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The Bloodbath of Mars Retrograde

Chances are good this post finds you restless, sluggish, furious, and unfocused. This may stem from more than the harsh realities of Covid and Trump’s Reign. It also may be the effect of Mars Retrograde, which began yesterday and lasts until November 13. Like everything else in this unprecedented year, this retrograde offers an explosive crash course in what needs changing.

When a planet goes retrograde, our patterns in its realms come up to be healed by any means necessary. Mars– which rules ambition, desire, and action–in its shadow form translates into “us or them” survival instincts. Think toxic masculinity, greed, brutality, end-stage capitalism, and even a “death cult” mentality. Unmasked MAGA rallies, anyone? It also is associated with eruptions of all sorts–active volcanoes, disruptive weather patterns, and, oy, fires. The devastating forest fires on the West Coast, while clearly caused by climate change, are surging now for a reason.

On an individual level, it’s’ not a great time to launch a business, sexual relationship, or significant physical undertaking. We’re all unusually prone to procrastination, temper tantrums, and injuries—especially in the head and face. Cue dental and skin problems, as well as strokes and concussions. Best to keep it local on every level, minimize spending and exertion, breathe 10 times before posting or commenting. And rest. A lot.

This retrograde is taking place in Aries, which is all about self-assertion and forward motion, so passive-aggression will backfire like nobody’s business. The good news? We’re going to learn what we really want and release physical, erotic, and professional obstacles–not to mention improve our conflict and mood management. This is a good time to pay attention to dreams, do counseling, attend professional workshops, and pursue mindful exercise and masturbation. Get lots and lots of rest.

On a national level, it’s no coincidence–nothing is!–that the most important election in American history is happening now. Surprising absolutely no one, chances are slim that a victor will be announced until Mars goes direct in mid-November. Before then, we very well may experience cultural upheaval on the level of a Civil War.

This is very scary stuff. But in astrology as in life, good and bad always arrive in pairs. And so this time of unprecedented unrest may result in systemic corrections that have been overdue since our Founding Fathers robbed this land from First Nations and kidnapped African people to toil it.

This Mars Retrograde is going to show us new ways to progress–to rise rather than march blindly and brutally forward. But first, to quote filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson: “There will be blood.”

Readings during Mars Retrogrades are powerfully obstacle-clearing, especially when it comes to sexual and professional desires. Book one for yourself or a loved one.

Astro PSA: Full Moon Mermaids

If you’re feeling the way you normally do one minute before your period starts, or-for the menstrually un-endowed–the way you might after swilling a bottle of wine and watching tiny puppies hug tiny kittens right after listening to Trump’s State of the Union—then you are right on course. Because Pisces is all about feeling every feeling at once—feeling the entire universe at once—and this full moon, also known as the Corn Moon, is here for a big-kahuna emotional release. Happily, it’s happening in Virgo season, which can ground you as even as you collapse into a pile of tears, snot, and (if we’re lucky) more delightful bodily fluids. Even better? This full moon is happy to banish all that stands between you and your creative manifestation. Questions to ask: “Where do I land on the idealism-pragmatism spectrum, and how should I adjust that? How can I reshape my victim mentality (which we’ve all got in some area of our life) into compassion for myself and others?” Sounds like a lot of tasks? Well, babies, this full moon is going to be a lot anyway so you may as well lean in with some Virgo hard work. Just remember: Any ritual tonight should begin with an agreement to open to the loving energies that flow within and around you.

For a reading for yourself or a loved one, book here.

The Feast and Famine of Being Green

Lumet’s Emerald City (lit by Oswald Morris; costume-designed by Norma Kamali).

It’s 7:30 am Sunday morning, and I’ve been up for hours.

That I rose before dawn is not uncharacteristic. But I’d planned to sleep in this morning. To bask in a morning of quiet stillness, quiet comfort after returning from a wonderful week alone in the woods of Columbia County and jumping head-long into the clamor of New York.

I spent so much of this busy weekend activated by the presence of others—in sessions with clients, then walking and dining and bedding my beau—that today I was pulled out of sleep hours before dawn, the need to process my interactions more powerful than my need for rest.

Mae Sarton has a wonderful passage in Journal of a Solitude about shutting the door to the world.

Begin here. It is raining. I look out on the maple, where a few leaves have turned yellow, and listen to Punch, the parrot, talking to himself and to the rain ticking gently against the windows. I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my “real” life again at last. That is what is strange—that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone…

I find that last line less ironic than simply factual. Because I do not just absorb other people’s realities. They absorb me. For me to spend time in the presence of anyone is to climb inside them, so that I am regarding the world through their senses, processing information through their nerve-endings and brain synapses. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy