Pookie and I took a walk at the Elephant Nature Park
in Chiang Mai, Thailand, back in February 2017.
This is a very pregnant rescue elephant, Pookie.
We walked, and talked....
And then Pookie had some bananas....
And then Pookie had more bananas....
And then Pookie had even more bananas....
And I told Pookie about how she was a
Beauty Queen and an absolutely
magnificent Magical Creature....
And then we laughed....
And then Pookie told me a secret....
And we laughed some more....
And Pookie had just a few more bananas
while I told her more about how amazing she was....
And it was a really good day for both of us!
Many of the elephants at the park are there only because
the park continues to pay their leases to their owners
to keep them out of abusive situations. The fee I paid to
visit the park and Pookie helps keep animals like her from
being ridden and overworked in very poor conditions.
(From the Know to Flow Forecast for Consciously Creating Life, Vol. 74, Week of September 7th.)
Last Quarter Moon, Sun in Virgo,
Mars Stations Retrograde in Aries
This week, we arrive at the last quarter moon for this lunar cycle, and Mars stations retrograde in Aries, both on Wednesday the 9th.
The last quarter moon, as always, brings tension, as the waning moon squares the sun, because it brings us to choice-point. Here there is a decision that must be made to move forward.
The good news is, Mercury has just moved into Libra, and Venus has just moved into Leo. Mercury in Libra supports healing conflicts through diplomacy, partnership, cooperation, balance, justice, and Venus in Leo brings a return to romance, passion, glamour, self-care, and love (and playfulness in love).
(Check out my latest on the blog about how smudging with yerba santa is perfect for honoring the current astrology here.)
Mars retrograde is the big deal now, though. This only happens every two years, and this year it is extra strong because it is in its own sign of Aries for the entire retrograde, and is going to be squaring up to Pluto and Saturn at the end of Capricorn. Saturn will actually be stationing direct in square to Mars retrograde in Aries.
This is not easy astrology. Mars retrograde is the biggest energetic signature in the second half of 2020, and its going to be stirring back up the big issues from earlier in the year, having to do with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn.
Mars is our passion and desire, our motivation to push forward in life. In retrograde we are being asked to put everything on hold and review. So this can feel frustrating. In square to Saturn stationing direct in Capricorn, it could feel even more frustrating, especially considering the territory we have covered this year.
Just know that the focus now is going to be on this review. While we are in this review (Mars retrograde), Jupiter stations direct at 17 degrees Capricorn on September 12th, Saturn stations direct at 25 degrees Capricorn on September 28th, and Pluto stations direct at 22 degrees Capricorn on October 4th. Mercury stations retrograde in Scorpio October 13th and stations direct in Libra on November 3rd. Then on November 13th, Mars wraps up the whole thing stationing direct in Aries, the same day Jupiter and Pluto make their final of three conjunctions in Capricorn, now both direct. (The first Jupter-Pluto conjunction was on April 5th, and the second was June 30th.)
Mars retrograde is the big finale to everything that has been up this year, from the full moon eclipse in Cancer with Uranus direct in Taurus and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in mid-January on.
It may very well feel like a never-ending slog right now. I am feeling that as I write this, but at the same time, I am looking ahead in the astrology and seeing how Mars retrograde is the final act, so to speak (of this particular play), and how November 13th is going to be bringing a big completion - especially with everything stationing direct in Capricorn during this time AND Mercury also completing its retrograde within the umbrella of Mars retrograde.
It feels like wave after wave, but we need to have patience now - Mars retrograde does not favor the bold, nor the instigator.
Consider that Mars always wants action, but in retrograde its a different type of action - actively meditating, actively understanding, actively offering compassion, actively observing - and as it is bumping up against Saturn, this is really a huge cue to sit it out until after the energies have shifted. We need to keep channeling our energies back into self-development, reconnaissance, and strategy. (I have returned to trail running in an effort to maintain some sort of sanity over the next two months - I don't come by patience naturally, and my Aries moon demands part of my self-care be burning off all of that excess energy. Strategy honors Mars retrograde - what can you do to work with this energy?)
I have a complete guide to navigating Mars retrograde up now with Elephant Journal! Read "Accessing the Magic of Mars Retrograde" here.
