Amanda is a UK based Astrologer, Artist, Educator and Acutonics practitioner who offers one-to- one readings, as well as on- line Astrology circles. She writes Astrological, and other, prose for various bodies of practitioners. Her blog ‘Numinous Gleanings’ is forth coming.
The last time Mars was retrograde was 2018 igniting a very hot, eruptive summer. This time round Mars takes the retrograde baton from Mercury, who took it from Venus and settles into one of their home signs, Aries, for a long stint leaving in January 2021. Mars likes to stand alone, be the first, shine full blaze with dynamism and drive, traits which are likely to be amplified over these coming retrograde months. Mars, like all the planets has a complex character profile, put simply we are talking forceful fire, experienced as our drive, our direction, what we want to hunt for, fight for and defend. Mars shoots the arrow and then goes headstrong for the target, once captured ferociously protects and fervently advocates. These qualities and capacities will be modified by the placement of your personal Mars but archetypally Mars helps us locate our desires, our hot-blooded passions and righteous indignation.
Both Mars and Aries are singular in their vision – my will, my way, bursting forth sometimes divisive, often caught up in overriding and conquering. Mythologically Mars was the God of war, with not much strategy but plenty of force, that often results in injury. Mars is also the guardian of the night known for his secret, passionate love affair with Aphrodite and celebrated by the Romans as having effective protecting qualities. Mars in Aries is full of potential, like the fresh shoots of spring, momentum that could blast through the world aiding emancipation or inflame fury, triggering civil breakthrough or impulsive hot-headed harm, both in our own lives and our life within the collective. Look out for combustive energy, explosive responses, excessive dryness and heat. This demanding fiery furnace of Mars in Aries has the power to smelt, re-shape and forge anew. Extreme power might be in the air - a desire to burn things, divide things, severe things, separate things - within and without - all of which needs the right kind of handling, the right kind of Eros relating.
Forging processes are alchemical, they transmute matter, reconfigure forms to assert and rename edges. In some instances, it is appropriate to take external action, be protective and courageous whilst at the same time direct the energy to fuel internal work such as getting clear about direction and decisions, finding courage for claiming edges, galvanizing our ‘No’. The momentum to follow through is less of this time, but cardinal initiating force and crucible clarity could come from this searing incisive moment. We are all in some way having to learn how to marshal powerful forces within ourselves and around us, whilst also conserving energy for a delayed release when Mars goes direct from November onwards.
In this Harvest moment, perhaps it is helpful to ask yourself what new landscape are you pioneering that has long term rather than compulsive perspective? Could this tension, this ongoing planetary compression, be a creative trailblazing configuration? With stocked inner and outer fires, do what you can to step back from possible conflictual fights and polarized conflicts, keep the long game in sight. If your will feels thwarted remember we are moving from a collective story where safety and security, acquired through resource plundering and hoarding, is being smelted and forged anew offering the possibility of a reworked systemic situation where different values of co-operation and care sit at the center. This is certainly the opportunity of the current planetary clusters and connections - to rework and realign notions of power, places of power and the very nature of power as we have come to name it.
A helpful way to ground and embody Astrological alignments is through reflection, notice what is showing up in your life. The questions below are aimed to help with the multivalent manifestations of this planetary moment. Each person’s experience will be unique and particular, but I hope that something below lands and enables illumination.
What is your relationship to anger - do you allow yourself to feel angry or are you frightened it might destroy / harm you and others? What social conditioning have you swallowed in terms of how you ‘should’ behave - be with fierce fury? Can you meet it differently - perhaps bring it in and through your body through physical activity?
Can you get clear about what you would like your place in the world to be - strongly aligned Aries can help us find and take our place in the world. Creating sovereignty is Aries’ desire and Mars can help with this too.
What is worth fighting for and do your ideas about power need to be re-viewed - does power always have to be demonstrated?
Has your passion been subdued, are the things you are passionate about cloaked in shame - can Mars help you cut through the cloak, release its grips and let the life of passion course through you again, like the life of spring that courses through Aries?
Is there wounding around leadership - around your own authority - finding your no - expressing your voice?
