Right now: Moon at 29°34' Aquarius, Sun at 29°41' Capricorn
The Ancient Warrior
Chapter 9 from "Astrological Repair Manual" by Alexander M Zoltai
Rusty red, not a gas ball-Mars looms near. Place of pink skies and global sandstorms. Most likely candidate for extensive human settlement -in this solar system. Full cycle real close to two years. Mythological cloak, red with the blood of sex and war. Mars, the astrological cycle of Motivation, Externalization, Drive, and Assertion.
Yes, Mars the astrological cycle; not Mars the planet. As this book progresses, I'm attempting to talk in two languages while giving you the truth about only one of them. The first language is what most people use to refer to various aspects of astrology. The second language is something that can only be understood through experience. The second language uses most of the basic words from the first language but uses them in different and deeper ways. Like referring to Mars as a cycle. Yes, I know, I've called most of the previous cycles "planets" before divulging their cycles. I think it's time, since we're getting so close to Earth, to reveal more of the truth. Up until now, I've been sliding into the second language slowly. The prime reason is that I'm writing this book for those who know nothing about astrology as well as those with a competent working knowledge. Starting with one language and sliding into the other is a tricky venture, but absolutely necessary if we want to use astrology to truly help ourselves or others. The Instructions will definitely spell out all the basics in this second language. O.K. Enough disclaimer.
Since the cycle of Motivation is close to two years, we have an opportunity to discover, and easily check, a concept that explains one of the most perplexing regular occurrences in our experience-the way that things can seem to be going along just fine, and, "all of a sudden", they slow down or even stop and reverse their trend. In the traditional lexicon of astrology, this is called retrogradation. I personally don't like the word. Retro may be fine in fashion, but when we need to get things done, it's a potential bother. Potential only, though. If we can see that there is a natural reason for cycles to progress forward, then appear to retrograde and finally finish their course, we can turn bothers into blessings.
Because of the view from Earth, all the planets but the Moon and Sun (I know the Moon is a moon and the Sun is a star but, again, we're talking in two languages) have a period when they look like they're going backwards (but they aren't). In terms of cycles, this is a forward motion with a period of time when it's naturally appropriate to slow down or even reverse our intentions or motivations, check ourselves, analyze plans, and then resume with a better plan, direction, or thrust.
Imagine you're on a train or trolley and you're passed by another one. There's a moment when it can seem you're moving backward. It's all about relative perceptions. This is one way to understand why the planets seem to retrograde.
Now, maybe I can talk about this using only the second language. I'll be talking about the cycle, Mars, but this phenomenon of retrogradation happens, in different time-frames, with all but the Sun and Moon.
So, at the beginning of the Mars cycle, we're all full of the rebirth of a new motivation, drive, or period of assertion. We really cruise, plowing through obstacles, climbing mountains of resistance, and making good headway. When we reach the first quarter phase of the cycle, we make a point of reinforcing the strength of our intentions, sometimes shifting gear into a higher vibration of drive. Along we go, and, near the middle of the cycle, things get more uphill, or possibly we find our fuel running low. Maybe others are naysaying our progress. I'm happy to say that this is perfectly natural, even if it is "against" some of the principles of our highly materialized culture.
For a few months out of the two years of the cycle, just when we reach the time of bringing it to personal fulfillment, we should slow down. We're getting ready for the transition to the second half of the cycle. At this time, it's appropriate to share our motivation and drive with others, even act for them or pick up their loads. We need the time of "reversal" or slow-down to make sure that we don't run off past others, that we can moderate the thrust in order to give it social value. This phase of the cycle, so necessary to proper growth, has a decided element of internalization about it. A certain reaching-in; finding what the rest of "us" needs...
Our culture often doesn't like or doesn't even permit this type of cycle. Hence, many of the frustrations of many of the people!
If we were talking about the Pluto cycle, the internal phase would be many years long; same with Neptune and Uranus. For Saturn and Jupiter, it's months. When we get to Venus and Mercury, it's less. For all the functions, there is a time when we need to either slow down or go inside (even if we're still acting outside) to gain a larger perspective. It happens in the middle, right when youth wants to forge ahead and age sits back and nods...
Mars itself is usually perceived as all about going forward. But, if you consider the times when a prudent pause actually gave you more energy, this concept will seem more natural. If the Mars cycle only meant forging ahead, thrusting without let-up, it would really have a hard time getting along with the other cycles, causing steam leaks and explosions in our well-crafted psyche. What's that you say? Oh...
Another truth about astrology is that, even though it mirrors cycles we have inside, we have the free-will to warp and bend those cycles and energies. There have been times when I've thought the main reason to use astrology was to fix what's broken. Sure, it can help a lot with this kind of healing, but imagine using it before the breakdown, imagine using it to educate children about the natural cycles within themselves, giving them a real head start in life!