In everything there is magic, if we know where to find it.
Love & Gratitude,
(Sample of Daily Notes for the Week)
Moon transits Uranus in Taurus: Today the moon remains in Taurus, and will pass by Uranus, which recently stationed retrograde, at midnight. Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius and the outer planet of change via sudden upheaval and out-of-the-blue insight. Uranus is restlessness, rebelliousness, and innovation - Uranus brings us the future. It began its transit of Taurus in 2018, but we really started getting a better idea of what this transit (going until 2026) is all about in mid-January when Uranus stationed direct at the same time as the lunar eclipse in Cancer. By equinox, the traditional ruler of Aquarius (before technology discovered Uranus), Saturn, had moved out of Capricorn and into Aquarius and we were preparing for lockdown. As Saturn moved forward, it began to apply a square to Uranus in Taurus, but then Saturn went retrograde and back into Capricorn over the summer while Uranus moved forward. Now Uranus is turning backward and Saturn is about to move forward, and will be back in Aquarius in December for good. A big defining energy of 2021 is going to be Saturn and Uranus repeatedly squaring each other. Uranus innovates and Saturn is a traditionalist, so this is going to be big energy to work with. Right now we can pay attention to what Uranus is doing and what we are reviewing during its retrograde. We have already seen over this year issues come up having to do with how we feel secure and the old ways versus coming up with more new and innovating ways - Taurus is Venus-ruled earth - it loves stability, it governs the environment, the earth, our food supply, and the ways we feel stable and secure, and especially through the experience of the senses and through possessions. Uranus in Taurus is already asking us to look to the future and think outside of the box and innovate in these areas. Uranus retrograde is an opportunity to check in with how this is playing out in our lives and to work on our relationship with these energies and themes.
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous (Permeating Awareness) Expansion, assimilation. As we truly begin to see ourselves, our consciousness expands. The stardust that flows through all our veins begins to shine a trillion tiny beacons in the growing darkness. Our most feared recesses are illuminated; our masks, torn away. Our smaller selves begin to fade as our radiant truth begins to bloom in the fertile shaded soil. Ritual: Create a vision board, but one with this intention: A New Map to Your Higher Self. Choose imagery that you may not have previously associated with, but that speaks to you on a deeper level. Shrug the superficial in favor of elevated depth. Consider what ‘elevated depth’ means to you, your heart, your soul. Then, allow it to come through your hands, onto the board. Ally: Music - whatever inspires, uplifts, and transports you. Play it as you create your (higher) vision (of yourself) board. I Allow My Truth to Come Forward. (From the Wild Moon Lunar Phase Deck)
The moon goes void-of-course at 6:46 a.m., MDT, this morning, and then enters Gemini at 3:27 p.m., MDT.
Void moon: Today until 3:27 p.m., MDT, its a VOID MOON DAY. Stick to routine tasks and admin and put decisions off until the moon is active again. This is a great day for wrapping up loose ends, sefl-care, and getting rest. This is NOT a good time for big decisions or firming up plans or initiating anything. The energy is more floating and drifting, as the moon goes void when it has made its last aspect from one sign until it reaches the cusp of the next sign. During these times, the moon is not in communication with the other celestial bodies and that can leave us feeling lost or directionless, and trying to push can leave us frustrated and putting in a lot more work and effort than a task would normally take when the moon is online. So flow with this one and pull out your void moon to-do list of miscellaneous chores, organization, and old projects to finish up with and focus on that and you will glide right through, just like the moon. Check out the link above to find out more about working with void moons.
Moon in Gemini: After 3:27 p.m., MDT, the moon enters Gemini, where it will remain active until it goes void-of-course Thursday evening. Gemini is Mercury-ruled air, the sign of the mind and dualities. Mercury is "the messenger." (Also "the trickster" and "the magician.") Today is great for communication, errands, and connecting with community. Ideas should come easy, as does research and brainstorming. This is not about deciding anything - it's about gathering the info and allowing all of the info to exist, even when it conflicts.
