9 Things to Do During Mars & Mercury Retrograde & some extras

May 17, 2016

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From La Grande Bouffe.

From La Grande Bouffe.

We are in the middle of a season of retrogradacity.

Mars until June 30

Mercury until May 22 (in the shadow until June 7)

Saturn until August 13

Pluto until September 26

Meanwhile, Jupiter and Venus have both turned direct.

This should give you a hint — do good, beautiful, generous things — and put down your weapons. And remember that traditionally things during a Mars Retrograde don’t work out quite as one would expect.

Here are some things to try during the Mars Retrograde period

    1. There is no disinfectant as strong as sunshine… This is the time to do a little life laundering…
    2. Steal the giant’s harp. The giants, ogres and trolls are sleeping, and like Jack, you have a chance to steal the golden harp — or maybe the goose. Just remember that when Mars goes forward again in August, you might have some explaining to do.
    3. Make peace. This could be with part of your own psyche — or it might be with another person — or it might be with part of your own past. You have the chance to re-examine something that was or is difficult calmly during this Mars Rx.
    4. Reconsider your beliefs. Is it really yours, or do you just hold on to it because it’s “received wisdom”? To get you started,  here’s a great article in Scientific American about why we should be sceptical about sceptics. But this could also be a deeply held personal or religious belief… It’s something that affects your worldview…
    5. Take a gamble on the underdog.
    6. Retreat, turn inward and don’t feel you have to DO anything. This is a time to respond, but maybe not act.
    7. Relax.
    8. If you have Mars Rx in your natal chart — which is not that uncommon — this is your time. You will have more energy and drive than the rest of us and you may be able to overtake on the inside.
    9. Retreat tactically.

And while Mercury remains retrograde… at least over the weekend.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip to Italy

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip to Italy

  1. While Mercury retrogrades in Taurus, the sign of the gourmet, here are the OA top picks for mouthwatering movies to revisit or indeed watch for the first time (twice): Eat, Drink, Man, Woman; Babette’s Feast; The Lunchbox; Jamon, Jamon; Big Night; The Trip to Italy; La Grande Bouffe; Like Water For Chocolate.
  2. On the same lines, enjoy these literary meals. Indeed, if you were going the whole retro hog, you could recreate them yourself. I have always wanted to sample that clam chowder in Moby Dick, but this, from Anna Karenina, may be my favourite bookish meal.
    “Going along the narrow path to a little uncut meadow covered on one side with thick clumps of brilliant heart’s-ease among which stood up here and there tall, dark green tufts of hellebore, Levin settled his guests in the dense, cool shade of the young aspens on a bench and some stumps purposely put there for visitors to the bee-house who might be afraid of the bees, and he went off himself to the hut to get bread, cucumbers, and fresh honey, to regale them with.”
  3. Get in touch with old friends.
  4. Dig out your old school play programmes, college magazine or first poem (or your child’s first poem/drawing)— there’s nothing wrong with a little sweet nostalgia
  5.  When in doubt, watch My Neighbour Totoro. 
  6. c5efb4d3fe9c3aea5e32fa31575869a4

 

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Astrology of Now, cycles, Mars, Mars retrograde

27 comments

mimi said:

Hi Christina,

a question for you :

you write : when you have Mars retro natally this is a good time for you. How about a person who has natal Mars retro but during his/her life it has turned and went direct – how would this current retro-Mars- period work out ? would it still be a good period or would he/she experience this like everybody else ?

mimi

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Christina said:

Definitely still important times. But as with all natal rx planets, the moment it goes forward by progression seems to be crucial. The reverse is also true: when a natal planet goes rx by progression things really shift.

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Fleur said:

