It is a well-known observation by astrologers that as eclipses approach the news in the world gets juicier. Along with a rise in heightened activity, there is the inevitable death of famous people. Not just ordinary famous people, but more often than not, famous luminaries that have been very prominent in their field. Eclipses honor those that have left indelible legacies, careers and footprints and have built celebrated reputations by having achieved the pinnacle of success. This makes the recent deaths of Queen Elizabeth II and Angela Lansbury more spiritually meaningful and connected to the zeitgeist. Another astrological phenomenon contributing to the magnitude of fame and power of these recent deaths is the upcoming Venus/Sun cazimi at 29° Libra on October 22. The Venus/Sun cazimi occurs at least twice a year, so that in itself is not unusual. This one is extremely significant because it is ending a hundred-year cycle. It’s noteworthy that this is the first to occur in Libra after having been in Scorpio since 1926. These cycles of Venus move backwards in the zodiac similarly to the lunar nodes. This is going to have major ramifications in the world and for individuals with placements at 29° Libra or any of the cardinal signs. More on that in another article.
This Libra conjunction that will now occur every eight years is only one of the arms of the famous star pentagram that Venus forms due to its retrograde motion. Venus retrogrades in 5 different signs that repeat every eight years until each of those individual cycles runs its course after approximately 100 years. The cazimi happens when Venus reaches her superior or inferior conjunction. This particular arm is now shifting from Scorpio to Libra. This is the initial ingress into Libra after being in Scorpio since 1926. It will remain in Libra for over 100 years till 2133 (with one last Scorpio cazimi in 2026). This signifies a major tectonic shift when one era dies and another begins. It is no accident that these two Venusian legends would die at this time. Queen Elizabeth was a Taurus and Angela was a Libra.
They represent an archetypal shift of endings and new beginnings. It’s evolutionary because, as stated above, these shifts occur approximately every 100 years. These are long spans of times and the turning point from one era to the next is happening now. What’s even more synchronistic is that Angela Lansbury was born in 1925 and Queen Elizabeth in 1926; both at the time of the Scorpio ingress and they have died within a month of the transition into Libra.
Angela Lansbury died on October 11 just 5 days shy of her 97th birthday. What a career, what a life, what a legacy! She was a Queen in the field of entertainment. She died only a month after Queen Elizabeth II of England. They were both royal, one by birth, the other by accomplishment and they both proved themselves up to the task of fulfilling their destiny. It’s a fair comparison because each sat on the throne of power for a very, very long time. Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years and Angela Lansbury had an active career for 80 years. They both died at the ripe old age of 96 and were human institutions. They had a comfortable, grandmotherly nature, obviously from their aged appearance but on a deeper, more substantial level was due to the fact that they have been around ever since most of us were born. As far as the general public is concerned, they were always in the public eye. They were stable, secure and you could count on them. They were the crème de la crème, the tops of the tops and were literally Mother figures to several generations.
ANGELA LANSBURY TRANSITS TO NATAL CHART: Birth Info: October 16, 1925, 12:45 am, London
Ms. Lansbury died on October 11 just as we entered eclipse season. You would expect one of the following eclipses to hit her chart dynamically. In this case it is the Lunar Eclipse of November 8th at 16° Taurus. It is in her 10th whole sign house making an opposition to Saturn at 14° Scorpio. Saturn is the planet that rules the end of time, the end of life, reaching your limit. Here in the 4th whole sign house it is the “womb to the tomb” and the sign of Scorpio is a literal death or shall we say transition. The Taurus 10th house placement is the celebration of her legacy, accomplishments, achievements and destiny.
The transiting south node is at 14°31’ Scorpio in partile conjunction to Saturn. The south node is letting go, releasing and again brings up further Scorpio/4th house symbolism. Transiting Saturn has been crossing back and forth over the ascendant/descendant axis all year, a major point of action in the chart. The 7th house is known as a public one and it is the house that sinks below the horizon in the diurnal motion and thus has a symbolic meaning of descending into the depths of the dark night. Transiting Saturn has also been squaring natal Saturn the past year which must have been hard on her health, or at the very least slowing her down.
The upcoming Venus/Sun cazimi at 29° Libra conjuncts Mercury. In mythology Mercury is summoned to shepherd all souls on their final journey home. It is flanked by transiting Mercury just entering Libra, conjunct her Moon and sitting on the world axis, a point of connecting to the world stage in a noteworthy way. Transiting Jupiter tightly opposes the Moon calling her body on a long journey. The 9th/3rd house axis emphasis long journeys of some kind. Death is the ultimate long journey of leaving the body. Dying within days of her birthday ensures that her presence in the news will be guaranteed for a bit longer than usual as we honor her death quickly followed by celebrating her birthday.
Transiting Neptune is sitting on her 8th house Uranus. This is a generational transit and I suppose reading it in the context of her 8th house would represent death, and the removal of her presence from the collective. Transiting Pluto has been squaring her Sun (vitality) for a couple of years and is currently tightly squaring Mercury.
Her progressed Sun has recently (August 2022) ingressed into Aquarius. Progressions of the Sun into a new sign are always important. This is doubly so because the Sun rules the first house of the physical body, appearance and image. This progression signifies a major evolution of her life force. You could say it is an electrical shock to her spirit as it moves into a brand-new whole sign house (the 7th) and connects with the natal South Node in a partile conjunction. In Hellenistic astrology the 7th house concerns relationships as well as death (because it’s the last house before sinking below the horizon). The south node is a release, a letting go and clearing out in a way similar to the transiting nodes conjunct Saturn.
The Progressed Moon at 1° Taurus has just entered the 10th whole sign house of public attention, status, reputation and recognition. It’s interesting to note the transiting Moon also in Taurus on the day of her death.
Progressed Mercury conjuncts Jupiter and opposes natal Pluto. She’s born on a Pluto retrograde station, so this progression is emphasizing an already emphasized planet. This combination being triggered indicates a long journey of a spiritual nature involving death. Mercury here acts as Hermes the Psychopomp, guiding souls to their final resting place.
On closer examination, using the birth time as given, the Solar Eclipse at 2° Scorpio is conjunct her progressed Ascendant at 3° Scorpio. If we rectify the chart to 12:40 am then the progressed Ascendant is 2°49’ Scorpio, more exact. An eclipse to the progressed ascendant in Scorpio is a readiness, or preparation in some way for death or transformation to the physical body. The progressed Moon is opposite this degree at 1.21 Taurus. The rectified chart also gives us a progressed MC at 14°15’ Leo in partile square to Saturn, another strong indication of adjusting the birth time. In summation, when rectifying the chart just five minutes earlier the progressed Ascendant lines up quite closely to squaring Saturn while the progressed MC lines up exactly with the Solar Eclipse of 10/25/22 the one in which she is exiting physical form.
NATAL CHART ANALYSIS: October 16, 1925, 12:45 am, London, England. Whole Sign Houses.
Ms. Lansbury was the supreme example of what is called in the entertainment industry the triple threat. She could act, sing and dance. Her career spanned eight professionally active decades and at the time of her death, she was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was the recipient of numerous accolades, including six Tony Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, a Laurence Olivier Award, and an honorary Academy Award. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards, eighteen Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award.
She has a Libra stellium involving the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mar in the third whole sign house. This is the house of communication, local travel, education and siblings. In Hellenistic astrology it is also the house of Goddess and Queen because the Moon has her joy in this house. She is born with a third house Moon, so she benefits greatly by having Luna dignified by house placement. She has two brothers with whom she is very close. One became the producer of her hit series MURDER, SHE WROTE while the other became a successful stage and film producer as well. When they moved to the USA, and she quickly became a successful actress in Hollywood she supported her mother and brothers. Those third house placements make her an excellent communicator and endlessly curious about life. With dispositor Venus in Sagittarius in the 5th she brings those talents to the house of creative self-expression, acting, fun, pleasure and theater. Venus has her joy in the 5th house so she, like the Moon, is dignified by house. The Sagittarius part of the equation finds acting success in a foreign country. Another indication of foreign connections is a Libra stellium in the third (local travel) shooting out energy into the Aries 9th house of foreign countries and travel.
A Leo ascendant is perfect for an actor because they enjoy being in the limelight. It emphasizes the third house Sun making it even stronger because Leo is the ascendant ruler. She really wants to shine her star power through the Libra third house placements carried into the 5th via Venus. Though the Sun is in fall, it is somewhat mitigated by having its dispositor Venus powerfully placed in the 5th. Neptune is tightly conjunct a Leo Ascendant. This bestows the ability to adapt her personality and appearance like a chameleon. She has a natural ability to play many varied and different characters. Having Neptune rising is great for helping to get lost into other worlds, particularly the imagination. She is quoted as saying, “I became a self-professed complete movie maniac, visiting the cinema regularly and imagining myself as certain characters.” Neptune has a close affiliation with movies and glamour. It also makes her blind to certain things. For instance, she married first husband Richard Cromwell in 1945. He was 16 years her senior. She didn’t realize at the time that he was gay. They divorced in 1946.
She’s also born on a New Moon which gives the native the ability to make new starts and beginnings. It supplies a very action-oriented flavor to the Libran ability to partner, appreciate beauty and communicate with others. I have always found new moon babies to be dynamic and full of lots of energy and curious to get things started. It adds an extra dose of cardinality to an already cardinal stellium. Katharine Hepburn is another example of an actor born on a new moon.
Mars in the third co-present with the other planets suggests an ability to be an iron fist in the velvet glove when she must fight or assert herself especially when communicating with others. She’s not retiring or shy. I imagine she’s an excellent debater. Mars is in debility so she may have a hard time asserting herself without a long hard deliberation in her own mind about what she wants to say and how to say it fairly. She can lose spur of the moment action because of too much deliberation when Mars would prefer to just jump right in. Mars is the focal planet of a cardinal t-square involving Pluto and Jupiter. Mars/Pluto combinations can be ruthless but Jupiter would soften it to be more about asserting her will through awareness of the other.
