To understand this, please see the first attached picture. It shows planet Sun in between Jupiter and Earth. So, Jupiter's rays are reaching to earth after being filtered through Sun. This is called Direct Movement of planet.
Now, after some months, the planetary movement will show us the Second picture, where Jupiter has travelled from around the Sun and now Earth is between Sun and Jupiter. Now, Jupiter rays are not filtering through Sun and reaching directly to Earth. This position is called Retrograde Movement of Planet. Now, Jupiter will be called Retrograde.
So, why Retrograde Movement was perceived as reverse or backward movement?
Here is the reason. Earth rotates on its axis and when a planet comes near to Earth, its own speed of moving around Earth gets slower than Earth's speed of rotating on its axis. So, when in such a situation, ancient astrologers saw a planet from earth, they felt that planet is moving backwards as planets movement was slower than earth's own rotation. Easiest example to understand is that say you are going in a car and another car passes by at a higher speed in the same direction as your car. Person sitting in another car will say that your car has gone backwards, but No, you are also moving forward but your speed is slow which gives an illusion that your car is going backwards. Same way, by looking at planets from Earth, ancient astrologer had this feeling that planets were moving backwards, hence they named these planets as retrograde planets.
Effect - Retrograde planets give better results than the normal direct planet, for the simple reason that these planets were closer to earth at the time of person's birth and their rays reach to earth not only faster but also without any filtering from Sun. Retrograde planets reverse the normal role of planets, like this -
1. Mars is planet of being active, a retrograde Mars may make a person lazy.
2. Mercury is communication, a retrograde Mercury may lead a person unable to communicate properly.
3. Jupiter is faith and religion, a retrograde Jupiter will make a person to doubt or question his own religion or faith.
4. Venus is convenience, a retrograde Venus may take away conveniences from life at some point of time (not for whole life) just to make us realise its value.
5. Saturn is limitation and boundaries, a retrograde Saturn may show lifting of all limitations and boundaries.
Vishal S Saxena – Astrologer
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