Perhaps you’ve noticed the visibility of Mars in the night sky in the last month? If you have clear skies, it’s hard not to notice the red planet. During Mars retrogrades, Mars gets as far as being directly opposed the Sun (from Earth’s perspective), giving Mars a bright appearance in the sky similar to how we have the full luminosity of the Moon when the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of Earth. Many of us have observed Full Moons or participated with them enough to notice the extra emotional charge in the air. With Mars opposing the Sun it is similar, but Martian themes ripen to fullness in our experience. Mars only retrogrades around every two years, so the prospect of understanding Mars retrogrades over time is a bigger span of time commitment than watching the Moon. But here we are, and if you’re reading this, presence yourself to this being a Mars retrograde season! For reference, the last two Mars retrogrades took place April 17 – June 29, 2016 and June 26 – August 27, 2018.
Watch a video version of this forecast on YouTube, or keep reading below:
The astrological transits permeate every layer of life, from mundane and observable events, to deep movements in the psyche and soul, to dreams and spiritual revelations. If you read me often, you know I like to discuss the movements of psyche and the spiritual opportunities of transits, the most, while also acknowledging the kinds of energies and events we might be directly experiencing. With Mars retrograde, at a literal level we can be experiencing more conflict and more awareness of conflict. These may be open disagreements with others, as well as internal wrestling.
As tracking the movement of the celestial bodies and understanding what themes may arise can enhance presence with life, Mars retrograde can be a meaningful time to deepen our awareness of how we relate to conflict. How do we pick our battles? How do we contemplate the implications of anger and discontent, what it might say about what we do stand for, and what we do desire? On a recent episode of my friend Kirah Tabourn’s The Strology Show (which I love, and I loved this episode) all about Mars, Drew Levanti mentioned the spiritual element of conflict and I’ve been thinking of that since.
So I wrote Drew and asked him for a quote! He gave us, “Conflict is the way to move past situations that aren’t for me. If I’m in a situation not aligned with my purpose or mission in life, then I need to embrace saying no to it, however uncomfortable that may be. Conflict is a bitter remedy for being in the wrong place. Through conflict, I create the friction that propels me toward where I am meant to be. Conflict is full of the spirit’s song—where are you being called to go?”
Though I am not someone who chases conflict for the thrill of drama (I tend more toward peaceable energy), I do deeply and increasingly respect the way that drama is already inherent to life. Conflict is a definite plot point of this drama. Conflict can reveal true values and desires, and can increase the intimacy that we have with ourselves (when we face ourselves) and the intimacy that we have with others (when we address schisms in connections). My hope for you this season is that when you feel the fire of Mars – that sense of impulsive desire, irritation, urgency, frustration, or anger – that it can be a moment of awakening.
Welcome back! Or in case this is your first time here, I’m Sabrina Monarch and I’m a soul-centered astrologer. I love providing perspectives on the opportunities of transits and putting into words what the zeitgeist feels like at this moment in time, to support you on your path & open a dialogue between us and the cosmos. If you would like to receive these weekly forecasts to your inbox and be notified of upcoming educational opportunities, sign up for my mailing list here.
Here’s our week, after a few announcements!
Study Evolutionary Astrology with me in January 2021 – enrollment is now open! It’s always an inspiring group of deep thinkers that gather for this class. If you are wanting to learn karmic soul-centered astrology, and go deeper into the astrological craft in both an intuitive and a structured/guided way – and you resonate with these forecasts, you’ll love this course. Learn more, read testimonials, and enroll here.
Level Two Training for Alumni Coming Soon!
I’m developing a new offering for alumni of the Evolutionary Astrology Intensive to deepen their skills in community. It will be an intimate container. Stay tuned for updates!
Astrology Reading Bookings FULL: I am booked out for a little bit, but still taking new clients for ongoing mentorship/coaching (6 month – 1 year commitment). If you’re interested in working with me in that capacity, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And make sure you’re on my mailing list if you’d like to be informed of when my books open again!
No new episode of Magic of the Spheres podcast this week – but I’ll be back soon! I had so many resources to quote/link this week in this forecast and you can also check out the archives… we have over 70 conversations about personal evolution and spiritual lifestyle, some episodes about astrology, others not as much. I get messages all the time about how much people are enjoying it, so if you haven’t tuned in already go for it! Tune in where you listen to podcasts. 🙂
A special event this week! In participation with Venus in Virgo trine Uranus in Taurus (I’ll explain more about the astrology at the event) I wanted to share a visualization that came to me recently around healing deprivation and scarcity and opening to receptivity and abundance. This visualization came to me a few weeks ago (I practice visualization basically every day!) and it was one I felt like I was going to share. It connected with some research I’ve been doing recently about beauty, fashion, and neurochemistry, after years of also reflecting on receptivity through the Taurus archetype. To keep this meditation as universal as possible, I’m approaching the topic of transitioning scarcity to abundance, but that may show up for you individually in terms of feeling loved, having self-esteem, feeling well-resourced, etc. If you ever struggle with “not-enough” thoughts in a particular area of life, even if this is something you’ve been conditioned to think of as frivolous – it’s not! Feeling lack is a chemical experience, and one I like to reroute through visualization and I’m excited to share this visualization practice with you! Sign up here.
