Posts

Mars Retrograde in Sagittarius

Mars Retrograde in Sagittarius

Mars goes retrograde Sunday, April 17th. It’s bad enough when any planet goes retrograde – when any path we’re on gets murky and unclear and we have to retrace our steps – but Mars! Mars is all about having a clear directive to go after what we want. Something in our sights. A goal, a plan, a way forward.

And you know that joke about how to make God laugh? “Tell him your plans.” The Mars retrograde is the punchline to that joke. Not because our plans are laughable, exactly, but more because the execution never looks the way we think it will. The universe isn’t just listening to what we say, It’s listening to what we DO. And if there’s anything a Mars retrograde is good for, it’s for showing us all the places in our lives where those two things are out of alignment.

So whatever shiny, beautiful thing you have in your sights right now, get ready for it to start shifting before your very eyes. Don’t stop looking at it! Don’t give up and walk away. But it’s time to ask yourself some questions. Because Mars demands excellence. It’s where we fight FOR things, not against things. It’s our ability to pluck up our courage in the face of no agreement and take a stand for what we believe in. For the lives we really want to live.

So as Mars begins to drift backwards over the next ten weeks it’s time to check in and ask yourself, “am I being true to myself?” “are my actions consistent with my words?” “Is this thing I want truly what I want or is it just a substitute?” “Can I do better?” “How can I do better?” “How can I be better?” Take heart Chickadees! Be bold! Be daring! Be brave! Bring snacks! I’ll see you on the other side!

Maleficent and the Crisis of Fury

you know the tale

I took my nephew to see Maleficent Wednesday. Of course, T, being only four and a half, found it a little hard to follow. With his little feet just reaching the edge of the seat he kept turning to me, saying things like, “why is she crying?” and when I told him, a follow up of, “why did he cut off her wings?” and then much later, at the end, his hand stuffed into his Raisinet box digging for the last ones, “why are you crying, Auntie?”

Because I seriously cried so hard! I didn’t expect to, it surprised me. But it was really moving, and not just because it was lyrical and Angelina Jolie took my heart by storm, but because it was redemptive and I believed it. I wanted to.

I needed a redemptive Mars tale.

there is evil in this world 3

This Mars in Libra transit has been a doozy for me. When Mars stationed direct squaring my Sun last month I swear to the Gods something crawled out from under my 12th house rock that I thought I’d slaughtered years ago. A great big ugly, sloppy, mean spirited beast that looked suspiciously like ME! ugh. In a fit of night terror I ripped apart the fragile threads between me and that guy I mentioned a couple months back. It only took seconds but the damage was done.

Of course, there’s loads more to the story, but the important thing, the thing I want to share here is, that a.) Mars sucks don’t play, b.) the 12th house can bite my ass isn’t something you ever get to sell or move out of. And that c.) you can run, but if it’s yourself you’re running from then there really isn’t anywhere you can hide. Like, ever.

There’s a scene towards the beginning of the film where Maleficent’s sidekick brings her the news that her former love, the man who viciously betrayed her, has had a child. Jolie plays it perfectly. Her eyes reflect such deep pain at the news that I quietly gasped in sympathy, but if you’d looked down at your popcorn even for a moment you’d have missed it. She looks away briefly and when she raises her head again her face has transformed into a grim smile, animated purely by malice. It’s pitch perfect, her transformation from grief to rage.

i'm the evil

You can feel the relief of it, the shiny fabulous weight that is lifted in the way Jolie sheds her sorrow and embraces the purifying rage sweeping through her, clearing away all doubt, all sadness, just washing it away, replacing it with clarity and purpose.

It’s a perfect Mars moment. Liberation from victimhood, catalyzing your grief into rage. A wild, dangerous freedom that will trap you just as surely as martyrdom if you’re not careful.

Sigh. I remember feeling like that. Not recently, but long ago. Mean, hateful, vengeful. I haven’t felt it in so long, but you don’t forget. When the pain runs so deep the only way out is annihilation, of yourself or the person who caused it and that moment when it gets crystal clear it’s not gonna be you. This is Mars at its core. The molten lava pouring out of you in that moment is a profound aspect of creation, but it’s the devil to harness and it will turn on you. It will cut a bitch, and if you’re not careful, the bitch it cuts might actually be the one wielding it.

