Thursday, March 29, 2012

Retrograde Wisdom: Waiting is Fullness

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved


Waiting is fullness.” ~ Valentine Michael Smith,
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

No matter how many positive articles I write about Mercury and Mars Retrograde [1], the pair have been murder on me. My Cardinal, hurry-up Mars does not like this waiting around and uncertainty that’s thicker than thieves or thugs blocking the doors. I feel like I’m in an invisible prison. It combines with some other personal chart factors that have me banging on the bars of my poky. I want out!

If you’re a kindred go-getter, you’ll probably be relieved when Mercury goes Direct on April 4 and Mars on April 14. Back to what I said in the Retrograde Rest Stop section of my latest Mercury Retro article, this early year downtime is likely to be the calm before the storm, the rest before the work, the boring days before life becomes the fulfillment of the “Chinese curse,” living in interesting times. I like to think of the times not as a curse but as a double-edged sword, combining challenge and opportunity, a time that promises to keep me on my toes and grow me to my fullest possible height.

When I reacquainted myself with the Heinlein quote from  Stranger in a Strange Land, a cult classic in the ‘60s and ‘70s, my curiosity was piqued by a discussion in one article about the book. It focused on how waiting in fullness is not procrastination. In fact, it’s the antithesis of putting something off. It’s surrendering to the necessary, underlying development of foundations for anything you’re building. You can’t push the flower to grow or the egg to hatch. It seems more obvious when the example is a literal, natural process, but when it comes to the birth of an idea or project, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we can’t see everything yet. Decisions and directions need to be based on sound infrastructure in order to succeed, just as if you were building a highway or bridge.

For now, the work probably isn’t done in the invisible yet for you to move forward on whatever you’ve been contemplating. We’ve only got a bit to go before the pressure of waiting is off. My suggestion? Don’t leap, even then, but initiate the test balloons and preparation for new projects, practices, and important beginnings. Added to the retrograde mix and elongating the process: Saturn, planet of structure and foundations, has been retrograde since early February and does not go direct until June 25, 2012. In the sign of Libra, it has been asking us to take others into consideration. In the three planets retro mix, it may be asking us to wait till everyone’s on the same page before mixing the cement for a new cornerstone.

Why, then, is waiting fullness? Maybe the better analogy is eating, an activity where we know what full feels like. In order for the idea or project to reach its full potential, we have to feed it enough nutrients to build the bones and cartilage on which our skeletal ideas will hang in the world and form enough flesh to be real.

Westerners are not very good at this sort of thing. That’s why my best friend and both rankle when we’ve used the I Ching oracle. Its hexagrams seem more like gobbledygook than wisdom to Marsy people. (She’s an Aries Sun.) The Eastern perspective on life is much more astute about the need for waiting till the time is right and yin and yang are balanced.

The Western Way is the yang, male-energy path—the same one that often ends in destruction, the path from which the adage was spawned, Fools rush in.

Part of what makes waiting in fullness even more ironic is that Valentine Michael Smith, the guru character in Heinlein’s novel, is a Martian—literally a Man from Mars. I don’t know what, if anything, Heinlein knew about astrology, but juxtaposition is a great teacher. Another thought: In its day, Heinlein’s novel was futuristic. In 1961 when it was first released, people often thought of extraterrestrials as coming from Mars. It was our concept of far out, of strange and exotic, maybe even of the limits of the universe. Those limits have expanded as astronomical discoveries have increased exponentially in recent years.

So now, as we broach the finish of the first pair of the retrograde trio’s backward motion this year, focus especially Mars, your can-do planet. Visit the limits of what your Mars moving backwards and inching toward a halt can teach you, before you move forward in mid-April on your next courses of action. Make them appetizers until Saturn can support your fuller meal of new efforts in early summer.

If waiting is fullness, there’s a feast in store for us by mid-year. The hunger for action may be just the appetite we need to whip up for the bounty of juicy, summer fruits that really give us something to sink our teeth into.



Photo Credit: © GoodMood Photo -


Les said...

Thank you for this! Multiple Virgo here, and Mars Rx backed over my Sun and into my 1st house. Although I have no cardinal planets at all, and my natal Mars is in Taurus, it's still been very hard not to move forward. Very cranky, and looking to Jupiter playing big in my 10th house while I've been stuck in a horrid job. Well, I've just been laid off, so at least that's out of the way! Now I want to move forward with my life - guess I have to spend some quality time "waiting in fullness" to make way for better things.

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, Leslee--

Glad to know this article helped you accept the molasses many of us feel stuck in right now. The idea of focusing on the structure that will hold my next major moves is helping me keep it together, though there are still times I'd just like to scream!

Thanks for taking the time to drop in. Come back often! :)