Editor’s Note: Last week we sent a letter to everyone who had purchased the Planet Waves Spring Reading, asking them to share with us what they’d experienced, noticed and learned during the recent Mars Retrograde. We’ve received three responses so far, which are published below. You’re invited to add your own experiences below. — Amanda P.
AN ASS KICKING — Me vs. Mars (retro)
Funny that astrologers use the term ‘SHADOW FAZE’ to describe the lead up to the beginning and endings of a retrograde [Editor’s note: the second shadow phase happens after the retrograde proper is over]. ‘Cuz that’s exactly what I felt trapped in as I began to make my way through the month of March — a dark-alley, underbelly world of shadowy deceptive figures, con-men/women, liars, cheats and addicts… monsters, all of them.
SUCKER PUNCHED — square between the eyes. Mars declared war on me.
And the worst part about being in that dark alley was not realizing (at the time) that some of those shadows were my very own. I was at war with myself.
I had been living in the dark, lying to myself, allowing others to lie to me, pretending everything was fine, cheating myself out of the power that was rightfully mine, allowing others to own those rights — and ultimately, I was addicted to a self-defeating mentality and to the addictions that others in my life were addicted to.
It was a long and horrifying alley to have to traverse and there were no exit paths along the way. I took a beating. It wasn’t pretty or fun. And then the lights suddenly, without warning, switched on (April 17-18). And I had to see it all at once… in the light. I had to face it directly. I had to find my courage through the anger, the sadness and the disappointments in myself and in others. I had choices to make — a stream of severe and consequential choices/decisions that came at me relentlessly, like Muhammad Ali on steroids — moment after moment, day after day.
It was a death match to be sure.
And I lost… but in a good way. And, I had all of you, my friends at Planet Waves guiding me through these struggles — helping me to see that letting go of (dying to) what no longer serves me was/is the right thing to do.
So by the time Mars returned to ‘Shadow Faze’ once more, making its way towards direct motion, I knew what he had left me broken with was the start of my healing. What I was frightened of before, I knew I had the courage to face. What left me in the dark before, I had escaped, to the truth. What power I gave away, I have taken back — as my own (to use in good faith). What left me feeling unloved was the unloving of myself.
And so, through the reverse motion of what some refer to as the planet of war, I found a new meaning of LOVE.
— Linda M (sojourn)
It was hell. I don’t have the exact dates, but I was keeping an eye on the transits so I know that it was during Mars retrograde that my internal and external life got unbearably hot, starting with an epic case of poison ivy.
I’m a Scorpio native, with Mars and Neptune in the 4th house, Leo rising. I’m also an acupuncturist and artist who currently works a lot with mosaics.
During Mars retrograde, or maybe a bit before, I filled my house with pottery shards! I also became unbearably angry about having signed a terrible commercial lease. I signed it under duress during Mercury retrograde.
Last month I became unable to deal with the fact that, not only hadn’t I gotten a deal on the lease (and I’m a major deal hunter), I had been really ripped off. It was during the retrograde that I decided to try to do something about it; no luck so far. More importantly, I’m doing some hard thinking about anger and how it enslaves us all.
I’m not sure what to do next, internally or externally. Small claims court? Scale up? Just break the lease? Letting go of my resentment for having made a bad decision makes sense, but it’s a lot of money and the landlord is scum. I am open to any and all advice!
— Aria Littlhous
Recently it’s occurred to me how the penis and a gun have similar form. I’m a neuroscience junky and teach women how to integrate their brain and pelvic floor as a way to unleash their creative expression and sensual vitality, so I am all about structure and function and how form influences function.
So taking the idea that a penis is similar to a gun, “long shaft that shoots things,” it doesn’t take long to meander into the landscape that if men were taught that it’s acceptable and even healthy to masturbate, they may be less likely to reach for a gun or the false sense of self that a gun tends to inflate.
I know women purchase guns too but when was the last time a mass shooting was perpetrated by a woman shooter?
