Western culture is linear--we layout our planning and like to see progress made with each step advancing us further along. Too bad nature does not work that way. Nature's way is to work in rhythms and cycles. That means progress tends to be more like 'one step forward, two steps back.' Think of the last time you tried to master a new skill and you get the idea.
Astrology observes the dance of the planets and ties back their movement to events here on Earth. "As above, so below" said Hermes, and so it is.
But the dance that astrologers observe is based on their vantage point on Planet Earth, that wonderful rock on which we find ourselves. After all, despite science class and the benefit of satellites, earth-view is the perspective we see the Universe and earth-view is the perspective the Universe has upon us. Or, you can call it by the fancy-shmancy term 'geocentric.'
After all, just as the world looks different from, say, Seattle than Brisbane, Australia, the Universe looks different from Earth than it does from the Sun's, or 'helio-centric,' perspective.
And the planetary dance looks very different from earth-view than it does from outer space. For starters, in earth-view, the Sun really does revolve around the Earth. Astronomers coined a term for the apparent path of the Sun's journey around the Sun, they call it the "ecliptic."
In earth-view, the Sun and Moon are planets, too, because like Venus, Mars, etal, they appear to revolve around the Earth--and in the case of the Moon, literally does.
Also, in earth-view, planets can travel backwards. The astronomer's term is "retrograde." Because of the difference in distance and relative speeds of the orbits of the various planets around the Sun, from time-to-time, planets will appear to slow down, come to a halt, then reverse.
The effect is similar to driving alongside another car on a highway. If you are traveling 5 miles per hour faster, it will appear that the second car is losing motion or traveling backward. From the perspective of earth-view, the energy of a planet in retrograde motion is working internally. It is nature's way of giving you a chance to integrate its energy before moving on.
And the further the planet is from the Sun, the longer it spends in retrograde motion. That makes sense astrologically, because outer planet effects are deeper and more transformative, so we need more time to make sense of them and integrate them.
Of course you know from Science class that each planet orbits in one direction, but that is not a contradiction to the earth-view perspective. Because even when you feel like you are taking two steps back during a planet's retrograde period, you are still making progress.