The animation shows Mars in its retrograde motion in 2003, and the diagram below is a map of the movement of Mercury retrograde.
We know it is not possible that planets actually change direction in their orbits to retrograde and change back again to direct motion, but from the earth’s perspective, all but the Sun and Moon, appear throughout the year, to slow down, stop and change direction, all caused by their differing speeds in relationship to the speed of Earth.
Retrograde planets do have their effects, however, they are largely subjective in nature. Life manifests through the principle of polarity. All that is subjective, mental or inwardly oriented, must have an existential component to complete the two-fold experience. What is actually occurring, for those who “feel” a retrograde, is that they are experiencing an activation in the electro-dynamic field of the human mind. Outer reality and inner reflections are a closed circuit in the multi-layered manifold and unified universe.
Planetary positions in the solar system are registered by the naked eye or telescope, but their field of influence penetrates far deeper and wider than their visual and physical bodies. Spheres pulsate in waves of electromagnetic energy, caused by the rotation of their axes, as well as in the circling of their orbits. We are the antenna and receiver of the intelligent impulses of the mysterious and non-local entanglement, whereby all things are in relationship and reflect each other. Historically, this principle was referred to in the simple description, “As Above, So Below.”
Consciousness is all-encompassing, and the illusion of the path of retrograde planets has us believing that we take our commands from an outside source. We are a living mirror of subject and object, as a whole unit of experience.
Planets in retrograde motion are felt within us as we observe their apparent outer existence and motion. They are a reflected marker of a timing device that appears in the space referred to as the solar system. We grow in conscious awareness as we are challenged by stressful experiences, marked off in time by transits and progressions, and other astrological phenomena. However, the greatest catalyst for change and heightened experience comes when a solar satellite approaches a period of standstill or station, in preparation to temporarily enter a retrograde phase. These are station-retrograde and station-direct periods that are harbingers of eminent transformation, either in great or small ways, depending on the nature of the planets and their applying and separating geometric configurations.
Why Mercury Retrogrades Pose Problems
Mercury retrograde events are becoming more known by the general public, and through that familiarity, there is more attention, acceptance, and respect paid to this particular celestial phenomenon as explained astrologically. However, understanding why Mercury in apparent backward motion is synchronous with a disruption in the efficiency of the conveniences of life is still for most astrologers not understood. During Mercury retrogrades, a concern for the dependability of private and public transportation arises. The functioning of the internet and digital technology and its devices can be compromised, and among many other 3rd house subjects, the reliability of high-ticket purchases becomes questionable. All these issues potentially surface during a Mercury retrograde because 3rd house circumstances relate to all things performing without interruption to make everyday living a matter of convenience. Retrogrades are notorious for the reversal of the taken-for-granted factor in experience, that the 3rd house represents through Mercury’s rulership.
Flaws that show up in a contract and their consequences, the malfunctioning of kitchen gadgets to automobiles, etc, can surface during retrogrades. The remedies for these and for illnesses and physical limitations is a 6th house matter because of Mercury’s rulership in these matters. Mercury is associated with normal routine, and retrograde periods can be a great disruptor. Life manifests in the form of opposites. So it should be no surprise when Mercury turns retrograde, the opposite of what is expected to happen is inevitable. The 3rd house conveniences and the 6th house need-for-adjustment work hand-in-hand when Mercury is direct, keeping our lives functioning smoothly.
The Meaning of Retrograde Outer Planets
For planets that are slow-moving and complex in their meanings, the development is more complex and may take years to complete the transformation required by their oscillating verse and reversals. These time-consuming retrogrades are perfect opportunities for seeking solutions to long-term pressing issues. Adjusting and readjusting is the meaning of change, most easily observed by the polarities experienced by the apparent shifting back and forth of the spheres of influence we call planets.