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous (Heightened Awareness) Understanding, seeking. With heightened awareness comes an entirely new set of coordinates. A new plateau has been reached, presenting you with myriad new doors to open and pathways to explore. Ritual: Choose an area of study that has either always called to you, or has recently come into focus. Carve out special solitary time for study, contemplation and when you are ready, sharing and communication. This forms the structure for community-strengthened, awake and aware. Ally: Anoint a candle with either cinnamon or mint oil. Both revitalize and reawaken the mind. I Am Open to Knowledge. I Am a Perpetual Student. I Know Nothing & Everything. (From the Wild Moon Lunar Phase Deck)
With last week's Venus-Saturn opposition (Venus in Cancer opposing Saturn retrograde in Capricorn), I wanted to again mention yerba santa, a smudge that is excellent for working with both of these planetary energies. (It doesn't hurt that Mercury is in Libra, as this is air in air, and Libra is Venus-ruled, and Venus is now in fire-sign Leo - this makes smudging a really fitting option right now.)
Smudging with yerba santa is a delightful way to honor the energies at work now.
Yerba santa is used for spiritual cleansing and purification as with all smudging, but specifically for protection and boundary work, love, beauty, and the release of emotional pain from the heart chakra. It also supports growth, empowerment, and courage.
According to Crystalinks, yerba santa is used, "...to protect that which is ancient, sacred, and wild within yourself," and that sounds like a beautiful thing to do right now.
The courage of the lion shines forth.
Like the great lioness standing behind her cub, we give birth to our ideas - we give the divine inspiration within us form - and become the fierce force of nature which passionately expresses it and moves it out into the world so it may be shared with others for the highest good of all.
On Tuesday the 18th, at 8:41 p.m., MDT, we arrive at the new moon in Leo. Mercury, ruler of the mind, thoughts, and communication, will be sitting with the sun (light of consciousness) and the moon (the subconscious and feelings) for this event, and the trio will be receiving a boost from Mars in fellow fire sign Aries.
Leo is a sign of creative self-expression, and Mars in Aries ups the passion, motivation, and fire to get out there and get it going.
The challenge with this new moon comes via Mars being in square to Saturn still retrograde in its own sign of Capricorn. (Read more about Saturn retrograde in Capricorn here.)
Capricorn rules over structures and systems like our social, financial, governmental, political, and educational systems. On the personal level, it rules over the systems we create in our own lives.
Saturn is the Roman god of the harvest. Saturn rules over fear, doubt, illness, restrictions, limits, boundaries, skin, bones, teeth, authority, discipline, responsibility, and rules.
In retrograde, it is reviewing and reworking our relationship to those things in our lives. When we are working with Saturn, we are being called to take the responsibility that enables us to be in our own authority. Saturn shows us how to make our dreams reality - it shows us how to work within the parameters of the 3D world and be successful. When we are working with Saturn, we move beyond seeing the rules and boundaries as limiting and restricting, and move into understanding how having our own structures, systems, rules, and boundaries in place actually keep us and that which we value most, safe and protected. We run into problems when we try to take shortcuts or skip the required basics when working with Saturn because Saturn is the energetic force that demands we create in a way that honors the 3D world and will be solid and have longevity and meaning.
If we put all of the creative fire and passion that comes with Tuesday's new moon into Saturn's strong and sturdy container, we will find ourselves winning, and this wave may carry us forward quite far into the future.
The new moon is positive, but Mars square Saturn is not easy energy, and it has everything to do with the more challenging aspects we have faced this year so far.
Mars is the warrior and Saturn is authority - it might feel like running into a military road block. (These days, you might actually run into a military road block!) Mars can be volatile, and Saturn just throws on the brakes and says no. And this is the first out of three of these Mars-Saturn squares, so this is ongoing. Paying attention to what comes up now will clue us in to how its going to be resurfacing on hit #2 (the review of the issues), and hit #3 (the resolution). (Read more about Mars in Aries and Mars retrograde here.)
Hold on to these new moon vibes - all of that creative passion is a gift right now which we can hold up as a torch to light our pathway forward, even if we cannot run with it just yet like we want. We are still wrapping up a little unfinished business with Pluto and Saturn at the end of Capricorn over this fall. Remember that Saturn wants strong structure and a container, and Pluto asks for evolution - what they are teaching us now will prepare us for what's ahead, we only need know how to listen.
