Mars Rx, Literally

MarsRxWith Mars currently retrograde, though I recently wrote about this topic in an issue of my monthly newsletter I wanted to also put up a more general blog post on some of the potential symbolic effects this phenomenon may have upon our health. Why?  Do you know the astrological shorthand for a planet retrograding (Rx) is the same as the medical symbol for “prescription”?   This correlation has always gotten my gears turning!

Let me begin by saying that Aries and Scorpio peeps should take note of Mars retrogrades in particular – as this is YOUR ruling/co-ruling planet backtracking, it’s likely to have especially physical manifestations that you might need to be aware of.  Mars is our metaphorical “get up and go” – it represents drive, desire, motivation, physical energy, our muscles, blood, testosterone, and libido just for starters. Being that Mars is also the symbol associated with masculinity, it’s worth noting that men in general tend to be more affected by Mars retro from a health standpoint – sorry guys; this is just how the cookie crumbles! We ladies have our own challenges during Venus retrogrades, which happen about every 18 months vs. the 22 month reprieve you fellas get until the next Mars retro swings around again!

We do need to be aware that Mars retrogrades may tend to bring out more “men’s health”–related issues on the whole….or perhaps more accurately, things that we tend to *think* of as being more related to “men’s health”. Along this vein, the first thing that comes to mind  are sexual or libidinal issues. We may have difficulty from a sexual standpoint getting in touch with what truly “turns us on” during the Rx, or experience some kind of quote-unquote sexual dysfunction; which can mean anything from arousal issues, to blood flow problems, to testosterone deficiency.  If we are attempting to procreate (which, by the way, can be more challenging during Mars Rx) it’s extra important that we also take a look at things like sperm count and/or motility now.

Now none of this is cause to freak out, nor is it a guarantee that we will personally experience any of these sorts of challenges. But for those that happen to meet with particularly physical manifestations that coincide with a Mars Retrograde it may be helpful to have some astrological insight into what might possibly be going on.  When Mars backtracks we do have to be wary of taking things purely at face value, therefore in these kinds of scenarios it is important to look for any potential underlying root cause(s) rather than look at just the physical symptom(s). For example, instead of writing something off as “just a blood flow problem” and treating with little blue pills, maybe it’s worth getting a few needle sticks for the sake of *really* getting to the bottom of things. The blood may indeed prove an invaluable investigational resource in more ways than one during the Rx period, and this doesn’t have to be limited to the confines of a purely sexual or reproductive context, either.

When I see Mars retrograding, something else this cues to mind is there may possibly be some kind of anomaly going on within the blood itself – for instance, things like anemia, blood cell problems/disorders, or bleeding issues (things like menorrhagia, hemophilia, or perhaps thrombophilia; the latter particularly if/when Mars makes contact w/ Saturn). Now I am neither a doctor nor a medical professional so nothing of what I’ve written here is remotely meant to be construed as medical advice, but if you having some health-related issues and are looking for places to start an investigation, it may be worth doing some research and talking to your doctor or other healthcare practitioner.

In other areas, I mentioned anemia a moment ago and I tend to associate Mars with iron and ferritin levels – this planet backtracking does to me trigger a potential “anemic” feeling. If your physical energy levels are low and you have other possible markers of anemia, this may be another area worth investigating; especially for women experiencing heavy menses. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (which I am also *not* a qualified expert in by any means!), the regular and frequent consumption of high-quality bone broth is thought of as a mainstay in helping to address such issues – the reason I bring this up is simply to encourage attacking any potential physical ailments  from a holistic, integrative, and energetic POV in addition to heeding sound medical/nutritional advice from the right professionals.  Systems such as TCM and Ayurveda often look at things from an integrative POV and can help us to take corrective actions in our lifestyles from multiple angles that address any potential imbalance more fully.

Speaking of energy levels, Mars holds an association with the adrenal glands as well so perhaps if anemia isn’t a factor re: low energy levels it might be worth investigating the possibility of adrenal dysfunction/burnout.  I realize the entire concept of adrenal fatigue is often controversial within more conventional medical circles, however I have witnessed a correlation between this and Mars retrograde phases too many times to count – investigating this possibility along with making simple and safe nutritional/lifestyle adjustments under the guidance of a reputable nutritionist, herbalist, and/or physician entails little risk for potentially significant gain.  Times are stressful; we are living in a phase of massive political, climatologic, economic – not to mention physiological, with the ongoing pandemic – unrest and this can understandably take a significant toll on the body’s ability to manage stress. The body does the very best it can to keep us running in all sorts of operating conditions, but cortisol levels can certainly become elevated in response.  Autoimmune issues can ratchet up; particularly with Mars currently retrograding in Aries where the body’s inclination to “fight off” things pivots to turn on itself.