The way I felt last month when I snapped and crossed over wasn’t even close to how ugly I’ve been in the past, but it revealed to me some hurt left there still lurking in the shadows. It revealed what I have yet left to do. Because the true gift of Mars isn’t the vengeance, or the fury, it isn’t even the liberation from victimhood, but the purpose. The real gift of Mars is the battle it reveals you must fight and the worth of fighting it.

now I have lost you 1

I’ve quoted Rob Hand talking about Mars before, but his take on Mars is so perfectly depicted in Maleficent that it bears repeating here. Hand says that the real worth of Mars isn’t in fighting against things, it’s in fighting for things. Belonging to the nocturnal sect, the sect of the Moon, Mars demands unconditional commitment, it requires tests of will power and stamina. It belongs to warriors and athletes, to people who do impossible things, simply because they said they would. It’s a raw wild power that defies ration or logic, and bows only to the force of feeling.

Angelina Jolie projects this quality perfectly. She was born to play Maleficent. She isn’t just perfect for the part, her chart is perfect for the part. She was born with Mars conjunct the Moon on the midheaven. For better or worse she embodies the qualities of Mars and always has. Like me she was born during the day, so Mars doesn’t naturally act in her favor, it took something for her to overcome the darker side of the energy. She is notorious for her destructive tendencies as a young woman, for her drug use, knife play, depression and anger. Things only changed for her when she got involved with humanitarian causes in 2001.

After that her focus switched. She stopped obsessing on her own misery and became focused on others and what she could do to affect change. I think she understands both sides of the coin Mars offers, because she’s lived through it. She could tell the story of Maleficent because at heart her story is real to her. It’s real and it matters.

I swear no harm will come

So what I loved about Maleficent is how it tells the story of the evolution of Mars, from the shadow side of it, the ugly, angry, wrathful, must-make-things-bleed experience, to the powerfully redemptive glory of it. Because Mars is also that part of us that gives us backbone, gives us courage, makes us stand up for the things we believe in. It shows us where we need to face our fears.

Maleficent is a wonderful retelling of Sleeping Beauty because in this version it isn’t the princess that wakes up from a death like slumber. In this version it’s the villain who wakes up, it’s the villain who saves the girl and in saving the girl, she saves herself. Now that’s a fairy tale for our time. That’s a myth we need, a story to tell our children. A story to tell ourselves.

I’ve been in a terrible stew for the past month, wrestling with my demons. Every time you let yourself down there is a hangover afterwards. Time was I ignored it, ignored what it was telling me, but I’ve learned now, I’ve learned that you can’t ignore it, you can’t leave it, it won’t go away on its own. The only thing for it is to face it head on.

Because the only good thing about seeing that you’ve made a terrible mistake is that you are no longer blind to your failing. It grants you choice. It’s a great and terrible thing, because it means waking up, and waking up isn’t always easy, but there is power in it. Raw, latent, gorgeous power.

I can feel it flexing in me now, shiny and dark, unfolding like wings. I don’t know where it’s taking me but I trust it. It won’t let me down. It won’t falter.

Leaving the theater my nephew grabbed my hand, pleading, “hold my hand, Auntie!” We walked past a kiosk with a young woman blowing bubbles and T ran after them for a bit. When he asked if we could get one I said yes, of course, because I’m a complete and total sucker. We spent the rest of the morning creating little iridescent worlds, chasing them, popping them, and then making some more.

He didn’t have to ask why I was crying again because I didn’t. I might have squeezed him a little too hard once or twice, but he didn’t seem to mind. After all, there were bubbles to blow.

An Open Love Letter to Libra

A Young Girl Defending Herself against ErosIn whatever way you come to me
in that way
shall I appear to you

-the Bhagavad Gita

I’ve got a lot of Libras on my hands right now either going through the ringer or just so damned hopped up on adrenaline they’re about to jump out of their skin. Not just Libra Suns, but Moons, Ascendents, and one poor dear with Venus in Libra in the 7th house. Of course, it’s this ruddy awful Mars retrograding in Libra that’s doing them in (well, that’s what I’m blaming it on, anyway).

I want to take a moment to chill with you, my darling darlings. Let’s take a deep breath together. I have some things I want to say to you.

Dear Libra,

You mad crazy romantic, you relentless optimist, you gorgeously generous lover, you are my favorite.  SHHH DON’T TELL ANYONE.

I know, I know, you’ve over-extended yourself. AGAIN. You’ve bit off more than you can chew and no one seems to appreciate it. AGAIN. The people in your life are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing and they are not letting you help them, dammit. Worse, the people you count on the most are the ones most likely to irritate the bejesus out of you these days.  Or maybe there’s just one person in your life who is super duper frustrating and all your powers of reconciliation and diplomacy are failing you somehow. wtf is up with that?!

