Just a little levity for this Mars Retrograde, sandwiched-between-eclipses space we find ourselves currently in (warning for language):
Astrology at the junction of Fate and Free Will.
Just a little levity for this Mars Retrograde, sandwiched-between-eclipses space we find ourselves currently in (warning for language):
With 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.
This message has been brought to you by the current Mars Retrograde in Aries:
“Action also requires rest”
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 🔥
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 cosmic 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.
Choose your weapon carefully now; it is a fail-safe designed to be utilized only in moments where “flight” is no longer an option. Pray for the wisdom to know when to use it and – more importantly – for restraint in knowing when *not* to. Never draw it in anger and hope it will never have to be unsheathed *period*; all the while pragmatically knowing the world can indeed be a harsh place. In reality if you ever do find yourself with your back against a wall, that (metaphorical) mace on your keychain or knife tucked into your boot can provide strength, steadiness, and safety in circumstances that might otherwise threaten to bring you to your knees.
After 2 months of Retrograde status, Mars resumes Direct motion in the sign of its exaltation (Capricorn) in very short order; 10:05am EDT on Monday August 27, 2018 to be precise. The above is prudent consideration at this juncture and it’s highly likely you already have the requisite armament in question; it may just need to be dusted off a bit.
Recte et fortiter 👍💪
We’ve already spoken of Chiron in Aries and its battle wounds in a previous post, but something unique is happening on this front courtesy of the present Mars retrograde. Mars rules Aries – the sign Chiron is presently traversing through – so that’s one layer of it. But we have an additional level of interconnectedness between these two celestial energies at the moment that is continuing to play out because Mars makes repeated contact to Chiron due The Red Planet’s back-and-forth retrograde motion.
These astrological contacts – which perfect(ed) in alignment on May 20th, August 3rd, & September 13th – are facilitating an opportunity for us to revisit ancient battle wounds/the scene of old skirmishes (in this life and/or those past) to find new opportunities for self-healing; especially if we focus on how we can be or do differently in the Now/going forward. We may not be able to change the past, but we absolutely *can* review any repeated points of conflict or contention in our lives – including any shrapnel wounds we may have sustained way back when – to excavate/excise. It’s not unlike exploratory surgery in a kind of way; we may not know quite what we’re getting into/going to find, but we’re pretty clear on the fact that something weird is going on that will need to be patched up or “sutured” for closure.
As for where to start on this healing journey, begin with things that make you angry. Examine the reaction to anger and explore any possible triggers rooted in past experiences while maintaining a sense of intellectual detachment that keeps it cool enough to handle. This is nothing to fear; in these déjà vu moments bear in mind the potential this energy has for recalibrating healthy self-assertion because there is an opportunity to radically initiate an entirely different way of being/doing. Some are very uncomfortable with this emotion and see it in a negative light as generating static or chaos. But when proactively handled, it can also be a force for change that liberates us from stuck ways of being or doing so we don’t attract chronic injuries that result in the (re-)formation of new scar tissue. There’s only so many time we can go through the same incision point….
Recapitulation: (n) From a metaphysical perspective, the act of reclaiming one’s energy from the past.
Something interesting has been going on since about late May – collectively, it’s like we’re all being asked to confront memories and events from the past (either in this life or perhaps even past lifetimes) to reclaim lost energy. This may occur via current situations/interactions that serve as a memory trigger, or perhaps replaying/revisiting something that elicited a strong emotional reaction within us, and/or it’s also possible some of this past material we’re tackling may be surfacing in our subconscious through dreams. Whatever the case, it’s as if a portal to long ago has opened so we can face and release any “unfinished business”. We’re in the process of reclaiming our power from the Past, and whether it’s a memory from our own history or our soul’s history there is the sense that we’re freeing stuck emotional energy that has been trapped in some bygone era.
Sometimes strong emotional experiences leave an imprint upon the psyche or soul and the resulting residue left behind either 1) gets us nowhere or 2) actively prevents us from moving forward in life. It’s as if a vital part of our energy has been “stolen” from us in a sense, and going back to confront and release those scenarios, interactions, actions, and – in some cases – inactions that left us feeling diminished, weak, or powerless can have a positive impact at this time. There are a variety of techniques one can use to accomplish this; from mundane to spiritual – it’s not so much about the specific method we’re using to achieve these ends, but our willingness to actively engage with the process.