Headaches and migraines are another thing that can tend to ramp up during Mars Rx – investigate potential triggers and be proactive about prevention; this means getting adequate rest, staying hydrated, managing stress, monitoring caffeine and/or alcohol intake, and perhaps staying away from certain foods or even strong smells.  Hormonal imbalances can be another trigger; especially for women – acupuncture may be helpful if this is a possibility.  More general headache prevention measures can also include massaging muscles to relax overall tension and generally increase blood flow within the body.  You don’t necessarily need to see a massage therapist, but even a little auto-massage with the right equipment (foam rollers, anyone?) or asking your Sweetie for a mini neck, back, and shoulder rub certainly wouldn’t hurt.

As a somewhat unrelated FYI that is only loosely connected to the topic of health, it’s worth noting that Mars holds an astrological association with the surgeon’s knife and because of this Mars Retrograde is generally *not* considered a traditionally favorable time for scheduling ELECTIVE surgery.  Note that I stress the word “elective” in there – common sense dictates that if it’s an emergency situation where we don’t have any kind of say in the matter, this becomes a moot point so please do not worry about such things!  But if it isn’t critical that one be operated upon immediately and there is the ability to plan a procedure well in advance, generally avoiding the period that Mars is retrograde is considered wise when opting to be cut open because it can help ensure all goes well.

Lastly, one other loosely health-related point I want to touch upon with Mars  Retrograde stems from its traditional status as Lesser Malefic from an astrological point of view – what this means in a nutshell is this planet’s penchant for rash, impulsive action tends to get us into trouble. When I think of this planet’s carnal nature in particular, a retrograde Mars quite simply says to me “wrap it up”; “it” being our genitals during sex. As hot as sex in the raw might be, it’s simply not worth risking an unintended pregnancy or STI so definitely make it a point to slow down any hot-but-risky liaisons and don’t be in a rush to initiate new levels of physical intimacy in a relationship.

10/24/2020

A Mars Retrograde In Aries Perspective On “Real Men”

Setting aside any potential Toxic Masculinity implications of the term aside, the retrograde of manly Mars through the ultra-masculine sign of Aries would like to have a few words with us on the subject of what a “real man” is and isn’t. Rx♂

Being a “Real Man” isn’t dependent upon what does or doesn’t dangle between your legs, the size of such organs, or whether you equate being “brave” with the willingness to take  foolish risks. It’s not about beating your (hairy?) chest in a show of bravado, or flexing your biceps until the sleeves of your shirt bust at the seams.  Mars retrograding in Aries would like to remind us all that a penis and testicles do not a man make, that emotional cowardice is a real thing, and prompts us to understand that those averse to taking emotional risks often seek to alleviate this hidden internal insecurity caused by a lack of inner strength by overcompensating with more obvious displays of outward might – see the red herring for what it is.

Being a “Real Man” isn’t about dominance – it is about setting an example; *being* that example. A “Real Man” serves as an exemplar of how to “stand up” in all senses of the word (properly and appropriately self-assert/be morally upright/be independent & self-reliant).  “He” isn’t afraid to tell other “men” to come correct when “he” sees them acting like an animal or a child.  A “Real Man” protects those in need of protection quickly and does not hesitate to be an “army of one” if need be.

Being a “Real Man” isn’t about hiding emotion; it is about being brave enough to show your true face in all ways; always.  It is being confident enough in your own strength to support and sustain others.  And it is the courage to be as you are and know with certainty that is how you were meant to live.  A “Real Man” takes swift, corrective action in his mistakes and possesses enough inner fortitude to apologize when warranted rather than viewing it as it being “weak” to say you’re sorry and seeking instead to “save face”.  A “Real Man” puts “his” best foot forward and eschews one-upmanship – “he” understands that there is no need for competition when you are secure in your ability to provide something of substance to the rest of the “pack”.  Being a “Real Man” is understanding that being powerful is a state of mind; not how many pounds you can bench press.  And lastly, it is an appreciation for the physicality of being alive without that physicality becoming a character handicap that defines your personality. 

Thus spake Retrograde Mars in Aries 🔥

10/11/2020

Some Saturn In Capricorn Final Thoughts

Saturn currently is at the tail-end of a roughly 2 ½ year sojourn through its Capricorn stronghold, and as such this astrological climax makes it an important time to be driving home critical points about this energy.  We need to talk about the state of the world today as it relates to Saturn in Capricorn; specifically, how we got to be in the mess we’re in from a leadership standpoint.  Peak dysfunctional Saturn in Capricorn is rewarding achievement to the exclusion of all other metrics; such as the most crucially important one: character. When status or the content of one’s résumé matters more than the measure of their decency and integrity as a human being, this is how one winds up with a President Orcus on their hands.

