A typical response to retrograde Mars (MarsRx) might be something like the title of this post.
In our culture many people associate retrograde planets with expansion and increase of life’s mundane hardships.
Mercury retrograde gets the credit or blame for mechanical and communication incidents. When disruptions to the technological side of existence leave us tongue-tied as we hit CTRL-ALT-DEL on our frozen devices over-and-over some sympathetic onlooker cheers us with, “Well, you know, Mercury retrograde. Shame, really.”
And there’s nothing like a VenusRx to bring up old injuries of the heart, making truth and trust bleed as scabs and scars get swept away in the long memories of our traumatized histories. “I don’t care if it’s been fourteen years. I still feel so violated.”
Jupiter’s Rx progressions often teach us what too much of a good thing really feels like, while Saturn in Rx patiently squeezes every drop of moisture from the foundations of our selfishness and externalized excuses for not behaving more kindly and patiently toward one another and ourselves.
But for purely dramatic force acting suddenly, with all the subtlety of a Roman Legion marching on hapless defenders of untenable positions, MarsRx lights up the sky like no other planet. And yes, Mars just went retrograde on October 30, 2022.
Start the countdown, because in the USA it’s election season followed by the year-end holidays in a cultural moment that is anything but calm. Mars Rx continues until January 12, 2023 and for the unaware it might be a wild ride.
For those who follow the sky and understand the concurrent effects (note I said concurrent, not causal!) it’s a great opportunity to find the practical in the curious, the higher organization contained in chaos, and a level of creative intelligence that can fire up the engines of strategic, conscious action in protective waves that allow for stabilization of fault lines in the mind and body even as the whole planet sometimes feels like it is breaking apart.
The real opportunity in facing retrograde energy is to understand who is really responsible for the moment-by-moment events in our lives. Hint: it isn’t any external force, not even planets.
Retrograde planets when seen from the earth appear to slow in their passage across the background of constellations before stopping and reversing course for a period of time. Then a second slowing and stopping, another reversal, and the resumption of forward motion. The visible effect is of the planet passing over the same part of the constellations three times before continuing onward.
The effect is to intensify and concentrate the subtle energies over a specific set of activities (based on the house of an individual birth chart) as well as a broader effect on the natural houses of the signs the planet rules.
An example may help:
For an individual with an Aries ascendant Mars rules both the first and 8th houses. These are the houses of the self in the body as it incarnates and acts in the world (1st house), and the realization we will one day leave our body behind (8th house of mortality, mystery, and deep research). Because 1 and 8 are the natural order of the Mars-ruled signs the energy generated by Mars’s actual retrograde location (presently in Gemini where it stirs up curiosity, rapid intellectual understanding, flexibility, as well as possible boredom, mischief, and impulsive behavior involving aggression, anger, and even violence) the effects are most strongly felt in the 1st and 8th for Aries ascendant individuals.
I’ll cover effects for the remaining ascendants in subsequent posts as well as effects from the placement of the Sun and Moon. My real purpose here is to explain retrograde effects as temporary, and more importantly that even though things do get stirred up for a time these are still very subtle energies and therefore, for the most part deliver results that may be modified, strengthened or diminished by our individual response to them.
The greatest misunderstanding regarding modern people and their relationship to the planets is thinking planets are all powerful, especially when difficulties can be blamed fully on them rather than the truth: the difficulties are usually the result of our choices, our responses to subtleties we are either ignorant of or deny entirely. We always have responsibility for our lives even if it is only the ability to respond to situations as they occur. And it is usually the response that carries the greatest weight in measuring the effects of not only Retrograde but ALL planetary movement.
The key to responding under strong retrograde influences (MarsRx in Gemini and eventually Taurus beginning in the midpoint between a solar and lunar eclipse and under a waxing Moon is strong) is to be conscious of how we feel moment by moment so that our actions are choices made in full awareness of the possible consequences, and to act toward positive outcomes of kindness, compassion, and with full recognition that all of us are doing the best we can with what we know.
“Om, Ayeem, Hreem, Shreem, Kleem Mangalaya, Om Namaha!”