Love & Gratitude,
(Taken from the Know to Flow Forecast for Consciously Creating Life, Vol. 71, week of August 17th, 2020. Subscribe on the blog page in the sidebar!)
When we witness our pain, sorrow, grief, anger, and shame, rather than dismiss it, something magical happens....
This is some of the wisdom in the Sumerian myth of Inanna's Descent, the myth that is linked to Venus retrograde.
Inanna is the predecessor of the Roman Venus. The Sumerians saw her retrograde journey every eighteen months, in which she began as an evening star and appeared to move backwards, then disappeared beneath the rays of the sun to reemerge as a morning star, as her journey to the underworld to meet her shadow self, her sister Erishkigal, Queen of the Underworld.
Venus has recently completed one such retrograde journey, in Gemini, from May 13th to June 25th. On August 7th, Venus finally entered Cancer after being in Gemini for an extra long stay. With Venus out of the retrograde shadow and also out of Gemini, we now have a chance to integrate whatever has been brought to light.
Venus' recent retrograde in Gemini also ties in to Mercury's recent retrograde in Cancer, as Mercury is the ruler of Gemini.
These two transits intertwined are helping us weave a new tapestry of belief around ourselves, our value of ourselves, and thus how that new version of ourselves weaves into the larger tapestry of our world and the universe. Mercury brought the mind's attention to the subconscious and how experiences from the past create instinctive emotional reactions and then influence how we communicate and express, and Venus went deep diving into our self-value and how our belief systems gets structured around that, whatever it is.
When we become aware of our shadow, when we gain that consciousness, we cannot just un-know what we now know. We are pulled forward, pulled down into our own underworlds somehow. Even if we have made a conscious choice to face our shadow, we somehow were never counting on that shadow, not in that way. And we get tempted farther and farther down, while thinking we have everything under control, and suddenly, when its too late, we realize we have reached the point of no return.
We know Erishkigal's overwhelming pain and suffering, the pain and suffering of the shadow that never ceases. The pain and suffering of being locked away, unheard, labeled unacceptable.
When we journey to meet our shadows, whether by choice or not, others often do not understand our journey. More than that, our journey to our own underworld brings up fear and discomfort in them, as in acknowledging our plight, they must acknowledge their own.
Enki, God of Wisdom, has instructed these creatures carrying to Inanna the new beliefs for new life, to witness the shadow - to bear witness to Erishkigal's cries by repeating them back to her. How does it feel, when our shadow is not dismissed, not locked away, but actually heard? How fast does our overwhelming pain and suffering subside? Even if we are not understood. Just being heard interrupts our negative feedback loop and gives a way out.
Witnessing is the first step to take with ourselves or another after experiencing trauma. Trauma, when dismissed and minimized, quickly begins morphing into all sorts of dis-ease, such as depression, anxiety, and worse.
Inanna went to meet her shadow, but she never paused to witness it. And she ended up on meet hooks.
Enki new the wisdom in witnessing, and the healing it would bring.
Sometimes in the turmoil of our own transformation, we end up initiating someone close to us, someone, who, like Dumuzi, seems uncaring, but in truth, is most likely in denial out of fear.
After her demons are satisfied and Dumuzi is carried off to the underworld, Inanna, realizes her true, unconditional love for her consort. And because she has met her shadow and because she has been reborn to a new consciousness, whole unto herself, she has become ruler of both light and dark, because her shadow is now on-side. Inanna has the power now to work a deal with the underworld, and to ease Dumuzi's fate, as his sister also loves him greatly, and agrees to take his place in the underworld for half of each year while he is with Inanna.
Yet another is initiated to the underworld, this time willingly, out of love for her brother.
In the end, the myth of Inanna's Descent tells us that to be in our true, full power, and to be in true relationship with others, we will eventually have to meet our own shadows and the shadows of our loved ones, and that meeting our shadows with kindness and compassion, bearing witness to the fear and pain we all suffer is the healing that we all need to reclaim the thrones of our hearts and become rulers of both the light and dark of our realms.
Subscribe on the right hand side-bar of the blog page to the "Know to Flow Forecast for Consciously Creating Life" for a weekly update on the astro and daily guidance for working with lunar phases and transits!
