There is one thing astronomers and astrologers agree on: what constitutes a “retrograde” planet. The motion of any planet in our solar system is said to be retrograde when, plotted against the backdrop of the signs of the Zodiac, it appears to slow down, stop, and start going backwards. No planet actually changes direction, of course, but because of our relative speeds and positions around the Sun, this optical illusion causes it to appear so. To bring it down to Earth, think of a fast train overtaking a slower train: to the passengers on the fast train, the slow train appears to be moving slower and slower until suddenly it seems to be standing still. As the fast train finally passes it, the slow train appears to go backwards!
As I write this, both Venus and Jupiter are retrograde, Venus in the sign of Pisces (after a toe dip in the following sign of Aries) and Jupiter in the sign of Libra. Of even greater significance to astrologers and expectant mothers who are into astrology is the fact that the planet Saturn is what we call “stationary retrograde,” meaning that for the next couple of days it is appearing to stand still before making its four month march backwards through the sign of Sagittarius. A baby born on a stationary planetary day, retrograde or direct, is often seen to display an uncanny ability in one or more of the areas ruled by that planet. Babies born with Saturn stationary in Sagittarius will be exalted as teachers who combine the best the world has to offer us, exemplary executives, and authorities in their chosen field.
Now how do you think you’re supposed to eat if you’re in the dining car of a train that slows down, stops and starts moving backwards? That’s easy: carefully. There is nothing as spiritual as how our life is sustained and enabled by the food we eat and there is no time as stressful for most people as when one or more planets are retrograde. While we go into more depth about how food and astrology are connected in our new book, Signs and Seasons, here's a primer on how the various retrogrades tempt you to eat (and how to deal).