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‘Donati’s Comet’ By James Poole 1858 {{PD}}

Mars has lingered on the 8th degree of Gemini for about a week and a half before finally shifting apparent motion (on the 12th at 12:57 PM PST)–and then lingers still at that 8th degree for nearly another two weeks after the change in direction. Those with natal placements at 8 degrees of Sagittarius, Pisces, Virgo, and in Gemini will feel both the stationary pressure and the shift to direct more than others, specific to the point or body contacted, with the influence/ experience having a highly Martian quality: circumstances or actions imbued with assertive energy, aggressions from the Self or aimed at the Self by others, the potential for violence or situations, literal or figurative, that call out the Warrior in the individual, or simply difficult choices, of the ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’ variety. For the rest of us any stationary period makes related circumstances feel cemented in place, as if they will never end, usually related to matters of the House Mars is currently transiting, or the House it rules in the natal chart–which, in the case of Mars, makes it important that we don’t act, react, or choose based on precisely where things are right now–there will be movement, probably sooner than you think.

This retro period has been, by all accounts, filled with upheaval, upset, and every other kind of up, including breaking up, giving up, and coughing up the Truth. Matters of choice or actions taken play out successfully or not along lines relative to how honest we are about culpability, responsibility, and admissions of vulnerability that leave us at the mercy of others. That is, those with a strong sense of Self that holds ego to a minimum have probably fared best during the retro–but in any case, we’ve been shown a little bit of chaos, and been asked (often forced) to respond to it. That kind of in your face drama will be ending, subject to this: on turnaround Mars in Gemini makes a loose quincunx to Mercury in Capricorn, perfecting the 16th-17th with still retro stationing Merc and Mars finally picking up normal direct speed. This puts the spotlight on thought, especially thoughts that question the status quo or current structure, or ideas that attempt to ‘break into’ an exclusionary system.

We also see Mars at stationary direction involved in two configurations. One is a Finger of God with Mars widely sextile Chiron, apex the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio. That suggests a strong potential for both our thinking and our actions to boil up out of our wounds, especially if those hurts echo the darker parts of the past, the ones we might like to forget, or are a little ashamed of. The sense may be that Mars releases us, and we go with it, rather than our realizing that release is something we can enjoy without needing to act out. Bad choices will be prompted by a feeling that we need to make up time, catch up and even the score. Not smart.

The other config is a Fist of God, with Zeus square the Sun and Mars the apex. A Fist takes a tough situation and gives one an out through the apex–but that apex energy doesn’t offer to resolve the situation so much as blow it up. It’s another side to that sense of release, a bit of a warning: if you’re dissatisfied with your current identity/ sense of Self/ direction in life, if ambitions are eating at you, their lack of fulfillment causing you to denigrate or question your worth, then you are potentially vulnerable to making poor choices or acting out. Again, release from the Martian thumb doesn’t mean go wild, responding to your frustrations with ill-considered acts–it means hold off, until thoughts are absolutely clear and aligned with your actual goals–not easy, but certainly more desirable than having to clean up a mess later.

And in comet news, a bright green one, known by the designation C/2022 E3, will be nearest to the Sun on the day Mars goes direct, but will be closest to Earth around the 1st of February, and potentially visible to the naked eye from Sun contact through early February. Sighting in the Northern Hemisphere requires binoculars or a telescope at dawn through most of January, and in the Southern Hemisphere it becomes visible by the same means in February. Read more here–