Mercury Shadow Phases and Retrogrades

What happens when a planet goes “retrograde”?

Relative to us on Earth, planets periodically look as if they are slowing down. As they slow more and more, they seem to stop moving through the sky for a while, then actually go “backward”. This backward motion then slows in turn, halts — the planet is stationary again — and then, slowly at first, the planet sets off again in a “forward” direction. 
Astrologers say a planet is “stationing” during both periods when the planet is still or moving slowly. The times when the planet appears to go backward are called “retrogrades”.


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