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Sonoma County Gazette
Wheel of Light Astrology by Rio Olesky

Mars in Retrograde 

May 31, 2018
by Rio Olesky, Starwatcher


Mars is the archetype of physical energy. It can represent sports, working out, anger and sexuality. In the natal chart is can indicate the general energy level that one has. Mars also represents new beginnings; the desire to initiate projects, activities or relationships. This month Mars will turn retrograde and remain in that direction until August 27. When Mars is retrograde its regular activity is altered. Our physical energy level declines gradually over that period. We often lose interest or drive when attempting to start something new. In fact, when one initiates a conflict when Mars is retrograde they usually lose. This could pertain to a personal relationship or a conflict between nations.

When a planet turns retrograde it’s a time to pause, reflect, review and if necessary revise how we are dealing with the nature of its energy. For example, Mars retrograde is a good time to contemplate ways in which we deal with anger and sexuality. Are we appropriate in getting angry for real reasons, or are we projecting the cause of our frustration on others? Are we misplacing our anger and dumping on someone other than who we are really angry at? Anger can be a powerful emotion that can trigger actions that would otherwise not take place. During the Mars retrograde we have a tendency to stuff our anger. Anger imploded can be a root cause of depression. It’s also easier to beat ourselves up rather than confronting someone else who may be the reason we’re angry in the first place. We could also be guilty of passive-aggressive behavior at this time. Not only does that not release our real feelings, but we could be creating another problem by trying to be indirect rather than just putting the emotion out there directly.

Similarly, with regard to sexuality, are we in touch with makes us feel loved and valued in that area or are we more focused on satisfying our partner? Once we get in touch with our needs, we can alter our behaviors so that we can experience this part of life as something beautiful and fulfilling rather than a chore or something to feel guilty about.

Since this is not a good time for new beginnings, what are some other ways to use Mars productively at this time? In general this is a good time to finish projects that are incomplete. Or, we might focus on that type of situation only to realize that in fact we are done. It may be incomplete, but we no longer have the drive or interest to finish. Sometimes we can use the energy of this period to clean up parts of our environmnet that are messy or disorganized. This could be the kitchen, basement, garage, storage unit or studio. Mars can represent cutting, so this is a good time to cut things out of our life that clutter up our space.

This is also a good time to research and contemplate new beginnings that can take place after Mars turns direct. It’s also important to remember the “shadow period” of a retrograde planet. We might have started feeling the influence of Mars retrograde as early as mid-May and as long as late September. So don’t simply time an event for the day Mars turns direct as the requisite energy and drive will not be there yet.

On the collective level there are some interesting things to contemplate about Mars retrograde. In the short term, we should be concerned about our President who is surrounding himself with advisors who prioritize conflict to diplomacy. If we strike first, it will not turn out well for us. In the long term, it’s important to remember that progressed Mars in the chart of the United States turned retrograde in 2006 and will remain in that direction for about 75 years. When Mars turns retrograde, some were theorizing that this would make our country more peaceful. No longer would we strive to be the police force of world, enforcing our will on other nations. In fact, we would be become leader in a movement for world peace and an end to all war. The reality has not been so desirable. In the past 12 years we have wars taking place openly in many countries and covertly in many more. Rather than being an instrument of peace it’s as if our government has doubled down on aggression. What’s even more concerning, however, is that we have increased violence against our own people. This has taken the form of private citizens committing mass murder on a previously unprecedented scale. It has also seen local police forces acting more as an invading army against the populace and less like protectors of the people. Whether this is more people being killed for no reason or local police forces being given military equipment.

This is a good time for all of us to contemplate our own relationship to violence. With an election coming up in a few months, we can use the Mars retrograde period to contemplate and dialogue on a public, collective level about what our values and priorities are with regard to the use of force as a nation versus other nations, as well as against our own people. Most of the time Mars is retrograde it will be in Aquarius, the sign of unprecedented, inspired, revolutionary change. Let’s use this opportunity to make significant changes in both our consciousness and our behavior in the area of physical drive and force.

Aries: Mars is the ruling planet of Aries, so its retrogradation is specifically important to you. Use this as a time to get clear about what triggers you. Especially in areas of public activity, whether that be social or professional, try to tone down expressions of drive and desire in order to discover both the root causes of your own anger as well as striving to see the situations from others’ points of view.

Taurus:This is a good time to focus on home and family. Small gatherings of friends and neighbors can allow you to entertain others while providing a warm, nurturing environment that they can enjoy. Later month is a good time to complete household projects or to organize and harmonize your home.

Gemini: This month could bring lots of energy and lots of changes. Some will be positive and supportive and some not. Growth for you this month can come from striving to see the big picture. Clarifying your philosophy of life (political, metaphysical or spiritual) can enable you to respond to external situations in appropriate ways, even if your choices deviate from the past.

Cancer: Growth for you this month can come from not allowing yourself to be unduly influenced by any external stimulus. Rather, take some time to deeply contemplate your life. This is a good time to alter or transform value, priorities and, in the long run, behaviors.

Leo: Venus enters Leo on the 13th. This could enhance your desire for relationship, as well as your ability to function in ways that are thoughtful, diplomatic and harmonious. This could lead to enhancing your romantic and affectionate nature. It could also bring creative inspiration as well as the energy to express yourself in ways that bring pleasure and fulfillment.

Virgo: Professional activity could be a focus for you this month. Information overload in early month could necessitate rapid analysis and multi-tasking. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, however. This is also a good time to contemplate what you are actually doing and the degree of satisfaction you are experiencing on the job. This could be a good time to get your resume together or look for other opportunities to take advantage of after Mars turns direct.

Libra: For a sign that likes harmony, the Mars retrograde could be a challenge. This is especially true in activities that are usually fun and enjoyable. Rather than lash out, imploding anger or being passive aggressive, use this time to get in touch with your real feelings, as well as the causes of them, so that you can be more appropriate and healthy in dealing with others, especially those closest to you.

Scorpio: Mars is your co-ruler. Use the Mars retrograde period to get in touch with deep anger triggered by painful situations from the past. This could be anytime from early childhood to last week. You may have a tendency to hide those hurts. This is a good time to acknowledge them to yourself and to create new ways of dealing with situations and emotions that are deeply buried but need to be released.

Sagittarius: In a period that requires contemplation, this is a good time for you to look within. This could take a spiritual form, such as meditation. It could also be a time to get more deeply connected to your psychological processes. This inward activity could result in profound feelings of love and joy that are always waiting for us to enjoy and benefit from.

Capricorn: You may have a hard time staying on track this month. While others act out in whatever ways for whatever reasons during the Mars retrograde period, you might have a tendency to feel responsible for helping them. Growth for you can come from keeping your head down and focusing on the tasks at hand rather than trying to guide others.

Aquarius: With Mars retrograde in Aquarius, this could be both a liberating as well as challenging time. The former can come from feeling more comfortable owning, exploring and expressing your uniqueness. The latter can come from being too extreme in that dynamic. Growth can come from tuning into your body and acting in accordance with how much energy you actually have.

Pisces: Introspection is the keyword for you this month. With Mars in Aquarius generating unexpected and, at times, off the wall dynamics from others, you can benefit from looking within. Neptune also retrogrades this month, on the 18th. This is a great time to solidify and advance your connection to Source.


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