Because the Earth is the third planet from the Sun and our astrology is based on living here (rather than at the center of the solar system), all the planetary bodies -- except the Sun and Moon -- will appear to move forward in the zodiac, slow down at certain times, make a station or stopping, go retrograde and eventually slow down again, make another station, and go forward. Planetary stations coincide with some of the most powerful events in life and archetypal influences in a birthchart.
Some people are born when one or more planets, Chiron or an asteroid have no motion. This is known as a station or the stopping of a celestial body from the Earth’s point of view. In my work and research as a professional astrologer for over three decades, I have found planetary stations to be one of the more profound influences in the field of astrology. It’s as if the cosmic body in question is in “lock step” with the Earth, humanity and the individual incarnating into the physical world. When I do my consultation work for clients, one of the first things I do is open the ephemeris (with all the day-by-day planetary movements) and check to see if the person in question was born at a station.
Now most souls come into earthly life when no stations are happening. President John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 when Mercury and Uranus – two planets both connected to the power of the mind, thinking, intellect and potential genius – were motionless. Therefore, these two celestial bodies were incredibly profound for the life and destiny of JFK. And when he died by the infamous assassination on November 22, 1963, these same two planets were precisely at right angles in the sky (a square pattern of 90 degrees) and also exactly connected with the largest planet Jupiter – all three celestial bodies forming what is known as a Pythagorean Triangle, a very mysterious configuration.
There is also an “orb effect.” To have a planetary station prominent at your birth, you don’t necessarily have to be born right on the day that the celestial body ceases all motion from the Earth’s vantage point. Thus, a person born within, say, a couple of days of a Pluto station will have an extra potency of the Pluto archetype working strongly throughout life.
Just as planetary stations are crucial to note in a birthchart, they are very important to watch in the ever-changing sky.
Please see our actual Daily Cosmic Kalendar entries for more information on the current celestial stations.
Note: Many students of astrology have the false impression that planets stopping or going retrograde are “bad.” That is not true and it is a lower and negative use of astrology. Retrograde motion is a normal and natural part of our astrological and zodiacal reference system on Earth. Celestial bodies slowing down, making stations, and going backward and forward, represent movements in our consciousness, shifts in our awareness, and often the chance to review and reflect carefully before going ahead dynamically with important plans and enterprises.