As I move old posts over to the new website, this is one that deserves to come up to the top of the list so is republished with a current date. We can always be reminded to say no to astro fear!
You check out your favorite astrology site, hoping for an inspirational message, or maybe just trying to make sense of how you’re feeling and … Wham! You read about the latest shenanigans of Saturn, Pluto or another sinister sounding line up. The forecast seems to be all bad, with little hope of relief. ’This will be an intense day or week, or possibly just a few years.’ Or, ‘Mercury will be retrograde. Don’t do anything until it’s over.’
Fear of astrological transits, and especially retrogrades, can be lurking below the surface of general astrological dialogue, affecting our emotions and behaviors. It’s great to know what’s happening astrologically, to make choices in alignment with symbolic weather patterns, but when we become fearful of transits or retrogrades, we may lose power and our ability to simply live in the moment intuitively.
The challenge is to balance positive choices in alignment with astrological cycles with trusting our ability to meet life intuitively as it arises … and to know there’s a potential of integration and positive outcome in every single astrological aspect or event.
Amelia asked me about the prospect of beginning a relationship in the Mars retrograde cycle last spring. She had been told that initiating a sexual relationship in a Mars retrograde ‘would end up in disaster.’ If she listened to that advice, that would mean not becoming intimate with someone she’d been seeing for awhile. They both felt ready to take things to the next step. Should they wait for three months? Does that mean every relationship commenced in this time period will end up in disaster? What actually qualifies as disaster?
Mercury retrogrades, which occur three times a year for three weeks duration, are also said to be a bad time to start anything. With Mercury, conventional wisdom focuses on communication issues, equipment breaking and problems with traveling, To begin a relationship under Mercury retrograde is associated with problems with communication and reading about it can lead you to believe somehow Mercury is causing the problems, rather than defining the potential energy of the moment.
Many planets turn retrograde for several months each year. Powerful planets line up with each other and in strong geometric aspects to the planets you were born with. There’s usually something going on in everyone’s chart at all times.
Should we just sit around and watch television and avoid doing life? I don’t think so. When we think of planets causing misfortune, calamities, disasters and problems, we can feel paralyzed and then begin to manipulate our way through life feeling disempowered and disconnected from our intuition. This is not the best use of astrology, nor of our life force.
I believe we are always living in alignment with the planetary energies. Looking at astrological forecasts gives us a language to help explain what we’re feeling or what we feel compelled to do, and the relative flow, challenge or complication that might occur at a particular time.
One of the most intense relationships of my life began under a Mars retrograde. It was definitely not easy, nor was it a disaster. I learned about my own Mars and how it operated (or in fact didn’t operate at that time) in my life. Anger, assertion, ego and physicality were highlighted in this erratic relationship that brought me into another round of therapy. The healing I then accomplished was profound. I wouldn’t be the same person without it. Was it a bad relationship because it happened to start it under the retrograde and would it have been calm and peaceful if we’d waited a couple of months? (I know absolutely not!) … or did the retrograde define the energy I was called to review in that cycle of life?
I’m not saying we should all completely ignore retrogrades and Saturn and Pluto (especially Pluto!) and charge forward into projects and relationships.
I’m suggesting it’s not necessary to be afraid that planets are affecting us negatively and then put our lives on hold. Retrogrades indicate a time to rethink, review and restructure the direction of our life force, our relationships and our business affairs. If that includes something that seems to want to start at this time, then start it. There is something you’re learning, healing or understanding here. Follow your gut instinct. Read documents carefully (always good advice!). In most cases, if there’s an problem you can end, or do a re-start later. There are always more retrogrades and more reviews. Issues recycle until we totally ace the lessons being learned.
Challenging transits do exactly that: challenge us to release old habit patterns, evolve and grow. They feel hard to us because we tend to resist change. When we learn about astrology at deeper levels than surface predictions of good or bad, easy or hard, we let go, do the work, and finally transform thoughts and behaviors that just don’t serve us any more.