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Dear Dr. Keane. Here is what I have managed to find out for you.
A planet can be described as retrograde when it gives the appearance from earth of a planet coming to a halt or moving backwards through the zodiac for a short period of time. Planets do not actually move backwards or stop rotating. Most astrologers seem to think in the negative when they reckon a planet is in retrograde, that bad things might happen as they believe a retrograde planet has a negative impact on people’s lives. What that negative impact is seem to be determine what planet this has “happened” to. It seems mostly to focus on the planet Venus where astrologers believe that when it is in retrograde and passes through each sign of the zodiac, it has an effect on mood. This can mean that people are more cranky and meaner than they would be normally. Astrologers reckon that planets are at their most powerful when they look like they have paused and started to move backwards through the zodiac signs that can change people’s moods significantly. Mostly it would seem in a negative way, such as people being more cranky. In Astronomy however, it is said that planets move at different speeds. They both spin on their own axis and revolve around the sun in mostly an anti-clockwise direction, including earth, is described as “direct motion” or “prograde”. Retrograde motion means planets moving clockwise. Most don’t go clockwise except Venus, Uranus and Pluto, so for example a planet such as Venus can move east to west. This planet retrograde has to do mainly with the planetary rotation and the atmospheric rotating in the same direction except the atmosphere rotates about 60 times faster than the planet. For planet alignment, in astronomical terms this relates to the gravitational field being strong. In astrological terms it’s believed that at times the planets mentioned can create negative forces to people on earth when passing through certain signs of the zodiac. From what I understand from more research, astrologers say that it is through the retrograde planets movement through the zodiac signs of the people whose birthday falls then, for example it is August so the birth sign is Leo, if a retrograde planet was to pass through Leo now then this may (as it seems to be doing from what you’ve heard) to cause negative things to happen, such as crankiness. As planets move from 1 sign to another, some slower than others, the emphasis can shift on that sign. Sometimes it can mean things like good fortune, health, wellbeing, wealth and other times it can mean the opposite of that as they show different energies. In astronomical terms the energy of planets come from the likes of a hydrogen atom consisting of a proton and an electron which jump from one energy state to another – lower to higher or excited states before returning to its calmer baseline state………… I have also seen if people are more cranky than they normally are. I have asked many people and the answer on the whole is no. Only 2 people said yes, probably because of being worried about their health……… I hope that this is useful and interesting to you. I have really enjoyed helping you and please, please ask again if you want me to find anything more about this or any other subject matter. I really would like to help you more. I hope you are having a great vacation. I have been thinking a little about the upcoming GP appointment. A bit on edge about it. I Hope to chat to you about that when you’ve returned from vacation. Please can you let me know when you get this and what you think of it. I've enjoyed doing this for you and found it a real privilege to be asked to help investigate things for you.