Turn your gaze to Mars and take note as the Warrior Planet steadily increases in brightness. Mars turned retrograde on Oct. 30. During this period, two factors cause the Red Planet to appear more radiant. First, the retrograde motion of the planet coincides with its opposition to the sun. Thus, from our view, it receives the most direct sunlight to the greatest surface area. Second, because of our relative orbits, for us to see Mars in opposition means our planet is situated between the sun and Mars at this time. The retrograde period marks the closest approach of Earth and Mars, enhancing our view. The exact opposition of the sun and Mars is on Dec. 8. As we move through November, Mars will rise earlier and earlier in the evening. In the Taurus constellation, Mars arcs across the sky ahead of Orion. Mars easily outshines the two red stars that currently accompany it — Aldebaran (the “bull’s eye” of Taurus) and Betelgeuse (the right shoulder of Orion). These three crimson beauties create quite a vision!
Cosmically speaking, it is a turbulent time, with Mars retrograde aligning with the eclipse season. As eager as we may be to shed the slough of recent years, Mars retrograde presents yet another restraint on our forward progress. Throughout September, Mercury in retrograde required revisions to our action plan. Next came the reckoning of the eclipses, which exposed our secrets, shadows, and skeletons. Ready as we are to rush ahead and leave behind the discomforts of these events, the astrological transits are holding a tight rein. Mirroring Mars now seething brightly in the sky, it would be normal to experience frustration and even anger as we are forced to surmount yet another series of impediments on our path. But before we run, we must walk; before we walk, we must crawl — ultimately, our greatest power is born of our humility. It is not simply a personal matter. Having emerged from a global pandemic, it is an achingly slow recovery. We must resist the impulsive instinct of Mars in favor of its indomitable determination. Just as we must stop to fill the gas tank of our vehicle and take the time to charge our phones, so too must we do so with ourselves. Use this time to recharge and refuel and you will come out of it with a greater zeal. Anger burns bright but will not take us far. Endeavor to repurpose this energy into a more useful fuel.