Mars Retrograde and conjunct Ketu in 2018

On Wednesday, May 2nd, Mars enters sidereal Capricorn. Usually Mars transits through a sign in about 6 weeks, but this year while in Capricorn the planet will go through a retrograde period, which will keep it in this sign for six months, until November 5th. For the entire time it spends  in Capricorn, Mars teams up with Ketu, the South Node of the Moon, one of the eclipse points.

Mars is the planet of Energy, Action, and Results. Mars is the “Do It” planet. Capricorn is the sign of Practical Realization; Capricorn wants Tangible Accomplishments. So this sounds like a good fit, and it is: Capricorn is Mars’s sign of Exaltation, i.e., the planet works exceptionally well in this sign. It’s a great combination for accomplishing one’s goals.

But there’s a problem: Mars + Ketu is not such a great combination. As the Do-it planet, Mars wants to Make Things Happen; but Ketu tends to undo Things. This is because Ketu, as the significator of Past Karma, represents the Non-manifest world, the Unseen. Ketu is like Anti-matter; it can even dissolve things on the material plane.

Having the planet of action combine with the significator of past karma results in “Action on Past Karma;” i.e., Paying for the Deeds of the Past. Additionally, Ketu, like Mars, has a fiery quality. Putting the two together can be quite combustible. The energy of this astrological combination is not to be trusted and can result in out-of-control events.

Mars and Ketu cross paths once every couple of years. Since the nodes move though the zodiac in the opposite direction from the other planets, the worst of the interaction between Mars and Ketu normally only lasts for a week or so.  But due to going through a retrograde period this year, Mars will be staying in Capricorn, together with Ketu, until November. This several-months-long Mars-Ketu interaction is an unusual and potentially problematic energy pattern. For much of that time Mars and Ketu will be closely conjunct, resulting in a rather high likelihood for those out-of-control events. Their first tight interaction begins in early June.

As Mars approaches the time of its retrograde, it slows down in its progress in the zodiac. When Mars begins its retrograde phase on June 26, it is still maintaining close contact with Ketu. Then, as Mars “backs up” in the zodiac, it remains in close conjunction with Ketu through July. Mars next retrogrades several degrees “past” Ketu in August. After ending its retrograde on August 27th, Mars slowly goes back to normal forward motion and will again be conjunct Ketu at the end of September and into October. Finally, Mars leaves Ketu behind when it enters Aquarius in early November.

As the planet of Aggression and Conflict, Mars is one of the “natural malefic” planets, i.e., capable of Doing Harm.  Retrograde planets are closer to the Earth than normal, therefore extra bright in the Heavens, therefore extra powerful. When it is Retrograde, Mars becomes more malefic than usual. Mars, the energy of Force and Aggression, “being held back” in the Zodiac, creates a “Pressure-cooker” type of energy, i.e., tension builds up, with the potential for an explosion when something else, like another planet (such as the Moon), comes along to set it off.

Adding Ketu’s dissolving, chaotic energy to Mars Retrograde sounds like a recipe for disaster. Generally the perception, which may in fact be the reality, will be that things are spiraling out of control. In any case, the planet of action going “backwards” in the zodiac is not going to be favorable for moving forward on any projects. New endeavors tend to get obstructed, delayed, and even backfire. Mars Retrograde can be useful for strategizing, for getting things ready to move forward once the retrograde is over. But with Ketu combined with retrograde Mars all bets are off; Ketu’s mysterious unpredictability can throw a monkey wrench into any plans.

During the six months of the Mars-Ketu interaction the other planets are each doing their own thing in the zodiac, forming various patterns, each with their own potential for events. Some of these interact with Mars + Ketu. For instance, at the end of July there will be a Total Lunar Eclipse, with retrograde Mars and Ketu tightly bracketing the eclipse on either side. This is a particularly evil arrangement, indicating that something nasty will be happening at the end of July.

The energy of Retrograde Mars + Ketu can be quite Volatile, since both of these planets have a Fiery nature. This combustibility manifests through the filter of the sign it is in, Capricorn. It’s the sign of Practical Realization through work and effort and taking on responsibility; Capricorn is the “manager sign” of the zodiac. The general result of retrograde Mars conjunct Ketu will be to upset this managerial energy, making everything less dependable, and the attainment of tangible goals much more difficult.

On the upside, the apparent chaos caused by this unusual combination may encourage us to question our attachment to our reality structures. This can help us see through the illusion and realize the impermanence of things.

How does this Astrology Pattern manifest for people’s personal charts? Find the house in your chart containing the sign Capricorn. Get ready for some surprises involving the affairs of that part of your life this summer. It would not be a good idea to begin anything important related to that part of your life during these months. Here is a summary of what to be aware of for each of the 12 Rising Sign Charts:

Aries Rising: Capricorn = 10th house. Retro Mars + Ketu brings Action and Problems to your house of Career, Business, Community, Reputation.

Taurus Rising: Capricorn = 9th house. Retro Mars + Ketu creates problems for your house of Father, Guru, Higher Studies, Long Distance Travel.

Gemini Rising: Capricorn = 8th house. Retro Mars + Ketu plagues your Financial Involvements with Others; potential for Unexpected Big Changes.

Cancer Rising: Capricorn = 7th house. Actions and Uncertainty in Spousal Relations, or with Business Partnerships, Clients, or your Direct Opponent.

Leo Rising: Capricorn = 6th house. Retro Mars + Ketu = Problems and Mysterious Events concerning your Health, Job, Struggle with Enemy.

Virgo Rising: Capricorn = 5th house. Retro Mars + Ketu = Conflict with Child or Lover. Creative Project gets delayed; Investment backfires.

Libra Rising: Capricorn = 4th house. Retro Mars + Ketu = Conflict & Change in the Home and/or with Mother and potential for Vehicle problems.

Scorpio Rising: Capricorn = 3rd house. Issues with or Misfortune for Sibling, Close Relative, or Neighbor. Efforts & Initiative tend to Backfire.

Sagittarius Rising: Capricorn = 2nd house. Mars + Ketu brings problems with Family, Personal Finances. Mars in 2nd house of Speech = Arguments.

Capricorn Rising: Capricorn is the Ascendant. Problems all around especially due to Haste & Impatience, and due to Bad Timing.

Aquarius Rising: Capricorn = 12th house. Mars + Ketu brings Anxiety to the house of the Subconscious, problems with Strangers, a Hidden Enemy.

Pisces Rising: Capricorn = 11th house. Retro Mars + Ketu brings surprising problems for Friends & Associates; Ambitions tend to Backfire.

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