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In late June of 2018 Mars begins its retrograde cycle, characteristically a time of slow downs, disruptions or changes in plans, and an increase in frustration or lack of energy. Mars has to do with your personal will, your ego drives (not a bad thing!), and your wants or desires. When Mars is in forward motion, you work towards what you want, fight your way through the obstacles in our path, and aim for victory in your pursuits.

But when Mars is in retrograde motion, that forward-moving energy and speed isn’t as readily available. You might feel tired, a lack of motivation or drive, or an increase in irritation and frustration. But during Mars retrograde, don’t immediately think of these experiences as negative. These can all be signals that you need to take a closer look at what you want, and perhaps to reassess your plans.

Conflicts, blocks and frustrations can show you where your plan isn’t optimized, or reveal that you aren’t as invested as you once were. Think of Mars retrograde as a helpful and necessary process, and you’ll be well on your way towards successfully navigating it.

Read more: What Do You Really Want? Mars Retrograde 2018

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What Are Out of Bounds Planets?

In this episode of Adam Sommer's podcast, I talk about out of bounds planets - how to find them and what some of their gifts are.

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Break Out of Your Box

Take special note of June 6th and 7th this week, when Mercury and Venus will both be out of bounds. Allow time for artistry, creativity, and/or relationship. Give yourself some time and head space for working out problems and brainstorming in these arenas of life.

Alan Turing was a genius codebreaker who had natal Mercury and Venus both out of bounds. What codes can you unlock during this time? Whether it's a relationship dynamic or a creative conundrum, make space for this process so you can find out.

Allow Reverie and Get Recharged

There's another signature that is amazing for imaginative thinking, dreamtime and reverie - the Moon conjunct and parallel in Pisces. It doesn't really get much dreamier than that! If you're an artist or creative writer, drop everything today and tomorrow and let your muse guide you. This is the time to let your imagination run free.

If you've been stuck in a rut, seek out inspiration through music, art, or eros (love+attraction) and let the non-linear into your field. You might be surprised where it takes you if you just get out of your own way. Whether you call it "spirit" or "your guides" or "the universe", these energies are speaking to you now. And you don't have to try hard to hear them, unless you're typically a pragmatic, material type of person. In which case, this is a brief window when you can let your hair down and at the least, chill out for a power nap and some healing downtime.

Take a walk in the woods, go for a leisurely swim, take in a sublime musical performance, invoke your guides/muse/spirit and allow magic to inform this rich but fleeting moment.

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Stephanie Starnes

Good Advice for Venus Out of Bounds in May

Lots of astrologers will be talking about Uranus moving into Taurus this month – and for good reason. Major planet ingresses are a big deal. Heck, I might even write about it for you soon. But what you might miss in all of the Uranus commotion is that Venus goes out of bounds May 5 and doesn’t come back in bounds until June 8. And that’s worth talking about. If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “out of bounds,” check out my webinar on Venus out of bounds, which includes an introduction to the concept.

Venus starts this cycle at 14° Gemini and ends at 22° Cancer, covering quite a lot of ground on the way. So if you have planets in Mutable or Cardinal signs, you’re going to see some Venus action in the coming month in the zone of life signified by the house Venus is moving through. And on the last day of this cycle – June 7 – two planets will be out of bounds at once, since Mercury starts its own out of bounds cycle that day. That’s a day to note on your calendar and watch what unfolds.

Those are the technical bits, so what’s the scoop?

Read more: Good Advice for Venus Out of Bounds in May

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Feeling Free and Frustrated

On March 17, Mars reaches a declination that is beyond the limit set by the Sun. We call that “out of bounds”. On the positive side, this can be a highly expressive time, where we might feel a little more freedom to go after what we want, take action with less of a sense of limitation, and do work that stretches our limits. On the negative side, we go rogue, awol, or do things we later regret.

Blanket statements like this can’t apply with the strength or clear channel for all of us, because planetary energies happening today are always going to refer back to our own natal charts. But we’ll be able to sense this unrestrained energy in the collective, and some of us will express it in direct ways.

For technical astro nerds, it’s important to note that when a planet is out of bounds, it’s actually further away from making close aspects with other planets if you take into account declination in addition to the “regular” longitudinal measurement of aspects. This could be the reason the out of bounds energy often has the feeling of a “wild card.” Any aspects it does make are a bit weaker than usual. So the out of bounds planet literally has less restraint and more freedom to express in uninhibited ways.

This particular Mars out of bounds cycle starts off with Mars at zero degrees Capricorn, already a charged cardinal point signifying new beginnings. In this case, maybe the start of creating/building something solid or tangible, or something with a long-term end game.

Read more: Feeling Free and Frustrated

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