Astrologers, Retrograde and Why We’re Not Wrong

Man on Moonby Kelly Surtees

I’m writing this blog in response to this post, which seems to suggest astrologers are a bit stupid and maybe don’t really understand a few basic astronomical ideas.

That writer suggests the concept of a planetary retrograde comes from a “rather outdated concept, when the Earth was still the centre of the solar system.”

I’d like to refute and perhaps clarify this point.

Astrology is based on an experiential view of the solar system. For many hundreds of years, astronomers AND astrologers have known that the Earth is not at the centre of the solar system.

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Mars in the 12 Signs

by Steven Forrest

MarsMars in Aries. The evolutionary intent is to learn to apply one's sexual will with courage and directness. There is a soul-desire to reclaim unabashed Eros, and to resolve karmic anger linked either to the repression of natural sexual desires or to sexual humiliation.

Mars in Taurus. The evolutionary intent is to apply one's sexual will toward the development of connectedness to the world of nature and to one's instinctive side. There is a soul-desire to restore the natural freedom of erotic self-expression to the physical body, implying prior life experiences in which sexuality became stilted or was viewed as a shameful expression of our "animal”  natures.

Mars in Gemini. The evolutionary intent is to apply the sexual will towards the development of radical alertness,  pure perception, and above all the free exchange of ideas. Erotically, there is often a hunger for diversity in reaction to prior life dynamics of "dutiful” sexual functioning, complicated by prior life trauma related to sexual damage sustained—and silenced—at an early age. Unaddressed, that can manifest as "childish" sexual attitudes and behaviors.

Mars in Cancer. The evolutionary intent is to create a safe environment for the comforting and healing of the deepest expression of human sexuality, which is the capacity truly to bond with a partner. Prior life dynamics led to fear and mistrust:  a sense that sexuality will spin out of control and pain will be created. There is a soul-desire to find the courage to trust again.

Mars in Leo. The evolutionary intent is to learn to express Eros with creativity, unabashed self-confidence, and verve in response to prior-life experiences involving circumstances of inhibition, repression, and public shaming—a delicate process involving the restoration to the sexual nature of elements of healthy selfishness and natural pride.

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Planetary Soul Patterns

by Pamela Welch
(Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine. Republished in remembrance of Pamela, who passed away in March 2012.)

You may or may not believe astrology has validity. However, if the planets do influence our lives, how do they actually create their natal chart imprint and affect us here on Earth? In this article, I will explore this issue and propose some answers to how the planets influence the human psychological and physical experience as they assist us in our process of soul growth. In order to discuss this subject, we must first look at the whole dynamic of energy and specifically the human energy system.

Science has now confirmed what mystics have known for ages in regards to the existence of the human energy system. Quantum physics has shown us that we live in a universal field of energy, a continuous medium present everywhere in space with the potential to manifest as either particle or wave, as material substance or its surrounding field. Particles of matter exist where there is a local condensation, or denser concentration, of this universal field. We are essentially enveloped in an ocean of energy that surrounds, connects, and forms all matter. Our bodies, as well as the planetary bodies and everything else, are composed of this substance and our consciousness interacts with it continually.

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Subpersonalities: The Planetary Shadow

by Pamela Welch, M.A., C.C.Ht.
(Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine. Republished in remembrance of Pamela, who passed away in March 2012.)

Just as the galaxies in the heavens are spiral-shaped masses of celestial bodies and stars, so too are our own psyches a spiral of energetic patterns and psychic components. Much like the planets that orbit around the Sun, the different parts of our personality orbit around the divine core of our being – the eternal Self. Current psychological theory accepts the idea of the personality as a system of psychic patterns composed of diverse elements. These parts of us are often referred to as subpersonalities, or subselves. If you've ever felt a childlike vulnerability or experienced a critical voice inside of you, dominating your consciousness, you've been dealing with a subpersonality. At times, you might even have felt as though two inner parts of you were fighting for control over a particular life issue.

Astrologers know that the various celestial bodies represent certain essential elements of our consciousness. Correspondingly, natal planetary patterns are linked with these energies, known as subpersonalities, in the human psyche. In this article, I’ll explain subpersonality dynamics and their development in the psyche and discuss how these subconscious forces operate as an expression of natal planetary patterns. I’ll also illustrate several ways to identify subpersonality issues in the natal chart and demonstrate how to utilize these elements in an astrological counseling session to help individuals work more consciously with their planetary energies.

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Those Wild Out-of-Bounds Planets

by Pamela Welch
(Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine. Republished in remembrance of Pamela, who passed away in March 2012.)

Everyone has probably heard that old familiar sports term: “Out-of-bounds!” Regardless of the sport involved, these words mean that the ball or player has gone beyond the limits of the established field of play. Could a similar dynamic be impacting the planetary play on the field of your birth chart? You bet! Out-of-bounds planets can take us beyond the established limits of thought and action. They can signify extraordinary genius or point to volatile and aberrant behavior. This article will explain the principles involved in out-of-bounds dynamics, show how these planetary elements can operate in a person’s life and discuss ways to interpret how these natal energies will manifest.

How Planets Go Out of Bounds

Out-of-bounds planets involve two dynamics: declination and the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun in its yearly motion across the sky. Of course, in reality we know that it is not the Sun that is moving, but rather the Earth that is orbiting around the Sun. Thus, the ecliptic is actually the plane of the Earth’s orbit. Usually when we speak of astrological coordinates − for example, “My natal Saturn is at 14° Virgo” − we are giving the planet’s position in geocentric celestial longitude. This measurement, which is part of the ecliptic coordinate system, expresses the planet’s distance along the ecliptic from 0° Aries as viewed from Earth. However, in addition to this system which uses the ecliptic as its reference point, we also have what’s called the equatorial coordinate system which uses the Earth’s equator rather than the ecliptic as its plane of reference. Declination, which measures the angular distance of a heavenly body north or south of the celestial equator, is part of this equatorial system.

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