Astrology planets explained


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Before and after the retrograde proper, planets actually perform wide looping forays from the ecliptic where their motion varies as much in the vertical dimension as the horizontal. There are eight basic shapes these loops assume, depending on the relationship between the location of the particular retrograde and the location of the planet's nodes the places where the planet's orbit intersects Earth's orbit, or the ecliptic plane.

Astrologically, when we try to understand the meaning of a planet moving backward, the first thing to note is that it's a fairly rare occurrence. The vast majority of planetary motion is direct, so direct becomes "normal. Simply by being contrary to the normal flow, retrograde motion represents an exception, or perhaps even a challenge, to this sense of normalcy. But since retrograde planets depart from the main highway altogether, perhaps it's more appropriate to think of them as seekers or explorers who travel the celestial byways in search of something not available on the main highway.

Because of the different looping shapes, there are at least eight different types of retrogrades for each of the planets. These loops vary in shape much more with the planets that are closest to Earth.

During their respective retrogrades, Venus, Mercury, and Mars all come closer to Earth than the sun, penetrating the interior heart space of our system. These retrogrades are more extreme in the distance the planet moves away from the ecliptic, which makes their loop shapes more exaggerated.

So, we can interpret the retrogrades of Venus, Mercury, and Mars as being the most personal, the most challenging, and requiring the biggest adjustments. Jupiter and Saturn go retrograde more frequently, about a third of the time, and their loops shapes are more flattened and less extreme.

Astrology Planets and their Meanings, Planet Symbols and Cheat Sheet – Labyrinthos

So, we can interpret these retrogrades as being somewhat less personal, less challenging overall, and requiring smaller adjustments. Since retrograde motion is so radically different than the norm, it's not a surprise that many people often experience it as disruptive. The question, then, is whether disruption is in and of itself a bad thing.

It seems that getting off the beaten track could be experienced as less disruptive when we know it's coming and plan for it by building in some wiggle room. It also seems that relaxing our expectations, taking less for granted, and being more observant are all beneficial practices. As we know that retrograde motion is a side-effect of proximity, perhaps any problems we perceive during retrogrades are at least somewhat due to being too close to someone or something to see it objectively.

So, what to do? So, with Belgrave's help, we're walking you through some of the key symbols that you'll encounter on your chart. Get acquainted ahead.

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