Venus turned retrograde in Aries yesterday. With Venus in the sign that is most opposite to her own intrinsic essence, this may stir up some discomfort. But it is an important and necessary phase of processing Venus-related things (partnerships, financial matters & comforts, beauty & aesthetics, etc) — that should prove to be clarifying and freeing.
Venus, known for her relationship-oriented, other-focused, ready-to-understand, ready-to-accommodate way of being is in the sign that is all about “me,” “my” own needs, what “I” want, and being true to “self.” The context of these opposites is an opportunity to find more inner wholeness.
Further, the nature of a retrograde cycle activates things from the past — under the surface resentments or unresolved issues — for the purpose of rousing out those undetected but simmering impediments to a clear and clean interrelationship, and making changes that need to be made. Depending on where you have Aries in your chart will reveal the area of life most affected by this retrograde process. With Mars also in Aries (Jan 28-Mar 9) there is a an extra quality of feistiness, self-interest, or conflict in that same area of your life.
Venus will back up into Pisces on Apr 2, which will have a different flavor for that part of the retrograde cycle. Venus in Pisces has more of a sense of unity and unconditional love, which would be a nice result of the resolution of old resentments. Then when Venus makes her final pass through Aries (Apr 28-Jun 6) moving in direct motion, things will be in a different place. Not stuck, but ready to go forth, which Aries likes to do!
During the last week of September and the first week or so of October 2014, there is an inspiring and dynamic configuration of harmony and flow amongst Jupiter in Leo, Uranus in Aries, and Mars in Sagittarius. The trine aspect amongst all three planets suggests they are on very friendly terms with one another, automatically “get” one another, and naturally support each other in their individual efforts and goals. Whichever houses Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius are in, in your chart represent the areas of life where these three planetary archetypes are playing out their roles and happily connecting in a spirited and enthusiastic (fiery) way. Jupiter brings opportunity and expansion, Uranus brings radical shifts and breakthroughs, and Mars brings the energy and drive to bring it all on. When operating in the fire signs these planets suggest a lot of excitement, the propensity for taking bold risks, and the desire for both freedom and passion. If you have planets or points near 15º of any of the fire signs, you will be feeling this grand trine more powerfully. Read more...
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.
There are two particularly tense times in June that echo the dramatic changes, upheavals, and long-term effects of the Cardinal Grand Cross that peaked in April. On June 14th Mars squared Pluto again, and on June 25th Mars will oppose Uranus again. Squares and oppositions are known to be stressful or hard aspects, but they serve the purpose of pressuring us to turn corners, make choices, and overcome obstacles or problems that require attention, by calling upon our ingenuity, strength, and determination. Mars contributes plenty of vigor and energy to confront these challenges but can spur us into overdrive and add volatility or impatience to the mix. Uranus brings revolutionary thinking outside of the box, but this can also mean being suddenly outside of one’s comfort zone. Pluto tends to dig up buried parts of the self that have been suppressed, revealing hidden wounds, as well as potential treasures. If these Grand Cross aspects are not affecting your chart significantly, all of this may only be experienced as a subtle feeling or in the background of the collective. But many people were and still are being directly and concretely affected by the Grand Cross and these eruptive aftershocks. The Grand Cross can be seen as a Crossroads and with the planets in the Cardinal signs there is a lot of energy for initiating new directions. Read more...
While Mercury is retrograde (June 7-30) it is a fitting time to review, reflect, and fill in additional necessary learning in connection with the complex internal processes and/or life-changing events and developments that have occurred, and which may still be stirring up conflict or confusion especially as new possibilities emerge. Mercury is having us go back and forth over the territory helping us to make sense of and integrate our experiences, as well as giving us an enticing glimpse into a richer existence more aligned with our larger self.
Another thing to note while Mercury is retrograde is that it is common to either not have all the information about matters or to not have good mental clarity about matters, and the pieces may not fall into place or all come together until after Mercury turns direct (July 1st). However, June 19th is a good day to pay attention and listen, as the Sun and Mercury will meet, planting relevant clues in the mind related to the vision of ourselves or our lives of which at this point we can only get an obscure sense.
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.
There is a Full Moon in Taurus on Monday. The moon affects currents and tides, whether in the ocean or in the form of emotion. And the Full Moon is associated with stronger and more volatile surges. On Sunday, Mars, who stirs things up and is not known for peacefulness, was opposite Jupiter, who augments whatever he touches. This aspect could have been a contributor to the sheer size of hurricane Sandy. On the up side, another function of Jupiter is to absorb negative influences. In the solar system Jupiters gravity literally protects us from sundry asteroids, meteorites, and ice balls that could collide with Earth. The astrological symbolism of this astronomical fact is that Jupiter serves as a guardian. The seeming paradox that Jupiter can magnify difficulties and yet at the same time also serve as a protector, symbolizes the face of the Divine which leads us through certain unavoidable encounters (karma) toward our highest ultimate destiny... Praying for the warmth, well-being, and best possible outcome for all those who may be affected by this large storm (no power in my neighborhood in Asheville, NC as I write this).
Mars in Scorpio has made himself known! Mars ♂ entered Scorpio ♏ on Aug 23rd and will be there through Oct 6, 2012. The warrior god, Mars, is now taking his military operation within, going down into the depths — first to investigate, and then to conquer whatever fears, blockages, or hidden complexes may be subliminally calling the shots or holding one back. Mars is full of courage, passion, and a certain rawness. The underlying motivation of the Scorpio archetype is to overcome barriers to authenticity and real intimacy. During this transit, excavations revealing hidden elements, tensions, internal struggles, and previously concealed sources of power, may be expected.
Mars opposite Uranus ♂☍♅ (exact last night at 10:56pm EDT, but lasting for a few days on either side) is an exciting energy for the nervous system. This will affect different people differently. For those who are sensitive to it depending on how it is aligning with the birth chart, it can be exhilarating and awakening, or anywhere from a little too overstimulating to even dangerous.