What is Retrograde?
The term "retrograde" refers to the occasional backward movement of planets in the sky. Although all planets consistently move in the same direction, we perceive them as moving oppositely at times. This illusion happens due to Earth's relative motion with the corresponding planet(s). It's akin to how a fast-moving vehicle appears to move backward when overtaken.
Planets, or grahas, serve as the cosmic clock's hands, marking time's passage. When they retrograde, time seems to reverse, implying the present drifts into the past, leading the world to revisit past actions and events. Despite modern astronomy dismissing retrograde as an illusion, astrology, which is rooted in ancient astronomy, extensively discusses the impact of retrograde on Earth. Astrology values not just reality but also how we perceive it, a notion akin to Einstein's relativity theory.
Everyday phenomena like Sunrise and Sunset, products of Earth's rotation, are illusions, yet they profoundly influence our world. Ultimately how you perceive reality is as vital as reality itself in shaping your life.
Having understood the significance of perception, let's delve into the astrological interpretation of retrograde planets. According to astrology, a retrograde planet signifies the following in your birth chart:
you will have to confront the important unfinished karma of your past life
you will repeatedly perform the karma related to your retrograde planet, and
you will have to work on the weaknesses and false beliefs associated with that planet.
Retrograde planets have a stronger impact during childhood.
Retrograde planets are known for their high karmic influence, which can make a person stand out from the norm, or even appear contradictory. These planets are called "vakri grahas" in Sanskrit, meaning "different or crooked". However, retrograde planets can also make a person unique or special, particularly if they are associated with benefic planets or form benefic yogas. As retrograde planets make a person repeat their karma, they can become experts in their particular field.
1. Srinivasa Ramanujan, the great mathematician known to the world as the man who knew infinity.
Ramanujan's rise to fame can be attributed to the placement of his retrograde 9th lord Saturn in the 2nd house, which was aspected by benefic Jupiter and kendra to Venus, which made him famous between 1914 and 1919, during his Ketu dasha, because Ketu is under the direct purview of Saturn. His Saturn is exalted in the navamsha (aspected by Venus), further emphasizing his unique and exceptional qualities.
2. Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the Moon.
Armstrong gained fame in the late 1960s with his 9th lord Saturn retrograde in the 8th house, aspected by Jupiter and kendra to Venus. He landed on the Moon during his Moon dasha while Moon and Saturn are together in the chart. In the navamsha chart, his Saturn received the aspect of Jupiter once again.
Retrograde planets aid individuals in achieving more than what others can, both in the spiritual and materialistic paths. They allow for a greater perception of the hidden reality compared to direct planets.
Twists and Turns
Retrograde planets can be compared to the nodes (Rahu & Ketu) due to their backward motion, resulting in works that have a nodal touch such as bringing sudden results, going against the norm, and opposing nature. According to astrological texts like Uttara Kalamrita and Phaladeepika, retrograde planets may also bring unexpected twists and turns in one's life. The opposite nature of exalted retrograde planets is said to act like a debilitated one and vice versa, but in my observation, an exalted retrograde planet eventually finds its way back after acting like a debilitated planet for some time in a native's life. This is especially true if they are associated with benefic planets or forming benefic yogas. Therefore, understanding the dignity of the planet is crucial in predicting the end result because the retrograde planet will find its way back sooner or later based on its dignity.
Aspects of Natal vs. Transiting Retrograde Planets
In a birth chart, the aspects of retrograde planets remain constant throughout life. However, the aspect of a transiting retrograde planet is determined based on its stationary point. If the planet moves from 20 degrees Aquarius to 10 degrees Aquarius, it's classified as same sign retrograde and will have a direct 7th aspect on the sign of Leo. But if it moves from 5 degrees Aquarius to 25 degrees Capricorn, it's considered a different sign retrograde and will be positioned in Capricorn, with an aspect on Cancer.
The Role of Perception in Discovering the Reality
Recently, scientists managed to capture the image of an actual black hole which appeared as a dark void in space surrounded by luminous light. However, the image is blurred due to a range of technical challenges, such as the fact that black holes do not emit or reflect light, but rather draw in anything that are close to them, including light itself. Nevertheless, the light particles that encircle the black hole are far enough away from its event horizon to escape, which ultimately led to the discovery of its existence. This discovery underscores the idea that perception plays a crucial role in understanding reality, even in the case of the most obscure and elusive phenomena. Without the perceptual cues provided by the surrounding light particles, the black hole would likely have remained invisible for years to come.