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Home > Articles > Retrograde Planets
Retrograde Planets in Astrology
Retrograde PlanetsRetrograde planets are the planets that APPEAR to move backwards in the sky. All the planets have fixed direction for revolution. Therefore, Moving back and forth is simply out of question. It is only because of the relative motion of the earth that the planets seem to move backwards at certain times.

Out of all planets, Sun and Moon at no time are retrograde. They are always in direct motion. On the other hands, the two imaginary planets or lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu are always in retrograde motion. Pluto, Neptune and Uranus (not considered in Vedic astrology) also go through the retrograde motion along with Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

In astrology, a planet in retrograde motion has special significance. The effects that the planets produces when in retrograde motion are far different than the ones they exert while moving directly. In the horoscopes, retrograde planets acquire special power and effects while in retrograde motion at the time of birth. Theses are known as `Vakri` planets in Hindu astrology. Usually the retrograde planets in our horoscope are depicted with R in front of its position in chart.

Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn turn retrograde at regular intervals. They generally move direct, then for a time period they (appear to) slow down and seem stationary for a long time (Stationary retrograde). At this time their powers are at their highest. Then they move retrograde, giving erratic and more prominent effects. After a particular time span, they again seem to slow down and seem to be stationary (stationary direct). Then they once again acquire a direct motion.

Whenever a planet starts in a motion other than the normal course, it yields unusual effects as well. In general, the fields ruled by these planets suffer the major influence. For example, communication hazards will be more during Mercury retrograde. Accidents due to rashness will be enhanced during Mars retrograde and so on….

Hence, each planetary retrogression should be considered as a time to be cautious, and to consider things from a different viewpoint.

Mercury Retrogression

Mercury is the planet that rules communication and thinking. Mercury goes in retrograde motion about three times a year for three weeks of time period each. Whenever this phenomenon takes place, all Lines of communication seems to go haywire. Things are misunderstood and information is misapplied. Thinking (in general) leaves the Course of "normal". Although some brilliant projects may be sketched out during this period, chances are that more people suffer from anxiety and nervous breakdown at this time time. While the planet is vakri, it is often advised to not to sign any contracts, to look before putting an idea in action, even if it means a verbal commitment. Don`t rely on every information passing through. Think, watch, analyse because the information presented in front of you might be a false one if not totally unnecessary. Its time to process all the learning acquired till now to take decisions.

If Mercury is retrograde in the horoscope itself, it can indicate mental sufferings and anxieties in the case it`s negatively placed. If mercury is well placed, it bestows a brilliant mind. Whatever the case, the result is not `Usual`. All the aspects have to be taken in consideration before deriving any conclusion. But most of all, cashing on the negative or positive influence of the planet is much dependent on a person`s Free will.

Venus Retrogression

Venus retrogression is related to luxuries in life, as well as our relationships with near and dear ones. If the transit of Venus is in retrograde motion, we should be thoughtful about all the relationships we are living, and the way we relate to others. It is also the time we should reconsider our material gains in life. The extent or type of influence of Venus retrogression depends upon its position in our charts. But nevertheless, it is the time to be watchful, as it is a period for strong emotional ups and downs.

If Venus is retrograde in the natal chart, it can indicate emotional and material difficulties (in case its badly placed). If it`s well placed, it indicates extreme emotional attractions and repulsions. The result will always be a far cry from normal.
Mars Retrogression

Retrogression of Mars is a high time to control and channelise our energy and drive, and prevent it from getting out of hand. We have to be thoughtful about our actions and cautious about getting rash and scattered. It`s the right time to reconsider the Agenda on hand, and to be firmly rooted in ground reality. Its also the time to reenergize ourselves, rather than burning our energies in fruitless persuits.

If Mars is Retrograde in the horoscope itself, the person can be accident prone, or inclined to illness, in case of a wrongly placed Mars. If the Mars is well placed, the native has an unusual way of handling his affairs and actions. Whatever the case, effects are far from Normal. Again its dependent on an individual`s own free will to control the final outcome.

Jupiter Retrogression

When this planet of growth and expansion is in retrogression, a lot many projects that were due for expansion and launch may get delayed, or stop altogether. This is the time when a person needs to think about his / her own inner resources, and use that knowledge to get the work done. Most probably, the person might come up with the conclusion that the stopped work was actually not necessary, and there are other better resources available. This is the ideal time for us to `expand` within ourselves.

When Jupiter is retrograde in the natal chart, either it makes the person too fickle or vain (if badly placed). Or it gives unusual heights of knowledge and wisdom to the native.

Saturn Retrogression

This retrogression period can cause unexpected delays and interruptions. Obstacles unthought can spring up taking your priority. The period usually lasts for 4 and half months, during which many feel frustrated and unable to handle hurdles. This is the right time to sit back and reconsider all that one is doing. Its not a proper time to make new starts, but rather learn from the failures in the past and the ones in hand. In individual horoscope, the house that occupied by Saturn will see the effect of retrogression, i.e. that aspect of the life will get affected, along with the general malefic effect.

Although Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not considered in conventional Vedic astrology, a brief description of their effects is given due to increase in awareness about their influences.

Uranus Retrogression

When this planet of creativity and freedom is in retrograde motion, its time to channelise one`s creative and artistic thoughts in a practical plan. One might feel over anxious and restless during this period. Few breakthrough ideas may also come up suddenly. Its time to materialize them. But plan very carefully before doing so.

Neptune Retrogression

This is the period, when dreams, intuitions and psychic insights become so very prominent in our lives. It`s not the time to miss this unique chance, but rather we should enjoy and listen to all those vibrations coming to us. It`s also the time we should not forget to be grounded in reality.

Pluto Retrogression

Pluto retrogression touches our very inner core. It can also orient us to great pain through some loss. Its time we should look within ourselves and assert our good points. It can also be the turn when we can actually rise again from our losses like a phoenix, with renewed vigour for life.
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