Weaving New Tapestries of Belief (This Summer's Retrogrades of the Personal Planets: Mercury, Venus, and Mars)
This brought even more importance to Gemini and Mercury as Venus prepared to station retrograde there. This is because the north node is the point that points the way - it is "where we are growing to." It's a point of increase, destiny, and growth, which shows us the pathway forward.
With the north node in Gemini, Mercury, Gemini's ruler, becomes more important as it becomes the "spokesperson" or "ambassador" for the north node transiting Gemini - our guiding light.
On May 29th, Mercury left Gemini and entered Cancer.
Mercury stationed retrograde on 6/17, just before Venus stationed direct in Gemini on 6/25, so that their retrogrades overlapped. Then on 6/27, Mars entered Aries for an almost unheard of stay of six months (it usually takes two months for Mars to transit one sign).
So what does all of this mean for us now?
Mercury rules the mind, thoughts, and communication, and is known as "the messenger". Mercury, never too far from the sun astrologically (since it is between the earth and sun), moves through the zodiac the most quickly out of all of the planets, and has the most frequent retrogrades - three-four per year.
It is fitting then, that we would benefit from more frequent reviews and edits of the things Mercury rules over - our thinking, thoughts, words, and communications.
Mercury was retrograde this time in Cancer. Cancer is the moon-ruled water sign connected with the past, childhood past, the mother, tribe, family, home, sense of belonging, ancestors, how we feel nurtured and safe and cared for, and our emotions - specifically our innate emotional reactions that originate deep in our subconscious that are a result of our past and ancestry.
So, Mercury (the mind) retraced its steps (went retrograde) through the subconscious, emotions, and past (Cancer). This means we have had the opportunity to look at (with the intellect) some deeply rooted behaviors and emotions, and how they affect our words, thoughts, and communications.
Venus did the same thing (retraced its steps) in Gemini (Mercury's sign), but Venus rules love and money in our lives - technically, Venus rules our self-value and by way of that, our ability to align with and attract into our lives those things which we most desire. Venus rules the feminine energy that resides within all of us, and our ability to attract and receive what we desire (as opposed to going after it - that's Mars energy - the masculine energy that resides within all of us).
These two transits intertwined are helping us weave a new tapestry of belief around ourselves, our value of ourselves, and thus how that new version of ourselves weaves into the larger tapestry of our world and the universe.
Mercury helped us become aware of and clear out old emotions and the accompanying behavioral patterns, whether learned or handed down or from past experiences and wounds. Venus helped us to see more clearly the truth of who we are, and to recognize our inherent and innate worth, and then weave that new tapestry of belief based on this new clarity.
Now our attention is turning to the strong energy Mars is stirring up as it transits its own sign of Aries for six months and prepares to go retrograde on September 10th. This is yet another turning inward and review, this time of our sense of self, our boundaries, our self-assertion, and our ability to go after what we desire directly.
Mars is the sword that severs - the anger that rises up when we feel we need to protect, defend, or "draw a line. It is also our passion. Mars energy is an energy that requires careful handling, lest we cut ourselves off from too much, or numb ourselves to the point we cannot access our anger or passion.
Mars retrograde helps us better understand this energy within ourselves and our relationship to it. Because Mars and Aries represent the self (Aries is the opposite sign of Venus-ruled Libra, the sign of "other," and relationship), now we are taking this new sense of self and self-worth gained during Venus' retrograde and reworking our relationship to Mars energy, bringing that into alignment with all the recent internal shifts that have taken place.
Right now, as Venus moves out of Gemini and into Cancer, and we shift our focus to the upcoming Mars retrograde, the Sumerian myth of Inanna's Descent - the myth that is associated with Venus retrograde (Inanna was the Sumerian predecessor of the Roman Venus) holds timely wisdom. I have written about it previously in "Venus Retrograde in Gemini: Rewiring Your Self-Worth," and "Venus Direct and Inanna's Journey Home," and will be diving into that myth and its relevance to the current astrology more in the near future.