Lo-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is a ruthless ladder-climber; it will kneecap anyone in its way in order to get to the top of the heap.  This placement has ambition in spades, and as such it becomes easy to make the “ends” of one’s own personal goal/agenda justify the “means”.  When success matters more than anything – including how you play the game – from a karmic standpoint you are getting yourself in pretty deep and whether you pay the piper in this lifetime or the next, rest assured that what goes around does indeed eventually come back around.  Sooner or later, the piper will come to collect his due.  This is all the more relevant with the undercurrent of Pluto’s slower and longer-running journey through this sign playing out in tandem with Saturn’s stint in Capricorn – any Faustian bargains etched in stone during this passage leave indelible stains upon the soul from a karmic standpoint.

Hi-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is completely the opposite; it is stringently upright because it holds high standards for the self without exception. People with a good hit of functional Saturn are often viewed by others as “hard on themselves”, but they are real about their faults/weaknesses/shortcomings so they know where more work is needed from a character development standpoint. Hi-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is utterly humble, aware of its failings, and works to make right wherever it falls short of its own standards.  It applies a uniform “Code of Conduct” coupled with self-accountability for when it fails to measure up to its own ethical benchmarks and does what is right and good strictly because “it’s the right thing to do” – we must remember this planet is the salt of the earth; so honorable, respectable, and morally correct that it literally has a halo (rings).

Collectively we have been tasked with learning from history during Saturn’s passage through Capricorn, and we are failing.  We have a rampant resurgence of white nationalism, a veritable avalanche backslide toward the Dark Ages of Civil Rights, and the re-emergence of another global pandemic where our leadership refuses to follow the Best Practices we learned way in back 1918 (cleanliness, sanitization, masks [yes, look it up],  and leaving each other some distance) and instead focuses on preserving the sanctity of “the economy” rather than the lives of the people.  And while we’re on the subject, let’s start calling Covid-19 what it really is: The sickness of capitalism. This passage of Saturn through Capricorn has truly been a cautionary tale of what can happen when its Lo-Fi vibrations are allowed to remain unchecked; we become a money-grubbing, lonely miser with nothing but the coins locked in our safe to keep us warm at night – Lo-Fi Saturn in Capricorn is the densest (in all senses of the word) form of materialism possible.

What’s the old saying; “If you can’t be a shining example, be a horrible warning”?  That.  Hi-Fi Saturn in Capricorn absolutely does function as exemplar, but it should be clear by now that a collective body we haven’t been exhibiting a healthy, functional relationship to the material and we are erring on the side of the latter.  Maybe – just maybe – if we start focusing more on character (our own, first and foremost, as well as others’) than on achievement and status, we might be able to turn this around at the 11th hour.  At this point we are clearly flunking the course, though – Saturn leaves Capricorn for good in December and the time for us to get it together is running out….

09/11/2020

Mars In Aries Is Hearing Impaired

Figuratively; not necessarily literally deaf.  Mars in Aries is incredibly headstrong; so much so that it often fails to heed good advice or adhere to valid warnings, for example.  Add in the fact this placement also tends to relish challenge and it’s almost certainly an invitation for trouble – remember that astrologically speaking, dignified or not Mars is considered a malefic for good reason!   What Mars in Aries needs to learn is how to hold up a second and figure out how it instigates conflict by not considering anyone/anything else in the room and acting purely on first impulse, which is usually its own desires.

With Mars in Aries about to retrograde in just a few weeks’ time, one of the most important things we should be asking ourselves now and for the foreseeable future is: “Where/How am I not listening?”  Where have we been perhaps ignoring sage advice that subsequently fell upon our own deaf ears, failed to take a different course of action than the straight-line one we normally would, forged recklessly onward at speed against good warnings/common sense, or perhaps failed to restrain our own (possibly angry?) impulses and (re?)actions?  Something will likely have to be walked back over the next couple of months. Mars in Aries also tends to be offensive/forceful/aggressive in approach, and if we’ve rode roughshod over others recently this retrograde may amount to a comic order to “stand down”.  Especially if we find or have found ourselves in conflict with someone over the past month, there is a good chance this might have arisen because we A) weren’t listening or B) perhaps were being rather selfish; possibly also a combination of the two where maybe we weren’t hearing/didn’t ask what the other party wanted.  When someone doesn’t listen to us – repeatedly – the most common response tends to be to jack up the decibel level and start yelling. Note that I am not advocating that raising our voice should be a first-line approach to anything; rather to encourage self-reflection as to what our own responsibility is if we’ve found ourselves being shouted at because we haven’t been listening – “Can you hear me now???

