Monday, January 23, 2012

Ten Ways to Celebrate Mars Retrograde

Giving Mars a rest can be rewarding!

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

January 23 thru April 14, 2012

23 Virgo 05 – 3 Virgo 41

My article, Ten Ways to Celebrate Mercury Retrograde, was one of the Top 10 posts on The Radical Virgo last year. As I contemplated the upcoming Mars Retro, I thought to myself, “I’d like to read one of those for Mars.” So, I decided to write it and share it. Here are some ways to take optimal advantage of this cycle. Thanks for contributing your own ideas in the Comments. I hope this adds a big dollop of Virgo practicality to what you can do with Mars while its riding its “retrocycle.”

1.    Stop rather than start something new. Mars rules Aries, those energetic self-starters, wired to go get it now, whatever “it” is. When Mars is retrograde, it’s better to contemplate what you might want to stop doing rather than start. In the sign of Virgo, begin with the one of the things Virgo is famous for, namely habits. Habits are what we do with repetition and little thought. What are you doing mindlessly or obsessively that you know is better for you not to do at all—or at least to lessen? Apply this to other Virgo key areas of interest, such as health and communications.

2.    Review your desires and impulses—and how they get you into trouble. Mars is the planet of passion and wanting. This doesn’t just apply to your hormones. How do your longings serve you—or not? Are you obsessing over a lover, money, fame or other cravings? How about food cravings, given Virgo’s affiliation with diet? Stop for a quiet, objective review during this period and see what happens. Try de-emphasizing those desires or giving them a rest during the retrograde period. If you can’t control your impulses, become more aware of them so that you can take action, perhaps in a different direction, when Mars moves forward and you’re ready for it. What evolves?

3.    Look at where Mars Retro falls in your chart. This will make its influence more specific to an area of life and to the aspects it makes to your personal planets. Some examples: Mars Retro in the 1st may ask you to stop and look at how you’re “putting yourself out there.” What does your first impression look like out in the world, whether it’s your physical face, how you dress, or your posts on Facebook or Twitter? In the 5th, you may want to stop and review what you’re creating. What are you doing, overdoing, or under-doing with your creative energy? And so on ‘round the zodiac.  Turn you Inner Investigator loose on your “do” in this house and area of life. What changes would serve you better?

As to aspects, how ‘bout taking the planets in aspect to it “inner” along with this Mars Retro? My Uranus squares Mars Retro at its starting point at 23 Virgo. Think I’ll look at where my actions are erratic and how I push myself to make progress, perhaps at the expense of some things I value. (A step at a time is sometimes better than constantly pushing the envelope for change.)

4.    Check out your relationship with physicality. I was discussing with a friend and colleague recently how many athletes have Mars Retrograde in their natal charts. I’ve been contemplating that fact while considering this upcoming Mars Retro. Since retrograde planets often reflect an energy expressed in a more inner than outer way, I’ve come to an interesting hypothesis. Mars Retro may be an expression of someone wired for movement and action. Having this inner drive for motion, action, even aggression and competition may fuel the drive to express it outward via athletics. What better channel? (Beats beating up on people!) I suspect that Mars Retro, by transit, may not give us the same feeling as the more personal natal type. However, it may grant us a period where conditions are more conducive to feeling Mars more acutely in our bodies, especially when Mars is in an Earth sign, as it is in the current retrograde. Our bodies are the Earth element. Experiment with feeling the Mars inside you, first, then how it craves expression in the outer.

5.    Analyze how you make the choices that precede action. Actions result from decisions. How are you doing with discrimination in the choices you make (Mars in Virgo)? For everything we do, we made a decision to do it. We live more and more in a world of a million options, every second of our waking day. Modern communication tools bring us nearly endless opportunities. We know the old saws—there are many spins on the same idea—Think before you act. What is your Mercury to Mars connection? How do you come to your decisions about taking action? Need any revamping on the circuitry between idea, analysis and action? Reflect on these patterns and whether they are serving you.

6.   Review your relationship with anger. Do you blow your top a lot? Hold in your rage and suffer illness because you let it seethe? How can you find ways to express anger in a healthy, productive way? As the wonderful quote in Ecclesiastes tells us, To everything, there is a season. Anger is. What we do with it is good to contemplate when Mars is in retrograde. In Virgo, especially consider angry words and communication patterns. Pay special attention to passive aggression—that nasty look or snarky sarcasm.

