“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”Charles Dickens
An astrologer might add, “It was the benefics ruling the sky, it was the malefics ruling the sky.” This week the contradictory forces of the beginning of Mars’ retrograde and the end of Jupiter’s come into focus. If things were simple, Mars The Malefic would be type-casted as the bringer of supernatural destruction, and Jupiter, The Greater Benefic, as the bestower of good fortune. But life, the heavens and the times we find ourselves in are much more complicated right now, and we are going to have to find our way through their paradoxes.
July 25th entered shadow 15 Ari 14
Sep 9th Goes Rx 28 Ari 08
Nov 13th stations direct 15 Ari 14
Jan 2, 2021 leaves shadow 28 Ari 08
Feb 18th entered shadow 17 Cap 24
May 14th went Rx 27 Cap 14
Sep 12th stations direct 17 Cap 24
Dec 6th leaves shadow 27 Cap 14
Mars will be retrograde from September 9th through November 13th. During that time it will move from an incendiary 28 degrees of Aries back to a simmering 15. That could be seen as a lowering of its temperature in two regards. Firstly, some schools of astrological thought view retrogrades as a weakening of a planet’s energy, and secondly, 15 degrees are much milder than 28. But there’s more to consider. Other schools of astrological thought interpret retrogrades as times when a planet’s energy consolidates. We also need to see which other planets will also be traveling in that 15-28 degree range and how they will be interacting with Mars’ path. On that front, the news is contentious. Mars will be opposed by the Sun, Mercury and Venus when they travel through Libra, and it is already in one long, continuous square to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Additionally, four times a month, the Moon will exacerbate these cardinal conflicts when it moves through each cardinal sign. But is Mars really the villain? Initiation is the cosmic imperative of all cardinal signs. There is no ambiguity or fence sitting on their watch. While the coming oppositions will intensify differences and Libra’s influence may impose great deliberation, these squares will bring matters to a head and force decisions. There is no sign more direct than fiery Aries, and no planet that activates self-advocacy quite like combative Mars. Breaking through the paralysis of inertia is a form of liberation. Is Mars a rebellious upstart who is challenging authority (square Saturn), the hero in a war for independence or perhaps both?
Jupiter is traditionally cast as the benevolent king. Like Zeus showering his descendants with gifts, Jupiter is celebrated for bringing luck, inspiration and generosity. But the giant, happy planet is midway through its transit of cold, conservative Capricorn, astrology’s most austere sign. It went retrograde back on May 14th, in the heart of Q2 at 24 degrees, and has journeyed back to 17. From now through mid December, when it enters Aquarius, Jupiter will be in close proximity to Saturn and Pluto, broadening their power. Plot twist, Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, astrology’s other malefic. Further, Jupiter is associated with faith and beliefs, religious, political and philosophical. Under Saturn’s restrictive domain, has Jupiter’s fervor been fomenting the zealotry of extremist thinking? In economical Capricorn, has Jupiter’s love of excess encouraged and fortified unrivaled greed? Or, are the unprecedented stimulus packages passed by governments since last spring evidence that Jupiter has indeed played the role of the benefactor? Has the king after all been taking good care of his subjects? Perhaps the Sun, in rational, service-oriented Virgo, will shed some light on the matter on Tuesday when it trines Jupiter. Then again, the confusion of a Neptune opposition will challenge the Sun’s clarity on Friday. Much like Dickens’ basket of the incongruent, much remains to be sorted out. Mars’ retrograde and the remainder of Jupiter’s Capricorn transit are set to bring their revelations.