A very important component of Astrology is the dance of the planets forward and backward as seen from the Earth.
Backward is Retrograde and Forward is called Direct, with the time of non-movement (from a day to a month depending on the planet) is called Stationary. As seen from the Earth (Geocentrically) this occurs with all of the planets except the Sun and Moon.
The important occasional Retrograde of Mercury in the transits is gaining popularity lately. This occurs about 3 times per year and affex mental focus, communications, and the understanding of linear agreements.
Those of us who are heavily invested in communications, such as dealing with electronics, the internet, and cell phones, have a harder time with this aspect, and that would be a majority.
Stationary is a term used when the planet is going into or coming out of a retrograde and is not moving. This may be a matter of several days for Mercury and a month or so for the outer planets with longer cycles.
When a planet is stationary, its’ influence is stronger than usual and the planet focuses its intent like a laser beam. Perhaps a very focused and intensive lazar beam.
The symbol and awareness that a planet is stationary is never noted on horoscopes since computers would need extra programming to do this, and no one has bothered writing the code for this thus far. Yet it is of great significance.
Every year, when Pluto goes in and out of retrograde and is stationary for whole month (twice), people really feel this effect, which is like frozen transformation that can be frustrating, yet predictable. These stationaries of Pluto can be agitating, which can bring forth Plutonian results.
Most outer planets are in retrograde motion for about a third for a year or so, but the personal planets have their own cycles-
- Mercury is in retrograde three times a year for around 3 weeks each time
- Venus is in retrograde every other year for around 6 weeks
- Mars is in retrograde every other year for around 2 months or more
The times that these are in retrograde, in what degree and what sign, all these are important and even more so if they contact your natal planets and their exact degrees and placement.