Finally! Was able to find and turn off the snow. Hope that solves the difficulties some have experienced (including Grinchiness!)–jd

We experience the Red Planet retrograde about every two and a half years; on December 20th we see this during the 5 AM hour PST at 19 Leo 41. And how does an inherently Fiery planet respond to a retrograde in a Fire sign? Fire-ily, of course! In general there’s been a fairly free flow of energy lately; hang-ups have been largely internal, especially through difficulties with clear perception. Now we’ll see the reversal also taking a mostly internal form, though there will definitely be external effects, some of which will come from influences we’re hard pressed to put our finger on. The fiery facet of things will be experienced in the intensity with which we feel the need to look at all actions and our own part in them.

For everyone, the retrograde will bring forward issues of the ‘I am,’ particularly in terms of where we ‘shine’ in the life. We will examine our own personal effectiveness, especially in how our Beingness serves (or fails) to bring us attention and interaction in the world. We’ll be acutely aware that we’re on stage in our own lives; the retrograde will make us ask, ‘Who’s the star of the play?’

The Red Planet, blotchy with anger and topped by a little polar ice cap. Photo: NASA

Using our usual two degree orb, we have a handful of aspects that characterize the nature of the retrograde period. A semi-square to Saturn suggests reality, and material effects, will be of some consequence that requires accomodation, but that these won’t take center stage. A quincunx to Mercury in Capricorn speaks louder: the effects on reality of our communications will be prominent, as will the adjustments we’re being called to make in order to match our message to our reality; the reactions of our ‘audience’ will be key to understanding our effectiveness. This aspect says that words and thoughts will be grounded in the existing material rules, structures, and materials–we may be hard pressed to think past the status quo, try as we might. This is made doubly true when we additionally consider Mars’ retro square to Sedna in Taurus; harsh contact between a withdrawing energy and the asteroid that prevents us from even being aware of a particular matter or energy says that we’ll likely feel the energy tide going out, but won’t have a clue as to what’s actually being withdrawn–and the Taurus placement says there will be comparable material effects, as well. To continue our play analogy, the script will be scrutinized, as will our delivery, but we must look at offstage cues and changes to props, sets, and lighting in order to understand the actual, real-world effects; and, at the end of the retro period, we’ll be called upon to count the box office receipts, and to take a good look at the program–at this point we’ll be able to read the director’s name clearly.

Once again, we’ll need to watch surrounding material shifts in order to get some clue as to what energies are actually being withdrawn or lessened; this will be the only way to know how we must change our communications to suit our own needs and the requirements of reality. The kicker, though, is Mars’ sesquiquadrate to Pluto; this suggests that we will not have a choice. Change must happen, and the aspect says we may be put between a rock and a hard place in the process. Power, our own and others’, internal and external forms, will all be in play during the retrograde period; we will definitely come out the other side with changed ideas of who we are (Mars), how we can behave and act most effectively (Mars), and what this is communicating (Mercury), with commensurate changes to the balance of power (Pluto) in whatever arenas we occupy.

The natal House where the retrograde occurs, along with the House with Aries on the cusp, will be the initial areas where we will see shifts, but since this involves who we are, over the retro period the changes will permeate all areas. Other influences worth note at the time of Mars’ retrograde are a Venus sextile to Jupiter/ Neptune/ Chiron=we may see the value and/ or cost of how these have acted long term for us; or we’ll suddenly see our values aligned with an exaggerated sense of our ideals or our delusions, which calls forward either the primal wound or our own unique skills. Venus is also square Uranus=surprise! In money, love, values, relationships. Chiron semi-sextile Uranus=again, a surprise, this time about our innate skills, or about our deepest wounds. Zeus exact conjunct the Part of Fortune=ambition and power in relationship will be pivotal to the retro period. Jupiter/ Neptune exact conjunct=as if we haven’t had enough of these two; just read this as the propensity to exaggerate or project the ideals or the delusions/ fantasies, with consequent (probably unhelpful) results. And finally, Ceres will be at 29 degrees of Scorpio=stress for those in authority, a panicky feeling that we must negotiate what we need NOW, or a harsh or extreme reaction from Mother Nature.

Catch this excellent post on Mars retro and anger (or is it the projection of anger?) http://lucywatchthesky.com/2009/12/23/turn-that-mars-upside-down-mars-retrograde-and-some-thoughts-about-anger/

Next up: the New Year’s Eve Partial Lunar Eclipse. Personal analysis of the coming eclipse set is still available–please see the ‘Want More’ page for details. Thanks!