Pluto on a Retrograde Vision Quest, Mars Evolving–and You
Pluto, the Cosmic Transformer, is at a virtual standstill in the heavens. Tomorrow he begins a five-month retrograde vision quest somewhere in your inner cosmos. He’s going far below the surface. He’s searching for trash–all the lifeless forms that no longer carry the life force and are ready to be returned to the Cosmos for renewal.
He’s also searching for treasure–fragments of life force that have been buried within us. Whether it’s been buried for days, for decades, or for millennia, if it still carries the living energy, Pluto will be mining the depths for it between now and mid-September.
The days preceding his retrograde turn have brought astonishing discoveries beneath the surface of our outer world–as if the Regenerator himself was signaling us about the power of what’s coming, An intact Roman streetscape beneath the construction site of the new headquarters for Bloomberg Inc. An enormous–and mysterious–4,000-year-old stone structure beneath the Sea of Galilee. Like dreams or Tarot readings, these are portents of the energetic discoveries awaiting us in the months ahead.
Pluto’s Vision Quest: Regenerating the Past, Renewing the Present
The point of all this digging into the depths has nothing to do with reliving the past. “Been there, done that,” is what the Regenerator would say to that. Regenerating the past new and renewing the present is what he’s about.
We’re going to see our world change during this retrograde. He’s trining Chiron the Healer as he turns retrograde. That’s a big clue about the nature of what’s happening:
- Before the Scorpio lunar eclipse on April 25, Pluto will have squared Mercury and trined Venus, challenging our perceptions and empowering our capacity for deep relatedness.
- By the time of the Taurus Solar Eclipse on May 9, he will have trined both the Sun and the Moon, as well as Mercury and Mars, regenerating the core energies of our reality.
- On May 21, he’ll make the third of his seven world-changing squares to Uranus the Awakener.
- By the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse on May 25, Pluto will have made transformative eneregtic contact with three quarters of the solar system. And he’ll only be six weeks into his five-month vision quest.
Although Pluto is in contact with Chiron as he sets off on his quest for our missing life force, he sets off in the energy field of Wednesday’s potent
Aries New Moon. It’s a highly auspicious departure point, saturated with the merged vibrations of the new moon’s ruler, Mars and the Cosmic Love Goddess, Venus. That meeting, a turning point in their relationship within us and around us, is Pluto’s cue that it’s time for a vision quest.
Pluto and Mars are powerfully connected. They are two expressions of our power. Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio, the part of the sky now assigned by most astrologers to Pluto. Pluto is the esoteric ruler of Aries, the part of the sky that is Mars’ home. Esoteric astrologers see Pluto as
the higher octave of Mars, and his evolutionary destination.
The Evolving Mars, Within You and Around You
As the ruler of the Aries New Moon, Mars plays a subtle but profound background role in this vision quest. And here’s the thing about Mars. Throughout human history, he’s has changed. In fact, he’s changing now, so profoundly that it’s taking him a century to do it. Over the course of the hundred years between 1960 and 2060, the Cosmic Warrior’s normally predictable cycle with Venus is undergoing a powerful “reboot.”
The most obvious thing in the world about Mars should be the fact that he’s the god of change. It’s his nature not just to change, but to change dramatically. Mars rules Aries, the energy of the beginning. He’s also the traditional ruler of Scorpio, the energy that transforms everything. There’s nothing gradual or subtle about Mars. He’s the god of war who’s also the god of love. He’s vital to both life and death–and he’s extreme.
Mars and Venus: The Shifting Relationship Between the Cosmic Lovers
This moment, this week, these days before Pluto turns retrograde, is the apex of the century-long process of “rebooting” for the most fabled lovers in the Cosmos–Mars and Venus. Of the approximately 160 conjunctions they will make between 1960 and 2060, only seven are in Aries. Just a few days ago, the middle conjunction occurred. The pivot point was crossed.
With every in-breath, we’re absorbing the live energy of this shifting energy between the Cosmic Feminine and her Warrior-Lover. With every out-breath, we’re helping to shape its new form. Because, of course, the Cosmic Lovers are within each one of us. Our birth chart shows us where.
The ancient Greeks called him Ares. Their attitude–or at least that of their ruling energy–towards him was one of great suspicion. The Romans, who called him Mars, made him an irreplaceable tool of the Empire and pronounced him one of Rome’s fathers. Before that, however, the great Goddess of Love adored him.
Mars the Warrior, Mars the Lover, & Mars the Extremist
All three responses to Mars are rooted in the central fact of his reality. From his origins in the Deep Time, when the energetic code for Western civilization was being written, what he brings to the world is passion. He brings it either as the Warrior or the Lover. With Mars, there is no middle ground.
How will the Warrior-Lover–and our relationship with him–evolve in our time? Will he be the Warrior who destroys what is left of life’s fragile ecosystem, within you and around you? Or will he be the Warrior who battles the ignorance, blindness, and willfulness within each of us and within all of us? Will he be a Warrior for life, or against it?
