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Astrological Musings


The planet Mars has a lot in common with its namesake, the god of war. Both rule over areas of life where we need to harness our aggressive side – where we try to get what we want and protect what we have. Mars rules over boundary disputes and describes how well we protect our own boundaries and how concerned we are about the boundaries of others. Mars also has a lot to do with our physical energy and vitality and rules over personal impulses and drives of all kinds.

Mars has been in Cancer since the end of September. Typically Mars spends only 57 days or so traveling through a sign, but due to its retrogradation it will remain in Cancer until May of 2008. Mars retrogrades at 12 degrees 27 minutes Cancer on November 15 and will remain stationary within one degree of that point during the entire month of November, making this an extremely Marsy period.

When a planet is stationary in preparation for and during its retrograde turn, it demands our attention. I always compare transiting planets to cars with loud boomboxes – when they travel by our planets they get our attention, but when they park in front of our houses for long periods of time they demand that we take some action to resolve the issue.

Mars generates a tremendous amount of energy, and sometimes what we perceive as anger is simply the release of a build-up of energy. This is why I recommend increasing physical activity during intense Mars cycles so that this unreleased energy doesn’t erupt into conflict or implode into health problems. This will be particularly important for those of us with planets from 7-17 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Capricorn, Aries). If you find yourself fatigued and exhausted, you are likely having a mars problem.

Mars will travel retrograde until February, so its time to hunker down and deal with our anger issues. Where do we need to better defend ourselves? How can we express our anger more appropriately? Where are our boundaries being violated and where do we need to calmly and with self-respect set better boundaries to protect ourselves? If we do good Mars work now we will be in great shape when Mars and Pluto face again in late December (that Mars/Pluto opposition cycle will complete in March so we have plenty of time to get it right!).

With Mars traveling retrograde we are internalizing more of these issues that are ruled by Mars ,and it may be more difficult to actually get anything accomplished. John Townley writes, “Rash actions taken as Mars is about to go retro usually end up in overextension and delay, such as Hitler’s invasion of Russia only two months before Mars went retro in the summer of 1941, the Allied invasion of Italy which hit a dead stop at Monte Cassino (summer of 1943), and but for the atom bomb, the same would have again applied to an invasion of Japan in the summer of 1945.”

Mars turns retrograde within two degrees of the fixed star Sirius as noted by Rob Tillett at AstrologyCom (he reports the retro turn in the middle of the thirteenth degree but according to my calculations Mars turns at 12’26” Cancer, not 13.

I have a particular interest in the star Sirius because of its connection in Freemasonry and the writings of the theosophists as well as the ancient Egyptians. The Dogon tribe in Mali correctly identified that Sirius was a binary star system long before this was known by astronomers, leading to all kinds of speculation about extraterrestrial visitation. The rising of the star was celebrated during the secret mystery festivals at Eleusis, and was considered by many ancient peoples to be the Central Sun of the Milky Way Galaxy.

My solar fire interpretation file has this to say about Sirius:

The mundane becoming sacred. The brightest star in the sky apart from our sun. Known to the Egyptians as “The Scorcher” or “The Shinning One”, this star is one of the great stars and it has the ability to make the mundane sacred. To make the ordinary charismatic. Small actions which may lead to large consequences. This may be positive for the individual or their needs may be sacrificed to the collective.

I don’t know what kind of orb you would attribute to the fixed stars, but I would lean towards a tight one, probably tighter than the two degrees we see here. Still, it will be an interesting thing to watch!

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