Retrograde is when a planet appears to be moving backwards in its orbit. The planets are not really moving backwards, it is only perceived this way from the Earth (geocentric). A planet is farthest from the Earth when it retrogrades and begins to move closer. All astrological planets with the exception of the Sun and the Moon retrograde. Retrograde is also thought by some astrologers to be a “bad” time for that planet. Stationary is when the planet is about to retrograde and appears to slow to a stop and then again when the planet comes out of retrograde and moves back into direct motion. The Moon and the Sun are the only planets that do not turn retrograde and the Moon’s Nodes are always in retrograde.
Pay close attention to the days that the planet is stationary. The (good) effects of that planet will be super-charged.
When the planets are retrograde, we seem to look for answers inside of ourselves instead of looking for the answers “out there”. Associate retrograde with an “RE” theme as in: Re-do, re-wind, re-verse. The planets can also seem to have an adverse or opposite affect. When planets are in retrograde, you need to pay attnetion to the house that they occupy. Also look at the house that planet rules, and any major aspects (especially natal planets) to the retrograde planet. These placements will show you in what area of you life the effects will be felt.
If you have retrograde planets in your natal chart, it doesn’t mean that that area of your life will be forever screwed, it just means that you will look for answers to problems in those areas of your life more inward and inside yourself. Most people will have at least one planet retrograde, especially an outer planet such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, since these planets are retrograde about 4-5 months out of the year. If you were born with your ascendant or rising ruler in retrograde, this could have a major affect on your life causing you to continually doubt yourself and you could be very self-concious about your image.
Below is a list of each planet’s retrograde cycles and information on how to interpret them in a forecasted chart or a natal chart.