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  • Arun Kumar Subramanian

Retrograde Planets and its effects

What is retrograde?

Retrograde means “going back”. All the planets in our solar system are moving in the same direction at all times but when you observe them from the earth, planets like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the outer planets like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto appear to be moving backwards (from their usual moving direction) at some time in a year. This phenomenon is called retrograde motion or retrogression. This phenomenon occurs due to the relative motion between earth and the corresponding planet. We see this everyday when we’re on the road. When you overtake a fast moving vehicle, it appears to be moving backwards from you. The same thing happens between earth and other planets.

Perception matters

People have doubts regarding the effects of retrograde planets because modern astronomy claims that it’s just an illusion but astrology (ancient astronomy) talks extensively about the changes in time it brings on Earth. Because astrology not only gives importance to reality but also the perception of reality. Perception changes according to time, place and situations and that's what Einstein's theory of relativity is also about. You perceive the Sunrise and Sunset everyday which is nothing but an illusion due to Earth’s rotation but this illusion is what created everything in this world.

How you perceive the world (reality) is what is going to shape your life. So perception is as important as reality.

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Astrological explanation

Now that we’ve understood the importance of perception, let’s look at the astrological explanation of retrograde planets. Retrograde planet is considered weak. Retrograde planet in your chart shows

  • The most important pending karma of your past life (related to that planet) that you will be dealing with in this life

  • The karma you should perform repeatedly (related to that planet)

  • The weakness and false assumptions you have (related to that planet) that you have to work on in this life.

Understanding retrograde (with example charts)

So, retrograde planets are highly karmic due to the above said things. They make one different from the norm. Sometimes they make one contradictory or even crooked. That’s why they are called “vakri grahas” in Sanskrit. Vakri means different, contradictory, crooked etc. But the same retrograde planets may also make a person unique/special due to their ability to stand out from the rest of the people, especially if the retrograde planets are associated with benefic planets or forming benefic yogas in any way. Because retrograde planets will make you perform your karma repeatedly, you’ll become an expert in doing so.

1. It's the case with Srinivasa Ramanujan, the great mathematician known to the world as the man who knew infinity.

Look at the 9th house, the house of evolution (evolving into something unique). Ramanujan's 9th lord Saturn is retrograde in the 2nd house aspected by benefic Jupiter and kendra to Venus which made him rise to fame in between 1914 and 1919. He went to London in 1914 at the time of his Ketu dasha (disposited and aspected by Saturn with Rahu) and returned back home to Tamilnadu in 1919. His Saturn is exalted in the navamsha as well (aspected by Venus).

2. Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the Moon.

Armstrong's 9th lord Saturn is retrograde in the 8th house aspected by Jupiter and kendra to Venus which made him rise to fame in the late 1960s. He landed on the Moon in his Moon dasha which is placed with Saturn. His Saturn is getting the aspect of Jupiter again in the navamsha.

Note: Retrograde planets help the native achieve more than what others can (both in spiritual and materialistic path). It helps you perceive (the hidden reality) more than the direct planets.

Retrograde planets resemble the nodes because of the backward motion it takes. Much of their works will have a nodal touch like bringing sudden results, going against the norm, opposing nature etc. The astrological classic texts like Uttara Kalamrita and Phaladeepika confirm this by saying the retrograde planets may bring unexpected twins and turns in one’s life. They also say that an exalted retrograde planet acts like a debilitated one and vice versa due to its opposite nature. Under my observation, I found that an exalted retrograde planet eventually finds its way back after acting like a debilitated planet for sometime in a native’s life. This is more profound if they are associated with benefic planets or forming benefic yogas in any way. Thus the dignity of the planet is important to understand the end result because, based on its dignity the retrograde planet will find its way back sooner or later.

The effects of retrograde planets are always strong in childhood.

A basic step to understanding retrograde planets is to observe people’s words and actions whenever a planet is retrograde. For example, two friends named “A and B”. “A” believes in astrology and “B” denies it.

A: It’s Mercury retrograde so I have to be careful with my words and actions.

B: It's bogus bruh, it has zero effect on us.

A: Last time when Mercury was retrograde I saw you making a lot of mistakes in your work and recorrecting it all over again.

B: It was because I was having a tough time back then. Wait, I'll prove my point.

After a few days

B: I took photographs of the movement of Mercury, i did a lot of mathematical calculations as to why it is happening, i discussed this to some of my friends from the science community and my understanding is still the same that it's a natural phenomena and it has zero effect on us.

A: Listen bruh, you did all these because it's Mercury retrograde. It made you overwork repeatedly. This is how you find reasons to overwork every time Mercury is retrograde.


The aspects of retrograde planets will not change in the birth chart since it is set for life. But in transit, a retrograde planet's placement is calculated based on its stationary point. For ex. if a planet is moving from 20 degrees Aquarius to 10 degrees Aquarius then it's considered as same sign retrograde, so it'll aspect the sign Leo with its direct 7th aspect. But if it's moving from 5 degrees Aquarius to 25 degrees Capricorn then it's a different sign retrograde, so the planet is considered as sitting in Capricorn and aspecting cancer.


You can go to planets section to read about the significations of every planet and connect it with above said points to get a clear picture.


Perception helps find the reality

Blackhole M87
Blackhole M87

Scientists recently took a photo of an actual blackhole that appears to be a dark spot in space encircled by glowing light. Scientists recently took a photo of an actual blackhole that appears to be a dark spot in space encircled by glowing light. It’s blurry due to many technical difficulties such as black holes aren't easy to find in space because they don’t emit/reflect light, instead they just suck in everything close to them including light. But these encircling light particles are far enough to escape from its event horizon which helped us find the existence of blackhole. The point is, this blackhole became visible due to the perception created by the light particles otherwise we wouldn't have found it in a 100 years. So what we understand here is that the perception helps finding the reality (even the darkest ones).

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