A Scorpio Saturn in the 4th house has her experience the early death of her father in 1934 when she was 9. Shortly after the grandfather died, the blitz came to London and Angela’s mother move herself and her children to the United States. The Saturn forces an early sense of responsibility and maturity having to deal with challenging fourth house matters such as deaths of paternal figures, loss of money and moving away from one’s homeland to a foreign country. She became the breadwinner of her family at a very young age.
A Taurus MC puts ruler Venus in the house of its joy. The career is focused on acting, creativity, the arts, pleasure, joy, fun and being childlike. There is a reason it’s called the house of good fortune and it’s where Venus rejoices. It’s very important to note that Venus is the benefic of sect so she is strengthened and has even further power. Mars is the malefic of sect so it helps mitigate some of his more negative Libra traits.
She is born on the retrograde station of Pluto so this planet in her 12th house has greater influence than one might think at first glance. Being born on a station gives that planet extra emphasis and power and with Pluto that can be nuclear. She connects on a very deep level to the collective unconscious. Though she has all the charm and sweetness indicative of the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars in Libra, underneath she is a woman of great regenerative power and passion. She rebirthed her career three times in film, stage and television and achieved amazing influence, stature and money in all. The saving grace in keeping that Pluto tipped on the right side of power is the tight opposition of Jupiter which provides luck, grace, awareness, understanding, meaning, and support especially through her 6th house work. Jupiter brings out Pluto’s more positive attributes of passion, influence, persuasion, trust, regenerative abilities and the light-oriented aspects of power to do great good for the collective rather than great harm.
FURTHER BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
She moved to the United States from England in 1940 with her mother, Irish actress Moyna Macgill, and two brothers to study acting in New York. She proceeded to Hollywood and was quickly signed to a contract at MGM where George Cukor shrewdly cast the 17-year-old as the scene stealing, conniving cockney maid in GASLIGHT starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. She was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar. She followed this up the next year with another nomination for her heartbreaking performance in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. With two nominations in quick succession for two completely diverse characters she was proving her talent. What followed for the next 7 years at MGM were a series of supporting roles in varying degrees of quality. She did get to use her musical talents in films like THE HARVEY GIRLS (although her singing was dubbed) where she tortured poor Judy Garland and TIL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY where she sang in her own voice. She played Elizabeth Taylor’s older sister in NATIONAL VELVET. She had glamorous roles in THE THREE MUSKETEERS and Cecil B. DeMille’s epic SAMSON AND DELILAH but by the early 1950s Hollywood lost interest because they couldn’t figure out what to do with her. She was always playing older than her age, sometimes by more than 20 years. From the very beginning there was always a maturity about her, and while beautiful, was not the classic glamour queen. She was primarily a character actress.
In the 1950s she continued working in film, if unremarkably, did some television and stage work. She also became a mother having married Peter Shaw in 1947, a marriage that lasted 54 years. Her film career picked up in the early 1960s with wonderful performances in films of quality such as ALL FALL DOWN, THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. In the latter she memorably portrayed one of the most malevolent mothers ever to appear on screen. She received her third Oscar nomination. Good supporting roles continued in films throughout the 1960s.
Then something quite miraculous happened. Through a series of synchronistic and well-timed circumstances she somehow, amidst lots of competition, was cast in the musical MAME with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and based upon Patrick Dennis book Auntie Mame. It already had two previous incarnations as a very successful straight play and film. It was a smash hit on Broadway, and she was the toast of the town for two years receiving her first Tony Award. This role transformed her into a glamorous and vibrant musical comedy star which is something she had always dreamed of becoming. This newfound success gave her a second career as a great star actress of Broadway with successes in the coming decades such as DEAR WORLD. GYPSY, SWEENEY TODD and many others. She also had great success as a Disney musical star in BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
The third major career transformation occurred when she signed for the television series MURDER SHE WROTE in 1983 and the rest is history. It ran for 12 years and garnered a slew of Emmy nominations. It is perhaps the one thing for which she is most famous, having been responsible in making her even more popular and successful than ever. Greater power came her way, and its huge success exposed her to a new generation, enhanced her reputation with the older generation, and gave her wider audience recognition, something that the stage and film could never do in such a massive way. It also earned her a fortune and she used this success to catapult herself into many other projects until the day she died. She is that rare performer that never stopped growing and became more popular and active as she aged. Thank you for being a Queen and a Goddess!
Summer 2022 brings an important astrological transit of the North Node of the Moon joining forces with Uranus in Taurus. There are two ways to calculate the lunar nodes and thus we have either the Mean Node or the True Node. They aren’t that far apart and the usage is personal for each astrologer depending which works best by trigger in terms of timing. This summer the exact conjunction of the Mean node will be on July 26 at 18° 34’ Taurus and for the True Node on August 1 at 18° 40’; not that far apart in reality to make any noticeable difference. We should be very aware of the meaning of this transit as it is heightened for a four week period from July 15 through August 15 with the peak dates being those mentioned above. Adding to the energy of this moment in time is the transit of Mars triggering this degree as well as other key degrees of the zodiac.
WHAT TO BE AWARE OF
The north node of the Moon has to do with meeting up with destiny. It points us in a direction to open doors and let in new ideas, thoughts, people, places and situations that bring us to place of greater understanding of our purpose in this life. Aiming ourselves in the direction of the North Node is not always easy because it doesn’t feel comfortable or habitual, like the south node. We have to stretch into it and move into territory that makes us feel uneasy until we learn the map of the new road and path. It’s sort of like Dorothy leaving Kansas and suddenly finding herself away from the safety of home only to explore new worlds and adventures on her journey to the Emerald City and the Land of Oz. The journey is unknown, full of fear, excitement and unexpected, scary events but along the way she is always guided, forms friendships and has encounters with people, places and things that keep her on a path towards growth and knowledge.
The sign of Taurus has to do with values, substance, money, security, pleasures, talent and stability; all forms of material and financial security through the accumulation of wealth, possessions, and stuff that tangibly define us and helps find enjoyment in all things of the Earth. Taurus digs roots deeply in fertile ground. Those roots must be fertilized to sustain growth and consistently replenish resources. The soil must routinely be nurtured otherwise continued rape and abuse of the earth dries it up like a barren, dry and useless landscape. This would be true of the body and all the senses in which Taurus revels. Our body needs to continually be fed, clothed and exercised for optimum use. Uranus says there are amazing new ways to sustain life.
Uranus is the planet of sudden and unexpected change. It asks us to move in a 180° direction from where we’ve been going. When this chaotic and revolutionary planet touches the north node in Taurus it insists that we must break out of a rut or routine and think outside the box. It is time to unleash a new way of expressing ourselves in the material world. It is no longer viable to stay stuck in the same old routines and patterns. It’s time to let go of the old and introduce the new. Wherever you’ve been stagnating and stale will demand explosive change. This is a time when new friends, groups, associations and affiliations will be made in order to take us in a new direction and add greater value to life. Material things that no longer support a certain way of living will be taken away and replaced by the new, innovative and progressive. The future holds exciting, unusual and unique ways to use and develop old, reliable resources. When the North Node in Taurus touches Uranus it electrifies Mother Earth and sends a bolt of lightning acting as a rippling effect towards technologically advancing everything in speedy fashion. This is the cattle prod needed to get out of lazily grazing in the pasture and start stampeding through the streets. Think the running of the bulls in Pamplona or a bull in a china shop. There could be much breakage and damage if this new electrical current isn’t appropriately channeled. Technology can help introduce new ways to use old resources. This energy can aid Mother Nature and our environments to unleash even greater power of productivity and help vast swaths of humanity. It can also create freakish, Frankenstein monster types of energy and instigate grotesque behaviors if not harnessed properly.
The myth of Gaia and Uranus gives great insight into this summer’s astrological transit. Uranus, the sky God, mated with Gaia, Mother Earth, and produced the first race of Titans, of whom Saturn was the youngest. Unfortunately, Uranus viewed his progeny with horror because of their imperfections. They were ugly and made of flesh, so he banished them to the depths of the underworld where they could not offend his sight. Gaia naturally became enraged and planned revenge. She recruited the services of her youngest, Cronus (Saturn), and gave him a sharp scythe. While Uranus lay asleep, Cronus castrated his father and cast the bleeding genital into the sea. The genitals floated to the surface producing a white foam out which rose Aphrodite (Venus). Thus, we get the phrase, “Out of chaos comes creativity.”
We have seen this myth playing out in many ways in the past few years on the Saturn square Uranus transit and this summer the story ratchets up another notch. We are all being asked to unleash and break free from bondage our hidden creativity, talent, and resources. It’s time to unshackle those special things about us that we’ve banished in the dark recesses of our body, mind, soul and spirit. Set the minotaur free so that the heretofore unwanted being and child can be loved, valued and appreciated instead of festering and boiling in a dark place where it causes great inner damage and harm as a result of many long years of unacknowledged, unloved and unwanted. The dark side of Taurus and her seven deadly sins must be squarely dealt with and honored.
Watch who and what begins to appear and disappear in your life. This summer will introduce more fated types of contacts and connections.
Look towards the house placement in the natal chart for where this is happening as well as any planets you may have around 15° to 25° Taurus. Those with planets closest to the exact conjunction at 18°-19° will feel it most intensely and erratically. This energy has the feeling of a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs, thrills and excitement as well as unpredictable and unstable emotions. It’s time to divorce and separate from the old and worn out. Try to instigate the new direction from within to help guide it along, otherwise this type of energy can wreak havoc like an earthquake that comes out of nowhere.
The themes of revolutionary movements and political polarization will continue to be on the upsweep with this energy. It can exacerbate already existing crazy types of behaviors and political extremes that have been circulating in our zeitgeist for years. Uranus is always involved with ideological shifts in thinking that effect nations and governments. Paranoia and conspiracy theories will only become more popular ways of explaining the unexplainable.
Because Taurus rules all our natural resources let’s see how the winds of change will affect gas, oil, housing, farming, weather and the environment. How will the country and the world revolutionize the traditional uses of the planet’s natural resources for greater sustainability of humanity and the Earth?
