Category: Astrology Basics Written by Robert Wilkinson Views: 730
Today’s post comes from a discussion I had with someone with 6 planets retrograde. Right now we have 5 planets retrograde, and soon will have 6. That means children born in late September will have 6 planets retrograde! So how would retrogrades manifest?
Just about everyone has at least one planet retrograde. I’ve known a few with more than 4 retrograde, and I have Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto retrograde. All retrogrades represent a review of experiences prior to wherever the retrograde planet is now. All planets go retrograde, with Jupiter out through Pluto retrograde once a year, Mercury three or four times a year, and Venus and Mars every 18-24 months. Only the Sun and Moon do not go retrograde, but they do speed up and slow down relative to the Earth, just like the other planets.
Outer planet retrogrades are a function of the Sun opposing them in their yearly orbit. Only Mercury and Venus do not make Solar oppositions. When retrograde, they both make “inferior conjunctions” with the Sun rather than oppositions. The oppositions of the Sun begin with Mars, which is always retrograde when opposed by the Sun. Same with Jupiter, Saturn, and the outer invisibles. They are direct when conjuncted by the Sun, retrograde when opposed by the Sun. This has implications beyond the scope of this brief article.
Natal retrograde planets show we were born “in a state of review” either before or after the Sun opposed those social, cultural, and spiritual energies. Interestingly, that means after the Solar opposition, those planets all began to speed up in their orbits, preparing to go stationary direct and transit their shadow zones a third time.
Equally interesting is that due to progressions, often a natal retrograde planet goes stationary direct at some progressed point in our lives. Not always, but sometimes. In my case, my retrograde Saturn and retrograde Pluto both went direct in my life by progression. That only happened because their Solar oppositions in Aquarius and Pisces were before my birth in Aries. Each of those retrograde to direct periods were powerful and transformative years of reorienting my entire life.
When an outer planet goes direct by progression, it indicates major shifts and redirecting of energies even though the planet is still where it’s been by location. A progressed outer planet going direct may involve many years of it occupying the same degree, and even when it moves forward, it’s still transiting a degree we’re already familiar with, unless we were born with that planet retrograde but on its direct station, in which case it goes direct shortly after we’re born.
I’ve written extensively about Mercury and Venus retrograde on my site, so please consult those articles via the search box in the upper right corner. I also have a very good book explaining Mercury retrograde and how it works in houses and signs, so if you’re interested in Mercury retrograde please consider getting a copy.
Mars is how we “attack the problems of life.” When retrograde, Mars turns inward rather than outward, looks back instead of forward, and doesn’t externalize Mars energies very well. However, it’s good for mediators and getting around inhibitions in self and others, and sensing the energetic push-pull in interactions. The trick with Mars retrograde is not get lost in energetic tugs of war which don’t need to happen, or hesitate to act when action is essential. Sometimes we have to stop searching within and just do it!
Jupiter and Saturn represent the social and cultural spheres of life, the outermost zone of human experience where the visible meets the invisible. Jupiter, being expansive and opportunistic, turns that energy inward when retrograde, re-evaluating opportunity on the basis of recent experience while expanding the inner view rather than the external effort. Jupiter retrograde shows opportunity can be found after an internal review of how those opportunities are similar to other opportunities in the past, or perhaps finding a new approach to opportunity by changing how it was approached in the past.
Saturn retrograde gives wisdom, but also repeating life lessons so we can fill in the gaps in our understanding. I have that and it seems those of us with Saturn retrograde need to review our rules, duties, and limitations to make sure we’re not working off of obsolete forms of these from prior periods in life. I believe Saturn retrograde to be a fortunate position, since along with going inward and reflecting on how we got to where we’re at, we are given the ability to see things from a different angle of understanding to assist others in taking a new look at what they believe their wisdom is, or how they’re applying that wisdom. It’s as though the wisdom of the past is brought up to speed in contemporary language and methods.
While having a bunch of planets retrograde can be frustrating through difficulty in externalizing those energies in straightforward ways, it doesn’t have to be a hindrance to a healthy personality. One of the nicest people I ever knew had 7 planets retrograde. She was humble, not presumptuous in the slightest, always had unique and brilliant insights into people and situations, had a great sense of humor and perspective and took her cues from within and not externals. Of course it was almost impossible for anyone to hide how they really felt and what they really thought. But she never took them to task, while also never going along with coercions.
As all retrogrades indicate that planetary function is slower than usual, operating at a different pace, it shows a need to stop comparing self with others, and value the unique retrograde way of getting at things. I believe that embracing the experience of retrograde planets can take us down roads others haven’t traveled, or at least roads which others have traveled but not experienced the same way.
A retrograde is great for picking up subtle cues others don’t know they’re putting out, as well as pointing out alternative interpretations of another’s experience, or how their experience is related to other people’s experiences in related but different ways. So if you have a retrograde planet, be appreciative that you’re marching to your own beat, doing the inner work needed to come to a well-rounded understanding of whatever that planet is teaching you about yourself so you may share your alternative view with others.
Retrogrades! Remember. Review. Reflect. Rethink. Return. Take a new look at old assumptions, allow yourself to re-trace steps you’ve already taken, review knowledge you already have, and find new ways to apply the familiar past to complete your understanding of what that retrograde planet means in your experience. It will all serve you in knowing how to interpret your inner impressions related to others you meet, and help you to connect the dots both in your experience and in others’ experience as well.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2020 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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