So, what about the Ancient Warrior? This was what folks used to think Mars meant. This is how people have misused this energy for centuries. This is the kind of thinking that this book is out to change. If you look far enough back in the history of the word "war", you'll find a meaning close to "mix". War is a particularly horrid way of mixing it up. I probably don't have to tell you that it will take many individuals committed to other ways of integrating differing opinions to wipe war off the face of the Earth. Impossible? Only if it's impossible for people to get along. Impossible? Only if people don't look for frames of reference that can include their views and others' at the same time. Impossible? Only if people refuse to try...
I think it's time to introduce the signs of astrology. I'm going to do it by sketching out what Mars using each of them could look like. You'll have a chance to do this for all the functions in all the signs in The Instructions. Remember, though, that just because you might start with Mars using a particular brand of energy, and even though that way of being assertive has a tendency to be prominent your whole life, there is a slow and steady moderation. Time and the tides of the cycles bring opportunities to act in differing ways and with differing results. Some see these as obstacles to their "natural" way of motivating themselves, some as chances to refine and expand their innate drives.
Plus, there's the other truth of astrology (I've been saving this one for the right moment): We all have all twelve signs. When you look at a complete birth chart, and when you realize that the whole chart is a symbol of your whole life, you'll know that all the signs or energies of astrology are there in that wheel, that you have all those energies available to use. Most people have four or five much stronger than the rest because that's where their planets lie, that's where the cycles of the functions begin their evolution.
Now, let's look at Mars with each of the signs; but realize that this is just an introduction to your own interpretations in The Instructions.
As you read each of these different ways of asserting ourselves, see if some of them seem like friends or work-mates or relatives... Also, if you know which Sign your Mars is in and these words don't seem like you, consider that I'm still being extremely optimistic (from necessity) plus, you could have another planet heavily modifying your Mars.
Mars using Aries is a motivation that springs ahead with such energy that restraint is next to nil if there are no other functions to slow it down or moderate it. Thankfully, it's uncommonly rare for anyone to have all ten planets in Aries! This is the first sign of spring and has all the youthful energy that it implies. People with Mars using Aries seem to have unending energy supplies. They have no problem asserting themselves and usually learn quite early that everyone else just seems to act differently. Goal and action seem to occur simultaneously-no timeouts and no restraints. But, since people with Mars using Aries do have other functions in other signs, they have the potential to channel all that energy without busting a seam against any obstacles.
Mars using Taurus is, in important ways, a polar opposite to the motivator using Aries. This combination still shows a very determined way of acting (we're still in the early phases of the energy cycle, just after the rush of the rebirth), but the application of drive is more deliberate, more restrained, more focused.
Mars using Gemini has a chance to be motivated in multiple directions simultaneously. This is a combination that can diffuse energy and spread motivation out. Sometimes this manifests as an ability to operate on multiple levels of energy use or in parallel lines of endeavor.
Mars using Cancer is an assertiveness that's motivated by strong feeling. Here is where things are not just done to be finished but to attain
some value. This is when people are able to externalize their feelings in ways that make others want to act on those feelings.
Mars using Leo is extremely outgoing yet has quite a bit of natural restraint. This is the combination that acts toward clear goals, being forward when necessary and holding back if action would impede future forward motion.
Mars using Virgo has the ability to finely focus energy use. This is a Mars that can seemingly wait forever to act at the "right" moment. This is disciplined motivation, moderated drive.
So far, we've covered Mars using what can be called the "personal" Signs. The next six combos will show a more social orientation.
Mars using Libra is the situation of working toward a balance in outgoing and incoming energy. Actions are intended to accomplish what's necessary to engage other's motivations.
Mars using Scorpio also seeks to fathom how others can be brought within the sphere of action, but the intensity of analysis is sharper, the thrust of intention is deeper.
Mars using Sagittarius takes flight and looks for distant goals that can lead yet farther. Action here is initiated for ideal reasons, socially grand designs, or future possibilities.
Mars using Capricorn has all the ambition it needs and also the practical reasons for having it. Motivation streams toward practical solutions. Assertiveness aims at accomplishments that endure.
Mars using Aquarius is action in the social arena, motivation that is fitted for group goals, assertiveness that stimulates a consensus.
Mars using Pisces is the way to make peace-act as if you were the other, act for the other, or, like the Zen mind, act without acting...
This round of motivational types was meant to be illustrative only; certainly not definitive! When you consider that Mars must act in concert with nine other functions, much of what I've indicated can be woven with other thread, colored by other filters. Still, the essence of these various ways of externalizing our drives remains.
Time to move on. There is much to do at Earth!
Read more chapters from this book:
Chapter 1: Xena and the Hordes
Chapter 2: The River of Death
Chapter 3: Idealism Abounds
Chapter 4: Venus and Her Father's Penis
Chapter 5: Transpersonal Awareness
Chapter 6: Father-Time Is All Spaced-Out
Chapter 7: Promiscuous Gods
Chapter 8: Chaos
Chapter 9: The Ancient Warrior
Chapter 10: Home Sweet Home and Lunacy
Chapter 11: Acid Love
Chapter 12: Messenger of the Gods
Chapter 13: Plasma Love
Chapter 14: Galactic Visitors