Richard Giles, astrologer and feng shui consultant, concludes his discussion of the Mars retrograde phenomenon. This part of the article examines present and previous effects in the light of the Sabian Symbols, the current eclipse cycle and the tension associated with the accompanying aspects.
A Close Call From Planet Mars
July to October 2003 [part 2]
MARS & PISCES IN THE PAST
When was Mars last retrograde in Pisces? Searching through the last hundred years there were three occasions - it went retrograde in Pisces from August to October 1956, in July/August 1924 and again in Sept/October 1909. There was also another brief moment when Mars retrograded into Pisces in October 1988 at the 29th degree, but was there for less than a week. Those three periods may give us some clues as to what to expect from current events of our time.
1956 was a tumultuous year - Egypt seized the Suez Canal after war between Israel and Jordan and then an Israeli invasion of the Sinai Peninsula in October. Joint Anglo-French forces attacked Egypt and bombed Egyptian airfields forcing the country on the defensive. The Egyptians withdraw and the UN cleared the Suez Canal. Other world events at the time included the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the first attack on Cuba by a little known revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro. He landed a small rebel force with the intention of overthrowing the dictator, Batista. Three years later he was the Cuban President.
Interesting highlights include the music of the year. Elvis Presley's new career was rising with his three huge hits of '56 - Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and Don't Be Cruel. His brand of music exhibited his male sexuality (Mars) displaying it in a writhing and sensuous, hip-swinging show of Piscean attraction. By then Rock'n'roll was the dance craze of the year with the music sweeping America, Europe and Australia.
Top films of the period included The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman, War and Peace, The Ten Commandments, The King and I and Lust for Life. All have a Piscean theme in them somewhere with a searching for higher spiritual values, creative meaning, and with strong male (Mars) figures or the issues of war and the use of force.
In 1924 some very Piscean events signalled Mars in Pisces. Insecticides were used for the very first time in agriculture and the home. The first Winter Olympics was held in Chamnix in Austria. A government Rocket Office was formed in Russia to look at rocket propulsion; in the US, J.Edgar Hoover was appointed head of the Bureau of Investigation (later the FBI); and the USA suffers its greatest fire loss in the coal industry with 548 million dollars damage.
Two key events of 1909 include the establishment of the first Anglo-Persian Oil Company and the commercial launch of the very first plastic product - Bakelite. Both are about oil and oil derivatives (Pisces) and their use and exploitation through heat, moulding or drilling - all Martian endeavours.
A check of the Sabian Symbol for the point where Mars turns retrograde, 10 degrees Pisces, is helpful - "Men Travelling A Narrow Path Seeking Illumination" (see Lynda Hill's, The Sabian Symbols As An Oracle, White Horse Press, 2002). It has a meaning of people on a mission, seeking to find a deeper knowledge or truth. They undertake a journey of discovery regardless of the outcome in terms of society's expectations. It's the classic search for illumination with its high ideals and new understandings. The journey is a very personal one for each who takes part. There may even be a need to leave others behind when you undertake this path. The meaning here is clear - a journey of going towards the "Light", so the energies triggered by Mars retrograde are going to be demanding and testing for all of us. Do we want to find some deeper purpose for it all, or will we be seduced once again by the bright lights of materialism and the earthbound battles of small men and women? Mars challenges.
WHAT IS THE LIKELY SCENARIO?
What is the likely scene during July to October? It seems we can look forward to a period of intense Martian energy, with all aspects I have described here being likely. Wars and the energy of war will be in the air. Many people will feel that their ideologies and actions are important enough that they want to defend their lives, their families and territories. Those with axes to grind, and there are many these days, will set about using axes.
Looking for key dates when we can expect to see these Martian/Piscean energies at their peak, we can't miss out on the dramatic New Moon of 28th August with Moon in Virgo at 4 degrees. That day five planets will line-up in Virgo - Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. The whole five are opposite Mars/Uranus together in Pisces. This could be a week of sudden explosions of change with the beginning of a new monthly cycle in Virgo - sign of health, diet, food standards, chemistry, purity, work standards and medicine. Mercury, the ruler of Virgo, goes stationary the same day turning retrograde for the next three weeks creating confusion.
May Solar Eclipse
Another focus of interest is the Solar Eclipse of 31st May at 9 degrees Gemini. Mars stations at 10 degrees Pisces squaring that eclipse point three times - on 18th July, 9th August and 6th November. The eclipse brought unrest to Zimbabwe, Myanmar (Burma) and the latest G8 Summit in Europe with its attendant riots, exposure of shonky evidence regarding Iraq's WMDs, the US threatening North Korea again, the beginning of the Bali bombers' trial and the arrest of a man the FBI believes is behind the Olympics bombing in Atlanta in 1996. Watch those issues.
The Mars astrochart of 29th July has the retrograde happening just one hour after the July New Moon in Leo with Sun, Moon and Venus, all in opposition to Neptune in Aquarius promising confusion, deceit, fantasy or illumination plus issues with Leonine power and the need for kingly recognition. On the day, six planets are in Fire signs with Mars and Uranus in Water and just one in Earth and one Air sign. This is an explosive recipe when Fire meets Water creating plenty of scalding hot steam.
As Mars and Uranus conjoin together in late June (the 24th) and again in late September (25th), the potential for angry spill-outs and sudden, explosive social or political upheavals and dramatic terrorist events increases. Uranus rules computers and technology so there could be an attack on or serious breakdowns in computer systems at this time. These two Mars/Uranus periods will be likely times of increased anger, accidents, sudden breakdowns, resolution of tough issues and high stress levels. In the northern hemisphere, this will be the peak of summer, the fire season and the hurricane/typhoon season. I expect to see high tension around the world from June through to October as a result of this very unique Mars retrograde cycle.
People and Countries
What shows up on the retrograde point in national or personal charts? Australia and the USA both have a trigger with Mars squaring our Venus and opposing Mars in the Australian chart. In the USA chart, Mars squares Uranus in Gemini - both look as if the possibility of attack or conflict is there. In Israel and Palestine's chart Mercury in Gemini is squared, a sign of unrest and disturbances. Simon Crean, Australian opposition leader, has Mars in Pisces at the stationary point. He may yet save his leadership. John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister is unaffected directly by Mars as is Tony Blair from the UK. George W. Bush on the other hand has Mars at 9 degrees Virgo directly opposed by the stationary Mars in late July. Mr Bush may well be on yet another warpath at that time.
Do we want to continue with the age-old technique of solving the problems of delinquent, out-of-control male energies, i.e., war and violence, with the same old methods? Is it more war and violence, or are we prepared to find new ways of dealing with this 'male' fueled, testosterone charged and seriously flawed 'mediation' technique of whopping everybody whom we don't like and don't agree with? Is it time to look deeply at the war (Mars) imperative and find another less harmful way that brings win-win for everyone? Mars is coming up-close and personal whispering in our collective ears, asking us to drop the AK47s, the Cluster bombs, the WMDs and the bravado and suggesting we try another way. This four month period may help us all decide.
Return to part 1 of A Close Call from Planet Mars
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes