The Great 2018 Mars Opposition

by Hank Friedman

As astronomers know, when Mars is opposite the Sun, it is also closest to the Earth, and therefore is visibly at its largest when viewed by us.

During this time, Mars is Retrograde.

The following video shows both the retrogradation of Mars (from June through August) and its change in apparent size during this period. (Pay attention to the size of the red dot.)

[If you can't see the video, click here to download it to your computer to watch it.]

Here's an astronomical snapshot of Mars' movement:


The dates of the Retrogradation and opposition are:


or as shown in Solar Fire's Time Map:


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The Power of Mars when Retrograde
(Opposite to the Sun)

As the ancient astronomers knew, when Mars "went its own way" -- started retrograding -- it was a major astronomical (and astrological) event, because the apparent size of Mars changed radically:



No wonder that Vedic astrology, which is based upon observing the actual sky (much more than Western astrology is), has always understood that planets are more powerful when they are retrograde.

After all, which of the above two Mars looks more powerful to you?

Even in the time period from January through April this year, its size has changed dramatically:

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The Chart of the Exact Opposition


In looking at the moment when the Sun is exactly opposite Mars, I immediately noticed that a Total Lunar Eclipse was about to happen (and in fact it happens later that day!).

[For astrologers who don't know what to look for, the tight conjunction of the Sun and the North Node is the first clue. And the second clue is that a Full Moon is about to occur that day.]



Side bar on direct and indirect influences

In psychology, we talk about conditioning versus modeling.

Conditioning is the result of the way a parent treats a child, I.e interacts with them. The actions of the parent towards the child directly affect the child.

Modeling, on the other hand, is how the child unconsciously mimics and models their parents moods, self-assessments, beliefs and other attributes. Each parent's own patterns indirectly affect the child, in this case.

Analogously, when transiting or progressing planets aspect a natal chart's planets, there is a direct effect.

But when the sky has attributes similar to a birth chart, without actually aspecting the birth chart, there's an indirect effect.

E.g. Everyone who has Mercury retrograde in their birth chart will be more affected when Mercury turns retrograde than those who have Mercury direct in their birth chart.


I am introducing the idea of indirect astrological influences because the day of the closest approach of Mars, and the Lunar Eclipse, echoes two themes in Donald Trump's chart.

Donald Trump was born on the day of a Lunar Eclipse, with Mars Rising (making Mars very strong).

The astronomical and astrological events of July 27th mirror his chart, and therefore should have a major impact on Donald Trump, and as a result on the entire country.


My hope is that on the day of the Mars opposition, the president thinks carefully before acting, and proceeds with caution.

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Will These Events affect me?

The Lunar Eclipse on July 27th will affect you if you have one or more planets in Leo or Aquarius between 3 degrees 45 minutes and 5 degrees 45 minutes (I.e. one degree on either side of the actual position of the Moon during the eclipse).

If the planet in your chart is in Aquarius in that degree range, you might feel inhibited, unseen, or blocked in your endeavors, while if the planet is in Leo, its themes may become exaggerated and magnified.

If you have a strong Mars in your chart -- e.g. at an angle, or alone in half the sky, or retrograde, or strong by sign -- then you may feel energized, heated up, or otherwise more fiery during the days around July 27th. Please think before you act.


Credits:

The Mars animation came from SkyGazer 4.5, my favorite new astronomy program.

The celestial sky image came from http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/mars.htm

The table of dates comes from http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/jbeish/2018_MARS.htm

The images of Mars apparent size variations come from NASA, specifically https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/21871/mars-apparent-brightness-increases-as-it-gets-closer-to-earth/
and https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180601.html

Follow the above links for more information on the Mars opposition.


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