Current Events: Retrogrades

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We are two-and-a-half weeks into the two-month Mars retrograde. Are you noticing that your momentum has slowed down and that, in some area of your life, frustration, anger and/or fear are mounting? The best way to work with Mars retrograde is to examine how you go about getting what you want, what makes you angry and why, and what makes you fearful and why. Examining our motivations – why we do the things we do – is excellent use of Mars retrograde. When we understand our motivations, we understand ourselves and others much more deeply.

Other Retrogrades

This Mars retrograde period (from September 10 to November 14, 2020) encompasses the changing of directions of several other planets. On September 13, Jupiter stationed direct, and September 29, Saturn will also begin moving in a forward motion. Normally, when these heavy-hitting planets finish their yearly retrograde period (usually, near the end of summer), we feel the forward-moving energy. The beginning of September often feels like the beginning of a new year. Not this year. 

While Jupiter was retrograde, we spent some weeks reviewing our personal philosophy,  we re-organized the way we have been seeing the Big Picture of our lives, perhaps in light of recently unearthed truths we hadn’t been aware of previously. While Saturn has been retrograde, we have had the opportunity to examine our relationship to authority, and ourselves as the authority figure in our own lives. We probably saw painfully clearly where we need to take more responsibility for things. If you are self-employed or run a business, you probably re-organized the way you do things, perhaps making things legal, adding or letting go of co-workers, putting some structure in place to ensure smoother sailing in the upcoming months. 

Even with these two giant planets moving forward, life won’t seem to get back to normal until mid-November when both Mars and Mercury will have finished their retrogrades.

Mercury will be retrograde from October 14 to November 4, 2020. Between now and October 14, use the time to make plans, back up your data, organize any travel (if you must travel), and to clarify and communicate the details of your projects in the clearest language possible.

Use the month from mid-October mid-November to rest. As mentioned previously, don’t push things while Mars is retrograde. Rather, step back and allow the pieces to change positions before falling into place on their own. When Mars begins moving forward mid-November, there will be a tremendous release of energy.

Sun into Libra

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Continuing around the wheel, the point at which there is an awareness of someone/something opposite, the halfway point, is the beginning of Libra. Most people assume Libras are balanced but balance is being sought in Libra. The halfway point is the most extreme spot on the wheel. It is the place of the initial awareness of polarity and relativity.

If you were born between October 5, 1971 and April 17, 1972, July 30, 1972 and November 5, 1983, or between May 18, 1984 and August 27 or 1984, you have Pluto in Libra. With Pluto in Libra, the resounding bass undertone of life, the same undertone that defines your generation, is all about relationships.

Those with Pluto in Libra have come into this life with pre-existing imbalances in relationships. In this life, they want to try again, to ‘get it right’, and, in most cases, step away from the relationship at the right time and in the right way. So, for people with Pluto (or the South Node or the ruler of the South Node) in Libra, hooking up with people (maybe a lot of people) is of evolutionary importance.

Libras learn by mirroring others to discover who they are and who they are not. When out of balance, it’s very easy for Pluto in Libra people to lose sighting of their individuality and become overly absorbed in the reality of their partner. Co-dependency, needing to be needed, and damaged trust are all part of this archetype as ones experience with the other will, eventually, lead to objective awareness of the needs of self vs. the needs of the other. Libras are learning to listen objectively and to give what the other person needs (rather than what they want or is easy to give).

The higher tones of the Libran archetype are expressions of relationships in which both partners are secure in themselves and in which each person encourages the other to shine and follow their dreams.

Autumnal equinox

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Today is the Autumnal equinox. Astronomically, the equinoxes are when Earth’s equatorial axis is perpendicular to the Sun. From our perspective, it is when the hours of day of night are (theoretically, at least) equal.

The first, waxing half of the wheel (from Aries in March through Virgo in September) is when the energy pushes outward to reach its fullness. The second, waning half of the wheel (from Libra in September through Pisces in March) is one of involution and introspection, when the energy is turned inward. Indeed, ‘fall’ is related to the period when the ebbing of the Sun (which began back in June at the summer solstice) becomes noticeable.

