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Mars Enters a Familiar Shadow-Zone


As of this coming week (Feb 17), Mars will be officially within the shadow that precedes its upcoming 2-month retrograde (Apr 17-Jun 29).

That means the steps through the zodiac-wheel which Mars will now make, as it approaches its mid-April station (the point where it appears to change direction and start heading backwards), will be retraced twice more before Mars finally leaves its post-retrograde shadow during August's second half.

This is important news to factor in as we direct our assertive energies, pursue our desires, and/or propel ourselves toward one goalpost or another.



Moving Beyond the New-Year's Mercury Retrograde


Reports coming in from the field (meaning: everyone who's been venting about it to me) are that this latest Mercury retrograde has been a particularly difficult one.

Of course, the effects of any astrological happenings will vary from person to person, based on how it hits one's own natal chart. (I knock on wood as I confess mine has been dynamic and hyperactively busy, but not necessarily problematic. It seems like others haven't been quite so fortunate.)

This Mercury retrograde has been more intense and disruptive to many due to its embroilment with the still-squaring duo of Uranus and Pluto.



Restraining the Overeager


Need I tell you again that new years don't automatically start out with a crisp, clean, refreshing vibe?

Even when our mindset is all gung-ho, page-flipped, or resolution-oriented, the actual astrological energies of a new year's opening weeks aren't necessarily dutifully in sync.

In 2016's case, we open our year on a somewhat befuddling note, with Mercury going retrograde during the first week out (on Jan 5), while, at the very same time, forming an exact square to Mars.



2016: An Astrological Overview


Though we may annually commemorate our 'new year' at each January 1, astrology doesn't chop up time with such conveniently tidy markers.

As we collectively enter 2016, we won't be encountering any strikingly 'new' macro-astrological influences straight away. Rather, throughout a good first-chunk of 2016, we'll be continuing to engage with aspects we've already begun experiencing.

We had our most recent sense of 'something new' back in October, after Saturn had reentered Sagittarius (to stay through the end of '17) and started to move into its square with Neptune in Pisces.



Knowing Better


'I cannot understand how you could make such an ignorant, offensive statement. It goes against everything I know to be fair and just and right in the world…

'Do you really believe that? Go ahead, try to defend your totally indefensible position. Stand behind it and answer to the consequences, or else admit that you're wrong… that you just don't know any better.

'Pick your side. Are you with us, or against us? You can't have it both ways. And if you choose wrong, I don't think we can be friends anymore.'



The Saturn-Neptune Square & the Disenchantment in Moving Forward


As we spend this next many months in a 'seasonal transition' (as symbolized by the lineup of outer planets in mutable signs) between the rattles-and-bumps of this past-few-years' Uranus-square-Pluto upheaval and whatever's coming next, we each must make certain judgment-calls and directional decisions…

… and, naturally following from the necessity of choosing one goal, option, or belief over another, we're likely to feel somewhat disenchanted by having to leave something (or someone) else behind.

It's hard to altogether avoid some amount of letdown when we decide to make a defining statement which closes the door on other possibilities.