© 2019 Tara Aal

Mars Me Up! – Living Mars 1st
July 20, 2017 – July 20, 2018

I could make up meaning for why my Mars 1st year was so dynamic…like Mars rules my natal chart or I had a Mars-Sun conjunction in my 2017 Solar Return, and it could be true, but my inner Mars would rather just get on with it. I’ve already waited more than a year to get my Mars time documented. Oddly, or maybe not, I updated my website with my most recent planets 1st (Moon and Saturn) before Mars. I’ve got lots of Mars notes in my journals but haven’t taken the time to bring it all together until now. And it turns out that as I'm typing right now, I realize it's just a week before my current Mars Return, so it's perfect timing.

 

Ask and I shall receive

 

Just nine days into my Mars 1st year, my boss asked me to take the initiative and actively get what my team needed to do our job. I’d been asking via email and trying to request meetings and it wasn’t working. My boss told me to physically get the attention of the person who could provide the answers. Asking was NOT working. I was grouchy about it but realized if anyone was up to the task, it’s Mars. Actual keywords for Mars were assertively commanded at me, and after all, I did choose Mars 1st. This was the medicine I prescribed myself and I wasn’t specific about how I’d like to receive it.

 

Angry me

 

Anger is something I smash into a small container, mostly my digestive system. During this year, I felt how much my anger wants to move. In astro talk, moving my Mars to the 1st freed it from the fixed 5th house where the flow of energy is inward; building and blazing inside me. In the 1st, we work with cardinal fire or what I like to call “operation blowtorch,” which shoots straight like an arrow – out, not in. I was on board with this and wanted to let some anger and aggression out! The more I reflected on Mars and its association with action, I realized how much having to do things makes me angry. I just get tired of it, especially when I don’t like it. I wrote in my journal: “It WAS too much. This isn’t a statement for effect. It really was. Too fucking much but I didn’t know that – I thought I should be able to do it.” Sometimes I push myself too hard, and sometimes I’m just too soft and quick to sit in my self-created suffering. Mars on the 1st is not a wallowing type or someone who takes the backseat. Was I neglecting to assert myself on my own behalf when it really counted? For as bossy as I can be, the answer is “yes.”  

 

Bring on the fight

 

On August 21, 2017, we had a New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Leo at 29 degrees. My natal Mars is 26 degrees Leo, so this one touched me personally. If I feel it, it’s in orb for me 😉. Something VERY upsetting happened at work – without going into details, I stood up for myself and gave my notice of resignation on August 29. At the time I wasn’t paying attention, but months later I realized that transiting Mars was also on this New Moon Eclipse, so of course, my Mars return came around just days later, on August 30. My natal Moon is conjunct Mars with Moon at 23 degrees Leo. In my journal I wrote that: “My Mars is happy to be in a different house than my Moon (Mars 1st moves Moon to the 12th) – finally, Mars has agency without attachment to life-sucking Moon.” That is a short sentence with a big statement highlighting how I degrade what I’ve come to define as the Moon. Sometimes I celebrate it, but when shit hits the fan, I almost always side with the “tough” guy. For this Mars return, I was the tough one, at least briefly, and it felt pretty good. They did talk me into staying at my job though – mostly because a new director had just been hired to oversee my department, an Aries with an Aries stellium, and she was someone I could go to bat for, and to date, I still do.

 

Do my own thing or don’t do it at all

 

In September 2017, I taught a free community webinar through Kepler College on Planets 1st and after, they invited me to offer a paid online workshop. I was excited to present “Mars -Vital Integration of the Masculine” in December, but only one person signed up. Kepler was awesome and suggested we reschedule, but still no interest. Guess people weren’t in the mood for the “marvelous masculine” or for what I had to say at that time. I don’t know, it just wasn’t a go. The masculine isn’t form, so it’s strange trying to shove it into PowerPoint slides anyway. I don’t even like the words masculine and feminine because they’re automatically associated with male and female. Yin and yang feel better. Mars is yang, and yang energy wants to separate and do its own thing. It wants to break out of the flow. Maybe I was, and still am, stuck in a web of others and things and physical binds? In that presentation, I included some good stuff, but looking at it again now, there’s not much authentic me in it; it’s missing my personal experiences and my essence. I compiled that presentation mostly with what I’d learned from my teachers and resources. My voice never really showed up. Yang energy can disrupt and shatter structure and I had some deconstruction to initiate in my own life. I needed to DO more of my own Mars and let my sharing come from that.

