“They do not compel” William Lilly, Astral Determinism and Free Will

William Lilly’s portrait, now housed in the Ashmolean Museum, shows him standing by a window, holding pen and paper. The sheet of paper has the words Etatis 45 written on it, indicating Lilly’s age at the time of the painting. It also contains a blank horary chart with the words non cogunt (they do not compel) written in its centre, which, of course, refers to the stars. The picture was painted in 1646 and later given to Ashmole, probably in 1652.

Shortly after the painting was finished, in 1647, Lilly published Christian Astrology. The book’s frontispiece, which is based on Lilly’s portrait, again shows amongst other things a square chart with the words non cogunt written on it. It therefore has to be seen as themotto for Lilly’s ‘Introduction’, as he fondly called his book, but also for his view of judicial astrology itself.

Some of Lilly’s more outspoken but most likely not so well educated contemporaries were much in favour of astral determinism; they believed in an unchangeable fate which could be predicted by the stars. We only need to take a look at the front cover of Elias Ashmole’stranslation of Fasciculus Chemicus. In the middle of the page, we see a statue of Ashmole, whose head is hidden behind his birth chart. Reason for this is that he published his translation under the anagrammatic pseudonym James Hassole. What is important for us here is that the words Astra regunt homines (the stars rule men) are written in the centre of the nativity, which stands in stark contrast to Lilly.

It is a well-known fact amongst historians of astrology that the astrologers’ belief in astral determinism brought them into endless conflicts with the clergy, who, in turn condemned judicial astrology as a whole. Most famously, it was Thomas Aquinas, who believed that astral causation, rather than leading to determinism, necessarily has to be followed by free will. Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon argued along similar lines. In her Arabic Influences on Early Modern Occult Philosophy, Liana Saif quotes Bacon, who writes:

“Ptolemy also and Aristotle, Avicenna, Messehalac, Hali, and Albumazar […] do not maintain that there is an absolute necessity in things below due to the influence of the heavens, because free will is not subject to the things of nature.” 1

It would be easy to think now that Lilly’s motto (non cogunt), as well as the choice of title for his magnum opus, Christian Astrology, was only lip service he paid to avoid censorship and endless criticism. But this is not the case at all, as will become clear. To understandLilly’s motivation, we have to keep in mind that he was a Neoplatonist. He firmly believed in the Anima Mundi and was familiar with the work of the Italian humanist philosopher and priest Marsilio Ficino. Ficino translated all of Plato’s dialogues into Latin. He also wrote numerous commentaries, but his most important and systematic work was Platonic Theology. Nowadays, astrologers, hermeticists and magicians are also particularly interested in Ficino’s Three Books on Life, wherein Ficino provides a theoretical framework for and also practical examples of astrological magic. Lilly gives a beautiful statement in his Annus Tenebrosus, showing his deep fondness of Ficino’s philosophy:

“And Ficinus, that excellent learned Priest, saith […] many accidents are signified or foreseen by the Stars, which are not done in Heaven. And again […] many things are foretold by means of the Heavenly bodies, as it were by signe, not by causes […].”2

Neither does Lilly offer a justification, nor does he provide a detailed explanation for the prominent placement of his non cogunt. The potential student has to read between the lines to work out what Lilly’s thoughts on the subject were, but what he basically tells us is this. Determinism can be found in the nature of the individual and in the events caused by their reaction to circumstances. Lilly also thinks that such situations can be avoided and thus changed by the individual. So, the apparent pre-destiny of life only lies within the character of each person. If they would only be willing to put in some effort, than pre-destiny could be, at least, flexible. All of this shows that, in Lilly’s view, astral determinism and free will were not mutually exclusive.

The Greeks already suggested a similar concept, as Dorian Greenbaum shows in her book about the Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology. She shows how heimarmene (fate) and pronoia (providence) are connected. She writes that:

“[…] Though all is contained in fate (in that fate itself is a container), not everything ‘conforms to fate’ […] Pronoia, in fact can supersede heimarmene […]”3.

Greenbaum goes into great detail, explaining that fate is included in providence and comes to the conclusion, that:

“Tertiary providence […] operates within heimarmene (which includes planets and stars), but allows some choice.” 4

(The three Moirai, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos)

Embracing this philosophy, Lilly shows that he is adhering to the hermetic as well as Neoplatonic notion of betterment through work on the self, leading to increased spiritual awareness. In Lilly’s view, fate does not have to be inevitable and can be negotiated which, of course, would have a deep impact on both his astrological method as it would on his magical operations. For him, fate exists solely within the nature of the individual human being, and the apparent fixity of a chart becomes wholly fluid and malleable, conditional only on the exertion of effort by the individual.

It has already been mentioned that Lilly doesn’t explicitly reveal his views in any of his writings, but if we look closely at his Letter to the Student in Astrology, we can read between the lines:

“ […] Beware of pride and self-conceit, and remember how that long ago, no irrationall Creature dared offend Man, the Microcosm; but did faithfully serve and obey him, so long as he was master of his own Reason and Passions, or until he subjected his Will to the unreasonable part. But alas! When iniquity abounded, and man gave the reins to his own affection, and deferred reason, then every Beast, Creature and outward harmful thing, became rebellious and unserviceable to his command. Stand fast, oh man! to your God, and assured principles, then consider your own nobleness, how all things created, both present and to come, were for your sake created; no for your sake God became Man: you are that Creature, who being conversant with Christ, lives and reigns above the heavens, and sits above all power and authority. How many pre-eminences, advantages has God bestowed on you? you range above the heavens by contemplation, conceive the motion and magnitude of the stars; you talk with Angels, yes with God himself; […]” 5 [Emphasis mine]

There were some astrologers though, who did not veil their philosophical views so darkly. One of them was Robert Burton, who published his Anatomy of Melancholy in1621. The reader will note that this was 26 years before William Lilly published his Christian Astrology. Burton’s book was widely read and we can assume that Lilly had read it, too. Burton writes about the subject:

“Natural causes are either primary and universal, or secondary and more particular. Primary causes are the heavens, planets, stars, &c., by their influence (as our astrologers hold) producing this and such like effects. I will not here stand to discuss obiter, whether stars be causes, or signs; or to apologise for judical astrology. If either Sextus Empericus, Picus Mirandula, Sextus ab Heminga, Pererius, Erastus, Chambers, &c., have so far prevailed with any man, that he will attribute no virtue at all to the heavens, or to sun, or moon, more than he doth to their signs at an innkeeper’s post, or tradesman’s shop, or generally condemn all such astrological aphorisms approved by experience: I refer him to Bellantius, Pirovanus, Marascallerus, Goclenius, Sir Christopher Heidon, &c. If thou shalt ask me what I think, I must answer, nam et doctis hisce erroribus versatus sum, (for I am conversant with these learned errors,) they do incline, but not compel; no necessity at all: agunt non cogunt: and so gently incline, that a wise man may resist them; sapiens dominabitur astris: they rule us, but God rules them. All this (methinks) Joh. de Indagine hath comprised in brief, Quaeris a me quantum in nobis operantur astra? &c. Wilt thou know how far the stars work upon us? I say they do but incline, and that so gently, that if we will be ruled by reason, they have no power over us; but if we follow our own nature, and be led by sense, they do as much in us as in brute beasts, and we are no better. So that, I hope, I may justly conclude with Cajetan, Coelum est vehiculum divinae virtutis, &c., that the heaven is God’s instrument, by mediation of which he governs and disposeth these elementary bodies; or a great book, whose letters are the stars, (as one calls it,) wherein are written many strange things for such as can read, or an excellent harp, made by an eminent workman, on which, he that can but play, will make most admirable music. But to the purpose.” 6 [Emphasis mine]

Below is shown the title page of the 1638 edition of Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, which Lilly could have read.

