More Surprises About Retrograde Planets
In the first five articles in the current series on Retrograde Planets
we examined the basic concept of retrograde motion, the conventional
interpretation of retrograde planets in the natal horoscope, and the
role of three significant retrograde planets in our daily lives. Then
we examined some unexpected features of retrograde motion which arose
out of John McCormick's research.
As I have stated before, John McCormick studied the retrograde motion
of the planets for a recent one hundred year period. He determined
the percentage of time that each planet had been retrograde over the
one hundred year period and also the percentage of time that none,
one, two, three, etc planets were simultaneously retrograde over that
same hundred years.
He then examined the natal horoscopes of famous people, World War
II Generals, Statesmen, Writers, Athletes, and others with respect
to the retrograde planets in the natal charts, and, more important
for this article and for astrology, the number of retrograde planets
in each person's natal horoscope.
John McCormick's work was still in its infancy when he died, so a
purist might object to the statistics and the general pattern of his
research. After all, most World War II Generals ( not General Douglas
MacArthur) were probably born within ten years of the turn of the
century. United States Presidents, on the other hand, had a wider
spread of birthdates. Purists might also object to conclusions drawn
from so small a sample.
Despite these possible objections, the validity of his work lies in
the observations of those Astrologers, myself included, who have tested
his conclusions over the twenty-five years that have passed since
the publication of his findings.
In the one hundred year period that John McCormick studied, and in
which you and I were born, the percentage of time for the various
quantities of retrograde planets is listed below: 0 retrograde planets
7.7 percent of the time 1 " " 18.7 " " "
" 2 29.2 3 26.7 4 12.7 5 4.15 6 0.66 7 " " 0.005 "
" " "
As you can see, the most common occurrence (29.2%) is the pattern
of two retrograde planets. We feel comfortable when we encounter people
who have two retrograde planets because this is the most familiar
to us. For no apparent reason, people are drawn to and like and accept
those who have two retrograde planets in the natal horoscope. I have
found that this phenomenon is true when a person has two retrograde
planets by secondary progression as well.
The next most common occurrence (26.7%) is the pattern of three retrograde
planets. The difference in percentage is very small, but the public
acceptance found for those with two retrograde planets is not found
for those with three retrograde planets. People with three retrograde
planets tend to operate behind the scenes, and according to McCormick,
have a "sullen determination to excel" in some speciality.
The next most common occurrence (18.7%) is the pattern of one retrograde
planet. I have found that the person with only one retrograde planet
is independent and does not need the company of other people to be
happy. He exhibits some of the qualities of an Aries-type person.
He can work alone and achieve alone.
The next most common occurrence (12.7%) is the pattern of four retrograde
planets. McCormick frequently found this pattern in the horoscopes
of writers, who withdraw and seek expression in private. Paul Hewitt
incorporates the findings of John McCormick in his Career Counseling
techniques (astrological) and in the software which he developed for
Career Counselors and Astrologers. He associates four or more retrograde
planets with the more solitary professions.
The next most common occurrence (7.7%) is the pattern of no retrograde
planets. I have found that people with no retrograde planets are
unique in their perseverance to attain their goals. McCormick found
that "athletes and dancers possess this confirmation in abundance."
He also found zero retrograde planets in an unexpectedly high number
(36%!) Of the charts of United States Presidents. The road to the
Presidency is arduous and perseverance is needed to attain that
The next most common occurrence (4.15%) is the pattern of five retrograde
planets. If you have five retrograde planets in your horoscope, do
not expect people to rush up to you with a hug and a kiss. Only people
with two retrograde planets are greeted this way. Most likely, people
will greet you by shaking hands. The general public does not love
you on sight. Choose a solitary occupation where you need not please
The next most common occurrence (0.005%) is the pattern of six retrograde
planets. This was the condition on only fifty-one days out of one
hundred years. McCormick found only two famous people with six retrograde
planets. They were Angela Davis and Muhammad Ali. He avoided coming
to any conclusions with this small sample.
I knew and respected John McCormick and I find in his work the potential
for a major breakthrough in the field of Astrology. I hope that these
articles on Retrograde planets will inspire someone to do further
study of this subject.
How many retrograde planets are in your horoscope?