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The positions of the planets in astrological Natal Charts and Forecasts are deemed as if they were viewed from Earth, and they mostly appear to travel in a forwards direction. Sometimes, however, these planets appear to move backwards along their orbit and, when this occurs, they are said to move Retrograde (the correct term for this backwards movement).
Based on Copernicus' studies, the explanation for retrograde motion arises from the fact that the planets further from the Sun are moving more slowly in their orbits than those closer to the Sun. The retrograde motion of Mars occurs when the Earth passes by the slower moving Mars, as shown in the following animation:
Image ©Astronomy 161, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Retrograde planets have an opposite effect to when they travel forwards - this can either be a more positive or more negative effect than usual. Retrograde motion affects both individuals and worldwide events. For instance, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune were all in retrograde motion at the outbreaks of the First and Second World Wars, the Vietnam and Falklands Wars, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and on the day Diana, Princess of Wales died.
PLANETS IN RETROGRADE
Mercury in Retrograde
Mercury is the planet of communication, thinking and logic. When this planet goes into retrograde motion (approximately three times each year, at differing times), you can expect communications in all types of media to go awry. In the world-at-large, Mercury was in retrograde motion when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II and on the day Princess Diana died.
Venus in Retrograde
Venus is the planet of love, peace and co-operation. When this planet goes into retrograde motion (once every eighteen months, at differing times), relationships tend to be re-examined and strained.
Mars in Retrograde
Mars is the planet of drive, action and anger. When this planet turns retrograde (usually every two years or so), anger tends to unleash itself at almost every opportunity.
Jupiter in Retrograde
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is the planet of expansion, confidence, over-optimism and rashness. When this planet turns retrograde (for almost four months in every year), we begin to question established values and beliefs. Jupiter is strongly featured in many man-made disasters. Jupiter was in retrograde at the outbreaks of World War I, World War II and the Falklands War, when Japan launched its attack on Pearl Harbour during the Second World War and the day Diana, Princess of Wales died.
Saturn in Retrograde
Saturn is the planet of caution, discipline and contraction. When this planet turns retrograde (for just over four months in every year, like Jupiter), we tend to work extra hard and think more cautiously about our actions. Saturn was in retrograde at the outbreaks of World War II, the Vietnam War and the Falklands War, and also when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and the day Diana, Princess of Wales died.
Uranus in Retrograde
Uranus in the planet of rebellion, innovation and the new. When this planet turns retrograde (for almost five months each year), the unexpected and chaos tend to occur. Uranus was in retrograde when both the Vietnam and Falklands Wars began and on the day Diana, Princess of Wales died.
Neptune in Retrograde
Neptune is the planet of intuition, idealism and deception. When this planet turns retrograde (for almost five months each year), logic goes out of the window and intuition and creativity are enhanced. Neptune was in retrograde at the outbreaks of World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the day Diana, Princess of Wales died.
Pluto in Retrograde
Pluto is the planet of power, transformation and drastic change. When this planet turns retrograde (for almost five months each year), factors outside of our control affect our life. Pluto was in retrograde at the outbreaks of the Vietnam and Falklands Wars and when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour.