The end of the Mars retrograde period is the current transit position of the fiery Mars.  However, like all the planets, Mars has a position in individual natal charts and, from the natal position, the forward movement is calculated. The ongoing influence of Mars based on the position at birth plays a role in the world of astrology – in the western system of astrology this movement is known as “progressed placement” while in Vedic astrology it is known as the “dasa placement.”


This system of individualized natal chart movement has been important to all of us in the past six years because of the natal chart of America.  While no one can be sure of the exact moment that the Declaration of Independence was signed, historical research combined with decades of study by astrologers gives us a natal chart calculated for July 4, 1776 at approximately 6 p.m.  This chart puts Sagittarius as the ascendant with Mars a part of a conjunction in the strong, angular seventh house along with the Sun, Venus and Jupiter.  The impulsive, strong and war-like Mars nature of the USA cannot be denied by anyone with any knowledge of our history.


The Vedic dasa system calculates that a chart has a cycle of 120 years during which each planet has its time of prominence – the planets all have time periods of varying years, and the Mars cycle of prominence is seven years.  Obviously, the individual natal charts of human being have yet to live through the entire 120 year cycle.  The charts of many nations will be able to be studied from the perspective of moving through all of the cycles.  The current Mars dasa is the second time the United States has experienced its Mars dasa, and history can give us some hints of what went on here during its last cycle.


The current Mars dasa began in the fall of 2008 which coincides with the financial crash of the economy.  Mars plays a big role in land ownership and while our modern economy was built on fragile legs, it was real estate which pulled those fragile legs out from underneath the economy. Among all of the problems of the economy, Mars has been at the forefront of the nation’s mood which has been angry, unreasonable, impatient, and more violent. 


We are at the tail end of this Mars cycle as Rahu will take over as the dasa ruler in the winter months of 2015.  Most astrologers have an affinity for history and like to study the influence of planets in the past as compared to the present. 


I was curious as to what went on during the last dasa of Mars.  This dasa took place during the years of 1889 to 1896, and it appears that those years were filled with discord and the nation dealt with many of the same issues we have been fighting about today.  Given that this is not a history thesis, I am going to simply list some of the highlights of those years – I leave the exact dates and details to those who enjoy historical studies. 


Some of the highlights of those years which have parallels to today include: Jane Adams established “Hull House” in an attempt to address the situations of the most poor members of our country; Jacob Riis wrote his groundbreaking “How The Other Half Lives”; Coxey’s Army marched to Washington D.C. (the so-called army was a large group of unemployed workers who were reacting to the second year of misery during a four year economic depression); Steel Workers vs Carnegie Steel Company; economic panic of 1893; Sherman Anti-Trust Act; Pullman Strike; McKinley Tariff; Reduction of the McKinley Tariff.


In addition to the fight for economic equality, there were social and environmental issues being addressed and fought about during those years: Sierra Club was formed; Yosemite National Park was formed (much to the chagrin of those who wanted the land for economic gain); Wounded Knee massacre; National American Women’s Suffrage Association formed; Baltimore Crisis (USA trying to gain an economic foothold in the Pacific via South America); Plessey vs. Ferguson which legalized the racial “separate but equal” rule for the southern states which led, of course, to the despicable Jim Crow laws.  Reading the newspaper accounts of the last seven year cycle of Mars shows a country in angry misery – not very different from today.


The Mars cycle of that time ended, and Rahu took his place just like Rahu will take his place in early 2015.  Rahu was the dasa ruler during the years of 1896 until 1914 and history has left a record of some of the highlights of those years and those highlights show advancement, innovation and some positive excitement: gold rush; Boston subway completed; Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American war; Open Door Policy settled trade problems with China; NAACP founded by W.E. Dubois; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts founded; break up of the Standard Oil monopoly; Armory Show opens in NY introducing Modern Art to America;  Hay-Parceforte Treaty which laid the groundwork for the creation of the Panama Canal; US helps to end the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, First Rose Bowl; First World Series, First Indy 500; First Mother’s Day; “Great Train Robbery” movie released which was ground-breaking in movie technology; World’s Fair in St. Louis;  Wright Brothers first powered flight; Panama Canal Zone acquired; Harley-Davidson Co; Ford Motor Co. and Model T; US Steel founded; Ford Assembly line introduced. 


Life on planet earth is generally messy, and Rahu coming into his dasa will not transform the world into perfection.  However, the planets will always have their say, and it would be very hard for anyone to argue that life during Rahu was an improvement over the years of the Mars dasa.  Rahu will bring surprises and changes which will be difficult for those who do not like change and are clinging to a vision of returning to the past, but for people who are not afraid of change and like innovation – – if history is any indication, the upcoming cycle of Rahu will be a positive energy.  Even for those who do not like change, the anticipation of a lessening of anger and destructively impulsive actions will bring respite. 


As a nation we are at the tail end of the seven year Mars cycle, and that is going to be an improvement.  There are upcoming transits happening in the next five months which will begin to usher in the improvements in the planetary placements.  Mars moving forward tonight is an improvement, but there are even more improvements coming our way.  It is time to let go of the past and face forward while exhaling in the present.