27 May 2024

Direct, Stationary and Retrograde Planets

There is much more to astrology than just horoscopes. In fact, if you believe that astrology has anything to do with your fate, you need to realize that it is all about the motion of celestial bodies. Of course, not all of you are professional astrologers or astronomers at that point here. That is why when you hear about direct, stationary and retrograde movements of the planetary bodies, it is rarely means anything in particular. However, when it comes to astrology, all those things matter, and they matter greatly. As you may have already guessed, today we are going to center our attention on this issue and discuss it in detail.

What Is Retrograde Motion?

To start with, there are two main cycles of planet transition. One of them is retrograde, and another one is direct. Almost all the planets of the Solar System move across the zodiac in either of the ways, except for the Sun and the Moon. To put it simply, retrograde movement means that a planet is going backward in its transition. 

There are also stationary retrograde and stationary direct phases. The first one happens when it seems like a planet stopped moving at all. Usually, the cycle lasts up to a few days. After the planet starts moving backward, it goes into its retrograde phase. When the planet is through with the phase, it stops once again, and this time it is what astrologers call a stationary direct phase. There is no particular duration of the cycles for all the planets since each requires a different amount of time to go through each phase. In fact, inner planets stay in a stationary position for less time than outer planets. 

It should also be stated that the retrograde cycle does not only mean that a planet is moving in a reverse direction. The truth is that before, as well as after the retrograde period, al the celestial bodies perform looping maneuvers. In fact, there are eight loop patterns the stars follow. The shape of the loop depends upon the retrograde location of the celestial body and its nodes.

Reverse Motion in Astrology

Since it is astrology we are talking about, it would be nice to know how retrograde motion relates to astrology and how it affects people. It needs to be clarified that retrograde motion is not that common as it may appear. The truth is that moving directly, or as they say normally, is natural. Everything that is not natural is related to exceptions and thus matters more. 

Most of the time, all the planets move forward and start their path together from what you may call the main road. However, when they travel in a retrograde fashion, it seems like the planetary bodies are looking for something else, something that can’t be found on the main road. If you put all those things together, you may figure out why it is so essential to be aware of the retrograde movement of the stars and the way it affects you in particular.

One more essential detail is that regardless of the retrograde cycle, there is always a shadow period to it. What does the shadow period stand for? To put it simply, it is time a planet needs to adjust to the direction it is moving in, either backward or forward. Such a notion enables you to feel when the retrograde phase is approaching even though the planet is not going to be in it for the next couple of days or even weeks.

Types of Retrogrades

We have already mentioned that there are various loop types the planets travel through. In fact, there are eight retrogrades for every planet. All the loops are entirely different, and the closer to Earth they are, the more effect they have. 

Some planets come closer to Earth in their retrograde than the Sun does. Such closeness means that the planets are within the heart space of Earth. Three planets come closest to our planet. They are Mercury, Venus, and Mars. When any of those planets start going into reverse, you should expect some changes that are not only very personal but also quite challenging too.

Such planets as Jupiter and Saturn move in the opposite direction a lot more often, and that means that their loops are not that extreme when compared to the three planets mentioned above. How does that affect you? The effect is far less personal and challenging.

It needs to be mentioned that the outer planets spent almost 40% of their time in retrograde, and this means that almost any natal chart has one of the stars in retrograde.

Main Effects of a Retrograde

If there are some celestial changes and you are a believer, it is easy to assume that each retrograde phase has some effect on your life, and this is actually the correct assumption. In the vast majority of cases, the change of a planetary course is viewed as something negative since every often it results in some changes to our daily routine. It is hard to state for sure that retrograde motion is bad. It is just different, and all you need is to be prepared for it.

Every birth chart comes with some planetary bodies in retrograde. Usually, it is two or three planets in the chart that are going through the retrograde phase at the moment of birth. However, there are cases when there are four planets in retrograde in the chart, and this often means that a particular person is not well-fit to the reality and seeks the ways to start a new and unique path.

Even if you are not an astrology follower, you may have heard about one of the most common stars in retrograde – Mercury. In case you do not know it, Mercury is the planet of communication, technology, and travel. It travels backward for lasts three weeks three to four times a year.

It is simple to assume that if this were a nice thing, people wouldn’t have known about it. That is why we are going to state the obvious – when Mercury is in retrograde, lots of things go sideways. You may feel angry or aggressive for no reason. Your device or car may break down. That is why it is always nice to have a safety plan or backup copy to anything that you see important during this time. Also, you may think about postponing a deal or business trip if it falls on the defined period.

If you think about the planet of love – Venus, it goes retrograde every eighteen months. Since it is connected with love, you should expect some bad things happening to your relationship when the planet enters this cycle. Very often, you will hear that it is best to avoid planning a wedding or proposal within this period.

Mars is the planet of war, so when it starts moving backward, conflicts are almost inevitable. Luckily, it goes into reverse every two years, and the phase lasts for about 2 months. All the other outer stars retrograde up to 5 months a year. Basically, all year long, there are a couple of planetary bodies being in retrograde at the same time. This means that you can’t escape it, and it is best if you use it to your advantage.

Judging from the information above, it seems that a retrograde is a negative phase that is aimed to ruin your life. However, this is not entirely true. The fact is that you can use anything to your benefit if you know how to act in a particular situation. When the celestial bodies travel in the opposite direction, you need to think about going backward as well. Think about some situations in the past that you would like to change, choose the corresponding star in retrograde and fix what you consider broken. What is more, we are going to point you in the right direction as to using each planet’s backward motion to your advantage.


So far, we have mentioned Mercury retrograde in a negative light. However, that does not mean that there is no positive side to it too. When you are aware of the fact that the planet is retrograde, it is time for you to clear out your thoughts and to deal with all the things planned. You can use the phase to reconcile with the ones who are close to you. You can also backup all data you think being vital. Put your thoughts in order and proceed with your projects.


There are many difficult situations in life we face due to a toxic relationship or unanswered feelings. That is why when Venus retrogrades, you need to patch things up in your relationship. If you feel that you are in a wrong place, you should get out of there. If you are on bad terms with your ex – it is time to let it all go and move on.


When Mars starts its retrograde phase, there is no way you can escape conflict situations. That is why it is great if you can prepare yourself for any of those. However, in case you feel someone is twisting your arms, it is time for you to stand your ground. Nevertheless, you need to be very careful and think twice before you get into any conflict to avoid unpleasant outcomes.


When Jupiter travels in the reversed direction, everyone should think about some unfinished business and consider finishing it. However, anything that is too risky should be put aside.


No matter what you are into, you need to re-evaluate everything that you do. You can reconsider your plans, goals and even your career. If you learn to be more disciplined, it will pay off greatly.


If you are feeling a little rebellious during Uranus’ retrograde phase, don’t do anything you may regret later. Every step should be thought of, and there should be no activity without a good reason for it.


Neptune’s retrograde phase gives you a chance to go back to some creative project of yours.  Also, you should think about people who are close to you and who are draining you of life power. When you spot those – cut them out of your life straight away.


 It is never easy to look right in the eyes of your deepest fear; however, when Pluto retrogrades, it is a mere necessity. What is more, all poisonous people around you should be shut out from your life for you to succeed with it.


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