Interesting philosophical question of what we are supposed to do when Mercury and Mars are retrograde and things like communications aren’t working out. During this period I listened to somebody say that depression is not expressing your own authenticity, and that it is ok to say what we mean. I find that when I struggle to say what I need to it mostly just hits a brick wall in others, and they purposely do not respond, but I need to work on whatever it is I am trying to say anyway, for myself. During this Mercury retrograde I discovered a youtuber who explains what causes writer’s block too. These inner planet retrograde periods are very short, but the question as to how to deal with them raises more important questions such as how do you deal with a transit that you know as an astrologer is going to be bad – and I don’t agree with the idea that there are good and bad transits, I think there are definitely bad transits that definitely cause events that make us suffer, and not everybody survives them. One way of looking at these things is that we astrologers are in a unique (Uranus) position and that the vast majority of people have no means of understanding Time from a perspective outside Time. Also the vast majority of astrologers, and to a large extent all astrologers, don’t really have the ability to know except in glimpses, but sometimes we have a very good insight how a transit will behave through sheer hard personal study of astrology. So assuming that we are certain that a transit will be bad, how would we deal with it? I think on a smaller timescale most astrologers agree that a Mercury retrograde is difficult, and the question of how to deal with that is important, but on a timescale of many years for an outer planet transit that is making a bad transit (I refuse to use the word “difficult”, it just doesn’t cut it, and denies the absolute nature of the will of the God, and implies that it can be changed), I wonder how we are supposed to make something of value out of Hades?

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Christina said:

I hear you, Fleur. Inner planets retrogrades are as nothing compared to an outer planet transit — for example Pluto to the Sun or Moon.

Seeing it coming is sometimes not so helpful. One of my daughters had a transit from Pluto opposite her Moon and soon afterwards Saturn opposite her Sun. To simply assume that would be “transformative” or “maturing’ was not all that useful. What was useful though was having a timeframe in which to work through what came up — knowing that transits pass and understanding the energies involved. She was not stuck. Eventually, of course, she was transformed and matured — but as her mother, I wish it had happened in a kinder, gentler way.

Speaking for myself, one of the most painful transits I had was Chiron to my Sun — which began to bite well before Chiron even reached the Sun. If I had known how much it would hurt though I’m not sure I could have carried on. Sometimes it’s better to be ignorant. And now, looking back, I am glad to be this new, damaged person. The wound has let in light.

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aqua said:

‘Seeing it coming is sometimes not so helpful. One of my daughters had a transit from Pluto opposite her Moon and soon afterwards Saturn opposite her Sun. To simply assume that would be “transformative” or “maturing’ was not all that useful. What was useful though was having a timeframe in which to work through what came up — knowing that transits pass and understanding the energies involved. She was not stuck. Eventually, of course, she was transformed and matured — but as her mother, I wish it had happened in a kinder, gentler way.

Speaking for myself, one of the most painful transits I had was Chiron to my Sun — which began to bite well before Chiron even reached the Sun. If I had known how much it would hurt though I’m not sure I could have carried on. Sometimes it’s better to be ignorant. And now, looking back, I am glad to be this new, damaged person. The wound has let in light.’

Very well said! Yes indeed the number of times Ive traumatised myself prior to a transit is ridiculous. Theres no doubt Astrology can be a ‘dangerous tool’ at times.

I hear you though re Chiron transits…And all good points re the retrograde phases.
Regarding those and chiron – today, with the moon in scorpio in my 8th house, applying conjunct to my neptune which is in a kite with chiron moon/venus and pluto, I had a meeting with a Sexual assault organisation re a historic rape from 27 years ago – that seems appropriate – and I didnt pick the date, it was made 3 months ago…
On top of which a friend from around that era contacted me out of the blue two days ago – and – and this I find very distressing I lost my diary with stuff Id written about the assault and upcoming meeting.

So im wondering if you might be willing to do a session with me to unpick the timing , themes and overarcing transits on this issue?
And also whether you can recommend a Horary astrologer to help me recoup my diary.

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Christina said:

Yes to both. The horary astrologer I would recommend is Sharon Knight. http://www.astrologersharon.co.uk.

Send me an email at christina @ oxfordastrologer.com (squeeze the spaces) and we can fix up a time.

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aqua said:

Thank you Christina for both. Ill get in touch in a couple of days after Ive processed a bit.

aqua said:

‘I think on a smaller timescale most astrologers agree that a Mercury retrograde is difficult, and the question of how to deal with that is important, but on a timescale of many years for an outer planet transit that is making a bad transit (I refuse to use the word “difficult”, it just doesn’t cut it, and denies the absolute nature of the will of the God, and implies that it can be changed), I wonder how we are supposed to make something of value out of Hades?’

