by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 2012: Mars direct / Pluto retrograde

Mars has been sitting around for a couple of months, but no more!
(Carl VanVechten sitting in front of the figure of Mars god of War)

Here’s the simple form of the thing: Pluto is going retrograde on April 10th (at 10:12am UT/+0) and Mars is going direct on April 14th at 3:54 am (UT/+0).

Pluto will do it’s turnabout at 9 Capricorn and Mars will take its station at 3 Virgo.

This becomes more important as we consider that these two planets (or planet-and-dwarf-planet, if you want to be picky about it)…together, these are the modern co-rulers of Scorpio.

AND….Scorpio would be the sign that sits mid-point to this week’s double-station event.

There are as many ways for this to manifest in lives as (yes, I’m going to say it) there are stars in the sky. But some things are constant here – which is why this blog seems well worth posting.

Known for its attention to detail (speaking of picky…) Virgo is really about the refining of the process. Being the second of the zodiac’s three earth signs, there’s a Virgo quality which is implicitly about ‘getting it done’ and how we get it done.

Lore on the degree Mars will station in (3 Virgo) speaks to the difficulties we encounter and persevering despite all. There’s a strength indicated by this degree which may suggest taking on tasks (or ideas or methodologies) which you have long resisted or not wanted to tackle the implementation of. Mars certainly is a pro-active symbol, so don’t be surprised if this week finds you gearing up for something. Or maybe you’ll find the way to get something done.

Those who resist doing anything (especially in areas where Virgo’s association with ‘quality’ is hindered) may well find that situations prompt (force?) them to look at things in a new, different and perhaps more critical light.

 A medieval imaging of Virgo, which says not a lot
about the Virgoan quality of being able to provide
or leave us destitute for not having done 'the 
required work.'

Meanwhile, we also have Pluto going retrograde. That it’s doing so at 9 Capricorn and conjunct Facies brings home the question of how wise we are and have been in our choices, with Facies adding a highly ‘provocational’ touch. What this amounts to is the need to do things wisely…lest you get called on your lack of native wisdom.

And if you do get called on having been clueless (purposefully or innately), your first instinct is likely to be to get all hurt.

This gets us back to the Mars/Pluto combination as the co-rulers of Scorpio. Yes, Scorpio is known as the sign of sex and inheritances, taxes, power, investments (of time, money, emotions…etc.) and so on. But the crux of Scorpio is really our pitting ourselves against our Self. Mars here indicates the proactive choice we’ve made to do something or not do something, and Pluto refers to how we feel about how things work out.

Because Scorpio is by nature an interactive sign, we generally tend to love ‘them’ or blame ‘them’ depending on how things have worked out. But they didn’t do OUR choosing – we did. And that’s the eternal Scorpio point. Scorpio is the polarity sign to Taurus and Taurus is all about self worth and our abilities – or ‘ability to be who we are’ (or are capable of being). In Scorpio, Taurus’ native attributes are tested.

As Mars goes direct (after several very long months of our feeling rather like life has us on some very bizarre treadmill), Mars stands conjunct Regulus, Hebe, Orcus, Arachne, Psyche, Polyhymnia, Thuban and Medea.

Got that?

Of course not! Who would, right? Fine...let’s go through it a little more slowly.

REGULUS: Regulus is one of the Royal Stars of Persia. All of the Royal Stars promise success IF we avoid a particular human no-no, which in this case is the temptation to wreak vengeance. So it’s okay to state your case this week, but the idea of declaring all-out war will probably not bring you any victories.

(Note to the wise here: Pluto’s instruction kit comes with a notice which says ‘when using your Pluto, state your case once – clearly – then HUSH UP’)

This is a good thing to remember when you’re in any sort of power struggle. Debating should be a college sport, not a way of life. (Unless you’re a trial lawyer or something like that, of course!)

 Hebe - by Francisco Javier Ramos y Albertos (1784)

HEBE: This asks us what we can do (Virgo) to make things better. Technically, Hebe is the cup bearer to the gods of Olympus, and in that cup is the drink of immortality, ambrosia. So Hebe is not just about serving the drink, but about providing that which preserves, protects and – considering Hebe is in Virgo - makes things healthier, more effective, more efficient and maybe above all, moral in the sense that whatever we do can ‘pass muster’ and stand the test of time and criticism.

ORCUS: TNO Orcus is – in a word – a symbol of ‘consequences.’ Whenever we see Orcus in an astrological figure, we know we are talking about something which cannot be ‘undone.’ You may have “done it” or it may simply have happened – or someone else may have done something or made some decision. The Orcus touch here conjunct Mars going direct suggests needing to ‘respond’ to something.

