An Inside View of Retrograde Planets

An Inside View of Retrograde Planets
by Alphee Lavoie
October 18, 2006

When we calculate a horoscope, we calculate it as if the person was born in the center of the earth. Mathematically this is incorrect. It should be calculated using parallax for the true locality where the person was born. The difference between these two calculations is that the Moon can be up to 2° off, and some of the other planets can be off by a minute. This difference in the Moon’s position can play havoc when you are working with lunar returns. It can change the lunar return ascendant by a whole sign, but that’s another article.
The point that I want to show here is what happens to a planet the day that it turns retrograde when we use its intra-day parallax position. If we view a planet from earth we would see that a planet can go retrograde and direct up to five times in one day. Of course, this is caused by the Earth’s rotation. The following graph shows the position of Mars when it turns retrograde on November 14, 2007.


As you can see, Mars turns retrograde, goes direct and then back retrograde a few times in one day. If we calculate Mars from the center of the earth we only see Mars turning retrograde on November 15, 2007.
In progression it is a total different story. With transits, an hour or two doesn’t seem to make much difference. However, if you are talking about progressed planets turning retrograde, that’s where you see the big difference. Because, in progression, one day equals one year. Look at the example above where transiting Mars changes direction five times in the same day. In progression, this would happen over a period of a year.
So now, let’s look at the United States progressed Mars turning retrograde on July 21, 2006. What really is happening in the sky is the following.

We can see the first time that Mars turned retrograde was on October 22, 2005. Then it turned direct again on February 12, 2006. It changed direction from direct to retrograde again on September 2, 2006 and so on. the final turning point will be July 7, 2007.
On the astrology Yahoo group, when I first brought up the Mars retrograde in the United States progressed chart, there was a whole discussion on the shadow of a retrograde planet. To me, the shadow is the biggest crock of baloney. Astrologers went back to 1940, supposedly when the retrograde shadow started, and found hundreds of things that happened to the United States in the last 60 years that would correspond to the Mars retrograde shadow. I could take any country that didn’t have a progress Mars retrograde and look at the last 60 years and I could come out with hundreds of Mars energy that happen that the country. Shadows or no shadows, to me it does not make any sense.
If you apply this shadow technique to the transits of Pluto and Neptune you are left with 10 days every year that these two planets are not in shadow. we and we stand a little better chance we have 32 days that it’s not and shadows. So, just think that every person in the whole world lives under the Pluto and Neptune shadow most of their life. Thank God that astrologers give us 10 days a year free from these shadows. Hello!
I thought that the holy rollers were the only ones that keep insisting that we are doomed.  So every astrologer that believes in the shadow concept our reinforcing this concept. maybe a lot of astrologers don’t realize this but look at the mathematics.
Let’s look at it another way, progressed Mars retrograde shadows are 120 years, and that’s not counting the time that Mars is retrograde. So, if you are one of the lucky ones for whom progressed Mars happens to go retrograde within your lifetime, you are doomed to be under Mars’ shadow all of your life and may be part of your next life.  Most of us go through at least one progressed Mercury retrograde period in our lifetime. Mercury stays retrograde 22 days. In progression, that’s 22 years of your life. Mercury’s shadow period adds around another 38 days, which by progression would be 38 years out of your life. So, just think folks, Mercury’s progressed shadow gets everyone of us at least 60 years of our lives. Boy, if you listen to all this astrological jargon, life is tough.
Again, here is another astrological technique that can keep astrologers chatting but doesn’t have any validity behind it.
SORRY, but there is no logic behind the shadow.
Remember the show “THE SHADOW KNOWS” — not in this case.
For those of you who don’t know what a retrograde shadow is, here is how it works.

Example: let’s say that you look at Mercury turning retrograde on October 28, 2006 at 25:05 Sagittarius. Then it turns direct on November 17, 2006 at 9:04 Scorpio. This would be the length of time that Mercury would be retrograde. There are two shadows. The first one is when Mercury was at 9° 4 minutes in the sign of Scorpio. That date would be October 8, 2006. So the planet Mercury was in shadow from October 8, 2006 to the time it turns retrograde on October 28, 2006. The other shadow would be from Mercury’s direct station until it gets to 25° 5 minutes in Sagittarius, the position that it turned retrograde. That would be December 24, 2006.

Take a look at this–the next time that Mercury will enter a retrograde shadow is January 29, 2007. So, according to this technique, we only have one month between retrograde shadows in which we have a clear mind and ease of communication. According to a lot of astrologers, you can’t initiate anything while Mercury is retrograde or in its shadow period. Seeing that the retrograde Mercury phenomenon happens four times a year, we have only four months out of the year in which we can think and communicate clearly. So, eight months out of the year we can’t think, can’t start anything new and can’t communicate properly.

Well, I look at things totally differently. I do anything 364.25 days out of the year. As a matter of fact, all my computers, of which I have 11 and keep changing every other year, were all bought while Mercury was retrograde. I have Gemini rising, so this is the only time in my life where things slows down enough so I can negotiate computer deals and make changes. Have I had any crashes? Knock on wood, it has never happened.

I remember one time a well-known professional astrologer sent me information to rectify one of her client’s birth time. She told me in her letter, “Don’t rectify this chart while the Moon is void of course.” I put her check back in an envelope and returned it to her with a note saying “SORRY, I work while the Moon is void of course.”
That is another astrological concept that is beaten to death by astrologers. One thing that I found out way back in my early years as a professional astrology. Life keeps going on even though the Moon is void of course. The Sun keep rising and setting.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect Mercury retrograde. I’m in the process of starting an audio/video online astrology school. Would I start my first class when Mercury is retrograde? I don’t think so. Although, I did start my research group which we call the GATORS on a Mercury retrograde. And, I did it purposely.
We have a website for a research group
By the way to keep checking our school website for I our ongoing workshops and classes. also for a free lectures night.
The website for the online school is

May God Bless,