Last updated on October 1st, 2020 at 09:57 pm

Planetary Retrogression in sidereal Vedic astrology

What does it mean for the planets to be in retrograde? In simplest words, when planets are retrograde, they are closest to Earth during the retrograde period. Hence, the considered planet transits near Earth, whenever they appear to be in retrograde motion.

Retrograde planets appear to stop and move backward for a certain time when observed from Earth. Indeed, actually planets never stop and move backward. That is impossible. They appear to be moving backward because we on earth pass the planet by and that is why retrograde planets appear moving backward. In comparison, try to overtake another vehicle on the highway, you see that even though they move forward, they appear to slow down and fall back. That effect s similar to planetary retrogression. The only difference is that planets move on circle-shaped trajectory and cars in this example move on a linear trajectory.

Chesta Bala – Motional Strength

Are retrograde planets powerful? Yes, indeed, retrograde planets are extremely powerful because of being closest to Earth during the retrograde period. Hence, the celestial body influences us the most during that time period. Planets, as massive heavenly bodies, influence us physically and metaphysically. The metaphysical part is explained astrologically.

What is the meaning of Retrograde in astrology? In terms of astrology, planets carry more power and thus capable of giving more stronger effects. Technically speaking, in terms of Shadbala or planetary strength level, a retrograde planet has additional power points named Chesta Bala, or points of being close to the earth. Hence, we have definite proof that the retrograde planet is way more powerful because of adding extra points to the overall Shadbala score.

When it comes to the Shadbala scale of the planet, Chesta Bala is one of the six strengths that make up the overall Shadbala score. Herein Chesta translates to the force that is required to the movement of the planet. In other words, this considered strength defines how much effort the planet gives physically which also increases the strength of its effects when it comes to astrology.

Accordingly, whenever a planet becomes retrograde, it requires more effort or force in order to keep moving, gaining Chesta Bala as a result.



Deeper Soul Purpose

Do dig deeper, retrograde planets carry an important role in our lives. They become very significant because they put special emphasis on the specific area in life, with their strength.

For the same reason, retrograde planets become secondary soul guides indicating additional information about soul purpose that must be fulfilled.

Connection To Past & Destiny

There is a special connection of retrograde planets of our past life and destiny. How is that? Well, it is simply because when a period of planetary retrogression begins when the considered planet is in 5th from the Sun. And retrogression ends when the planet is in the 9th in relation to Sun.

Herein the 5th house represents past life deeds and the 9th house denotes fortune, luck, and destiny which is directly linked to the past with Bhavat Bhavam or from house to house technique. This means that the fifth step from the 5th house is the 9th house (fifth from fifth – house from the house).

In the same way, the ninth step from the 9th astrological house is the 5th house (ninth from ninth). Hence, the 5th and 9th houses are powerhouses to each other and are very deeply linked together. Hence, we can see that past life influences our luck and fortune in current and future life.

More on 5th house

More on 9th house

For the same connection, it is widely believed that a retrograde planet indicates something that has been ignored or unfulfilled in a previous life and thus must not be ignored current life in order to advance from the soul and become closer to or achieve salvation.



Exceptions are Venus and Mercury because they are always close to Sun in the birth chart.

Transit Retrograde Effects

It is also widely noticed that whenever a planet becomes retrograde in transit, it creates delays, hardships, and blockages. In reality, it does not necessarily create blockages, otherwise, all the world would stop functioning for some weeks. Glad that it doesn’t stop though.

So why we experience a delay during the retrograde period?

This is the period hen the universe forces us to slow down and reconsider and reanalyze our actions and redirect our decisions accordingly. It is the period which makes us slow down to notice surroundings more and to become more aware of what is happening and what we should do. Hence, planetary retrogression transits is a real blessing in disguise, redirecting our path by making us correct our decisions and actions.

Phases Of Planetary Retrogression

There are 4 major phases of planetary retrogression:

  • Pre-Shadow Phase
  • Retrograde Station Phase
  • Turning Direct Phase
  • Post-Shadow Phase

In sidereal Vedic astrology, each of the phases divides into 2 phases.

According to BPHS, a planet (except luminaries Sun and Moon) can obtain 8 kinds of motional or retrograde strengths:

StateDirectionSpeedStrengthVirupas
VakraReverseFast100%60
AnuvakraReverseModerate50%30
VikalaStationaryStagnant25%15
MandaDirectSlow30%30
Mandatara DirectVery Slow25%15
Sama DirectModerate12.5%7.5
Cara DirectFast75%45
Aticara DirectVery Fast30%30

Here we can see that Sama or a planet that moves in normal speed has a less strong effect regarding Chesta Bala whereas a planet fully in retrograde emotion gives 100% strength via Chesta Bala.

