With the exception of the earth, all planets in the solar system - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto - embark on a 3-fold path at some point on their journey around the Sun. Relative to the earth, it appears that during these particular times, these planets follow a pre-determined path and move backwards.
The pattern goes something like this - planet moves forward and at some point, at the station retrograde, begins to move backward and retraces its path until the station direct where it begins to move forward again. During the path, it journeys through the degrees and the signs of the horoscope three times. Once moving forward, 2nd time moving backwards and the third time moving forward again.
These retrograde journeys are archetypal - that is, they call forth a deep recognition of a universal journey in the human psyche. The three fold nature of the retrograde path can be found in other aspects of the human condition. There are 3 aspects of time - "past present and future". In fairy tales, heros and heroines must accomplish three tasks. There are 3 degress of craftman: apprentice, journeyman and Master. Three states of matter - solid, liquid, gas. In Alchemy, there are three heavenly substances - Salt, Mercury and and Sulfer. And the process of alchemy itself is a three fold art with alchemical process following the sequence of nigredo (black), the albedo (white) and the rubedo (red). Carl Jung identified that psychological development follows process of unity, the duality arising from the tension of competing energies that creates psychological distress, followed by synthesis available through consciousness and awareness that leads to a new wholeness and unity. The process then begins all over again as we engage in our individuation towards wholeness.
How can we take this archetypal journey of retrograde planets and use it to add meaning and richness to our lives? How can this three fold journey be in service to psychological development and our individuation project.
Mars is now on the first leg of its 3 fold path starting the journey on October 17 2009. Look in your life, what began that day? New ideas, projects or actions appeared in your life. I started a new Self Expression and Leadership program that Saturday. My first program as Head Coach. Mars is the planet of action, drive, ambition, outward action, and desire. It is a masculine planet which defines what drives us and how we purse our life's ambitions and goals. It tells us what motivates us and what desires drive us most powerfully.
Mars will station on December 20, 2009 and will remain retrograde for just under 3 months, turning direct March 10 2010. During this time, outer action might be thwarted as the Mars energy is reevaluated or there might be a need to rethink some action.
Maybe the point of reflection for this is who does Mars serve? Does he serve some old pattern of behaviour that is more interested in outer achievement and appearances, or does it serve the deeper life force moving through the psyche?
Christina Becker is a Jungian Analyst, Psychological Astrologer and Consultant with a private practice in Toronto, Ontario Canada. She is graduate of the C.G. Institute Zurich. Her practice purpose is to empower individuals, couples, teams and organizations on their path of transformation. Her website is www.cjbecker.com