Personally, my standby is the old “3 Strikes” rule; if I’ve had to say the same thing more than twice because the person in question is intent upon not hearing me despite varying my approach, by the third time I usually either 1) disengage completely and walk away; why throw more energy into it? 2) if disengagement isn’t a viable option – say, the party in question is being pushy about something – I have no qualms about standing up for myself with a marked increase in volume.

08/12/2020

Planetary “Good Graces”

It’s fairly easy to tell when/whether you are sitting in a planet’s good graces.  If one understands the  archetypal symbolism associated with each heavenly body,  it becomes fairly self-evident that you’ve been graced with their favor whenever assistance is rendered from one of their earthly “emissaries”.   What do I mean?  I’ll use an example from my own life: Saturn.  I know I am doing alright by The Ringed One when, say, an elderly [AKA Saturn-type] person offers me support or encouragement, my work is recognized by someone in my field whose work I respect & admire [Saturn],  or – most recently – a historical [Saturn] society helps me with something pro bono.  One time I even had a genealogical (Saturn does so often concern our ancestors and pedigrees) Fairy Godfather pop up in my inbox who – totally out of the goodness of his heart – provided me with records on my 2x great grandparents that were not previously accessible to me.  I had hit a wall in my research and this total stranger came from nowhere and dropped the keys to many formerly locked doors right in my lap in one fell swoop – needless to say the good fortune of suddenly having “Access Granted” made me pause and wonder what I had done to be the recipient of such good karma, when the word “Saturn” (AKA the Lord of Karma himself) came to mind. In the wake of a very difficult [Saturn] year replete serious legal and fiscal responsibilities [more Saturn] it seems The Ringed One had dropped a couple of parting gifts at my doorstep, which he is well known to do.  This is why they always say “Do right by Saturn, and Saturn will do right by you” – I cannot tell you how validating it feels to have your hard work and constant efforts to “do the right thing” rewarded.

Now for me, Saturn always seems to be Old Reliable in this way – we have a good rapport and always have.  Even as a little kid I was “old for my age” and frequently related better to my teachers [Saturn’s ambassadors] than those my own age, sadly.  When I was young my teachers often helped me behind the scenes – I’ll never forget the teacher I had in high school who saw my grades slipping and immediately and accurately identified that there were significant “problems at home”.  I wanted to cry, because it was the very first time my very difficult and hidden family struggles were not only seen, but validated with compassion.  Everybody’s planetary attunement differs, and at certain stages in our life or development our own resonance may shift from one celestial body to another.  But if you understand astrological symbolism it becomes fairly apparent as to which heavenly sphere is offering us a helping hand.

Before we go further into providing more concrete examples of what this might look like from each planet’s point of view, I must pause at this juncture to say that just because we *aren’t* getting help from a planet, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing anything “wrong”.  In my opinion, some souls pick a more difficult incarnation with greater handicaps for the sake of furthering depth of compassion and empathy for those who have it as bad or worse during that particular lifetime.  I see it as something we choose, or perhaps contract with Divinity for the sake of our soul’s greater spiritual development; it is not a “punishment” (though it may certainly feel like one at times, and particularly so if our paradigm doesn’t allow for this type of viewpoint).  Seeing tangible evidence of being in a planet’s “good graces” is never something to be haughty about; merely something to see as “icing on the cake” and received with gratitude.   Those who aren’t receiving this type of assistance might simply be doing the more challenging life playthru – there is no need to judge/look down on others with a sense of toxic spiritual superiority.

So from a functional standpoint, what forms might this type of assistance take? Here are a few quick-n-dirty examples of some earthly ambassadors from each planet so you can more easily identify astrological trends/patterns in your own life:

Sun: Favor with children, from famous people, creative types, performers, and leaders.

Moon: Favor with women, help from maternal types (pregnant women included), family support, and the broader public.

Mercury: Favor with neighbors, siblings, or cousins. Help from clerks, those in public service positions, or customer/administrative service professionals.  Assistance from blue-collar folks.

Venus: Favor with “The beautiful people” or those involved in the world of beauty; women in particular.  Help from musicians, artists, gardeners, matchmakers, couples/the partnered, or perhaps the wealthy/those involved in the banking industry.

Mars: Favor with men. Assistance from soldiers, athletes, the strong, or those with prominent “warrior” energy.

Jupiter: Favor with those from far away (foreign) places. Help from the lucky, the generous, or those who are “blessed” in life.  Aid from politicians, people in the field of academia (specifically, institutions of higher learning), or the judicial system; i.e. lawyers.  Help from clergy.

Saturn: Favor with teachers, elders, and other “authority figures”.  Help from “paternal” types, CEOs, bosses, or perhaps law enforcement.  Support from those who are highly respected and upright, or those who lived though “lean times”/periods of significant struggle/hardship.