Where can you give up control and where do you need to have more control? This is an important question to ask. What is of true value? It’s important to continue to ask those questions and do something about it. Excise any cancerous growth and replace it with something new. It’s time for radical change, divorce and separation. Some change will be out of our control, such as the cycles of death, while other change can be more consciously guided and bring creative awareness and enlightenment. It’s time to detach from that which holds you back.
The action planet Mars, as usual, will play a very important part in triggering events this summer. While Mars stampedes through Taurus he will trigger recent eclipse degree points on July 20, August 12-13 as well as joining forces with the Uranus/North Node conjunction on August 1 and 2. Watch world events at this time as well as what is evolving in your own personal story. Take note of the Uranus retrograde station on August 23-25.
Of course, the USA is currently experiencing its Pluto return and that continues to unleash the dirt and bile deep in the recesses of the collective unconsciousness of the country and its peoples. What is the karma we are currently reaping from the policies, structures and institutions as laid down by our forefathers hundreds of years ago? The Pluto return unclogs the drain and the toilet from all the sludge, filth and bile. We are cleaning our pipes and internal plumbing.
Hang on and enjoy the roller coaster ride!
Lucille Ball is one of the most famous Americans of the 20th century. There was a time in the 1950s when she was the most recognizable face in the world. Her television show, I Love Lucy, was pioneering and revolutionary in inventing and developing many industry standards that we now take for granted. She and her husband, Desi Arnaz, broke new ground by filming the show using three 35 mm film cameras (still used today), which enabled the show to be recorded in much higher quality (thus inventing the rerun) instead of the inferior process of kinescope in standard use at the time. It was the first ensemble sitcom; it was the first mixed race sitcom; it had the first TV pregnancy; and it was filmed in front of a live studio audience to get more authentic reactions, rather than canned recorded laughter.
Lucy and Desi were the first husband and wife team to form their own television production company (Desilu Productions) and later bought RKO studios, thus establishing them as a major and powerful film studio to rival MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Columbia. Desilu would go on to produce such hits and groundbreaking shows as Twilight Zone, Mission Impossible, The Untouchables, Make Room for Daddy, The Andy Griffith Show and countless others that used their production company for filming. After their marriage dissolved, Lucy bought out Desi Arnaz of his shares and became the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio. She proved herself to be a very adept business woman. She was groundbreaking, pioneering, as well as being one of the most brilliant comediennes of our time. She is without argument the first lady of comedy and paved the way for everyone to come after.
Lucille Ball was born on August 6, 1911 at 5:00 p.m., Jamestown, New York. (From Birth Registry, Kathleen Brady, AA, Lois Rodden AstroData Bank.)
A rounded off birth time is always a little suspect, but in going through some major life events, there is one in particular that really stands out to help pinpoint this time. Her second child Desi Arnaz Jr. was born on January 19, 1953. On exactly the same day Ball gave birth to Desi Jr., the fictional Lucy Ricardo gave birth to “Little Ricky.” As a testament to how interested the American public was in Lucy's TV baby, Arnaz appeared on the cover of the very first issue of TV Guide with the headline “Lucy's $50,000,000 baby.” The episode “Lucy Goes to the Hospital” was watched by more people than any other television program up to that time, with 71.7% of all American television sets tuned in, topping the 67.7 rating for the inauguration coverage of President Dwight D. Eisenhower the following morning. The revelatory transit to Lucy’s chart on this day has Saturn at 27.03° Libra conjunct her MC at 27.01° Libra. I’d say that is a pretty amazing timing for an exalted public event that has a major influence on her career, status and public image. In the natal chart, Saturn sits in the 5th house of children (hence her difficulty in conceiving and having children later in life, she was 42 at the time), so the transit brings 5th house imagery to the 10th. Also, the transiting South Node on the day of the birth is at 13.05° Leo, and Lucy’s Sun is 13.17°.
A brief analysis of Lucy’s chart reveals interesting insights. Yes, she was a Leo (the clown) but the Sun is in the 8th house, generally a weak and hidden position, behind the scenes and slow to activate. Lucy didn’t become famous as a comedienne and the world’s funniest clown until she was 40 years old. That’s rather late, especially for a woman in Hollywood.
The Sun is in a powerful t-square with Mars/Saturn and Jupiter. Mars/Saturn/Jupiter are in very favorable houses, so they push that 8th house into the spotlight after much hardship, effort, mistakes and diligent effort. It took a long, long time for Lucy the Clown to come out of the hidden and inactive energy of the 8th house, and it was only after years of being pushed by Mars/Saturn, along with some grace from Jupiter, that she uncovered the hidden and buried treasure of an 8th house, dignified Sun. It helped that Saturn rules the 1st house and the Moon, so it was Lucy herself (along with her mother) that did all the pushing and supporting.
The Sun represents the most important men in our life, beginning with our father. The Sun in the 8th house afflicted by the malefics Mars and Saturn is indicative of several things: Lucy's father died of typhoid fever at age 27, when Ball was only three. Her mother remarried and she was separated from them for a two-year period. She had an intense sense of abandonment. Her grandfather then became the most important figure in her life afterwards, and she adored him to the point of registering as a communist in 1935 just to please him. That would come back to haunt her, almost destroying her career in 1953.
At 15 there was an accidental shooting incident involving her grandfather and the death of an 8-year-old neighborhood boy. The boy was paralyzed and in a wheelchair the rest of his life, and died five years after the accident. Lucy’s family was ostracized, ruined financially and run out of town. It was a defining moment in her youth. In the first decade of her life, she lost her father, grandmother, was separated from her mother for two years, lived in eight different places and the family dealt with financial ruin and breakups. That was a lot of grief and hardship in a young girl’s life.
As a young woman Lucy was wild, bossy, attention seeking, liked men and had a penchant for hooking up with mobsters and nefarious 8th house types of men. Her husband, Desi Arnaz, although the love of her life, was an alcoholic and serial cheater. The squares from the malefics in the 5th and Jupiter in the 11th forced her to channel that Leo Sun’s craving for attention into her creative and artistic pursuits, and she eventually turned those hardships around into something productive, as the t-square involves the houses of good spirit and good fortune.
The Capricorn Moon rising was so important in her identifying with family, motherhood, as well as with challenge, extreme hard work and her need for structure, control and discipline in order to feel secure. She always was extremely obsessed with the pursuit of building familial and marital security. She went to great extremes to achieve both. She always said that being a mother and having family was the most important thing to her, and when she became a success, she turned her TV series into a family affair. She surrounded herself with her blood family and TV family every chance she could get. She was a self-admitted workaholic. Being a mother was as important to her as being a star. Her life was all about building structure through family and career.
She has two grand trines in Earth, which gave her that supreme gift for physical comedy, common sense and the ability to make lots of money. She was practical, serious, no nonsense and she NEVER considered herself to be naturally funny. If you watch her behavior outside the “Lucy” character, what you see is that Capricorn Moon ruled by Saturn. She was very earthy! Saturn became so vastly important to her overall personality because it rules the Ascendant and the Moon and sits in the 5th house conjunct Mars, while both square the Sun. She was deadly serious about her art and work. She was harsh, tough, ambitious, and I would say greatly motivated out of fear. Let’s not forget that Capricorn is the sign of time, and all comedians need a good sense of timing to be successful. There is so much more one can say about this chart, but I’ll stop there.
Speaking of timing, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are big news again as the highly anticipated movie Being the Ricardos, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, was released on December 10, 2021—a week before Venus turned retrograde in Capricorn and exactly conjunct transiting Pluto. Venus was firmly in her first shadow at that point, so the effects of the impending retrograde would have been stimulated. Why is Lucy making such a comeback right now? Venus retrograde in conjunction with transiting Pluto is happening in Lucille Ball’s first house. Her identity and image is being resurrected, analyzed, resuscitated and transformed as her story is being retold and reinterpreted. She is literally being brought back from the dead! Venus retrograde is always about harkening back to past relationship issues.
This is a revisiting and retelling of her marriage to Desi Arnaz and a behind the scenes look not of Lucy and Ricky, but Lucille and Desi. This movie deconstructs their marriage and gives us a psychological look on how they struggled to stay together and in the process built an empire. Lucy embodies the Venus retrograde in Capricorn archetype of a creative woman as an institution and part of our tradition, legacy and past. The Venus retrograde conjunct Pluto digs up the past and reinterprets, rebalances, recalibrates and restructures our image of this institution and woman, who has shaped the foundation of the television industry and eventually became the gold standard by which everything else is compared. This is the time to re-evaluate her achievements.
The show is not about destroying Lucy’s image but transforming it and allowing us to see something richer, deeper, more psychologically complex about a woman that we “think” we know. The public only knows the image of Lucy the Clown, and this show is about exposing Lucille Ball the woman. The Venus/Pluto is conjunct her natal Uranus, which enables us to reverse our perceptions, as well as opposing natal Neptune in the 7th, allowing us to see past, dissolve and transcend the outer image of who she was vis-a-vis the marriage. It’s interesting to note that both Uranus and Neptune square her MC and she came before the public eye via film (Neptune) and television (Uranus).
The Venus/Pluto transit also squares her MC, so it actively brings this revisionist story to the attention of the public. The approaching transit of Uranus to her natal Saturn/Mars conjunction in the 5th squaring her 8th house Sun is also responsible for the enlightenment and shocking revelations of the woman on a deeper level and the creative power that she unleashed. Finally, transiting Saturn in Aquarius fills out the empty leg of her natal t-square, forming a grand square for the next year. She’s unmasked to show us the woman behind the image. This is not about destroying our love of Lucy, but allowing us to see her humanity—warts and flaws included.
I can’t wait to see what kind of job Nicole Kidman does. A quick synastry glance shows they share the exact same nodal axis with the South Node at 4° Taurus and the North Node at 4° Scorpio, Nicole’s Sun tightly conjuncts Lucy’s Pluto, Nicole’s Ascendant conjuncts Lucy’s Jupiter and Nicole’s Venus/MC/Jupiter conjuncts Lucy’s Sun. That’s all significant, but I’ll leave it up to interpretation for another article!
