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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - September 2020

Mars is considered the planet that pertains to physicality. This includes our basic energy level, drive, motivation and ambition. It can pertain to athleticism and sexuality. The Greeks considered Mars a hero because he is a warrior, one who protects the tribe or family. Thus Mars is courageous. Astrologically we associate Mars with the sign Aries and assign both the task of activating new beginnings. Similar to Mars, Aries can be assertive, self-affirming and authentic. Currently, Mars is transiting through Aries, so its energy is more present than in other signs. With so many challenges in the world, it would seem to be a blessing that the planet of initiation and direct action is in its own sign. However, on September 9 Mars turns retrograde and will remain so until November 13.

When a planet changes direction, it’s time for us to redirect our expression of its energy. Even though the drive to move forward and begin new projects and activities is incredibly strong right now, that is the wrong strategy. The longer Mars is retrograde the lower our energy level and drive tends to be. If we begin something new at this time we are more likely to walk away before it’s completed. We could lose interest or the energy to implement it is just not there. This is particularly challenging right now for two reasons. One is that Mars and Aries tend to be very impulsive and impatient. Second, with the world falling apart at the seams an active person wants to take control and do something new hoping she/he can influence others to do the same with more positive behaviors resulting.

When Mars is retrograde the appropriate strategy is to look both at the past and the future. Considering that Mars and Aries have a very be-here-now attitude, that is a challenge in itself. To persist in the typical Mars and Aries pattern will probably result in a lot of time, energy and resource squandering. At best what we strive for now will not come to fruition. At worst we could try to force something to happen and create a bigger mess.

Right action at this time calls for us to review our past. What projects or relationships have we forgotten about or just laid aside? Now is the time to review them. We could see them from a different point of view in a way that inspires us. Or we could realize that they no longer hold any interest or value for us and let them go for good.

The other point of focus is the future. Now is a time to research new things to do after Mars turns direct. Since it will do so just prior to the beginning of the Holiday Season, I suggest that we put off starting anything new, unless it absolutely must begin asap, until after the first of the year. Mars will remain in its “shadow” period until the first week of January. Our energy level and complete drive will not be back until then anyway.

In addition to the challenges normally associated with Mars retrograde, there is another compounding issue. Mars is also squaring the transiting stellium of Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn. This is a classic conflict between the new and independent (Aries) and the old and authoritarian (Capricorn). We can see this operating in the world as masses of people demonstrate against repressive political forces. Some of these are governmental (Belarus, for example) and some are systemic (United States). As we move deeper into the election season here in the US this promises to bring hostility to a peak.

In 2006 Mars turned retrograde in the United States progressed chart. It will remain in that direction until 2086. At the time, some people were hailing this event as an indication that we would stop being “the world’s policeman”. With Mars being in Libra, that seemed logical if not probable because Libra prioritizes equality, justice and harmony. Others were suggesting that although this might turn our aggression away from the rest of the world, it might also signal an increase in internal conflict. Instead of trying to control the world, factions in this country would battle other factions in a drive for control and domination. We may be seeing some of the former coming into being. Unfortunately we are also seeing some of the latter manifesting.

In many ways, this is how growth works, especially when the world is learning about a relatively new form of government called democracy. Two steps forward, one step back. Is it possible for the people to govern themselves without a centralized authority, whether that be a monarchy or a dictator? The United States is one of the greatest experiments in the history of the world precisely because we have embarked upon a real time research project to see if that is possible. If it is, how can we bring it about?

When Mars is retrograde, it is a time for withdrawal and introspection. Unfortunately, the combination of a pandemic, an economic breakdown and a presidential election all happening simultaneously, it is neither desirable nor practical to not engage in what is happening. It might even feel totally overwhelming just contemplating the events of the day. Perhaps the highest and most realistic option at this time is to be aware of and contribute to the collective challenges, but to focus most on our own personal ones.

To be productive at this time, we can discover where new scientific research is leading to understanding of and treatment for Covid-19. We can stay active in the election season, studying the candidates and the issues and communicating our results with friends, family and colleagues. Perhaps the best research we can do during this period is internal research to root any underlying, hidden from consciousness, racism and sexism so that when things begin to move forward again we can be forces for positivity, goodness and compassion.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Aries: With great gifts come great challenges. A seemingly endless supply of energy could impel you to new, courageous activities. Yet, it’s time for patience and planning. Growth for you at this time comes from cautious, methodical activity.

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
Taurus: Confrontation with neighbors or extended family members can lead to breakthroughs of understanding. Education could be challenging. Slow down in mid-month in order to avoid accidents.

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Gemini: Deep introspection can lead to insights into yourself. That could lead to beneficial behavioral changes but also challenges from those who want to see and relate to the old you. Strive for calm communication so as to avoid caustic conversation in late month.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Cancer: This is a period when you may feel drawn to community service in some way. Lots of pure energy available for you to do this at any time or throughout the month. The full Moon in Pisces on the 2nd could provide inspiration and direction as to where to put your time and energy.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Leo: Challenges in relationship in early month and unexpected upsets or changes at work in mid-month highlight, this period. However, there is also the energy to respond to these issues with harmony, thoughtfulness and diplomacy. Strive to be a voice of calm in a raging social sea.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
Virgo: This is a time to devote to financial and security issues. Reflect on your values and priorities. As they are clarified you will know where to apply your resources in order to create a safe, meaningful reality.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
Libra: Early month could bring confrontation or losses either domestically or professionally. Respond with diplomacy but also with sense of self-protection. Social upsets in mid-month could lead to temporary separation from friends or colleagues.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Scorpio: This could be a time of intense pressure and volatile response by you or others. Apply yourself to researching both your own motivation in these situations as well as forming plans and strategies for the future.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
Sagittarius: Early to mid month could bring clarity about future directions. Move into this new territory slowly and cautiously. Challenges that could lead to volatile interactions could ensue unless you are extremely aware and wise in your responses.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
Capricorn: You could feel confronted in a number of ways this month. Some of this could be from family members. Some of it could be from yourself. This is a good time for some deep introspective self-analysis focusing on understanding some of your deepest intentions and motivations.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
Aquarius: Lots of creative energy for you in early month. Unexpected challenges or changes in your personal life in mid-month call for thoughtful, diplomatic responses rather that detachment and separation.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
Pisces: The full Moon in Pisces on the 2nd can bring clear insight into yourself and intuitive understanding of others. This is a wonderful time to feel the abundance of the Divine Presence.

Rio Olesky has been a professional astrologer since 1976. He is the author of A Manual for the Modern Mystic and Astrology and Consciousness and The Astroreader. He offers both private readings as well as classes for both beginning and intermediate students. Call Rio at 707-887-1820. Check out his website:

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