Finally the cosmic wheel turns, and forward movement is possible. Our major motion planet, Mars, has not only ended his recent retrograde (June 28, 2016), he’s now moved off his station degree, 23° Scorpio.
If you’ve noticed a lag between increasing internal drive but a lack of external progress, this “in the station” quality of Mars may be the reason. When Mars ended his retrograde at the end of June, he simply turned around so that he was now facing forwards rather than backwards, but he didn’t actually move in any substantial way.
Mars has been parked at 23° Scorpio since June 18, and it’s only now, on July 11, that Mars inches forward into a new degree, 24° Scorpio. This change brings the progress we’ve all been waiting for. It will take Mars a few weeks to pick up the pace, but what Mars offers now is movement, like taking a step in the right direction.
As Mars retraces his steps through Scorpio (until August 2, when Mars enters Sagittarius), opportunities that were missed, delayed, or have been stuck in a holding pattern since February and March may be revisited. Progress might be possible, or you may update a plan with a better strategy. Mars in Scorpio is strategic and sharp and won’t want to waste time on anything that’s no longer suitable or engaging.
By August 22, Mars will have cleared his shadow zone, moving beyond 8° Sagittarius, which is where this retrograde cycle began back in the middle of April. After that, Mars dives into zodiac territory he hasn’t visited for nearly two years, and we can all benefit from fresh energy and enthusiasm. New passions may emerge, and projects that have been simmering on the back burner may become a bigger priority.
In the second half of 2016, Mars moves through the final two thirds of Sagittarius, all of Capricorn and Aquarius, and dives into early Pisces. Contrast this to the first half of 2016, where Mars moved through all of Scorpio and only the first third of Sagittarius. With Mars covering much more ground in the final six months of the year, we can all get moving and make things happen at a faster pace. Expect the cosmic wheels to spin faster from now to the end of the year.
Light, Emergence and Clarity: Venus and Mercury
The middle of July also brings a visual shift with two other planets — Mercury and Venus. Both have been hidden, due to their closeness to the Sun. Starting on July 14 for Venus, and July 15 for Mercury, they each begin to emerge from the Sun’s glow shortly after sunset. Look west on a clear night, and you may spot
By mid-month both Venus and Mercury are settled into Leo and start to appear brighter in the western sky each night. As they move beyond the rays of the Sun, they can better express their influence. Light is held in high regard, and when a planet has light — that is, when a planet can be seen — it can better express its
Mercury and Venus have gained much to share from their time in the darkness. New ideas, connections, and possibilities that emerge mid-month may bring clarity to a clouded issue, or reveal something you had suspected but couldn’t prove.
Venus and Mercury will emerge from the sunbeams in the early degrees of Leo. The sign of the Sun loves brightness, and this may inspire bold declarations or a more confident and expressive quality.
Planets can become just visible once they move 8° – 10° away from the Sun. They become clearer and brighter the further away from the Sun they move. Once a planet is 15° – 17° degrees distant from the Sun, it’s easier to spot and begins to function with more vitality.
This quality of being overshadowed by the Sun’s light and thus hidden may have enhanced the introspective or retreat tendencies of Mercury and Venus as they moved through Cancer this June and early July. The darkness, combined with the quiet qualities of yin Cancer, may have led to a very reflective few weeks. This means that the sign change of Venus and Mercury into Leo, after which they soon emerge from the sunbeams, is more marked and also represents a light or visibility change.
Moving from water to a fire sign brings energy, as heat is activating. Moving from the darkness into the light brings confidence and encourages expression.
With Mars moving more quickly, and Venus and Mercury becoming visible, life may feel full of potential. Plans and projects are emerging, shifting, or finally happening. May you be inspired and motivated as the light of the planets becomes brighter and their gifts more apparent.
Bio: Kelly is a consulting astrologer, teacher, writer, and editor who works with clients and students around the world. With more than 12 years in private practice, Kelly is experienced, warm, and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include Moon Phases, timing techniques like progressions, and incorporating traditional concepts. She can be found lecturing at conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Kelly holds the Australian FAA Practitioner’s Diploma and is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year. Website: Kelly’s Astrology