Saturday, March 20, 2021, we will experience the Vernal Equinox, when the days and nights are (very nearly) the same length. The point of the Vernal Equinox on the wheel, 0º of Aries marks the endings and beginnings of cycles, large and small. This time of year, when the sheep are having their lambs and the trees are budding, everyone feels the push of Nature. We have a sense of new possibilities. We want to clear out the stagnant air of the past months and do some ‘spring cleaning’. There is suddenly an urge to hook up and get the juices flowing.
The equinoxes of March and September offer us a unique opportunity to balance our dual nature. Meditation during the equinox is an ancient practice aimed at achieving internal equilibrium of the polarities within us. The spring equinox sees us moving from the inwardly-focused half of the year to the externally-focused half of the year. Activities these past months have been primarily indoors, focused on home and family, but as the weather warms up, we begins to think about all the activities we want to do outdoors this year.
The traditional symbols of Spring live on even if we have become disconnected from their meanings. Eggs represent the never-ending circle of life (§), rabbits are the very definition of fecundity, and the baskets filled with new grass, eggs and flowers nod to growth, fertility and youth. It may seem a modern idea to color the eggs with dyes but it isn’t. Back in the times when we lived closer to Nature, we dyed eggs with natural things like dandelion, heather, madder root, berries, and the tops of carrots.
An Aries person (with Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Aries or with Pluto in the 1st house) is propelled through life by the force of their desires. Aries corresponds to pure, subjective being and instinct. It must go towards what it wants and it must have total freedom to follow where those desires lead. Aries people need challenges to overcome (a positive target for the force of their will), they will need to deal with their anger, let go of the past, and work on being less impulsive (thinking before acting or speaking).
When the Sun moves into Aries all of us have a chance to hit the reset button and make another go of things. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said, “Well begun is half done.” This month, from March 20 to April 19, give a big push: begin new projects, ramp up your exercise goals, and face fears to try new things you’ve never done before.
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(§) The conundrum “What came first the chicken or the egg?” is meant to get us to see that life is a circle. Although, technically, it would seem the egg came first. Reptiles lay eggs and reptiles are older than birds.
Doesn’t it feel like the speed of life has picked up? We can feel the energy is moving differently now than it was moving just last week. That’s because, this week, all three of the inner, personal planets will change signs.
On January 7, Mars moved into Taurus after six months in Aries. Mars normally spends about six weeks in a sign, but last year, just after entering his home sign of Aries, Mars stationed retrograde, which made his stay in that sign much longer than usual. While Mars was in Aries, we felt energized, like our internal fires were stoked, and getting what we wanted seemed not only possible, but easy to achieve. Mars entering Taurus is like down-shifting in a car. The mechanism is spinning wildly but we are going slower now. Getting things done, in these next six weeks, will take consistency and perseverance. While Mars is in Taurus, we will be driven to achieve financial stability and a safe, warm, beautiful place in which we feel secure.
January 8, Venus moved into Capricorn for a four week visit. Venus in Capricorn echoes Mars in Taurus in that they are both concerned about safety, financial security, and having nice things. Venus in Capricorn values the status quo and social status. She is attracted to authority figures and loves to be with the family (or with someone who makes her feel safe). For the next thirty days, we will be especially driven to get ahead at work.
On January 8, Mercury moves into Aquarius, signaling a shift in the way we are thinking and what we are thinking about. For the next three weeks, our thoughts will fly in new directions, we’ll be more open to trying new things, and we will be connecting online more with people (and groups of people) who share our values and interests. We will be thinking about the future and how we can participate in shaping a more progressive world. *
The characteristics of these shifts are mitigated by the placement of these signs in your natal chart. If you’d like to see where these movements are happening in your chart, just send me your birthdata, and I will send you your chart with a few words about how these shifts may affect you personally.
This has been an exceptional year for retrogrades. It doesn’t happen every year, but in 2020, every single planet went retrograde. When planets are retrograde, things don’t slow down, they speed up. The reason why details go missing, devices act strange, and travel gets disturbed during a Mercury retrograde isn’t because the flow of information is going slower – it’s because information is moving faster than normal.
While Mars has been retrograde (September 9 – November 14, 2020) it has been much easier to get angry and frustrated, especially about things not moving forward as fast as we would like or about things not going our way. This has been especially true because Mars is in his home sign of Aries. During this time, you probably had to ask yourself if the thing you’re pushing along is worth it. You probably also looked at different ways to go about getting what you want.
When Mars stations direct late this week and begins to move forward, our projects will finally get off the ground or get back on track, obstacles that seemed impossible to deal with will shift or dissolve, and new solutions will be easier to see. In about a week, life will return to its normal speed. Hang in there. 2020 is almost over.
