Retrograde planets are those planets that appear to move backwards. Except Sun and Moon, all planets including Rahu and Ketu have retrograde motion from time to time. Rahu and Ketu mostly have backward motion compared to others but during retrogression they appear to move forward like other seven planets.
In reality, the planet is not moving backwards only appearing to do so. We can relate it to the experience when we overtake a slow moving car on a highway. As we accelerate past the car, it appears to be moving backwards even though it is not. This illusion can be compared to retrogression.
All planets give their best results when away from Sun. Proximity to Sun reduces their beneficial effects. When they come within 12° of Sun they are called Ast or combust. Such planets lose all capacity for doing good.
Astronomically, retrogression of a planet can happen only when it is closest to earth (and farthest from Sun). Since a retrograde planet is closest to earth its effect on life on earth is at its peak. This is why in Vedic astrology a retrograde planet is given the same importance as an exalted planet (Uchha Grah).
Mantreshwar the celebrated writer of Phaldeepika opines that a retrograde planet gives the results of an exalted planet even when it is placed in an enemy sign or sign of debilitation. Saravali differs somewhat and stresses that malefic retrograde planets cause fruitless journeys, miseries and aimless wanderings. This can be the subject of a research because the Cheshta Bal of a planet is maximum when it is retrograde.
It is seen that a Retrograde Yog Karak Saturn gives very good results during its Dasha-Bhuktis. However if Saturn is placed in Lagna, its results can be quite unfavorable. Retrograde Jupiter and Mercury in Lagna will give good results. Retrograde Venus in the fourth house will also give better results.
Retrograde planets give their results from the house they are placed in but they also give their results from the preceding house as well. For example if Retrograde Jupiter is placed in the seventh house then he will give the results of being placed in the sixth house as well.
For the results of a house to be available, it is essential that the Dasha or Bhukti of that house lord be going on. The Dasha or Bhukti of a planet associated or aspecting that house lord will also bring about the desired results. These results will however be available only when Jupiter and Saturn have both aspected the house or the house lord with in a period of one year either in the direct or retrograde motion. Jupiter blesses an event and Saturn gives the permission for it to happen. When all these conditions are met the event occurs.
If a retrograde planet is placed in its exaltation sign, it ceases to give its exalted results and begins to act as a planet in fall.
The Bhukti of a retrograde planet in the Maha Dasha of Rahu or Ketu, usually brings about the restoration of losses incurred earlier. Money given as loan and written off as a loss may be recovered during this period. Same is true of the Maha Dasha of a retrograde planet and Bhukti of Rahu.
In Prashna Shastra or Horary astrology, retrograde planets play a different role. If a retrograde planet closely aspects Lagnesh or Karyesh, it leads to failure of the Prashna. If the aspect is not close on Lagnesh or Karyesh, it indicates hindrances for the person asking questions.
If the retrograde planet is a benefic and lord of fifth or ninth house in the Prashna chart, and it is related somehow to Lagnesh or Karyesh it indicates the repeat of an action or process. In a marriage alliance it can indicate a renewed vigor after some cooling period. It usually leads to successful completion.
If a malefic planet becomes the lord of an auspicious house the events mentioned above will happen but with obstacles and mental tension.
Whether benefic or malefic, ownership of sixth, eighth or twelfth houses by retrograde planets is unfavorable. If they own these houses they should not be related in any way to Lagnesh or Karyesh.
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