Often, I am asked why I teach women or, “why don’t you teach men too?” Well I do teach men but I primarily focus on women because they are still the parent that shares the most time with their children. Whether that’s during the nine months of the greatest and most potent influence or the time after when they are learning the “rules of the road” so to speak.
Moms still provide an enormous amount of conditioning to their children. So, I want to work with Moms, and GrandMoms, and Aunts and Sisters and best friends because women have more influence and power than they are conditioned to believe. They make most of the purchasing decisions for the family and as a result make most of the decisions around consumption: food, entertainment, clothing, shoes, etc.
And, because as Margaret Mead so elegantly said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” And when that group is women, women who with ease use the left and right hemispheres of their brain, women who have the power through alchemical transfiguration within their sacred center to create a baby, human and otherwise, I want to place my focus on the segment of the population that has the power, ability and the natural inclination to mid-wife life; and, because of the intensity of oxytocin, nurture it throughout its unfolding.
Margret finished that statement by saying, “Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
I think she was onto something.
And Eric, I feel you are onto something, along with the McLuhans, with your continued message about reclaiming our bodies. They are magnificent.
My take on Mars’ journey through Sagittarius and then Scorpio is this: the first run into Sagittarius was about building the shaft on the outside. The retrograde back through Sagittarius then built it from the inside. Then it shot Scorpio out of its design, however Scorpio shows up in your life.
To me it feels like things are just getting started and will get more interesting when Mars is traveling as Sagittarius “again,” through the shaft of its creation; the creator moving through its creation.
For some it will be about guns. For others it will be about the pleasure principle and how life is so much more enjoyable when we are using all of our senses without an intermediary.
And who knows, more of us may learn that the real goal of sexual pleasure is about finding God and, if you want, making a new container for God to embody; human and otherwise.
Many Blessings Team PlanetWaves on all your good work,
I’m Scorpio rising and venus is where mars has stationed; the rx has been about reclaiming my body and self after a bad bout of winter depression. With this came lots of ideas about planning the near-long term beyond the current job. Also it has been an opening of the self and incorporating of obvious social facts (neoliberalism) into my teaching. Overall its been a rediscovery of path & process.h
this one — I saw your longer comment under another post, and I have to say that I also renewed my motivation to a new workout during the first Mars echo and retro phases. And that really felt great. Now with the warmer weather, I’m less about that routine and more about getting outdoors — but it was reinvigorating. Also feeling the need for the “near-long term” planning thing.
Suddenly silent amidst the din,
Suddenly calm amidst the fray,
Suddenly peace within the war.
Feeling deeply beyond numbness:
At each such marriage of heaven and hell
lies a gateway.
At each such marriage
a new awareness.
I unexpectedly resolved the long lost grief, and love, of someone in my life that was murdered over 20 years ago. It was an embodied experience, the kind that began by noticing my big toe, then 30 minutes later my world was changed. I felt like I emotionally time traveled and returned with a missing crystal of my existence, or removed a tarp surrounding my heart that I never knew was there. At the peak, I checked the transits and Mars was conjunct my natal Venus exactly. I hadn’t noticed! ha. So I suppose the retrograde renewed my astrological wonder as well.
That was just the opening though. The real story is my process around grounding this new energy and attention in my mundane day-to-day. That is my current moment. That is the precipice of my experience. I’m stumbling through it, but I’m here and I’m moving.
Sally, what an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing it. This especially stood out for me:
” It was an embodied experience, the kind that began by noticing my big toe, then 30 minutes later my world was changed.”
Always so fascinating how those things can work… so glad you were open to it!
The first scenario deals with my litter of puppies. They were born 4-23-16. I can give you lots of background about them, but for this brief version, I can say that there were medical complications from the beginning. These complications ranged from concerning to life threatening. I could never feel easy about them, and was constantly worried I would lose them.
