We have finally reached Mars’ turning point in the 2018 retrograde period in which the red planet of desire, rashness and action slowly begins to move forward in the zodiac again (Aug. 27), pausing to carefully consider his next move at the 28th degree of Capricorn. We may have likewise found ourselves in deep review and reconsideration of our plans for action and where we feel our momentum gaining ground and also where we find ourselves faltering. Mars in the sign of Capricorn responds well to planning and organization, but with Mars continuing to square volatile and unpredictable Uranus, you would do well to consider planning things a little differently than usual. Old security blankets may become nooses to hang ourselves in if we don’t open ourselves to new forms of organization, new ways of planning and generally allowing for our goals to be responsive to other environmental factors in our lives. Locking in on a target may be necessary, but the path getting there won’t look the same as it has before.

Because you have changed. Or something has otherwise shifted or made itself available to you, arisen for inspection, remediation and integration during this Mars retrograde period (since June 26, though possibly since May 10). The Sun’s presence in Virgo (through Sep. 23) can help you to pierce your own illusions by seeing the gritty details you might want to overlook or which are just not easily seen. Take advantage of this week to take a realistic stock of the foundations for your projects, goals and aspirations prior to next week’s Virgo New Moon which closely opposes visionary Neptune. Being honest with yourself, you might inquire as follows: what has your body told you over the past few months about your current pace of life? Too fast? Too slow? Too much? Not enough? Are your timelines too short? Are there other factors playing into your aspirations which are simply out of your control, but which you really need to respect? Are you able to trust that some larger movements which are forcing your hand are in fact carrying you—mysteriously—towards your goal? What other facts and information do you need to gather in order to make better decisions about the direction of your (finite) life energy? It could be that you actually have all the information you need…but you need to be willing to let it tell you a more truthful story than the one you have been telling yourself.

The planet Mars as seen from space

Saturn is slowing down in order to make his direct station (Sep. 6), which can bring in some extra pressure around deadlines, decisions and responsibilities for a couple of weeks. Saturn wants us to get off on good footing, and leave behind whatever childishness will undermine our progress and our overall health. Saturn wants us to succeed and is not shy about removing obstacles—as well as placing them in particularly sensitive areas which force us to look more closely and consider more carefully. Since this station of taskmaster Saturn makes a tight square aspect with the rogue comet Chiron, who has recently entered Aries, we may be confronting who we believe to be the author of our lives. (Note: who we BELIEVE to be the author of or authority in our lives.) We may be facing off with issues of sovereignty and leadership within our own lives, and having challenging interactions around who gets the final word, or who plays “the boss.”

This could very well be an internal conversation, as new patterns or habits try to emerge at the same time as older habits try to re-assert themselves. Being deeply loving with those older habits—however frustrating they may be—is critical to effectively releasing their hold over you. You may have to be a little more assertive with external figures though don’t waste much time with fighting. If power truly is “the ability to cause or prevent change which arises from the fact of communion,” recognize the parts of the relationship you are feeding. Alter your stance, gather allies to help you as needed and use your relatedness to an advantage. It may be possible to establish new understandings, new lines of communication, new ways of achieving things together and establish much more enduring and rewarding bonds.

Key dates for Mars retrograde:
May 10, 2018 – Mars enters shadow 28° Capricorn
June 26, 2018 – Mars at 9° Aquarius stations retrograde
August 27, 2018 – Mars at 28° Capricorn stations direct
November 12, 2018 – Mars exist shadow at 9° Aquarius

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

I will also be appearing Sept. 15 in Portland, Oregon with the Oregon Astrological Association offering a 3-hour workshop on Saturn-Pluto and You: The birth contraction of 2018 – 2021. Then on Sept. 29, I will be giving a Kepler online webinar on An Uncommon Saturn Return: The Capricorn Stellium of 1988-1991 (registration at the link).