In the early hours of June 30th Mars stations at 23°03′ of Scorpio and, from our Earth perspective, begins a new two year cycle of direct motion. Mars direct offers us a springboard for informed action that is in alignment with our deepest desires. However, to gain the optimum benefits of this impulse it is well advised to first align with Mars slowdown, to realign ourselves with our own internal drives before putting new plans into action. As Mars slows down to standstill after ten weeks of being retrograde, it is now time to take a moment to reflect on the most important lessons we can draw from the last two months or more.
If you have felt as though, in some important areas of your life, you have been driving with the handbrake on, from the end of June into early July you can expect a sense of emergence and greater freedom to come into play – allow some time to let your wings to unfurl and feel their power before taking off for the wild blue yonder.
If you have been able to bide your time or have treated this time as an opportunity to have fun with the retrograde period, doing handbrake turns and making circles in the road, this is now a time to stop burning rubber senselessly and take a more serious view towards your own agenda – draw breath and for the next couple of weeks show yourself just how adept you can be at taking the potential of your own life seriously.
The gist is that Mars retrograde is a time to either slow down and go with the flow or to let off steam, both being preparation for a coming time of focus and concerted effort. Either way, in Scorpio Mars ultimately gives us a deeper sense of our own power and its place in the world, and, with this apparent change of impetus a change of perspectives comes into play. The third quarter of 2016 will undoubtedly challenge us to face up to how we are using our energy in pursuit of our most deeply held desires.
Reassessing our deepest passions at a personal level inevitably brings us face to face with limitations to using our personal power that we have experienced in the past. The expansion of imagination and (self) knowledge that we can bring to bear on this process will directly affect the world view we have, especially when Mars enters Sagittarius again just after Lughnasadh, at the beginning of August. This will be a good time to embark upon new fields of learning, to broaden our skills base and thinking.
Collectively, in the face of current circumstances, this shift in perspective meets a longer term necessity; we know we must become more worldly wise, especially as we now enter a time in which the will of the people will be increasingly tested against the will of the power brokers in this world. Where these clash, where we experience dissonance between our own agendas and those that have we have been co-opted into, ‘a new level of understanding’ is the optimum prerequisite – it signals a time of ‘consciousness raising’ and any action that lacks this fundamental requirement runs the risk of repeating our mistakes, as well as of instigating confrontation and violent reprisal. Conversely, with the higher goal firmly in our grasp we stand a good chance of seeing the ‘groundswell’, the resurgent ‘will of the people’ that was seeded at the Spring eclipses bearing first fruits.
The cultural and global impact of this effect will bring fresh challenges to the status quo, and a refueled sense of purpose is a prerequisite for making our actions count, in the face of any resistance to systemic change it may catalyse. I am anticipating a third quarter of dynamic attempts at restructuring the relationship between personal and institutionalised power, and we need to be ready and well informed!
Mars will be carrying the Scorpio imprint of unwavering focus and determination forward in its new cycle so, where there are clashes of agendas, we can expect hightened friction to colour the mundane world as we shift between the Ages. However, the planetary matrix indicates that we will see this dynamic upping a gear sooner rather than later. Towards the end of August the red planet will return to 9° of Sagittarius, the degree in which its retrograde period began – the preparation we can undertake now and ensuing the sense of direction we have chosen will meet its first real test.
On August 24th Mars will meet with Saturn on the fixed star Antares, squaring the lunar nodes, a strong indication that the prevailing focus will be on how the wilful use of aggression is shaping our world, and what its antidote is. At its ‘higher octave’ Antares martial focus belongs to the individual who champions the underdog, the ‘David’ like figure who stands up to ‘Goliaths’ of this world and fights for liberation. People power starts with each of us and activism will be more effective if it is ‘knowingly applied’, organised, keeping the bigger picture firmly in mind, rather than simply as a collectively realised personal reaction to events. A skilfull use of our personal power and knowledge is favoured over crude use of force that follows the herd.
The challenge is to use the will to higher ends, to temper our tempers, to use the fiery life force at large constructively, and to keep the focus on significant and beneficial long term change rather than short term victories. There is a philosophical flavour to the view that will emerge, bringing the more traumatic consequences of ‘short-termism’ into sharp focus.
As Mars moves beyond Saturn a moment of hiatus may crystalise following events that, for example, cause us to severely question and make a concerted effort to bring an end to the misuse of our vital energy and its co-option in the pursuit of conflict and war. This will coincide with Mars transit of Uranus south node, a crucial point already activated by Saturn’s station retrograde three months ago.
