Turning Point/Boiling Point


July 27, 2018 at 5:13am UT

Sun and Mars Opposed at 4°08' Leo/Aquarius


July 27, 2018 at 8:21pm UT

Sun and Moon Opposed at 4°44' Leo/Aquarius

picThis Friday, the Sun will perfect an opposition to Mars signalling the midpoint — and significant turning point — in the current Mars retrograde cycle, when Mars issues tend to flare up big time. This year, the opposition coincides with an amplifying Full Moon, which also happens to be a total lunar eclipse, plus the Sun-Mars opposition squares Uranus forming a super-combustible t-square! The Sun-Uranus square perfects today (11:35am UT at 2°29' Taurus/Leo), while the Mars-Uranus square will be exact next week, Aug 2nd (at 2°32' Aquarius/Taurus).

And that's not all. Mercury — which rules communication, commerce, transport, computers and other "circulatory systems" such as those in our bodies — is stationary TODAY as I post, beginning a three-week retrograde cycle in Leo (retrograde station at 23°). Adding further to the week's already high tide of intensity, a stationary God of Connections will add a thick layer of confusion, misunderstandings, plus a higher potential for accidents and other mishaps, which the Sun-Mars-Uranus t-square also indicates big time.

Mars Retrograde Reaches a Turning Point

Since its station retrograde a month ago now, Mars has been in an uncharacteristically ruminative, inwardly-focused state. The normal flow of positive, yang energy we rely on to accomplish things has to a certain extent been taken from us. In its place is the power of introspection and self-assessment. As I wrote in a previous post, one of the primary benefits of this more subjective, internally-focused Mars is to take as much of a breather as we can on that "full-tilt" pace at which we crazy humans attempt to function in life. This last month has been an ideal time to pause for reflection, to "rethink" our strategy, approach to important goals and overall life purpose and direction. How we assert ourselves, manage the inevitable conflicts and struggles, and exercise personal power has also been up for scrutinizing. Mars is a relationship planet after all.

Steven Outram · Borrowed Light

At the Sun opposition point this week, the retrograde pattern shifts; and we begin to "break out of the Mars retrograde cocoon," as Erin Sullivan describes the process in her book, Retrograde Planets. Therefore, the Sun-Mars opposition can be a time when conflicts, irritations, and heated confrontations flare up. Especially this year's opposition, coinciding with a total lunar eclipse AND a square to disruptive Uranus. The houses of your natal chart where this Sun-Mars-Uranus t-square + lunar eclipse falls (2-5° Taurus/Leo/Aquarius) and any other natal elements brought into evolutionary stress via hard aspect, so the early degrees of Scorpio as well, indicate where, why and how these Mars assertion and power issues are emerging in your life right now.

That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.

— Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Watch out for feelings of anger and resentment bubbling up over this next week. This is the time to improve your ability to communicate needs and desires (all the more so with a stationary Mercury to boot), to work on equity issues in key liaisons. What do you do that drives people away? In what ways do you fail at adequate consideration in your interactions with others? On the other hand, in what ways do you need to bolster your ability to assert yourself with people who are overstepping their bounds? What are you putting up with too much in your life? Irritations, large and small, provide important clues. This is a key point in a two-month inservice on personal power and intimacy, showing us where and how we need to improve this important dance, this balancing act of "self and other" we perform every day.

Pay equal attention to new desires and passions that may be trying to break the surface of your life as well. The gift of Mars is an important one, for he holds the key to vital resources: reserves of energy, stamina, enthusiasm, and passion. If you devote time right now to honestly assessing your personal Mars issues, it may help you revitalize and effectively repurpose your life. Allow these cosmic winds to sweep away the cobwebs, and wash those interior windows sparkling clean. Let this revitalizing Sun-Mars opposition shine into your life.

Map of the Eclipse Path from Time and Date

So we have an awesome Sun-Mars opposition turbo-charged by a square to Uranus, and bolstered further with a total lunar eclipse falling on the same day, very close to the same degree. This week's highly complex Aquarius lunar eclipse will also be the longest of the entire 21st century, with the total phase spanning almost two hours. Contrast that with the shortest eclipse (April 2015) which lasted less than five minutes. A partial eclipse always occurs before and after the total phase of a lunar eclipse. So, from start to finish, our upcoming eclipse will last almost 4 hours.

As you see from the eclipse map above, the orange zone shows the sweet spot: areas where the entire eclipse, start to finish, all four hours, will be visible. The next two blue bands are areas where the entire total phase can be seen and some of the partial phase, and in the third blue band area outward part of the total phase can be seen. The rest of the blue zones will see only some of the partial phases while the unfortunate white zones (where I live) will not be able to see the eclipse at all. If you click the "Time and Date" link above you can get specific viewing times for your neck of the woods.

Red Moon, Red Mars

With the Sun-Mars opposition falling on the same night as the lunar eclipse, for the lucky ones in the path of totality, a red-orange Moon will be attended by a very bright red Mars, as this is no ordinary Sun-Mars opposition, but the best show since 2003. Mars has been very bright and very red all this month, and will continue flashing its brilliance through next month; however, eclipse night will bring a special show. The dimming of the Full Moon during the total phase will bring both of these celestial bodies into view close to each other in the night sky. I sure wish I could see it!

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2018 Mars Retrograde Significant Dates (UT)


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The woodblock of the lightning, Inazuma, is by the Scottish artist Paul Binnie.

The beautiful painting above is by British artist Steven Outram. He writes of his work: "I always strive to convey a strong sense of mood and atmosphere in my paintings. I want to create an illusion of a reality that people feel they can step into and even lose themselves in. Beautiful and unusual effects of mist, twilight and night are my favourite subjects." He is a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, where you can view more of his work.

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