The problems included birth by c-section, had to supplement them with goat’s milk, as their mother had virtually no milk, a severe respiratory infection at 3 weeks that took a week to clear up, diarrhea that we couldn’t get under control, and then finally severe anemia at 9 weeks. Two of the three had to be admitted to the hospital on 6-29-16. One was treated at the local vet school, and required a blood transfusion. Vets in 2 states, including the local vet school, are stumped about what happened. They do seem on the mend, but it has all been very dramatic and frightening.
Meanwhile, in the rest of my life, my wonderful boyfriend of 1.5 years has moved in in May. He has worked hard on huge projects – clearing out my trash dump of a garage, and inspiring me to make progress on an overwhelming task of clearing clutter out of my house. The clutter clearing process had begun in early 2015, but had stalled out for a while at the time he came to live here.
Facts on endometriosis:
“1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis. Excision surgery by a skilled excision specialist is the best path to recovery. Many doctors treating this disease do not fully understand it, nor are they aware of the need for an excision specialist. Women suffer on average 8-10 years prior to diagnosis, and when diagnosed many suffer for just as long due to insufficient multiple surgeries that do not fully treat the disease.”
This Mars Retrograde took me down the rabbit hole of aggressive healing. Through a certain magic of the universe a qualified surgeon appeared at the end of a long search for an impossible situation, gathered two other surgeon’s to then quickly schedule a surgery.
The astrology for the surgery date could initially seem to be ominous from the surface (Mars Retro, Mercury Retro, Pluto Retro), but with Pluto in my Sun sign in the 6th house the house of health, and the belief in Pluto’s deep transformation, was the guiding principle. With hope for a beneficial outcome as Pluto formed a trine to Jupiter and the conjunctions of Venus, Mercury, the Sun, Sedna and Vesta, forming a triangle. That and the fact that this deep transform came together through my impetus and initiative to make this happen in a way that suited my circumstances, while also having a touch of magic that created the sense of timing that I couldn’t ignore, I had to ride the wave. Surgery.
Leading up to the surgery my days were filled with multiple tests, ever increasing anxiety, a million things to get done, and then sudden chosen trauma and immediately being nearly immobile for 6 weeks, any movement beyond that time creating incredible pain and exhaustion. My sutures opened, a sign that my body and mind were not yet ready to fully reengage with the world. This time was spent building back stamina and strength and continued healing of body, spirit and mind.
Today’s Leo New Moon is conjunct my natal ascendant opposite Venus and with my ascendant being the focal point of a natal yod (Saturn in 8th and Mercury in 6th). It seems it’s time to come out of the inner journey back into the world.
Many other elements of the surgery chart and my natal chart tell the story (Pluto conjunct natal Mercury, transiting Mercury Retrograde trine Pluto and Jupiter, Jupiter conjunct natal Pluto Uranus conjunction, Trans-Chiron conjunct Natal Chiron, Sedna and Vesta representing the cut off parts and feminine sacrifice, the retrogrades symbolizing going within. along with many others).
Brief description of the surgery:
An extensive and invasive surgery, six hours three surgeons. An intentionally collapsed lung to remove diseased tissue from the top of my diaphragm and chest wall, the removal of my gall bladder, and while I had lived for years with my left ovary fused to my left pelvic wall via adhesions, a result of this disease, I was not prepared for the pain involved in removing all of this tissue from both of my pelvic walls, the cul de sac behind the uterus, from my colon at the rectum, and the removal of my uterus, fallopian tubes and the one ovary that had adhered to my pelvic wall. The pain involved in collapsing a lung and needing a chest tube and multiple knife wounds, and then having this chest tube yanked out of my body the next day, yes, this is how they remove them, and having to wait for the tissue inside to heal on it’s own, no cauterization, limiting movement. Leading up to the surgery my days were filled with multiple tests, ever increasing anxiety, a million things to get done, and then sudden chosen trauma and immediately being immobile for 6 weeks, any movement beyond that time creating incredible pain and exhaustion.