercury and Venus or in the same sign in which the Sun is, or in any of the neighbours. In practice, there is no sextile, square, trigon or opposition aspects between the Sun and these two planets. This makes sense given how close their orbits are to the Sun. Mercury turns away from it up to 28° in the course of the zodiac, and Venus – to 47°. I will give more details on this issue in a subsequent article. Because it is something important. It makes no special meaning the aspects between the Sun and Mercury and Venus to be so limited, right?

So, let’s go get back to retrogression. It happens because of the different motion speed of the planets. Make the following analogy - if you are in a car moving with, say, 100 km/h and leave behind another car that is moving with 60 km/h it will seem that the slower car is  moving backwords. This is exactly what happens in the retrograde motion of planets - from our earthly perspective. In fact, no planet moves back or turns the direction of its motion.

This lagging behind with the inferior planets - Mercury and Venus - occurs when, moving along their way, the two planets stand between the Earth and the Sun. Like this:

This position is enclosed in blue colour. It is called inferior (or inner) conjunction.

The retrograde motion of the superior planets occurs when they are in an approximate area of opposition to the Sun - in this case, the Earth stands between the planet and the Sun:


What is typical of those positions and the retrograde motion respectively from astronomical point of view:

1. The planet is closest to Earth – its other positions are always more distant.

2. Because of its proximity to Earth, the planet is at the most bright and visible for us on Earth.

3. When viewed from Earth, the planet crosses the same section of the celestial sphere more than once.
In summery, the findings of these three factors are as follows – the retrograde planet becomes powerful and strong because of its proximity to the Earth. There is something specific, something special associated with it. It is just different. It functions in a manner that is inverted and opposite to its normal behaviour. Crossing a given area more than once means that it brings us back to something, it makes us pay attention to it, note it.

I will focus specifically on Mercury later in the article as it now is its retrograde period.

Mercury is the planet responsible for communication, information, mental connections, skilful hands, detail, motion in all its forms. But what happens when Mercury takes the opposite to its normal direction? Everything up falls under some challenges and unusual external situations arise. In normal life this can be quite confusing and disturbing. When Mercury is retrograde we begin to doubt whether we speak what we must, we often change the direction of our thoughts and decisions, we can mistaken something important which will slow us down, etc. And the normal human reaction to this is to put a label – “Very bad.”

But is it really so bad? I’ve mentioned already that in fact people give these labels but actually everything is correct, according to the natural harmony and geometry.

Confusion and disturbing the smooth operations ruled by Mercury are actually an excellent tool for increasing our ability to maximize insight into the details of a thing, to concern how we express ourselves, to note! something. People rarely use this ability. Our habits and the things we make automatically almost choke it. What exactly do I mean?

Every day after I get up I go to the coffee machine. While I make the coffee I do not even think of what I actually do. I do it completely without thinking. One day, however, the button fails, and there is no coffee. When this happens I already pay attention to the machine and to everything I do while I make the coffee. And I notice that the button has shifted or there is something else. In short – I wake up – and I notice the machine. While everything goes smoothly, I make it without thinking and stop noticing it. I just fall asleep concerning certain nuances and details.

This falling asleep is one of the major problems, especially in partnerships and relationships. We get used to the other so much that we finally really stop to hear and see him/her. Only something unusual could wake us up and make us see the other again. Nature is something unique! The astrological retrograde motion of planets symbolizes precisely these moments that we need to not go through life asleep, to wake up from time to time.

It is often mentioned in popular astrology that no contracts should be signed, no negotiations should be held because the quality of communication is impaired, no new equipment should be bought during retrograde Mercury. That man is more inclined to confuse meetings, to forget important things, to change his/her decisions. This is somewhat true. But everything has a meaning. There is no need to almost stop living, but to seek the meaning.

During these periods people mostly are lost in their thoughts and deeds and rarely pay attention to those of the others’. This partly accounts for most confusions and misunderstandings – “I said at 10 but he understood at 10 in the evening.”

Something important gives us kick in the knuckles to realize it, to see it. This is the time to wake up about things that have given any sign of irregularity, but you have not noticed it. Mistakes are common. But they come to make you see something you have not noticed and try some alternative ways that seem illogical and not typical to you, to look at it from another angle, from another perspective.

You make some minor mistakes at work and this time you are seriously censured. You can not explain to your boss, he just does not understand you. No, your boss is not a nagging idiot. You have missed those small signs that show he gets discontented of the way you perform your duties. And a small mistake appears serious. It is time to understand this eventually.

You forget about important meeting. Maybe you just do not want to meet this person or do not want to participate in the things that will be discussed at this meeting?!

You can not make a decision, you hesitate between several options - do you really want to make this decision?

If you have communication problems – ie, the others interpret you wrong – look for no fault in them. Think about how you present your thoughts and how you take theirs. Maybe you just do not hear them. Stay as fair as possible about what is happening around you and the other people. Nobody is to blame for dealing with their personal things, just like you. Even if it causes you discomfort.

Problems with traveling, bookings, meetings confused in time, delays, etc. are often referred to these periods.

You still can go from point A to point C, but you will not go through point B but through D. Maybe you do not want to travel? Or you've always wanted to go to point D, but you have not found the occasion to do it?

It is often mentioned that during these periods of Mercury it is not recommended to buy new equipment because it will break later. I think that is too far-fetched, since I have not noticed such a connection. Rather, sometimes you have to buy (or repair) something because the old equipment should be replaced or repaired. Equipment that long has shown signs, but you have not noticed or postponed them. Provided that, of course, it affects this particular field in the horoscope.

Retrograde Mercury brings to the surface any information stored in the time. But it makes this in intuitive and illogical way - most often by mistake into something. And it affects the areas defined by the house in the horoscope in which it is staying in and the planets which it is in contact with during its retrograde period.

Of course, you should not think that you will be facing similar situations in every step. But if it happens to you just stop for a minute and think.

On the other hand, the retrograde period of Mercury is extremely beneficial for all individually involved with speech in its written forms and with different types of analysis and research. Individual work is in its best. Insights and productivity can be staggering and mistakes could prove to be “true.”

The next retrograde period of Mercury is December 10 - 30, 2010

From October 8, 2010 to November 19, 2010 is the retrograde period of Venus. I will give more details when it comes closer.

The closest retrograde period of Mars is between January 2012 and April 2012.

The next article will continue the topic that I dropped. It will be about the rulers and how the planets behave as rulers of various houses. I will write about the  retrograde planets in the birthday horoscope and what is their message in another article.  

Tags: NewsHoroscpeRetrogradesPlanetsAstrologyZodiac
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