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.
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.
Because Venus and Mercury orbit between the Earth and the Sun, they are never more than a certain number of degrees away from the Sun from our perspective. For example, Mercury will never be more than 16º in front of the Sun before it stations retrograde. Then it moves backwards (again, from our perspective) until it is 16º behind the Sun at which time it stations direct and begins running ahead again past the Sun, repeating the pattern ad infinitum. Venus never gets more than 42º away from the Sun. She makes a similar pattern to that which Mercury makes, although in true Venusian style, her retrograde pattern makes a lovely, 5-pointed star.
Mercury and Venus (and Mars) are called the ‘personal planets’ because those archetypes make up the overtly personal parts of a person, the parts of the psyche that others see and deal with on a daily basis. When two or three of the personal planets are in the same sign as the Sun they set a strong, unified archetypal tone. This month of February, however, it won’t be at all like that. The planets are all over the place.
For several weeks Mars and Venus have been traveling together in the last degrees of Pisces. On January 28, Mars left Pisces and entered Aries. Meanwhile, the Sun is in Aquarius and Mercury is in Capricorn: all the personal planets are in different signs! And Mars is in his home sign, Aries, which gives us all a fiery push toward getting our needs met.
In addition to the aforementioned combination of energies, Venus and Jupiter will both go retrograde this month, too. The various conflicting energies and Mars in Aries gives us an underlying sensation that things are in flux. Indeed, they are, specifically in the area of relationships and/or money. But before we change things, we must first pull back the curtain and see things as they are.
Today, Friday, February 3, Venus will enter Aries. She’ll cruise along in Aries for a month initiating new projects, relationships and sources of income. Then, on March 4th, Venus will slow down and stop (from our perspective) at 13º of Aries. For the next month, she will go backwards over those first 13º of Aries again, getting a better look at the relationships or streams of income that we began in early February. The issue is whether or not things are in balance. Fear and anger is to be expected. Consider matters introspectively for the month of March, using, as much as possible, the objectivity made available by Mercury in Aquarius. The first half of April is the best time to let go of resentment, anger, delusions, and the relationships that are not in balance. (∞)
The dance of Venus passing back and forth over the ASC point asks us to take a second look at our values, the fundamental dynamics of our relationships, and our relationship with money. It’s a time of resetting self-esteem and up-leveling our relationship with our self and to our own talents.
Supporting the work of Venus in the re-calibrating of our relationships is Jupiter who will turn retrograde February 6 at 23º of Libra. As he moves backwards a full 10º in Libra, the sign of balance-seeking, we will be encouraged to look at our values and beliefs, at how we spend our money, and whether or not our relationships are in balance. Jupiter and Venus (and Mars and Mercury!) are working together this spring to force us to reconsider the recent new beginnings and help us see where we are being excessive and delusional in relationships. (@)
Mercury is between retrograde cycles these days so he’s going full-speed-ahead. He will take only two weeks to race through Aquarius (February 7 to February 25), during which time our minds will literally be racing. Our thoughts will be focused on the groups we are part of (or want to be part of) and our dreams for the future. In February, we will be more open to information and ideas from all corners. And because the mind will be superficially skipping along the surface, it will be easier to be objective. This objectivity will come in super handy as we uncover imbalances in our relationship dynamics with the retrogrades of Venus and Jupiter.
To take advantage of these energetic shifts in February, be willing to examine the balance points in your relationships: Is there as much listening as talking? As much receiving as giving? Is the attention usually centered on one person? Does each person in the relationship have the freedom to follow their desires? Also be willing to examine how your values are connected to your self-esteem. If your values, money situation or relationships need to be adjusted, you will know what you need to do by April. If by then you aren’t sure or haven’t made the changes, circumstances may change on your behalf when Jupiter stations direct in June. When Venus enters Aries (February 3), we will begin all manner of new relationships. A month later when Venus goes retrograde, she will show us where our impulsiveness, selfishness, need to be needed, and our instinctual desires pull us into delusional situations. Use the information uncovered in the retrograde period to make adjustments in relationship dynamics and personal values.
More specific information can be gleaned from your chart by penciling Venus in outside the wheel at 0º Aries and considering the information that the house placement provides.
If you don’t have a copy of your chart, but want one, grab your birthdata and contact me.
(∞) April 2, the still retrograding Venus backs out of Aries and into Pisces. On April 15, at 26º of Pisces, Venus stops (from our perspective) and begins moving forward again (stations direct).
(@) Jupiter will be retrograde until June 9.
Woman, believer in Truth in all of its forms, singer, animal-lover, yogini, avid reader, life-long vegetarian/vegan, lover of art, dance, theater and music, originally from the Bay Area of California, now residing in Torino, Italy.