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  • Writer's picturePamela McDonough

Retrograde Planets in our Birth Chart: What Do They Mean?

Learning about the retrograde planets in our birth chart is tremendously useful as we decode our inner landscape.

In part two of this series on retrograde planets, let’s explore some powerful ancient wisdom on retrograde planets and how they can affect us personally.

Each of the nine traditional planets assessed in Vedic Astrology has primary natural indications or meanings:

Mercury: Communication, business, earning and learning are some significant meanings for this planet.

Venus: Primarily, Venus connects to our relationships, love, art, beauty, harmony and passions.

Mars: This planet connects to our personal energy, courage, siblings, goal-directed objectives and athleticism.

Jupiter: Wisdom, spirituality, abundance, good judgment and children are all connected to Jupiter. Retrograde Jupiter holds a very significant status in our horoscope. Jupiter is Jeeva or the planet that represents our soul. When Jupiter is retrograde it shows that the soul actually wanted to incarnate.

Usually it is just the opposite…the soul wants to be free of the suffering that comes with this human form!

Saturn: The karmic taskmaster. Saturn highlights where we have our most significant amount of karma to expend in this lifetime. Saturn is also indicative of our career, areas of discipline and responsibility that we need to focus upon in our lifetime.

So how can we apply all of these meanings to our own birth chart?

Let’s take Jupiter for example. A retrograde Jupiter in the horoscope will show where there is tremendous desire around gaining wisdom, spirituality and teaching.

If Venus is retrograde, then there can be excessive desire around relationships. Sometimes the harmonious qualities of Venus can be affected with the retrograde phase. Think of Venus retrograde as soaring through space at warp speed toward love, regardless of the consequences. This retrograde Venus can be overly forceful. The exact opposite of what we would expect from the harmonious planet of love and beauty.

Additionally, we can think of a retrograde planet like it is moving with intentional force to return to the previous house and sign in the birth chart. If we look closely at the meaning of the retrograde planet and the previous sign to which the planet is returning, we can begin to interpret the initial meaning. There are other important considerations when understanding how a retrograde planet influences us personally but these two are great places begin.

Relative to our specific horoscope, there can be a rich depth of understanding beyond this basic overview with variations to the general indications.

If there are retrograde planets at birth, notice if there is an intuitive desire connected to these planets and the houses in the horoscope that they represent.

Even if there isn’t a retrograde Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn or Mercury, wherever Rahu is located in the chart shows where we have a visceral motivation to achieve, conquer and succeed! Remember this from the first article of this series; Rahu is the Asura without any stomach. He cannot be satiated.

So at this point, random thoughts may be running around in our mind, “Oh no! What if I have retrograde planets in my chart! I am doomed!”

Simply put, let’s not go there. Here are some good examples of why!

The brilliant and famous, as well as many world leaders have retrograde planets; Barack Obama, Mother Theresa and Steven Hawking to name a few. Each have retrograde planets attributing to their success and spiritual and philanthropic contributions to society.

The golden nugget here: Desire, when used for the good of our fellow humans, is a wonderful outcome and often demonstrated in our birth chart via retrograde planets.

Learn about the retrograde planet in your birth chart - schedule a consultation with Pamela. today


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