as of saturday september 3rd we head into the front end shadow of mars retrograde- taking us into a 6 1/2 month period of reigning in our egos, wills and drives so we can deal with and resolve the past. mars is a yang masculine planet and his most preferred direction is FORWARD and FAST- so when retrograde the movement backwards and slower is not his cup of tea (and i would probably say his beverage of choice is not tea ever lol).
positively mars retrograde is a time to find resolution on past projects, past actions that were not brought to completion, taking time to slow down and find the capacity to respond rather than react. yet the shadow of mars retrograde is we can feel blocked, restricted, limited and otherwise reigned in in ways that are frustrating and irritating. the key with mars retrograde is to see that you have to deal with limits and restrictions and you have to deal with the past- seeing it as an opportunity for pausing and/or completion before moving forward and onward.
this mars retrograde is gemini the sign of communication, information sharing, mental state and short trips. mars in gemini may be great for speaking up, taking action and moving about (particularly locally) but when he is retrograde we actually want to think before we speak and act and bring more awareness to the tendency for impulsive or reactive actions because they can lead to accidents. foot in mouth disease would be very mars in gemini ;)
what is fascinating to me is that just 2 days before mars enters front end shadow he sextiles jupiter in aries (the sign of mars)- only once- and then during his retrograde journey (including front/back end shadows) he will sextile chiron and eris in aries three times. all the planets in the sign of mars harmoniously link with mars during his Underworld journey. this means we have support for dealing with the past and healing around our relationship with masculine energy (our fire, drive, ego, anger, agency and more).
for some of us we need to learn to tone it down- by slowing down, thinking of others, not being so selfish or impulsive. for others we need to learn to stoke that sacred fire more so that we have healthy boundaries, have access to healthy expression of anger, can say no and have agency in our lives. honest self checkins about your own inner journey here is key ;)
the most important signature of mars’ journey is his triple square to neptune- the first is not until october 11th but the full moon on september 10th triggers it. mars square neptune is a nebulous combination as it makes it so that actions taken or words said or information shared may not be above board, honest, clear or in integrity. we need to be SUPER AWARE of our actions and words- making sure we are being direct, honest and above board. but equally with others and the world around us (and the media) it’s easy to get the wool pulled over our eyes. not all is as it seems and there is much going on beneath the surface- in our own psyches (great for shadow work) but also in others and in the collective.
we also have mars trine saturn three times- linking the malefic planets (yes that word IS connected to malevolent) in harmonious ways. in all my astrology classes i teach about how everything has a light and shadow. positive mars and saturn help us be in the world, have agency, have boundaries, be grounded. negative mars and saturn can be karmic and intense but positive mars and saturn has staying power. this combination is amazing for setting solid foundations up on which we can grow for a long time into the future. the key here is slow steady steps towards our goals. mars has the initiative and drive- but saturn needs to set the energy and speed. this is not a short race but instead a marathon.
one other important planetary alignment that is really fascinating is the aspect from mars to eris. he actually spans enough of gemini (from 8’07 gemini to 25’36 gemini) to make two aspects to eris three times each- a sextile and a semisquare. so there is harmony between the God of War and the Goddess of Chaos and Activism but also tension. this reminds us that sometimes unexpected things happen to shake us out of our stupor. getting too comfortable and resisting change is not really an option. as stasis is a precursor to death- anytime we stay stuck for too long the Universe will come along to give us a little push. the good news is the harmonious aspect from eris shows us that if we work WITH her we can have an easier time embracing change, seeing things that are hidden and doing the inner work required. the tense aspects will be more of the fire under the butt if we are NOT doing this ;)
fixed star wise mars will align with aldebaran 3 timer and oppose antares- 2 of the 4 royal stars that are now in mutable signs instead of fixed. i have a whole blog about this shift and how it heralds a shift in leadership as well as a shift in the sacred laws that support us. in my stargate mystery school i talked about how the 4 powers of the sphinx with the fixed cross of aquarius, taurus, leo and scorpio are changing. it used to be to know, to will, to dare and to keep silent- but now we are in a mutable cross of pisces, gemini, virgo and sagittarius. the powers are changing- and we explored what that could mean. what i personally came up with is ‘to love, to learn, to serve and to seek’. what would the world look like if these were the powers leading us? hmm…
we also have mars opposing the Great Attractor and at the end of this whole journey after he moves out of back end shadow he aligns with the Silver Gate and Anti-Galactic Center. the GA and GC are two important cosmic points in the sky (14 & 27 sagittarius respectively). the GA is a gravitational anomaly with the mass of a quadrillion suns. it is is a gravitational center of our galaxy and like 100K other galaxies. the GA is the center of our milky way galaxy around which everything orients. they are both Source points. the GA is like the Great Mother of our galaxy and the GC is like the Great Grand Mother.
the opposite points to both of them are not meaningless or less than- they are the points at which we move out to the Great Beyond. for example, when we look into the direction of the GC we look towards the heart core of our galaxy but when we look in the opposite direction to the anti-GC we look at the edge of our galaxy and what lies in the Great Beyond. interestingly on the ceiling of dendera in egypt they mark the anti GC but not the GC.
the GC is called the Golden Gate and the anti-GC is the Silver Gate. contemporarily the GC is seen as the Gate of God and the anti GC the Gate of Man. many modern teachings on these gates elevates the Gate of God and considered the Gate of Man lesser than. but why would the ceiling of dendera prominently marks out the Silver Gateway? there is more to this gateway than meets the eye!