2020 was shaped by the evolutionary forces of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. 2021 will be dominated by Saturn in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus which perfects three times: February 17, June 14 and December 24. Saturn is in charge of the material world and preserving our earthly existence. He’s a task master, making us conscious and accountable for the productive use of time. He pressures us, sometimes through fear and guilt, to build careers and reputations and, perhaps, leave a legacy behind showing an impact of our existence on planet Earth. The outer planets don’t really care about mundane earthly existence. They deal with psychological and transpersonal themes beyond our immediate personal awareness and therefore have a tendency to throw things off balance and spinning out of control. It is Saturn’s job and responsibility to ground and make sense of the simultaneously creative and destructive forces of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in forms that we can practically utilize. Saturn must filter alien energy in a way that makes the unknown less fearful and more constructive. The outer planets can be experienced as a destructive transpersonal power or can transmute, transform and transcend by being woven into our earthly fabric in ways that enlighten and contain energy rather than short circuit it.
2020 was the year of a pandemic that was a catalyst for revealing cracks in our society, system and century old structures and institutions. Pluto’s terrain encompasses death, disease, destruction and evolutionary power. Pluto may violently erupt and break through Saturn’s protective walls and boundaries and in the process cause much terror, but it is Saturn’s job to responsibly limit destructive power. Saturn must fix what is broken by doing the necessary work to rebuild and reestablish the balance of law and order. Lest we forget, Lord Saturn is exalted in Libra.
The Saturn/Uranus square of 2021 is about reining in chaotic craziness so society can incorporate the new, innovative, progressive and technological into some sane form of earthly manageability. The square signifies that the new, progressive and innovative will meet up with blocks, frustrations, limitations and restrictions in how it is assimilated. We all know this will have a great deal to do with speed and effectiveness in rolling out the Covid vaccine, as well as its efficacy, and whether or not half the population refuses it. The configuration will also continue the political polarization in our country and throughout the world. All you need to do is watch the news to see these planetary configurations playing out in real time.
I’d like to talk more about the psychological effect on us personally, and how we can use this aspect to prepare for inevitable change and make way for a “new order,” so that the energy has some place to be received within our body, mind, heart and spirit.
The mythology of Saturn and Uranus is fairly violent, and the imagery gives us some glaring lessons and insights on how to deal with this challenging square. Uranus mated with Gaia (Earth) and produced the first race of Titans, of whom Saturn was the youngest. Unfortunately, Uranus viewed his progeny with horror because of their imperfections. They were ugly and made of flesh, so he banished them to the depths of the underworld where they could not offend his sight. Gaia naturally became enraged and planned revenge. She recruited the services of her youngest, Cronus (Saturn), and gave him a sharp scythe. While Uranus laid asleep, Cronus castrated his father and cast the bleeding genitals into the sea. The genitals floated to the surface producing a white foam out of which rose Aphrodite (Venus). Thus we get the phrase, “Out of chaos comes creativity.” It’s also a symbol of the procreative powers of the sky god Uranus.
Saturn square Uranus says we have to prepare for the future now, in the present, so that we have a vessel to hold and contain the new procreative power that is coming out of the ensuing chaos. Revolutions are bloody. Uranus in Taurus suggests that Gaia is unleashing something from her bowels, and that can be pretty terrifying unless Saturn takes control and channels that unleashed wildness with a new infrastructure.
Uranus is the first planet beyond Saturn, so it harkens and says there’s a light in outer space that provides further enlightenment and knowledge. He wants to break through the ceiling and walls of Saturn, and if he has to crash into that ceiling, he will, in order to capture attention. Saturn’s initial negative response to foreign forces is to block, but once the fear is faced a more positive and constructive Saturn realizes that he must assimilate. Saturn in Aquarius says, “I’m willing to allow that enlightenment, but you have to let it in according to the dictates of time. I will not permit you to crash into the psyche of mankind and short circuit my children.” There are flashes of brilliance coming through the dark from beyond, and you have to make sure your wiring and hard drive is up to date and ready to receive the voltage, otherwise you can check out.
Saturn in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus can easily be fearful of the eruptive changes to material security forced upon us by technology, ideological shifts, climate change, and political upheavals, as well as the general disruptive nature to our material security. Yet, don’t forget that Saturn has dignity in Aquarius, so he’s at home doing the necessary work to incorporate the change through filtering all the new stuff through a new set of rules and regulations. If you do the Saturn homework, then the fear of the unknown subsides as you start saying to yourself, “Ah, I can work with the new; I can learn to integrate more diversity; and I don’t have to allow fear to banish me into a smaller and more narrowed group of like-minded people that only support a special interest community.” That way of thinking is like the stereotypical rich, white wasp that moves into a restricted community that doesn’t allow Blacks, Jews, different religions, ethnicities or anyone who doesn’t earn a certain amount of money to move in.
As we get older, Saturn has a way of making us pay attention to our knees, bones, teeth and skin as they start to break down and cause more problems. On a daily basis we are constantly reminded by Saturn to pay attention to these parts of the body. Saturn in Aquarius says it’s time to pay attention to what we are doing in the present moment, for it will determine our future. When a wise person pays attention to a problematic knee, they will work with it, go to the doctor, do more exercise, listen to the pain and put in the effort to buttress and support it in some way. That’s what we have to do psychologically in the Aquarius part of our chart. If you ignore the pain and sweep it under the carpet or hide it away, it festers and only gets worse, and then like all Gaia’s banished children, the ignored comes forth in more grotesque terms. Yet, by working with it and doing what you can to meet the challenge, you may not alleviate all the pain but you are able to discover ways to work with it.
Saturn rules the end of time. We can gain a lot of knowledge and understanding from watching our elders and how they prepare for death and leaving the physical realm. The physical body breaks down for all. It is a common theme we all share, but how we prepare for that on a mental, spiritual and soul level can make a monumental shift when dealing with pain and suffering. You see the difference in those that enter their golden years with a continued, albeit more restrained life force vs. those whose light is visibly extinguished and darkness takes over. The Saturn/Uranus square begs the questions, “How will you deal with life now and prepare for the future?” Those that prepare for death both physically and psychologically are better equipped to deal with the unknown. Getting our personal infrastructure ready will prepare us for the future, just like the government has to work on the infrastructure of society towards putting money into public services. We have to take care of our own internal wiring to be prepared for the evolutions and revolutions within society.
The generation born with Uranus in the first decanate of Aquarius (January 1996 through December 1998) will have to mature, step up to the plate and start taking responsibility for their vision of the future. This generation will be responsible for breaking past the old, ossified and outworn, and begin making their voices and actions heard to restructure laws, rules and regulations into something that holds more hope for the future. Saturn/Pluto said the old guard is dead, and Saturn/Uranus pushes past the old forms into a new paradigm based on the past.
Look at the positions of transiting Saturn and Uranus in the natal chart to see the areas of life where the two energies play out the back and forth game of building and rebuilding, structure and re-structure, old vs. new, young vs. old and any other combination you can think of. I subscribe to the ancient rulership scheme; therefore Saturn rules both Capricorn and Aquarius, so check out the houses ruled by both signs for further insight. Pay attention the entire year when this fixed square is triggered by lunations in the fixed signs, as well as Mercury, Venus and Mars transiting the fixed signs and the stations direct and retrograde of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Saturn has dignity and power for the next two years while being in Aquarius and in a superior square overcoming Uranus. In traditional astrology, this is a dignified position for Saturn, so while there will be struggle, there is also great hope for the Uranian energy to enter our consciousness. Finally, because Uranus is in a sign ruled by Venus, pay careful attention to shifts in the structure of your value system, including money, career, earning potential and relationships when Venus enters her shadow and turns retrograde in the sign of Capricorn beginning on November 17, 2021 and lasting through March 2, 2022.
The Dance of Venus & Mars Retrograde 2020
Prelude: 2020 Saturn/Pluto Conjunction
Nothing in astrology exists in a vacuum and the transits of the “little guys”--Mars, Venus, and Mercury--almost always trigger events based upon grander themes laid down by the “bigger guys” Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Astrology involves a complicated process of synthesis, which explains why every Mars, Venus, or Mercury retrograde--because they work alongside other transits and progressions that together formulate a complete picture--are not created equal.
Therefore, we cannot talk about the current transit and upcoming retrograde of Mars in Aries--from June 27, 2020 through January 6, 2021--without framing it in the larger context of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction ushered in at 22.46° Capricorn January 12, 2020. This relatively rare conjunction happens approximately every 33-38 years and lasts slightly over two years, though its effects progress slowly over the long-term. This makes it important to view the entirety of 2020 through this conjunction’s lens and to understand that its energy looms behind faster moving transits.
When Saturn, the lord of karma and planet of structure, limitation, achievement, and maintenance of traditions, joins Pluto, the lord of the underworld, planet of power, hidden motivations, secrets, and deep psychological complexes, it functions as a kind of “global Saturn Return.” This conjunction’s particularly karmic nature represents an evolutionary death/birth cycle during which the world has to purge old, archaic, ossified beliefs and ideas to clear a path for the new. The testing of the status quo faces the firing line now, alerting us it’s time to both fortify our lives as well as tear down and rebuild them where necessary.
Proof that this 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction sets the stage for a new world order is evidenced by its presence during previous major world wars. For example, the Cancer Saturn/Pluto conjunction of 1914/15 coincided with the outbreak of World War I when humanity witnessed the emergence of global warfare, and after which the world was never the same. The Leo conjunction of 1947 occurred just after the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. This resulted in the end of World War II, the reconstruction of a desecrated Europe, the beginning of the global nuclear arms race--and the start of the Cold War era--and the emergence of a modern new world order as we know it today.
Likewise, the Libra conjunction of 1982 ushered in a short but severe U.S. recession that birthed the era of “Reaganomics” and a trickle-down economy which has steered the economic course of much of the western world until now. This time period also saw the beginning of the AIDS pandemic.
And that leads us to the present and current life-altering events in the zeitgeist: the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, police reform and calls for greater social justice for all, and an upcoming U.S. presidential election. All these events will undoubtedly change our consciousness and usher in yet another new world order going forward.
