Research in Retrograde Planets
Role of Retrograde Planets in Prediction: A Call for Research and Research Frameworks Dr. Andrew Dutta The phenomenon of retrogression of planets has always been a tricky and a sticky issue to all those who practice astrology sincerely. Predictions have gone haywire due to both consideration and nonconsideration of retrograde planets. It still remains one of the most discussed yet hardly researched topic in the field of modern astrology. This article calls for research frameworks for methodically analyzing the predictive outcomes of astrological analysis by taking into consideration the discrepancy between prediction and actual outcome in the light of retrograde planets in a large pool of data set. The article will also discuss two horary case studies wherein retrograde planets played their necessary roles and created the usual confusion. Considerable amount of literature has been spent in the field of Vedic astrology about the role of retrograde planets, their effects and their capacity to alter results in nativities. Various rules on the effects of retrograde planets have been discussed in ancient texts as well as in modern discourses. But the quality of prediction has not improved. In the last century, with the advent of the Krishnamurti Paddhati technique of astrological delineation much clarity has been brought to the fore. Our Guruji, late Sri K. S. Krishnamurti used retrogression of planets with much clarity and simplicity for predictions and timing of outcomes. It was only with Krishnamurti Paddhati that retrograde planets received their due status in prediction and the astrological fraternity understood how to use retrogression of planets for prediction. Sri KSK in his six readers formulated a number of rules for accurate predictions, the fundamental premise of which is based on retrogression. In order to offer prediction for specific queries in the horary chart, our Guruji gave a number of golden rules, which when summarized can be stated as follows1: 1. For every query, find out the most important (main) house, its cuspal sublord and the star lord of this cuspal sublord. 2. Next, find out the houses related to this main house, their cuspal sub lords and the star lords of these cuspal sub lord. 3. The most important house cusp (main) sub lord should not itself be retrograde at the time of judgment. 4. This sub lord should not occupy a star whose lord is retrograde at the time of judgment.
Refer Readers I to VI authored by Sri K. S. Krishnamurti
5. The main house cuspal sub lord should be related with other house pertaining to the question. 6. Finally, Rules 3, 4, and 5 should be SIMULTANEOUSLY satisfied to denote a positive answer. If any one of the Rules 3, 4 or 5 is not satisfied, it shows a negative result for the querist. Results will not fructify. It is therefore, clear that the inventor of this system of astrological prediction placed a lot of emphasis on retrogression of planets and its practical utility in prediction. Later authors such as Sri C. R. Bhatt, Sri J. Hasbe, Sri M. P. Shanmugam, Sri V. Ramamurthy have equally emphasized in their writing about retrograde planet’s capacity to alter prediction. Today in the KP fraternity there appears to be opinion divided upon the role of retrograde planets in the light of the above rules. There is one school of thought that considers the above rules given by Guruji to be true with respect to both natal and horary horoscopy. The second school of thought makes a clear distinction that the above rules of retrogression apply only to horary and not to natal horoscopy. Whereas, the third school of thought take a detour and believes that the rules of retrogression as propounded by KSK applies to horary only if the main cuspal sublord is in the star of a retrograde planet. They do not take exceptions to the cuspal sublords being retrograde. However, no systematic research has yet been published to test these issues. In the year 1996, late Dr. (Pandit) Kesav Ranjan Kar published an article on retrograde planets in KP & Astrology Yearbook. Subsequently another article appeared in the 1997 issue of the same magazine. Both these articles were a landmark paper in the theory of retrogression of planets for two reasons: firstly, the paper was based on his personal research, and secondly, he was able to provide certain pre-tested rules that were amenable to further hypotheses testing. Experimentation, testing and inference are the hallmark of a natural science and Dr. Kar paved the way for modern practitioners of astrology to take up a new research agenda. However, though Dr. Kar’s papers have immense merit in their own respect, today we need research output in astrology that would stand the test of rigor and statistical validity. In this respect it is noteworthy that Sri. A. R. Raichur and Sri. Kanak Bosmia are doing very commendable, statistically rigorous and valid research in KP astrology. In the April issue of KP E-Zine Sri Bosmia has beautifully summarized the research contribution of Dr. Kar with respect to retrogression of planets. In this article I suggest a research framework that may assist in operationalizing research in retrogression. The purpose of this framework is exploratory in nature and the exact model would be determined by the research questions and the hypotheses to be tested in deductive approaches. While researching on retrogression of planets in KP, one would need to clearly articulate the research question to be addressed. 2
This is important both from an ontological as well as methodological point of view. Clear articulation of the research question would set the backdrop of the research and the researcher would be better equipped to handle data collection, data sorting, data cleaning and subsequent data analysis. To give a few examples, it may be worth the time and resource to look into research questions such as: 1. Does retrogression of main house cuspal sublord deny results? 2. Does retrogression of auxiliary house cuspal sublord deny results? 3. Does retrogression of main house cuspal sublord’s starlord deny results? Many such valid research questions can be formulated to test various rules and arrive at conclusions. Once the research questions have been identified, then a researcher would need to start collecting data related to his or her research questions. For example, with respect to the first question above, one may collect 200 horary and 200 natal charts related to a particular issue, say, child birth wherein the main cuspal sublord is retrograde. Once this data has been collected, a researcher would then require categorizing this data in appropriate matrices. I provide below an operational design to sort the data for easiness of analysis for natal as well as for horary datasets.