what does this galactic points mean? well prepare for a deluge of cosmic information, revelations and influx of energy. this is gemini so being open minded and willing to come back to beginner’s mind is key. if we think we know it all we close our minds to learning more- that is the gift of gemini. yet with the Neptune squares we must be discerning. seeing the Truth is not always easy. i find that it is sometimes like seeing the pleiades in the sky. have you ever noticed that you have to look just to the left or right of the pleiades to see them clearly just out of the corner of your eyes? the veil of illusion can be thick with so much neptune running rampant. the answer is to GO WITHIN.
our intuition will not mislead us- but we have to discern intuition from fear or fantasy. it’s easy to chase pleasure and run away from pain and think it’s our intuition guiding us. our intuition does not operate from fear or desire- it operates from a place beyond them. tapping into this sacred gift we all have access to is going to be worth its weight in gold in the coming months!
i leave you with the star sparks meditations for the degree of the stations (retrograde and direct). dates for all the important alignments for mars are below as well. i am struck in the star sparks degrees by the common theme of a temple showing up in the degrees. the retrograde degree is an ancient temple and the direct degree shows flowers growing over a temple and symbolizes a new cycle coming out of the old. add to this the royal star alignments and Great Attractor and Galactic Center activations- and the star sparks degrees add a deeper mythos to the journey. read on below for the full text.
have a blessed mars descent!
MOVING FROM FIXED TO MUTABLE BLOG- https://divineharmony.com/astrology-blog/moving-from-fixed-to-mutable-the-changing-of-the-times/
TABLE OF DATES FOR MARS RETROGRADE-
mars retrograde journey spans 8’07 gemini-25’36 gemini
mars is in gemini from 8/20-3/25/23 (7 months)
enters front end shadow- 9/3
stations retrograde 10/30/22 – 25’36 gemini 6:25am
direct 1/12/23 at 8’07 gemini 12:56pm
exits back end shadow 3/15/23
mars square neptune- 10/11, 11/19, 3/14/23 – BIGGEST SIGNATURE
mars quincunx the mean south node in scorpio – 9/19, 12/24, 1/24
mars sextile chiron- 9/17, 12/19, 2/11 – MAJOR SIGNATURE
mars trine saturn- 9/27, 11/28, 3/30 (the 3rd and final one is with mars in cancer/saturn in pisces- 2’36) – MAJOR SIGNATURE
mars sextile eris – 10/17, 11/3, 3/12 – MAJOR SIGNATURE
mars also semisquare eris- 9/6, 1/1, 1/24
by ellias lonsdale
9 GEMINI (station direct degree)
Gemini 9 Wild flowers growing around the ruins of a temple
When one cycle is over, another cycle can begin. As soon as we have remembered, we are onto something the previous patterns passed right over. What seemed almost trivial, decorative around the edges, now takes on the central prominence. We are divested of what had seemed to be our life. And now everything can begin.
Yet it’s not so neat and simple after all. It takes a tremendous burst of new life to overthrow the old forms and structures. And once we make way for that kind of wild momentum, it will tend to take charge completely, and before you know it, nothing is as it once was, all facets of self and world are completely up for grabs.
The sensation of cracking through into this permission for new worlds to be is more than intoxicating. It is a flooding, a rapture. We cannot contain it, control it, harness it. We are meant to become its seed bearer. And this may turn out to be a very tall order.
For everywhere we go, everything we do is radical, is transformative, is profoundly unsettling and provocative. We cannot stop stirring up the shared currents and making our whole world ripple with what we are experiencing. For we know it’s not ours, we know we must let it rip through freely.
There are so many ways we can cover this up. There are so many cycles we can tap to escape from the velocity of perpetual change. There are so many tasks we can take on, to turn this into more of a surfacey charm and a fascination with special effects.
But we are pursuing our own selves through the maze of time. The ecstatic one must be born. The conditional distancer has had their time.
And so it does turn out that the brightness can no longer be discounted or denied. It turns up everywhere, turning the world inside out.
26 GEMINI (station retrograde degree)
Gemini 26 A cave with carved walls. It is an ancient temple
Suspended worlds. Timeless reverie. Dwelling in an elsewhere place. Identified with a time apart from now. Navigating a vast network of subtle forces. Doing all of this on the sly, unofficially. Doing on the outside whatever is convenient. Playing to the inside in a subversive, unconscious sensing of a world apart.
Given carte blank to travel freely at will. Guided closely, unfailingly throughout the journey. An orchestration of power of a kind rarely glimpsed on the surface. Just knowing beyond knowing to let go into what one’s own outer mind looks away from and barely believes in really.
Remarkably gifted in a perfusion of directions. Almost all of these involve knowing one’s way around in a trance of soul remembrance and perhaps being able to bring such gifts to others and to outer life in verbal ways. When any of this does come to light, it is like touching upon lightly and just in the moment something which is profound and deep, strange and forbidding, multi-dimensional and beyond all reckoning.
To move with this frequency is a rare exquisite pleasure. It is most appealing to those who are greatly detached and dispassionate. From that cosmic vantage point, this really is a great wonder and awe of being released into those facets of earth and cosmos which mean everything to those who can forget themselves and remember totality.
In an ordinary sense, moving through this place is surpassingly strange. If you have anything to lose, you will lose it here. If you demand your own way in life, here you will find the necessity to strip and divest yourself of everything you hold to be important. Everything depends upon what is sought and what is held onto as illusion.
In an extraordinary view, this is simply the giving over of apparent goods for infinite reality. The outer is valued not at all. The invisible, intangible, these sides become every inch of existence.