The unfoldment process involving the Mars T-square with Uranus & Pluto
Since Mars was retrograde during the Spring of 2014, instead of moving steadily along through the signs, it stopped at about 28º Libra, turned around for awhile from Mar 1st to May 19th, and went back to 9º Libra. Then Mars turned direct at 9º and once again began moving forward through Libra. What this means is that Mars is going over a portion of Libra three times, creating an unfoldment process beginning the first time Mars came to 9º Libra on Dec 25, 2013 and completing around Jul 21, 2014 when Mars will reach 28º Libra for the last time in this cycle. Read more...
With Mars in Libra from Dec 2013 through July 2014, we are all experiencing a focus of Mars-like activity wherever Libra is in our natal chart. Mars is the epitome of rugged individualism, and the Mars archetype embodies desire with the will and force to take whatever actions are necessary to fulfill the desire. However, in the polite and courteous sign of Libra, the archetype of carefully weighing and balancing before taking any actions and thinking first of the other, Mars is discouraged from acting as decisively, directly, and autonomously as is natural for him. So along with going retrograde, which slowed down his drive, being in Libra has moderated Mar’s usual take charge nature. It will be interesting to see how things shift once Mars enters Scorpio on Jul 25th, one of his home signs, where he is more enabled to move in his own rhythm.
One of the most striking parts of this Mars retrograde process has been Mar’s involvement with the Cardinal Grand Cross and the longer term Uranus/Pluto square. Included in the unfoldment process from Dec 2013 thru Jul 2014 is Mars opposing Uranus from Libra three times and squaring Pluto from Libra three times. Mars in direct motion opposed Uranus the first time on Dec 25, 2013 and squared Pluto the first time on Dec 30, 2013. Then retrograde Mars opposed Uranus and squared Pluto both on Apr 23, 2014. After Mars turned direct again it squared Pluto the third time on Jun 14, 2014 and the third Mars opposite Uranus aspect is upon us on Jun 25th.
When a planet goes retrograde and makes the same aspect three times – first direct, then retrograde, then direct again – it represents a three part process. Sometimes the three part process works like this: the first direct hit wakes you up to an issue, the second retrograde hit triggers a profound review of the issue, and the third direct hit corresponds with the beginning of the resolution. This general concept can be helpful in contemplating one’s own three part process, however it isn’t always quite that neat or clear.
It is interesting to note one’s own internal unfoldment that began in Dec 2013 and which will conclude in July. Mars has been the zealous friend spurring Uranus on to make radical changes for the sake of greater freedom and authenticity, and spurring Pluto to destroy that which is causing stagnation for the purpose of making space for a deeper expression of self. The energy is high and possibly tense or volatile especially now as we lead up to the exact Mars opposite Uranus aspect early Wednesday morning, so caution is advised, while embracing those changes and transformations that reflect who you truly are now and what you truly want as of today, regardless of what others may think or want for you. Pluto is about jumping into the fire and facing your deepest fears and coming out the other side empowered. Uranus is about being true to your self. With Mars in Libra, perhaps the caveat is authenticity and honesty — yes, but not at the expense of the other — rather in connection with the other.
The energy has officially shifted. Dynamic, enterprising, and passionate Mars is direct after 2 ½ months (since March 1st) of being retrograde. When a planet is retrograde its associated qualities can seem subdued or suppressed, because the archetypal life of the planet changes from the usual outward manifestation to a more internalized expression, which may be difficult to see, understand, or access. Mars is most comfortable when he gets to play the superhero, warrior, pioneer, or all out go-getter. While retrograde and in Libra he was needing to be peaceful, reserved, and patient before taking action — and if he wasn’t he probably lost in battle. Now that Mars is direct all of that pent up energy is allowed to flow freely again. New ideas, desires, and opportunities may be appearing where there was a sense of stagnation or indecision before. It’s exciting and yet still very uncertain. Things are moving, but which way are they going? It may not be clear for a little while as Mars first has to retrace his steps before he actually moves into new territory. The Sun also just shifted from spending a month in slow and steady Taurus to now being in quick-moving and changeable Gemini, which is contributing to the new thought-forms popping up.
There is a quality of stillness or hesitancy right now, as Mars is stationary at 9º2 Libra May 18-21. Action-oriented Mars has slowed down to an almost imperceptible crawl as he prepares to shift and turn direct Monday night. On the other hand, when a planet stations, its energy is heightened and intensified, so some people may be experiencing the Mars station as an active and stimulating energy. Mars, who is normally confident, quick, decisive, and independent with strong determination to achieve his goals and win any battle, is going through an unusually long and possibly uncomfortable journey through Venus’s territory, Libra, from Dec 7, 2013 thru Jul 25, 2014. Libra is the sign that epitomizes the opposite of Mar’s nature. The Libran way values careful deliberation, cooperation, harmony, and balance. So with Mars in Libra and including a long retrograde phase, we’ve had an interesting journey over the last few months of integrating opposing forces. Some possibilities include: seeing the value of sitting with anger or other strong feelings or impulses instead of acting on them; or trying to express anger or our individualistic choices in a diplomatic and considerate way. These practices might feel as though they require superhuman strength at times, but while Mars is in Libra we are especially likely to benefit greatly from attempting them.
The timing of the 3 phases of this retrograde may be of interest: Read more...
The pre-retrograde shadow, from Dec 26, 2013 thru Mar 1, 2014 — Mars reached 9º of Libra the first time on Dec 26, 2013. Whatever was arising at that time may be arising again now, but from a different perspective — after the unfoldment of all that has taken place since then. The pre-retrograde shadow marks the beginning of a significant process that is to be addressed during the retrograde phase.