Act One: Venus Retrograde 2020
Venus partnered with Mars in mythology not by marriage but through a love affair, and often (but not always), these two planets retrograde within months of each other. When they do (as in 2020), their alignment to each other cannot be ignored, and we interpret their retrogrades as part of their overall dance of partnership.
When Venus retrogrades, according to ancient traditions, she becomes the morning star, and because she’s closer to Earth then and moving in a direction antithetical to her nature, she’s more war-like, aggressive, and apt to show her brutish or more Martian face. Instead of using diplomacy, she takes a warrior stance--especially when fighting injustice—making her seem more like Mars, who likes to do battle on the front lines.
This year’s Venus retrograde in Gemini between May 12 and June 24 highlighted two major themes: social distancing and social values. The former included a reevaluation and redefinition of how we communicate with others, including incorporating innovative uses of technology to satisfy social distancing restrictions yet still help stimulate the U.S. economy. The latter illustrates Venus as warrior goddess: It was in the twin cities (Gemini) of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, that the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police sparked the resurrection of the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements.
Additionally, Venus retrograde ignited another conversation and forged debate around how the rule of law is continually applied in grossly unequal ways that have resulted in bringing the age-old split in race relations to a boil. Concerned with principles of equality, peace, and harmony, but angry that they’ve been ignored, Venus changes her form, alters her tactics, and adopts a more martial stance, transforming the goddess of love into the goddess of war in her quest for fairness.
Having lost her balance and equilibrium, Venus’s normal tools of diplomacy and peaceful debate become ineffective. Therefore, she becomes the iron fist in the velvet glove--though I’d go one step further by saying the velvet glove comes off too!--and adapts the more brutal and angry approach of her partner Mars.
I mentioned that Venus and Mars connect in mythology as lovers, but not marriage partners and, as I edit this article at 10:30 am on July 2, the TV news plays in the background announcing that Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in Bradford, New Hampshire. Accused of being the chief enabler and sex trafficking procurer of young minor women for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually exploit, Maxwell’s charged also as a co-conspirator for participating in sexual acts along with Epstein and these minors.
This occurs as Venus--direct only since June 24--entered her second shadow period, and shortly after Mars entered Aries June 27. Almost a year to the date from when Epstein was arrested, Mars’s 0-Aries ingress triggers by square the recent June 21 solar eclipse at 0° Cancer--a degree made even more potent because it sits on the world axis, known as a point of notoriety and fame.
Epstein and Maxwell were lovers who had the same type of volatile and passionate relationship as did the mythological Venus and Mars. In mythology Venus was married to Vulcan but couldn’t resist the macho, virile, potent charms of Mars whom she lured into her marriage bed as often as possible when her husband was away. Vulcan, who eventually gets wind of their affair, fashions a net and throws it over them to entrap the lovers during one of their assignations. He’s invited all the other gods to bear witness to this and they roar with laughter at the humiliated lovers caught in a trap of their own making.
This imagery and the unraveling of recent events coincide with the transits of Mars/Venus, the eclipse triggers, and Saturn’s retrograde back into Capricorn July 1, the latter of which represents one last swipe to clean up and complete Saturn’s journey through Capricorn over the past two-and-a-half years. The last pass through a sign shows us the lessons learned and completes the cycle. The July 2 announcement of Maxwell’s arrest coincided perfectly with Saturn’s retrograde station back into Capricorn and, occurring at 29°57’ Capricorn, represents the symbolic humiliation of these former lovers’ sexual misdeeds.
Act Two: Mars In Aries
Mars entered Aries June 27 where he remains for six months due to his upcoming retrograde from September 9 through November 14. Since he doesn't leave Aries until January 6, 2021, Mars energy dominates the rest of 2020 by taking us through an internal purging and transformation that can lead to some sort of new beginning. This is true on both a national collective and personal level, so best to prepare to redirect, reorient, and question our power drives and motivations during this period.
Mars, for his part, is a yang planet representing action and how we get what we want, whose mission is to carry out the will of the Sun. This “get up and go” energy in our lives—our survival instinct, without which we’d be dead—represents such Martian themes as anger, sex, violence, bravery, courage, assertion, aggression, war, the military and police, valor, honesty, potency, power, sports, fighting, and competition.
Blatantly male, macho, and phallic, Mars energy manifests firmly in the fight or flight root chakra, depicted by the color red, like the planet itself. Loud, rude, rough, brash, and visceral, he’s the bully who’ll often use brute force to get what he wants. Living without Mars, however, would be incredibly boring--as well as dangerous--because we wouldn’t know how to protect ourselves in a life-threatening situation.
Mars allows us to feel the thrill, adrenaline rush, excitement, and danger of being alive—he’s the part of us that asks: What would life be without taking risks? Healthy expressions of Mars, especially when young, come through participation in sports as either player or spectator, and through sex—which can be one of the most beautiful energies life has to offer—as its stimulation leads not only to pleasure but creation and procreation. Mars provides the confidence to fight for what we want and to act with bold pride, yet there’s always the threat that ego-driven, competitive battles may spill over into the arena of violence or murder.
In planetary order from the Sun outward, Mars links the Earth to Jupiter. If we take our grounded earthly pursuits and push forward to something bigger--outside the scope of Sun/Moon/Mercury and Venus--we’re rewarded for our bravery by broadening our existence to other worlds through Jupiterian themes of adventure, growth, optimism, learning, and travel beyond the merely earthbound environment. Achievement of such Mars to Jupiter growth requires risk-taking of the kind famously given voice to in the original Star Trek television series through its quest “to boldly go where no man has gone before..."
Mars in Aries, the sign of its dignity, possesses greater freedom of action and so may more easily fuel any fire, meaning we should pay close attention to this particular transit. Since Mars entered Aries June 27, combined with a confluence of energies--including aforementioned eclipse triggers, Venus and Neptune retrograde stations, and Saturn’s ingress back into Capricorn—several heated events have transpired:
Federal forces, armed with tear gas and some kind of gun-fired projectiles (though not called bullets) have gone into Portland, Oregon, with the intent of protecting federal buildings from destruction by protestors. However, such forces were not invited in by state authorities, nor were they welcomed, especially since their tactics have injured innocent people and violate the Constitutional right to gather and peacefully protest. The U.S. Administration threatens at this writing to send such militia troops into other U.S. cities which neither want them nor condone their actions in Portland.
Historic centuries-old national status symbols of repressive regimes are being torn down and/or removed. Particularly true for confederate statues, the confederate flag, and state flags. Mississippi was one of the first to take down its flag and to implement legislation to remove other confederate emblems. The argument, spurred on by the Black Lives Matter movement, is that such statues and flags may be memorialized in museums rather than glorified in public as society attempts not to forget history but to reframe it, and represents part of the current larger cultural war.
The massive uptick in Covid-19 cases throughout the country, especially in areas that opened too quickly during Venus retrograde in social Gemini, turned face masks into a polarizing political issue. Both Mars and Aries represent the head and face, and the politicizing of this issue caused lots of yelling and raised the question: what symbolic image do you want to project in public?
Senate Republicans vowed to get to the bottom of bombshell reports that Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants for the targeted killings of U.S. troops overseas and suggested possible retaliation against Moscow. Anger exists around the fact that U.S. President Trump has, since learning this fact from intelligence agencies, spoken to Russia’s Vladimir Putin seven times, reportedly none of them about this issue.
Act Three: Mars Retrograde 2020
During the next six months many of these extremely important ongoing events—including the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming 2020 presidential election, the Black Lives Matter movement, police reform, and the use of federal military force against individual states’ citizens--will continue to unravel.
Meanwhile, this Mars retrograde pattern becomes a very powerful one because it will square the pandemic 22.46 Capricorn degree of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction of January 12, 2020 three times--August 12, October 8, and December 20--designating them potential “trigger” dates. The days surrounding these exact dates represent hot spots when Mars can exacerbate challenges surrounding the pandemic and other issues that demand we redirect the battle in order to conquer the hidden enemy.
During the upcoming Mars retrograde period from September 9 through November 14 normally outgoing Mars energy turns inward, urging us to reorient in a new direction. Instead of boldly going where no man has gone before in the external world, it’s time to get in touch with our internal warrior and confront our inner rather than outer selves--not something Mars normally feels comfortable doing!
In general, retrogrades provide the opportunity to bring to light certain unsolved challenges with a particular planet’s energies based upon old habit patterns. During Mars’ retrograde any misuse of power--and old ways of assertion, competition, and aggression--will be called out on the carpet now and may not work the way to which we’ve been accustomed. This, in turn, calls for the reevaluation of our motivations: a) to determine if we’re on the correct path; and b) to adjust our actions and aggressive instincts to ensure better accomplishment of our goals.
Not usually a very introspective energy, Mars asks us to burn the fire within and purify our Martial energy by taking stock of our actions every two years when retrograde. We test our motives for proper action by surging bravely--not forward--but inward during this six-week retrograde period so we may revitalize and reanimate our healthy energies with renewed vim and vigor on the direct station.
Would that this could be easy to accomplish! However, much of the time Mars retrograde manifests as anger turned inward. Mars can become the bully when retrograde, making us much harder on ourselves because it’s difficult to let off steam appropriately. Old resentments may resurface, making this an ideal time to develop new strategies and approaches for dealing with issues. Adjustments and changes become required learning now, so that at Mars’ direct motion we may emerge with more mature ways to handle and implement our martial energies.
Misdirected and misguided anger has an odd way of manifesting physically because we can push too hard and cause inflammation of unhealthy patterns that result in flare ups of old health issues. These may appear on the surface as boils, welts, sores, fevers, headaches, accidents, and a myriad number of other problems. Our level of individual consciousness and awareness dictates how well we incorporate this energy, making this Mars retrograde period an especially good time to take care not to impulsively expose ourselves to Covid-19. Rash decisions can have long-term implications and being mindful now by finding other, safer, ways to blow off steam can alleviate the pressure and still safeguard us physically.