ARACHNEArachne is the symbolic idea of something you are entangled in. But as always, such symbols go both ways – so this may pertain to something (or someone!) you’re trying to ‘tie up in knots’ or render helpless.

Considering that Arachne is pictured here in Virgo, the stakes are realistic: this is something ‘real’ going on (or at stake). And with Arachne positioned between Orcus and Psyche (the mind) it’s very likely that its something very real, the thought of which (or the thought of trying to deal with) is tying up your mind.

And let’s remember…asteroid PSYCHE is very large asteroid.  Estimated to be 200km across and of sufficient mass to comprise 1% of the entire asteroid belt, Psyche’s presence in this kind of lineup is the signal that whatever is in the works requires your attention. We have to ‘put our mind to’ whatever this ‘entangling’ (Arachne) situation is.

POLYHYMNIA: One of the fabled Greek Muses, Polyhymnia speaks to the longing for beauty and the requirement that we reflect on things to get the most out of our life.

And you thought you didn’t have to think about things now? Apparently ‘thinking’ (and reflecting) on who we are (Psyche), what we do (Mars) and how well we do it (Virgo) is absolutely ‘of the moment.’

THUBAN: Thuban is a fixed star which refers to something we treasure – or which is worth treasuring. This ‘thing’ can be material…or spiritual, depending. 

Once out of retrograde, Mars won’t cross Thuban’s position until May 10th, though the emphasis on ‘what’s valuable to me’ may well arise at Mars’ April 14th station.

Of course…speaking of stations, let’s also remember that all planetary stations get a two-day before, two-day after ‘station window.’ So Pluto is ‘on station’ from April 8 through 12 (going retrograde on the 10th) and Mars is on station from April 12th through 16 (going direct on the 14th).

Yes, there’s an overlap. April 12th is likely to be an interesting day in many a life. Whether it’s good or bad depends on how well things have been working (or you have been working) coming into this time.

Medea by Henri Klagmann


The last symbol in this lineup is MEDEA, an asteroid which summons up the famous story about loving something and being so focused on your own investment in that ‘thing’ you so treasure or long for that you end up undermining yourself. Or, in Virgo, what you need to do – your responsibilities, perhaps? Maybe even your health? (We’ll hope not!) Or your moral or positive standing on some subject or in some field of effort?

Seeing that Mars makes its turn to direct in opposition to Neptune, Bali and Fomalhaut, it’s to be expected that those who have been kidding themselves (Neptune) and dancing with dreams which are in reality immoral at any level…they’re about to hit an iceberg with the name ‘Titanic’ etched on the side.

As I write (a bit belatedly) on Monday the 9th (as Pluto is about to go direct, I’ve just heard of a fourth legal action among people that I know. All of those legal actions have to do with standing up and saying ‘now wait a minute…’ to people who have tried to slide by or fluff off responsibility for doing things correctly. Effectively. In an ethical and above-board, crossing-the-‘t’ manner.

The legal system per se is not at stake here. What’s being discussed (or contested) is the use of power on someone’s part. That’s Scorpio. Scorpio energies work well ONLY when everyone is equally satisfied. When that doesn’t happen, especially when one person has pleased themselves at someone else’s expense, Scorpio stops being the high flying eagle and zooms right past gray lizard stage, becoming the sting of the scorpion.

All of this is to say this week is likely to be more than feisty, more than interesting and more than thought-provoking. Those who need to stand up for their rights should do so, but are advised to do it CALMLY. No flame-throwing, no dropping houses on anyone (even if it is tornado season in the U.S.!). If you must state your case, do it Plutonically: know your facts, state you position with clarity, then hush up! Let the froth fly. Let others do their thing.

Just wait for the answer.

That’s the point here. Situations which have arisen are not about ‘them’ – they’re about us. The ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ here isn’t about gain or loss, it’s about learning who we are…and maybe who we aren’t. Those we are most polarized by now are provoking our reactions and pushing our buttons, yes. But let’s remember…those are OUR buttons and reactions and people being as human as they are, we attract such folks to us just so that we can learn more about ourselves.

Annoying? Maybe.

Useful? Ultimately.

Could it be easier? Evidently not.

Have a good week then…and remember to look in the mirror now and again. It really isn't about 'them.' Everything which is happening is happening to us for a reason: so we can grow.


  1. After reading you're blog it all made sense. Why the sudden shift in my world. I did not understand but I do now. It's not "them" I get to make positive corrective experiences. All wise and with good intention!

    Thank you!!

  2. That's really the good news here. Though a lot of us are facing uncomfortable moments, the choice is ours when it comes to 'what to do about it?'

    Those choices will reveal (at least to us) even more about who we really are, and its at that level that we really either 'build up' or 'tear down' now...and moving forward through the next couple of months.

    Glad to be of help - as always!