Note: for my philosophical introduction to astrology, see this.
Mars turns to go retrograde on January 24th, at 23° Virgo, and will continue to move backwards through the zodiac until April 14th, when it turns to go forward at 3° Virgo. It will then move over the same degrees through which it backed up until June 20th, when it will again hit that 23rd degree.
Mars usually moves through one sign in two months, so when it goes through these periodic cycles (every year and two months) of appearing to move backwards, it remains longer than usual in one sign, in this case, Virgo, the sign of analysis, critique, discernment, the conscious mind, applied to problem-solving by dividing any situation into smaller and smaller segments. Virgo tends towards obsessive thinking anyway, and when Mars is retrograde, that obsessive thinking ramifies, and is best used by noticing, developing a clear witness to, one’s own obsessive thinking patterns, rather than trying to obsessively figure out what’s going on in the outer world. That’s on an individual level. And the same goes for larger groups. Mars retrograde is a time for introspection rather than action, and of all planets, warrior Mars is the least likely to like to stop, turn around, and go backwards. Rather, says Mars, go, forward, get it done! No. Not now. Stop, wait, pay attention, and then after April 14th proceed, with hopefully a wiser course than the one we would have otherwise, impulsively, followed.
Now to the title of this post: This position of Mars stationary retrograde happens to fall on a degree which is exactly conjunct both the natal Neptune of the U.S. chart and the natal Mars of President Obama. This is an utterly astonishing triple conjunction that — hard for me to believe — I just now noticed!
But, you say, what does it mean?
First of all, before I go any further, please realize that our nation’s natal Neptune is near its Midheaven, or path, and that our evangelical penchant for thinking we are the savior of mankind dwells there. And realize as well that our national Neptune squares (is in tension with) the natal points of both natal Mars and natal Uranus (sudden explosive changes) in the U.S. chart, both of which surround the nation’s Descendant. So . . . what that means is that we are always thinking other nations (the Descendant, 7th house) want to go to war with us! Or that they are warring against us! And we will then, suddenly (Mars/Uranus) go to war (Mars) with them! Furthermore, we’ll use any rationalization (Neptune in Virgo) to do so, no matter how illusory or deceptive (Neptune). So nothing new here.
BTW: that natal Neptune (in Virgo) square natal Mars/Uranus (in Gemini) also indicates the incredible innovative energy of the U.S. in all matters scientific and technological, where “the sky’s the limit!” — including, of course more and more “advanced” weapons-systems. And of course, all this technological and scientific wizardry could be used, not for war, but to wage peace. What is needed is a shift in our national vision of what’s possible. And that’s where Neptune comes in as you will see.
So, with that as further background, on to this triple conjunction in question. Just to give you the flavor: I’d say that this triple conjunction ramifies into infinity in ways none of us will ever be able to fathom. For when Neptune is involved, especially when it occupies the sign of Virgo, then every martian effort to analyze, critique, figure out, “get to the bottom of it all” proves illusory. Each time we think we are approaching the bottom, that which cannot be subject to further doubt, it loosens, dissolves, drops vertiginously into yet another yawning, unfathomable chasm.
You might say that Neptune is the planet that rules what philosophers call “the infinite regress,” something that, for them, and for rational discourse, must be avoided at all costs.
In order to even begin to speak rationally, we must put all that we say into some kind of structure, or boundary, an agreed upon circle or sphere of assumptions that are usually unconscious, very firmly held, and simply, never, questioned. But when the boundary proves porous, when Neptune starts to fission away all the carefully kept fractal webs that keep everything in place, then the vital blood of ideas that normally circulate within that structure bleed out. No assumption stands the “stress test.” Anything can be questioned, and is. And we are left unmoored, floating freely through the cosmos.
In the circle of the zodiac, there are twelve signs, each of which is opposite another, to make six oppositions. The opposite of Virgo (the sign we’re talking about) is Pisces. What is Pisces? Pisces is the sign that governs Neptune. Pisces is that infinite space, the etheric fluid that runs through and connects us all, oneness, the one Being, the zero point or source field or quantum field of infinite potential where all forms germinate, birth, grow, decay, and die. Neptune/Pisces, that bottomless, formless, invisible ocean of energy, a fertile compost heap from which seeds of new growth are due to burst, take root, and flower.
And get this! Neptune is about to enter Pisces, where it feels most at home, where this boundless spaciousness that holds us all in the embrace of universal love is palpably felt, on February 4th, this year, 2012, to remain there until 2025. The zeitgeist is about to undergo an extraordinary shift that will transform the field of energy in which we “live and move and have our being.” In fact, we are about to be immersed in the ocean of Being whether or not we know it, or want it. And by the time these thirteen years are over, we will no longer need the internet, or any other way of technologically hooking us up or moving us around, or even, I suspect, will we need to constantly inhabit our bodies! Teleportation, remote viewing, astral travel, telepathy, multi- and inter-dimensional travel — these are here now, for the privileged few; these will be here now for all of us as we open wide, and linear time dissolves into unity.
This new, much more expanded, spiritual, and indeed, beautiful way of living does seem to be where we are headed. But first, we must endure this (final?) deceptive, illusory Mars/Neptune idiocy of the absurdist 2012 presidential election cycle. And we must recognize that the possibility of war, and especially all the proliferating “fogs of war” will remain deeply potentiated throughout this retrograde period and through mid-June, when transit Mars finally exits this area of the zodiac.
That Obama’s natal Mars is directly conjunct the U.S.A. Neptune “makes sense,” — first, of the Neptunian, savior-hero glamour that we as a nation projected upon him; next, of his (Mars) penchant for taking us to war; and 3rd, perhaps, of his own personal confusion and tendency to be deceived by lies and illusions (Neptune).
And now that transit Mars, as it moves through the zodiac conjuncts both Obama’s natal Mars and the natal Neptune of the U.S.A. chart and stops to turn to go retrograde, it stresses that particular degree. Result: the martial, warlike tendencies ramp up enormously while at the same time they turn to go backwards, inward, imploding into consciousness.
This retrograde period will last from January 24th through April 14th. How do we best make use of this time?
One enlightened way to work with this energy will be to continue to create and participate in mass meditation events, collectively recognizing that collective visioning is the first step towards manifesting a future that works for Earth and all creatures upon, within and above her, including humans. Whatever most of us see ahead, is what will come towards us. What we expect is what we get.
Meanwhile, let us hold President Obama in our hearts, help him see through his own illusions and confusions; help him recognize his own Mars warrior strength and use it in a courageous way to cut through Neptunian deceptions, and to overcome all attempts to go to war.
Let us help ourselves and each other look within to see and notice which of our old dreams and visions are no longer viable. Let us, as a nation, begin to transform the American Dream from individualistic opportunity for more and more “prosperity and success” that, almost inevitably, finally metastasized into rapacious greed and predation. Let us begin to view and relate to everyone around us, not as “other” but as “thou,” worthy of our utmost attention and respect. And let us dream with our families and neighbors and friends our way into a new world of local, sustainable, community-wide prosperity and success that recognizes a hierarchy of needs which must be met. These include food, shelter, clothing, health care, and free expession as givens, what is necessary for the good life to be possible. Then the possibilities of that good life — aaaah, so much for us to see and dream into being! Restoration of nature, play rest, creativity, learning, connection, inter-dimensional exploration. There is no end to what we can create if we simply set our minds to it and begin to dream together. For if “when there is no vision the people perish,” then when there is vision, the people prosper.