Athena's Web Weekly Column
Week of January 8th - January 14th, 2010
Red Badge of Courage
Mars is beginning to flash red in the sky shortly after sunset, rising a little before Regulus, the Heart of the Lion. The Heavens are beginning to flash a warning sign to us.
Are we paying attention?
Mars is retrograde now. Because Mars is outside the Earth's orbit, it can only go retrograde when it is approaching an opposition to the Sun. This is true for all the outer planets; Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc. Basically, these bodies are retrograde with they are on the other side of the zodiac from the Sun. When two planets are in opposition to each other, it means we would need to look in two different directions to see them. One comes up in the East when the other sets in the west. The Full Moon comes up at sunset. So does the 'Full Mars'.
The Sun and Mars will reach their exact opposition at the end of the month, on the 29th. It will coincide with the Full Moon.
That's a spicy brew.
If we were able to rise up and look down on our solar system from above, would see the Sun, Earth and Mars all forming a straight line with each other. Since both the Earth and Mars are on the same side of the Sun, they are much closer to each other at the opposition than they normally are. This means that Mars's visible surface area increases in our sky and he seems to 'flash red', as his anger picks up.
There's some truth to these assertions.
As the Sun and Mars move into an opposition to each other, there is a great upwelling in strength and power. The Sun is the solar system's dynamo, the gravitational hub around which we all turn. The ferocity of its fiery furnace is obvious to all. It is said to rule the Fire Sign Leo.
Mars is the ruler of the Fire Sign Aries. The red planet is a testament to his flamboyant nature as a God of War. As Fire Lords, each of these two tend to take things personally.
In an opposition, we generally have two people, either at odds with one another or working together as part of a team.
Because we have two Fire Lords at work here, there's a lot of energy. If properly harnessed, we can accomplish a great deal in either initiating new tasks (Mars is the planet of new beginnings), or taking on some physical chore. Do you have furniture you need moved? A couple getting together to work out can help crank a few calories out of the system. Under this combination our metabolisms are running higher, which also means we're running a little hot.
What does it mean if your car runs a little hot? Well, it means you should keep it properly vented, and you probably don't want to get too close. In this case venting (AIR) means keeping a reasonable handle on things, talking to each other, and making sure that one or the other's enthusiasm doesn't' carry things further than they were meant to.
The opposition to Mars is at 9 Leo, the Full Moon is 10 Leo. Check your chart planets at these degrees of the fixed signs, and they're about to ring your chimes.
But it can also be the culmination of a project you've been working on all month. What can you and your buddy do together to start a fire?