Mars Retrograde 2018

Full Moon in Capricorn and Mars Retrograde in Aquarius: Won’t You Be, Won’t You Be, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
— Fred Rogers


Full Moon in Capricorn 6˚28’, 9:53 PM, Conjunct Saturn in Capricorn 5˚49’Rx at 8:34 PM, Square Chiron in Aries 2˚24’at 1:41 PM, Trine Uranus in Taurus 1˚54’at 12:40 PM, PDT, June 27.

Mars station retrograde 9˚13’ Aquarius, 2:05 PM, PDT, June 26.


Yesterday I went to see the new movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, about the life and public mission of Fred Rogers, a.k.a. ‘Mister Rogers’, directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville.  It seems that everyone’s favorite neighbor has returned to our collective consciousness. It is not surprising that a film celebrating the strong will and intellect of a man, who successfully fought for justice and dignity for all children, should be popular at the moment. A moment when the right of children to remain with their parents seems at jeopardy and images of broken families saturate the media. I assume most of us feel as I do; I want to act, change, move my magic wand, and somehow reunite the families torn apart at the U.S. national border. Yet how do I find that inner warrior and what path, what part, do I play in the fight for justice? For a better world? For radical change? I don’t have a small Tiger sock puppet, as Mister Rogers had, to help me face such challenges but, well, I try to use this time, a retrograde Mars in Aquarius and a Full Moon in Capricorn, to find my own inner mountain to climb, maybe my own small way of making a difference, a way to make my contribution real.


The Full Moon in Capricorn, 6˚28’ conjunct Saturn, may bring limitations, and, depending upon the House location and aspects the Moon makes to your natal chart, may not be the easiest of Full Moon celebrations. The Moon also forms a trine, 120˚, aspect to Uranus in Taurus, earlier in the day (or night, depending upon your location!), so, with effort, new directions may awaken in us, but strategy is in the planning. Also several hours before, the Moon will form a square to Chiron in Aries, a wound in action or lack of assertion in the past may be in memory and up for release so the inner healer may open as part of the plan, the strategy. Strategy is a great Capricorn word. I believe being open to seeing limitations or obstacles as just one inevitable part of long-term change can be a possible strategy for this particular Moon time. Taking it in as part of our overall strategy for our future might help. I also think it is instructive to look at these signs  – Capricorn and Aquarius – in the example of Mister Rogers’ birth chart and see if it might give us some clues.



I can’t help thinking the current popularity of the documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, is somehow reflective of the astrological moment. The planet Mars is stationing and turning retrograde as I write, the afternoon of June 26 (PDT), at 9˚ Aquarius. In Fred Roger’s birth chart, Mars is in Aquarius, 16˚ 11’ (if we use the 8:20 AM birth time - see below - Mars is in the 10th House - House of mission)  – fixed, air energy – the sign ruled by both Saturn and Uranus – can be the rebel and revolutionary fighter, stubborn advocate for ethical treatment of the outsider, the underdog, while also holding firm to what one believes is right despite the status quo, or perhaps I should say, what appears to be the status quo. Mars in Aquarius is about ideas, revolutionary ones, and defending those ideas and putting them into action. It may not always be about justice; my own father’s natal Mars in Aquarius contributed to him becoming a cutting-edge artist and designer in the 1960s, helping to create a radical new vision in the world of design. Much of what we consider “retro ‘60s” today in terms of design came, at least in part, from my Dad’s and other artists’, willingness to think and act differently about art and design, to be the “outsiders.”


A number of astrologers have discussed the birth chart of Fred Rogers, ‘Mister Rogers’, and so I don’t wish to repeat what has been said. There are just a few points about his birth chart that I find useful for considering the current Full Moon and for this time of turning inward as we consider what Mars retrograde in the weeks ahead may mean for us. Fred Rogers was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on March 20, 1928. His chart has been given an A Rodden rating because the birth time is based upon family memory. The time widely accepted and used to prepare his chart is 8:20 AM. Accurate timing of birth is critical to a proper reading and Rogers’ chart is a good example of how radically different a birth chart can be if time is set differently. Other astrologers have discussed at length Rogers’ Pisces stellium, a number of planets are in the water sign. Using the 8:20 AM time, his Pisces Sun, along with his Pisces Moon, 11˚ 56’, Venus, 2˚58’ and Mercury, 2˚ 02’ gifted Rogers with the creative vision and imagination to access the world of a child, while also seeing the Divine expressed in all beings (Rogers was also a minister, musician, artist and deeply compassionate - his compassion for all animals led him to become a vegetarian in midlife). Rogers’ natal Sun is at the critical degree 29˚ 42’ Pisces – very close to Aries, so close this Sun, on the cusp, could be interpreted as Pisces with a spice of Aries flavor. If he was born later that day, he would be an Aries. His Sun is conjunct his 3˚09’ Aries Uranus. Mild-mannered Mister Rogers, loving visionary Pisces, created alternative worlds of fantasy to reach children, but he was also a passionate fighter.