Uranus: Favor with groups, clubs, associations, and organizations.  Assistance from “friends” & through our social networks (digital or otherwise).  Aid from those who are a bit strange or nerdy.  Favors from those who are on the cutting edge; who are radical, revolutionary, experimental, and “ahead of their time”.

Neptune: Favor with those involved in charitable works.  Aid from yoga teachers, empaths, spiritual people, mediums/clairvoyants/psychics, bartenders, musicians, or those involved in the Human Services sector.  Help from those who are compassionate and don’t judge.

Pluto: Favor with powerful people, actual witches, or those who know how to deal with “crisis” situations (such as psychologists, paramedics, emergency room surgeons, and critical care doctors/nurses).  Assistance from those intimately familiar with grief, loss, or trauma.  Help from those who deal with death; such as hospice workers, or funeral home/cemetery workers.  Aid from financiers, lending institutions, or those who make investments.

07/31/2020

The Astrology Of Comet NEOWISE

Comet NEOWISE in the predawn hours, 4:10am on 07/12/2020. ©EmpoweredDestiny.com 2020. All rights reserved.

We’ve had an exciting recent discovery in the sky: On March 27, 2020 a new comet was noticed from space via a Near Earth Object exploration mission of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, for which said comet became named.  The name alone raised my eyebrow; “newly-wise”….hmmmm, sounds an awful lot like Chiron in Aries to me!  The wise Centaur teacher in the astrological sign that “maketh all things new”….on this hunch, I pulled the chart for this comet’s discovery date and was utterly unsurprised to find Chiron in Aries right next to the Sun, which makes Chiron in Aries very prevalent in this comet’s identity and vibe.  Via this astrological signature alone, we can already see an identity and energy that is strongly tied to the concept of self-healing; part and parcel of this will mean bringing illumination to the places where we are in immediate need of healing – be it physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual – within ourselves.  In tandem with my last post, a large part of this may entail shining a spotlight upon the Wounded Masculine archetype; healing toxic masculinity in all its forms. In my view,  comet NEOWISE appeared at this point in time to raise humanity’s awareness of these issues so that we might walk the path of The Healer instead; that we might bravely direct attention and energy toward holistically integrating painful, fractured components of the Self so it can be made whole again.

Though discovered at the end of March, NEOWISE was dim and couldn’t be seen with the naked eye – it only became visible more recently in early July as it escaped from the most perilous part of its Vision Quest: perihelion.  The closest approach of a comet to the Sun is a dangerous time and many don’t survive this leg of the journey.  However comet NEOWISE surprised astronomers by not only pulling through, but by becoming even brighter than they had anticipated!  As a fighting Aries Sun, NEOWISE’s will to “live” triumphed; it was able to endure the intense heat because – astrologically speaking – it was born of fire and baptized in it.  There is a reason the Sun is said to be exalted in Aries!  What we – as human beings – might take from this is the idea that being metaphorically dipped in boiling oil early in life can render one a bit like the mythical Achilles, who was (unsurprisingly) a student of Chiron.  We all have a weakness, but that doesn’t mean this can’t exist hand-in-hand with strength.  Achilles was a celebrated hero of the Trojan war; brave and highly accomplished in battle.  Perhaps his downfall may have one of overconfidence where he defined himself so much by his identity as a warrior, that he lost sight of his most glaring vulnerability. What are our flaws but evidence of our humanity?  The spark of Divinity may live in each of us, but this certainly does not make us immortal gods.

Historically, the ancients did not find comets to be a favorable portent – they were most often associated with large-scale global shakeups, like natural disasters and the death of kings *side-eyes President Orcus*.  Before anyone panics re: Omens of Doom, relax and look at the context: NEOWISE showing up on-scene is simply a reflection of the circumstances we’ve already been enduring in 2020.  I certainly consider a pandemic that changed the world and crashed global economies a “natural disaster”, as germs are about as natural as it can get – they have existed since the beginning and will continue existing long after humans are gone.  This microscopic virus is a reminder of our humanity as this minuscule and comparatively “simple” life form cripples even the mightiest of men & nations to bring them down to their knees. Sounds a bit like Achilles’ unprotected heel, doesn’t it?

