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.

Hearth and Home Vol. 6: Where We Shine

Foundations

M

iracles,

I am wishing you all a blessed and beautiful New Moon in Leo and Happy Eclipse! This New Moon marks the final leg of the Eclipse Magic rituals I have performed for a handful of gorgeous souls. I am always so honored when people ask me to create a ceremony on their behalf, especially when they themselves are seasoned sacred arts practitioners.

If you would like a New Moon blessing for Leo, you can snag one here; and if you want an eclipse blessing, I have one here. As I have written elsewhere, I see eclipses as the best time to break patterns. For me, that is also what get-aways and vacations are also really useful. For the last month and change, my family has been in our home away from home in Northern New Mexico. We have had the privilege of taking this time out (and getting away from the INSANE south-central Texas heat) for a couple of years now.

For the boys, this time away from and outside of our usual routine means that there is a lot of unscheduled outdoor playtime – something that I think is deeply endangered in the lives of far too many children. Heath had the one-month-old version of outside playtime – hanging on the porch in his bassinet and allowing all of our friends and family who visited to love on him! For my husband and myself, I see this time as a needed break from our routine – not because we want to “get away from it all” – when you love your work and love your people as we do there is nothing to get away from – but because it allows us to learn from the interruption to our usual flow. Here are some of the things I remembered this time around:

  • Traveling with a newborn baby is actually easier than you might think.
  • Carrying ritual goods on the road can be trickier than you might think.
  • Outdoor time is precious and one of the greatest privileges. The corresponding responsibility is to make sure that our children and their children and their children can also have an opportunity to be outside and active and to safeguard the various wild plant, animal, and mineral people who we commune with when we are outdoors.
  • When your best friend comes to visit you to see your new baby, even though she has been in the wilds of Canada for a month, you will be SO. HAPPY. to see her.
  • Meeting up with friends you have made online in real life is THE BEST. Especially when they are incredibly gifted and generous artists.
  • Discomfort can be a great teacher.
  • I love waking up to cool weather that requires a sweater.
  • Cooking for a big group of people is something that I actually really love to do – especially when I do it with my mom.
  • Seeing old friends, beloved teachers, and soul kin is deep medicine.
  • Patronizing independently and locally owned stores and boutiques is a good thing. This last was really driven home to me during this visit. I re-acquainted myself with a number of artisans and store owners in Northern N.M. who make beautiful things – many of which are magical. In the age of ordering everything online, I have re-committed to calling up my friends who own businesses, letting them know what I am looking for, and getting it from them.

That is a shortlist, there is so much more. Jasper, our seven-year-old, loves Northern New Mexico. He takes art galleries by storm and always engages with artists. People don’t believe he is seven. When they ask him if he is an artist, he tells them loudly and proudly that of course, he is, that his favorite medium is drawing and clay and that art is foundational to life. He is opinionated, and has priced his recent spate of drawings between 200k and 500k – so you know, no issues around art, pride, and money for this kiddo! Now he is getting ready for the beginning of school (well, we all are). I cannot believe my little boy is going to be a first grader!

Heath is growing incredibly fast as those of you who have little ones know they do. On August 13th he will be two months old and he is wearing clothes meant for a 3- 6-month-old – of course, he is. My boys are giants! He is smiling and giggling and trying his best to join the conversation (Gemini!!!). He is a snuggle bug, loves his big brother, and is so fun to watch because, as a little baby, you can see how clearly they are in between worlds and at the same time firmly planted in themselves.

While we have been tucked into the mountains, I also completed the first round of micro-edits on Making Magic. I think it is a good sign when you are down in the dirt and the details of your writing and you are still really excited about the work you have created. My beloved husband has been so essential in the writing of this book in every way, and when it comes to the fine editing process his high school English teacher mojo came to the rescue once again.

A few days ago we opened up registration for Spinning Gold. I am so excited about the course this year – we have created an amazing resource library for the students and I will be sharing goodies from the book with the Spinning Gold group that is exclusive to them. We already have had a bundle of beautiful people signed up for this year of gold spinning and I look forward to welcoming more!

I’ll leave you with this Ancient Greek quote that my husband shared with me in the wee hours of this morning:

“As long as you live, shine! Life is short. Be not overly distressed – time demands fulfillment.” – epitaph by Seiklos.

Shine on, sweet things.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.