Q.When is a planet called retrograde? A.

When a planet appears to be moving in the opposite direction as compared to its normal movement, it is called a retrograde planet. To understand this better we should look into the movements of planets. In Vedic Astrology all astronomical observations are done considering the earth to be the reference point. This system of observation is called 'geocentric'. In any system of measurements, the reference point is considered stationary, though it may actually be moving. This may be likened to everyone's common experience while sitting in a moving train. If the train you are sitting in passes by another train which is moving in the same direction, but slower than your train, this other train seems to be moving backwards against the backdrop of distant trees. This is so because you consider yourself to be the reference point and hence stationary. Largely, a similar phenomenon takes place with the planets also, when they appear to be moving backwards. In our solar system, the planets are orbiting around the Sun with varying speeds. The earth is also doing likewise. Inner and outer planets: The planets that lie between the Sun and the earth are called inner or inferior planets. These are Mercury and Venus. They can never go too far away from the Sun. Mercury can go a maximum of 27 degrees form the Sun and Venus cannot go beyond 47 degrees from the Sun. These two planets retrograde when they are between the earth and the Sun. The planets whose orbits lie outside the orbit of the earth are called outer or superior planets. These are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The extra-Saturnine planets, i.e., Herschel Neptune, and Pluto are also in this very category. Outer planets retrograde when the earth is between the Sun and the planet. Q. Ignorance about Mangala Dosha causes a lot of anxiety in many home. It is justified? A. Ignoring Mangala Dosha is also not right. Matching of horoscopes by a competent astrologer can save calamitous results in many cases. Mangala Dosha by itself is generally not so serious unless the 7th house, its lord and karaka have other severe afflictions too. Therefore, the entire horoscope must be scruitinized as a whole. After all, besides Mars, there are eight other planets in the horoscope which may also have some bearing (benefic or adverse) on the houses related to marital harmony. An isolated Mangala Dosha should not cause much concern. One is likely to find as many happy couples with Mangala Dosha as without it, in a real world. Q. Do all planets become retrograde? A. Except for the Sun and the Moon, all planets become retrograde once in a while. Since the Moon is essentially a satellite of the earth, its apparent and real movements are one and the same. Rahu and Ketu, which are not physical planets are always in retrograde motion. Q. Can one spot a retrograde planet in a horoscope without it being specifically mentioned? A. Since Mercury and Venus are always quite close to the Sun (as viewed from the earth) it is difficult to know from the chart alone when they are retrograde. But the outré planets are definitely retrograde when they are in the 6th, 7th or 8th house from the Sun. Sometimes they are retrograde even when they are in the 5th or 9th house from the Sun, but not always. Q. Does a retrograde planet behave differently in predictive astrology as compared to a direct one? A. The classics have vexed eloquent about the position (longitude) of a planet in the zodiac as far as predictive is concerned. That is the reason we have detailed descriptions of deepest points of exaltation, debilitation, own rashi placements, and what not. But they are generally silent on the velocity of the planet. Velocity has two components, one is speed and the other is direction. On speed there is silence again, except when it becomes atichari; and on direction there is very little to go by. A planet is termed atichari when it gains unusually fast motion immediately after it becomes direct. Q. It does not seem possible that there is no reference to velocity of planets in predictive astrology. Isn't astrology supposed to be dependent on astronomy which is essentially a study of motion of planets? A. Cognisance of velocity of a planet has been taken only in Shadbala which is the actual strength of a planet arising out of six difference sources. Out of these six sources, one is termed Cheshtabala. It can

