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.