Astrology is the mirror in the sky, reflecting what is inside of us.
What I am seeing in all corners of the world these days is a great deal of retrograde motion and positioning. Even the media is beginning to use this term to speak to the cultural wars taking place within American politics. Take for instance, an April issue of Time magazine’s essay from Joel Stein discussing Donald Trump’s recent insults toward Ted Cruz’s wife. This journalist referenced a feminist, Rebecca Traister, whose book Big Girls Don’t Cry about the impact on women of the 2008 election as: “This signals such a retrograde system of human evaluation that I can’t, and don’t want to, begin to examine the graduations therein.” I wonder what this author thinks about current sound bites in the media? In other words, the point of this article is that we are going backwards when it comes to honoring the dignity of women, and actually all people. Watching the Republican presidential race (for me) has consistently brought to mind the shadow of the United States as an ineffective and inequitable country that does not work for the good of all.
Is human existence going backwards? Are we seeing the shadow pieces of our societies and humankind? Are we becoming inhuman? Well, nothing that dramatic, but yes, what is taking center stage a great deal these days is the media playing out the shadow pieces of our world, and showing the very worst of human’s qualities of greed, corruption, hatred, class consciousness, and mass fear. Think of “Black Lives Matter” as a response to police killings, and the Middle Eastern refugee issue. Consider the Paris and Brussels terrorists attacks. This is what we are seeing, and I think the concept of retrograde or going backwards has much to do with this, as we are experiencing a reactionary world.
What does this tirade have to do with astrology, and this month’s astrology news? A great deal actually, as I believe the archetypal forces of the cosmos these days is playing out the concepts that has been described above to allow us to see the shadow parts of our lives and the world. We get to revisit our histories due to dominant retrograde energies. Yes, this month there are planets that are either retrograde, starting to station retrograde, or will soon be retrograde. Thus, it is time to go “back” and review, re-evaluate, re-think, and generally re-integrate all the parts of our lives, and our psyches, to create a new version of our individual selves and humanity as a whole. I am seeing a new Humanity 2.0 starting to emerge, but we have to go through a time of darkness and soul-searching to get there.
Mars in retrograde: April 17 to June 29 = Power Trip?
Yes, it seems as if the collective consciousness of humanity is on a power trip these days. Mars is one of the planets in our solar system, and archetypically represents a warrior-type of persona. Strong-willed and brave, going into action or into war is a typical description of the mythology of Mars. Currently, we are in the time of Mars with this planet serving as the ruler of Aries. The Spring Equinox opens up the dynamic energy of Aries and off we go. (Except for this season. . . we will soon feel as if the brakes are being applied to our lives).
We all have Mars in our charts. At the time of our birth, Mars was in the sky in one of the 12 astrological constellations. Mars represents our will, drive, and passion. So, what does this mean when the “Red” planet goes retrograde every two years? First, it means it just is not a good time to START something, initiate a new project, or push through a new idea. The will and drive to be successful just may not be present. Therefore, it is time instead to take this energy and go within our own worlds to “re”-pattern our behavior and determine how our passion serves our individual lives and our world. Makes plans for another day. In fact, use the retrograde period to plan out the next two years.
Pluto in retrograde – Illuminating the Shadow
To add to the backward motion of Mars, Pluto goes into retrograde one day after Mars on April 18th. Pluto in many respects is the higher octave (and stronger force) to Mars. Mars symbolizes our individual will, while Pluto represents our spiritual will. Pluto’s energy serves to transform our soul and helps us align with our higher selves. When Pluto is in retrograde, it may help us experience our shadow side of our nature, our psyche. When there is a particular Pluto transit on a personal aspect of our natal chart, we could be seeing things in our outer world that are painful or upsetting. These may be those shadow pieces projected out from our psyche that will help us heal our own internal strife. As an example, years ago I had a particularly difficult transit of Pluto on my Moon, and I noticed (of course, in hindsight) that many relationships, both personal and professional, were difficult. (My Moon sits in my relationship sector of my chart). My own internal psyche was struggling with thoughts of my unworthiness, and consequently that is how people were treating me. It has taken me years to realize that the more I gain an understanding of my shadow “self” through reflection and other processes, the more I feel more secure and fulfilled. My relationships have steadily improved. Pluto will be in retrograde for six months starting this April 18th until September 26th. Use this time to investigate your shadow self and reintegrate into the light of your consciousness.
