On August 27, 2003, Mars will be the closest to earth at about 34.6 million
miles away in the last 59,620 years
Astrologer Erin Sullivan says about the once in about 60,000 year occurrence
which will happen again in the year 2287 AD.:
"Perhaps the wisest way to work with the unpredictable energy of Mars
retrograde, however, is to develop the discipline of the spiritual warrior who
recognizes that the true battles in life are those that take place within
oneself. Whether through prayer, yoga, meditation or psychotherapy, now is the
time, Sullivan said, to turn within and discover where there is a need to make
peace -- to fearlessly engage anxiety, fear and anger through rigorous
To know about what the astronomers and the astrologers think about this even
please click on the next line....
The Message From Mars
Astrologers explore the significance
of this month's
By Pythia Peay
Religion News Service
During the waning days of August, Mars will approach its closest point to
Earth in recorded history -- just 34.6 million miles away -- and will hover over
the eastern horizon at sunset like a scarlet star.
Mars has not come this close to Earth, said National Air and Space Museum
astronomer Sean O'Brien, since 57,617 B.C., and will not do so again until 2287.
This spectacular event will culminate over several days: On Aug. 27, Mars will
be at its closest point to Earth. The following day, the Earth will line up
exactly between the sun and Mars; and on Aug. 30, Mars will reach its closest
approach to the sun, or perihelion.
The science of astronomy calculates the planets' movements. But the art of
astrology studies the stars for symbolic clues to the invisible forces of
destiny at work behind everyday life. And this summer, astrologers are pondering
the significance of the approach of the Red Planet.
They note the event occurs when Mars appears to be moving backward against the
sky, or "retrograde," as it does every two years for two months.
Thus during the period from July 29 through Sept. 28 this year, they say, the
planet's influence over human affairs is greatly magnified.
Mythologically, the planet Mars was named after the god of war and passion. The
Greeks considered the warrior god a crude, violent deity unworthy of his own
temple. The Romans, however, glorified war and thus revered Mars, whose name was
invoked on battlefields and in temples.
As with the Romans, said astrologer Arielle Guttman, author of "Mythic
Astrology" (Lewellyn), Mars is part of America's cultural imagination. Our
heroes, she says, "are pioneers, adventurers and risk takers."
To Guttman, the current Mars alignment reflects the soul-searching triggered by
the war in Iraq around issues of war and peace -- as well as the role of
America's military might in the world.
Other astrologers concur. In the August-September issue of The Mountain
Astrologer magazine, associate editor Bill Herbst writes of the link between
recent world events and Mars' symbolism as the "adrenaline-charged god of War,
Desire and Anger."
Herbst wonders whether the closest Mars passage to Earth in millennia is "a
cautionary tale, a cosmic telegram from the gods" that warns how primitive and
reckless human beings continue to be.
Astrologer Erin Sullivan said when the "god of war is in the sign of Pisces --
the sign of victims and sacrifice -- it brings up all of the fear and suffering
in the collective psyche" of humanity, as well as compassion toward the
downtrodden victims of war.
Just as the masculine god in the softer sign of Pisces is generating reflection
on issues of war and peace, so, too, is it stirring up controversy about the
traditional roles of men.
"Mars in Pisces is the opposite of the classic John Wayne hero archetype,"
said Guttman. "Instead, it's the feminine-masculine -- which is why the topic of
the election of the gay Episcopalian bishop, as well as gay marriages" have
featured so prominently in the media, she says.
While large-scale events may be transpiring on the world stage, astrologers warn
individuals, too, may find themselves contending with their own private battles.
As Mars rules anger and aggression, the two-month period when the planet of
action is retrograde can mark a time of increased frustration. Efforts to move
forward or to initiate a new project may meet unforeseen obstacles.
For this reason astrologers counsel their clients to handle disputes with
"People who have their own little wars going on need to call a cease-fire," said
Sullivan, author of "Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape" (Weiser).
"There is no point in arguing under Mars retrograde because you don't get
The message during Mars retrograde, Sullivan said, is to slow down and stop
forcing issues because "if you push under a Mars retrograde you might end up
getting something you don't want."
According to Guttman, Mars retrograde can be a favorable time to bring up
long-simmering grievances -- provided those involved act with thoughtfulness.
Rather than blurting out accusations or exacting revenge, people can take
advantage of Mars retrograde to address old hurts festering beneath the surface
through means such as conflict resolution or therapy.
Some may wonder how to handle the practical side of life under Mars
retrograde. While it is wise to think carefully before acting on anything of
major significance, most astrologers interviewed say they would not put off
going forward with the usual business of life -- if done with forethought.
Guttman, however, advises against buying a car, dangerous machinery or any kind
of weapon -- and warns clients to drive carefully and beware of accidents.
One way to work with the feelings of impatience that may arise during this time
period is through strenuous physical activity. As Mars rules thumos, the ancient
Greek concept for "life force," said Sullivan, the misplaced aggression that can
result from pent-up frustration can be positively channeled through aerobics,
yoga, tai chi or a sport like basketball or tennis.
Perhaps the wisest way to work with the unpredictable energy of Mars retrograde,
however, is to develop the discipline of the spiritual warrior who recognizes
that the true battles in life are those that take place within oneself. Whether
through prayer, yoga, meditation or psychotherapy, now is the time, Sullivan
said, to turn within and discover where there is a need to make peace -- to
fearlessly engage anxiety, fear and anger through rigorous self-examination.