When things get heated, silence as a response, taking and giving space, and then burning off that Mars energy with some vigorous exercise (or even sex) are go-to's. When there is a lot of Mars energy around, or if two people living together have strong Mars energy, it can escalate quickly if not given a productive outlet. This energy requires some handling. When in doubt, sweat it out. Get out of the house, get some space, get some air, go run, go to kickboxing, channel it creatively, but don't sit on it.
Second, when we find it necessary to employ these tactics, we can take the opportunity to go deeper and do that reconnaissance work that is going to give us valuable intel for after Mars resumes direct motion on November 13th.
Anger is a secondary emotion - when we are feeling anger, that is our clue to look beneath it. We might express anger to cover up fear. We might feel fear because we don't feel safe expressing the emotion we are truly feeling. The more aware we are of this, the more empowered we are with this energy, and the less we will find ourselves manipulated or pushed around by it.
When working with boundary issues, here are four great questions to ask ourselves:
One Last Thought for Mars Retrograde
When I was staying on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala a few years ago, I heard a teacher say that energetically, protection invites attack. He was talking specifically about when we begin doing a lot of spiritual protection, but it is the same energy whether we are buying crystals or ammo, or we are just defensive and argumentative. If we find ourselves spending a lot of energy on protection, what that probably means is we are fearing attack. In this way these two things are engaged in an intertwined energetic dynamic.
I was listening to someone speak on energy recently and he brought up the idea of permission to use in place of protection in our energetic dealings with others and the world at large. He made the point that if someone is experiencing lack of love and abundance, it is many times at least in part due to them using the energy of protection rather than permission. He explained that protection shuts down energetic flow and actually invites attack, because it comes from a belief that it is likely we will be attacked and we are therefore not safe. Protection and defense tend to invite the very thing we are afraid of, because like attracts like.
Instead of protection, he suggested permission, and I believe this is a very valuable concept to put into practice during Mars retrograde. What he suggested was to shore up our own grounding and energetic boundaries, and then on top of that, layer the energetic boundary at the edge of our aura (about three feet out from our bodies in all directions) with the dictate that all of the space inside of this auric boundary is 100% our own space and on the other side of that boundary we give permission for everything to exist. My personal astrologer described it to me once as, "put your arms out - everything you can touch is what you have control over...period".
When we go into protection and defensiveness, energetically, we are actually engaging. Mars retrograde is about not engaging. But to be able to give permission, we first must have healthy and firm boundaries of self. If we are at all unclear on this, or maybe just practicing this for the first time now, we can go back to fall back, give space, take space, take time out. (Make time out self-care time or make it fun time - it just needs to be not communicating about things or around people that get heated easily.)
What we are doing essentially with Mars retrograde is bringing our focus in - way in.
Retrogrades are when the planets appear to stop and reverse direction for a while. The energetic effect is one of that planetary energy slowing in our lives and turning inward. This is a time of reflection and review of our relationship to this particular energy in our lives.
There is a lot of unrest right now, and most of it is beyond our control. We know what Mars retrograde means, and we know how to most successfully navigate it and harness its magic - falling back, pulling in, and doing the reconnaissance work.
In short, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
The first quarter moon, the waxing square between the moon and sun that marks the halfway point between the new moon and the full moon, arrives on Monday, July 27th, just after Mars enters the shadow of its upcoming retrograde in Aries.
The moon is squaring the sun from Scorpio, a sign of intensity, unearthing, transformation, and healing. Both Scorpio and Leo are fixed signs, meaning they come to us in the center of one of the four seasons, when that season is at its "height." ("Leo season," when the sun makes its annual transit of Leo, happens at the height of summer.) We could think of the four fixed signs (Leo, Scorpio, Taurus, and Aquarius) as both confident and stubborn.
Squares always feel like an impasse, an obstacle we need to work through, because the energies are intersecting at a ninety degree angle. When it is the sun and moon in square, it is our conscious mind and subconscious that arrives at this energetic impasse. The first quarter square is also known as a, "crisis in action," because it is during the waxing, rather than the waning, moon.
The moon, ruler of Cancer, sign of the mother, emotions, and the past, is in Scorpio for this square to the sun in Leo. Scorpio is the sign of the deep psyche, secrets, power, healing, and transformation. This first quarter square on Monday is bound to feel intense with this placement, especially with the extra tension of Mars just having entered its retrograde territory in Aries on Saturday the 25th.
