so, what’s with this retrograde business, anyway?

Right now in the heavens,  3 of the slow-moving outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) and Chiron (asteroid) are retrograde.

Huh?  How does this compute?

This is my fast and dirty research results about retrograde planets.

  • retrograde motion is when a planet APPEARS to slow down and move backwards in the sky—this does not actually happen, just seems to from Earth
  • the symbol for retrograde is Rx
  • the sun and moon never go retrograde
  • the inner planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) go retrograde much less often and for shorter durations than the outer planets (Jupiter through Pluto), who stay retrograde for a long time throughout the year
  • regular old natal placements can sometimes take on the feeling of a retrograde and vice versa; e.g. Saturn conjunct Venus in the natal and Venus Rx sure do share similarities; also Mars in the 12th House can be as uncomfortable as a natal Mars Rx
  • when a planet is in transit with a natal planet and goes into the retrograde/station/direct cycle, there is the potential for the transit to ‘hit’ the natal planet with an exact aspect three times
  • it is generally accepted that retrogrades in the natal indicate past lives and karma, with each planet/position pointing to specific circumstances in a former life

Alright?  I want to dig a bit deeper into this phenomena of retrogradation for a sec.

Planets going retrograde seem to slow down in the sky, come to a complete stop then begin to move backwards, for weeks on end.  Then they again slow down, stop, revert to their original direction and spend some more time going back over degrees in the zodiac (for the third time), until they have caught up to where they were to begin with.

And it all is an illusion caused by our perspective from Earth!!

This is the key to understanding and applying the nature of Rx planets in astrology.  Things aren’t what they seem.  Energies are turned inward.  The energy goes way deep and is felt strongly and intense.  The native can become shy and uncomfortable with the nature of the planet; denial of the archetype of the planet is common.  But the beauty is by the middle of life, the native has ‘caught up’ to the goals and potential of the natal placement.  Late bloomer is what my research repeated.

All this can be applied to retrograde planets in transit.  Themes require more introspection, where reflection brings the greatest answers.  Especially with transits from the outer planets (Saturn through Pluto), the first and second passes of the planet can be terribly unsettling, but by the third swipe you seem to have found your feet and ‘get it.’  Though remember that sometimes you only get one exact aspect to learn the lessons of the transit—not three.

For example, in 2008/2009 my Venus was transited by Saturn.  The first conjunction brought me to my knees.  By the second, I was still numb from the first, but the third saw me in a place of acceptance to the work Saturn was performing.

Alright.  If you are curious about a specific retrograde placement, there are a lot of interesting interpretations on the internets.  If you have something particular you would like to parse, let me know in the comments below.


11 thoughts on “so, what’s with this retrograde business, anyway?

  1. […] I want to remind all that Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the Moon’s Nodes and Chiron are currently retrograde and that means almost half the energy in the heavens has an introspective bend to it—a […]


  2. […] planets are retrograde their energy is turned inward.  The impetus is reflection upon the self and internal motivations. […]


  3. […] has been since the 21st of July and will be until the 21st of December.  When a planet is retro, its archetypal makeup is directed inward.  So, here with Uranus moving in reverse, the ‘me, […]


  4. […] He has gotten almost through the 2nd degree of the Fixed Water sign, but has slowed and turns retrograde on […]


  5. […] Retrograde Mercury is all about tweeking to perfection. […]


  6. […] very next day, the asteroid Chiron in Pisces turns direct at about 5:45 PM in the […]


  7. […] past Monday, the 8th, Jupiter turned Retrograde and will remain so until April of next […]


  8. […] above, Luna met with ALL the remaining celestial bodies before joining the Sun, including dear Uranus Rx—who turns direct at approximately 5:45 PM EST […]


  9. […] created a wonderful atmosphere of cheerful contemplation. The subdued, gregarious spirit of Retrograde Jupiter internalizing the time tested traditions of the Goat coupled with the tender, patient […]


  10. […] retrogrades from March 14 to August 1, 2015 from 4º Sagittarius to 28º […]


  11. […] winged Messenger is going to be in Aquarius for awhile, since on January 21st he will Retrograde at 17º, to begin Direct motion again on February 11th at 1º. More on this later, as […]


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