Anuvakra is the state of the planetary retrogression where it has entered to the previous sign.

Significance Of Phases & Past Life

Pre-Shadow Phase

(Vakra – Anuvakra)

The pre-shadow phase is when the planet entered retrogression and prepares to “slow-down” apparently. Hence, it is the phase when the earth approaches the planet.

In an astrological viewpoint, it definitely indicates that something regarding the considered planet and its rulership and placement in the natal birth chart has been fully ignored in past life. This means more effort should be put in the current lifetime to compensate for the retrograde planet.

Stationary Phase

(Vikala-Manda)

The stationary phase is when the planet is exactly next to earth, and thus giving maximum effects during this phase. This phase lasts the shortest time.

This phase is the most intense astrologically. It means that something has been started in past life regarding the significance of the planet in your personal natal birth chart, but unfinished. Hence, we can feel this very strong urge in this incarnation to complete something. Only after finding what we lost and continuing what we should, we feel internal peace.

Turning Direct Phase

(Mandatara-Sama)



Turning to the direct phase is just after earth passes the considered retrograde planet. From this point, effects start to take up speed again and events start flowing more freely.

Having a planet retrograded in this phase is natal birth chart signifies that something significant has been achieved in past life, which has been so fruitful due to piousness, which our soul simply desires to continue. Hence, in this phase, retrograde planets bring an abundant amount of wisdom and information from the previous incarnation. This abundant energy is indeed hard to cope at first, that is why it creates the effect of delay in the life of the native. We must first decode and organize the abundant amount of energies that are whirling in our minds and souls. As soon as these energies are channeled effectively, great prosperity will be achieved. It depends on the holistic chart, how and when the effects of such a retrograde planet will come to fruition. But usually, this retrograde planet gives delay before success.

Post-Shadow Phase

(Cara-Aticara)

The post shadow phase is when the planet finally appears to move in direct motion. Hence, retrograde effects are less felt during that phase.

Astrologically, a retrograde planet in this phase in natal birth cart indicates that something great has been successfully achieved in past life that gives an enormous amount of blessings in the current incarnation. Such a native will experience a lot of miracles and support from the universe anytime they need it. This means that a person has been doing a massive amount of good deeds in the past which brought abundant blessings to current life and ensure a beautiful destiny.


Did you know that these mentioned effects manifest in specific periods?

  • Specific periods when the results of planets manifest fully
  • Detailed analysis of planetary main and subperiods tens of years ahead
  • Monthly analysis of 5 next years
  • Special Panchang or Sun-Moon Yoga Analysis
  • Your Nakshatra and Pada interpretation
  • All the Divisional charts
  • Mathematical planetary strengths
  • Special Lal Kitab Interpretations
  • Many General Detailed Predictions
  • Lucky Gem Stones
  • And much more in a 200+ page report.

Martin Boldovski

Warm Greetings my friends! My desire is to share the miraculous ancient knowledge with the world with the intention to help guide people in their lifepaths. My interpretations are all based on classical authorities of Vedic astrology and their books, as well as general observations.

6 Comments

jeffrey m grove · December 26, 2019 at 21:21

This is an excellent and insightful article on planetary retrograde. If you count preshadow and post shadow, then all of my planets except one carry a retrograde effect, that includes the outer planets also! Did your own life experiences help give you some insight on this?

    Martin Boldovski · February 16, 2020 at 08:20

    Thank you very much Jeffrey for your answer to this article. Yes I also have my personal experiences regarding retrograde planets. All my outer planets are also retrograded.

      Jeffrey Grove · February 26, 2020 at 11:04

      I think that the outer planets don’t necessarily affect us as much in a personal way, unless they directly aspect one Or more of our personal planets like the moon, the sun, Venus etc. but I do notice that people with inner planet retrograde, that is Venus and Mercury plus Mars and Jupiter, usually have a very different, unique quality about them that sets them apart from the main stream. If you’re interested, Dane Rudyar Studied extensively effects of the inner planets retrogrades and wrote some extensive articles on it. He lived in the 20th century. It’s worth reading if you are interested. ॐ

Balaji Venkatesh Yadav · September 1, 2020 at 07:33

Hello sir, your articles are very insightful. What are the effects of Retrograde Saturn in Aries in 8th house. What are the results of debilitated and retrograde planets?

Shreya Karanjkar · October 27, 2020 at 02:24

Amazing information!! Thank you so much Martin for this particular article as I was searching for the information on planets retrograde in birth charts and I couldn’t find any useful information.
This cleared all my doubts 🙂

Can you please tell me where I can find the detail information on which particular retrograde phase the planet was in the birth chart?

    Martin Boldovski · October 28, 2020 at 00:52

    Hello Shreya and thank you very much for your valuable feedback. Specific calculations must be made to find out the exact retrograde phase.

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