Saturn’s retrograde will itself come to an end shortly before the meeting with Mars when the Moon transits the ringed planet on August 12th, so the lessons of Saturn’s own retrograde period must also be taken into account before hand, as a part of our preparation. These reach back to March 24th 2016 when, just hours after the full Moon/lunar eclipse, Saturn slowed to a standstill within 30′ of arc of the south node of Uranus in Sagittarius.
Embedded within the 36 year cycle between Neptune and Saturn this astrological event underlined the question of who we are and why we are here, the meaning of our mortality and relationship with death within life. With these two planets currently in a tight square and the lunar nodes closing to square Saturn over the coming months the third quarter of 2016 has a philosophical quality about it that underpins the ongoing global transformation already underway.
Uranus seven squares with Pluto have undermined the power structures of ‘the Establishment’ and we are now dealing with the effects of this, the turbulence in their wake. Saturn’s presence also carries the Sagittarian signature forward, putting everything that has stood for maintenance of the status quo into a ‘global context’ of reconfiguration at ground level.
The challenge is to avoid falling back into old patterns and materialise a break with the past that commits to working for a better future. Collectively, this could be a magical and inspiring time, if our personal will is able to operate beyond habitual constraints and we have the imaginative ability to re-envision the human imprint upon our home planet. Every individual’s contribution counts.
In Saturn’s square with Neptune the anthropocentrism of the human presence on planet Earth is questioned in its relationship to the ecocentric spirit and aspirations of our times. This relationship is bringing increasing tension into the world as we question our own collective purpose in the light of environmental disturbances and their relationship to our use of power and technology within the current cultural and spiritual paradigms. This is an aspect that brings the imaginative and spiritual realms of consciousness into question through the lens of pragmatic worldly analysis. When we get into this frame of mind, the constellation of Piscean archetypes and the dynamics of imagination can ground in new forms within the Sagittarian field, but not before exposing both our spiritual deficit and our hubristic tendencies. Uranus can also indicate where the trauma arising from these tendencies continue to affect us, where we need to raise our consciousness to a new level.
Saturn and Neptune’s rhythm is deeply instructive. In the human realm the 36th year marks the first waxing square after the first Saturn return, a moment of maturation that tests the validity of the gains we have made in the process of coming home to the reality of our selves. It is the equivalent of three Jupiter cycles, an expansion of our personal power that requires a new level of maturity, and presages the need to consolidate our gains towards meaningful ends, a process which is tested at mid-life. As we enter the very beginning of the current period of recapitulation and preparation, as Mars slows down and turns direct, we now find Jupiter and the Moon’s north node conjunct in Virgo. They are exactly on Uranus and Pluto’s meeting point at the beginning of their current cycle during the mid sixties.
These times carry some potent connections across time and question our capacity to embrace the wider view through time towards the future. Uranus in Aries is quincunx Mars as he stations direct in Scorpio – and Mars rulership of both signs reflects a time to claim our own sovereignty. Mars also trines retrograde Chiron in Pisces – self compassion is the key to healing our spiritual wounds, the sign that we are ready to reclaim and strengthen the link with the wisdom of our ‘higher self’.
‘Rebellious youth’ must, inevitably, become ‘responsible adult’ and humanity, having acted for too long like a kid in a Ferrari, must realise that the red light that is flashing in the periphary of our vision is not simply the cops giving chase, the past catching up with us, but, also the sign that our tank is approaching empty and we may be running on air. The ‘fly-boys’ and hedonists of the world are about to get their comeuppance! But, we don’t want to be taken down with them…..
Make good use of the coming weeks to get with your own inner beat, develop the meaningful art of understanding your own rhythms, and re-orientate your life towards worthy causes that your own passions align with naturally. With a sense of liberation and willingness to navigate through unknown territory the world takes on a dynamic vitality that reflects Mars impulse to get up and live; as the July new Moon approaches we can prepare for fresh fields, an expansion of our personal and collective scope, and carry the momentum forward with a deepened sense of responsibility.
No matter how small you may feel in the face of our current global challenges Mars message is to be confident in yourself. There is great power in this. Take this time personally, make it your own, but, remember, everything you do has a meaning and a purpose that reaches well beyond the known – this is the age of transition and, in it, creating the path ‘is’ the path.