Aquarium Age

Aquarium Age: June 27 – July 3

By Ralfee Finn

The big news this week is Mars Retrograde, in Aquarius, which began yesterday, June 26 and continues until August 27. Those of us tuned into astro-activity—and I’m assuming most reading this column are—have been feeling its effect for the last ten days, so much so that a few people have asked if we were under the influence of Mercury Retrograde. The quick answer: No. Mercury Retrograde begins on July 26, which means there’s still time to back up those hard drives and make duplicates of important documents.

Mars Retrograde has its own distinct signature, and this Mars Retrograde is complex for several reasons:

From a completely commonsense perspective, Mars is a forward-moving, straight-shooting, dynamic force that doesn’t much like to dwell on the past—reviewing and reflecting are not its strong suits and because of that, its retrogrades tend to be cranky…really, really, cranky. So make a mental note to make kindness a priority even when you are disagreeing with someone. It may not have an immediate effect, but if we are going to make it through this protracted moment in time and space, we are going to have to figure out how to live with each other even when we don’t want to.

Mars begins its retrospective in a conjunction with the North Node, a less-than-perfect union because it feeds fractious interactions, both individual and collective. Aquarius is a Fixed Sign, and when you couple that innate need to entrench with a configuration that indicates an inability to adapt or adjust, everyone is likely to dig in and no one is going to feel much like compromising about anything. I’m not suggesting that kindness is capitulation, but seeking compassionate compromise is a good place to start.

But that’s not all. From a collective perspective, this Mars/North Node conjunction indicates dissonance among groups of people. And this is where it gets tricky, because probably the only thing we know for sure about the summer of 2018 is that it’s the antithesis of the Summer of Love. Now is the summer of our discontent, and most, if not all, of us are going to be wrestling with a stubborn resistance to change, our own or others’, and that pigheadedness is going to show itself on both sides of the great political/social/economic/racial/gender/cultural divide, and not just in America—all around Planet Earth, which is doing its best to survive our abuses, including how we treat our fellow humans and every other species on the planet.

Because Mars signifies action, its retrograde is going to feed frustration unless and until you can figure out where your voice can make a difference. On a positive note, there’s an advertising campaign aimed at empowering everyone to participate in public discourse. It’s a creative message aimed at unity and it’s worth a look. It’s only $10 to

On a non-Martian note, we are two weeks plus away from a solar eclipse that occurs opposite Pluto. Some of you may remember that I don’t think eclipses indicate anything good—and I am sticking by that statement. Eclipses reveal what’s lurking in the shadows, and this next eclipse takes place in Cancer, the Sign where we long to belong. Cancer is also about issues of safety and security, as well as mothers and their children. What’s more, the eclipse takes place opposite Pluto, which symbolizes death and rebirth. One indication of the power of this eclipse is the situation occurring at the borders of the United States of America where children—including babies and toddlers—are being taken away from their mothers and fathers. Anticipate this eclipse to reveal even more egregious behavior on the part of the Trump regime to abuse those seeking asylum in a country that used to represent freedom for all. But let’s also not forget that children everywhere on this planet are suffering from equally egregious conditions. If we want a future for the planet, we need to create a planet that nurtures its young. Otherwise, we will just become the planet of the broken hearted.

The King of Cruelty and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts have launched a premeditated campaign to discourage civil discourse. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because the King is mad he is without a plan. And also don’t forget the United States’ Pluto Return underlies all that’s taking place and will continue to take place over the next several years. From my perspective that Pluto Return indicates a second American Revolution.

My father, who some of you might remember was a Communist organizer for the National Maritime Union (way back in the golden days of yesteryear) and who was blacklisted and chased by the FBI during the McCarthy era, had a favorite ditty: “The working class can kiss my ass…I’ve got the bosses job at last.” He repeated it so often, I still remember it even though I haven’t heard it in years. He was quite astute in his political observations and believed that one of the deepest forms of capitalist corruption was the way the hierarchy of corporate structures positioned workers against one another. He was right. And that structure is one of the reasons capitalism endures—it successfully exploits our differences and pits us against each other, and as long as we are identified with what divides rather than what unites, we can be exploited. That’s the core of the mad King’s doctrine: divide…divide…divide, which is why the Left must start thinking about how to unify. Whether the Left has leaders that can do that—penetrate to the issues that unite—is dependent upon their ability to hold a truly bold vision that is inclusive. No exceptions.

As the summer unfolds, Mars will revisit many of the events and circumstances of the last six weeks. As you reflect on what’s transpired, also contemplate what you can do to bolster your confidence that positive change is possible. For some, that might simply mean finding a way to help others in a consistent manner—volunteering in any number of ways that make a difference. For others, political action may be the key. For even more, taking a civics course could provide useful information and inspire participation in your community.