7.   Examine your patience.  Do you have too much or too little? (A friend once told me I was ridiculously patient, and she wasn’t far off during an era of my life when I was short on boundaries and too long-suffering.) Mars is about going for it, but sometimes it’s the season for rest. It’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that’s a fact. Mars Retro gives us an opportunity to look at how we handle being in harmony with nature rather than with what we want—now—regardless of other considerations. I love that most of the Mars Retro cycle this time precedes spring. But it remains Retro for the first few weeks after the Spring Equinox. Given that, you might want to ease into your new beginnings, even though spring is the right time for them. By mid-April, the timing will be better for launching your new projects. Don’t hurry, even then. Mars Retro will have a “shadow” just like Mercury Retro. You’ll likely feel its afterglow till June.

8.    Take the pulse of your vitality. Mars is highly connected to our physical energy and life force. Depending on your natal Mars configuration, you might be naturally energetic or like that commercial with the two adorable tortoises, a Mr. or Ms. Slowsky. Are you happy with your “juice?” Is it up to par or do you need rejuvenating? Again, with Mars in Virgo, look at what health habits you need to keep your engine running in top form. It’d be a great time to go to a spa, to give your Mars a vacation and your energy a booster shot.

9.    Get more intimate with you natal Mars. Is your natal Mars retrograde? How do you feel during Mars Retro? It may be different from those of us with Mars direct. What is the element of your natal Mars? If it’s in water, it may feel a bit like it’s retrograde. Whether its fiery, airy, or earthy, how does the Martian energy play into how you operate? Pay special attention to things like Mars angular (1st, 4th, 7th or 10th houses) or in its own sign of Aries or Scorpio (co-ruled with Pluto). My own Mars is in Water (Cancer), and it’s my only angular planet (on the IC). It trines Jupiter in Scorpio. What could otherwise seem like a watered down Mars principle is actually big in my life. I’m Marsy enough that many people mistake me for having Aries Rising. Don’t take too seriously the classic interpretations of your Mars position. Discover what your Mars means to you with an open mind and a commitment to express its highest possibilities.

10. Look at your relationship with the masculine principle. Do you “have balls” when you need them, whether you’re male or female? Are you a good leader, initiator and extrovert—when its called for? Can you win when important principles are at stake? Ideally, we balance yin and yang, masculine and feminine in our lives. The reason the yin/yang symbol has a dot of the opposite energy in each half is that we all need both energies to function as whole human beings. Mars Retro is a great time to rest with your male energy and look at how you’re working with it. Is it hostile? Accident prone? Selfish? Or does it have some of the more enviable qualities of Mars like drive, excitement, and strength?

I get a kick out of the fact that the Mars glyph looks so phallic. It reminds us that to take action, we need to point our male energy in the direction of where we’re going and just do it, as the Nike commercial says. But remember this. All those Viagra and Cialis commercials warn about too much of a good thing. You can harm yourself with too much for too long. Users of male enhancement drugs are warned to get themselves to the emergency room if the drug is effective for too many hours. This also applies to Martian energy in general. Too much testosterone, drive, anger, impatience—it can all lead to flashing lights and the emergency room.

There are many other qualities of Mars we could take retrograde this cycle for learning: jealousy, ego, and impetuousness, to name a few. While the motto of The Radical Virgo is live on the upside of the zodiac, we still have to be realistic about the fact that Mars Retro can make us more accident prone, if we refuse to slow down. I’m going to repeat one thing I said for Mercury Retro that applies to both planets in retrograde: Quit running around so much.

That’s hard for most modern people. One profession considered ruled by Mars is law enforcement. I can’t help but think of that positive and nurturing sergeant on Hill Street Blues. After every roll call and before he sent his officers out onto the streets, the Sarge said, Let's be careful out there.

We can’t quit living during retrograde cycles, but if we’re smart, we’ll stay in rhythm with them and “do less” for this 2.5 month cycle. It only comes every couple of years.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meditate on Mars and celebrate it!


Photo Credits: Mars Award, © valdis torms -; Mars Venus YinYang, © vlorzor -

Winter E-book Sale! See sidebar to purchase

Friday, January 20, 2012

Famous Quotes About Astrology

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

With The Radical Virgo on occasional post status, I’ll be digging into my files to finish and share a number of articles and goodies from my Round Tuit folder. Here’s one of them.  While I usually do Quotes for the Signs, I find these Quotes about Astrology to be inspiring, reflecting how many well-known voices speak out in support of Looking Up for guidance. These quotes are handy reference points when talking with people who are new to astrology or skeptical about it. ~ Joyce

There shall be signs in the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. ~Jesus Christ

Astrology is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity. ~C.G. Jung

A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician ... There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy. ~Hippocrates

About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical. ~Arthur C. Clarke

We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more. ~Carl Jung

Anyone can be a millionaire, but to become a billionaire you need an astrologer. ~John Pierpont Morgan

The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~Will Rogers, The Autobiography of Will Rogers

