On August 20th Mars began its seven-month journey through Gemini. With such a bold, assertive planet moving into the sign of communication and media, the astrology world was abuzz about the potentials of the transit. On the same day, Mercury stealthily entered the shadow zone of its upcoming retrograde at 24° Virgo 12′. On September 3rd, Mars will follow suit and cross the shadow point of its forthcoming retrograde at 8° Gemini 08′. Gemini is of course one of Mercury’s two domiciles, the other being Virgo where it is presently. So while Mars may be garnering a lot of attention, Mercury’s influence is apparent and important. Because Mercury’s forthcoming retrograde is preceding that of Mars. the Messenger may be previewing the Mars retrograde and overall transit.
From the Roman god of war, to modern terms such as martial law and martial arts, Mars has long represented conquest and action. The iron of the planet has long been linked with the iron in blood. Expressions like “hot-blooded” and “blood is boiling” convey the aggression and anger also associated with the Red planet. Gemini is the realm of mental activity, information and expression. In this context, Mars’ proclivity for sharpness is likely to work like a double edged sword. Short tempers, rapid escalation of conflicts and pain inflicted from words that are better left unsaid are all distinct possibilities. The intent to dominate discourse or to control the narrative are also potentials when the bluster of Mars inhabits the sign of broadcasters. From a positive and proactive standpoint, the Mars Gemini cycle could be an ideal time to get on message and to create and implement media campaigns. Similarly, the social aspect of this transit could inspire joining new groups of like-minded people. Mercury’s retrograde will run from September 9th to October 2nd and Mars’ from October 30th to January 12, 2023.
Retrogrades are often characterized by the frustrations people experience during them. This time Mercury and Mars may be suggesting that we examine the origins of those frustrations. It’s not, “I’m mad because this or that is happening.” Rather, it’s a reflection on why this or that triggers the re-action and then perhaps a re-framing of the issue. Retrogrades are also an occasion to rethink and reassess assumptions. Offering further clarification, and dollops of self-compassion, Venus will enter Virgo on September 4th, for a stay that will last until September 29th. The constellation of Virgo was named after the goddess Astraea. According to Greek mythology, human activity had become so corrupt that the gods abandoned earth for Olympus. Astraea was the last immortal to leave, and she promised to return and restore utopia. This is partly why the astrology sign of Virgo is still strongly connected with the notion of perfection. Unfortunately, the term perfect has taken on some destructive undertones. Judgment, criticism and unattainable standards and the pain inherent in the failure to realize them now color the word. Perhaps a better way to look at the Astraea myth is to simply substitute the word perfection with the word beauty. After all, beauty is the essence of what Astraea promised to restore. With this in mind (Mercury), Venusian qualities of kindness and gentleness quite naturally align with Virgo’s imperative to be of service. On Monday, August 22nd, Mercury will trine Pluto a few hours before the Sun enters Virgo. This joining of intelligence with transformational power suggests that a deeper reordering is getting underway during the Virgo Sun cycle. The coming retrogrades will reveal where the work is needed most.