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  • Writer's pictureIlin Shieh

Mars Retrograde Mini Read

Mars retrograde season is here. Just doing a little mini reading and intention setting for myself and everyone. This is a time when all of us can feel irked left and right. And the invitation from the sky is to see it as an internal phenomenon rather than external, and to use this opportunity to observe that inner fly and the urge to swat.

For the reading, I'm using an 8-card tarot spread to represent the roughly 8 weeks of mars retrograde 9/9 through 11/13, and an 8-card lenormand spread to clarify the possible manifestations.

Week 1+2 The Empress and 8 of Swords / Bear and Moon

We start the mars retrograde season looking beautiful, abundant, and full of Venusian grace. Venus is in Leo up to 10/2, and she is helping us maintain social graces in the most magnanimous and demonstrative way. The empress isn't just about material abundance, but also the ability to give and receive in good times and bad. And with so much going on in the world today, we are all called to give where we can. What comes as a challenge is the 8 of swords - internal conflicts and fears brought on by seemingly external disturbances, and the inability to see clearly in one's inner-eye. We all have different circumstances in our lives, but the bear is indicating that we have the strength to move forward, even if slowly, in those areas important to us. Even in places where we could not see, literally in the case of California fires and smoke everywhere, we continue to progress where the three masterclass professors, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, are now moving forward again in our charts. As we head for early October, full moon in Aries, we are rewarded with the first taste of clarity. It won't be the results, but the clarity and the drive to make the necessary shifts in our lives.

Week 3+4 Wheel of Fortune and 2 of Cups / Flowers and Clouds

And we have shifts coming up in October with the Wheel of Fortune, the occult card where the winds of karma blow and the cards fall where they may. It is very nicely paired with the 2 of cups, a sense that we don't have to go it alone. It doesn't necessarily point to actual support or teamwork, but an emotional state of feeling seen through synchronistic events. The uplift is confirmed by the Flowers, denoting happiness and perhaps being recognized for taking those steps that jupiter and saturn make us take for our own betterment, even in difficult situations. And again, the recognition isn't for anything tangible but for the courage taken just to be in the arena. Jupiter doesn't enter Aquarius until 12/19, and whatever that we're working on will need to pass the test of the jupiter-saturn conjunction 12/21 before the fruits of our labor get to stay for the long term. Either way, this is an energetic reprieve with the Aries full moon, prior to a period of clouded thoughts as we head into the second half of October.

Week 5+6 Hierophant and 2 of Swords / Snake and Lily

The second half of October promises some more irritation, the kind that makes us really want to scratch regardless of consequences. The sun opposes mars while squaring the three professors. In the new age interpretation, the highest institution and our ultimate connection to source is within, not without. And as the hierophant is paired with the 2 of swords, we are having some difficulty differentiating the two. What is my true inner-authority vs. what is outside influence posing as authenticity? We want to strike a balance between diplomacy and individuality with sun in Libra and mars in Aries, but gosh the professors by squaring the two planets throw curve-ball situations that have no balance or correct answer. Plenty reason to just lash out and revolt, but the appearance of the snake is actually the saving grace. The advice is to abide by the silence-is-golden rule. Not out of deception or weakness, but out of respect for the complexity of the problems. Say the serenity prayer, do our best, and give the rest to the Universe. Our perception as a collective won't be fully attuned to the chord of goodwill until Mercury goes direct 11/3 and Venus in Libra passes its opposition to Mars on 11/13. The lily appears as we transition to the last phase of mars retrograde, turning our attention to our work and purpose in this world.

Week 7+8 Ace of Pentacles and King of Wands / Star

For the first half of November up to mars direct on 11/13, it's eyes on the prize for a bright future. Ace of pentacles heralds a revival of sorts on the economic and personal finance front. New opportunities arise and move forward as mercury goes direct. The body is more invigorated and we feel more confident to actually claim some creative authority. After months of dancing around smokes and mirrors, we now see goals and clear paths, and we finally get to go places with directionality. Does this mean full steam ahead? Not quite. There are revelations that will need to be reintegrated slowly into our lives, and it would take the rest of the year to do so until mars leave shadow next year on 1/2. But just being able to feel like we are moving in a positive direction again is already so much relief and cause for celebration. To feel hopeful again is a treat. And to also stake my claim on election predictions here without actually making one, I am seeing results that point to a sense of renewal and hope.

So the mantra for myself during the next two months is wax-on, wax-off, do the work, and let go of expectations. It's more of a period for observation than reaction. Any action would be geared towards gathering relevant information that's been revealed to us during this time, and organizing them for long term planning. Since mars is dancing in my ninth house, I will be looking to get organized around travels, learning of all sorts, and perhaps receiving insights about what may transform my yoga and meditation practice. And darn it anything that helps with physical stamina in these shelter-in-place times would be really nice.

Sending out love to the world, and let's make the best of this transit and make our inner worlds a better place. Namaste.




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