The retrograde phase, from Mar 1 thru May 19, 2014 – Mars began moving backwards from our visual perspective on Earth, on Mar 1st at 27º Libra. During the retrograde, some possibilities are: confusing and conflicted actions, feeling strongly thwarted, or in contrast feeling regret because of forceful energies that were not thwarted. Waiting, observing, and responding when necessary rather than initiating life changing actions are advised while Mars is retrograde.
The post retrograde shadow, from May 19 thru Jul 21, 2014 — Mars turns direct on May 19th so initiating important actions and decisions based on the wisdom that was gained during the retrograde period will have energy and support. However, although Mars will be direct, he is still in review mode and it will take some time to gain momentum and find resolutions.
Compassionate communication and Mars retrograde in Libra
Today I am beginning an 8 week course in Compassionate Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication). This is something I’ve wanted to pursue a serious study of for awhile after reading books and trying to practice on my own (which proved difficult!). Everything lined up for me with this endeavor now while Mars is retrograde in Libra. How perfect! Why is the period when Mars is retrograde in Libra perfect for focusing on compassionate/non-violent communication? Firstly, because Libra rules the art of listening and speaking skillfully, diplomatically, and most importantly empathically — balancing awareness and sensitivity between self and other. This is challenging, to say the least, especially when strong emotions are triggered. Secondly, Mars rules self-assertion, leadership, and frankness, but also aggression and violence on the shadow side (every archetype has a shadow side). Mars retrograde on the other hand, supports holding aggression back, turning it within, contemplating it, and transmuting it. We all feel anger and aggression sometimes, which is often a surface layer over suppressed hurt or fear. To be able to express those deeper feelings and in a way that inspires giving and receiving from the heart, as opposed to creating more hurt feelings, anger, defensiveness, and chronic unmet needs in our relationships, is a great way to utilize the energy of Mars retrograde in Libra. I am happy for this opportunity.
Mars has been through quite a process over the last several months. In Nov 2011, it entered its pre-retrograde shadow period while in the sign of Virgo ♍ — meaning: issues related to the masculine within, possibly issues with actual men in one’s life, the drive and energy to assert oneself, and the enthusiasm to go after what is desired — all these were bound to be slowed down and analyzed carefully, with some false starts and reconsiderations made through the retrograde phase (Jan 23-Apr 15, 2012). Then it was not until Jun 19th that Mars completed its post-retrograde shadow period. So in effect, after a long inward process of integrating all that has been learned and understood over the last several months, Mars is now for the first time since November moving forward full steam ahead, with greater clarity and preparation, ready to pioneer into fresh new territory.
Mercury is now direct, as of this morning. However, he is stationary, in the same degree or so for a couple of days before gaining momentum forward, possibly bringing some intensity to all Mercury related things (thinking, communication, commerce, travel, etc) as they become “un-stuck.” Mercury is still in his “shadow,” in that he will be traveling over the part of the zodiac that he traversed while moving “backwards.” But this time he is moving forwards, without needing to go back over this same ground again after this. So although Mercury will not reach new territory, so to speak, until about Apr 23rd, this post-retrograde shadow is not the same as the pre-retrograde shadow. This period may still include working through some issues that arose in the past, but final resolution is more likely now. Whatever is agreed upon from this point forward will most likely not need to be redone or revised, as is often the case with agreements made during the pre-retrograde shadow and the retrograde period.
Though Mars is still retrograde in Virgo through Apr 13th, Mars retrograde may not affect the agreements per se, as much as Mercury does. Rather, Mars affects the actions that need to happen in order to follow through on those agreements. This just suggests that the actions to fulfill the agreements may still take more time while full analysis is completed during the end of the retrograde cycle... In short, moving forward on agreements is supported, while patience for the fulfillment of them may still be needed.
A week of internal new beginnings and “seed moments”
We have a New Moon each month as the Moon conjoins the Sun. This moment marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. When the Sun meets up in this way with any planet, it marks a new cycle, a sort of new birth, for that planet. So in addition to a New Moon we could have a “New Venus” or a “New Jupiter”. The conjunction with the Sun is said to be a “seed moment” for the planet. This week has been full of new beginnings and seed moments: Read more...
The Spring Equinox on 3/20 — when the Sun enters 0º Aries, it is the astrological New Year, an opportunity for overall revitalization.
The seed moment of Mercury on 3/21 — A New Mercury is an opportunity to grasp a new perspective and create new mental patterns and thought-ways.
The seed moment of the Moon on 3/22 — A New Moon marks an opportunity to discover and honor where one’s heart is in the now.
The seed moment of Uranus 3/24 — A New Uranus signifies an opportunity to embrace change, which will support underlying soul longings for freedom from bondage.
Yet these new beginnings are happening mostly on a deeply internal level for now, as Mercury is retrograde (Mar 7-Apr 4) and Mars is also retrograde (Jan 23-Apr 13). Although the excitement of change and newness is brewing, I am reminding myself that there may be little decision-making, external proof, or action that needs to take place just yet. These transitions are all still occupying the inner realm of intention and will unfold with more clarity and drive after Mercury and Mars go direct.
Mars represents an aspect of the inner masculine. He is the archetype who initiates, assertively and confidently. Mars is the drive to go after what you want, even to fight for it if necessary. Mars is active, dynamic, and decisive. When Mars is retrograde, this natural drive is turned inward. Instead of acting on a desire, we may find it is a time to simply “be with” the impulse. This part of the Mars cycle is supportive of observation, stillness, and analysis (♍) of one’s motivations — as opposed to hasty behavior or unconsidered action. Also, the nature of one’s desire might undergo a change in direction or object — toward fulfilling an inner need that has been on the back burner for awhile, but now calls for an avenue of expression. Contemplation during this period will create greater clarity about what to pursue, what to let go of, and the wisest, most efficient (♍) way to take action that will serve (♍) the greatest good.