Here’s our week:
October 7, 2020
Mercury in 9 Scorpio opposite Uranus retrograde in 9 Taurus: 1:55 PM PDT
(Image: Em Niwa)
- The places in life where we seem to always be wanting more (more love, more wealth, more enjoyment, etc.) are often connected to places of shut-down or numbness – where because of these blocks, we crave more intense sensations to feel aliveness.
- This is not to judge the desire for high-intensity sensation which does have its magic, but to take that desire (in certain cases) as a cue that not only ‘more’ is being desired but also less. What is in the way of fully receiving what the present moment has to offer?
- The Taurus-Scorpio axis is like a lush garden with vibrant flowers and fruits, and rich dark soil that is made of death! Both Taurus and Scorpio like to hang on (they are fixed signs). We can get attached to material things and to what symbolizes security to us. We can also be slow to let things go when it is the proper time, prolonging the inevitable as long as possible. When we feel stuck it is often a signal that we are refusing to let go of something that needs to be composted (to become part of that rich soil) and that we are not truly opening ourselves to receive what life is already offering us. In lack of receptivity we can still desire and crave, but we feel we have to throw so much at ourselves and so hard to feel the smallest gratification.
- Receptivity is a mystery. Try simply tuning into what it feels like to be closed off, versus what it feels like to be receptive. Cultivating receptivity often confronts us with our fears and our trust issues, as well as our deeper desires. Receptivity isn’t faint, but powerful – and like dark fertile soil, receptivity can be a dark feminine mystery. By dark, I mean the sensation of night, the sensation of closed eyes, the sensation of feeling one’s way through the darkness, the womb.
October 9, 2020
Mars retrograde in 22 Aries square Pluto in 22 Capricorn: 6:10 AM PDT
(this and top image: Lilli Waters)
This is our second of three exact Mars-Pluto square, the next one coming when Mars is direct again. (The three Mars-Pluto exact hits are August 13, October 9, and December 23, 2020.)
I feel inspired by my friend Arakai’s Mars retrograde video. I think of her transmission of the egoic quality of Mars in Aries – I’m going to eat this now, I want to fuck this person now, I don’t know you but I like you and I’m going to talk to you now, I’m going to follow this impulse.
- Pluto is said to be the higher octave of Mars. Mars represents the impulse. Mars also has a severing, slicing, separating quality – decision has “incision” seeded in it. The personal will can bushwhack through the matrix of how reality would happen without our say. Depending, the personal will can be noble or it can be destructive. Knowing correct action involves some layer of egoic engagement, unless we seek to be martyrs and take ourselves entirely out of the equation. There is an inherent challenge in the Martian archetype of how to act, of how to align with the impulses.
- Pluto then, is a deeper layer of this – the soul and the soul’s impulses or even compulsions. Or, how the soul is compelled, impelled. In the sign of Capricorn, Pluto relates to the contradicting desires to keep it together (to not lose control, to be proper, to fit in society, to not break the personal and social status quo) as well as to dismantle (tear it down, break it down, lose control).
- Together, there is a massive tension here. We might find ourselves wanting something that goes against our personal grain, as though our soul seeks catharsis and wants to breakthrough limiting or outdated structures. We might find a connection between desire and depression – that confronting what we really want sparks a kind of sobriety, or that not being honest/willing about our desires is depressing us.
- As edgy as this transit is and can feel, it is also a good time to be compassionate with yourself and others.
October 10, 2020
Venus in 9 Virgo trine Uranus retrograde in 9 Taurus: 4:08 PM PDT
- Be mindful that when we start fixating on what isn’t good enough (about ourselves, about life, about others) we tap into a scarcity and deprivation frequency. This is a traumatic frequency. It may not contain capital T Traumas (or it may), but it contains lots of little moments throughout life of disappointment and not feeling chosen or loved.
- With practice and conscientiousness, we can train our minds to more readily route to focusing on abundance and feeling loved.
- A few weeks ago I channeled a guided meditation on this topic, and you can join me for a community meditation on this day, at 4 PM PST. Sign up here.
