About Retrograde Planets
Of the ten planets that are used in the mainstream astrology, the Sun and the Moon (they are also labeled as "planets") are never retrograde, so we won't consider them here. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are so called higher planets. They move very slowly and if they do make some aspect or enter into another sign, that means some global events or transformations - processes that are far beyond our control and understanding. So we won't be dealing with the higher planets in this article. They are retrograde for approximately half a year and then direct for another half a year.
Jupiter and Saturn are social planets and they play a major role in the astrological study of economics and politics, but again not so much in our personal lives, at least not directly. Jupiter goes retrograde for about four months each year while Saturn - for about five months.
In this article, we are going to concentrate on the personal planets: Mercury, Venus and Mars. I find that their periods of retrograde motion are the most important in our daily lives. In fact, they are so important that I would say that everyone should know about them. This knowledge could help us to avoid many frustrations and to make our efforts much more efficient.
Mercury's retrograde periods are the most important from the practical point of view, and they happen quite often, three to four times a year. So the examples of events that I will be giving here will be mostly about retrograde Mercury.
Retrograde Venus is a much more rare phenomenon, it happens once every two years. Mars goes retrograde even more seldom. You can see the closest periods of personal planets on the Retrograde Planets page.
From Point One to Point Two: the Period of the Disappearing Old Stereotype
During this period, the planet is still direct but it slows down gradually, until it stops completely in Point 2.
From the astrological point of view, this is the period when the old stereotype is quickly becoming outmoded and irrelevant. In Point 2, it is going to be completely discarded.
In real life, this is usually the period of hectic activity in the areas of life that are related to the planet, that is about to become retrograde. For example, when Mercury is in this period, there is a feeling that although Mercury is slowing down, its affairs are rushing forward. The number of meetings, sent messages, issued letters, signed contracts goes significantly up, as if people were desperate to use the old stereotype as much as possible, while it still exists.
The main peculiarity of this period is that whatever is done under the old stereotype, quite often comes back for re-evaluation, corrections, rescheduling, or it might simply becomes irrelevant. As Mercury begins to move backwards after Point 2, the human affairs associated with it also tend to come backwards.
So the advice here is: don't try to do too much when the planet is in the first part of its retrograde period, from Point 1 to Point 2. Chances are, whatever you do will return to you and will either require some significant corrections, or might even become completely irrelevant as it was done under the guidance of the old stereotype (that fades away in Point 2).