With all due respect I think ‘difficult’ is a far less perjorative term than ‘bad’.
I am also not convinced that astrologers can see if a transit is going to be either, unless they know the history, the character and circumstances of the person involved as well as a detailed understanding of the whole chart.
We have to strike a fine line between ‘pointing the bone’ and offering useful and practical insight/advice.
When I learnt Astrology with the Australian Federation of Astrologers we were encouraged to take an Astrologers oath not unlike the Hippocratic oath re doing no harm, particularly when it came to ‘predictions’ and especially death and accident. Quite appart from the fact there is no concensus on how to predict either nor any genuine research, it is both morally wrong and dangerous.

On a similar not we were strongly counselled not to let our beliefs, religious or otherwise, impact on the client. The emphasis was firmly placed on a neutral approach and an avoidance of fatalism –

For instance the below statement is very much in the realm of personal belief, rather than integral to the practise of Astrology.

‘and denies the absolute nature of the will of the God, and implies that it can be changed), I wonder how we are supposed to make something of value out of Hades?’

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aqua said:

that should be ‘On a similar note’

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Christina said:

No decent astrologer would ever predict death, accident or illness — but it’s different when you look at your own chart.
A lot of astrologers do seem to think it’s OK to make all kinds of dark surmises about a person’s past though — and these can be equally upsetting and downright wrong assumptions.

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aqua said:

Oh very true.

Fleur said:

Yes, with hindsight we can tell that transits which destroyed somebody were way beyond their control. We can argue that something valuable possibly came from it, but even that is arguable. I am thinking of examples like the writer Mervyn Peake who wrote Ghormenghast as his physical and mental health were disintegrating, and which killed him. I did also say the hypothetical situation where the astrologer can be sure that a transit will be bad. I don’t do advising other people, I research, so no I wouldn’t say anything to somebody else about my suspecting a difficult transit, and partly because I can’t know another person quite enough to be sure. I still think there are most definitely good and bad transits, I don’t use trines for this and ignore transiting trines completely so I have my own researched definitions of good and bad. The term “difficult” doesn’t cut some of the very common awful situations that human beings find themselves in. I agree with Christina that the one thing astrology is useful for is that you know when a bad transit will be over. When you are caught up in a long one lasting many years you think it will last forever, and I believe you can actually pinpoint an end to these.

Fleur said:

I think people who are long dead are fair game. Also maybe in some circumstances to predict that somebody say in prison facing the death penalty will be pardoned and released. Their situation couldn’t be any worse.

Fleur said:

Of course not, there are all kinds of reasons why you can be wrong, usually insufficient knowledge of astrology and its stunning intricacy and precision. Yes to seeing illness in your own chart, both in the past and in the future, based on a return of the same pattern of transit. With some of the transits that I almost know are bad, I have sometimes just asked the person about that particular time of their past and they are open about telling you all about it. You just have to ask them what was happening at a particular time.

Teressa Jones said:

Venus was never in Retrograde so when did it turn direct?

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Christina said:

Not sure what you mean — Venus goes Rx every 18 months or so.

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Fleur said:

The fairly tale of the Sleeping Beauty, the good fairy says she cannot reverse the curse of the bad fairy, but the girl will not die but will sleep for a hundred years….whereas a new age astrologer would tell her there is no good and bad and she can make anything she wants of that transit, it is just “difficult”, and she doesn’t even need to look at the chart because anyone can be and do anything whatever their chart says….

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Fleur said:

Recently somebody I know wanted me to advise her as she has been struggling with career things for many years. I did tell her that most astrologers simply don’t know, and that I am still learning too but I would have a look at her chart and see what I could see. I studied it for a long time, and thought there was a high likelihood that a certain transit to her chart would land her the full time professional job she wanted, and I was right it did. She already knew that things had been extremely difficult and she felt this would go on forever. She needed the past to be diagnosed too. I think you have to acknowledge the dark side of things, not sugar coat it or deny it. Time will throw both light and dark, good and bad at us. You can’t begin to understand how to deal with the dark unless you acknowledge it for what it is.

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Fleur said:

Gnosis isn’t about self help book mentality that doesn’t even regard the actual birth chart as important enough to look at. Self help books are about selling; gnosis is about understanding the darkest places that human beings end up in.

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Fleur said:

And of course there are always more than one major transit pattern happening in a person’s chart at the same time, or closely following or preceding.

