Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - July 2006

One of the most interesting, and powerful, applications of astrology is its ability to track energy cycles. This enables us to be aware of the forces in the here and now that can help us grow and maximize our potential. There are several ways that we can track these cycles. The best known are the transits. Transits pertain to the position of the planets in the sky at any given time. They apply to all everybody, although they can influence each person in different ways and in different areas. This column usually focuses on transits for the month. Another tool for investigating energy patterns in the present is called progressions. Progressions are more arcane than transits and to delve into a philosophical or academic definition of them goes beyond the scope (and space) of this column. But suffice to say that progressions are unique to each chart and each person.

Transits tend to be immediate in affect and remain influential for a few days to a few years, depending on the planet involved. Progressions are far more subtle but their influence can remain for decades.

This month a highly significant progression will affect and apply to the chart of the United States. It pertains to the planet Mars. Mars defines our energy level, our drive and motivation to express ourselves in dynamic, often physical ways. Mars has to do with new beginnings, sexuality and anger. Anything that starts within and is overtly directed is Martian. This month, progressed Mars will retrograde in the chart of the United States. This is unique to the US and won't directly affect any other country. It is also unique in that it's the first time in our nation's history that Mars has appeared to move backwards. If you are a student of astrology, or simply a regular reader of this column, you know that when a planet retrogrades, its influence becomes more internal and its energy will be expressed in a more subjective manner. When a planet retrogrades by progression the entire way that a person (or in this case the people of a country) experiences and expresses its energy changes accordingly. Due to the subtlety of progressions we may not notice anything regarding Martian issues changing for several years. But when we do notice, it could be profound.

When Mars turns retrograde, patterns change. Whatever Mars had been impelling an individual (or in this case country) to do, shifts into different patterns. So we can expect our collective behaviors involving assertiveness, conflict and sexuality to change significantly over the next few years.

In the natal chart of the United States Mars is in Gemini (communication, versatility) in the seventh house of allies and open enemies. We are a country that has always been able to initiate and generate beneficial alliances whenever we chose to do so. In 1912 Mars progressed into Libra, where it remains to this day. In the US chart Mars is currently in the tenth house (goals and public image). How we have acted globally since the early 20th Century will be changing. Shortly after Mars entered Libra the US adopted foreign policy based on neutrality and fairness, two Libran traits and it also implemented domestic policies of equality (such as women's suffrage). But Libra has a tendency to "project its shadow" and blame others for its failings. Hence it is not only the sign of harmony but also, like the seventh house, the sign of open warfare. Since the time of Mars' ingress into Libra the US has been almost continuously involved in conflict somewhere in the world. Sometimes we were merely defending ourselves. But other times we were engaged in imperialistic hostilities that boosted our economy even as they undermined the philosophical principles upon which our government is based. Even when not directly engaged in war, we are the biggest arms merchants in the world. Our products create more war and kill more people than any other nation. Currently we are the sole global military superpower.

With Mars turning retrograde this month, and remaining in that direction until 2076, we can anticipate changes in these patterns. It won't happen right away, maybe not be obvious for several years. But eventually we can anticipate at least some of the following patterns emerging:

Our role of sole military superpower will morph into the role of global mediator in which we hold other nations up to the standard set for us by our founding fathers. Of course this also implies that we the people and the governmental representatives who serve us, must start to do the same thing.

To that end a new cabinet level position will be established in the Federal Government called the Department of Peace. We could outlaw or at least limit the arms manufacturing and exporting that our corporations are allowed.

With masculine Mars turning retrograde we could even be open to electing a female president.

In a more immediate sense, we will lose our taste for war and bring our troops home from military conflicts (Iraq). We would limit our tolerance for such things as secret military prisons and torturing of prisoners. This could happen quite soon assuming that this shift in Mars also inspires many returning army vets from Iraq and Afghanistan to run for political office, as Democrats. They could score major victories, change the power in Congress from the Republican to the Democratic side, foreshadowing a change in the White House in 2008.By extension this will also impact economic policies, supporting the common person rather than the corporation, and cause more resources to be put into environmental sustainability rather than exploitation.