R e s u lt s
Main cuspal sublord retrograde
In the above 2X2 matrix we find four types of data situations that beckon analysis for testing rules of retrogression in KP astrology. The first type is A type wherein the main cuspal sublord is retrograde but results were achieved. (An unexpected outcome according to the dictums of classical 3
KP astrology). In B type data situations, the main cuspal sublord was NOT retrograde and results were achieved. (A normal outcome according to classical astrology). In C type of situation the main cuspal sublord is retrograde and no results were achieved. (Another normal outcome according to classical KP rules). Finally, in D type of situations, the main cuspal sublord was not retrograde BUT no results were achieved. (A situation of anomaly requiring inductive research designs). Such situations may arise due to a multitude of factors such as effects of other rules, astrologers’ mistakes, etc. Type D data situations are perhaps the most complex wherein the researcher needs to be careful about and control for extraneous effects such as astrologers’ mistakes. One practical solution to such data situations would be to recast and reanalyze these datasets by two additional astrologers. This would help in bringing inter-rater reliability and the much needed data validity in the process of scientific inquiry. Once the various types of data situations are analyzed, one may then proceed in systematic data analysis with manual tabulation followed by software driven statistical analysis. The results obtained would be much more reliable in understanding the efficacy of various rules of retrogression found in classical KP texts. The above matrix a simplistic form of data sorting with two parameters. However, in situations requiring more than two parameters, suitable modifications in the research design is possible with the guidance of an able research supervisor. The design of multi-parametric model should not be viewed as a challenge but rather a necessity borne out of practical consideration. Sri Rangarajan Krishnamurty’s research on a couple of KP topics is based on such multi-parametric research designs. I now provide two case examples to justify the importance of research in retrogression rules in KP astrology. The first example is that of a lady whose query was: My monthly menses has stopped. Am I pregnant? She gave the KP horary number 248 and I analyzed on the same day—15th April 2007—at 7:16 pm (IST) in my residence at Hyderabad. The chart is provided below. Moon, the reflector of mind and the bearer of the radicality of a horary chart, signifies 5 and 11. So, the question of child birth is reflected in the chart. Moreover, Moon’s strong signification of 12th shows the tension and worries at the back of the lady’s mind.
Since the question is put by a lady, the main cusp that was considered was the 5th cusp. The 5th cuspal sublord is Mercury. It is not retrograde. Moreover, Mercury is an A grade significator of 5 and cuspal significator of 5 and 11. At the stellar level, Mercury is also a good significator of 5. Mercury is in Meena rashi—a fruitful sign, and Mercury’s starlord Saturn is also in a fruitful sign—Cancer. This analysis tempts us to pronounce that the lady is pregnant. However, I pronounced that the lady is NOT PREGNANT for a simple reason. The reason is also related with retrogression and is part of our 3rd question discussed above. Even though main cusp sublord, Mercury, is direct, Mercury is in the star of Saturn which is retrograde at the time of judgment. This case is a classic example for research questions 1 and 3 discussed above. But one needs to be careful in classifying this case. If we consider only Question 1 then this case falls in Type A, whereas if we view it as an anomaly with respect to question 1, then this case becomes classified as Type D. What we need is a very good number of such case examples where the results can be put to tests for classical KP rules. On 20th April 2007 this lady informed me that on this date she had her normal menses, which meant that she was indeed not pregnant! The second case is about a MBA graduate, Ms. Mittal, who asked me the question when will I get a job? She gave me the KP horary number 57 and I analyzed the query on 22nd March 2007 at 1:53 pm (IST) in Hyderabad. The lady was working with a multinational but gave up her job due to health reasons and was seeking a job in a better position and pay package. The chart is provided below. Moon, the significator of mind, signified 11 and 2 along with 10 at the stellar level. Thus, the query was clearly reflected. The main cusp considered for the analysis was the 6th cusp. This is because she was curious to know about the timing of the job. It was a case of timing service and therefore, I considered 6th cusp to be more appropriate than 10th. Here the 6th cuspal sublord was Sun signifying only 9 and 3. Sun’s sublord Saturn, though signified one of the auxiliary houses—namely the 2nd house—it was retrograde. NOW THIS WAS A CRITICAL SITUATION. If we consider the first case study to be true and reflecting a correct retrogression rule in KP then we should also say that this lady is not destined to get a job since the starlord of the main house cuspal sublord is retrograde. This is a typical example of dilemma that any astrologer would face. In the first case, the retro starlord of the main cuspal sublord did not deliver the result. So, by virtue of scientific logic, the same should hold true in this case also and we should declare negative result. But previous research on retrogression rules by Dr. Kar points out a rule that if Sun is related with retrograde main cuspal sublord or its retro starlord or both then there is no effect of retrogression. Note, that in this second case, the main cuspal sublord’s starlord--retro Saturn--was the planetary starlord of Sun. This direct one-to-one connection of Sun with retro Saturn rendered it powerless to deny results. 6
Upon working out the Dasa, Bhukti and Anthara and emphasizing on the Ascendant Starlord of the RP on my date and time of judgment, I declared to Ms. Mittal that she would be getting the job and gave her two time periods of one week each. The first time period was 22nd to 28th April 2007 and the other was 11th to 16th June 2007. On 8th April 2007 she informed me that she has got an appointment letter from American Express Bank for the post of Business Analyst and her joining date was 23rd April 2007. Retrograde planet delivered result. To conclude therefore, I would like to emphasize on the development of proper research design in executing research on various dictums of astrology in general and KP astrology in particular. We need clearly focused research questions followed by testable hypotheses for deductive frameworks, rigorous analytic techniques with high inter-rater reliability and constant ex-post data testing with the research findings. Research in astrology should also conform to norms of scientific testing for greater validity of rules. Only then we can predict safely without the attendant danger of making mistakes and drawing the flak of our clients. Sri Kanak Bosmia has done a yeoman service to the KP field by publishing KP E-Zine and I would be more than glad to offer my guidance for any person who would like to do some serious and systematic research in astrology. They may contact me without hesitation.