it would be considered to be in the 8th house. He gets vehicles fitted with excellent music systems. will now be deemed to be in Leo. if debilitated.loosely be translated as 'attempt' or 'intent' of a planet due to its motion. though both the planets are posited in the sign of a friend. The view given above is that of one author. Mercury: In the dasha of retrograde Mercury the native gets good luck. Howeve. When the swing is at its highest point. its inimical rashi. to live in solitude. Does it matter which sign the planet is retrograde in? A. the planet that was to determine the 'extent of luck' now has to determine the 'mode of death' Take another example. sons. a planet which was the bhagya-vidhata. This view that a retrograde planet acquires an element of strength and beneficence is supported by Amsayu method of calculation of longevity. The genesis of this opinion probably lies in the fact that a retrograde planet does not behave as it is expected to. Another principle that must be borne in mind is that the retrograde planet is supposed to exert its influence from its preceding house also. Does it matter which house the planet is retrograde in? A. He also gets to hear the sacred texts from Puranas and engages in acts of charity and bathes in the sea. Now. With this principle in mind. the planet is rather slow in motion as compared to its average speed. Jupiter: The dasha of a retrograde Jupiter bestows on the native much wealth. that of Mercury and Venus. Q. Venus: During the dasha of retrograde Venus the native gets much honour from the ruler. sorrows and loss of brothers. This is one of the best placement. they are erratic. and they remain so even if they are retrograde in the natal chart. But one thing is clear from these results that the author of Sarvartha Chintamani has made a sharp distinction between malefics and benefics. There is a principle that states: a planet that is moving towards its sign of exaltation. Predictive astrology seemingly assumes direct motion of planets and the results are based on this tacit assumption. and so is the case when it is about to become direct. as under: The Sun and the Moon are never retrograde. son and wealth. that of a retrograde benefic in the 5th . victory in battles. To understand this better. inconsistent and unpredictable. if it is retrograde. It may be so due to it native velocity. Mars: During the dasha-antardasha of Mars in retrogression. He indulges in luxuries of speech. These results should not be applied verbatim as they will be modified due to other factors present in a chart. acts like an exalted planet. this opinion is not universally accepted. Shri Mantreshwara of Phaladeepika. This is one of the worst placements for a planet. Thus it is possible for it to send its radiations more strongly to the earth. However. it ought to. are to be done only in the case of those planets which are either exalted or retrograde. both getting retrograde in Virgo. the native will be full of fear and trouble from thieves. Thus. A retrograde planet gets full 60 shashtiamshas as its Cheshtabala. Another author. offers a strikingly different opinion. which rashi the planet is retrograde in. but while Jupiter is moving towards its sign of exaltation. Venus which was already debilitated. fire and snakes. now becomes the mrityu-data. Therefore. As is obvious. is an important consideration. In this method the age contributed by a retrograde planet is to be trebled. What happens if a planet becomes retrograde when it is exalted or debilitated? A. Such additions. or bharanas as they are called. He ay fall from the position held and may go to the forest. Now take another example. frustrations in undertakings. Q. But results become unexpected when this assumption is not true. Thus its relative importance is very low in Shadbala. Nevertheless. (uchchabhilashi) acquires beneficence and the planet that has crossed its sign of exaltation and is now moving towards its sign of debilitation (neechabhilashi) sheds some of its power to do good. Yes. fine clothes and ornaments and ruling powers. if not more. While the exalted Mercury would be exerting its influence from Leo. Even in-between these extreme points. equally acclaimed. friendship with the ruling elite and perfumes. it is momentarily stationary. imagine a Jupiter retrograde in Leo and a Mars retrograde in Leo. Q. There is an opinion held by some astrologers that a retrograde planet. Imagine a planet in the 9th house. wife. All other states of motion get 45 or less. and an exalted planet getting retrograde behaves like a debilitated planet. our experience points out that the result of a retrograde planet are contrary to expectations. Cancer. This strength is added to the strength of a planet derived through a host of other sources. one may imagine a child on a swing. wife. Saturn: Retrograde Saturn in its dashas causes failures in actions. Therefore. Mars is moving towards its sign of debilitation. results from the other extreme are attributed to it. This view may have some astronomical justification. Venkatesha in Sarvatha Chintamani gives the results of the dasha of retrograde planets. a friendly rashi.no distinction between malefic and benefic. since it has to change the direction of its motion. The planet that is on the verge of becoming retrograde is almost stationary. Yes. According to him a retrograde planet has the status of an exalted planet even if it is posited in an inimical sign .