These facets aside, NEOWISE has interested me greatly for the constellations it passes through; particularly now that we’re able to see it.  In July it started out in the vicinity of Auriga (the Charioteer) with a migration to Lynx before making its way toward Ursa Major (the Big Bear).  I work with the Fixed Stars in my astrological practice, so the layered symbolism of these constellations is not something lost on me.  In my view, the Charioteer is a reminder about the importance of taking the wheel in life – because I associate NEOWISE strongly with the concept of self-healing, in 2020 it becomes more crucial than ever for us to have self-awareness regarding our wounds and actively steer our path in alignment with that of health & wellness on all levels. Remember as I said earlier this comet carries holistic themes, and one of the foundations of healing lies in Right Action. Part of choosing this path entails being pro-active instead of re-active when we are made aware of our human frailties – this allows us to walk in our strength instead of our weakness.   I look at this “Taking the Wheel” theme on a personal level, but I also see broader geopolitical contexts in play; particularly when your federal government largely takes its own hand off the wheel and leaves such direction to individual states in a time that your entire nation is sick and hurting.  *side-eyes President Orcus again* 😒

Auriga had significance to the ancients as being representational of the club-footed son of Hephaestus; Erichthonius. Erichthonius’s bum feet *coughCadetBoneSpurscough* were not only a source of embarrassment to him, but they also made it tough for him to get around.  So being the son of the great God of the Forge, he decided to fashion himself a contraption – aka the chariot – which basically served as the first wheelchair.  Pause for a moment here just to note the recurring theme of a (physical) weakness that defines the identity as well as the rejection of this handicapped state. Whether Erichthonius ultimately came to make peace with his condition isn’t known, but with the augmentation of his new set of wheels he did indeed get around quite well; to the point that he competed in the Olympic games and even caught the attention of Zeus.  We see again the echoes of Chiron here – Chiron was part man and part horse; Erichthonius became (for all intents and purposes) part man and part “machine”, as far as his identity was concerned.

As to how the ancients augured Auriga, Ptolemy assigned the stars of this constellation a Mars-Mercury flavor, so active and changeable on the whole.  Mars was – and still is – considered a malefic in astrology, so the late great Vivian Robson’s nod to the “danger of great vicissitudes” is apropos here; meaning unpleasant or unwelcome changes in fortune.  Auriga IMO urges the importance of keeping a tight rein on things in the midst of a fluctuating and potentially dangerous situation; not letting there be any slack in the line as we masterfully guide the way forward. The symbolism of this is not lost on me during a year when this pandemic has made it painfully obvious who is slacking vs. who the true leaders are.

The same can be said of our own personal development in 2020; we may well wind up in a metaphorical “ditch” if we’re unwilling to captain our own ship and instead pawn that leadership role onto others.  A huge part of successfully grabbing those reins involves plotting a firm course toward our (physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual; as well as global) recovery.  There are no shortcuts, though – the hazard lies in thinking speed is the answer when it’s more akin to heading into a sharp curve in the road and taking your foot off the gas before finding the perfect moment to accelerate into the curve so your wheels maintain a firm grip.  Collectively, what we’ve been doing – at least here in The States – is rushing to get things back “up to speed” when sickness is spreading like a runaway freight train faster than we can get a handle on it.  Instead of wholesale rejecting the turbulence of the conditions by trying to “full steam ahead” on all fronts, the answer lies in focusing on how to “flatten the curve” and figuring a way to accelerate our way out of it toward a truly holistic and integrative recovery.  America, your economy will continue to be crippled as long as you allow illness to run rampant; by focusing solely on economics you choose path of sickness rather than one of actual healing. IMO, COVID-19 should be renamed what it truly is: The Sickness of Capitalism.

One of the most curious examples of how Auriga’s energy seems to mirror the current issues of the day (As Above, So Below) lies in its “interest in social and educational problems” – sage words once again from Robson’s mouth!  I’d say COVID-19 has created some damn significant “social and educational problems”, wouldn’t you?  This is especially relevant in July as many schools in the Northern Hemisphere are trying to figure out at this very minute if or how classes might resume between August & September; the traditional start of the new school year.  Again Auriga’s influence shows the need for a firm steady hand to guide, but NOT one which belongs to the shortsighted! Several prominent figures have postulated that getting kids back to school = getting parents back to work = getting the economy “back on track”, but IMO the mechanics of that all fail to address the root cause of this economic collapse, which is illness.  HEAL THE ILLNESS FIRST; that is our Prime Directive with a Sun conjunct Chiron in Aries comet appearing like a neon sign flashing in the sky.

The constellation of Lynx is much more subtle in its effects – with no major Fixed Stars to give away its position, this constellation slinks quietly in the background like a feline with silent, padded feet; perhaps making ready to pounce. Lynx are known for their night vision and so metaphorically this seems to allude to need for acuity of sight in both an inner and outer context. I spoke a moment ago of the hazard of shortsightedness, which is one kind of “vision problem”.  But in a time when so many of us seem to have lost the ability to sort fact from fiction, Comet NEOWISE seems to be drawing our attention to a need to heal our (outer/inner) “eyes”, IMO – Lynx were said to have the ability to “see through things” for good reason!  But crucially more interesting is the fact that we also had a comet in this constellation in 1893; the year of the stock market panic that sent the USA into a 4 year recession.  Not only was it a time of similar economic disruption, but a period of significant political upheaval as well and the man sitting at the helm when all of this happened – President Grover Cleveland – was overthrown in the next election.