With Pluto and Mars both retrograde along with Saturn, we have a potential for crisis. Saturn went into retrograde on March 25th and will not station direct until August 13th. Saturn starts in Sagittarius and goes back into Scorpio before turning direct. When the Lord of Karma along with Mars and Pluto are all going backwards, we may find ourselves dealing with major life issues that surface in our lives to be healed.
Insanity may surface when we do not deal with our issues and instead project them onto other people or the Universe. We may mistake our inner demons for outer ones. We could reach a scary “boiling” point mid- April when we have the God of War (Mars) and the God of the Underworld (Pluto) doing a cosmic crescendo. Let’s prove the war-makers and haters wrong and deal with this insidious darkness by NOT going into rage and anger. As the Dalai Lama has noticed: “The world is drunk on anger”.
Advice: See the shadow and the rage in the world. Own it. But, forgive everyone and most of all, forgive yourself. Whether you think you created or had/have anything to do with the mess of the world these days, it is best to go into deep self-love and forgive. “The strings of the world are not entirely visible. You are holding one in your hands. It is time to do some brave (Mars) psychological (Pluto) spelunking, looking for the true origins of that acid in your tummy. The holy grail which we are feeling our way in the dark is ‘forgiveness’”. (Steven Forrest, astrologer)
April 7, 2016 – Aries New Moon. Time to set your intention to review all the aspects of your world that you want to change. A New Moon is a great time to begin new ways of “Being”. With all the planets in retrograde, it is not necessarily a time to start a brand new project or adventure. But, it is time to experience your world differently than before this event as Uranus, the change agent planet, is present in Aries during this New Moon. It will definitely help you to shift your lens on the world. Follow Deepak Chopra’s advice to be able to think and to do things differently by acknowledging five new things in your life each day. It may be as subtle as looking at an object you see every day, but from a different angle.
This Aries New Moon will provide the potential and opportunity to discard the story of your life (your old script) and replace with an empowered story – one full of promise!! Make your story about nurturing your life in every way. (In doing so, you may begin to see how loving the Universe is).
April 21-22 Scorpio Full Moon. On April 19th, the Sun enters the sign of Taurus and a few days later we have a Full Moon. Full Moons illuminate how far we have progress forward with our intentions from the prior New Moon. Thus, in considering the process you might have initiated with the Aries New Moon, this would be a great time to check in and evaluate your progress. This is a good time to do a course adjustment if necessary. Taurus is ruled by Venus and may prompt thinking about what we value in our lives. Also, with the Scorpio Moon opposite the Sun, we can add an in-depth investigation into our feelings and emotions.
One More Retrograde: April 28th to May 22nd- Mercury in Taurus retrograde. To put a final point on the whole retrograde motion of this month, the planet Mercury will go into retrograde, after Saturn, Mars, and Pluto. We will truly have to watch our communications and technology for misunderstandings and glitches. The safest course at this time is to use all the retrograde motion and energy to rethink our priorities and bottom lines. Actually all the Earth signs – Taurus (Mercury), Virgo (Jupiter), and Capricorn (Pluto) will be at beautiful angles to each other. We may get a bit of positive help to be able to work with this proposed assessment, and inner journey that retrograde planets bring. Actually, we will be able to recognize what would work for us that is far more satisfying and sustainable.
In closing, I ask everyone to use this time of retrograde energy to revamp one’s life. Spend more time sitting in silence and going back over the highlights of your life. Maybe, you can write a new script that serves your highest good? I say, “Yes” to you!!! After all, “You write your life story by the choices you make.” Helen Mirren
Astrology is the mirror in the sky, reflecting what is inside of us.