Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

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F E B R U A R Y    2 0 0 5   F E A T U R E   A R T I C L E

Mars Retrograde and the U.S.

by Maya del Mar

[Note: this is part 2 of a two-part article (see part 1 here). This article will also appear in its entirety in the April-May 2005 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.]

...All of these Mars catalyzers are important, particularly as they come together at this time. But what I want to focus on now is a Mars shift much larger, deeper, and more significant than any or all of these. It concerns the U.S. progressed Mars.

The U.S. progressed Mars is now in the process of turning retrograde. It will travel in reverse mode for the next 80 years.

Progressions are ways of abstractly moving planets to show their development through time. Progressions are slow. The U.S. progressed Mars, for example, is now at 19 Libra. It has progressed only 2/3 of the way through the zodiac in 228 years. Contrast this with the transiting Mars, moving through the sky, which travels completely around the zodiac in about two years.

Progressions mark major changes in a life, but those changes are often slow changes, in keeping with the slow pace of progressions. When a progressed planet changes direction, which is rare, it marks a very big life change indeed.

Changes of sign also mark big life changes. For example, the U.S. Mars progressed into Libra as the U.S. entered WW II. Libra is a sign of war and peace. Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the U.S. troops in Europe, was a sun sign Libra. He warned that the nation must watch out for the military-industrial-Congressional complex. We are now experiencing the ultimate destructiveness of that racing engine of which he warned.

This is the moment at which that engine is forced to stop, as shown by the U.S. progressed Mars literally stopping. Stop, re-evaluate, and change direction is Mars’ new mandate.

Re-evaluation is beginning, as Mars prepares to turn retrograde at 19 Libra. It is stationary now, and will actually reverse course in 2006. But the whole process is slow and gradual, and we are in the midst of it.

A stationary planet has a very powerful influence. It can act as a laser in the heavens, casting an intense beam. It is like experiencing Mars in living color.

Thus Mars is super-powerful for the U.S. right now, in a way that it never has been, and won’t be again for another 80 years—and after that for close to 1000 years.

This doesn’t mean, however, that it functions well. For one thing, a stationary planet indicates an unstable time. While stationary, the planet is not pushing along in a clear direction. This particularly offends Mars.

Another debility in this case is that it is Mars that is turning retrograde. Mars, the planet of energy, determination, and purpose is happy traveling direct, but is thwarted and distorted when traveling retrograde. Retrograde is backwards and indirect, apparently away from the goal rather than towards it. Retrograde is inward rather than outward, not Mars’ cup of tea at all. Retrograde goes back in time, while Mars likes to rush ahead.

It is, in fact, apparent to all that the U.S. Mars is having a very difficult time, and that U.S. aims and actions are confused. This condition will worsen until the U.S. learns how to work with its retrograde Mars. This will require several to many years, depending on how quickly we learn.

With a retrograde, behavior is not mediated through conscious reaction to a realistically perceived world. Rather, we are driven deeply into unconscious motivations, which seem unpredictable, and over which we do not have control. Prisoner torture, and the acceptance of it, is an example here.

We also tend to live in the past, and to respond to conditions as they were in our past, rather than as they are now. The retreat of much of the U.S. into its Puritan and evangelical origins, including the denial and ignoring of scientific findings, is one among many examples of moving backwards.

Libra is not an easy sign for Mars at best. It demands an "other" orientation which is not natural for go-getter Mars. Mars retrograde in Libra is particularly difficult.

Martin Schulman says about retrograde Mars in Libra that the individual does not truly understand what he wants, and that he keeps changing according to the person he is with (e.g., the U.S. people’s identification with GW Bush). He tries to inter-relate with the Aries quality of every person he meets. "Ultimately this creates in him a type of emotional paralysis along with gullibility towards his external environment." (3)

This sounds very much like the U.S. public, particularly in this last election.

The challenge with Mars retrograde in Libra is to find one’s own beacon, one’s own truth and clarity.

We will have decades to work on this process, and to develop alternative ways of using our energy, along with new ways of reaching our goals, and new goals.

In fact, as the Age of Oil winds down, a retrograde Mars could be a very big asset for the nation. Retrograde qualities can help us to make the kinds of changes in lifestyle which will be imperative.

Isolationism is another retrograde quality, and particularly when it is Mars that is retrograde. We have seen the U.S., for example, refuse to participate in such world consensuses as the Kyoto Treaty, the Land Mine Treaty, the World Court, and other world agreements, or in agreements with other nations.

What about the condition of this stationary progressed Mars?

Mars is stationary for several years, with 2004-2008 being the peak years. Again, progressions move slowly, and this is not a transitory condition.