NEOWISE’s last stop before it disappears from view is the constellation of Ursa Major; the Big Bear.  As one of the two chief Power Animals of Wall Street, economically speaking this is certainly an ominous portent; particularly if we keep driving our “chariot” blind and in the wrong direction!  But this is certainly nothing new or revelatory – the largest stock market crash in history took place in March 2020, right when NEOWISE was being discovered.  The price of oil fell so low it dipped (how’s that for a constellation whose major component asterism is the Big Dipper!) into negative territory; fueled by a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.  Hmmmmm….isn’t one of Russia’s symbolic Power Animals the Bear???  IMO, this is not at all coincidental.  I predict we will see more significant developments with this country in 2020 – perhaps like the Lynx, it does its best hunting in darkness and has been silently slinking around behind drawn blackout curtains as it prepares to spring.

As to the energetic effects of this constellation, in antiquity Ursa Major was looked upon as having a Mars quality to it and to corroborate this in more modern times, Vivian Robson mentioned its capacity for “great revengefulness when roused” (ergo the hazard of metaphorically “poking the bear”).  He mentions (yes, Robson is indeed a gentleman; look him up) this constellation having patience and self-control, but a tendency to be suspicious & uneasy.  Comet NEOWISE whizzing through this part of the sky may highlight a need to heal issues that center around mistrust, as well as how we respond when disturbed. The visual image I get is one of someone being woken up from a dead sleep and then throwing a heavy book at the offending party as they turn and rush out of the bedroom door.  Perhaps by proactively posting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on our door the night before and simply yet directly enforcing our boundaries in advance, we might mitigate this urge to unleash our more bestial nature upon whatever unlucky or irreverent fool happens to stumble into our den.  Manilius mentions this constellation as having a taming quality to it where one makes friends with wild animals, so perhaps the key lies in getting to know where the more feral parts of our nature tend to kick into gear.  For most humans, tired, hungry, sick, or stressed tend to be blanket situations that are apt to bring out the beast (not best!) in us, but individually there are usually more context-specific scenarios that can cause a savage part of our psyche to engage. Don’t tell yourself this doesn’t exist, either – if a Chiron-flavored comet can teach humanity one thing, certainly it is to honor both our human and animal sides while actively choosing to civilize.

07/20/2020

Mars Conjunct Chiron In Aries

“Jason and His Teacher” (Chiron) by artist Maxfield Parrish

Listen up, folks: We have a relatively rare astrological opportunity on our hands at this very moment as Mars prepares to meet up with Chiron in Aries in just two days’ time.  Mars/Chiron conjunctions herald the start of a new healing cycle and they only occur approximately once every two years, so this is not an everyday happening.  Essentially, something has been coming to a head recently (as all things Mars-related tend to do), but see the inflammation as integral to speeding up your individual healing process because through this energy there is the unique ability to take quick, decisive, positive action that results in an accelerated recovery in at least one facet of your life. Stand and be counted; be your own hero, because there is something important you are confronting now that – when sparked – will move like wildfire burning down fractured, fragmented facets of the Self to forge a new beginning and even a new identity; one that is much more integrated and whole.

“The Creation of Adam” – Michelangelo

When working with the one-pointed focus of Mars energy, we must be careful not to cut or burn needlessly.  While in some instances we may need the steady precision of a combat medic’s life-saving amputation or the cauterizing singe that staunches the flow of an open wound, we also mustn’t be rash as to how we go about it. Mars energy is primarily one of offense, and when we react from a wounded state there is often the tendency to lash out and harm rather than heal.  Know the difference between that which saves a life (even if it’s your own) vs. actions that brutalize, maim, or cripple.  And above all, understand your animal nature but do not let it drive; be in touch with it, yet civilize it.  Recall Chiron’s centaur form and how it was bestial but enlightened – he became the teacher of many of Greece’s young heroes  precisely because his humanity and the executive function it bestowed was allowed to ride higher than his lower animalistic nature.

What types of things might we be confronting within ourselves now and where is this necessity for healing likely to be showing up front-and-center in our lives?  These are just a few places, but issues related to how we handle confrontation, conflict, self-assertion, any Wounded Warrior complex we might be harboring, our desire (what we want as well as how we go about getting it), sex (specific as to what turns us/gets us off and how we’re directing our sexual energy), selfishness vs. being healthily self-full in a positive sense, our sense of masculinity (whether it’s toxic or healthy, as well as what it means to us to identify as a man), our feelings of strength/potency or weakness/impotency, or perhaps whether we’re active or passive in our approach to life are all likely themes that can manifest from this astrological alignment.  Those who identify as Masculine should pay particular attention to this conjunction, because Mars is the planet that “men are from”, as the old book title goes – although the Universe is asking us all to collectively address these themes in our individual lives, those identifying as Masculine are likely to be feeling it harder due natural attunement to this vibrational frequency.