Does Mars in the world within and without need to let go of the myth, that the only way to be powerful is to conquer, consume, colonize and trample? Can we re-view this hero myth which has caused so much damage to ourselves and others and re-imagine/remove the notion of a hero? Or re-vision the heroic as one capable of incredible sensitivity with an allowance for vulnerability.
There is a great deal more to say about the current Astrological weather with Mars scaling six squares with the Capricorn crew - Pluto, Jupiter, Pallas, Vesta and Saturn each add their own twist to the turning tale we are amidst. Within the sky, within the Astrological charts, squares indicate tectonic tension, eruptive creative fissures. It might not look like it but new land is forming, there is no guarantee how that land will lie but new terra-building endeavors are without doubt underway and Chiron, is a key to this planetary play off. It is worth imagining what the centaurs wholistic sensibility could bring to temper and tone the current moment.
Chiron was a visitor to our solar system in the 70’s and has been lodged within it since. As a half human, half animal Chiron astronomically retains an ambiguous identification sometimes considered a comet, planetoid or asteroid sitting between the orbit of Saturn and the orbit of Uranus. Astronomically and Astrologically Chiron is a weaver between realms who knows, names and lives interconnectivity. Wounds of all kinds are Chironic work, wounds as sites of initiation, and places that let the light in. With this powerful blazing Mars what cave medicine could Chiron be offering from the current co-home of Aries? What lessons can Mars learn from this wise sage who endured many hurts and transmuted their lamed legacy into the complex of healing arts?
Mars cuts open, heats up, creates wounds, keeps our blood in good condition. Chiron holds our wounds, invites us to meet and attend to them, unlocks our gifts and capabilities in doing so bridges our multiple selves and parts of psyche mirroring celestial motion and psychological motion together. Chiron Sheppard’s us to feel at ease with broader horizons, bridging the known with the unknown. Mars in Aries initiates action and Chiron in Aries, alongside Mars, perhaps initiates us into the deeper, more mysterious making of our injuries. During this hot heady time allow the retrograde invitation of reflection, review, revisioning and release to claim you, potentiate your imagination and sink deeper into the literal and actual, to awaken the poetic play and emerging insights in so doing. Below are some additional reflective questions you could perhaps hold in mind during this time as you navigate and discern where you want to orientate and direct the full force of Martian energy and harness Chiron initiating incentive.
If you are injured physically or psychologically - now or over these months - in any small way can you allow the injury to take you somewhere? Can this injury initiate you into new understanding? Unlock something? Did you try to override or conquer something - was there too much haste and not enough heed? Can Chiron help you link things up, see the interconnection between everything - being wholistic is not an approach but actually how the world throbs? While Chiron weaves together, Mars cuts and separates, also crucial, but question, where are these cuts harmful and where are they helpful, internally and externally.
Perhaps it is a de-colonizing of the imagination from dualistic thinking - either/or, me/you is where the work is at? Our wounds are our greatest teachers, this kind of sensibility can build ecological literacy.
By enlivening our imaginations with the complexity and richness of this planetary moment we can build a relationship - a relationship of reciprocity, a two-way understanding. Nurturing a relational planetary perspective can deepen creative participation with our lived life and helps us hear how tremendous trust, and quiet surrender is available to choose even in the greatest of adversity. Give yourself space. Wherever you find yourself, your immediate environment or community over these coming months - space and grace is essential for the forging fulcrum to create anew and re-emerge through the compression chamber of these very real, powerful planetary forces.
If you wish to go deeper, delve into a more personal and particular conversation of Astrological weather do please get in touch you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me at amandasimon.co.uk. It would be a pleasure to journey into starry conversations and connections with you. I am also offering online Astrological circles which are both discursive and educational through She’s lost control (SLC), an online UK based platform. From 7th September I will be hosting four Jupiter circles tracking Jupiter through the sky, our charts in preparation for the sign change in December 2020 and start of new 200-year air cycle of Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions. I am also offering in-depth, poetic and practical Astrological circles on the houses if you wish to deepen both practical, historical and poetic understanding for working with the houses within the sky/chart Art.
For now, stay cool in any which way you can. Bright blessings!