The state of this progressed Mars now is particularly marked by the Total Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2005, which, at 19 Aries, exactly opposes Mars’ degree of 19 Libra. Oppositions often mean exactly that: opposing forces facing one another. Here we have challenger Aries facing a confused Mars.

Eclipses always catalyze change, and this is the signature for the retrograde shift. The eclipse itself very closely squares Saturn in Cancer, which shows that it has a Saturnian character. Saturn puts on the brakes, and we see the signal for a stoppage, and a change of direction, in the application of U.S. energy, especially in areas of war and natural resources.

Another circumstance of the U.S. progressed Mars now is that it opposes the U.S. Chiron, and conjoins the U.S. Juno. This will bring issues of weapons, of space, of health, and of abuse and of minority rights into focus.

Space war, for example, is very much on the Administration’s agenda. This is also a natural way of providing the isolation which retrograde Mars craves.

Space weapons and war are also indicated by progressed Mars’ square to Black Hole Hel at 19 Capricorn. She was the Norse Goddess of Death and the Underworld, and the root word of the English "hell." She became immensely wealthy, with great tracts of land surrounded by high fences and a high, strong gate. Her knife is Hunger, her plate is Starvation, and her threshold is called Pitfall. According to Alex Miller-Mignone (4), she seems to have an affinity with vast energy and mass destruction.

U.S. progressed Mars is at 19 degrees Libra from about 1996-2015.

It was in 1996 that Congress passed, and Pres. Clinton signed the "Welfare Reform Act," which contributed significantly to our continuously rising population of people in poverty, especially of working people and children. (We have a far higher proportion of hunger and homelessness than does any other major industrialized nation, except Russia.)

GW Bush’s Jupiter is at this same degree, 19 Libra. His Jupiter, which includes his sense of entitlement, amplifies and expands the nation’s progressed Mars. Jupiter, after all, was King of the Gods.

The Sabian Symbol for 19 Libra is "A GANG OF ROBBERS IN HIDING. Protest against disharmonic social privilege. The protest against an unbalanced society with its rigid stratification into classes can be seen as a positive factor, even if it challenges the principle of order, for it reveals dynamic qualities in individuals, and the will to transformation. We see that any effective resistance to the momentum of crystallized institutions should be organized if it is to be effective. Individuals alone are impotent in producing actual changes in social consciousness. A group must be formed. GROUP PROTEST." (5)

Group protest is, in fact, a likely direction for a retrograde Mars—particularly in Libra, the sign of justice.

Mars traveling in the heavens also retrogrades in 2005.

Concurrently with the U.S. stationary progressed Mars, transiting Mars will be traveling retrograde during the autumn of 2005. Mars turns at 24 Taurus, close to the degree of the big Jupiter-Saturn meeting of 2000. This was one of those major 20-year conjunctions whose past history caused people to question the fate of the President.

Transiting Mars will be stationary at 24 Taurus during the last week in September and the first week in October. This is a very significant period.

Taurus relates to resources, money, and the earth herself. We will see a re-evaluation of all of those areas. Look for more details on the retrograde Taurus Mars in a later issue.

Mars will turn direct on December 9 at 9 Taurus.

At this time the United States will be completing a "Nine" year, the last year of a nine-year personal cycle which began in 1997. In 2006 this nation will enter into its first "One" year of the third millennium.

This current cycle itself, during which we crossed into a new millennium, is like a Nine cycle. We see the end of an era, we see old myths going, we see most of the systems which we have known falling apart.

Even the degree on which transiting Mars turns retrograde on October 1, 2005 marks the end, and a big one. It is the degree of the last of the earth-element conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter for another 600 years.

With the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius in 2020, we move into two centuries of working with the air element. Our stationary-retrograde Mars in another air sign, Libra, is helping us to prepare for the ascension of a new era, one where ideas and relationships are more important than material goods and consumption.

Cuba just flashed on me. Cuba’s North Node is at 19 Libra. Cuba has much to teach the world, and it just may be that the sturdy little nation of Cuba, who suddenly had to learn to survive without industrial support, is showing us new ways to direct our energy.

Notes, Part II

(2) From the Wilderness, December 8, 2004. Pub by Michael Ruppert, Sherman Oaks, CA. As the World Burns by Michael Ruppert, pp. 8-14.

(3) Karmic Astrology by Martin Schulman. Weiser, NY. 1977. pp. 95-96.

(4) The Black Hole Book written and published by Alex Miller-Mignone, 1995. pp. 91-92.

(5) An Astrological Mandala by Dane Rudhyar, Viking, NY. 1974. pp. 184-5.