Learning astrology is like learning any foreign language. You already have the ideas, concepts, and experiences of your life within you; you are just learning a new language for what you are already experiencing. ~Barbara Goldsmith, Astrology Made Easy

Astrology is like a weather report; it tells you what conditions you're likely to face in the future. If the weatherman says it's probably going to rain, you bring an umbrella. If you follow that advice, you won't get wet. ~Lee Goldberg, Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu

An Astronomer who denies Astrology, is like a butcher who recognizes the brain but is unaware of its transmission of waves. ~Ahmed Hulusi, From Friend to Friend

A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma.  ~Sri Yukteswar

All anyone can see in a birthchart are tendencies that will become facts if he does not do something to alter them.  ~Isabel Hickey

Astrology is just a finger pointing at reality.  ~Steven Forrest


Photo Credit:  MS Office Clipart superimposed with Sabrina Star font. Background on quotation marks: Stars © Dmitry Maslov |

See Radical Virgo Annotated Article Index to find over 150 articles on The Radical Virgo by subject.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Reading E-Book Sale!

Dear Radical Readers,

For the past two years, I have printed astrology book suggestions for your winter reading pleasure. There’s nothing like curling up with a book, Kindle, or Nook by the fire! Same goes for iPads and other reading gismos. Within these two articles, there’s a fabulous astrological bibliography worth a first or another look:

Add a sale on my e-books:

Purchase the PDF version of my popular Chiron primer, Chiron and Wholeness, at $7.95 and you will receive Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs for an extra dollar. The two Chiron books combo is $8.95. (Save $5 on the pair.) Be sure to choose the Both Chiron E-books button.

Purchased separately, my other PDF e-books other than the primer are on sale for half-off. Also available now on the sidebar are:

Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs:  Regular price $5.95, now $2.95.

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People. Regular price $9.95, now $4.95.

As an early Valentine’s gift and to help you with the fast evolution in this red-letter year of 2012, these e-books will remain on sale through February 14, 2012.



Winter Readings 1/3-off Sale ends Jan. 16, 2012. E-mail Joyce to book your consultation.

See Radical Virgo Annotated ArticleIndex to find over 150 articles on The Radical Virgo by subject.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It’s Here! The Radical Virgo Annotated Article Index (2009-11)

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." ~ Danny Kaye

The Radical Virgo Annotated Article Index

© 2011 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Dear Radical Readers,

As most of you know, I’m off this year throwing more paint on the canvas of my life, focusing on my work as a novelist. For nearly three years, I have blogged on a regular basis on The Radical Virgo and shared 185 posts, most of them full-length feature articles. Sharing this body of work has honed my skills as a writer and astrologer. It has taught me how to market my writing. What a labor of love and learning. Sharing astrological insights and related ideas about the mysteries of life has been some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Thank you! I hope this annotated article index will help you find material you haven’t read previously and allows you to access your favorites with ease.

While I may be focused elsewhere, I’m not gone! I’ll still share astrological insights via my Cardinal Quarterly e-news, on Facebook and Twitter. I may still do an occasional post, as time allows and the spirit moves. Readings? Yes!

Starry Stuff I’ll Still Be Doing

Novel writing works well in tandem with other work. It’s good to switch off! I’ll still be doing astrological readings and providing my usual Inner Growth Work services. (See sidebar.) I have plans for additional astrological publications and will continue to make available those I already sell in the sidebar. Although it will be an “as I can” project, I still plan to use the personal Chiron material many of you have generously provided. Time will tell whether my analysis of your Chiron experiences will be part of a full-length book in the future. At minimum, I want to report my findings in a research article or paper. I don’t anticipate this will be before 2013.

One project I’m contemplating with excitement is to expand the Chiron Keyword series into a book of similar entries that address every keyword for Chiron that I consider important. It will show the derivation of the word, whether it comes from myth, astrology, or other sources. I sense this will be a great tool to help each of you dig deeper into your Chiron—to overcome your stumbling blocks to wholeness. I see it as a tour book for your hero’s journey with each word a signpost and a concept with potential to illuminate Chiron’s personal meaning and your path.

How to Keep in Touch

The most important way, if you aren’t signed up already, is to join my newsletter list at the top of the sidebar. You can jump off any time your interests change with one-click unsubscribe.  I promise some Radical humor in each virtual gathering of “free Radicals.” (We’re the good kind.)

On both Facebook and Twitter, I’m @joycemason. And I always love reader e-mails: joyce [at]

Meanwhile, have an amazing 2012! If you’re going to the United Astrology Conference in New Orleans in May, please introduce yourself.

May your life be full of spilled paint and wonder,


Photo Credit: © pilarts -

Don’t forget the 1/3-off readings sale through January 16, 2012! Get your 2012 update for $99—normal price $150. Details here on Radical Black Friday.