 

Life faced with death

 

Mid-November 2017 I was in a car accident that totaled my car and really scared me. I hit my head hard which resulted in an ER visit and some minor staples in my scalp. I missed a few days of work while I got my equilibrium back. This was the first time I’d had such a serious incident and it gave me a new appreciation for my brain, life, and a safe vehicle. Continuing the “life and death” theme, at the end of November, I had a particularly meaningful dream. I was with my dear friend, Yara, who had taken some of my astrology classes a few years back. In the dream, I was reading a chart (maybe hers) and the planets started disappearing from the page and I could see nothing to read from. Yara said: “When I started classes with you, you were really a teacher. Now you are really a learner.” I named this dream disappearing astrology. Yara was very sick with cancer at the time and she died on her birthday in June 2018. My life is better because of her; I am a better person for knowing her. Mars is a symbol of life force and when it comes down to it, when we’re fighting to live, or spending our last moments with a loved one, it’s most important to show up. Never mind the reasons, correspondences, or trajectory. Life is NOW. My friend got it. Just like in my dream, anything we “read” is already old news and fading away.

 

Enter horoscopes

 

I’d been selected to speak at the United Astrology Conference in May 2018 – on Choosing Planets 1st. Conscious Community Magazine found me through UAC advertising and hired me to write their Cosmic Daily Weather monthly column. I’ve never been attracted to writing horoscopes or forecasts, but I took this on with passion; sometimes with love and other times hate. It’s a big chunk of writing for a small sum of money. I did it for the experience and I learned a lot, especially about what I like and don’t like about astrology. And horoscopes just wouldn’t leave me alone. Rick Levine offered me the potential opportunity to write daily horoscopes for Tarot.com in June 2018. I was super excited going through the interview process. In the end, I don’t know if they would have chosen me or not. I knew this job was going to be too much combined with my fulltime gig at Sage Goddess and personal practice. Plus, I still didn’t feel like horoscopes were my thing. Funny part is that after all this, my job at Sage Goddess began requiring me to write monthly horoscopes which continues today.

 

Just doing it

 

During this year, I made it my practice to keep moving. Lots of things were happening and I spent less time planning and thinking about them. Mars 1st for me was doing. Physically, I was extra acne-prone (typical fiery eruptions) and lost a little weight. Through frustration and more than a little ego, I came face-to-face with myself as a writer and teacher. What was motivating me to share astrology and spiritual insight? Did I truly desire recognition and some sort of fame? For the first time I can remember, I was enjoying the message more than being the messenger. This opened something new in me. I found I’d rather be doing things than talking about them or reporting on what I’m doing. My dislike of social media was growing, and I got little pleasure from showing anything off. I noted that I do best when I just do it and I don’t need to prove that I did it. I was enjoying work more than ever; the actual work itself and enjoying being myself in and as the work. Almost eight years ago, I had a session with astrologer Steve Dahmus. He shared many valuable insights. I have this starred in my notes from the reading: “decide moment to moment what I want to do.” I believe I’m finally stepping into this advice.

