by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mars, Saturn, Vesta Station/Retrograde / Eclipse Effects Begin

A Christmas Tree at Home
(photo credit: Yatharth, December 2010)

Twice a year I begin talking about solar eclipse effects. And every time I begin this conversation, I wonder if its going to matter to anyone.

It always does – mightily and hugely - and yet I still go through my chat with Self when the appointed two-months-out-from-the-eclipse date rolls around.

In this case, the solar eclipse in question will occur on April 29th (UT/+0) at 8 Taurus, a degree which if nothing else tells us this incoming eclipse is going to feel very person to those it most affects.

As for who those people are, anyone with a Sun, Moon or any prime (horizontal or vertical) axis point between 3 and 13 degrees of Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius or Leo had best pay attention. Something about the way you actually ‘process’ life (your Sun) or about work through life’s days and ups and downs (your Moon)…or who you think you are in your own mind (the vertical Midheaven/Nadir axis)…or something about what you’re doing, how you’re doing it or who-where-why you’re doing it – that’s about to get re-energized.

And in the process of getting re-energized, it…and you…will be in some vital way, remade.

Also – for those of you who would ask ‘what if the eclipse orb (above) hits something else?’ Then I suggest you find out what that attribute is on the psychological level…AND that you acquaint yourself with a list of things (items, professions…even countries) that symbol connects to.

All that is about to change. Solar eclipses bring out whatever is ‘hidden’ under “normal” (day to day) conditions. Known for thousands of years as part of the cosmic, karmic, energetic means by which life promotes cyclic changes of an inexorable sort of type, solar eclipses (as opposed to lunar eclipses) indicate a change of life circumstance which manifests through bringing out whatever has been missed, avoided or denied full voice. (That last, by the way, is why solar eclipses are associated with the fall (and rise) of kingdoms, societies, terms of rulership, etc.)

The two months which precede a solar eclipse are typified by a ‘breaking down’ of whatever needs changing in order for us to move ahead in our life – which unbeknownst to us may have been designed to be a whole other thing than we thought it was. Yes, sometimes solar eclipses also herald rewards and achievements. But with that thing we have ‘always wanted’ always comes something unexpected.

Whatever happens in the weeks and months ahead, remember this: with the bad (or from the hard time) will come good – though not right away. With the good (or the reward) will also come a cost as well. That cost may be levied up front…or it may reveal itself as the ‘shadow’ of something we didn’t suspect would or could happen.

The hard part to swallow here comes when we recognize that in order to get us to and through whatever change is coming, those metaphysical ‘girders’ (if you will) have to get shaken… then loosened… then finally knocked out of place.

Solar eclipses are not gentle. Even when they’re wonderful, they represent a period when surprises feel like shocks and when delights come with down sides – some of which we ignore or dance by at our own eventual cost. If your chart is getting hit directly by April’s eclipse there is every chance your values and sense of security is going to get a going over, so expect cooing and crying…whether it’s yours or not.

Since the degree being eclipsed here involves specific types of security which have to do with emotional rather than physical defensiveness, this would be a time which examines involvement and involvements as well as various forms of isolation, elitism, rejection (or marginalization) and the difference between ineptitude and unwillingness.

We’re all about to learn a lot about ourselves, most of all. And much of that will be learned through or with the help of others. The lessons – ultimately – are about what we value…but how we get to that lesson, its implications and utilization?

That we cannot do alone and will not do in short order. When April 29th arrives the eclipse isn’t over - we merely ‘shift’ from the ‘breaking down’ to the ‘learning better and rebuilding’ phase…a phase which lasts about three years and which comes with a bit of a twist right towards the end.

With all of that in mind, there are also four stations marking the onset of solar eclipse effects. One of them – Mercury’s station/direct at 18 Aquarius – we talked about in a separate post.

To be exact here, as this post hits the internet (on February 27, 2014), Mercury’s station/direct is still in tomorrow’s future. But meanwhile, as of today Ceres will go retrograde (or will have gone retrograde, depending on when you read this).

(If you haven’t checked in here recently, you may want to catch up. Knowing the lay of the mental and emotional landscape means beaucoup at the moment.)

As of February 27th, a lot of projects and attempts to deal with commitments are needing to be attended to. Sorting the ‘merely finished for now’ from the ‘I’m actually done with that’ is part of this process – and it’s a necessary part of the process, though haste isn’t suggested.

Part of our challenges from here through the end of April come from how we deal with the difference between being just plain headstrong as opposed to properly determined on a personal level. As Mercury goes direct on the 28th and February slides into March, much of what we encounter and deal with in our own right will center on such questions.

March 1st is the date when our planetary neighbor, Mars, goes retrograde. Mars retrogrades deserve their reputation as particularly trying (sometimes frustrating) times – but they don’t have to be. All you have to remember is that the object is to be who you are, and to own what comes of that. With Mars being sort of the standardized symbol of assertion and assertiveness, action, heat (emotional, physical or chemical) and thought we’re sorry to say it ego, self-centeredness and any kind of obsession which focuses on the Self to the exclusion of others…“normal” Mars dynamics are outward. We do what we need to do to get what we want from life and all that. We go after our goals. We assert our opinion.

