Retrograde: a period of time when a planet appears to move in reverse. During a retrograde, the energies of that planet and the sign it’s in will come up for us in new, unexpected ways. We see the relevant subjects from a new point of view and are able to develop new relationships with those energies. Most of that work will happen internally.
A few months ago, Saturn moved into Capricorn. This was the first contraction. Aries season, which began only a few days ago, marks the birth. This baby was conceived during revolutionary change and reconstruction of the very element Aries represents: masculinity. This is the baby of #metoo and ecology, the child of outrage and compassion. This baby is what we’ve been fighting for.
This baby is born of two gender-nonconforming parents: Capricorn, the father and Aries, the mother.
Capricorn is the grandmother who spoils you with dark chocolates and money for your school books. She makes sure your hair is neat and that you have everything you need to survive and thrive, which she provides from her endless, earthly resources.
Aries is the young father, the soldier off at battle for what he believes is right and what he believes will protect his family. Aries is the hot-headed, the passionate, the risk-taker, the innovator and the fearless.
As I type this, we have a stellium (three planets or more) in Aries: the Sun, Venus, Uranus and Mercury which has just stationed retrograde at 8:18 this evening. We also have a stellium in Capricorn: Mars, Saturn and Pluto.
Venus is the planet that reflexively deemed the planet of women, and this is an oversimplification that has been created over years of patriarchal rule. Venus is really the planet of reception, of inward-directed experience.
Mars, the counterpart to Venus and the planet that is similarly associated with manhood, is really the planet of outward-directed action.
Venus is Yin, Mars is Yang. Venus is feminine energy, Mars is masculine energy. Aries is masculine energy, Capricorn is feminine energy. Venus is in Aries, Mars is in Capricorn, each of them flanked by a group of powerful planets. You see how they are gender-nonconforming parents now?
Therefore, Aries energy is being reborn through the lens of Capricorn, a lens of womanhood and femininity. We have all been so afraid of our masculinity especially over the last 6-12 months with the boom of the #metoo campaign. While for some (cis men, for instance) it may be more obvious, for others it is an extremely internalized, unconscious feeling. We never even thought of ourselves as masculine and yet, we are realizing, we have been afraid of our masculinity.
In what ways have we been afraid of our power to take action, to penetrate and enter the space around us, to start new projects, to fight for what we think will keep our family safe? In what ways have we rejected things that are associated with masculinity because we fear we will hurt others? In stating our opinions, in giving up on the relationships that don’t excite us any longer, in making a stink, in claiming resources for yourself, in choosing to participate in the fights that serve us?
Meanwhile, in Capricorn there is a dance between Saturn, the planet of time, wisdom and maturity (also the ruling planet of Capricorn and thus at home in this sign) and Pluto, the planet of the underworld, of endless time. Pluto, the father of decay, of dark secrets, Saturn, the father of time and wisdom, take on the receptive & feminine mantle of Capricorn, the mother of material resilience and boundary, mother of the word No.
Recently, Mars, the planet that rules Aries, made its way into Capricorn as well. The planet of war, of domination and masculine energy, takes the side of the earth mother.
Mars in Capricorn asks: How can we nurture our masculinity, our urges to compete and be seen and join the forces? How can we love and condition our masculinity for healing even as it scares us? Even as our masculinity reminds us of our dominant fathers, our ruthless bullies, our shameful president? How can we teach the masculinity we each possess to present itself in a supportive and healthy way?
Standing alone in Scorpio, Jupiter watches the birth. Jupiter is an eager grandparent of deep, profound emotional admission and understanding. Scorpio is a deeply feminine and emotionally nurturing water sign that has seen the endless violence and trauma masculinity has created over the past few thousand years.
Scorpio sees and understands our wounds. Scorpio is not afraid to address them.
Jupiter expands everything it touches, and since October it has expanded our ability to peer unflinchingly into the mess of trauma masculinity has caused. Jupiter went retrograde on March 8, giving us the chance to peer into the areas of our life that were previously unexamined as to how they were affected by toxic masculinity. This peering and understanding allows us to harvest all the abundant energy that has been trapped by our stale contracts to the patriarchy.
How have we been holding onto contracts with toxic masculinity that we took on for survival and yet are no longer required for our survival? Is it the way we hold our eyes down when speaking to a powerful man? The way we conceive of our survival in capitalism as dependent upon either the men in our lives or our own dominant masculinity? Have we been clinging to a tradition of monogamy that doesn’t serve our emotional lives but does serve the capitalist institution of marriage which positions married partners as each others property? These contracts can be exceedingly subtle or very direct and they will become more obvious over the next few weeks.
As we move deeper into spring, the new way we are relating to masculinity as it has been introduced to the world during this joint retrograde between Mercury and Jupiter will start to grow longer legs. It will start to have words and movement and take on a larger life form. This is our time to consciously tend to it and make sure that our new way of relating to masculinity is a healthy one, one that does not abuse, traumatize or demean femininity but stands alongside it.
Our job during this period of retrograde is to really take stock of our own associations with masculinity. This can be painful and for most of us will bring up some unprocessed trauma. Do not try to do everything at once. Do not spend your time intentionally going into your most obvious traumatic memories- that will only serve to distract and decenter you from your power. Instead, wait and see what comes up. Whatever you find yourself ruminating on over the next few weeks (and the past few weeks) likely has something to do with the way you have been reflexively relating to masculinity. Now you have the chance to let go of these oaths you made to patriarchy, oaths that you took at one time to be save and stay alive, but which are now preventing you from parenting this new expression of divine masculinity in your life. Let go of them; you will come to no harm by releasing that which is passed already.