The good thing is this energy is *not* subtle – it’s the kind of thing that hits us right in the face.  The painfully itchy, irritated, inflamed areas of our lives related to the above themes are telling us precisely where to direct healing energy *right now*. It’s not the kind of thing we can or should put off, nor is it about half-assed “trys”; there is only “do” now.  We have the ability to directly address and resolve some kind of paradox we’ve been living with right up until this very moment and find a healthier way to deal with it head-on rather than allow infection to set in or spread.  This is, collectively, a sort of cosmic contemporary shamanic “initiation” where we are being baptized by some kind of fire to learn how to burn non-functional parts of the Self down to be replaced by a grounded sense of identity re: our own personal strengths and weaknesses, and picking today to choose the path of wisdom & holistic recovery.  Any fragmented portions of the Self that have not been identified – where we are (re?)acting out of alignment regarding walking (not just talking!) the Path of Healing – will be revealed to us, if they haven’t already.  Drop everything you’re doing to attend to this personal spiritual emergency at once, because collectively we should all be seizing upon this relatively rare opportunity to confront something in need of immediate healing within ourselves in order to initiate a new recovery cycle.  Make like a certain sports apparel company’s tagline and “just do it”.

“Nike of Samothrace”

07/12/2020

The Memory Of Trees

“The Dryad” – Evelyn De Morgan

Trauma responses are funny things.  I recently observed a very peculiar phenomenon occurring with my Weeping Cherry tree that made me wonder if perhaps it was undergoing a Pluto transit.  I’ve known this tree for quite a long time and have witnessed its behavior from season to season, year to year and something strange happened where it did something I’ve never seen it do before.  Usually sometime between April and May this tree will have a profusion of pink blossoms arcing gracefully downward from its slender whip-like branches, but this year my locale had an unexpected late frost that must have stopped dead in its tracks whatever budding was in the process of occurring.  I’ve seen something similar happen once before; very few (if any) blossoms on the tree and it went straight into the leafing stage.  But this year it was so shocked it didn’t do either.  I checked it for signs of life (the branches were indeed still alive) and waited patiently – by mid-June, it still looked as barren as if it had been mid-January instead.

I knew straight away what was going on: Trauma response.  This poor tree was in a delicate and vulnerable state when the temps abruptly plummeted below freezing, and it was apparent to me that my Weeping Cherry was having a really hard time overriding the memory of that difficult time and believing that it was safe enough to bring forth new foliage.  How could it trust there wouldn’t be another freak cold snap?  I understood – put anyone’s (physical, emotional, psychological) sense of survival in jeopardy and shock their system like that and, well, all kinds of screwy things can happen.  It’s not the tree’s fault; this is merely the result of it having to find a way to exist in a very abnormal and seemingly precarious environment. Pluto transits tend to symbolize these trauma responses – all kinds of “crisis situations” (pick your least favorite hellscape) can arise under this planet’s influence that are likely to test one’s ability to “live through this”.  With Pluto they love to say “What does not kill you makes you stronger”, but I can tell you that is trite and bitter consolation to someone who is right in the thick of it.  They’ll also conveniently forget to mention that too often with Pluto, “strength” is actually a code word for self-imposed isolation à la “I don’t need anyone or anything” – it is a rejection of love, help, care, or anything else that might make one seem “weak” or “needy”.

This is preposterous of course – even if this is a trauma response, no (wo)man is an island and everybody needs somebody or something.  Trees too, and clearly it needed my help.  We don’t judge plants for their failure to grow or thrive during periods of extreme climatological duress; we see what we can do to support their recovery.  Sometimes just making it through the ordeal is enough. Maybe we might give them extra water in a drought, prop them up with a supportive stake in high winds, or mound up a heavy, protective layer of mulch over their root bed for the winter.  What I decided my tree needed was a little gentle reassurance and reiki, so I went over and spoke to the Plant Spirit of my Weeping Cherry; giving it ample assurance that winter truly was over along with my word that it was safe to come out as I laid hands upon it and channeled forth healing energy. Roughly 4-5 days later it started springing forth small and wispy green tendrils.

If the memory of trees is strong enough to hold onto the experience of a single isolated trauma so strongly, what must this mean for the more complex human organism?  And more importantly, what will we do about it; will we help?

“Young King of the Black Isles” – Maxfield Parrish

06/26/2020