Category: Forecasts and Horoscopes Written by Pam Younghans
THE MARS RETROGRADE EFFECT: The planet Mars has been retrograde since October 30 and will continue to move backward through Gemini until January 12.
During these many weeks of Mars-in-reverse, astrological wisdom cautions us to stop and think before we act, and to spend more time in reflection than in initiation. We may encounter many speedbumps or detours, feel like we're spinning our wheels, or experience unexpected irritation and anger while Mars is retrograde. We may also have physical symptoms such as inflammation, scrapes, burns, or small accidents.
All these experiences are signals to slow down. Retrograde Mars is telling us that we need to stop and breathe, and to spend more time considering our next steps before we take them. If we learn to do this on a more consistent basis, our actions will be in better alignment with our intuitive knowing of best timing, rather than simply allowing our rational minds (Gemini) to run the show.
This week, Mars will be exactly opposite Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius, setting up an interesting tug-of-war.
It can be easy to go to extremes when Mars is involved in a hard aspect such as these oppositions. Actions can be impulsive, words are spoken without forethought, attention is scattered, and nerves are on edge. The stress of situations and a clash of ideologies may cause some to become even more polarized in their speech (Gemini) and in their opinions (Sagittarius). And, because Mars is retrograde, being overly assertive or overtly aggressive will prove unwise, either right away or once Mars is moving forward again.
Thankfully, responsible Saturn is standing by, hopefully helping stabilize the somewhat volatile energies. The Ringed Planet will be in harmonious aspect to Mars, Mercury, and Venus this week: trine Mars on Monday, sextile Mercury on Tuesday, and sextile Venus on Thursday.
NEPTUNE DIRECT: The planet Neptune has been retrograde since June 28 and will station direct this Saturday, December 3. Since Neptune is by nature introspective and intuitive, it can be hard to tell the difference between its forward motion and backward phases. Still, whenever a planet comes to its station, its influence is heightened for at least a week or two on either side of the date.
A strong Neptune effect can feel spiritually or creatively uplifting, but it is not conducive to a great deal of practical accomplishment. Instead, our attention is drawn inward, to explore the vastness of our inner landscape. At the same time, our view of the outside world may temporarily blur or we may feel that we're in a somewhat altered state of consciousness, as it is harder to focus on what we usually call "reality."
I find that there are often six key lessons involved with Neptune: First, we learn to accept what is occurring, and we let go of our attachment to a specific outcome. We develop a stronger faith, a knowing that there is a greater spiritual plan for our lives, even if we cannot define it in concrete terms. We grow in trust that there will ultimately be resolution, even if we are feeling confused or disillusioned. We learn to access intuitive insights that help us navigate the unknown landscape, and we open to receive guidance from our nonphysical Support Team.
Those who have planets or points in their birth charts between 20 and 25 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius will likely feel this Neptune effect most strongly. This is especially true for people who were born March 11-16, June 11-16, September 13-18, and December 12-17, due to Neptune being in aspect to their natal Sun right now.
DAILY ASPECTS: Here are this week's most important planetary aspects, with my brief interpretations of each.
Retrograde Mars trine Saturn: This aspect indicates the ability to know when to step on the gas pedal (Mars) and when to apply the brake (Saturn), both of which skills are necessary for safe driving. However, with Mars retrograde, we may not end up exactly where we had originally intended to go.
Venus quincunx Uranus: There is a heightened need for freedom in relationships, requiring an adjustment and a loosening of restrictions.
Mercury opposite retrograde Mars, Mercury sextile Saturn: Disagreements may be especially polarizing today and a war of words is possible. However, we also have the opportunity to use discipline and our "indoor voice" to help bring some order to the chaos.
Venus opposite retrograde Mars: Many relationship issues present themselves today, especially if there is an ongoing imbalance in who takes the lead and who is the follower.
Mercury square Neptune: Communications meander through foggy terrain today. While the intuition and imagination may be strong, it can be hard to clearly explain what we are thinking, and it may be easy to misinterpret another's signals.
Venus sextile Saturn: This aspect helps us see relationship and financial concerns more objectively.
Mercury trine Eris: There are no filters on the truth today. This aspect could also contribute to impulsive thoughts or actions.
Neptune stations direct: Neptune's mystical influence is strong this week and next.
Venus square Neptune: Although this aspect can manifest as artistic inspiration, we must also watch tendencies to overidealize a relationship, to buy something without knowing its true value, or to fall into the role of martyr or rescuer.
Sun trine Chiron: This aspect helps us set judgments aside, to seek a deeper understanding of the insecurities that lie beneath our behaviors or other's actions.
No major aspects are exact today.
IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: This could be called a "healing year" for you, Sagittarius. There are significant opportunities to take your search for meaning inward, to explore the wounds of the past and to find resolution and forgiveness. While you may at times feel quite vulnerable, the door is always open that will allow you to grow in confidence and courage; these qualities are enhanced as you learn to accept, understand, and love the parts of your psyche that may have been injured in childhood, and may still be feeling insecure or fearful. (Solar Return Sun trine Chiron)
In peace and with gratitude,
All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time. For Greenwich Mean Time, add 7 hours.
- MON: Retrograde Mars trine Saturn, Venus quincunx Uranus
- TUE: Mercury opposite retrograde Mars, Mercury sextile Saturn
- WED: Venus opposite retrograde Mars
- THU: Mercury square Neptune, Venus sextile Saturn
- FRI: Mercury trine Eris
- SAT: Neptune stations direct, Venus square Neptune, Sun trine Chiron
- SUN: No major aspects are exact today
Astrologer Pam Younghans writes the NorthPoint Astrology Journal based on planetary influences and insights received. Her hope is to bring astrology "down to earth" in a way that will help readers navigate current energies, while also utilizing these energies for spiritual and personal growth.
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