For people connected to nature, this time of year, when the Sun rises from the same place on the horizon for three days, is the time to begin the harvest – of food and of animals. Not only would the food, grains and wood get cut, dried and put up for winter. Too, those animals which could not be fed over the winter (based on the success of the harvest and the age and health of the animal) would be culled. It’s a hard truth but the outcome was that the family would be fed over the winter and the remaining animals would also have what they needed to survive the cold months.

With the Autumnal equinox, we are entering the third-quarter of the wheel. The first quarter (from the left edge to the bottom) shows the time from conception to birth. The second quarter is indicative of the time we learn of ourself as a unique person in a certain family. The third quarter of the wheel shows the time we begin to interact with others on a one-to-one basis.

The third quarter of the wheel is trans-personal, it’s when we move beyond the self and begin learning how to interact with others in an equal way (giving/receiving, listening/speaking, etc.). In the third quarter we experience the power of love, how it taps into energy that can lead to a reality that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. There is an intense, do-or-die quality to the third quarter which is sometimes referred to as the Quadrant of Manifestation.

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Architects of many ancient cultures built special features into their buildings that only showed themselves twice a year. The location, shape and details of many important buildings synchronized with the Spring and Autumnal equinoxes.

The Great Pyramid in Egypt was built so that, at midnight on the Autumn equinox, certain alpha stars of specific constellations shone straight down a specific narrow descending passageway. (In 3350BC and 2170BC, it was Thuban, alpha star of the constellation Draco, and in 2004AD, it was Polaris, alpha star of Ursa Minor.)

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The stepped pyramids of Chich’en Itza, Mexico are another astronomical wonder. The pyramids, which are dedicated to Kukulcan, the feathered serpent, have snakes running down the steps that appear to undulate with the sun of the Autumnal equinox. (They appear to undulate back up the pyramid with the sun of the Spring equinox.)

At the equinox, when the Sun moves into Libra, we have an opportunity to synchronize ourselves with Nature, ourselves, and our life. If this is important to you, reserve some time this afternoon (at 3:30pm or anytime of the day and night of September 22 or 23) to meditate. Balance and harmony are the themes.

Current Events: Mars Retrograde

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020, Mars will station retrograde at 28º of Aries. For two months he will appear to travel backwards (from our perspective on Earth) until he stations direct, November 13, 2020 at 15º Aries.

Mars retrograde from Earth’s perspective

Like with every other planet, when Mars goes retrograde, it’s energy is felt especially strongly. Mars will be nearer to us than usual and on the same side of the Sun as we are, and so it’s unmitigated influence will be especially loud for us here on Earth. 

Mars is happy in it’s home sign of Aries. It gets things done, it moves in total freedom according to it’s own desires, it is passionate and subjective, and it does start fights – but only when it feels bound or restricted. The placement of Mars in your chart shows how you go about getting what you want, what makes you angry, what makes you fearful, and where you are especially courageous. Where Aries is in your chart shows where you need to let go of the past and where you are needing to gather up your courage to face your fears. 

While Mars is retrograde, you can expect that things will not move forward very easily in the area of life ruled by Aries in your chart. (You are welcome to share your chart on the Quality Astrology FB page and ask a question about Mars retrograde in your chart; I’d be happy to answer it). Even if you don’t know where Mars is traveling in your chart, you can expect that excitement and enthusiasm for the projects in your life will wane in September and October. You may feel tired or burned-out. Don’t push. And don’t lean on yourself, on others, nor on the project. Down-shift. And, if it’s possible, don’t launch anything new in those two months. It’s better to continue plugging away on your current projects instead. 

Adding to the intensity of this particular Mars retrograde are the three hard angles (squares) Mars will make to Saturn in the late degrees of Capricorn. Frustration will most certainly boil over (especially around September 28-30) as the forces of change engage in potentially bloody conflict with the forces that be. Think of this time as a battle (not a war) in which retreating to reorganize is the smartest move. Mars doesn’t have the weight to win a fight with Saturn in Capricorn (forces which are represented in our lives by authority figures, parents, governments, police, world leaders, etc.), so it’s best to make sure you have a way of letting off steam during this time (exercise and laughter are excellent). 

The take-home message of Mars Retrograde in 2020 is: slow down, slow way down. Sometimes the way forward is by taking a step back. This is one of those times.