by Tony Waterfall, Astrologer
Host of the Astrology Hour at MSN

Posted with Permission

Traveling Planets that by virtue of perspective appear to reverse their normal direction for periods of time are said to be in Retrograde Motion. When these Planets again stop and reverse their direction from Retrograde Motion they are said to be in Direct Motion. The Phenomena that causes Retrograde Motion and Direct Motion is called Apparent Motion. Direct and Retrograde Motions are the two principal motions of Apparent Motion

Apparent Motion is an all encompassing system created by situating yourself on Earth and then viewing Planetary Motion or the Motion of any Body in Space against a given background while the Earth is in Motion. This Geocentric or Earth Centered Viewpoint has All Planets in Direct Motion for short periods of time each 12 month Calendar Year

The Station is the place where the Planet or Moving Body slows to a halt then turns to retrace its path or move forward thus creating the Stationary Retrograde or the Stationary Direction.

A question can be asked here as to why bother with these motions if they are only apparent? The simple answer is that from a cause and effect point of view they appear to be significant. They appear to be an energy source that is transmitting via Motion a restriction and a release.

Apparent Motion creates Planetary Patterns other than those that would have been arrived at using only forward Planetary Motion and becomes the key cause of Planetary Patterns from a Geocentric Viewpoint.

The majority of Astrological Apparent Motion thought has been centered around Retrograde Motion and specifically that of Mercury. When viewing the Astrological effect of any Mercury Retrograde Cycle the short answer is that something is unknown or unanswered. Thus when you hear it said "do not sign anything during a Mercury Retrograde" (a viewpoint that I do not share at all times) it means that the document may be in error or have information left out. It goes further to mean that there is still more information to come and that had you waited until Mercury turned Direct you may have made another decision.

As we unfold the Theory of Apparent Motion it will be seen that a Mercury Retrograde Pattern often floats alone in what would otherwise have been an All Direct Planetary Sky, an interesting part of the Apparent Motion Phenomena. By applying the Concept of Unknown or Unanswered to other Planetary Retrograde Patterns new potentials occur for the Motions of these Planets.

The establishment of an Annual Retrograde Pattern and an Annual All Direct Pattern gives a method of keeping track of Apparent Motion Cycles. When several Major Asteroids and Chiron are factored in All can be in Direct Motion at the same time. The more Moving Bodies that are included in the Annual Apparent Motion Patterns cause the All Direct Periods to become further apart but they do exist on a regular basis.

When factoring in the Major Asteroids to the Annual Patterns it will be seen that the Asteroids as well as each having individual characteristics appear to act as a group or in groups emphasizing a statement being made elsewhere in the Apparent Motion Cycle. Due to the fragmentation of the Asteroids it is arguably impossible for every Asteroid piece to be in Direct Motion however if the Asteroids were at one time a single body then at one time all Asteroids were one Body moving in the same direction. The Major Asteroids being tracked are Vesta, Pallas, Juno, Ceres, Hygeia, and Astraea.

It also appears Mercury's Apparent Motion Patterns are linked to Asteroid Patterns just as Mercury is linked to both Gemini and Virgo. Observation of the combined Mercury and Asteroid Apparent Motion cycles may place Virgo as the main recipient of the influences of the Asteroids. Virgo with its complex pieces that combine to form a perfection appears to be indicated here. The two or three Mercury Retrograde Annual Patterns lend quite easily with Gemini. Chiron appears to be a link between the Planetary Patterns and the Asteroid groupings.

To start let us just concentrate on the Planets and leave the Asteroids and Chiron to the side as the initial Annual Pattern is quite complex and is easier to understand if the number of observable points is manageable.

Within a Calendar Year the Annual All Direct Period starts when there are no Planets Retrograde. The Annual Retrograde Period starts with the first Retrograde Station by a Planet following an All Direct Period within the same Year. In both cases Mercury will be the exception. The length of time for an Annual All Direct Period varies each year from days to weeks. As we view the Patterns formed by Apparent Motion over several years other grouping complexities will enter, but for now this is a good way to view Annual Occurrences caused by Apparent Motion.

Usually due to the slow motions of the Outer Planets one or more Planets are Retrograde 80% of the time. Often large Stelliums are linked to the Direct Station and the Retrograde Station.

A look at the characteristics of Void of Course adds an insight into the workings of Apparent Motion Cycles. Void of Course is the space of time from when the Moon has left behind the Last Major Aspect within a Zodiacal Sign and has not yet encountered the First Major Aspect within the next Zodiacal Sign. This Void of Course period bares a similarity to Apparent Motion Periods and is most often linked to a Mercury Retrograde. I would link Void of Course with Direct Motion.

If we say that at Stationary Direct (Direct Station) a restriction is released then there is a similarity with the Moon being released from the restriction or guidance of the Aspects. The Moon at Void of Course is said to produce unexpected results. Yes, the result of a situation that has no restriction or guidance other than the Zodiacal Signs it is travelling through and the Cusp it must cross.

The Direct Station is a time of unrestricted potential. It is as if a Light has come on. Apparent Motion is the Pulse of the Light of Illumination. Direct Motion is the Flow of the Light of Illumination. Retrograde Motion is the Generator of Illumination. All is illuminated from the Soul to the Mind. The spectrum of ability for dealing with this Illumination is the desire to Be. At different times the Illumination will have the extremes of absolute brightness and total darkness. The ability to deal with this Light is found within Direct/Retrograde patterns in the Natal and Progressed Charts.

Ebbs and flows as with tidal patterns, walking against the tide is much the same as the action applied from Retrograde to Direction. The character and many life experiences depend on the individuals or situationís ability to overcome the restriction and deal with the release. The Triple Transit caused by Apparent Motion is a significant part of any Apparent Motion Cycle. Exactitudes from Station to Station show how the Annual Direct Pattern and the Annual Retrograde Pattern link together.

Since Apparent Motion occurs through a factor of Viewpoint I believe that taking broader Viewpoints will indeed discover more ways to apply Apparent Motion Patterns throughout the Cosmos. The Heliocentric or Sun Centered Viewpoint has all Planets in Direct Motion with no Retrograde Periods. I have always thought that the Viewpoints of differing systems would lead on a broad scale to the linking of All Systems, those that we understand and others that are yet to be looked at or found. I believe that Apparent Motion is a stand alone System from the point of view that it's Stationary Positions pass through Geocentric, Heliocentric and Beyond.

Tony Waterfall, Astrologer

Copyright © 1999 by Tony Waterfall, All rights in the above article are reserved.
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