Understanding Retrogrades

In the realm of astrology, understanding retrogrades allows us to place our awareness on the pulse of global behaviour.


Because retrogrades explain a lot about the emotional, mental and physical status of the human race as it relates to the motions of the heavens.

But what do planet retrogrades have to do with the behaviour of the human race? Where is the connection?

The key is knowing humankind is the embodiment of the galaxy and vice versa. The human is a perfect model (on a small scale) of the galaxy. Our physical and energetic bodies are a hologram of the cosmos. We are a perfect piece of the larger whole.

This means activities in the heavenly bodies will be felt in human bodies (physical and energetic) too – all because we are perfect replicas of the universe.

Having said that, when humans experience planet retrogrades, we are going to feel its effects in unique ways.

So what is a retrograde?

The term retrograde is derived from Latin retro meaning “backwards” and gradi which means to “move in steps.”

This can be a deceptive term for planetary retrogrades because planets do not move backwards.

All the planets are moving in perfect forward motion. In fact, the Earth is moving forward too, and during certain orbital cycles certain planets appear as though they are moving behind our Earth.

This is because all the planets move at different speeds. For example, it takes Uranus 30,667 days to orbit the sun, whereas the Earth makes the trip in 365 days.

In this example, there will be a point in which the Earth and Uranus come neck and neck in their travels. And, because Uranus is slower to move, the Earth will surpass it in orbital travel. This gives the appearance of Earth leaving Uranus behind -or- Uranus appears to be moving backwards – a retrograde.

Cars on a racetrack serve as a good analogy. Picture two cars on a round racetrack. One car is moving faster and passes the other car. Both cars are moving forward, but the car that was passed looks like it’s moving backwards because the other car has moved ahead of it.

These illustrations may further help with understanding retrogrades:

The progression of Figures 1 through 4 shows the Earth travelling faster, while other planet lags behind Earth as it orbits the sun at a slower pace. Both planets are still moving forward together in orbit, but the timing of orbit gives the appearance of backwards movement. Hence, retrograde.

So how does this knowledge aid our pursuit in understanding retrogrades?

Returning to the premise that humans are an identical piece of the whole; we can conclude the movements of the planets are felt within our reality.

Ergo, a planet “lagging behind” in the solar system implies a similar feeling on the human body, mind and soul.

This is why some retrogrades are often demonized. For example, you’ve heard of “Mercury Retrograde” and may have been admonished against finalizing contracts/business deals during this retrograde. This is because Mercury conveys the energy of communication, negotiation, commerce and other aspects such as travel and perception. When Mercury “lags” in the skies, these areas also feel a drag. As such these aspects are not as optimal as they would be if Mercury were “in sync” with the Earth’s view.

Every planet experiences a retrograde, and each planet will activate a different vibration within you – the human hologram of the whole cosmos.

Although influences of planet retrogrades vary according to the planet, here are some common effects that can manifest during a retrograde:

  • Delay
  • Withdrawal
  • Regression
  • Hesitation
  • Reflection

More importantly, people whose charts have certain retrograding planets prominently placed in their charts may experience a retrograde in the following ways:

  • Pensive
  • Contemplative
  • Seeing things from a different perspective

The nice thing about retrogrades is they allow us a different view of our lives which usually leads to some sort of epiphany. That’s not to say these breakthrough’s are monumental – some realizations can be quite small – but the shift in our awareness can lead to long-lasting rewards.

It’s important to know when the retrogrades are taking place in order to get a larger view of human behaviour for the reasons cited in this article.

Furthermore, it’s extremely enlightening to know which planets were moving in retrograde in your astrological birth chart. This will point out areas in your life that may be a bit stunted. By being aware these influences, we can work to nurture these areas. Like nurturing the runt of the litter, more loving care and attention to these “stunted” aspects insures our advanced development.

Written by: Avia Venefica of www.whats-your-sign.com

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