Category: Astrology Basics Written by Robert Wilkinson Views: 1015
As I mentioned, this was inspired by several comments asking about the difference in effect when Jupiter and the other outer planets are retrograde than when these planets are direct. Another concern was the difference when Jupiter is retrograde at 19 degrees of a sign as opposed to when it is in forward motion at the same degree.
When any planet moves through a span of degrees in a sign, it is encountering that field of experience for the first time. When it moves back via retrograde through the same span, we are given a different look at the same material. As I noted yesterday,
When a planet is direct, it means we are "directly" experiencing its natural evolving awareness of the sign it's in. When retrograde, we're re-tracing ground we've already covered, but from a different perspective. It's like driving down a street from one direction, then driving back down the same street in the opposite direction. Two perspectives on the same field of vision.
Example – Jupiter
Jupiter direct making an aspect offers you an initial Jupiterian connection to whatever is being experienced. The sign shows the field of experience, while the aspect shows the quality of the experience within that field. When retrograde, we are still in the same field of experience we just went through, but are given a different perspective.
Here it's important to note that during a retrograde period, that planet seems to symbolize or be a conduit for unconscious factors of that planetary function to appear. It could also show manifestations from previously unknown or unperceived external sources, or even returns from other times in this life or previous ones where these energies were activated.
So the first pass is the first experience. The RX pass brings up factors not seen previously, or even feedback from the results set into motion at the first pass. It's often as though a second light is turned on during the RX period so we can dispel some shadows created by the initial view of the first pass.
The next stage in our example of the process is when Jupiter again resumes direct motion after its retrograde period, when we traverse the same field a third time, but with multiple experiences of that field. This third pass is a synthesizing period when we are able to put a triangulated understanding into play if we have comprehended the lessons of the field. Perfect three point lighting dispels almost every shadow of any illumed object.
So for example, if Jupiter trined a planet or Ascendant before it went RX, it offered an initial understanding or stabilizing opportunity or protection. When RX and again trine the same planet or Ascendant, it offers a new point of view on the understanding you got when it was in direct trine, or you encounter the first results of the initial trine. You may also remember an unrelated but similar Jupiter experience in your past. The RX trine could also involve understanding unconscious factors, or external factors not glimpsed when direct.
Then we synthesize the two approaches during the third trine, incorporating multiple understandings into an even greater understanding or harmonization. After that, we move beyond the old span of experience examined three times into new territory.
In another example, if transiting Jupiter squares your Sun, and then makes a subsequent RX square and then another square when direct again, it works initially to open a quest for a greater sense of service, or vision, or truth, a new way of “self-dramatization” that will help us to a greater effectiveness in our world, or a broader education in something that can help us “release our Light.” During the RX, you either get a new take on that quest, or sense of greatest service, or remember past experiences related to the current search for a vision or new forms of self-expression. Then when Jupiter goes direct, the third square should ideally bring forth that new vision, truth, sense of service, or form of self-dramatization.
Example – Saturn
In 2018, Saturn made a series of squares to planets in the early degrees of Aries and Libra. The first square occurred between January and early April when Saturn transited from 1 to 10 degrees of Capricorn. The second squares happened in the period of May through September when Saturn retrograded from 10 back to 3 Capricorn. The third squares happened after Saturn went direct in early September, with first decan squares happening through early December 2018.
That means in 2018, for those with planets in early Libra, January through April was the initial emergence of new duties, obligations, maturity, or a heaviness based in worldly things. The retrograde brought new insights into those duties and responsibilities or heaviness, and maybe experiences which somehow were related to past duties or lessons. When it went direct, those lessons would have been learned from two angles, and after that could be implemented in organized ways.
For those with planets in early Aries, the first 3+ months of 2018 began to bring some things to fruition which halted at the SRX point, showing the lessons to be learned in the RX period. Those early Aries planetary responses were then challenged to “go back” to re-evaluate what was culminating and see if there were other major lessons to be learned during that RX period before embracing the bigger Saturn in early Cap lessons which moved forward in September 2018. After it went direct in September, planetary functions in early Aries either fulfilled themselves in perfect form, or they had to be released so a more mature, important, or “sober” focus could become part of our reality.
You can apply everything I’ve said about Saturn squaring plants in the early degrees of Aries and Libra to the middle degrees of those signs in 2019, and the latter degrees of the signs in 2020. You can find out a lot more about how Saturn’s conjunctions, squares, and oppositions to all signs operates, and how to master those dynamic evolutionary points in time, by consulting your copy of Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend. Whether you know a lot or a little or nothing at all about astrology, you can find out when Saturn has made dynamic aspects in your chart, and understand why you had to make the choices you did, and why you left some things behind while embracing your higher Destiny.
So if you are wondering how retrogrades work, please keep in mind the first transit of a “Shadow span” is the introduction to those themes, the retrograde period is the re-examination of those lessons from different angles of approach, and the third direct span shows a period when we can move forward with confidence, knowing we have already confronted those lessons twice before.
Retrograde periods are very valuable for seeing our function within a larger perspective since they introduce previously unknown factors to the experience. Any time we slow down, turn inward, and reflect on experience, we are led to a place beyond duality even if we feel immersed in the dualism. It is during the third phase that we can practice a synthesized approach to the two perspectives.
The possible interpretations of the various planets making direct and retrograde aspects are endless. There are countless permutations in how they operate in individual charts, since we all have countless similarities and differences in our individual lives and experience.
If you have questions, please examine your chart in light of what has been proposed here, and meditate on examples of how this has operated in your own past. You'll eventually see the light of your previous experiences from a vaster point of view, and may get glimpses into your individual process of moving through certain types of planetary experiences.
© Copyright 2019 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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