It may be of interest to compare Burton’s text to what William Ramsey has to say in his Astrologia Restaurata, published only six years after Lilly’s Christian Astrology, wherein Ramesey quotes from his own Lux Veritatis published in 1651:

“[..] to prove unto you by the sacred word of God that the stars are both, signs and causes.” 7 He continues: “[..] astrology, or the influence of the stars has no fatality, except some contingency be mixed therewith; for this were to deny the providence of God […] itsays thus (and so forward) supines dominabitur astris, a wise man rules the stars […] and astra regunt homines, sed regit astra Deus, the stars rule men, but God rules the stars; not meaning when we say, Astra regunt homines, any fatal necessity to be attributed to the influence of those heavenly bodies, nor to have power over men farther than such men are guided only by sense as brute beasts, and not by reason, and farther that they agunt non cogunt, they act or incline, but no wise compel; but where grace or reason supports a man, there, or onsuch a man the stars have no power.” 8 [Emphasis mine]

1 Liana Saif, The Arabic Influences on Early Modern Occult Philosophy, Palgrave 2015, p83, quoting Bacon, Opus majus, I, p.262

2 William Lilly, Annus tenebrosus, or The dark year, London: printed for the Company of Stationers, and H. Blunden at the Castle in Corn- hill, 1652, p23.

3 Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum, The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology, Brill 2015, p.30ff

4 Ibid, p.32

5 William Lilly, Christian Astrology, London: Printed by John Macock,1647, p.xxxi.

6 Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621: SUBSECT. IV.—Stars a cause.

7 William Ramesey, Astrologia Restaurata, London : Printed for Robert White, 1653, p.35.

8 Ibid, p.53f.


2023 – An Astrological Preview

This is a general overview of astrological events occurring during the year 2023. Some of the events mentioned below may affect us globally or nationwide, whilst others may only affect some of us on an individual basis. For details about the nature, strength, or duration of any effect that may take place, inception charts as well as natal charts of people in charge of the countries in question will also have to be taken into consideration. For events affecting the native on a personal level, the Natal chart, the Solar Revolution chart, as well as other charts will have to be consulted. In this astrological preview, the following information can be found:

Retrograde Motion of the Planets

Cazimi Planets

Noteworthy Sign Ingresses and Transits

Other Noteworthy Phenomena (Solstices, Equinoxes, Super Moons)

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Solar Ingress Charts

For more detailed information, you may watch this space for in-depth articles to be published throughout the year. For personal requests, please contact me via Peter@stars-and-stones.co.uk

Retrograde Motion of the Planets

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be retrograde at times during 2023.

Mercury Rx

Will delight us, as usual, with interrupted communication, malfunction or complete failure of computers and other electronic devices and general uncertainty and confusion concerning any contracts, legal documents or agreements.

Mercury will be retrograde four times during 2023. The first phase will begin with Mercury in Capricorn, on 30 December 2022 and will end on 18 January 2023. The next phase will begin in Taurus on 22 April and will end on 15 May. This will be followed by another Rx phase in Virgo between 24 August and 15 September. The last Rx phase of the year will being with Mercury in Capricorn on 14 December. On 24 December, Mercury will move back into Sagittarius and the whole Rx phase will last until 2 January 2024.

Venus Rx

Venus will be retrograde in Leo between 24 July and 4 September. She will remind us of a past relationship or even tempt us to have a secret affair, when she will be the morning star!

Mars Rx

After an unusually long transit in Gemini during 2022, Mars will be retrograde until 12 January 2023. Which aspects of our lives will this long Rx spell re-enforce?

Jupiter Rx

Will remind us of his prudent side; with Jupiter’s help we are able to fulfil our potential but in his Rx phase, he demands that we obey the rules, follow our moral guidelines and show kindness and compassion.

Jupiter will be retrograde in Taurus between 4 September and 31 December. Retrograde Jupiter in Taurus brings a sober note to our search for meaning. In this introspective time, we may want to question and reflect we have achieved in the past.

Saturn Rx

Saturn in Pisces will give us a chance to re-evaluate what has become static and dogmatic in the past. It is likely that any unfinished but forgotten business will make an unexpected reappearance during this time, reminding us to bring old issues to a close.