Mars retrograde contains three distinct parts:
His first “shadow period”: This begins when Mars hits 15-degrees Aries on July 25–the degree to which he will return at his station direct on November 14. This shadow period lasts until Mars’ September 9 station retrograde and comprises the beginning of our awareness of problematic issues and circumstances.
The retrograde proper: From September 9 through November 14 we’re asked to confront these issues on a deeper level and to find satisfying solutions. Our knowledge about what’s been brought to light during the first shadow period will deepen, and it’s now we’ll fight and take action to accomplish actual internal change.
Mar’s station direct/second “shadow period”: November 14 until January 2, 2021 represents Mars’ second “shadow period” because it’s then he once again reaches the 28-degree Aries mark at which his retrograde period began. This comprises a time to see if the action undertaken has worked or made a noticeable difference, and if not what further action needs to be taken.
In short, when retrograde, the potential for Martian themes outlined and discussed above come under scrutiny, review, and re-evaluation in order to be rebirthed and reactivated. The positive image of Mars retrograde centers on that of guardian and protector vs. warrior and aggressor. This period initiates an intense review of appropriate vs. inappropriate use of force and misuse of power. That means for us all, both individually and collectively.
This will prove a time when we see if the murderers of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor—and so many others--are brought to justice. Likewise, it will be a time when we see just how far efforts to mitigate the current pandemic work and/or how far Covid-19 will go in further ravaging our country, people, and economy. We’ll also discern if those who want to defund the police will prove successful and how far the Black Lives Matter movement can evolve. In addition, we’ll ascertain as well how any number of myriad dizzying changes since the start of 2020 may or may not progress in a positive direction, including whether a presidential election will decide if the future holds a reversal of power—or not.
We must remember, however, that there’s a revolutionary movement occurring now and that Mars stimulates the fight on both sides. Meanwhile, no one has unbridled energy and a flashing red stop sign eventually comes to everything. In war, each side believes it’s right--reflecting tremendous polarities in thinking--and everyone defines the battle on their own terms. Akin to a boxing match where each side fights back against the other, it’s the side that feels empowered to initiate new beginnings which will start making changes. Meanwhile, the side resisting change will feel a tremendous urge to defend the status quo. A retrograde makes the underdog fight back with full force. It’s like the hand that pops out of the ground at the end of the movie Carrie to indicate “I’m not going down without a fight!” and that there’s one last battle to come.
The Mars/Neptune conjunction of June 13 also plays a strong part in the 2020 story, especially since it squared Venus at her inferior conjunction in the midst of the June 5 lunar eclipse. Mars brings the flame of action to Neptune in collective-oriented Pisces, and ignites the fight for the underdog, the invisible, and disenfranchised.
This warrior battle cry from the soul of the collective unconscious encompasses the unmitigated pain and suffering of our black and brown brothers and sisters who’ve been historically and traditionally relegated to the fringes of society. This old pattern, woven into the collective psyche of this nation for eons, is playing out by rising into greater collective consciousness now.
The struggle to find common ground between the heart and the mind--inherent in the eclipse charts of June, the Mars/Neptune conjunction, and the Venus/Neptune square—has awakened a battle between beliefs, thoughts, words, and principles. Out of the struggle the voice of the invisible is finally being heard as new laws to defend and protect emerge. Peaceful protest, a definitive phrase for retrograde Venus, can accomplish this, despite some fringe element violence amidst this philosophical battle.
A fiery planet like Mars in a water sign like Pisces produces hot steam, conjuring up imagery around a pot of water boiling over. This fight has compassionate undertones to its surface anger. As Mars transits forward and backward through Aries over the next six months all this will be further examined. While there may be a reemergence of violence during Mars retrograde if peaceful tactics don’t work, remember these events are playing out against the bigger life-altering landscape of the Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter conjunction in Capricorn.
This Capricorn stellium is ultimately about tying up loose ends to the current status quo, patriarchy, and all those institutions, structures, traditions, and laws that have been corrupted and need to be purged, transformed, and rebuilt. Finally, let’s not forget that at the end of 2020 Mars hands the baton over to the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction at 0° Aquarius--always about the formation of a new economy.
This energy syncs with Pluto’s transit through Capricorn and the upcoming Pluto return in America’s chart. America’s at a crossroads as we face this pandemic and the social upheaval exposed once again through the racial inequality that’s been at the root of this country since its founding and the implantation of slavery. America’s Pluto return, which begins in early 2022 and lasts until the fall of 2023, means the next few years will be about staring the ugly part of our history squarely in the face and emotionally processing the collective mess, as it’s time for all the pestilence to be unleashed. Mars carries out the hard, dirty work that Pluto excavates and exposes, as he’s traditionally the soldier and the fighter who does Pluto’s bidding. The beginning of the Plutonian process is like an infection or abscess that has festered for a very long time, in this case for centuries, that finally intensifies and erupts in volcanic ways, and not just once but many times until a complete transformation has evolved. It spits out the putrid, rancid and rotten. Pluto is the vile, base, seedy, murderous type of behavior that gets swept under the carpet and is only dealt with in backrooms, bar rooms, dark rooms and board rooms. These are the secret nasty power dealings and negotiations that go on behind closed doors. Pluto is the mafia and all underground, covert types of behaviors. Pluto is the “original sin” if you want to put things in those terms, and America is being forced to confront that in all its ugliness. The Corona Virus Pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement is part of this. Both these monumental events are showing the gross inequality of society and the disproportionate and unequal way a valuable part of our society has been treated. Pluto is like a toilet bowl being clogged and shit just backs up and overflows. Our plumbing is the problem and we need to unclog the pipes from centuries’ old buildup of muck and mire. There are layers and layers of coagulated dirt and grime. Pluto is a watery and subterranean planet so feelings must be felt and processed. That is not an easy thing to do on a personal level so can you imagine the struggle this is on a collective one?
What about Mars’ effect on a personal level? As astrologers, we counsel our clients that relationships begun during Mars retrograde periods run into problems in the arena of sex, anger, and power struggles. Sex can prove particularly problematic because, more than likely, a hot sexual encounter or affair begun then will fizzle out when Mars stations direct. However, if the relationship does continue, it will be burdened by some kind of restriction or limitation.
You may remain friends and feel emotionally close yet physically distant. Whatever the manifestation, it won’t be an easy sexual relationship. Things usually work out better on the retrograde if someone you know re-enters your life to work out a past fight or disagreement. Just as Venus on her retrograde becomes more martial, Mars during his retrograde becomes more Venusian, and therefore may appropriate a more diplomatic approach to problem-solving. He may listen more attentively before he acts.
As mentioned, be careful about redirecting anger inward and causing health problems such as ulcers, high blood pressure or, even worse, unleashing unconscious anger that can explode in unexpected rage toward others. If we put effort into the harder work of becoming a spiritual warrior by fighting the internal battle with our own demons and purging them, rather than projecting them onto others, this will make for a much better world in the long run.
Joseph Addeo, a Level IV NCGR-PAA Certified Astrologer who serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter, can be reached via his website at www.josephaddeo.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/josephaddeoastrologer.
I'd like to talk about the lunar nodes. They are extremely important points in astrology that carry symbolism about past and future habit patterns. They have a great deal to do with destiny. They are points in the chart that are 180° apart from each other. The North Node of the Moon is the point at which the Moon crosses the ecliptic heading north, and the South Node the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic going south.
The South Node is where you meet up with a feeling of "never enough." It's a point, represented by sign and house placement, of great comfort and familiarity. If you like the word karma, then this is often said to be a point we've experienced fully from a past life, so the energy is something that you've lived before and has a feeling of déjà vu. It's where you may want to maintain the "status quo" and because of that feeling, there can be an obsessive, addictive and seductive feel to it. It's that hunger of desiring that which at one time in life may have been good for you, but because of misuse or over use, no longer is. One of my colleagues, Michael Lutin, always used the example that the South Node is like snorting cocaine. Once you start, you want more and more and more. No matter how much you snort, it's never satisfying enough. These are old habit patterns. The South Node may be an energy that is good to tap into when you're younger, but as you get older, you must start to use that energy to springboard into the North Node, which is much more about growth and life purpose.
The North Node is an energy that you must learn to incorporate into the present life, yet it is unfamiliar, and therefore is accompanied by a certain amount of doubt and fear because it has a feeling of being new and unchartered. It is one of the great indicators of our life purpose. It's the faculty in ourselves which we most need to develop if we are to grow. The North Node nourishes by providing us with new experiences, new people, new contacts and new ideas which satisfy and leave us feeling whole and complete. The North Node shifts us out of old habit patterns, experiences, relationships and situations that no longer serve our higher good. It allows access to a new perspective and opportunity to welcome previously unrecognized possibilities into the light of consciousness.
The South and North Nodes must work together. They are not isolated. The South Node doesn't disappear as we get older, but it should feed the North Node as we spring back and forth between the old and familiar towards the new and unchartered. The more we access the energy of the North Node, the more we grow, mature, achieve, accomplish and fulfill our destiny. Interpreting them in the natal chart is very important.
I want to talk about what the transiting nodes mean in a mundane way as they affect society and world events. The nodes are always moving retrograde due to the astronomy of the cosmos and the movement of the Moon, Earth and Sun. They remain in a zodiacal polarity for approximately 19 months and eclipses that occur every six months will always be in the signs represented by the nodes; therefore we have eclipses in the same signs, more or less, for approximately 19 months.
Since November 2018 through the beginning of May 2020, the nodes are retrograding through the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. The North Node in Cancer, the South Node in Capricorn. As a society we are meant to loosen the grips of the old negative patterns of Capricorn and redevelop the attributes of Cancer. This transit is winding down, and we are getting a huge dose on a global level as to its meaning and purpose. Covid-19 has brought the meaning of this nodal axis into sharp focus. What are we meant to give up and let go? That is represented by the South Node in Capricorn. We are being forced to let go and release the negative constructs that have been built up in Capricorn. The traditions that have held us together as a society via the business and corporate structures are melting away. Those old Capricorn habits of doing "business as usual" will no longer work. Letting go of the South Node structures of society as we know it instills lots of fear and panic because it is what we are used to, even if it no longer serves a healthy growth-oriented purpose. Capricorn represents the patriarchy and the walls are tumbling down. "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King's horses and all the King's Men couldn't put Humpty together again!"
