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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - April 2016

Mars is the planet of action. It represents physicality in terms of energy level, athleticism, sexuality or the motivation to do something. Every two years Mars retrogrades for about 10 weeks. When it's retrograde, our physicality slows down. We feel less like doing and more like sitting. This month Mars turns retrograde on the 17th and remains in that direction until June 29. Planning an effective strategy for accommodating a shift in our energy level can be useful in avoiding wasted time and maintaining good health later on.

When a planet is retrograde it's a time to retrace our steps. Where are we and how did we get here? Are we satisfied with what we're doing? If not, it's a good time to change course. Mars likes to initiate new activities but not, however, when it's retrograde. This is a time to go back and review what we're already doing. During that process we may find that we are not really interested in that activity or project, in which case we can let it go. If for some reason we just can't terminate, it's best to either lower our expectations of eventual result or to at least limit the amount of time and energy we are putting into the situation.

Similarly, this is a good time to return to projects left incomplete in the past. This will enable us to either finish it or realize why we stopped doing it in the first place and let it go altogether.

Perhaps the biggest challenge with Mars retrograde is dealing with reduced energy. This could mean feeling less motivated to do anything or literally meaning the need for more rest or sleep. It's important that we pay attention to our body during this period. Sometimes one might want to plow through the diminished energy and continue with the energy one normally has. Even though it's possible to do this, we would actually be using energy that's not really there and we would be left dealing with the consequences later on. This could lead to a decrease in drive and energy for quite a while even after Mars turns direct, or it could mean literally getting sick.

How can we use this period in a positive way? One way is to use this as a time of researching new projects to be started after Mars turns direct. This would be particularly beneficial after May 27 when Mars retrogrades into Scorpio, a sign that thrives on doing research. Other positive possibilities involve reviewing ways in which we are dealing with two issues that Mars is specifically oriented toward: anger and sexuality.

Some people have difficulty either being in touch with their anger or sexuality or, if they are aware of those drives, have difficulty owning and expressing them effectively. For example, due to family or cultural programming we might assume that it's not acceptable to express anger. We could bottle it up and allow it to implode. Not only is the frustrating, but it could also lead to the development of a major stress disease at some point. Or, we could misdirect our anger, expressing at a time or place that seems safe even if we're not really angry with that person or situation. Use the period of Mars retrograde to get in touch with anger and contemplate ways of expressing it that are healthy, safe and effective.

Mars is the energy of the warrior. A warrior who knows that the real battle is within the self. With Mars retrograde, it's a good time to look within the self to define and develop a strategy to defeat those parts of ourselves that we are at war with. Without conquering the inner demons, we might have a tendency to externalize and misdirect that conflict as if it were someone or something else that is the problem.

Some people have a hard time owning their sexuality. This could also be due to family or social programming or it could be based in the assumption that the only way to attract a partner is to accommodate another person's sexual needs. This could involve anything from engaging in sex when we don't really want to or doing something that we don't want to do. Or whether we want to be involved with someone sexually in the first place. We can use this time of Mars retrograde to get in touch with our bodies in a new way. What feels good? Who are we really attracted to and why? When is a time that feels comfortable to us to engage intimate physicality? With Mars retrograde in Scorpio we might find that creating or engaging in tantric ritual could be both fulfilling and transformational.

We can also use this time to address the type and frequency of physical activity. Reflect on whether we are getting enough aerobic activity. If not, what would be more realistic and fulfilling? If the type of activity is good, how about things like frequency and duration? How often do we engage in it and for how long each time? Do we need something intense like working our or jogging or is something more pastoral like yoga more attractive?

Mars retrograding in the spring may seem more challenging, since this is a time to get out and do things. Yet, there are plenty of things that we can engage in, such as gardening or taking walks, that can conform to the realistic energy level we feel while providing us with feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Aries: This is a good time for you to relax. Do things that bring more harmony in your life. This could be in the social realm or perhaps engaging in artistic expression. Being open about your relationship needs can enhance emotional well-being.

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
Taurus: Time alone, especially engaging in artistic endeavors can lead to spiritual inspiration. It could also lead to getting clear about your needs for intimacy, both emotional and physical. Calling a time out in a relationship can enable changes to take place that could be both interesting and fulfilling

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Gemini: This is a good time to focus inward. You could get more in touch with feelings or intimacy needs in a relationship. Feeling connected to home and family could also be a priority. Lots of potential to make practical changes that can deepen your connection to those closest to you.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Cancer: The new Moon in Aries on the 7th is a good time to start something new in your professional life. Because Mars will retrograde a few weeks after that, be conservative in both energy expenditure and expectations for completion. Nonetheless, the new beginning could be something you feel inspired to do or that will bring feelings of liberation.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Leo: Early month is a good time to begin a new intellectual activity. New ideas or realizations could result, but it could also challenge previously held assumptions. You could also use the energy to do something creative or athletic, but remember that later in the month, and throughout May and June, the energy and drive may wane.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Virgo: This is a good time for intellectual development. This could specifically take the form of deepening understanding about a topic with which you are already familiar. It could also involve refining your technical skill or learning how to be more effective applying knowledge to practical activities.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Libra: Interesting, inspiring change within a stable relationship could manifest for you this month. Don't be afraid to shake things up in a spirit of experimentation. Harmony may be temporarily disturbed, but greater honesty and depth could result.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Scorpio: The full Moon in Scorpio on the 21st could bring valuable, if intense, realizations about the emotional content or quality in an important relationship. This could lead to a catharsis that will bring out in the open things that have been festering within for some time.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
Sagittarius: This is a good time to expand your social horizons. Be careful about being too idealistic either about a person or the potential of a relationship. If a person or opportunity seems to good to be true, it probably is. Growth can come from taking advantage of a good situation by being cautious and clear about what you really need at that time and in that situation.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Capricorn: This is a good time to focus on home and family. Creativity is strong for you and it could be expressed through domestic projects or initiating new activities with close loved ones. Not a good time to discuss politics or religion even though the opportunities to do so could present themselves.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
Aquarius: Lots of things to do this month. They could be creative, social or intellectual. They could come through internal inspiration or external stimulation. Engaging in too many things could dissipate your energy. Or, you could lose interest in most of them very quickly. Growth comes from being selective about what to do based on your realistic energy level and degree of interest.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
Pisces: Use the Mars retrograde as a time to get clear about anger and notice when, where and why you may tend to misplace it. Mental clarity and desire to share your ideas are strong this month. Use it to make progress on the anger issue.

Rio Olesky has been a professional astrologer since 1976. He is the author of A Manual for the Modern Mystic and Astrology and Consciousness. He offers both private readings as well as classes for both beginning and intermediate students. To make an appointment for a reading or to find out more information about classes and lectures, call Rio at 707-887-1820. Check out his website:

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