Under Mars retrograde, that ‘other’ feels like it’s missing because we’re being called to pay attention to our Self. This can be the physical self – and particularly as Mars is going retrograde in Libra, there is every chance this March 1st through May 20th, our actions…or the lack thereof…is going to be being called into question – most of all by us.

This isn’t about guilt. This is about better understanding ourselves in the grand scheme of things so we have a better sense of consequence when it comes to whether we do something or ask that question or pay attention to what that person over there is saying…or screaming…or not.

And yes, I say that last part (the screaming, in particular) for a reason. Mars retrograde can feel oppressive. Mars retrograde in Libra is going to bring out a lot of errors, maladaptions, loneliness and all those unpleasantries we either didn’t think of as possibilities…or which we didn’t want to know about.

Situated at the equator of Mars, Valles Marineris is a canyon system some 4500 kilometers long, 200 kilometers wide and 11 kilometers deep, meaning it's about seven times as 'grand' as Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona (USA). 
(photo credit: Nasa, JPL, Caltech, USGS)

As I say that, there is an entirely different route through this next several months of Mars retrograde which some of us will take. For some this will be a time all about increased dialogue, and some of that will be difficult. Why? Because Mars retrograde is about self development. Astrologically, Mars is a personal planet – which means by astro-definition this is an element native to our basic personality. It’s inside of us. It can’t get under our skin because it already started there.

And the truth is that Mars (through its rulership of “I Am” sign Aries) is related to ego. The same sort of energy which is assertiveness is a form of being personally present. And that present tense ‘being-ness’ is all about ego.

So no matter what sign Mars retrogrades in, it feels personal. In this case the retrograde begins at 27 degrees of Libra and ends at 9 Libra.

That means Mars moves…what, a whole 18 degrees in the space of about two-and-a-half months?

(I pause to take a breath, thinking of how to break this to us all gently…)

Mars orbits once around the Sun in 687 days…which to spare you fetching out calendar or calculator equals 1.88 years. Thinking about this in terms of averages, this would suggest…because 687 (days) divided by 360 (degrees in a cycle, circle or the zodiac) equals 1.908…we would think Mars would move one degree very two days, give or take.

And that’s what normally happens. But now we have a two-and-a-half-month (81 day long) period where Mars is only going to move eighteen degrees?

That’s a ratio which comes out to about 1/9th the ‘normal’ amount. (Yes, I’m rounding a tad, but still…) Considering that metaphysics translates motion as any form of ‘getting somewhere,’ specific to Mars as a symbol of action or activity, there would seem to be very little happening.

So will things be slow? Will we feel…bottled up or unable to get out of our own way? Or is this about doing something slowly so that sufficient care is taken?

Whatever this kind of energy means in your life, the implication isn't 'rapid.' This is Mars in something of a metaphysical metamorphic energy state, which is helpful for those of us who are coal willingly poised on the edge of becoming diamonds...facing only whatever our process of ultimate purification is.

The months ahead will pit us against our Self, purging many of unmerited vulnerabilities masquerading as vanity.

And yet, that’s all on the outside. Remember, retrogrades are about apparent movement. They’re about how things ‘look’ from here on Earth – not how they are in the overall realm of existence. The fact that relative speeds should cause us to ‘go back through’ some issues – that’s real. But so is the fact that in reality, Mars is moving along as it always has even if from the ‘Earthly’ …which is to say mundane human and everyday…perspective, Mars appears to be hardly moving at all – and when it does move, it seems to be doubling back on its steps.

So shall we. The real question is why we will do that, how we will do that, how well we will do that, and how we will deal with what has been found. Plus – seeing as this retrograde has Mars in Libra, much of the effect here is either real-time or effectively about how we connect to others…how we are connected to them, what connects us…whether that works or is viable…whether we need to make some effort or make changes to get to our goals…

…all that stuff and all those many things. The details of life and the details of how our lives intersect, intertwine, compliment, confront, question, learn from and – most of all reflect – will be being bestirred within. Relationship matters will be of great import whether you do or don’t have a relationship – and despite any specific relationship nature. Friend, enemy, guru, lover, authority and authoritarian, buddy, chum and huckster, we’re all alike under the Mars in Libra guise in the sense that we’re all equally human.

The photo here is of the May 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse at 0 Gemini taken 100km
north of Tokyo in Takenezawa (Tochigi Prefecture) by Carl Drinkwater

It’s that being thing which gets us. The details of that living challenge (whatever form it takes in your life) are individual and far too many to imagine. Through confrontations (or lack of same) with others, we experience our Self in a very personal and thoughtfully revealing way. Somehow…maybe at long, long last we’re find ourselves approaching the place where we’re willing to be confronted with the essence of understanding and a window on consequences, be they personal or otherwise. Far more through that we can’t predict and couldn’t (or wouldn’t want to) control we see and experience how cause and effect manifest in a subtly dynamic way which has escaped us until now.