Saturn will be retrograde between 18 June and 4 November.

Cazimi Planets

To remind ourselves: Cazimi or “in the heart of the Sun”, is the position of a planet in tight conjunction with the Sun within 16 minutes of arc. This planetary position is said to be one of great strength, as the planet is fortified by the Sun’s rays.

William Lilly wrote about a cazimi planet that it would be “wonderous strong” (CA, p300).

Below is a table, listing all conjunction between the Sun and other planets, except Moon. Mercury will be Cazimi 7 times, whereas Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will only have one close encounter with the Sun during 2023.

Noteworthy Sign Ingresses and Transits

7 March Saturn ingresses into Pisces

16 May Jupiter ingresses into Taurus

19 June Jupiter sextile Saturn

Other Noteworthy Phenomena (Solstices, Equinoxes, Super Moons)

Solstices and Equinoxes

Spring Equinox 20 March (21:24 UT)

Summer Solstice 21 June (14:58 UT)

Autumn Equinox 23 September (6:50 UT)

Winter Solstice 21December (3:27 UT)

Super Moons

There will be four Super Moons during 2023:

21 January 8:55 PM – Aquarius New Moon

20 February 7:07 AM – Pisces New Moon

1 August 6:32 PM – Aquarius Full Moon

31 August 1:36 AM – Pisces Full Moon

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Annular Total Solar Eclipse April 20, 5:16:34 AM at 29 Aries 50

This eclipse may be of importance to  Germany, Austria, and Italy. Parts of Africa may also be affected.  With  Mars being eclipse ruler, countries falling under the planet’s rulership will have to be taken into consideration, too.

An eclipse usually affects only a small number of people. To establish the possibility of any effect to take place, the birth chart should be scrutinized for any of the following:

Sun or Moon are in or around 29* Aries
Sun or Moon are in or around 29* Libra (opposition)
29* Aries is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
29* Aries is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)

Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.

(NB: My Annual Prediction Reading now includes an eclipse check-up, investigating the potential impact the current solar year’s solar and lunar eclipses may have on the native.)

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse May 5, 6:22:48 PM at 14 Scorpio 52

People with Scorpio or Taurus rising, either in their birth chart or in their Solar Revolution for 2022/23, could be more affected than others. Furthermore it should be investigated if natal Sun or Moon are conjunct the eclipse point. If it should be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the native’s charts may be necessary to find out which particular areas of life are likely to be affected the most.

(NB: My Annual Prediction Reading now includes an eclipse check-up, investigating the potential impact the current solar year’s solar and lunar eclipses may have on the native.)

Annular Solar Eclipse October 14, 6:59:18PM at 21 Libra 08

This eclipse may be of importance to North America.  With Libra being eclipse ruler, countries falling under the planet’s rulership will have to be taken into consideration, too.

An eclipse usually affects only a small number of people. To establish the possibility of any effect to take place, the birth chart should be scrutinized for any of the following:

Sun or Moon are in or around 21* Libra
Sun or Moon are in or around 21* Aries (opposition)
21* Aries is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
27* Aries is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)

Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.

(NB: My Annual Prediction Reading now includes an eclipse check-up, investigating the potential impact the current solar year’s solar and lunar eclipses may have on the native.)

Partial Lunar Eclipse October 28, 16:23:49 at 5 Taurus 09

People with Taurus or Scorpio rising, either in their birth chart or in their Solar Revolution for 2022/23, could be more affected than others. Furthermore it should be investigated if natal Sun or Moon are conjunct the eclipse point. If it should be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the native’s charts may be necessary to find out which particular areas of life are likely to be affected the most.

(NB: My Annual Prediction Reading now includes an eclipse check-up, investigating the potential impact the current solar year’s solar and lunar eclipses may have on the native.)

