When we go deeper into retrogression we can no longer settle with simply recognizing two motions of planets, namely Direct vs. Retrograde, but must now consider THREE motions namely:
Direct – Chara (rajasic state)
Stationary – dvisvabhava (sattvic state)
Retrograde – sthira (tamasic state)
Here we are taught in the tradition that the stationary position is a state of recharging, where the nature of the planets will indicate whether they are 1) meditating (sattvic grahas); 2) scheming (rajasic grahas); 3) sleeping (tamasic grahas).
Naturally not all the planets can achieve these three states, and hence we are talking of five grahas namely:
Rajasic: Mercury and Venus.
Tamasic: Saturn and Mars.
Here the initial direct motion of the grahas shows them moving towards achieving their desires, and when they gradually slow down towards stationary they begin to loose their energy and whichever yogas associated with them, until they become completely helpless/inactive when in stationary itself.
Having come out of the stationary position and begin their retrogression they are all eager to achieve their desires with new found strength, however, the tamasic grahas coming out of their slumber can be utterly destructive and can completely devastate their house position due to the intense anger/sorrow they have suffered from loosing their abilities during their stationary position.
As a result the worst placement for tamasic grahas during their retrogression is i) their own sign and ii) exaltation.
Hence, such a position of a tamasic graha should not be in kendra or trikona as they will devastate their signs position.
So we can infer: a retrograde malefic/tamasic graha is like a curse when in own sign/exaltation and in the beneficial houses i.e. kendra and trikona, as it completely devastates these houses. Whereas his placement in dusthana when in own sign/exaltation will act like a vipareet raja yoga and destroy enemies.
Opposite will happen in his debilitation sign.
Example 1: Sri Rama (Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn in exaltation; Moon and Lagna in Cancer; Mercury in Taurus; Rahu and Ketu in Sagittarius and Gemini respectively)
In the chart of Sri Rama Saturn is opposite the Sun and must thus be retrograde. Saturn is in his exaltation sign in a kendra which is a very negative position and will devastate the fourth house indications. When the Moola dasa of Saturn began Sri Rama was exiled from his home (fourth house) due to the actions of a step mother (fourth house – saturn).
Example 2: Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Date: February 18, 1836
Time Zone: 5:50:56 (East of GMT)
Place: 87 E 44′ 00″, 22 N 53′ 00″
Aquarius is the Lagna and three planets viz. Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury are retrograde. Among these Saturn is retrograde in the ninth house in exaltation. Whilst Saturn and Jupiter both associated wit the ninth house indicating blessings after joining a spiritual lineage, the position of Saturn being retro and exalted brings a negative influence on the ninth house.
The effects of poverty, hunger, etc. and all the amenities of the lifestyle of an ascetic are indicated. However, Saturn is the lagna lord and indicates that HE chose this lifestyle, and thus a real tapasvi is born from this yoga.
Now, a benefic planet be it sattvic or rajasic will carry somewhat different characteristics. The sattvic Jupiter is like a sage coming out of meditation and is eager to bless the world with mantras, knowledge, etc. As a result he is in a very giving mood and if he is placed in his sign of debilitation there is NO GIVING as he has nothing to give. Yes, he is aiming towards exaltation as that is his desire, but how much of this can he give?
Similarly the rajasic planets are aiming towards growth and prosperity, but without money (debilitation) how will they grow?
Hence when a BENEFIC is retrograde, then his placement in debilitation is ONLY auspicious when in Dusthana. Otherwise in kendra or trikona he will act like a curse.
Opposite will happen in the exaltation sign.
Example 3: Insanity Case – VRA
Date: August 10, 1949
Time Zone: 5:30:00 (East of GMT)
Place: 85 E 50′ 00″, 20 N 30′ 00″
The lagna is Virgo and Jupiter is retrograde in the chart. Jupiter is placed in the fifth house in debilitation thus indicating a terrible durbhagya from past life. This is substantiated by Jupiter being afflicted by Sun and Mars (fire/burning), as Jupiters vargottama placement indicates that it will affect the first house adversely where health, intelligence will suffer as a result.
This happens in the fifth house of mantra and bhakti and can show wrong mantras/thoughts guiding the native and leading towards the problem. This is especially so with Jupiter being badhakesh placed here as a severe pisacha badhak and sarpa dosha exists in the chart.
The native dabbled in black magic and some of the darker tantric practices, which resulted in him loosing his mental balance after an accident involving the burning down of a building, he developed scizophrenia.
Now, there is more to consider here such as the INTENSITY of the retrogression, as a planet who is ending his retrogression has his desires fulfilled and will not be as destructive, whilst one who has just begun is full of energy and desires. I will leave this aspect of the discussion to a future publication.