Ready to face the warrior within? Well, you might not have a choice this summer. From June 26-August 27, 2018, feisty Mars will be retrograde—a nine-week period that really packs a punch! Here, our resident wellness alchemist Stephanie Gailing provides us with a few starpowered health tips to maximize well-being during this taxing planetary phase. Salud! T&O
By Stephanie Gailing, MS
Astrologer & Wellness Alchemist
Warrior planet Mars only turns retrograde once every two years, and backspins through a different star sign each time. From June 26-August 27, 2018, the red planet will retreat through progressive Aquarius (until August 12), then round out the retrograde in structured Capricorn for the duration of the cycle.
With every burning sensation from lust to anger becoming amplified, tensions can run high while energetic Mars is off-course. But this period of review and reflection can also churn up an arsenal of clearer insights. Through conflict, we can find better ways to assert ourselves (perhaps with a few trial runs and some anger management moments). Raw and buried desires may surface as well—and some might even become champions for the underdog—especially while Mars is reverse in Aquarius. As we push past frustrating roadblocks, we’ll all learn a few new ways for fueling ourselves into action. And while Mars retreats through Capricorn, we might even reprise a forgotten project or an abandoned goal.
To help you face the unique opportunities and challenges this powered-down Mars cycle may offer, here are some stellar wellness strategies tailored especially for this time.
Impatiens Flower Essence
We are used to thinking that achievement comes about by moving forward—and at the quickest clip possible. Yet that is simply not the M.O. of Mars retrograde, a time when we’re rewarded by moving mindfully, and often by going backward to mine the past for buried treasures of insight. To amplify the persevering patience this time requires, try Impatiens flower essences. This relaxing elixir can help you to flow in the moment, unwind and take your time with activities. Since Aquarius rules the nervous system, Impatiens may be especially helpful while Mars is retrograde in the Water Bearer’s realm, from June 26 until August 12.
To use Impatiens, add four drops of the essence to a container of water and sip throughout the day. Alternatively, add the drops to a one-ounce mister bottle, fill with water plus a tablespoon of vodka—and several drops of your favorite essential oil, if you like. Spritz yourself with this mixture throughout the day.
Social media may offer us the benefits of engaging, learning and communicating, but along with that comes a bevy of costs. Researchers are finding that using these digital platforms can actually make our minds MORE distracted, cause feelings of isolation and ratchet up our anxiety. With Mars reversing its course in technophile Aquarius, take the opportunity to declutter digitally and forge a new relationship with technology. Allocate a day here or there—or even once a week—for a “social media diet,” abstaining from using Instagram, Facebook, or your favorite social platform. Notice how you feel when you step away from your devices: relieved, anxious…or something else? If you’re truly addicted (and in 2018, who isn’t?) you might even have to parse through some fluttering feelings before you can calmly NOT check Twitter in every quiet moment.
You might not even know how to spend all the extra time you have on your hands when you’re unplugged. Remembering that retrogrades point us to the past, consider low-tech and analog options: grab a paperback book, take up a new hobby, or work on a tactile creative project. This is the perfect opportunity to gather people IRL: schedule a phone call with a sibling, send a colleague a handwritten note, organize a “phone-free” gathering of friends. And since Aquarius is the sign of community progress, you might even put up a post about your social media sabbatical. You never know what kind of revolution you may start!
Our energy levels may seem more depleted or somewhat erratic when Mars is retrograde. If you’re looking to put a spring in your step in a way that’s revitalizing, try matcha. This powdered green tea is traditionally used in Japanese ceremonies and contains a wealth of antioxidant phytonutrients that can boost your vitality and health. And owing to its concentration of the amino acid l-theanine (many more times than even found in green tea), the caffeine it contains is metabolized in a slower and steadier way than coffee, providing you with a more sustainable and even-keeled energy boost.
Bonus: While it was once difficult to find in stores, matcha is the new “it beverage” being served in cafes and restaurants around the globe. It’s also really easy to enjoy at home: try a matcha latte with your favorite plant-based milk, add it to lemonade for a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up, infuse some in a cocktail or mocktail, like this matcha mojito. You could also green up the nutrients in your smoothie bowl by blending in some matcha powder.
In addition to “working the nerves,” Mars in Aquarius connects to our bio-energetic system (think meridians, auras and the vibrational field). And with Mars retrograde forming a tense square to radical Uranus on August 1, our ability to tap into energy beyond the physical realm could become even more enhanced. Yet, if energy is stuck in our body, it could create lethargy or manifest as heightened stress or anxiety.
Take a cue from Uranus (the ruling planet of Aquarius) which is now residing in the sign of sensory Taurus and try incorporating sound baths as a wellness practice. While this healing method has become a highly sought after practice for self-care and healing, sound baths have been revered since ancient times. Relax as crystal bowls, gongs and other instruments are played, immersing you in a sea of frequencies. The sound waves are thought to clear energy fields and calm overactive nervous systems. If sound baths are not offered in your area, no worries: you can recreate the experience of one at home by lying comfortably on a yoga mat and playing recordings of crystal bowls and gongs that you can find on YouTube.
Photo Credit: Stocksy
About Stephanie Gailing
As an astrologer and wellness consultant, Stephanie Gailing weaves together stellar insights, flower essence therapy, dreamwork, and compassion-based coaching. Author of Planetary Apothecary, Stephanie offers Stellar Guidance Sessions, teaches workshops, writes about holistic well-being, and crafts custom-designed flower essence elixirs. Stephanie’s latest offering includes her Inspiring Dreams webinar series that features classes on astrology and dreams, self-care strategies for sleeping better, how to remember your dreams and more. Based on Whidbey Island, outside of Seattle, she frequently travels to New York City, and works with clients all over the world.