April 11-17, 2016: Mars Retrograde Begins


April 11-17

This week starts out all harmonious aspects, including a fiery harmony between Mars and Venus — before Mars stations retrograde in conjunction with the Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius (Mars is close behind Saturn, meaning it is in a culminating phase with Saturn). This creates a gentle internal knowing of where we are still acting on old truths and beliefs that we are getting ready to let go of. The Mars station and retrograde will help us actively switch gears. But, not before we become conscious of what these old patterns are.


(Images: Tran NguyenJay Riggio)

This week it will be helpful to stay conscious of the “why” and the philosophical precepts behind your impulses. The road will appear open or closed in ways to help you make new choices, if you will listen to your environment’s help (rather than see your environment as an obstacle).

I’ve got some road signs that you can call back to as you go on with this week, to help you stay conscious of these dynamics and to surf them, rather than be offset by them. This Mars & Saturn astrology can easily cause frustration, but it carries deep blessings, and does not need to cause discomfort.

April 12

Mercury in Taurus sextile Neptune in Pisces: 2:40 AM PST
This transit is supportive for transcendent beauty, in written form and in language (Mercury) and also of aesthetic and pleasure. Think to the pursuit of a “clear mind” and how subjective that is. The confusion or murkiness of the mind, or the lucid, sharpness of the mind, are the same energies, just expressed across a spectrum. It’s a mind drug with two different effects. Neptune rules over both ultimate truth and illusion, intoxication and spiritual lucidity. If all of reality is some kind of drug, illusion, or spectacle, you may a least take advantage of your ability to self-sufficiently (Taurus) direct the flow. Mercury in Taurus is extra aware of the body and the language of the body, and what foods the body is wanting to eat. You may observe with this transit that your diet and mood are in LUCID correlation (that is to say, they always are in conversation, but with this transit you can catch the transcript more easily). Of course, this goes beyond food and relates to clothing, interior design, anything tactile or sensual, really. Stay sensitive, play, and invite your spiritual body and physical body to be in clear communication.

Venus in Aries trine Mars in Sagittarius: 12:17 PM PST


(Image: Imaan Hammam by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue US January 2016)

My friend who is a natal Mars in Sagittarius told me he feels there is a meme in culture that men aren’t listening, but the divine masculine and those who are tapped into the divine masculine, no matter their gender, are listening. He was saying that if he was paying attention to pure yang energy, he might just want to break a door, but that if he seeks the guidance of feminine or divine feminine, he is gifted a key to open the door.

This led me to think that the internal alchemy, when not relational, between these two planets, is about identifying the desires and wishes of your inner feminine, the leadership expressed by Venus in Aries, and employing the inner masculine to meet those needs. The Venus in Aries in this dynamic is a young princess (Aries, the perpetual babe) who will one day be a Queen, who has an admirer – a gentleman, adventurer type (Mars in Sagittarius). The Mars in Sagittarius every is seeking direction, wisdom and leadership, inherently from nothing in particular, hence mutable, the Mars in Saggo could also be a monk. But pair Mars in Sagittarius with Venus in Aries here, and the command is Divine Feminine. Something captivating to the romantic sensibilities of Mars in Sagittarius, a knightly kind of energy, someone who makes adventure out of romance. It could be a person, or a higher principle, or a person who embodies a higher principle, that Mars in Sagittarius is looking to love.


My official advice for this transit is keep it noble, juicy, hot. Stoke the fire. The traps are defensiveness, the need to be believed, and arguing about beliefs, such as who is “supposed” to play a role and what that role is supposed to be. Where you can find the alchemy and synergy of giving and receiving, on a primal energetic level, this transit makes “Baby, can you do x for me?” “Sure,” (smile) into something erotic.

Stay gracious. Stay in your nobility. If you recognize your worth enough to take charge, there will be someone eager to meet yo needs. And if you are more on the end of wanting to be in service to someone, keep an eye out for opportunities to be a babe in that way. It’s here this week.

If we flip it so that Venus in Aries is following Mars in Sagittarius’s leads, Venus in Aries could be like a Page figure, studying how to be a Knight. It’s Aries learning how to develop their skills. The charge that Aries is taking here is about self-mastery, learning how to adapt to adventure and become a more formidable, athletic version of themselves. Maybe the Venus in Aries energy fancies herself something-in-the-making, of which the Mars in Sagittarius energy can provide mentorship or teaching.

Either way, playing with who is taking lead can be fruitful with Venus and Mars this week.

April 14

Mercury in Taurus trine Jupiter in Virgo: 8:27 AM PST


This transit offers assistance for identifying and feeling into your relationship to your environment – some of which is in your control via your attitudes and beliefs and intentions, and some of that which is more external such as the location or culture your find yourself in. The more you can harmonize yourself and your environment, the more you will step into the feeling of being at the right place at the right time (serendipity = Jupiter). With both Mercury and Jupiter in earth signs, the mood is stable and earthy, related to the body. A simple way to step into this transit more is to ground yourself in presence with whatever you are doing or with whoever you are speaking with. Instead of flying off in the mind to something else you could be doing, remind yourself of where you are. I know this advice comes to us in a lot of different ways to the point of it almost being like a meme – it is a meme. But it goes beyond being “present”. Be rooted. Feel yourself as part of the landscape. The people around you, however much they utilize it or believe it or not, have antennae, as do you. So do the plants, animals, rocks, the air, the soil, the spirits. The luck energy of Jupiter – the cosmic dimension of this transit – comes when you tap into the organism of your landscape. Patience and steadiness (Taurus), chat with some people and some plants, and see what opportunities and insights open up.

