Sometimes the obvious is invisible, most likely because we are inclined to look at details and just simply overlook the greater picture. Although I have seen many charts and read many astrology books it never occurred to me nor has anyone recorded, in an astrology book that is, the simple observation that when an outer planet is in opposition to the Sun it is always retrograde. Always. And in the middle of the retrograde arc. I came across this in James Evans, ‘The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy’ in the chapter on planetary theory (p. 296).
Let’s try to put this in an astrological context. To be retrograde is considered a major accidental debility, William Lilly gives it 5 points in a scale of 1 to 5. An opposition is an aspect of conflict; at best the opposing planet is in its domicile or exaltation, angular and maybe conjunct Spica; at worst it is in detriment or fall, cadent and conjunct Algol. Most likely it will be the dominant aspect in the chart forming a personal pole around which the rest of the chart ‘rotates’ (figuratively), the house axis pointing to a major life theme with which the native wrestles. An aspect of a lifetime as many years can pass until the planet goes direct by secondary progression! For example Jupiter may take 60 or more years before he goes direct by secondary progression!