Let’s take another deep breathe …In with the good air …and out with the bad.

Listen closely, Golden Hearts, because I’m going to tell you a secret and it’s a good one. And the best thing is, if you learn this now you won’t have to come back and learn it again later.

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

You’re a lover, not a fighter, but that doesn’t always work out so well for you, does it?  Be honest, sometimes you compromise to the point where you don’t get a damned thing you really want and you just give it all up in the name of “peace” and “harmony.”  The problem is, Libra, that when you compromise that much there’s no harmony, there’s just you holding the damned bag and the other person with all the candy.  If you want real harmony, real peace, than you’ve got to be willing to put yourself on the line and say what you really want, name that thing that is really important to you and fucking ask for it.

The trick here is that you’ve got to do so without any expectation.  And this is hard for you, because you listen so damned hard to others.  You do your best to give them what they ask for, so to ask for something and not get it back is excruciating.  But it isn’t their responsibility to make sure you get what you ask for any more than it’s yours to make sure they get what they ask for.  You take that responsibility on because …well, because you’re a Libra and it’s just your nature, but make no mistake, just because you took on that responsibility doesn’t make it yours.  You’re not a God, Libra (well, maybe a little bit to me, you sexy beast, but I’ve got a Libra Moon, I’m probably biased).

This period of time has to do with fighting for love, which is a.) an oxy moron, and b.) really really hard to do, because it means making yourself vulnerable and that’s just SCARY.  It’s gonna take something. But let’s face it, Libra, if anyone can do it, it’s you. Here’s the deal, the planet Mars is bringing a fight to your door, but that restless angry energy tumbling around in you right now will release once you commit unconditionally to something you feel powerfully about and Libra is all about love and beauty.

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

This other person or people that you are confronted with right now are not the real enemy, Libra.  The enemy is not outside you, it’s within you.  This is hard to see, but once you’ve seen it, it’s unavoidable.  It’s no good fighting for peace and harmony for both parties if both parties aren’t fighting for the same thing.  If you find yourself in a situation where your needs are not being met don’t wait for the other person to magically get it.  It may be obvious to you, but why would it be obvious to them if you haven’t said anything?  Not everyone listens the way you do, honey.  It’s special what you do, if everyone did it, it wouldn’t be special.  Own that shit.  Don’t wait for someone else to listen to you. You listen to you.

That Libra Venus in the 7th house I mentioned earlier just broke up with her boyfriend and lost a close girlfriend because she took a stand that her friend quit drinking. She’s suffering right now because she wants to only have mutually loving joyful feelings between herself and others, but her love has matured and she can’t support destructive behavior or partners that don’t give as much to her as she gives to them. She had to take a stand for the kind of love she believes in and these two people couldn’t meet her there. She’s sad, but she did the right thing.

She’s not feeling love from others right now and it’s painful, because she’s having to generate it all herself and right now her love is looking a lot like a giant NO and that doesn’t feel like love to her.  But the truth is, it’s the best kind of love she can offer those two right now.  Years ago I had to cut an alcoholic friend out of my life.  I just couldn’t pretend to be OK with watching him destroy himself anymore, I loved him too much to help him write that story.  It was really hard because he was profoundly hurt by it and there was no way to explain to him that I’d never loved him more than I did in the moment of saying goodbye.  Sometimes loving someone means cutting them loose.

A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros

The trick here is to make yourself vulnerable.  You’ve got to stop trying to be what other people want you to be, stop trying to be a “good” girl or boy.  You’ve got to get all the way inside your own heart and be willing to listen.  Libra is good at listening to others, you’re good at hearing what they want.  Now you’ve got to listen for what you want and be willing to express it.  And to do that you may have to risk losing something you value.  But are false friendships or what people may think of you really more important to you than being yourself?  Now is no time for blaming other people for your circumstances, Libra.  Identify what you want and make a request or a demand.  Be bold.  Be generous.  Be loving.  Be fearless.

Be willing to lose.

This may sound strange, but I SWEAR it’s true: every single time I’ve broken my heart it’s just expanded in the end.  It’s like a series of nesting dolls in reverse.  You break the first one and you’ve actually got more room than before.  Maybe at some point we can break the last one and just be free.

I’m game, Libra.  Are you?