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Deep Rumblings: Mars Retrogrades in Aquarius, 2018

Forecast May 15 to June 26

Mars slows down through May and June, preparing to retrograde from June 26th to August 27th. Slower doesn’t necessarily mean less powerful, and indeed planets reducing speed to station (appear to stop) in the sky are often considered more powerful, as they linger on a few degrees.

The Cosmic Warrior enters Aquarius on May 16th, and only gets to 9 degrees of the sign of the Water Bearer before he retrogrades at the end of June, so we’ll be feeling his presence strongly throughout the next few months. In Aquarius, Mars tends to be principled, fighting for a cause that’s perceived as helping society. As a fixed Air sign, Aquarius can sometimes be a bit too idealistic and rigid for the more action-oriented and spontaneous energy of Mars, but it offers an opportunity for significant changes at the collective level.

In the astrological imagination, Mars’ entry into Aquarius is likely to be overshadowed by Uranus’ ingress into Taurus just hours earlier. However, Mars makes a tense square to Uranus just two hours after he gets into Uranus’ home sign. While the reception between the two planets may help to mitigate tensions somewhat, at the very first degree of fixed signs this aspect loudly announces the themes of Uranus’ time in the sign of the bull. You might see this energy rippling through your own life, but the real action is likely to be at the collective level.

As things settle down (or don’t) over the next few days, Mars makes an easy sextile to Chiron in Aries. The Wounded Healer has also recently changed signs after seven years and Mars is the ruler of Aries, so this is another announcement of themes for Chiron’s stay in the sign of the ram. This one is likely to play out more subtly at the collective level, while it can be both obvious and somewhat challenging in our personal lives. Those with natal Chiron in Aries (roughly April 1968 to March 1977) may have the most intense time of it, especially those born earlier in that period.

Keeping busy as he slows to retrograde, Mars receives an easy trine from the Gemini Sun on May 23rd. While this aspect indicates action, the signs involved suggest that much of that action will occur on the verbal level. Look beneath and behind words to be sure that you are getting the full meaning – while these two Air signs tend to be direct, more than words may be implied. It’s a good time to strategize with others, bargain and negotiate, and to present ideas or have an interview.

A similar, but more distinctly verbal, energy prevails on June 1, as Mercury slips in for a trine to Mars. This aspect strongly suggests good potential for working things out via negotiations and diplomacy (a Venus/Jupiter trine on the same day reinforces the potential for good feelings even among those with conflicting viewpoints. Stay true to your ideals, but remain flexible in how they will be expressed.

Mars’ next aspect happens as he’s really crawling to a standstill on June 21. Venus in Leo stands opposite to the Celestial Soldier, suggesting that a romantic evening or a fun party might be the way to spend some time, while Mars is more concerned with making progress on Big Picture items. Yet Mars is powerful but having trouble with expression as he stops in the sky, resulting in a potentially implosive vibe that can short circuit both fun and productivity. Anger could mount if we feel tension between what we want to do and what we feel we should be doing (or, heaven help us, what someone else feels we should be doing). A good expression of this energy might be a socially conscious creative project, but Mars and Venus also tend to generate sexual passion, too. As Mars retrograde is usually considered a poor time to begin a new sexual relationship, this might be the last opportunity to get started with someone new.

As Mars stations on the 26th of June, try to take a few deep breaths and not get too revved up about small things. Productive outlets for excess energy are a good idea, but then actually meeting your goals could be a problem with the planet that symbolizes energetic action stopped in the sky. A bit of sensible exercise (don’t overdo it!) might be in order, for example.

The fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and especially Aquarius, will be feeling the hot, tense, motivating, and potentially irritating energy of Mars in Aquarius most directly. Fixed signs don’t necessarily love change, and the sudden and erratic movements that resonate with both Mars and Uranus in fixed signs could be a bit unsettling for a while. The ground may be shifting in several areas of life, and quick, decisive action might be required. Find comfort in the areas of life that remain relatively unaffected for the time being.

Cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, are also having a very active time of it, although the energy is coming from different sources. The strategy for these signs is to act rather than react. Make a plan and follow through on it now – both Mars and Uranus will be backing up into cardinal signs before long, and now is your opportunity to get ready for the next round of changes.

While mutable signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, might seem to take a pass on the heavy cardinal and fixed rumblings, there will still be unexpected events on the horizon. In fact, although the changes may have less depth than for cardinal and fixed signs, they may be more surprising. Utilize the mutable characteristic of flexibility to make your way through sudden shifts in the landscape.

We’ll talk about Mars’ retrograde and station to go direct in the next installment. Look for it around the Cancer Solstice on June 21.

  

Agent 17 Armand Diaz

Agent 17 Armand Diaz

Writer, Consultant

Agent 17 – Armand Diaz, Ph.D. Armand’s approach to astrology is informed by his extensive work in the evolution of consciousness and a broad knowledge of ancient and modern spiritual traditions. He also reaches beyond astrology with both Tarot and the I Ching,. Although a sunny Leo, his Scorpio ascendant isn’t afraid to tackle the tough issues, as reflected in his most recent book, Separating Aspects: the Astrology of Breakups, Divorce, and Other Partings, the result of years of delving into difficult territory with clients.

Armand teaches astrology, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops within the United States and internationally. He is a contributing writer and editor to a number of astrology websites, and has been published in The Mountain Astrologer and other journals. His books include Integral Astrology: Understanding the Ancient Discipline in the Contemporary World, and Transpersonal Astrology: Explorations at the Frontier, an anthology which he co-produced and co-edited.

Location: New York
Website: IntegralAstrology.net

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