 

You can’t plan this stuff

 

I participated in Kepler Astrology Day in March 2018 and was teamed up with Christeen Skinner and Wade Caves – lucky me! We all shared our backgrounds and celebrated what most influenced us to become astrologers. I was going on about Planets 1st and Mars and when we were finished, Christeen told me that as I said: “feel Mars, experience Mars, live Mars!” that Mars moved from Sagittarius to Capricorn. I hadn’t planned this, but I’ve learned that when I set my intention on something and follow my intuition, it’s even better than if I had. To add to this fun, Mars moving into Capricorn at 0 degrees was opposing my Venus at 0 degrees Cancer. “Feel Mars” was happening in me, coming out of my mouth, and mirrored by the planets.

 

Summer 2018, Mars was brighter in the sky than it had been for many years. National Geographic put out a MARS edition that I bought and saved as memorabilia. I figure it’s an amazing year when National Geographic seems to play right into my Choosing Planets 1st with a special publication just in time for my Mars.   

 

Mars talk

 

The following is taken directly from my journal, written at the very end of my Mars 1st year.

 

And I face it – what I had chosen. To choose isn’t necessarily to integrate. I hope I’ve done some of the work, but that doesn’t really matter. Strange how some things get smaller to get bigger. I fight. I’m a fighter. I am fighting. Let’s give Mars a name. The Red Planet personified. What’s my version of this body in our solar system – in my own being? Whom did I choose a year ago? I’d like to name it as a big cat who hunts by night under the Moon, and it would be true, but it’s not quite right for right now. I will call it “NOW,” which means the present moment. When I chose Mars, I chose “Now.” Mars is “Now.”

 

Now “Now” is an interesting thing except it cares nothing for being anything. It’s much more of a doing, defined in action, or as action. Last year, I chose Mars 1st, but I didn’t really choose anything different from all my other years, except a willingness to be it. And “it” is me. “Now” became a real player in the game. “Now” cared less for yesterday and tomorrow. “Now” has nowhere to go. To choose “Now” is not waiting to get through something or trying to remember something.

 

I chose to show up and to say “no.” I thought I was learning to say “no” to external things – well, I wouldn’t have said that then, but I acted and reacted against external “pressure.” And I still will – it’s my nature. I’m not, however, hunting myself as a pack of wolves after a deer. That thing I was so certain needed to be taken down has been rescued by “Now” and “Now” also rescued the hunters. What did “Now” rescue them from? From destruction with no hope of creation. From death without ever living. From a life of illusion.

 

I would never fight it off. Not even starving it would strip it away. “Now” is a strange thing for a human mind to work with. So, I’m going to find other ways to be with “Now.” Other ways to BE “Now.” Now that “Now” is here, now what?

 

Really? I don’t hear anything. Still nothing. “Now” says nothing.

 

My Mars is in Leo. Isn’t there even a roar? Mars is conjunct my Moon. Doesn’t it have an old memory to share? A feeling to express? I’ve always worked with a manipulated version of “Now” - “Now” with the past to explain it, “Now” with the future to distort it, or “Now” as a manufactured moment. And “Now” really is none of this.

 

Do people generally know they have a “Now?” Do they realize it can barely breathe? How we obscure it and dress it up… until we’re sure we can hear the answers? When it always says nothing.

 

In my “Now,” I reclaim my nothing. I hope I’m giving myself something. In this big open space of nothing.

 

This is not, for a second, how I would have imagined my Mars 1st year ending. But I didn’t try to imagine it. And during this year, I was given the name “Mother Moon” at the office. My “Now” is lunar in nature, with Mars conjunct Moon, and Mars rules my chart. This year has been my personal self (in the present moment) rising. I am rising. Now!

 

**Post note: Clearly, I try to use my mind to understand and explain things. I have South Node in Gemini ruled by Mercury conjunct Saturn. I recognize that as I write about Mars, which I’m calling “Now,” I’m out of the moment. By the time I think and write about it, it’s gone. The intellectual mind works post-text – it’s not “Now” at all. I was trying to think about “Now” which may not even be possible. You may not relate to Mars as “Now.” It might not make sense to you. It’s just what showed up for me. It seems silly to write about a “Now” that isn’t now anymore, but for now, 😉 I’m doing it anyway.