All the planets are going around the Sun in an anti-clockwise direction (if we were to watch the whole solar system from `way up’ above the north pole of the Earth). But because planets are orbiting the Sun at different speeds, what we see differs – depending on where and when we are observing from. It’s a bit like being on a moving train in railway station, with another moving train on the adjacent track. Even when both trains are going in the same direction, one train may be going slightly faster than the other. So sometimes, it may `look like’ your train is going backwards, or the other train is going backwards. Same with planets. The ones closer to the Sun are going faster than Earth. And Earth in turn is going faster than the ones on further orbits.
Because of all this geometry, sometimes we on Earth see other planets going `backwards’ for certain periods every year. So if for example, Mercury seems to be going backwards for a few weeks, we say it’s `Mercury retrograde’. Now during such periods, the influences of that planet on us are different. Astrologers advise people not to start new business ventures during a mercury retrograde period, or astrologers advise people to take extra care with communications, contracts etc. For different planets, these `areas of life’ differ (ie when venus is retrograding, relationships matters may be affected, so consolidate on relationships, and don’t plan new ones – unless of course it’s about touching base with an old `could have been…but missed the opportunity’ ones!)
Average duration of retrograde motions
Mercury: Retrogrades for 2-3 weeks. (Happens 3 -4 times a year).
Venus: Retrogrades for about 5-6 weeks. (Happens once a year).
Mars: Retrogrades for about 10 weeks. (No retrograde in 2013..! More on this in another post!)
Jupiter: Retrogrades for about 4 months (happens once a year).
Saturn: Retrogrades for about 4 and a 1/2 months (happens once a year).
Uranus: Retrogrades for about 5 months (happens once a year).
Neptune: Retrogrades for about 5 months (happens once a year).
Pluto: Retrogrades for about 5 and a 1/2 months (happens once a year).
Now here’s the big thing. At any one time, there may be some planets going direct and some retrograding. But we do get clear few days or weeks, when all the planets are going direct, and there are no retrograde planets. These windows vary. This is astrologically very important (it’s as if we have a smooth straight road and no opposing wind is slowing down our cars.. ).
I was just musing about this and happen to catch the fact that our next window of NO RETROGRADE is coming up. (Sometimes I just sit and trawl through Ephemeris data ..looking for patterns. It’s almost an intuitive -meditative bit of work! 🙂 )
30th January – 17th February 2013 That’s the rare 17 days of smooth astrological climate. And you should make full use of it. The subsequent `Retrograde-Free’ time slot is a good 3 years away after this… in December 2015!
Here are the periods (past & future) where No-Retrograde motion is observed from Earth. (Remember these are the `smooth days’ ).
1st – 20th December 2009 (20 days)
6 – 9 December 2010 (3 days only)
30 Dec’10 – 26 Jan’11 (26 days)
25 Dec’11 – 23 Jan’12 (28 days)
30 Jan – 17 Feb 2013 (17 days) – coming up. Then 3 year wait!
26 Dec’15 – 4Jan’16 (10 days).
8 Jan – 5 Feb 2017 (27 days)
2 Jan -7 March 2018 (2 months!)
5 Jan – 4 March 2019 (2 months!)
I’ll write more about this topic soon.
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