How to Work with Mars Retrograde

Ceremony and Ritual

A

bout every other year the fiery plant Mars goes retrograde – the elusive state where a planet appears to be going backward in its elliptical orbit, but it isn’t really. In classical astrology the traditional understanding is that when a planet goes into retrograde it actually descends into the Underworld, descending into shadow. When Mars descends into the Underworld we can know that some of this planet’s more aggressive tendencies can be exacerbated, but as always there are many positive effects of Mars’ entrance into shadow. It is during this time that we are able to align ourselves with the elements of Mars that have perhaps been missing or overlooked in our lives over the past year and change.

Do’s

– Exercise and overhaul your physical fitness routine
– Review conflicts, disagreements, and battles that you have engaged in since the last time Mars went rx and consider what they have taught you
– Explore your relationship to self-discipline
– Inform yourself about the current geopolitical situation
– Refine your diet
– Avoid passive-aggressive behavior
– Dedicate the merits of your actions
– Optimize any areas that seem to especially be calling for your attention
– Refresh your self-defense skills
– Take action to honor those who have served in the armed forces
– Stay hydrated
– Amp up your protective rites and magic

Dont’s

– Pour gasoline on fires by ramping up disagreements and conflicts
– Glorify war and violence
– Give into dictatorial behaviors no matter where they come from
– Ignore your physical health
– Engage in destructive behaviors
– Let a diplomatic outreach or negotiation go off the rails
– Give into division and acrimony
– Stew in rage or anger that has no proper channel
– Leave yourself vulnerable
– Burn the candle at both ends
– Resist getting plenty of rest

Mars is the planet most committed to discipline and perfection. This can work beautifully in our day to day lives because when we are alignment with Mars we see what needs to be fixed and we have the energy to optimize it. However, the shadow side of discipline and perfection is never being satisfied and always wanting more…this impatience for the very best can easily lead to conflict that at the end of the day, no one really wins.

If you are Mars-sensitive and concerned about the effects of the retrograde you may engage in the following acts of honoring and propitiating the God of War:

– Make and keep doctor appointments, prioritizing the health of the physical body
– Add the color red and the scent of cinnamon to your altar
– Donate to a local veterans association
– Exercise and dedicate the merits of your work to Mars
– Donate blood
– Donate to a peacekeeping organization
– Offer dishes of meat (especially lamb, pig, or bull), red wine, and wheat
– Place iron objects, ideally weaponry made of iron, on your altar
– Learn to work responsibly with a weapon of your choice
– Take on a physical challenge you can work your way up to

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Working with Saturn Retrograde

Foundations

E

ach year Saturn spends several months in retrograde – that strange state where the planet appears to be going backward in its elliptical orbit, but is not actually doing so. In classical astrology the traditional understanding is that when a planet goes into retrograde it actually descends into the Underworld, descending into shadow. Practically speaking, since Saturn retrogrades happen just over every 12 months, they provide us with one (or a handful) of handy astrological markers that we can work with to do a deep review and reassessment of our past year.
Mercury retrogrades also offer the opportunity to go into review and edit mode, but whereas a Mercury retrograde only lasts for a few weeks, Saturn retrogrades last for several months, giving us a longer span of time to work with and the opportunity to really commit to a thorough review.
As with all retrogrades, Saturn’s retrograde also gives us certain challenges and certain opportunities, here are some of the Do’s and Dont’s for this period.

 
 
Do’s
– Pay down/off debt
– Review previous lessons and learnings
– Recommit to anything or anyone that you are serious about
– Get in touch with teachers and guides from your past
– Refine the areas of diet, exercise, and sleep
– Re-organize your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the medicines that you need
– Re-set all clocks and watches
– Reflect on the big moments over the past year and their lessons
Dont’s
– Try rush things
– Make hazardous or ill-informed investment (I mean, you should never do this obviously but really don’t do it during a Saturn retrograde)
– Flake out on a previous commitment
– Make new commitments
– Be immoderate when it comes to food and diet
– Do minimal exercise
– Ignore or neglect sleep and dream cycles
– Act recklessly
– Buy a new watch or clock
– Perpetuate an old pattern that no longer serves
– Try to be younger than you are – have any plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancement procedures
– Ignore debt or allow debt to balloon out of control

On the deepest level when Saturn retrogrades it gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we have gained maturity and wisdom over the past year and what areas of our lives might still be in need of maturity and wisdom.

Generally speaking, if you are Saturn-sensitive and concerned about the effects of the retrograde you may engage in the following acts of honoring and propitiating the Lord of Time:

– Attend church, temple, mosque, or religious services and devotions
– Abstain or limit your intake of alcohol, sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine
– Exercise and dedicate the merits of your work to Saturn
– Donate to a local food bank
– Donate to a local animal refuge
– Donate services for people who are blind
– Offer dishes of almonds, milk, rice, and water to Saturn
– Maintain excellent physical posture
– Take cold showers

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury Retrograde in Cancer: What Nourishes?

Foundations

M

iracles, nourishes

While there is definitely a focus on personal relationships during Mercury retrograde in Cancer, that is not the only area of life touched by this astro-event. Cancer is the sign of home and family, even the sign of Moms and Mothering but it is also the sign the presides over the ways that we relate to food and nourish ourselves.

That means that this is a wonderful time to reassess our habits around food, cooking, and eating. Again, recent events already have had us preparing to do this. Long lines at grocery stores and the unavailability of certain items have meant that many people who before 2020 did not know how to boil water can now whip up a decent three course meal. Veggie gardens and backyard chickens are in many ways the new black for 2020 but this Mercury RX period intensifies our ability to really dig into the theme of nourishment.

We can do this by thinking about our kitchen (and actually organizing your kitchen and making a list of what tools you do and do not need) is a great way to begin the process. Consider putting a shrine up in the kitchen to your favorite Ancestor who loved to cook or to a Holy Helper like St. Pasqual – the patron Saint of cooking! Then, dig into what really leaves you feeling good and nourished as far as food goes. You can even experiment with making magical recipes!

Are there foods that you have been eating that do not leave you feeling your best? Identify them and take the needed steps to remove them from your diet. If you have not identified any foods that don’t agree with you, don’t be surprised if during this period you discover that there are some. Are there foods that you love that you consistently forget to include? Make room for those as well.

This can be a wonderful time to take a cooking class, buy a new recipe book, or dive into the food of a particular region that you have not yet experimented with. This can be an excellent time to plant a garden if you don’t have one or learn about various community CSA’s that allow you to support local farmers.

Though the focus is on food and wine allow yourself to expand your considerations to ALL of the things that leave you feeling nourished.  nourishes nourishes

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.