Mars also pertains to sexuality. Libra is the sign of one-to-one relationship. It prioritizes harmony, sharing and equality over authoritarian dominance and control. So we might notice a shift in our collective sexual drive. For example we could allow people the right to their own sexual orientation, recognizing that as long as the participants are in agreement about the nature of the relationship, who has the right or the power to deny them their preference? Similarly we could start basing our intimate relationships on the concept that both partners are of equal importance, that their respective needs have equal right to recognition and fulfillment.

It's important to be patient with this process. These and other patterns will evolve slowly over time. Libra prefers gradual, harmonious changes. The good news is that as new Martian patterns do emerge they will remain for many, many decades to come.

Aries (March 21-April 20
Lots of good energy for self-expression. The arts, sports and sexuality are all good outlets for you this month. Late month the energy shifts and issues involving health or technical proficiency in your work is available. Growth comes from getting in touch with situations that may provoke your anger. Be clear and appropriate in directing your anger outward.

Taurus (April 21-May 21)
Unexpected changes or challenges involving finances could arise in early month. Growth comes from getting as much information as you can before you make any decisions. The clarity gained from the information will help allay fears of changing values or behaviors involving earning or spending. Late month could bring a windfall, if not in terms of money then probably in terms of positive, nurturing relationships.

Gemini (May 22-June 21)
Mercury, your ruling planet, will be retrograde from the 4th-28th. This is a time of introspection. Re-think values and priorities, especially those that pertain to family and close friends. Growth comes from getting in touch with your feelings about these people before any decisions are made or actions taken. It's not all about ideas and the mind.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)
Clarity of thoughts can lead to stimulating conversations with others, especially those with whom you have a meaningful, personal relationship. Remember that Mercury is retrograde this month so communication could be furthered more through the written than the spoken word. Clarity of feelings around the full Moon (10th) can lead to clarity of mind after that.

Leo (July 23-August 23)
This could be a period of harmonious emotional flow within you and between yourself and others. This is a good time to be open both to and about your feelings. Growth comes from being appropriate with your vulnerability. Be conscious and thoughtful about when, why and with whom you are being open. Similarly, remember to be open and emotionally supportive to others.

Virgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Lots of social energy in early month, with friends or colleagues, gives way to a more contemplative time from mid-month on. This is a good time for journaling or other activities that will help the process of psychological clarity. Growth comes from allowing yourself the freedom and fun to spontaneously interact with others. It also comes from knowing when and how to turn within.

Libra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
This is a good time to take ideas or information that you have and start putting it to practical use. Growth comes from refining your understanding in order to be very focused and maximize the productive potential. Passionate interaction around mid-month can help deepen your awareness of the information or your own perspective on it.

Scorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
A harmonious period for you, especially involving friends or colleagues. Old associations may resurface or regenerate in mutually beneficial ways. It's possible that a conflict in a relationship could lead to a deeper understanding developing between you. Growth comes from not getting stuck in the intensity of the conflict. Work through it and allow the harmony to flow.

Sagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
This is a good time to start implementing or acting on ideas or plans you've been working on for several months. Growth comes from being realistic about what you can actually do, and the realistic timeframe within which it can be done. Your plans are probably good ones, you just need patience and practicality to see them to realization.

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
The full Moon in Capricorn on the 10th can bring some intense feelings right to the surface. This is a good time to get more in touch with your feelings and to become better at self-nurturing as well as being more emotionally available to others. Growth comes from being comfortable with your sensitivities and not feeling that you have to hide in order not to lose control.

Aquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
You may feel pulled between desires and obligations this month. The former could apply to your work, the latter to your personal life. Growth comes from being clear enough about your values and priorities that you assign the proper amount of time and energy to both areas of life. The good news is that your confidence and self acceptance should be strong and clear.

Pisces (Feb 20-March 20)
This is a good time to embark on a creative project, especially if it involves writing. This would also be a good time to take a trip that you've been thinking of taking. Anger may surface, especially in early month and in the work arena. Growth comes from being centered enough that you are both in touch with the anger and can deal with it in a healthy way.

View Newsletter Archive