By Amanda Simon
Last time I dropped a message here we were in the Mercury Retrograde – I hope what was written then provided a few helpful tethering threads and images to tack those currents.
At this mid-point in the year we have come through a Venus and Mercury retrograde – both are now moving forward. Welcome shifts of forward momentum whilst Mars begins to slow down and warm up for the coming retrograde, a two-month stint from September 9th. To have Mars, Venus and Mercury all going retrograde in the same year is a lot, and is rare, but 2020 is a rather extra-ordinary cosmologically active year with significant planetary cycles ending and new ones beginning.
The last time Mars was retrograde was 2018 igniting a very hot, eruptive summer. This time round Mars takes the retrograde baton from Mercury, who took it from Venus and settles into one of their home signs – Aries for a long stint leaving in January 2021.
Mars likes to stand alone, be the first, shine full blaze with dynamism and drive, traits which are likely to be amplified over these coming retrograde months. Mars, like all the planets has a complex character profile, put simply we are talking forceful fire, experienced as our drive, our direction, what we want to hunt for, fight for and defend. Mars shoots the arrow and then goes headstrong for the target, once captured ferociously protects and fervently advocates. These qualities and capacities will be modified by the placement of your personal Mars but archetypally Mars helps us locate our desires, our hot-blooded passions and righteous indignation.
Both Mars and Aries are singular in their vision – my will, my way, single pointed, bursting forth sometimes divisive, often caught up in overriding and conquering. Mythologically Mars is the God of war, with not much strategy but plenty of force, that often results in injury. Mars is also the guardian of the night known for a long, secret, passionate love affair with Aphrodite and celebrated by the Romans as having effective protecting qualities. Mars in Aries is full of potential, like the fresh shoots of spring, momentum that could blast through the world aiding emancipation or inflame fury, triggering civil breakthrough or impulsive hot-headed harm, both in our own lives and our life within the collective. Look out for combustive energy, explosive responses, excessive dryness and heat. A desire to burn things, divide things, severe things, separate elements for recombination could be forcefully present. This demanding fiery furnace of Mars in Aries has the power to smelt, re-shape and forge a new, extreme power might be in the air within and without which needs the right kind of handling, the right kind of Eros relating.
Forging processes are alchemical they transmute matter, reconfigure forms to assert and rename edges. In some instances, it is appropriate to take external action, be protective and courageous whilst also feel the fuel for internal work such as getting clear about direction and decisions, finding courage for claiming edges, galvanizing our ‘No’ . Momentum to follow through is less of this time but cardinal initiating force and crucible clarity could come from this searing incisive moment, where we are all in some way having to learn how to marshal powerful forces within ourselves. Whilst we conserve energy for a delayed release perhaps it is helpful to ask yourself what new landscape are you pioneering that has long term rather than compulsive perspective ? Could this tension, this ongoing planetary compression, be a creative trailblazing configuration? With stocked inner and outer fires do what you can to step back from possible conflictual fights and polarized conflicts, keep the long game in sight. If your will feels thwarted remember we are moving from a collective story where safety and security acquired through resource plundering and hoarding is being smelted and forged anew, offering the possibility of a reworked systemic situation where different values of co-operation and care sit at the center. This is certainly the opportunity of the current planetary clusters and connections – to rework and realign notions of power, places of power and the very nature of power as we have come to name it.
A helpful way to ground and embody Astrological moments is with reflection – noticing what is showing up in your life – the questions below are aimed to help with the multivalent manifestation of this planetary moment. Each person experience will be unique and particular I hope that something below lands and enables illumination .
What is your relationship to anger – do you allow yourself to feel angry or are you frightened it might destroy / harm you and others? What social conditioning have you swallowed in terms of how you ‘should’ behave – be with fierce fury ? Can you meet it differently – perhaps bring it in and through your body through physical activity ?
Can you get clear about what you would like your place in the world to be – strongly aligned Aries can help us find and take our place in the world. Creating sovereignty is Aries’ desire and Mars can help with this too.
What is worth fighting for and do your ideas about power need to be re-viewed – does power always have to be demonstrated ?
Has your passion been subdued , are the things you are passionate about cloaked in shame – can Mars help you cut through the cloak, release its grips and let the life of passion course through you again, like the life of spring that courses through Aries?
Is there wounding around leadership – around your own authority – finding your no – expressing your voice ?
Does Mars in the world within and without need to let go of the myth, that the only way to be powerful is to conquer, consume, colonise and trample ? Can we re-view this hero myth which has caused so much damage to ourselves and others and re-imagine / remove the notion of a hero ? Or re-vision the heroic as one capable of incredible sensitivity with an allowance for vulnerability / woundabilty?
Whatever you find yourself , your immediate environment and community at work with over these coming months – space and grace is essential for the forging fulcrum to create anew and re-emerge through the compression chamber of these very real, powerful planetary forces. If you wish to go deeper, delve into a more personal and particular conversation of Astrological weather do please get in touch through the Well Garden – it would be a pleasure to journey with you . For now, stay cool in any which way you can .