October 11, 2020
Sun in 18 Libra square Jupiter in 18 Capricorn: 6:34 AM PDT
Mars retrograde in Aries is close enough in orb to make it a t-square, also!
- It may be relevant at the moment to actively make peace with our past. Regrets and grudges may surface. With time and experience passing, new layers to process arise. My teacher Lucia Anais Satyagraha (listen to our podcast episode here) has expanded the Hoʻoponopono prayer for me (“I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”). It can expand into going into more detail – what are you sorry about, what do you want to be forgiven for, what are you thankful for, and why do you love the person. This can be done with the other person present and be reciprocal, or it can be done in meditation (such as if there is no contact or the other person has passed).
October 12, 2020
Jupiter in 18 Capricorn sextile Neptune retrograde in 18 Pisces: 12:07 AM PDT
- This transit further emphasizes the restorative and healing potentials of forgiveness and peacemaking this week (see above delineation for Sun in Libra square Jupiter in Capricorn).
- Some forms of guilt or sorrow, such as for having hurt another or not appreciated/honored another, can be spiritually opening when we allow ourselves to work through it rather than repressing it – such as through actively doing an apology/forgiveness prayer or practice, shedding the tears, feeling humbled, and feeling the grace of the emotional release. We also get to witness how time and perspective has granted us a deeper respect for life. It takes that respect for life or for love to see that something sacred had not been honored. And it humbles us to realize that we or others were doing the best we could, at the time, but now we know more.
Venus in 11 Virgo sextile Mercury in 11 Scorpio: 9:39 AM PDT
Recommended reading – Communication Miracles for Couples by Jonathan Robison – whether it supports your current partnership or gives you more ideas for how to communicate better with all your relations and with a future signifiant other. 🙂
- Imagine communicating exactly how you feel and what your needs and desires were in a way that created meaningful transformation in your life (as opposed to crisis or destruction, or some kind of blowout). Good communication is a craft, and we learn it when its modeled or when we research and practice it.
- Learning and practicing better communication skills before there is a crisis in our life that demands it is like practicing wellness instead of just waiting for a health crisis to pay attention to our health.
October 13, 2020
Sun in 21 Libra opposite Mars retrograde in 21 Aries: 4:26 PM PDT
- One of the possibilities of Mars retrograde is reviewing our relationship with the masculine, as well as healing our relationship with the masculine. Everything in reality is relationship – we have relationships with essences, like masculinity, and the ways masculine essence lives inside of us and how we relate to it in others and in the world.
- As the Sun in Libra – our sign of balance, reciprocity, grace, and harmony – opposes Mars retrograde in Aries, there is a possibility that we might be literally assessing how we relate to men and masculinity (Mars has a very basic association with men).
- If it is not so literally gendered, there can still be other polarities or opposites that we are confronting our relatedness with. This can be a unique opening for really seeing into the *relationship* that exists where there is conflict, perhaps even where there is a challenger or an enemy. Sometimes it is the relationship itself that needs healing and transformation, like if you were to picture a channel of water that connects two entities – are the waters clear, or muddied? Can the waters become clear, and what is your role to play in that reconciliation?
Mercury stations retrograde in 11 Scorpio: 6:05 PM PDT
(Image: Welder Wings)
Mercury will station direct again on November 3, in 25 degrees of Libra. Mercury will leave retrograde shadow (pass the degree Mercury originally stationed retrograde) on November 19.
- Some of my most Scorpionic friends (not necessarily Scorpio Suns, but people with strong Pluto, Scorpio and 8th house placements) are always down to probe deeper into themselves. They want to excavate their psyches. When something disturbs or triggers them, they want to know why. They’re fascinated by it, and they’ve found that by making a practice of this they tend to become more empowered in their life. This is a good look for Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. Tune into opportunities for depth insight that come from personal reflection, conversation, or media. For example, many books contain activities at the end of the chapter or a workbook designed to take the material deeper, and lay out a whole journey that you can take. Notice when some of the prompts spark resistance, like you don’t want to go there. Why not? My Scorpionic friends would get excited by that resistance and probe, and they come so brightly to mind. 🙂
Thank you for meditating on the planets with me this week! If you would like further guidance, I have been increasingly focused on longer-term 1:1 work with my students and clients, in the form of mentorship – helping people form a depth relationship to their natal chart and personal transits over time, to develop themselves, to heal, and to reach their goals, all through the soul-making lens of evolutionary astrology. If you’re interested in working together in that capacity, I am currently accepting new clients. Send me an email at email@example.com to start a conversation and set up a free consultation call.
Find me on Instagram @sabrinamonarch and Twitter @Sabrina_monarch, get on my mailing list to stay apprised of all upcoming offerings and events, and I’ll see you next week!