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March 2014


Mars retrograde -

Detach, Disengage and Reinvent

On March 1, shortly after New Moon, Mars came to a halt. Over the coming 80 days Earth will pass between the Sun and Mars, catching up with the red planet. By mid April, at Mars' perigee (closest to Earth), our neighboring planet will be four times closer than it was last June, hence it will be easy to spot in the night sky.

The closer something comes the greater its influence gets. However, due to Earth's own movement, during times of closest approach planets appear to be moving backwards. Empirical studies reveal that retreating planets appear somewhat handicapped, and therefore they're more challenging to handle. When a planet's expression is not straight forward, its voice is weakened and detours become probable.

Mercury, Venus and Mars are considered personal planets. Astronomers call them terrestrial or inner planets. In astrology the Sun represents our being, our basic life energy. Inner planets are the closest satellites of the Sun, they describe the different aspects of personality. We're identified with our thoughts, feelings, desires, willpower and the drive to act. In a more meditative state of introspection we might realize that we can watch our thoughts, feelings, etc. They exist at our periphery, they're not really us. The self stands behind, it's the observer, the witness. The way we think, feel and act are the clothes we wear, the tools we're given to partake and participate in life's adventures.

This is worth contemplating: During retreating periods, inner planets display greater presence because they're closer and more prominent. And yet, due to their withdrawing motion, their expressions are somewhat compromised. From this we can tell: when situations turn awkward it's easier to realize that we're the witness. We may recognize that we stand behind our thoughts and emotions, endorsing them.

Planet Mars represents will power, our drive to act; which are the grossest traits of our personality.  When its wind dies down and the sails are left hanging loose it becomes obvious that we're at the mercy of greater dynamics, which might allow us to disentangle.



During its present transit through Libra, Mars is opposing its home sign Aries. Mars in Libra is considered in a weak position, potentially indecisive and confused. Nonetheless, placed in Libra, this planet of willful action and at times ruthless self-assertion might become somewhat humble and negotiable. The outcome of the present stand-off the Russian army has on the Crimean peninsula might give an initial hint of what these coming eleven weeks might hold in store.

Last week I spoke about the shadow side of asteroid Ceres; how troublesome emotions may push us into deep holes, depleting our energy. Whatever's beyond our control, at first it may be paralyzing. However, embracing troublesome facts is the first step. We have to come to terms with what is. Darkness ultimately is empowering, it's the fuel for the light. Facing pressing problems mobilizes our energies, prompts us to take charge, inspires us to look for proactive solutions.


Numerology shows that March 2014 carries the frequency of number one (3 + 2014 = 2017 = 10 = 1). Similar to April 2013, however because this time Mars is retrograde to a lesser degree, we may experience fresh beginnings.

It's noteworthy, on March 1, when the New Moon was exact, Jupiter was the only retrograde planet. Mercury changed to forward motion 18 hours earlier, while Mars began its retreat eight hours after . Then, on March 2, asteroid Vesta and planet Saturn follow suit turning retrograde, as they reach their yearly pinnacle.

Saturn's station at 23° 19' Scorpio deserves particular attention. The ringed planet misses to oppose Sedna at 23° 20' Taurus by one single minute of arc. Sedna, discovered in 2003 and named after the Inuit goddess of the sea is about 1000km in diameter. Sedna takes over 12,000 years to travel once around the Sun, and it dives 1000 times deeper into interstellar space than Earth.



Sedna is a messenger of non-human realms. She represents abysmal depths and holds countless untold secrets. For the first four months of 2014, Saturn is closing in on Sedna. However, just one step shy of opposing, Saturn changes its mind. That means the two haven't really encountered one another. We'll have to wait 'til early November for their blades to be crossed, and for Sedna's secrets to be exposed.

When changing direction and setting the stage for months to come, Saturn is in the I Ching hexagram #43, Resolution, or Breakthrough: "Resolution dissolves evil forces. One should obtain the cooperation of righteous forces. Isolated and hasty actions are inappropriate. The advancement of cooperative, virtuous energy is wise." Saturn is in the fifth line, in the position of the leader: "Keep to the right path when walking among weeds. Firmness keeps one from corruption." In the commentary of this line, Hua-Ching Ni affirms, that this is time to make responsible decisions.

In accord with retreating Mars, we can expect dealing with untangling, detaching, disengaging and disjoining. Asteroid Juno enters Aries one day later, while the crescent Moon is hugging Uranus, and the Sun is lining up with Centaur planet Chiron, the wounded healer. Juno represents partnership. Her agenda is sharing responsibility and power. Two weeks ago I hinted that  Juno entering Aries would bring the Lunar nodes in Libra and Aries to full recognition.

But not enough, yet another rung higher to climb! On March 4, the Lunar apogee (Black Moon) changes from Cancer to Le.  The Moon's degree  completes a potent grand square formation with Mars, Venus and the Black Moon. Mars is in the second line of hexagram #50, The Cauldron, saying: the cauldron is full of ingredients which need to be safeguarded while the cooking process takes place. The warning here is to withstand the temptation to connect with the wrong people who would upset the process.



It's furthermore meaningful that Venus comes back to the degree it occupied when turning retrograde, on winter solstice December 21, 2013. Venus enters the sign of Aquarius by Wednesday, March 5. Aleister Crowley grants Venus in Aquarius the title Lord of Defeat. Deep acceptance of what is brings humbleness. Utterly defeated one rests in the lowest position possible. However, this is the place where all energies gather, and one is blessed to receive.

Last but not least, Jupiter is turning direct on March 6, initiating a nine-month period of expansion. At the time the Moon opposes Saturn, speaking in a profound and rather serious tone, mobilizing us to explore towards change and innovation.   


Initially, these alignments could herald widespread upset, indicating that we'll be shaken thoroughly. And then, big decisions have to be made. A growing number of individuals will realize that we, the people own the power. Every dollar we spend is a vote for what we believe in. We just have to find coherence and decide to exercise our rights.

Starting with this March edition, Celestial Rhythms will be published monthly. Stay tuned for the upcoming issue of April 1, 2014.

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© 2004-2014    -     Khoji J. Vihara