As walls are being torn down we are being forced to access a new version of what Cancer represents. Cancer represents the Matriarchy, and that is being reborn to balance out the Patriarchy. Cancer is about home, family and that which nurtures us. We are all being forced to spend more time at home with our family, with our feelings and learn how to bond in new ways. The foundations of our home life and our countries must be rebuilt. We have to lay a new foundation to our home, as well as our country. Throughout the world each society has to find new ways to nourish and feed its people. This works on a collective level as well as a personal level. As we shelter in place all over the world, family bonds are being renewed and reformulated. These are Yin signs, and that energy has to do with security, introspection and safety. They are more conservative than the Yang signs, so we have to take new action (cardinal signs) to constrict and conserve our energy. In Cancer we have to look more deeply into our soul and get in touch with the inner feminine energy of Motherhood, the matriarchy and the feeling principle. This pandemic has forced a new understanding towards the basic, simpler foundations of life and how to redefine it. New foundations laid now will build new future structures. It's all about basic instincts in Cancer.
The nodal axis is now shifting into the Gemini/Sagittarius polarity beginning in May, and that transit will last through mid-January 2022. What we have to give up in Sagittarius is reliance on freedom and global movement through international travel. We have to let go of the privileged feeling of unfettered boundaries and moving about the world wherever and whenever we want. This is a mutable polarity, so the next 19 months are about learning. We have to release old worn out philosophies and teachings that have guided us in the past. The meaning of life is shifting and so is higher education. The old system of law will transform. The travel industry will mutate. The Gemini North Node is what needs to be redefined. Our local neighborhood will become more important. Supporting local business and local government is the way to go. We have to redevelop our neighborhoods and education system in Gemini. The basics of everything we learn in logical ways must realign left brain thinking. Facts will become more important and essential because Gemini deals with logic, facts and information.
We must get back to the ABC's of life and learning and come down from the high horse grandiosity of Sagittarius. Like Icarus we have flown too close to the Sun, and our hubris has led us down a path of competition with the Gods. That is no longer tolerable, and we have to get away from forming opinions without having the facts to back up those opinions. How the media reports and disseminates information will come under closer scrutiny. We have to stop the excesses of stretching the truth in Sagittarius and get back to sane, logical fact-based thinking in Gemini. Foreign and local governments must work in better harmony. Much of this will come about through new regulations of importing and exporting, as well as new international laws. We are a sisterhood and brotherhood, and it will be more important in the coming years to reach out our hands and form closer fraternal ties. Our communication systems are in a massive evolutionary phase. There is a never ending process of new learning on how to communicate via Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and our ever evolving smart phones.
Of course all this will be more specifically aligned in your natal chart, depending on what house the nodes transit. That adds a more detailed interpretation as to the area of life where you, as an individual, will experience this energy most acutely and personally. We are in an evolutionary period of world history, and the transiting nodes will help us navigate this path.
Though we are no longer incarnate in physical form after death, our charts continue to live and breathe. Famous people are wonderful examples of how a chart can still be used to predict events, especially with the way a person’s legacy remains alive in the public consciousness. There is further insight into the unfolding of their personality, growth, and psychology through the events that occur after death as represented by transits and progressions. That person often comes back into the consciousness of the public for a reassessment of their talents and contributions, as well as learning more about who they were and why they influenced the world in such a profound way.
As most of my friends and colleagues know, I have an obsession with Joan Crawford!! I love studying her chart. She is a larger than life star, actress and film legend of the 20th century and never did anything in a small way. While alive, she led an extraordinarily active and complex life, so it’s no wonder that in death she remains a fascinating and polarizing woman who continues to have an active and complex afterlife that is under constant scrutiny and reassessment.
On August 12, 2016, coinciding with transiting Saturn’s direct station in Sagittarius, there is a major revival of one of her greatest hits from 1952, “Sudden Fear,” for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. It is being re-released in a digitally remastered version and is playing for a week at Film Forum in New York City, a revival house known for premiering Hollywood classics of yesteryear, as well as current independent, foreign and art house releases. The film is having a sold out run as it is rediscovered by new and old fans and film aficionados. Modern critics have been praising the film, Crawford’s performance and her enduring legacy. She’s getting reviews now, well after her death that she often didn’t get while alive. There is a reevaluation of her talent, as well as resurgence of her popularity and reputation.
Joan Crawford’s birth information is somewhat in dispute, but I am using the chart that came with Solar Fire. This time was given to astrologer Nelle Sliter by Crawford herself. I have used this chart since 1999, and it works incredibly well. Though you will see more popular dates such as 1904 and 1906, it is the 1903 date that has worked so very well in all my research.
Birth Information: March 23, 1903, 10:00 p.m., San Antonio, Texas
Let’s interpret transits and progressions to the birth chart for August 12, 2016. I use this date because it is the re-release date of the film “Sudden Fear,” and numerous reviews of Crawford’s work in on-line publications such as Film Comment and Roger Ebert, as well as Karina Longworth’s sensational podcast “You Must Remember This,” which chronicles Crawford’s ground-breaking career. There has also been an announcement of the upcoming made for TV series by Ryan Murphy called “Feud,” which chronicles the tense rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” due for a 2017 telecast and starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon.
Since there currently is a resurgence to rehabilitate Crawford’s professional standing and career achievements, I thought that there must be something happening with the planet Saturn, which has to do with one’s legacy, reputation and status in the world. Saturn, at its best, is a builder, and there is a restructuring element going on to re-establish Crawford’s legacy and stature.
The re-release of this film along with the positive articles and reviews are occurring on the station direct of Saturn at 9.46° Sagittarius. This alone can account for the prolonged showing of the film for a week at Film Forum. To have a film from 1952 play for an entire week straight at any theater is quite an accomplishment, and the Saturn station symbolizes the long lasting nature of the run as opposed to a one-time showing that one can miss with the blink of an eye. She’s lasting and durable!
Keep in mind that we are entering an eclipse season and the important degrees are 9 and 24 of the mutable signs. The solar eclipse takes place on September 1 at 9.21 Virgo followed two weeks later by the lunar eclipse at 24.20 Pisces. When looking at transits and progressions to her natal chart, we will see these degrees highly emphasized.
Her progressed MC (reputation, status, standing, career, legacy and recognition) is 9.03 Sagittarius. Transiting Saturn is conjunct it, indicating her reputation is due to undergo a restructuring and rebuilding. It is ready for this overhaul now, at this moment in time. Transiting Saturn and the progressed MC are forming a tight sextile to natal Mars (the handle of a bucket chart and co-ruler of her natal Ascendant and Aries Sun). The solar eclipse degree occurs in her 10th house, doubly emphasizing career resurgence. Progressed Venus at 7.14 Virgo tightly opposes natal Jupiter at 7.32 Pisces and squares natal Juno at 7.30 Sagittarius. This T-square resolves in the 7th house of the opinion of others. There is a rebalancing and recalibration by critics and public as to the true self-worth and talent of the woman, which has been dimmed and somewhat undermined over the years (Taurus on the cusp of the 7th, Venus as ruler of the 7th and 12th, Jupiter as ruler of the 2nd and 5th). Juno forming the apex of this progressed T-square has something to do with gaining an understanding and reforming our negative opinion on just how much of a shrew she really was as new information of the facts comes to light through the written word (Gemini is the empty leg). Juno is also the first lady of the zodiac and here we have some important work to resuscitate her standing as one of the great first ladies of the cinema.
The lunar eclipse degree is also highly emphasized through the healing of Chiron and Jupiter. Progressed Jupiter is 23.14 Pisces, progressed Moon is 25 Pisces and transiting Chiron is at 24 Pisces. All this indicates the chart is ready for a healing via a more optimistic and empathetic view towards Crawford by the public and how she connects with the collective unconscious. The biggest indication of a reversal in our outlook and view of her talent, self-worth and historical significance is that her natal Uranus at 25.36 Sagittarius is being hit hard by the September 16 lunar eclipse. New information is coming to light and something is being awakened and reversed (Uranus) about the past and history of this woman (Uranus as ruler of the 4th). There is a more detached and objective perspective being revealed about a woman who is a very polarizing figure–I mean you either love her or hate her–there is very little middle ground when it comes to Joan Crawford. She’s a rebel, maverick, independent and revolutionary 20th century person.
Progressed Saturn has been retrograde for many years and will make an exact conjunction to its natal position of 6.47 Aquarius in 2020. It currently is approaching exact conjunction by 17 minutes. Here again we have the slow influence of Saturn reassessing her reputation, which will only increase over the coming years as more and more is written about her (natal Saturn resides and rules the 3rd).
Progressed Mercury tightly squares natal Mars, so the written word is being activated. A new direction is needed and the chart is ready to change direction on what is written about her persona and career.
Transiting Uranus is trine natal Uranus and that’s a rather upbeat energy regarding her career and talent (natal Uranus sits in the 2nd and transiting Uranus is in the 6th). It indicates an awakening to what her true talents and skills are as an actress and revising the past story (Uranus rules the 4th).
The frosting on the cake is the transiting Sun conjunct the MC on the day of the re-release of this film. It’s a day of victory, basking in the glow and light of being a star!
On top of everything, as this article goes to print, the week long run at Film Forum has been so successful they extended it another week. This is a good example of Saturn slowing things down in a beneficially enduring way.