. the varga position of a planet often changes. A retrograde planet in transit may have a different meaning. therefore. One is 'dasha' and the other is the 'transit'. (Tajik aspects are different from Parashari aspects: the 3. for the time being.S. Moon 12. Most of the rules of analyzing the varga chats are the same as the birth chart. 9. of course. The predictive astrology has two major limbs to stand on. this time of a retrograde malefic. takes effect when it is involved in causing a Paap-kartari yoga. 6. The reader is referred to Chapter III of Subtleties of Medical Astrology by Dr. if it si Jupiter. 11 positions from each other are friendly aspects. Thus. Moreover. One of the most used yogas in Tajik is the Ithasala yoga. etc. The yoga is said to occur when: 1. Therefore. thus covering a Kendra and a trikona both. the problem evaporates. Charak for a detailed exposition of this very important issue. the concerned event moves ahead to its logical conclusion. Q. (The orb is deterined by the average of deeptamshs of the two planets. 1. Jupiter 9. do not constitute an aspect). 8 positions are neutral to each other and. In fact it would certainly cause some health problem appropriate to its significations during its dasha. K. Please note that Saturn and 6th house both denote employees. The deeptamshas are: Sun 15. It will exert influence from the 4th house also. in aspects. 7 and 10 positions are inimical aspects. 2. particularly. For example. worse. It is not the same with vargas. Often the promotions or transfers are stayed for some time. The lagnesha and the karyesh aare in mutual aspect. the remaining 2. Our scrutiny of retrograde planet's influence on the health of the native clearly confirms that even if a benefic lagna lord is in the lagna and is retrograde. One of Parashar's dicta is that benefics in the kendras promote sound health. It will also influence the houses that this planet aspects from both these positions. With a different ayanamsha. Retrogression and direct motion will take place at the same time irrespective of the choice of the ayanamsha. the retrograde planet passes on its adverse influence to other planets by association or aspect. It literally means the yoga of 'intermixing'. though there may be some resonance between the natal retrograde planet and the same planet getting retrograde in transit. If this yoga is present between the lagnesha and the karyesha (significator of the event in question). Together they would breathe down the neck of the 1st house and asphyxiate it! Q. You have addressed yourself to the role of retrograde planets in a natal chart. Q. there is a malefic in the 12th house and a retrograde malefic in the 2nd house. What is the role of a retrograde planet in Prashna (Horary) or Varshaphala (Annual Progression) Charts? A. But experience suggests that a retrograde benefic is not capable of doing so. Mercury 7. But there are significant differences too. Does a retrograde planet have any influence on the health issues of the native? A. let us examine the Ithasala yoga. Once the planet assumes direct motion. These two planets are within the orb in influence from each other. transit or dasha. it is a favourable situation for the event. 12. i. Can the retrogression be extended to vargas (divisional charts) too? A. Mars 8. as if by magic. one would expect no harm done if retrogression is applied on varga charts too. This means that predictive work done based on a retrograde planet stands on surer footing as compared to other parameters. be these aspects. Both the charts are essentially transit charts. 4. An additional feature of retrogression that may have some relevance to varga charts is that retrogression is free from the controversy of ayanamsha. a native who has his 6th lord Saturn (R) posited in lagna has repeatedly suffered problems from one or the other employee whenever Saturn is retrograde in transit. can change the total complexion of the chart. 5. with many examples.house. it cannot protect the native from the disease peculiar to the planet. Once the retrogression is over. Malefic retrograde planets are. During the retrogression it has given him a lot of mental anxiety. The results of a retrograde planet are definitely felt on the health and generally these results are adverse. Q. the influence of such a planet. Suppose. To appreciate the role of a retrograde planet in these charts.e. Yet another feature. retrograde planets cause a repeat activity or the decision is revoked. The rules of their analysis resemble the Parashari system in many ways. yogas and dashas. Generally. Both these charts in this respect are governed by Tajika Shastra. Venus 7 and Saturn 9 degrees).. How about their behaviour when they are retrograde in transit? A.

1. e. The result will remain favourable even if the planet involved in a malefic one. Q. an interview or promotion exercise will be repeated and the result will be favourable. Venus.3. but besides the repeat action there would be obstacles and tensions. It is an unfavourable yoga and does not allow the event to fructity favourably. debilitated. whether in natal chart or transit has specific and strong repercussions on predictive astrology. (Planets in order of decreasing motions are: Moon. they are not likely to intermix. 2. another yoga takes over this yoga. Mars.g. If a malefic retrograde planet is a Trik lord. If the benefic retrograde planet is a Trik lord. The faster moving planet is behind the slower moving planet. When both the lagnesha and the karyesha (or even one of them) are retrograde. Sun. What are the results of benefic or malefic retrograde planets? A. a benefit retrograde planet is a lord of an auspicious house and has a relationships with lagnesha or karyesha. 4. If in a Prashna or Varshaphala chart: 1. the favourable result becomes doubtful due to problems and obstacles.. Jupiter and Saturn). some repeat action is likely. then cancellation of the event takes place due to various impediments. 2. combust or otherwise weak. therefore. . 3. Retrogression has some bearing on this third and the most important condition of the Ithasala yoga: retrograde fast moving planet at lesser longitude does not produce Ithasala yoga since its motion is in the opposite direction to that of the more advanced slow moving planet. It literally means 'cancellation' of the Ithasala yoga. The intensity of Ithasala is increased if the slow moving planet is retrograde and has higher longitude. They are actually moving away from each other. Mercury. 3. Thus we see that the retrograde condition of the planet.