Or maybe it’s not so subtle. Thinking back to last November’s solar eclipse (and the several eclipses prior to that) it’s hard to remember any marker for the onset of eclipse effects to be so heavily weighted as this one.

Maybe that means this is an important time for you. Or one which is critical to some greater flow of time. Whatever is going on, since there are all these planetary (and asteroid) stations clustered right at this ‘two months to go’ marker, that seems something we can take as a workable mental calendar.

Then again, Mars retrograde was never defined as a frolicsome sort of time. So we shouldn’t be surprised if the weeks…and yes, months ahead or filled with meaningful moments of many types.

Inside, we are likely to be moved by whatever happens going forward...and to, in time, move forward based on what we either do now (Mars) or realize now (Mercury in Aquarius) …or we may come to  whole new understanding – or way to understand - ‘about’ how things do or don’t work.

And how when we get stalled along the way through life, how it’s not always about failure. Sometimes it’s so that we have more time to observe, learn, become aware, hone abilities…and in general, enable greater success in the process.

What we are going through now…and that which we will go through in a very focused or focal way over the next several months – it has portent. It’s important. It’s one of those times when life itself is flexing enough that we just might get helped by moving ahead with something extraordinary (to us, at least)…and we can see it.

Everyone around the world smells the danger and feels the potential. We are all longing to individualize at the same time that, in finding a more productive and ‘fitting’ place in life, we become theoretically secured.

Saturn going retrograde on March 2nd at 4:20 in the afternoon UT/+0 time represents all our  challenges and needs. That Saturn is going retrograde just a day behind Mars implies a good deal of effort, at least some degree of risk and the positives involved in bringing skills to bear on ‘cutting edge’ questions.

By reputation, Mars is ‘hot’ and Saturn is ‘cold.’ Together, they represent the chilling thrust, the unstoppable conviction, the deadly accuracy of necessity and the bravery to do the impossible.

Great achievements and great disasters loom ahead. We will expect some now…and some to be seeded now. After going retrograde now, Saturn will return to the degree and minute of its station in late October – within days of Mercury going direct after another retrograde (this one in Libra, where Mars is now) as  October’s solar eclipse goes off.

This is a connection which can be counted on. Life has laid out a path and bridge for us…but whether we will tread it, where it will lead us to and whether we’re willing to let go of some of our hard ‘shells’ depended on so diligently coming into this time…that’s up to us. The Sabian Symbol for the upcoming eclipse at 8 Taurus reads 'A FULLY DECORATED CHRISTMAS TREE,' an image which astrologer Marc Edmund Jones typified as 'the ability to create inner happiness in dark times.'

For some of us that will merely be about making ourselves better. For others, that will involve the bringing forth from spirit, Self, mind, heart and abilities that which creates inner happiness - hopefully for many - when things are sincerely trying.

These days are the first steps along a path which will teach us much about this whatever way it applies to you in your life...over the next two months as eclipse effects unfold. Then we will or won't do something because or in spite of all we've come to be aware of.

That will take us the next three years, during which time much else will cross our path, refining, exploring, tempering and exploding whatever it is that the current 'hard core' (martian-saturnine) has now laid in our experiential path.

One last thought here...the 'main players' in this drama apart from Sun and Moon are very much clustered all together.

Two identical detail clips from the Aries wheel (location non-specific) chart for Mars' station, one (upper left)
shown in text and the other (lower right) using glyphs. 
Eclipses being a physical (astronomical) function of an alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth, the astrological version only varies by substituting the lunar Nodes (i.e., the nodes of the moon) for Earth. And if you think of it that way, then that Saturn, Ceres, Vesta, the North Node and Mars are all clustered together is very much a  'thematic' imaging of the eclipse.

And that's how this eclipse season is starting out?

However you feel about what you're thinking about, facing and doing going forward, the image above is one which speaks to what it will take now to move forward - and the fact that we cannot do so without knowing, learning or learning better about what it means to be 'bridging' the Libra-Scorpio energetic...that which is always about who we are to ourselves because of who we are with others.

Nothing is 'about' them. It's about our experience of our Self in the light of their existence...and how when things are really working that's enough to contend with, grow from, be inspired by and survive with.

And when things aren't working? Then no matter how much we have, gain or get, we don't feel like we're really living.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Boots! I truly hope you are well and being enlivened by the work of getting your book "out."

    For me the past .2 months have been like reading a retrospective, "blow-by-blow" of my life. You leave enough to generalities, but you add enough of particulars for me to see and understand how my life is being affected by the visible patterns and energies in the heavens. When I read before the events in my life occur, I have a heads up--an alert signal of what to be watching for or expecting, and to be prepared. After the days are past and the events have occurred, I see how my life is being guided, affected, being given choices, so I am becoming more conscious of the decisions i am making.. The post covering the end of February, first week of March played out like a blow by blow account of a certain scene in my life as I re-read the post and saw the events--totally unforeseen by me (except by my intuition), but whcih came to pass, and how I was at least slightly prepared for the shock of it all.
    Be well.
    These posts of the past