Tomorrow is 4/8/14, which happens to be my big sis’ birthday. It is also Full Mars.
Every other year, the earth passes directly between Mars and the sun. Mars thus rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. This always occurs while Mars is retrograde because it is when the faster moving Earth overtakes its nearest outer neighbor.
As we already know, Mars will be a key corner in the Grand Cardinal Cross. Although we are still two weeks from the peak, there’s plenty of excitement going on.
For example, from April 1st to April 3rd, the sun moved through the Cardinal T-Square. It squared Jupiter, then conjoined Uranus, then squared Pluto. And since the New Moon in Aires happened on March 30th while the sun and moon were in orb of the T-Square, we had nearly a full week of spark.
One event that certainly caught my notice along the way occurred the day before the New Moon. We were driving on a California freeway when the bustling traffic stopped on a dime. Consulting Google Maps, I found out that three separate accidents had occurred along the mile stretch ahead of us. We only needed to go a half-mile before getting off and saw two of the accidents. Intriguingly, in both cases, an auto sat facing backward on the shoulder. How odd that two separate accidents would occur so close and be so similar.
Yesterday afternoon, while hiking among the Redwoods, I was inspired with insight.
During Mars retrograde, there can be an impetuous to go back…to retrace ones steps for a while to see if there is a better path to take that may have been overlooked earlier.
This trip is doing that for me. I am back in Northern California, which I left in 1999. Clearly I’m not undoing the past 15 years. However, being here has allowed me to observe the recent past from a different vantage. It is like walking around a statue mid-carving to take full inventory of the progress. To be honest, I have already gained much appreciation for what Austin has brought into my life as a result.
So Mars Retrograde may have us retracing steps, but this time, it coincides with a Cardinal T-Square to form a full blown Grand Cross. Well, that’s the accident! Those unfortunate motorists were driving along, likely at full speed, when a stroke of fate spun them around 180 degrees.
Is there anything in your life that resembles either of these stories? Have you made a conscious decision to go back or move to the side to take inventory of your life? Or have you got hit unexpectedly, then found yourself staring directly at the place you passed some time ago?
In general, the toughest part about this Grand Cross is that is comes with so much energy. The sun is in Aries: the most energized sign and when Spring Fever hits the hardest. AND this year it comes after a long, rough winter, which is still holding on a bit longer here and there.
All of that alone would make it challenging enough, but then we’ve got three outer planets (two huge and one intense little guy) really ramping it up.
When journalist/astrologer Eric Francis talks about the Pluto-Uranus square, he uses the phrase: “the political is personal.” In other words, Pluto and Uranus, being way-out planets, affects politics in big ways, but while they are squaring each other, the politics hit home more than otherwise.
I tend to think of it a bit differently. I see our personal growth entangled with our collective evolution. For example, social media has become a huge part of our daily life and personal life lessons often bubble up from the uber-connectedness. It is easier than ever to spy on others, and this can cause emotions to bubble up from within us…jealousy, envy, anger, depression, and even trauma. I for one have to scroll through Facebook and news sites rather quickly because it is too often that a picture of animal abuse or an ugly accident flashes by bringing on a nasty empathic sting.
But I’m drifting off topic. For today, I want to stay focused on sun opposite Mars. Astronomically, Mars is easiest to view now. It is closer to the earth, which makes it bigger and brighter. Symbolically, this could mean that the traveling part of our journeying is more conspicuous right now. It ought to be clear where we are headed and how fast we are going. It’s probably just as clear how we feel about it. Mars rules action, but also passion and desire.
Today, tomorrow, and the next day, ask yourself how you feel about where you’re going. Is your passion and desire aligned with your efforts? Many are overworked right now, but if you are working hard for something you desire, that’s one thing. If you’re overworked and don’t even know why you’re doing it, then it’s time for reevaluation.
Mars energizes us, and pushes us. From this, it’s too easy to end up in a rat race. If you feel that you are knee deep in the race, now is a good time to put your nose to the sky and confirm that you are headed toward the cheese. It’s also a good time to check in with your taste buds to make sure you do indeed still enjoy cheese. It won’t be very fun to work your tail off to get a wedge that turns your stomach when you eat it.
Astrology gives us numerous opportunities to make course corrections. During straining times like now, gather the information that comes in and give it to your heart. You’ll know what to do when the real opportunities show up! Don’t wait until you’re in a bunch of pain to make some much-needed adjustments.
[For the record, the outer planets do not have phases from our vantage—only the moon, Mercury, and Venus.]