by Maya del Mar
Each month we will give the dates of the months planetary "stations" in this spot.
From Earths standpoint, planets periodically reverse their direction. We call this a retrograde period. It is a time to assimilate that planets energies, to bring them home to us and work with them on inner levels. During retrograde times, people are idiosyncraticmore true to their naturesin their expression of the retrograde energy.
On the days surrounding a planets "turn," it is moving very slowly or standing still in the heavens. We call this a station. Energy is very pronounced then, and events on earth reflect that emphasis.
During the few days around the directional change of a planet, its action manifests more strongly. We can see its principle more clearly then. Pay attention to the station days. Theyre always significant.
Everything has a rhythm, including the planets as they relate to Earth. Most of the time a planet moves in direct motion in its orbit around the earth. It thus covers new territory in the zodiac, and we are exposed to new stimuli, new activity, new responses.
Sometimes a planet turns retrograde, or backwards. This is when we assimilate experiences. We review and evaluate them, and arrive at our own personal meanings and conclusions. We emerge from a retrograde period more idiosyncratic, more expressive of our inner self.
The average number of retrograde planets at any one time is three out of the eight (ten minus sun and moon) major planets. These are most likely to be the outer planets which, paradoxically, have most to do with our inner lives and with the evolution of consciousness.
Venus and Mars spend the least time retrogradeless than 10% of their time. But this year, 2001, they both go retrograde. Along with the other retrogrades, this makes for a big load of retrograde time this year. In general, this means such things as a slowdown of our normal activities, false starts, review and repair of the past, and moving ahead with insufficient awareness of others or of circumstances. We may be tied up within ourselves, and our behavior can manifest as though we were wearing blinders. At the same time we can come to terms with the past more easily, because we are less bound by the present.
June, with five planets retrograde, is the peak of our retrograde year. May is close behind. As May starts, we have only Pluto amongst the major planets retrograde. By the end of the month, Mars, Neptune, and Uranus have also turned retrograde. Asteroid Ceres also reverses her direction.
When planets are turning, they move very slowly, and their influence is strengthened. Thus, in general, we have strong but inner-oriented planetary influences in May.
On May 10-11 Neptune turns retrograde. Neptune connects us with All-That-Is. It tends to dissolve ego boundaries, and reduce our sense of separation. Neptune is mysterious (as is the universe) and its action complex. It stimulates our imaginations and relates to our highest spiritual aspirations. At the same time Neptune encourages illusion, glamour, addiction, fantasy, and denial. For several months we have been living in a variety of Neptunian dreams which have been dissolving many of our boundaries. Now as Neptune turns retrograde, we can turn inward and re-evaluate our own reality in the light of the images which have been impinging on us. Neptune will turn direct again October 17.
Alex Avgerinos, our Greek friend, has sent a poem which fits the turning of Neptune:
Night, Then Day
Your dreams at night are so illogical
Because during your days your life is so logical.
In the future your dreams at night will become logical,
And your days will become a dream.
Mars turns retrograde on May 11 at the very end of Sagittarius. Mars is our initiative, our goal-oriented activity. Mars is the Warrior. Mars in Sagittarius can fight for its philosophy, its ideas, or its religion. It has been rushing ahead, in the public sphere pushing the Christian right (and other fundamentalisms) and the greed philosophy. For the next ten weeks, we will take a look at these ideas, and each of us can re-evaluate them in the light of our own deep beliefs and what action we want to take in their behalf.
Mars is set for action. It wants to rush ahead, and it is not comfortable turning back or inwards. A Mars station can lead to confusion and/or misdirection. This may be enhanced by Neptune, the great Dissolver, turning at the same time. May 10-11 is surely a time to let go, to make a big shift in how we apply our energy, but we may not be quite certain about our goals.
Periods of doubt and uncertainty can be the most creative. We can use that loosened inner state to make deep shifts which resonate more closely to our highest and best selves. Beauty, truth, goodness, unconditional love, and compassion are Neptunian. Service to the collective is Neptunian. During these next ten weeks we can choose goals which honor the best that it within us, and others, and redirect our energy towards those goals.
On May 29 Uranus turns retrograde at 25 Aquarius. Uranus is reform, and it has moved ahead rapidly into new territory during 2001. A clear example of this is the rapid overturning by the Bush Administration of many of the Clinton Administrations actions. For each of us, our individuality has been developing this year. We have become more expressive of our own truth. As Uranus retrogrades, we have an opportunity to assimilate our new concepts of selfhood.
Retrogrades turn us in upon ourselves. Uranus does this anyway, and its retrogradation increases this effect. We may find connecting with reality difficult or burdensome. On the other hand, genius and brilliance can thrive as the constraints of ordinary reality recede. Uranus turns direct on Oct. 30.
Retrogrades are an antidote to mass hypnosis. They separate people from one another, and encourage thinking and acting independently. At the same time, consensual agreement becomes more difficult, as we are more attuned to our inner voices.
With the three outer planetsPluto, Neptune, and Uranus retrograde throughout the summer, we enter a very productive period for the growth of inner consciousness. All consciousness-raising work will be very fruitful during these months. At the same time we can tie our energyMarsto this new growth, and begin to implement its action when Mars turns direct on July 19 and during the following months.
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