Thursday, March 6, 2014
Isn't Retrograde over? Not quite! A bit about astrological influences
Today I'd like to speak on the issue of astrological influences. It's a huge topic and it goes far beyond the basic horoscope one might read in a magazine or newspaper. Let's explore shall we?
The concept of Mercury Retrograde is becoming more well known and is often written about. We just finished our first period of this last week, yet to me it seems like things haven't lightened up like they usually do so I did some research and discovered that we've now entered into what is known as Mars retrograde which runs from 1 March to 16 May of this year. While Mercury retrograde happens 3-4 times a year, Mars retrograde only happens about once every 2 years, but I feel it is important to talk about it.
What does it mean when a planet retrogrades? Basically it means that from our perspective on Earth it appears that a planet goes in reverse to its orbit for a period. This is an optical illusion based on the location of the Earth and Sun relative to the planet in question. Planets do not reverse there course, they are always moving in the same direction, however it has been noted that when they appear to go in reverse(retrograde) motion that we experience different effects in our lives.
Some of the things people report experiencing when Mercury turns retrograde is electronics and mechanical items breaking, difficulties in communication, things not working as usual and so on. Many people believe that it is not a good time to sign contracts or purchase new items during these periods as they will likely not perform satisfactorily. All of these are significant enough things that many people do find that this is the case!
So why astrology? Astrology is an ancient science that has been used by humankind since before the dawn of written records. Of the temples and pyramids I've visited in Egypt and Central America it is written in stone on the walls of these buildings. The buildings themselves are almost always aligned to certain constellations. Mayan temples for example are designed so that on the Equinox light projects on them showing (what we think) the planting and harvesting times. Remember back then no one had a watch!
Even the Catholic church has a strong interest in astronomy. They have their own observatory in the southwest USA where they conduct ongoing studies of the heavens. It is rumored by one author that the bathtub in the Pope's residence is inlaid with tiles depicting the zodiac! Hindu's also are the ancient practitioners of astrological studies and have their own branch of it called Vedic astrology. It is also part of the Islamic faith as well and has been for a millenia or more.
Astronomy is the study of the motions of planets and stars, while astrology is the study of the influences of those local to us, namely our own Sun and solar system and even the moon. Hospitals and police know this well and often have more staff on hand during the times when the moon is full because people are known to behave differently, so again here is more evidence that there is something to this phenomenon.
This brings me to the subject at hand. While yes, we have passed out of Mercury retrograde, we are now this week fully into Mars retrograde. This period has it's own set of characteristics that I wanted to make you aware. In my own experience this week it has been like I was reading from a script of Mars effects! Here's an excerpt from an excellent astrology site that gives a good description of this current energy of the Mars retrograde:
"When Mars is in its retrograde cycle, we are forced to re-assess our current projects, our approach to getting what we want, and our desire nature. Rather than directly asserting our desires, we tend towards introspection. While Mars in direct motion is direct, straightforward, assertive and aggressive, with Mars in retrograde motion, Mars energy is essentially turned inward - it's internalized, intensified, personalized, and perhaps pressurized. We can be hesitant about taking action, second-guessing our instincts or our natural impulses rather than acting upon them. The way we react to situations under normal conditions doesn't necessarily work for us now, or we don't exactly trust it.
When anger is internalized, there can be some rather negative byproducts, such as tension, resentment, depression, apathy and even paranoia. On the other hand, it can also be personalized and made more intimate. Our goal during a Mars retrograde period should not be to simply sit on our impulses or squelch our enthusiasm. Rather it should be to better understand our impulses, anger, our sexuality, inner courage and the ways we go about getting what we want from life. The cosmos are asking us to look before we leap rather than throw ourselves into action, just for the time being."
A little further on in this description the astrologer goes on to describe the characteristics of Mars being retrograde in the sign of Libra. When a planet goes retrograde it often does it in different parts of its orbit in relation to the zodiac (depicted at the top of this article). Here's what she says about it: "Libra rules one-to-one relationships and negotiations. During Mars retrograde cycle in Libra we may need to re-assess our approach to these matters. We might feel some frustration or anxiety about our partnerships." And further on she writes "We can experience lowered vitality, health issues, especially associated with areas ruled by Libra (kidneys, adrenal glands, the lower back; we might also need to watch our sugar intake), and accidents a possibility throughout the Mars retrograde period. We may be less direct when it comes to satisfying our sexual needs." She also goes on to say to expect more irrational behaviors and actions during this period, so be on your best behavior right now!
In my opinion and experience, to be in a higher and more loving state I have to know about the things that are acting upon me. We all work on cycles and there are many ways to approach an understanding of this. Besides astrology, there is numerology, biorhythm, I-ching, etc. I think it is fun and very easy to start with astrology because it is so readily available on the Internet. The only thing required is an open mind and your birth date, time and place you were born.
To get started with this I recommend going to cafeastrology.com and printing out your birth(natal) chart and reading it. Then I would look at the information about this Mars retrograde on the site as there are specific indications depending on what your rising sun is. As I said, mine was dead on. A couple of projects I was working to move forward on got stopped dead in their tracks, several people did not return business inquiries and I had a minor spill on my patio, all very much correlated with this current energy. I have personally decided to go with the flow of this energy and am now working to re-assess and go deeper with my plans before I try them again. So if you are feeling like Mercury retrograde hasn't gone away, you are not imagining things, it's just Mars.
Take good care of yourself in the coming weeks. Continue to do what you can to balance yourself with all of these energies flying around. Besides Mars we've also had to contend with some very strong solar activity recently which only adds to the mix. My intuition says that we'll start to have a respite around the time of the Vernal Equinox (March 20), in the meantime if things are working well for you than by all means continue. If they aren't, consider taking advantage of this time to do a little more internal work. And don't be hard on yourself, remember you are the one that signed up to be on this mission of being part of the ground crew for the ascension of the people of planet Earth! Oh what was I thinking?!!
p.s. If you want to explore Vedic astrology check out astroved.com. There's plenty of free charts on their site. And if you want to take this further I highly recommend finding a competent astrologer and having a personal reading with them. It is a lot of fun and something you can refer to for many things :).