Posted on June 26, 2018 in Announcements
By Leslie Benson for ASTROGRAPH Horoscopes
On June 26th Mars stations retrograde at 9º Aquarius where he will travel backward through the zodiac, briefly revisit the last degrees of Capricorn, and then station direct on August 27th at 28º Capricorn. Mars in Aquarius takes on a humanitarian dimension, seeking outlet in realms of innovation, global thought, and community, and with his retrograde these ideas become the subject of our meditations and our inward gaze. How are we doing these days, and how does our Mars act out or stay centered? Mars represents the exertion of one’s will, taking action, pursuing agendas, carnal desires, and masculine energy that is driven and sometimes wild. Like any planetary archetype, Mars energy can manifest on a broad spectrum. Mars, with his inclination for impulsivity and assertiveness, can be challenging to channel skillfully. Because he tends to act first and ask questions later, if this is an energy that is strong within us, it can result in conflict, having to clean up messes, and possibly alienating others. Unskillful Mars energy can also be overly aggressive, forceful, or reactive. Well-channeled Mars is a beautiful gift –- and one that is essential to our world – because it has the capacity to start new things, take action, build momentum, and withstand the harshness of the world. Mars creates movement where there could otherwise be stagnancy.
As when any planet retrogrades, we can expect to see a “turning inward” of the normal outwardly expressed energies, and this may be especially palpable with Mars, as his normal way possesses a strong directionality and external orientation. Diving inward with all of that passion and vigor could be disorienting and uncomfortable, so be gentle with yourself, and if you feel cranky, at least you’ll know why! It is a good time to bring your awareness to places where you may harbor anger and resentment, feel impatient, or are misusing your power. There are not a lot of acceptable outlets for anger in our culture, which leave many of us pent up, and that may become more apparent during this time. If buried rage is coming up for you, it might be a good idea to find healthy ways to let off steam, such as cardio exercise, kickboxing, belting out angry songs in your car, perhaps journaling all the things you’re angry about and burning the paper! Anger is not in and of itself a bad thing – and often has a potent message for us, if we can listen to what this natural emotion is trying to communicate. It’s when anger is misdirected at others, or bottled up in frustration and mounting rage, that it can become corrosive and damaging. Trying to let your anger out, and to hear it, might be beneficial during this time of Mars retrograde. Listen to what the part of yourself that is angry has to say.
Because Mars is retrograde in innovative Aquarius, it could be a good time to try doing things in ways that you normally would not, but with the knowledge that with experiments often come surprises, and the retrograde period is great for surprises! For now, it could also be best to allow the fire that burns in your belly to simmer, and melt away that which is no longer of service, forging something new that can be unleashed when the timing is right and with proper calculation. Imagine you’re a clay pot being baked in the fire. When you emerge you’ll be stronger than before.
As Mars stations retrograde, and does so just days after an opposition with Venus, in close alignment with the lunar nodes, another theme that may be very prominent throughout this period is the polarization and weaving together of the masculine and feminine principles in relationship, whether hetero or otherwise. This could appear in the external world as an amplification in the conversations between men and women, or the masculine and feminine parts of each of us. This could also be calling each of us to re-consider and re-orient ourselves to our own inner masculine and feminine, and how our relationship to these energies within our own being shapes our thoughts, actions, and human connections. This configuration is also indicative of continued evolution in the movement in western culture around gender norms and gender fluidity.
There will likely be a further unfolding of the feminist / #MeToo movement, and collective understanding of just how much skewed patriarchal power dynamics and “toxic masculinity” have damaged not only women, but men, as well. As women speak out against the injustice of gender inequality, it exposes not only their pain born of millennia of oppression, but also the pain of men re-enacting cultural gender stereotypes. These roles have often been adopted by men not from their actual desires but from the cultural pressure to “be a man,” which essentially says “be anything but feminine, because femininity in a male is bad and wrong.” You may want to watch for all of these things, and see what you notice in yourself as well as others as you observe. Our response to what’s happening “out there” can tell us more than anything about what’s happening inside of us, and where our true opportunities for healing may lie.
Some helpful questions to ask ourselves during this time: How do I align my passion and goals with the wisdom of something greater than ego pursuits? How and where can I take actions that are reflective of my deepest values? What is my relationship to the masculine/feminine principles? How does that show up in my life? Where do I feel sufficiently in charge of my own destiny?
It’s also important to note that Mars will be in retrograde all throughout this summer’s eclipse season (see list of dates below) and featured very prominently in the Lunar Eclipse of July 27th, conjoined by the Moon and South Node, opposed by the Sun. This timing brings a crescendo of tension, major turning points, and a potent opportunity to be nurtured and heal. We may find within ourselves that which is still unconsciously invested in the entrenched but outworn patterns of the western patriarchal paradigm. We are invited this summer to expand our awareness to a place beyond the realms of victimhood, perpetrators, and heroes; a place where we are fully in our power, and able to meet challenges as they arise with skill and fierce grace. This is a place where we are humble to the precious gift of life, yet vastly powerful in our capacity to make choices from the highest that lies within us, our intention to act for the ultimate good of all beings.
List of Dates
June 30 – Moon conjunct retrograde Mars in Aquarius: emotional storms are brewing. Take it slow.
July 5 – Mercury opposite retrograde Mars: watch your thoughts and communicate with care!
July 12 – Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Cancer: potentially the end of a six-month cycle; opening the door to a major turning point.
July 20 – Retrograde Mars conjunct South Node: releasing that which no longer serves. Catharsis.
July 27 – Lunar Eclipse Full Moon conjunct retrograde Mars: potent and powerful opportunity to heal and evolve; the light of conscious awareness shines into how we truly are with our Mars.
August 1 – Retrograde Mars square Uranus: the ride’s not over, yet! Watch for unexpected surprises.
August 7 – Venus trine retrograde Mars: The process begins to integrate; new understandings between masculine and feminine. Aligning value with action.
August 11 – Solar Eclipse New Moon in Leo: a new cycle begins. Good to take some time to meditate and set your intentions.
August 12 – Mars into Capricorn: a subtle shift in perspective. How can new insights be structured and grounded into manifestation?
August 27 – Mars Stations Direct: Mars begins to move forward, again, recovering lost territory and opening new opportunities to integrate the lessons gained.
October 8th – Mars Escapes Retrograde Shadow: returning to the point when he began the retrograde journey. The window of opportunity begins to close for resolving Mars issues.
-- Leslie Benson
Your Solar Return Chart is a powerful technique for examining the themes and issues that will arise for you during your solar year - the year that runs from birthday to birthday. Often the turning point represented by your birthday time of the year brings a new phase of your life into existence, and the Solar Return chart helps you to examine this new perspective on your life and what your year may bring.
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