Why do planets go retrograde? The physics, the meaning of retrogrades in astrological chart and why the number of them in Natal Chart is important? Statistical research through centuries, unusual case studies of extraordinary people with many retrogrades and lots of graphics. This article contains the basic outline of almost all facets of my study regarding this interesting topic.
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New material: WATCH A BRAND NEW VIDEO.
I’ve given an INTERVIEW on retrograde planets for an English astrologer, Mary English.
For the description and the list of timestamps go to the YouTube version or a separate article here on my website.
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This is the outline of materials from my lecture on ‘Retrograde Planets and the Number of Retrograde Planets Found in the Natal Chart’, which is an expanded version of my article, “People with many Retrogrades,” that won the contest sponsored by The Astrological Society of Great Britain, and then subsequently published in their March 2014 issue of The Astrological Journal.
This lecture was presented to the Polish Astrological Society (PTA) in Warsaw, and despite inconvenient timing, about 35 people attended, which was a surprisingly large attendance for a single astrological lecture in Poland. I made only Polish version of highly condensed materials in 2-hour long graphic video presentation.
Before I manage to do the English version, you might take a sneak-peak at the content of the Polish video.
>> VIDEO IN POLISH LANGUAGE (2014) <<
Below I want to share the outline of these concepts in the meantime, some of which were not mentioned elsewhere other than my article.
The topic is quite vast, and possibly not the easiest to explain. However, my attempt is to make the concepts about retrogrades simple, with the hope that the reader, and especially those with a higher count of retrograde planets in the natal chart, can benefit from my research and findings.
There are three main themes:
- The explanation of the physical phenomenon of retrograde planets.
- The influence of retrograde planets in the horoscope.
- The number of retrograde planets in the natal chart.
PART I. CONCEPTS, TERMINOLOGY AND PHYSICS OF RETROGRADE PLANETS
Retrogradation, regression, or retracting in degrees comes from the Latin retrogradus, which is based on the Greek term αναποδισμός (anapodismos) which was used in ancient Hellenistic astrology and simply means “moving backwards.” Thus, a retrograde planet is that which appears to move backwards in the sky relative to its normal direction.
What is the ℞ symbol, which is used to indicate a retrograde movement of the planets in astrological charts and writings? It is not unique to astrology and planetary symbols. In reality, it is a generically used simple Latin abbreviation for words that start with the letter R. It is not even a ligature of R+x (there is no X), but it is simply an R with a stroke. It is also a widely known symbol used in medicine where it depicts the word “prescription” which is an abbreviation of the Latin recipe.
How does a retrograde motion occur?
Not everyone who practices astrology fully understands the retrograde cycle so let us review the physics of it, because we do need to understand it. Although it is simple observation, it is a necessary first step in understanding retrograde motion.
From a heliocentric point of view all the planets move in the similar constant motion and in the same direction. Only a few moons, as well as some eccentric comets and asteroids in the solar system, move in the opposite direction, but not the planets.
However, since the orbit of each planet is of a different size, each one requires different amount of time to complete its revolution around the Sun. That way, when we flatten it within the single circle of an astrological chart, we see the planets as if they travelled through the zodiac each at its own speed.
However, if we change our perspective and look at the sky not from above or the “top” of the solar system (where the Sun lies in the centre), but from the perspective of one of these planets – for example the Earth – other planets appear to move oddly. The planets regularly slow down and make loops, temporarily moving backward against the backdrop of the stars and traveling through the degrees of the zodiac from which they already just recently transited. Then once again, they return to their direct motion.