Mars, the warrior and the planet of our passion, assertion, and motivation, is spending the entire last half of 2020 in its own sign of Aries, which is rare, and quite potent energetically. Mars typically spends only about two months in each sign - this transit is three times as long, even more powerful because Mars is on its home turf and also going retrograde while here.
Mars in Aries can up the hostility factor. We might find ourselves with our hackles up where we normally wouldn't. This is the energy strong for the next six months. Strong Mars energy can move mountains, but it needs to be handled carefully and consciously directed. If this kind of amped up Mars vibe is allowed to run amok, it can be very destructive. And we already know that not everyone will be able to be completely conscious of this all the time, and some way less than others. We know we are not perfect. And we know some of us are just not conscious enough to even be aware of this sort of dynamic on this level. It does us no good to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves or others, so let's not do that. Remember, this is about strategy. Walking around with blinders on won't help us. To be successful, to access this magic, to navigate, we must have our eyes wide open and be working with what is - as it changes from moment to moment even.
Use caution. Be strategic. Steer clear of people you know are energetically sensitive but unconscious, and so tend to act out because the energies are making them feel uncomfortable. Try to be aware of when this is getting stirred within yourself, and take a break from people and get some alone time. A solid "time-out" practice is going to come in very handy over the next six months as is exercising your right to not respond and to not engage.
In the words of Marcus Aurelius, "The best response to anger is silence." In fact, these next few months are a great time to dive into all things Marcus Aurelius. Mars retrograde is when we focus on strategy. This is when we fall back, regroup, recharge, and do the necessary reconnaissance work. The number one rule for working Mars retrograde successfully is, "DO NOT INSTIGATE". If you find yourself in a hostile situation and need to defend and protect, that is one thing, but Mars retrograde, and let's just include the pre- and post-shadows as well because this is such big energy during already turbulent times, is absolutely not the time to start shit. Don't do it under any circumstances.
During a Mars retrograde, when the warrior turns inward, if you start it, you lose, end of story. In addition, keep in mind that Saturn stations direct in Capricorn in square to Mars retrograde on September 28th. While Mars is retrograde it will be squaring Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto in Capricorn. This is going to be bumpy astro to say the least, which is why we are going to get grounded and get our rules of the engagement and boundaries in place (and start studying up on Marcus Aurelius) NOW.
For now the important thing to keep in mind is that we are in the retrograde shadow as of Saturday the 25th, and that means Mars is making its first pass out of three over these degrees of Aries that are the retrograde territory. Issues that come up now around self-assertion and anger are sure to be what will be reviewed during the retrograde. Being as observant as possible and minimizing being reactive as much as possible are the things now.
Also, right now both Mercury in Cancer and Venus in Gemini are still in their post-retrograde shadows. Mercury is the mind and the messenger and in Cancer was deep diving into our past and emotional patterns. Venus is love and money, but by way of values and self-value - really at the heart of the matter here is self-love. Venus is how we attract what we most desire into our lives, and that happens through our ability to resonate energetically with those things. Gemini is actually ruled by Mercury, and is the sign of the mind. So Venus retrograde in Gemini was actually drilling down to our values and self-value and self-love and then rebuilding back up through our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. These two retrogrades were linked by that Mercury piece, and we are still integrating them right now, until August 4th and August 7th, when Mercury enters Leo and Venus enters Cancer, respectively. (I hope to have a post up addressing this specifically on the blog very soon, so you can check for it here.)
For this week, as we pass the first quarter moon and head into the upcoming full moon at 11 degrees Aquarius on the morning of next Monday, August 3rd, we are paying attention, observing, evaluating, and re-evaluating. We are paying attention to this shift as Mars enters its retrograde territory. We are paying attention to what is coming up at Monday's square between the Leo sun and Scorpio moon. We are taking note of where we have been over the past month, and what our intentions were at this past new moon in Cancer, and looking forward to where we want to go, reading the upcoming energetic currents, and making adjustments. We are centered and calm, yet focused and adaptable, ready to take small course-correcting actions as necessary. We are becoming adept at observing, strategizing, and navigating - we are becoming masters of manifestation.