Rogers’ natal Sun was colored by the close conjunction with fiery revolutionary Uranus in Aries, a sign ruled by Mars. Mister Rogers’ had the solar identity of both the mystic and the warrior, one who fought for the outsiders, the ones most vulnerable in the collective (if 8:20 AM is used as the birth time, his Sun / Uranus conjunction falls in the 12th House). When Uranus by transit opposed Rogers’ Natal Sun and Uranus conjunction, in 1969, he made his famous defense of PBS broadcasting and children’s educational television in front of a U.S. Senate Committee during the congressional hearing over federal funding for Public television. Working together with his Sun/Uranus conjunction, Mars in Aquarius in Rogers’ chart forms a sextile with natal Saturn, at 19˚ 04’ Sagittarius, providing strong, solid convictions and faith in what he held sacred: all children should be honored with utmost respect, always cherished for what made each of them unique: “I hope that you'll remember…Even when you’re feeling blue. That’s it’s you I like” and “There is only one in this wonderful world. You are special.” Looking at Rogers’ Midheaven (using the 8:20 AM birth time), the sign Capricorn suggests Fred Rogers was seen as a parental figure, a wise one, an elder in the community, in the “neighborhood.” He certainly had a strong sense of ethics, holding firm to them in times of battle, and gently, but boldly correcting mainstream attitudes toward racial segregation by offering to soak his white feet in a kid’s bathing pool with the feet of his black neighbor, Officer Clemmons, at a time when many across America forced blacks out of public pools for whites.


Capricorn is often seen as the rigid face of patriarchal authority, but the sign is also one of structure, tradition, and morals. The current Full Moon in Capricorn conjunct Saturn is telling us “Ok, time to get real”: what do we hold high in terms of our ethics?  What structures and goals do we strive for? What obstacles are worth tackling? With Aquarius Mars retrograde, we might also reflect what or whose battles are worth the fight? Saturn’s transit in Capricorn touches us individually depending upon the House(s) Capricorn occupies in our birth chart and also the natal placement of the planets Saturn aspects. The House(s) reveal the arenas or places these questions may be playing out for each of us. In any case, however, I believe the Full Moon conjunct Saturn shows us how to be mature, to grow, by giving us these obstacles so that we might find the right path, the one worth the climb. How do we become the elder in the House(s) where Capricorn graces our charts?



Most recognize the Full Moon as a phase of fulfillment and making manifest what has been in process for us as Saturn has asked us to plan and work diligently toward our goals (again look to the House placement to reflect upon where in your life these plans are in process). Saturn may offer us obstacles to make us question our path. Saturn also may make this Full Moon seem like things are worse than they are; a bit of a downer. But the gift Saturn gives is time. Be patient and try to see frustrations or blockages as just one more avenue to help us see what really matters or perhaps the ways we really can make a difference. Saturn in transit in your 4th House and building that new home? What additional work needs to be done? What is it that is going to give you long-term happiness and a feeling of accomplishment in that home? In the 7th House or aspecting Venus? Do restrictions or frustrations in relationship help us better understand commitment or our needs for security? It is not easy to deal with the disappointments of Saturn and they may very well confront us. But one of the gifts of a Saturnine nature or the sign of Capricorn is endurance. Again, let’s consider the wise Mister Rogers with Capricorn at the most public arena of his chart, asked by the U.S. Senate Committee to not read his prepared speech, so carefully worked out, but rather to openly speak his mind. Instead of falling under an unseen obstacle, Rogers waits, gathers his thoughts and speaks slow, patiently, with wisdom – and with grace.


Under the current Full Moon, Saturn’s potential for blockage will be compounded by Mars appearing to move retrograde (Saturn is also retrograde at the moment). I think it will help to recall how retrograde motion allows us fresh opportunities to reconsider, rework, reprogram, reconstruct our sense of action in the part of our chart we find the sign of Aquarius. Time to process through our own Martian desire to be warriors for what we believe needs to change beyond the status quo, for those outsiders or underdogs we wish to aid, and, maybe most important, for the rebels in ourselves. As a fixed energy, Aquarius can also be stuck or rigid in terms of the ideas we hold true, what opinions we value. In the retrograde period, we can wrestle with perhaps the ideas or notions we need to reprogram to move us collectively into a productive future. What cause, what outsider do you seek to protect? How can we all work together and fight for radical change? What strategies and goals are worth our time and effort?


Blessings to everyone on this Full Moon in Capricorn!