The summer season of 2018 bears strange and unique trials. One of the year’s centerpiece transits, Mars’ retrograde, begins the day before the Full Moon in Capricorn. These two events make an unusual pair, drawing attention to the balance between chaos and duty.
Mars Retrograde | 6.26.18 | 2:05pm PST
Mars will station retrograde today at 8 degrees of Aquarius, making real and visible the shades of Hades we’ve been feeling on our skin since Mars entered its shadow phase on May 12, at 29 degrees Capricorn. From now until Mars stations direct on August 27, the medicine of the red warrior’s underworld journey will sink into our blood, translating its meaning with a potency beyond language, teaching us the nature of our primal power and its constituents, desire, conflict, courage, defeat, success, rage, and perseverance.
We won’t begin to fully understand the works of this retrograde until it exits its shadow phase on October 8. As I alluded to in the previous blog post, Mars retrograde will do work first in obscuring the objective truth of our desires, for the nocturnal landscape is real, but it will never show itself as clearly as in the daylight.
There is a reason for this obfuscation: it holds us from rushing ahead, but instead directs us to explore the caverns of our un-lived potential, so that we can encounter first-hand what has been neglected and repressed, and what jewels of our own making we have failed to uncover.
Mars started his 2+ year cycle in July of last year when when he conjuncted the Sun and was hidden by Sol’s rays for some weeks. This was another type of underworld journey, one in which his purity was renewed and after which he stepped forward into the light, ready to show himself as something he’d never been, something new and youthful. So think back to last summer. What creative or passion projects did you begin or renew? What was your attitude, what successes and failures have you seen since then? How have you respected your projects or sold them short? How have you pushed too far, how must you rest?
For Mars stationing retrograde showcases a different breed of underworld journey, one in which we have much more perspective, discernment and agency. Not at all blocked out by the Sun’s rays, we can see Mars, and all that his eyes see, as he traverses the underworld reality of his own compulsions. The wise and mysterious ravens accompany this Mars, guiding him toward inner vision, playing with him, and he with them, cultivating a trusting companionship. When this emanation of the warrior howls to the Moon, he will know much more about why, and he will have probably chosen to do so.
However your own power has driven you in the past year, the rules of the game change here, the ghosts of the past emerge, and your work is to observe intelligently, understanding how your actions have contributed to this reality. What has been forgotten in the battles fought since last July will be revealed, and what has been accomplished will be evident and unembellished, as it will be all that is left standing.
Wherever you’ve fed on illusions, you will starve. Where you’ve been bound to dangerous dynamics, the time is ripe for unbinding spells. However the world’s consensus reality has deadened or inflamed your own, look to Mars retrograding over the South Node throughout all of Eclipse Season, purging what has been polluted in the soul. Mars is a wrathful deity, and will command release into the winds of chaos, where no unclean motivations can carry you to safety. The chthonic pandemonium of this season may feel like a strategist’s hell, but this is food for the growth of consciousness and human compassion.
Full Moon in Capricorn | June 27, 2018
6 degrees | 9:53pm
While Retrograde Mars is traversing the underworld unshackling the latent energies of the inner landscape, this Full Moon in Capricorn, tightly conjunct its ruler Saturn, goads us into the mundane. It drives us to remain in control of ourselves in the literal realm, bastions amidst existential storms.
This Full Moon arrives during the Sun’s annual opposition to Saturn, who rules 3D reality, reminding us of our duties, obligations, and responsibilities as human citizens. Since Saturn is so strong, it’s possible that this Full Moon will shrink the question of inner dragons and the chthonic ambience permeating the air. If we're not careful, consumerism’s nihilistic dictum that there is no inherent value to internal reality could win out, and all our energy may be wasted on attempts to organize an external reality that isn’t ready to be organized.
Full Moons are, structurally, expressions of polarity. They points to tension, and requires us to allow opposites to rise together. With this Moon, the polarity is between Cancer, the sign of the private inner world, and Capricorn, the sign of manifesting in the external world. Capricorn has the upper hand because its ruler, Saturn, is so close to the Moon. The act of dropping roots, building foundations, and fortifying walls is not to be neglected, but neither is the emphasis on attending to the anima, the personal experience that Mars is so assiduously disentangling from whatever chains that have been holding it back from full expression in the world.
The task is a difficult one and requires the maturity of a discerning eye. For we cannot go on working by rote with forms that no longer serve the driving creative principle, no matter how attached to them we are. This Full Moon in Capricorn is a time to make unorthodox actions that push you further toward manifesting the world you want to live in, the world you will feel safe to live in. Look at the ways in which you work creatively that don’t work, and revise your strategies. Where your strategies have been working, observe the roots that are trying to break the foundation, and see what new life they breathe into your projects and your surroundings.
Venus in Leo is still effectively squaring Jupiter in Scorpio, so there could be some fear of rejection for trying new things as a result of your psycho-spiritual spelunking. Go with the depth, trusting that your clan will show itself as your authenticity rises to the surface.
A certain amount of stoicism and austerity are required to make it through this Moon well. While unorthodox actions are welcome, no reckless ones will carry you anywhere. Plenty of data will be surfacing from below, but step lightly in the real world, for the ground you're standing on may be less stable than it appears. Tricksters are our friends now, we want to hear their riddles and train ourselves to expect any outcome, for we are rich in wild cards this season.
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