Love & Gratitude,
I have been on countless rivers both in day trips in canoes and on longer overnight trips whitewater rafting. I have even spent 21 days rafting the Grand Canyon.
In Ayutthaya, Thailand, the call of the river was so strong that I could not rest the day I arrived there until I was on the river aboard one of the restored wooden rice barges. It was dusk when we set out, and when I felt the cool air on my face and smelled the river, tears immediately filled my eyes.
Those same tears fill my eyes today, but it is because I am overflowing with gratitude for the many beautiful experiences this life has brought me. Gratitude is pure and potent everyday magic - it is the spell we can cast that actually clears out toxic emotions and at the same time helps us not only create more joy and happiness in our lives but paves the way for generating even more to be thankful for, locking us in to that positive feedback loop.
That is magic worth practicing every damn day. This is the stuff "The Art of Consciously Creating Life" is all about. Expect a miracle!
When the moon is in Cancer, we will feel a stronger desire for a sense of belonging. We may also find ourselves more moody and/or nostalgic. Cancer moons can be times when a past emotional trigger sneaks up on us and sends us into some past dimension of pain and sorrow.
Dark moons are the deepest point of the lunar cycle just before the new moon and thus are the time when we have access to the deepest parts of our psyche and subconscious. Cancer is the sign of the home, the mother, emotions, and childhood past - even past lives and ancestry. Cancer represents how we feel safe, nurtured and cared for. Home, mothering, and food are all Cancerian subjects. What Cancer energy helps us learn in life, however, is how to create the feeling of home, safety, belonging, and being nurtured and cared for within ourselves, just like the crab is at home anywhere because it is in its shell. If the crab gets tossed around by a wave, it remains in its shell - we can remain centered within ourselves and retain our sense of home no matter what life throws at us, if we, like the crab, keep clear boundaries of self.
If anything is coming up now (which is likely, as Mercury is just direct in Cancer at this dark moon in Cancer), a soak in a hot spring, dip in the ocean, swim in the river, or a salt bath can work wonders. Even making a bowl of saltwater to soak hands and/or feet in will help clear out sticky emotional residue from the spirit now.
Monday's new moon is our second new moon in Cancer in a row. That, along with it being the first new moon after our recent string of three eclipses in a row ,make it a major reset button.
The thing is, this Cancer new moon is being opposed by Saturn retrograde in Capricorn. Saturn is Capricorn's ruler, and right now, the Teacher, Taskmaster, and Lord of Karma is in review mode in its own sign.
Cancer and Capricorn make up one of the six axes of the zodiac. Where Cancer represents the archetypal mother, Capricorn represents the archetypal father. Where Cancer is intuitive and emotional, Capricorn is authoritarian and rigid. These two energies oppose, but both are necessary, useful, and if we are working with them and harnessing them, even beneficial. The moon rules Cancer, so is just as strong in Cancer as Saturn is in Capricorn. At this new moon, Saturn can help teach us to develop and maintain the boundaries that protect what we most value, and ultimately, that soft creature of our innermost selves and our beautiful hearts. While Cancer is about the inner world, Saturn is very much about the outer world. Saturn knows about these things and offers us its wisdom now.
The new moon is always a fresh start, and on the heels of three eclipses in a row bringing huge change, this one is extra potent. With Saturn and the moon opposing each other from their thrones in their own realms, rather than seeing it as a stand off, we can see this as two sovereign rulers of very different realms sitting down at a table to join forces. We are in the middle - it is our task to balance the energies swirling around us at any given moment.
This new moon is an opportunity to make a fresh start with better balance between these two energies than we have experienced in recent years.
Love and Gratitude,
Curious about astro-based coaching for Consciously Creating Life?
Book a 15 minute chat with me here!
As an ambassador for Consciously Creating Life, Kasey serves as an advocate of the magic that exists in this life and in each and every one of us. She is a champion of the journey to access our own powerful magic by returning home to ourselves and reclaiming the thrones of our hearts as sovereign rulers of our realms, through practicing the Art of Consciously Creating Life. Check out the Sessions page to find out more about astrology-based coaching sessions with Kasey!
SIGN UP BELOW to receive my weekly update on the astrological weather. Make the most of every day by knowing what energies are at play.