About Retrograde Planets
The Search for a New Stereotype (from Point 2 to Point 3)
This is a period when the old stereotype doesn't exist anymore, but there is no new stereotype either. In the sky, the planet stopped at Point 2 and started to move backwards - at first very slowly but then faster. We feel like we lost something so we stop and turn back in an attempt to find it.
But what we are actually looking for is a new stereotype for the areas of life that are governed by the retrograde planet. We are going to find it by the time the planet reaches Point 3, but right now there is no stereotype to use, and because of this, the period of retrograde motion can bring us some rather strange experiences.
One usual advice that is often given by astrologers is: don't buy anything important that is related to the planet which is currently retrograde. This means that when Mercury is retrograde, it would be a good idea *not* to buy computers, calculators, phones, office equipment and similar things. Venus is related to fashion clothes, jewelry, gourmet food, cosmetics or anything that has a high value in general. When Mars is retrograde, it is advisable not to buy tools, machinery, sports equipment and the like.
Why is that? A possible explanation is that retrograde motion is the period when we don't have a stereotype that would normally influence our decisions. As a result, our decision to buy something can often be not based on anything sound and later, after we pick a new stereotype in Point 3, the newly purchased item simply doesn't fit that new stereotype. We then decide that it is not as useful or valuable as we thought, and the item purchased under a retrograde planet can easily become abandoned. Somehow, it also often happens that an item purchased during a retrograde period has some hidden defects in it, and those defects are typically uncovered when the planet goes direct.
On a similar note, another popular advise says that if you met someone for the first time when the appropriate planet was retrograde, chances are you will never meet those people again. Say, someone came to you with a wonderful idea, you were both excited and decided to do something together in the future. The problem is: neither of you had a clear understanding of what you really want and what is good for you - neither of you had a proper stereotype to build your decisions on. As a result, after the retrograde planet reaches Point 3, you might think about the recent agreement as something totally irrelevant.
With retrograde Mercury, this is about business agreements or some other ideas in general, while with retrograde Venus, more or less the same can be said about love affairs. As a general rule, it is a bad idea to get married when Venus is retrograde. Just because your understanding of why you got married can change significantly quite soon, and that change might be not very good for the marriage.
Although it is convenient to think about retrograde periods in psychological terms - like, this is something that is happening in our minds only - this world seems to be a bit more complex. As a matter of fact, many things go weirdly wrong when a personal planet, especially Mercury, goes retrograde. Failed communications are a usual occasion, once I spent two weeks without any Internet connection (which is very unusual for me) because Sky broadband just didn't work. On another occasion, but that's during retrograde Mars, heating system suddenly failed in the middle of winter. Read newspapers when a personal planet is retrograde, and you will find a large number of examples of various failures and disorders that are related to the symbolism of that planet.
By now, you definitely have an impression that a retrograde period is something evil. But it is not always so, and not necessarily so. My opinion is that if you know what's going on, such a period can be extremely productive.
First of all, the period from Point 2 to Point 3 is when a lot of new ideas comes to us. Some of them are wonderful, others are weird, but the important fact is that we are able to notice and appreciate them because our mind is not bound by any stereotypes, it is more open than usual. One important consequence is that one of the new ideas can help you to solve some really old problem, to find a way out of a dead end. Another important thing is that you can suddenly see a totally new direction in your life - something you couldn't even imagine before. But wait! Don't make your final choice right now, wait until the planet reaches Point 3, and then a little bit more...