Planet Waves | Mars Stations Direct


Fish-eye lens view of Mars as seen from my summer vacation, or rather, the Pathfinder spacecraft, summer 1997. Click here for full caption. Credit: Pathfinder Project and Astronomy Picture of the Day. Note, this is not a picture of the whole planet, just a view out to the horizon with a special lens somehow positioned above the spacecraft after it had landed. We got a parking ticket.

Mars Stations Direct

Feeling edgy? You need look no further than Mars,
the planet formerly known as Ares, Pyrois or Gradius

......Have you noticed the bright red planet that has been living in the night sky this summer? That is Mars, and he is visible because the Earth has moved into a position between Mars and the Sun.

......This is also called Mars retrograde, or appearing to move backwards in the sky. This Thursday, July 19 at 3:45 pm Pacific Daylight Time, Mars stations direct, that is, resumes forward apparent motion, at 15 degrees of Sagittarius 06 minutes. If you are wondering why you and everyone else seems a little on-edge, here we have an astrological picture. "Stations direct" means the approximately 80-day Mars retrograde, which began May 11 in the last degree of Sagittarius, is ending. Before it ends, Mars appears to come to a halt, stays put for a two or three days, and resumes its normal direction of motion. It does so slowly at first, in fact, as slowly as an outer planet (such as Pluto or Neptune) might move under normal circumstances.

......But we can feel Mars much more tangibly than we can most outer planets, if only because it's more familiar to us; so here we have a personal planet acting with the potency of an outer planet, and it IS intense. Good, straightforward astrological common sense says take it slow, don't tangle with people bigger than you (an even little ones can be troublesome), and ride out these changes. Make a note of people who are getting weird, aggressive, agitated and destructive, which note should say, "Avoid them till next week."

......Mars stationing direct is another way of saying that lots of stuck energy will start to move. Projects on hold since mid-Spring, issues, discussions, people or ideas that have been hung up, or things that got weird in March (when Mars and Pluto formed a conjunction at the Equinox) may suddenly and unexpectedly start to move, release or show signs of progress. We can always be thankful when stuck people get off their ass and make themselves useful.

......Mars is retrograde about 10% of the time, once every two years -- about once every time it orbits the Sun. This is less than the outer planets are retrograde, which works out to about 40% of the time for Pluto, for example. So the Mars retrograde energy is quite unfamiliar; and Mars is a rather influential planet. We think of it as the ruler of Aries, but it's also the traditional ruler of Scorpio, and it's what's called exalted in Capricorn, another form of rulership in the ancient system. Plus, it's the night ruler of the water signs (the watery "triplicity," as properly referenced). So Mars has influence over many signs, and we all have something happening in at least one of them.

......But as far as I can tell, the people who are really going to be feeling this are those with the Moon or Sun at about 10-20 degrees of the mutable signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces; those with Gemini or Sagittarius rising; and people with any important planets in the mid-mutables -- for example, anyone at all born in the mid-1960s, since we all have Uranus, Pluto and Chiron hanging out there. This works out to be most of us.

......For those of you interested in galactic astrology, it's worth mentioning that this station is conjunct a galactic point called the Great Attractor, located in mid-Sagittarius. The Great Attractor is actually several different radio sources within our galaxy, but its effect as an astrological influence is personality polarization; those with this point prominent make great friends and intense enemies, according to Philip Sedgwick, who has been researching this and other galactic influences.

......Mars is something of a modern mythological wonder. In 1997, you may recall that scientists first acknowledged that there was life on Mars. This was the first time anybody besides a science-fiction writer acknowledged this reality; granted, the life that science has copped to being there was bacteria., but bacteria evolve into people every day!

......Then, we learned that there was water on Mars. But somehow, this fact was evidenced as early as the 1976 Voyager mission; the photo below (borrowed from APOD) depicts water clouds visible just after sunrise in and around a maze of canyons known as Noctis Labyrinthus (the labyrinth of the night). None the less, water on Mars was big news when the story broke a few years ago.

......In recent years, there has been much discussion of the pyramid complex visible on Mars (if I am not mistaken) near the 19th parallel, about where the Giza plateau is placed on Earth. There is a photo in the link above. This is a real picture of the Martian surface; what it's a picture of besides that is a matter of opinion or speculation, since there are currently not tours being offered. But then again, I assure you that somebody knows for sure. Others have seen what appear to be canals on the surface of our nearest neighboring planet, and many have wondered that if sentient life can exist on Earth, why was this not possible on Mars as well? Well, it was, and it may still be. One version of the myth of the end of those civilizations speaks of how an asteroid hit the planet, puncturing the atmosphere; as the air leaked out, the Martians made war on one another. According to some versions of this story, many of the UFOs and space aliens seen by Earth dwellers are really the astral bodies of discarnated Martians, appearing to be physical things.

......Who knows, right? The fact that you are looking at a picture of the surface of Mars is weird enough to make anything seem possible.

......In any case, take it easy this week, and in Martian time, Happy New Year, and lots of love from Valentine Michael Smith.

Related Articles

Looking Back, Looking Within | at,
which looks at Venus and Mars retrogrades in 2001

Mars and Chiron | at Planet Waves, which talks about the
Mars-Chiron conjunctions this summer

Inner Planet Retrogrades | at Planet Waves
(not much on Mars here, however)

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