“If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.” Joseph Campbell
Something unusual this way comes between January and April 2014: a cosmic relay race when the inner personal planets seamlessly pass the retrograde baton one after the other. That this occurs at all and in such exact chronology is rare but the fact that it all leads up to the “Great Fracturing” of April 23 is highly significant.
The retrogrades start with Venus, then Mercury, Mars and Saturn.The exact dates are below:
- Venus Retrograde: December 21, 2013 – January 31, 2014
- Mercury Retrograde: February 6 – March 1, 2014
- Mars Retrograde: March 2 – May 20, 2014
- Saturn Retrograde: March 2 – July 20, 2014
Add to that the fact that Venus will have been in Capricorn for eight weeks instead of the usual two-week visit, while Mars stays in Libra for eight months instead of the usual two months, and it’s immediately obvious that a passionate cardinal tango between the Lovers is underway.
Our Calendar Is Our Canvas
It’s time to reframe retrograde phases as opportunities for inner reorientation rather than fear-filled notions of the universe causing obstacles and frustration beyond our control. As 2014 is an especially pivotal and fast-paced year, these time-outs will give us a bigger perspective. If we choose to work with these retrograde stepping stones and time scales with an understanding of the opportunities for personal evolution each presents, we’ll achieve nothing less than a staggered de-cluttering, an emptying, remodelling and renewal of our heart, mind, body, and our personal and social agreements in the nick of time before we reach the biggest planetary crossroads in generations.
Mark the highlighted degrees and signs on your birth chart to see which aspect of your life is being challenged to recalibrate. Each of the retrograde planets models one of the Buddhist precepts for living a conscious life.
Venus Retrograde: Right Attitude
Since December 21, 2013, as Venus retrograded back between 28-13 degrees of Capricorn, we’ve been wiping then deleting emotional default software such as negative beliefs or habitual low self-esteem. From January 30, we start to reclaim our innate confidence, authority and integrity. Venus’ compass is based on the inner lodestone of what we most love and value and will act as our unique magnetic North Star in every situation and every decision when we learn to hear her unique inner voice calling us on.
Venus Key Words: attraction, beauty, values, relatedness, self-esteem, worth, taste, style, sociability, love.
29º Capricorn: A woman reading tea leaves. The quest for inner understanding through all life-conditioning. First approach to reality. Desire to transcend routine.
Mercury Retrograde: Right Speech, Right Thoughts
Between February 6—28, the Messenger will travel backwards from 3 degrees Pisces to 18 degrees Aquarius, the last two signs, wiping limiting thought patterns, opening our minds to a bigger perspective. In Neptune’s territory, we feel, we apprehend, we intuit the spiritual, then, back in Aquarius, our rational minds make sense of what we discover. We understand our role as a humanitarian, following eternal laws and truths under a much more inclusive operating system.
4º Pisces: Heavy car traffic on a narrow isthmus linking two seaside resorts. Linkage in activity of all community values. Free flow from ideas to consummation. Sense of significance in relationship.
Mars Retrograde: Right Action
From March 2 to May 20, Mars travelling backwards from 27-9 degrees of Cardinal Libra will be all about making our egos the servants of our evolving Selves. Balancing our physical wellbeing with right relationship is the challenge. Can we express emotional vulnerability? Do we really listen and hear what those close to us are saying? This will be a course in slowing down to pause between thought, emotion and action. The higher expression of Mars is directing right action via right purpose, choosing skilful Will over strong will.
Key Words: desire, action, autonomy, will.
28º Libra: A man in deep gloom. Unnoticed, angels come to his help. Spiritual sustainment given to him who opens himself to his full destiny. Slow realization of betterment. Unsolicited help
Saturn Retrograde: Right Livelihood
Saturn will turn backwards between April 1- July 21, from 22-16 degrees Scorpio. During the period when Saturn is transiting retrograde, it is essential to go back and assess and solidify commitments made, projects started and responsibilities undertaken in the past. Saturn transiting retrograde provides the opportunity to reassess what we have taken on, to finally say NO, to back out of a commitment and to improve the organization of a project. The harmonious link between the Lord of Time and Chiron in Pisces is an opportunity to shapeshift from shoulds and oughts to the purpose that is uniquely ours. We can be planted on the ground while gazing at the stars.
Key Words: structure, autonomy, agency, planning, persistence, order, social contracts, goals.
23º Scorpio: A rabbit metamorphosed into a fairy (nature spirit). Revelation of unexpected vital urges latent in all beings. Great creative potentialities. Capacity for self-maintenance.
The Great Fracturing
Following the path of the retrogrades in a mindful, creative way is vital preparation for April’s “Great Fracturing” at the exact Grand Cardinal Cross on April 23. This is unequivocally the hot spot and catalyst of the entire year, setting in train events personally and on the world stage that will ripple out for years. It’s the midpoint of the seven 2011-2016 Pluto/Uranus Squares, which means that we are metaphorically “in the eye of the hurricane” from now until the seventh and final pass takes place in late winter 2015.
With Uranus/Jupiter/Mars/Pluto in a standoff at 13 degrees of Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn, it will feel as if we’re riding four wild horses all pulling in different directions. Bracketed by two eclipses—a Lunar eclipse on April 15 and a Solar eclipse on April 2—the Grand Cross will release the archetypes of awakening, knowledge, action and Will through direct action. I will be writing much more on this in future articles.
Tools for the Journey: Logical Levels of Change
Below are some useful meta-questions to keep asking ourselves as we move through these retrograde reorientations. Move up and down the hierarchy listening to your gut instincts. Ask yourself: ”With regards to this part of my life”…
Spirituality: Change for whom and/or what purpose?
Identity: Does change reflect who I am?
Values and Beliefs: Why make the change?
Capabilities & Skills: Change how?
Behaviors: Change what?
Environment: Where to change
What is started but not complete?
What is started but not worked on?
What is in progress but not complete?
What is almost complete but not finished?
What have I been unable to start?
What have I been unable to change?
The ability to start out upon your own impulse is
fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own
terms. . . . Getting started, keeping going, getting started
again— in art and in life, it seems to me this is the
—Seamus Heaney, poet