I refuse to live under the oppression of either Sauron or Saruman, and even though Gandalf is still MIA, I refuse to despair that the orcs are going to rule forever. The King of Cruelty and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts have done their best to obscure hope—and don’t think for a moment that taking babies away from their mothers was an unintentional policy that just happened to cause waves of despair. But those committed to personal and planetary transformation must persist. Every despairing heart is a casualty of Trump’s Draconian vision, so find healthy ways to fortify your fire and sustain your heart. Identify what unites you with others, again, even if you don’t think it’s possible to share one iota of your life with those you hate and then figure out how to use that sense of unity for the greater good. Consciousness and awareness of our interconnectedness is ultimately the way the world will shift—it has to this time because the planet really does hang in the balance. And although it may be a long struggle, we will prevail.

Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.

Aries March 21-April 19
Mars Retrograde is about how you interact within a wide range of communities—local and global. As this phase begins, pay special attention to where you want to polarize and why. Then use that self-awareness to facilitate a new approach. If you can be patient with this process, you’ll discover you have more in common with those around you than you previously believed.

Taurus April 20-May 20
Mars Retrograde focuses on career and as it spotlights certain issues, you could find yourself defiant or defensive about previous choices. Rather than hold fast in a rigid stance, surrender your need to be right. I’m not suggesting you’re wrong, but letting go of an ego-based perspective will help you to see the big picture—and that perspective can yield positive results.

Gemini May 21-June 21
Mars Retrograde strengthens your determination to convince others of the righteousness of your cause, and as long as your cause is righteous, have at it. Just be careful that your zeal doesn’t turn into self-righteousness—almost everyone listens to a good idea when they aren’t being patronized. Speak your mind and listen closely—there may be more shared ground than you realize.

Cancer June 22-July 22
Mars Retrograde heightens your survival instincts and as a result, you may find yourself trying to control the actions of others in order to protect yourself. You can try that approach, but a wiser choice might be opening to the wisdom of others in an effort to form an amalgam of shared concerns. Not everyone will be altruistic, but your strong example could encourage selfless behavior.

Leo July 23-August 22
Mars Retrograde highlights relationships with significant others, personal and professional. The best way to handle the glare of partnership problems is to resist the temptation to take someone else’s inventory and share those opinions as a way of fortifying yourself. Mars is such a powerful force—use its intensity to take your own inventory and then let that morph into humility.

Virgo August 23-September 22
Mars Retrograde agitates your nervous system and the result is that you’re a little more high-strung or hypersensitive than you need to be about certain health issues and work snafus. Rather than getting overwhelmed with anxiety, figure out how you can breathe yourself through the tension. And don’t worry—there will be plenty of good days amidst the entire phase.

Libra September 23-October 22
Mars Retrograde stirs your already passionate nature and you just might find yourself falling in love with everyone you meet orreinvigorating past romantic liaisons with the intention of…I’m not sure what. By all means explore your desire to love, but just be careful that your unbridled passion isn’t only about satisfying your ego.

Scorpio October 23-November 21
Mars Retrograde stokes a deep desire hibernate, and while there’s no problem opting out of intense social activity, especially this summer, completely withdrawing could exacerbate your already moody nature. It’s important to take as much time as you need to restore and replenish your internal reservoir, but it is also important to maintain your mental health by simply refusing to brood.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Mars Retrograde stirs your innate need for dialogue and discussion, but it also inclines you toward an argumentative attitude that’s motivated by a strong desire to win. Rather than contribute to an already agitated atmosphere, wield your conversational super powers with positive intention. You don’t have to agree and you don’t have to wuss out. You just need to avoid being mean.

Capricorn December 22-January 19
Mars Retrograde just isn’t easy, and part of the difficulty is your inclination to take control and tell everyone what to do and how to make the most of a bad situation. That’s one way of handling the tension. But another, and perhaps more compassionate way, would be to use your innate pragmatism to help others discover their own unique way of coping with the stress and tension.

Aquarius January 20-February 18
Mars Retrograde, in your Sign, imbues your personality with a fighting spirit that’s ready to take on any challenge or challenger you feel opposes your agenda. And while that might for right can be a positive attitude, your personal challenge is figuring out how to transform blind zeal into conscious awareness. I’m not sayin’ avoid the fight. I’m sayin’ stick to your highest principles.

Pisces February 19-March 20
Mars Retrograde pulls you deeply into your unconscious drives and ambitions, which means you could be quite surprised by your actions. Rather than be startled by these revelations, be glad these hidden aspects of your personality are being revealed. Some of what comes to the surface is disturbing, but other information is comforting. Do this inner work and you won’t be disappointed.

This article was originally published on June 27, 2018.