Joseph Addeo is a Level IV NCGR-PAA Certified Astrologer and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter. He can be reached via his website at www.josephaddeo.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/josephaddeoastrologer
Do people ever ask you what’s your rising sign or ascendant? They’re the same thing; just two different ways of identifying it. The rising sign is an extremely important part of the astrological chart and says an immense amount about your personality. It is the persona or mask we adapt in our approach to life, new situations and people. It is how we interface with the world. Usually it is easier to identify a person’s rising sign because it is what we feel most comfortable showing people on first encounter. The Sun sign which really is our identity and who we are at a core level is something that is not always visible until you get to know a person better. The Sun sign comes out and shines once our ego feels a certain amount of confidence and security. The Ascendant or rising sign on the other hand is much more immediate and evident. Think of it as being much more social; the good, or bad face, you put on when you meet people. Here’s a wonderful example to explain the difference between your Sun and Ascendant. Imagine yourself home all alone in the house; you put on some great music and you begin to let loose dancing and singing at the top of your lungs, not caring what you sound like, dressed or undressed in whatever you feel most comfortable. It’s just like that scene in Risky Business with Tom Cruise – you remember the one – when with full abandon he’s dancing around the house without a care just expressing his identity in total and complete joy. That’s you and that is your Sun. Now suppose the doorbell rings and you have to answer it. All of a sudden you shift gears, turn the music down, fix your hair, get dressed or rearrange your clothes, look in the mirror to make certain you look presentable, preparing yourself to make your standard impression to face whoever is at the door. In other words you put on your mask, which may be friendly or not. That is your rising sign. Now when you open the door it could be someone you feel extremely comfortable with and so you may make another shift. The Sun and rising sign work very much together because they are both indicators of our identity. Some people view the rising sign as more superficial but I don’t think so. We are constantly adjusting and adapting to new situations every day as we try to get along with people. You show your rising sign to every stranger you meet. It’s only those people close to you that get to see your Sun sign. How many people have said “After we got married they became someone totally different.” Well, that’s what happens when the Sun sign begins to emerge and we let our mask (rising sign) down.
The only way to find out your rising sign is to know the exact time of your birth. It is worth getting a hold of your timed birth certificate so that the next time someone asks “What’s your rising sign?” you’ll know.
No matter what the sign or house placement of Mars in the birth chart it is a yang planet representing action, work, anger, sex, energy and how we get what we want. It is the get up and go in our lives and without it we’d be dead. Martian energy, normally outgoing, when retrograde is turned inward urging us to reorient in a new direction. Time to get in touch with our inner warrior. We must confront ourselves rather than others and that is not something Mars normally feels comfortable doing. Mars by nature is not very introspective. But every 2 years we must burn the fire within and purify our Martian energy and take stock of our actions. By surging inwards for the 6 week retrograde we can test our motives for proper action so that on the direct station we can reanimate ourselves with renewed vim and vigor. Our energy healthily revitalized. It would be great if we could all do that but so much of the time Mars retrograde becomes anger turned inwards against ourselves. Mars can be a bully and when retrograde we are much harder on ourselves because it is very difficult to let off steam appropriately. It’s very easy to push too hard and inflame unhealthy patterns causing flare ups to old health issues. Misdirected and misguided anger has an odd way of physically manifesting in the body as boils, welts, sores, fevers, accidents and a myriad of other problems. Individual consciousness and awareness dictates how well this energy can be incorporated. The purpose of Mars retrograde is to evaluate what motivates us and determine if we’re on the correct path. It’s time to adjust actions and aggressive instincts to ensure that we can accomplish our goals. Old resentments have a way of resurfacing and it is an ideal time to develop new strategies and approaches for dealing with issues that can be implemented when Mars goes direct.
When Mars turned retrograde on October 1, 2005 I decided to get back in touch with my acupuncturist to help with some health issues. Several things prompted this. I had stopped seeing him for almost a year because of a money shortage but as Mars was approaching its retrograde in Taurus I rethought my issues surrounding money and decided my health was much more important. After all, this doctor always helped me tremendously. I had been overworking myself, burning the candle at both ends, and felt a bad cold coming on. Lastly, some welts and boils had appeared on my butt! I didn’t like the appearance and I wanted to have this taken care of. Mars natally rules my 6th and 7th house and it was turning retrograde in my 7th. The interpretation is easy; going back to an old relationship involving a doctor in order to take care of my health. Aries on the cusp of the 6th house symbolizes healing the body through acupuncture. I reassessed my values as they pertained to my physical body. Was I going to let money block the more important value of my health? Mars retrograde got me in touch with truly what was of value to me on an inner level and helped me not worry so much about my material “stuff”.
As Astrologers we counsel our clients that relationships begun on Mars retrograde are fine so long as you don’t have sex. And if you do have sex there will be something about the relationship that won’t work out easily. More than likely a hot sexual encounter or affair begun on a Mars retrograde will fizzle out when it turns direct or if it does continue there will be some restriction or limitation placed on it. You may remain friends and feel emotionally close yet physically distant. Whatever the manifestation, it would not be a sexual relationship of ease. Things usually work out better on the retrograde if someone you know re-enters your life. So of course I had to test this theory out. I met two different men on the retrograde. The first I had been introduced to a year ago and at that time he barely gave me the time of day. All of a sudden on the Mars retrograde I met him at a local bar and he starts speaking to me as if he’s discovered a new friend. He didn’t even remember who I was from a year ago. My appearance had changed rather dramatically within the year and I wasn’t about to remind him of our previous meeting. Of course he would come back into my life on the retrograde as he is an archetype of a hot, sexy man. In the second instance, I met a guy for the first time and we had a very fateful first encounter and things have been progressing in a very interesting way. First time sexual encounters generally don’t bode as well on the retrograde as do encounters of people from the past. It will be interesting to note how these relationships adjust when Mars turns direct.
In a third, far more intimate relationship of mine, resentments and feelings from the past came rushing to the surface. I was forced to deal with my emotions on an inner level and instead of getting angry, had to evaluate how I was going to confront issues. So before talking to this person directly I spent a month confronting myself with what I wanted in this relationship and how I could achieve that. Mars became more reflective. I broached some issues but not all of them. I am waiting to confront other more complicated matters when Mars turns direct. But the retrograde has been invaluable in helping me re-assess my values, desires and how to achieve them.
Natal Mars Direct by Progression
Let’s talk about my favorite subject and a very Martian woman: Joan Crawford! If you read my article from a couple of months ago Crawford was born with Mars retrograde in Libra in the 11th house and the handle of a bucket chart. That’s a scary Mars. But we’re talking about Joan Crawford after all, a pretty scary woman. A very masculine woman, a very Mars in Libra Retrograde kind of woman because so much of her life was about desperately wanting to be “liked” and going to any measure humanly possible to be seen as someone worthy of being liked. She was consumed with putting on appearances of elegance, refinement, beauty, glamour and proper behavior. One could accuse her, and many have, of putting on “airs” (Libra is an air sign). By progression her Mars in Libra went direct in September 1949. With Mars ruling her ascendant, Sun, Venus and 6th house we can expect major changes in her life. Something hidden should be coming out. The Mars in Libra became more like Mars in Aries and she had a harder time keeping the lid on her mask and persona. Some said her “true” colors are finally surfacing. That hard edge that was always percolating and simmering underneath was finally unleashed and we saw the woman in a more direct way. The nastiness became more overt. Something very interesting happened to Joan Crawford’s screen persona at this time. Before 1950 her movie roles always had a hard edge but the characters, with a few exceptions, were always sympathetic, likable and, if morally a little vague, the screenwriters always led you to an understanding of her behavior. This all changed with two films released in 1950: “The Damned Don’t Cry” and “Harriet Craig”. Both films were in production at the end of 1949 and early 1950 exactly at the time her progressed natal Mars turned direct. These films heralded the Joan Crawford that everyone remembers to this day: cold, hard, mean, unsympathetic, heartless, masculine, cruel and camp. In “The Damned Don’t Cry” she plays a woman from the wrong side of the tracks that claws her way to the top of the success ladder. She has no morals whatsoever and is ruthless in her drive and ambition to get ahead at any cost. In “Harriet Craig” she plays a cold heartless woman who cares more about her house and possessions than her husband or anyone else in her life. Her bold, calculating lies inevitably are her downfall. The woman is as cold and icy as a freezer and seemingly has no heart. The rest of her film career until her death used variations on the theme of this type of woman. From 1925 until 1950 Crawford played driven and ambitious characters but always with a soft, sympathetic edge with occasional glimpses of the monster she would later become. From 1950 to 1975 she played driven, ruthless monsters; Amazon women, frightening in their intensity with only occasional glimpses of the softer, more sympathetic woman that she had been in the past. And physically she became so much more masculine in this period as well. She also became more outwardly combative with younger actresses. Her fights were legendary with Janice Rule, Gloria Grahame, Mercedes McCambridge and Marilyn Monroe. The lid was off her Mars and she didn’t care as much anymore about being “nice”. It was a major turning point in her life and career, accurately reflected by this profound chart progression.
Even more bizarre is what was happening in Christina Crawford’s chart at the same time. Let’s talk about karma shall we? Christina also has a bucket chart with Mars as the handle. Natally her 4th house Mars in Aquarius is stationary getting ready to turn retrograde by progression but this doesn’t happen until the spring of 1950 when she is 11 years old. Remember that Crawford’s progressed Mars changed direction in the fall of 1949. Within a matter of months they each had major life altering changes in the direction their lives would take. (Let’s throw in a little synastry while we’re at it: Christina’s Mars conjuncts Joan’s Moon/Saturn conjunction). Can anyone doubt the deep connection that these two women shared and had to play out? In February of 1950 Christina was enrolled in Chadwick, a private boarding school. Crawford wanted Christina out of the house because she was becoming too rebellious. Shortly thereafter Christina had a sexual awakening with a boy of 16. Needless to say Crawford became irate and the confrontations that would fuel the rest of their lives, culminating in the publication of “Mommie Dearest”, were initiated and intensified at that psychologically hot time. So while Crawford’s aggressiveness became more overt, Christina had to get more in touch with her inner warrior to fight the battles with the outer demon represented by her mother. The inner drive and reserve in Christina would be vast. One last ironic twist, Crawford’s natal Mars resides in the 11th house of adopted children and Christina’s resides in the 4th house of the mother. Enough said. I am intensely curious to see what happens in Christina’s life when Mars turns direct by progression in July of 2012. That will be a date to watch in this ongoing saga and you know I will be there to report on it for the Ingress!