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Stationary and Retrograde Planets in Transcendental Karmic Astrology

Mercury retrograde is supposed to be causing all sorts of glitches in communication. Such periods generally occur three times a year, and for three-four weeks letters and emails may get lost, contracts may go down the drain, or serious misunderstandings may occur. In fact, Mercury retrograde can be so disturbing that predictive astrologers warn their clients not to sign anything important to avoid later problems. The rest of the planets are not so spectacular when they turn retrograde, but we do note their impact as well. The phenomenon of retrogradation is well-known among astrologers, so I am not going to explain how or why it occurs (in case you are not quite familiar with it please look it up in any astrology handbook); I will only hint at the fact that the more elliptical a planetary orbit is the longer percentage it spends retrograde, that’s why in my opinion outer planet cases are less important. In transcendental karmic astrology, however, we look at retrograde personal planets as karmic triggers and try to assess them accordingly:

- Retrograde Mercury signifies wounds around knowledge and learning, but it may also indicate impaired speech organs (as a result of war or punishment), which the native carries over in this incarnation. If you detect it in a chart, always count how many days it takes to turn direct because when it happens it gives you the progressed year when the native may come out of the negative impacts involved (like learning deficiencies, difficulties around self-expression, etc.). Born under a retrograde Mercury means it will definitely turn direct within 28 days, which means 28 years in progressions. The sooner it occurs the less learning and communication problems it causes, especially when it happens prior to school years. Before the turn happens, Mercury will become stationary for a year or two, which is the most decisive period for the beneficial changes.

- Retrograde Venus denotes wounds around self worth, poverty, love affairs, romantic relationships, sexuality, the sexual organs, or the physical body itself. This placement is quite rare since Venus has an almost perfectly round orbit. In karmic astrology, this is one of the most difficult placements because it may hinder successful relationships in this life. It is worth examining other karmic triggers to understand the nature of the wound: look at Chiron’s placement, and see if any of the relevant asteroids or Centaurs crop up.

- Retrograde Mars indicates wounds around the will, self assertion, energy, or action. It may also denote sexual or physical problems carried over in this life. 

The rest of the planets may signify difficult karmic issues as well, but please remember that outer planets have very elliptical orbits, and as a result are often retrograde for long periods of time. They may become relevant in case they rule the chart, the Sun, or the Moon, but it’s no use spending too much time pondering on them.

Regarding stationary planets, our delineation is quite different from that of traditional schools as well, and its usefulness was just spectacularly proven by the recent  American presidential election in 2012. Since Mercury stationed on November 6, the very day of the election, everyone predicted major misunderstandings, setbacks, and Supreme Court decisions in the end. It didn’t happen. Instead, Obama achieved a very clean victory, while Romney swiftly announced his defeat and congratulated his opponent. Why? Because Mercury was stationary, and not retrograde.

Stationary planets seem to be standing still in the sky, which phenomenon was treated as an anachronism in Mesopotamian visual astrology. The Chaldean priests called planets “wild goats” because their movements seemed to be irrational and erratic, compared to fixed stars. So, whenever one of them slowed down on its course and even stopped for a while, it was considered to be a special occasion. Since it happened right before changing course, the astronomer priests interpreted it as a thoughtful, conscious, and rational deed when that particular god made an important decision.

This idea is quite similar to transcendental karmic delineations regarding stationary planets. We claim that the archetype carried by the planet is in its very best, strongest, and healthiest state, carrying all the positive manifestations without any exaggeration. Let us not speculate now on the fact whether or not voting Obama back into the White House for a second term was a truly wise decision of Americans because that’s not the point. What I am trying to highlight is the fact that the predictions of my esteemed colleagues did not happen. There was no chaos in the final outcome (even though Hurricane Sandy’s landfall caused major disruptions in New York); Obama won by a convincing majority; Romney did not contest it; and there was absolutely no need for the Supreme Court. All that occurred because Mercury wasn’t retrograde yet; Mercury was simply stationary.

There is a big difference between of stationary and retrograde planets, and if we look at the transcendental karmic approach it explains clearly how they work:

- Stationary Mercury denotes intelligent, deliberate decision making. The native reserves the right to gather proper knowledge and all the necessary facts in order to make choices fully and consciously.

- Stationary Venus signifies healthy sexuality, sufficient amount of self worth, moneymaking capacities, and the potential to form good, fulfilling relationships.   

- Stationary Mars indicates a strong will, fair self-assertion, and a focused, well conducted energy flow.

By using these principles of karmic delineation in mundane astrology, a clearer, firmer understanding of current world events can be achieved.

Zsuzsanna Griga

Astrologer of the Goddess