Sorry, this was about inner planet retrogrades. I just see them as temporary, and I haven’t studied them enough to pull out all their implications. I have noticed a lot of strange ways in which these things operate, but I find the retrogrades of the outer planets more interesting, when they turn around, whether from retrograde to direct or direct to retrograde and make another separate aspect particularly with Jupiter, which is relatively fast moving, often a situation will abruptly reverse, be it from good to bad or bad to good, I have seen this often and it usually involves Jupiter, in aspect with something like Uranus. It is as though Jupiter can temporarily turn a main trend the wrong way.

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Sabrina said:

Oh when it comes to the children is just…well… I agree it gives you a time frame.
Mercury and Mars rx are busting my ovaries… Somehow though, more productive and it has been a useful time finding ways to focus and understand my mental energy in a way I didn’t before. All thanks to a different, deeper perspective on the past.
If you can talk more about Chiron on the sun…it has been very painful but until recently I realized it was THAT particular transit. It is now going over the desc.

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Christina said:

Chiron on the Sun gets rips away part of your identity and exposes a wound. For me it was both physically and emotionally painful. As you know, one of the things about having children is that you open yourself up to a new way of being wounded. Things that you could deal with if they happened to you are TERRIFYING when they happen to your children.

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eggcup said:

I agree with you, Christina, about Chiron transits being the most (acutely) painful. I’ve endured some “difficult transits” in my time, but none had the same heartbreakingly visceral impact as did Chiron did when it conjuncted my Moon and opposed Uranus.

My Moon is at 17 Gemini and Uranus at 19 Sagittarius. The first hit to my Moon happened just as I split from my boyfriend of two years in 2014, ending what was the most intense and tumultuous relationship I’ve ever had. The break up itself was protracted and exposed every single wound each of us had carried since childhood. I felt totally abandoned — a feeling that mirrored my early childhood and adult experiences with my mother — then left out in the cold to pick up the pieces. Although I dated others casually during the intervening Chiron passes, I was still varying between raw and chafed emotionally.

The final passes finished by late winter this year, thankfully, and perhaps unsurprisingly I am only now feeling emotionally whole again. In retrospect, I am in some ways grateful that it all came to pass since I am now much more whole and possessed with greater self-knowledge. But DAMN, did it hurt!

I am left in no doubt of Chiron’s mysterious powers! Glad to hear you’ve made it ihome as well 🙂

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eggcup said:

Perhaps important to note that the ex’s Ascendant is at 17 Gemini, so he was experiencing Chiron similarly.

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Fleur said:

Does anybody have experiences of Mars retrograde hitting important places in their natal charts? I was just thinking that retrograde inner planets are weakened rather than reversals, and a weakened Mars is a contradiction in terms, so I suspect that a retrograde Mars hitting your chart will express the bit of your chart that is hit, but in a muted form?

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Isy Aweigh said:

Since the planetary forces are multidimensional rather than up/down, I view the startling effects of Mars rx not in terms of weakening, but in terms of Mars’ role in physicality and manifestation. Things just don’t turn out the way I’d expect, as Christina mentioned above. Given options A, B, and C, somehow the answer will be D, or possibly tomato. There’s just no predicting outcomes of efforts.

My natal Mars is combust on my Asc, so 8d say there is definitely such a thing as a weakened Mars. Again, though, it’s not a linear backtracking from a point of strength; it’s a skewing, a bizarre twist of the energy, a frustration or dislocation of the considerable zip and drive that Mars ought to have. In my case, wit a Saturn/Chiron conjunction directly opposite the U/Plu conjunction, and with Mercury stationing direct in my 12th, I developed a rare, complex, and brutal neurological disease, consisting of relentless pain and a gradual, though intermittent, crumbling and disintegration of my body’s ability to manage its survival processes. CRPS, if you’re curious.. Anyway, that’s very Mars combust, and I find Mars retrograde to be a frustrating time to DO NEW things, but a fine time to reflect on old things I’ve done or review hopes and plans of what I intend to do. A great time to get badly hurt if I’m inattentive.

Hope that provides a little more insight..

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Christina said:

Yes it does, Isy — and so on the mark with the Mars combust. I think we really fail when we overlook the physicality of a lot of astrology — but especially Mars, the first house and the ASC. We can get side-tracked into a 20th century habit of psychologising everything…

Mars combust though and Mars Rx — there is something in there about being unusually courageous I think.

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