It can be as simple as allowing a memory to transport us back to a place or time and reviewing/addressing deeper feelings that may be unconsciously influencing our Present. If we permit ourselves to temporarily re-live that event or feeling, we can in fact alter the Past; say by consciously affirming how we’re handling things differently in the current moment or asserting how we’ll do things differently moving forward.
It might also look like this: Perhaps we’re engaged in a (contentious?) process of hashing something out with another party and something about that dynamic seems somehow vaguely familiar. Conflict seems to stir up all kinds of weird stuff now, and perhaps this is our prompt to review something that happened to us “way back when” that is actually impacting the Now.
We don’t have to necessarily have a past life regression done (though that’s certainly an option at this time!); we can also sit in meditation and see what comes up for us, pay attention to our dreamscape for clues as to what our subconscious might want addressed, or do some shamanic Journeying either on our own or with the assistance of a trusted and reputable shamanic healer. These types of techniques may be most helpful in situations where something happened to us very young (Think: baby/toddler), where we may have packed an experience away because the emotional impact was so violent that we didn’t *want* to remember it, or when it’s something we have no conscious recall of because it didn’t happen to us in *this* incarnation; rather a past one.
Whatever the case may be, do be particularly aware of any themes that surfaced circa late May and then subsequently culminated around June 7th/8th when Mars made its first exact contact to the South Node. The story is far from over; the other dates we want to pay very close attention to are July 20th when a retrograde Mars revisits this old stomping ground and then Sept 25th/26th when the Red Planet makes final contact with the South Node. During the next couple of months, no matter what is brought up we must remember that our Past does not have to be our Now/Future; we can *be* and *do* differently! There’s definitely an element of “behavior modification” inherent in this astrological alignment; it’s all about how to make our actions less directly informed by habits of/ingrained patterns from the past so we can break free rather than allow them to derail us from our destiny.
Foreigner’s “Urgent”: For those days (like today) when everything seems to be a federal f***ing emergency 😡
Happy? Mars Retrograde, ya’ll – don’t make any rash moves, allow cooler heads to prevail, and diligently monitor any feelings of impatience, irritation, anger, or frustration. We’ve got 2 months of this vibe to ride out, but this energy is strongest for about a week surrounding the days this planet stations; that would be now and then again around August 27th.
We have less than two weeks to go now until Mars stations (AKA pauses and turns) retrograde! Mars stationary retrograde in Aquarius is like an itch you can’t quite scratch that’s driving you, well, crazy. Things chafe at us now but there’s no immediate relief in sight. Speaking of immediate relief: Sexually frustrated? Fuhgettaboutit! It’s like our motors are all revved up but we’re not going anywhere; at least not in a hurry! Mars is super carnal energy – on a symbolic level it’s both the libido of what turns us on and the orgasm of what gets us off. In Aquarius, Mars wants complete freedom of sexual expression – he wants to experiment, do things outside the bounds of normal social convention, innovate, and try novel techniques. But with the retrograde station in the mix, it’s like he’s hung up; caught in some kind of invisible energetic groove like a planetary skipping record.
So don’t freak if your sex drive or life seems to get a little…strange…under these skies. This astro merely represents some kind of “deviation” from whatever our “norm” is; with the aim that by the end of this retrograde period we’ll find a newfound level of freedom outside the confines of self-imposed limitation or denial. With Mars ping-ponging between the signs of Aquarius and Capricorn, there’s a direct relationship between self-denying vs. giving ourselves full unfettered permission to be and to do whatever we want; perhaps even in an act of rebellion. Question all default settings of being and doing now, in *every* sense. Because with this retrograde approaching, there’s a general feeling of inflammation, irritation, or impatience surrounding something we want to be different in our lives. It’s something we’re inclined to want quite badly, however we can’t *quiiiiiite* reach it yet. And it’s just as well, because right now any action we might take toward this end is liable to lead to a premature…release of energy (kundalini or otherwise)…that has unintended consequences. Not necessarily the ones we think, either – metaphorically this energy is not unlike someone who had a vasectomy unexpectedly getting you pregnant; surprise! It could absolutely be something that defies the laws of science/nature/probability. Though this isn’t *always* a bad thing, most of the time we wind up better off if we can avoid doing something crazy in the heat of the moment – this is likely to be one of those times.