In other words, rootedness = maximizing luck. You are not separate from your environment, but if you act separate, it will act separate from you.

(Image: Rory Kurtz)

April 17

Mercury in Taurus trine Pluto in Capricorn: 2:21 AM PST


Mercury – Pluto contacts invite depth awareness and contact with shadow energy. Because it is a trine and not a harder aspect, the contact will feel less visible unless you know how to recognize the shadow. In certain cultures, the shadow is understood as a helpful or generative space, the darkness is where things are created and where new life gestates. Some cultures have a natural understanding of life cycles. Western culture, in linear obsessiveness, is like the Earth being flat – the end is the end, not a cycle in which death naturally precedes rebirth.

Cycles in the mind occur with Mercury – Pluto – more languid or lethargic moods and psychic states may be making space for new growth. To actively play with this energy, emptying your mind by purging can yield a lot more psychic space or room for growth… such as writing down what is taking up space in your mind so that you can let it go.

Make physical that which is ethereal (mind into matter) for psychic regeneration.

(Image: Biancoshock)

Mars stations retrograde in Sagittarius: 5:14 AM PST


Mars will be stationing retrograde in the context of also being in a balsamic phase to Saturn – meaning it is approaching a completion phase with Saturn, who is in 15 degrees of Sagittarius while Mars is in 8 degrees. This means that Mars is almost done with a cycle in relation to Saturn. Saturn is the planet of conditioning, how we structure our consciousness and lifestyles, while Mars is our impulsive center, how we react, how we take action, and how we direct our will. In Sagittarius, the two relate to how we act on our beliefs, including some of our most deeply embedded beliefs that we absorbed from our culture, from our families, from patterns we saw around us in this life and in prior lives.

When a planet goes retrograde, its function becomes more inwardly directed. This can be a time of asking why (Sagittarius) we have the reactions and impulses that we do. With Saturn also in retrograde, we are internalizing those external factors around us that we have internalized as our own compass.

Sagittarius contends with truth, so a question that comes up is whether our actions reflect our truth or not. It can be deeply philosophical – for example – one that I come back to personally is when I find myself scrambling to do something out of a sense of urgency or rushing, I think of what that statement is underlying it. I’ve come to notice its a fundamental mistrust – an assumption that whatever is happening in the moment is not IT, and I am in need of something ELSE- that I’m not in the right place at the right time.

Mars and Saturn together in this way, both retrograde in Sagittarius, can bring up reflections on how to act relative to time-space. While Sagittarius is capable of seeing the bigger picture – the quest, the overall meaning, the belief of that meaning – Mars can be eager and mission-focused. A wisdom of Sagittarius has to do with the non-linear nature of phenomena and time. It is possible that “being in the now” might mean “experiencing the emotion of nostalgia and reflecting on the past” if that’s what your truth is in that given moment. If “being in the now” excludes the past or the future to the point it becomes a restriction, it has become less of a spiritual tool and more of a dogma. This transit can bring certain blockages to a screeching, flamboyant halt – where are we enacting limitation on ourselves? Where has a belief about reality locked us in in? Where has our quest – our enactment of destiny – become a distraction from what actually is our destiny? How can we slow down and be able to see?

Remember Sagittarius is a visionary – Mars and Saturn put together can amount to a well-conditioned athlete. The Sagittarius part is the belief or system that the MARS-SATURN energy is tinted in. Having a big vision to aspire to (and yet, be open to it changing, since Sagittarius is a mutable fire energy) gives Mars-Saturn a JOB for itself. These planets together will respond positively to large ideas and large ambitions, and likewise will feel not utilized without that, and perhaps… aimless, restless. I have an image coming to mind of a prison full of a lot of muscular convicts. Give them nothing to do – and imagine the mood of the room. Now introduce a poetry teacher or other inspiring figure who enlivens the energetic but trapped people, and gives them a sense of higher purpose or vision, so that they can see up and out of their limitation.


You don’t have to be in prison to empathize, the prison bars in this metaphor is one of consciousness, something holding you back, and maybe something you haven’t even conceived of, like its so embedded in the landscape, its taken as a given. This is about a philosophical limitation, or a limitation of your will, a sense of not being able.

Find out what these limitations are during this retrograde cycle. You won’t necessarily need to look for the limitation, but by directing your focus to something larger than life as your life currently is, you can see where those boundaries are. If your sights are big, your resourcefulness to match the leap will appear. Wherever you get stuck along the way, you are confronting psychic knots, or (real) limitations of space-time. Finding a way to work through and with these energies is the opportunity of the transit. This is a look into your own engineering, the mechanics of you. It might be uncomfortable – but it’s also epic.


One meditation – a challenging ab exercise – your core is starting to burn and you think you can’t do it anymore. The chakra located in this area of your body, the solar plexus, corresponds to personal empowerment, the feeling of being able to manifest your will creatively. Exercise is playing with resistance, and so it’s natural that the thought that comes up is “I can’t do this anymore”. But you remember that the solar plexus chakra is about personal empowerment, and so you push on – until the thought changes to “I can do this… I did do this”. Each set you pushed through, you imagined a block in your life evaporating. You had a vision to sweat for. Your story helped you.



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  • Reply
    April 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Sabrina ,Wonderful post!!! The Mars in Sagittarius and Venus in Aries hit me and I thank You for the helpful information. Life IS an “Adventure” and it is becoming clear to me that the pursuit of “True Love” and “Adventure” are synonymous

  • Reply
    April 18, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Awesome Norman 🙂 I like that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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