Stationary Phase

From Astrodienst Astrowiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Stationary period, direct and retrograde motion of Mars

The transit phase that occurs when a planet moves from direct motion to retrograde motion and vice versa. Ephemerides and some computer programmes indicate the stationary phase by putting an "S" next to the planetary symbol. When a planet is about to change direction (from the earth's perspective), it slows down until it appears to come to a standstill before it changes direction.

The duration of the stationary phase depends on a planet's orbital period - and the definition of what one considers a "standstill". With the slower moving planets (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) the stationary phase can last up to four weeks if one allows for an orb of several minutes of arc.

Interpretation

A direct planet in a natal horoscope and personality expresses its energy more outwardly or extrovertly; whereas a retrograde planet is more inward-looking or introverted. During the stationary phase, the planet's energy becomes concentrated or focused. Similarly, when a transiting planet forms an aspect to a natal planet during its stationary phase, the effect is particularly powerful.

Definition and Duration of the Stationary Phase

Astrodienst Values
Planet v ≤
Mercury 5' or 300"/ day
Venus 3' or 180"/ day
Mars 90"/ day
Jupiter 60"/ day
Saturn 60"/ day
Chiron 20"/ day
Uranus 20"/ day
Neptune 10"/ day
Pluto 10"/ day

It is not possible to specify an exact duration of the stationary phases, since the velocity (v) of a planet continuously changes from the geocentric point of view, and every indication of the duration of station corresponds to a more or less arbitrary definition. Astrodienst uses a simple pragmatic definition, see table on the left.

One possibility is to derive the definition of a station from the speed of the celestial body concerned, for example if it is below 5% or 2% of its maximum speed. For example, with Mercury, which moves a maximum of about 100 arc minutes per day, the speed at which one can speak of its station is 5 or 2 arc minutes per day.

At what point one regards a planet as resting, however, lies in the experience and discretion of the individual astrologer.

Planet vmax 5 % vmax Duration
≤ 5 % vmax
2 % vmax Duration
≤ 2 % vmax
1 % vmax Duration
≤ 1 % vmax
Mercury 100'/ d 5'/ d 24 h 2'/ d 10 h 1'/ d 4 h 45 m
Venus 75'/ d 3'45"/ d 3 d 4 h 1'30"/ d 1 d 6 h 45"/ d 15 h
Mars 47'/ d 2'21"/ d 6 d 12 h 56"/ d 2 d 13 h 23"/ d 25 h
Jupiter 14'/ d 42"/ d 7 d 17"/ d 2 d 20 h 8,5"/ d 36 h
Saturn 7'29"/ d 22,5"/ d 7 d 9"/ d 2 d 22 h 4,5"/ d 35 h
Uranus 3'26"/ d 10,3"/ d 6 d 12 h 4,12"/ d 2 d 12 h 2,06"/ d 31 h
Neptune 2'17"/ d 6,85"/ d 2,74"/ d 1,37"/ d
Pluto[1] 2'11"/ d 6,55"/ d 2,62"/ d 1,31"/ d

vmax = maximum speed
units of orbital movement: ' = arc minute, " = arc second
time units: d = day, h = hour, m = minute

Weblinks

Notes and References

  1. Value for 2010