The answer depends in great measure upon each of us. We are the containers who anchor his energy in human consciousness. How we relate to him within ourselves and among ourselves will give energetic shape to his evolving reality. How much room does Mars have to breathe in your
life? How much scope exists for his passion? To what frontier does he bring his trail-blazing spirit?
As Mars evolves, Pluto makes his slow journey through the depths of Capricorn, the energy of age and antiquity. The energies that underlie our shared reality are being profoundly stirred—all the way back to the Deep Time, when the codes were written. The months ahead will be dynamic ones for the Warrior-Lover—and for us.
“In Darts Rejoicing”: Sons Against Fathers
Looking back into the stories that remain from the Deep Time, Mars seems to have been “too much” for the world of classical Greece. “Magnanimous, unconquered, boisterous Ares, in darts rejoicing, and in
in bloody wars,” begins an Orphic Hymn to Ares, as the Warrior was then called. “Thee human blood, and swords, and spears delight, and the dire ruin of mad savage fight.”
It couldn’t have helped to calm all that blood-lust knowing that his father felt felt open contempt for his passionate son. That father, of course, was none other than Zeus (known to us now as Jupiter), the mightiest of all energies in the Deep Time. Zeus’ remarks to Ares when he returned from the Trojan War, wounded and complaining, may be among the cruelest words ever spoken by a father to his son. Here’s how Homer tells it:
“Then looking at him darkly, Zeus who gathers the clouds, spoke to him: ‘Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar. To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympos. Forever quarrellng is dear to your heart, wars and battles. … And yet I will not long endure to see you in pain, since you are my child, and it was to me that your mother bore you. But were you born of some other god and proved so ruinous long since you would have been dropped beneath the gods of the bright sky’” (italics mine).
Now, these are the words of a ruler who came to power by imprisoning his father beneath the earth. That son, Are’s father Zeus, knew that his father had come to power more or less the same way–by castrating his father before him. Reading the ancient stories about them, we can’t help but wonder if Zeus was profoundly threatened by this son who was so full of life force.
The great Love Goddess, Venus—who was then called Aphrodite–saw the Warrior very differently, however. In the arms of the Cosmic Feminine, Mars—or Ares, as he was then called–was the greatest lover in the Cosmos. That in itself is enough to make us wonder if there might be more to Mars than we might think.
Venus was in a passionless marriage to Hephaestus, God of the Forge. Whether because he was lame, or because there was truth to the persistent story that he had only a mother and no father to serve as a male role model, Hephaestus lacked the strength and virility to keep up his end of a relationship with the mighty Aphrodite. The marriage was a disaster. For the Goddess of Love, passion was not optional. It was her life blood. And she found it outside her marriage.
Of her many love affairs, none equaled the fireworks Venus experienced with Mars. The God of War adored the Goddess of Love. Although her marriage was childless, Aphrodite gave birth to many children fathered by her lover Ares. Much like the consequences of our own Mars-Venus relationships, the offspring of these two were a decidedly mixed lot. Among them were:
Eros, the god of love
Harmonia, the goddess of harmony and concord,
Phobos, the god of fear,
Deimos, the god of terror,
Adrestia, the goddess of revenge,
Himeros the god of uncontrollable desire,
Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution,
Pothos, the god of longing.
Sound familiar? Eros and Harmonia are out-numbered by a ratio of three to one. Aren’t these the very energies that have overtaken our world? Systems theory tells us that if one part of a system evolves, the rest of the system must evolve with it. If Mars evolves, his offspring must develop as well.
From April’s Aries New Moon to a July’s Star of David: A Quantum Leap, for Mars and for Us
Over the next three months, Mars will take a quantum leap, along with the rest of the Cosmos. The seed energy that’s been planted in the last five days will undergo a dynamic metamorphosis:
- Two weeks from now, at the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse, the Warrior-Lover will be exactly across the sky from the Sun, feeling his creativity and autonomy are challenged.
- By the time of the extremely auspicious Grand Trine in the Water Signs on July 18, Mars will be conjunct Jupiter in Cancer, the ancient sign of the Cosmic Mother and the energy where Jupiter is exalted. This meeting point of Mars and the father who once despised him in the creative feminine energy of Cancer marks an energetic turning point. Together, Mars and Jupiter will trine both Neptune and Saturn, four male energies blessing the world while immersed in the feminine water energies of emotion, intuition, dreaming, and creation.
- Eleven days later, when a rare and creative Star of David forms in the water and earth signs, Mars will have just opposed Pluto. He’ll be moving towards a square with Uranus—and a trine with the transiting North Node, the evolutionary edge of the Now Moment. We’ll all be evolving then. Mars too will evolving within us and among us, carrying the leading edge of our passion, vitality, and ardor. The seed that will flourish has already been planted within you.