Solar Ingress Charts

2023 Solar Ingress Chart for the United Kingdom

Shown here is the Aries ingress chart, cast for London, representing the United Kingdom. With Scorpio, a fixed sign rising, this chart will be valid for the whole year. From the chart above, we can see that Venus will be the Lady of the Year. She is prominently positioned on the 7th house cusp in Taurus, and promises

“… the salvation of women”, according to Bonatti (BoA p964)*

2023 Solar Ingress Chart for the United States of America

Shown here is the Aries ingress chart, cast for Washington, which is representative for the United States of America. With Virgo, a common sign rising, this chart will be valid for six months only. The Libra ingress chart will have to be taken into consideration, too.

From the chart above, we can see that Mars will be Lord of the Revolution, which gives a first indication of what is to come. He is Lord of the 8th house, and is prominently positioned in the 10th house. Generally speaking, this suggests that the main themes during this solar year will be matters concerning conflicts, arguments and divisions. Bonatti writes that Mars in the 10th house:

“… signifies wars and contentions over matters which do not belong to those who seek them, nor pertain to them” (BoA p951)*.

(Libra Ingress Chart)

A detailed analysis of the ingress cart and a prediction of the outcome of the presidential election will be posted on my web log at a later date.

*Bonatti, Guido: Book of Astronomy (BA), translation B Dykes, Cazimi Press, 2007

Winter Solstice Wishes 2022

With the Sun’s Capricorn ingress nearly upon us, I would like to take the opportunity to wish my friends and all the gentle readers of my web log a peaceful Winter Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year 2023.

(The Night before Christmas, Arthur Rackham)

“All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

J.R.R. Tolkien,

The Fellowship of the Ring

A Powerful Election for Venus Talismans

On 22 October 2022, Venus will be Cazimi in Libra, which is something that has not occurred for well over a hundred years. 

To be cazimi, which is also called “to be in the heart of the Sun”, a planet has to be within 17.5 minutes of the Sun’s position. The 17th Century astrologer William Lilly wrote about it in his Christian Astrology, stating that: 

All authors do hold a planet in Cazimi to be fortified thereby…” (CA p113)

The fact that Venus is Cazimi, and essentially dignified by sign rulership in Libra would be enough reason to justify the construction and consecration of a talisman, but there are some additional factors, which make this election a very important one.

• The Moon is conjunct the Arabic Part of Fortune

• There are no hard aspects between the Sun/Venus conjunction and any of the other planets.

• Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter are essentially dignified.

For those who would like to make use of Venus’ gifts, in form of a talisman, a ritual, or otherwise, here is a reminder of Venus’ attributes: 

Venus symbolises the principle of love, both conceptually, as well as carnally. She also represents beauty, softness, grace, and delicacy, as well as passion, sensuality, and sexuality. 

There is also a different side to Venus, wherein she signifying games and entertainment, as well as all kinds of pleasure. We can also add peace and serenity to her attributes.

Italian (Venetian) School; Petrarch and Laura de Noves; The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

In Camillo Leonardi’s Mirror of Stones, which has recently been translated into English by Margherita Fiorello (read my review here):

For example, these images are carved on stone as a woman with an opulent dress holding a laurel branch …” (p28) 

Venus stones, which could be used to make a talisman, are aquamarine, copper chalcedony, and heliotrope. More details about Venus stones can be found in my book Stars and Stones, an Astro-Magical Lapidary.

Below is the chart for the elected time, cast for my location. I would like to point out that these elections are location specific!

Partial Solar Eclipse 25 October 2022

On 25 October 2022, at 10:59 AM Universal Time, there will be a partial solar eclipse, lasting 86 minutes.

The Sun and the Moon will be conjunct in 2*00′ Scorpio. The eclipse will be visible from Europe, the Urals and Western Siberia, Central, and Western Asia, and from the north-east of Africa. The maximum phase of the partial eclipse will be seen on the West Siberian Plain in Russia near Nizhnevartovsk.

Due to the importance of current world events, as well as the fact that this eclipses will be visible in Russia, the eclipse chart below, is cast for Moscow:

Before we will discuss any possible effects on the individual, we have a look at the mundane astrological implications of this eclipse. To be able to do this, we need to establish where the eclipse is likely to have its greatest effect. For this purpose we need to look at the countries or cities falling under the rulership of Scorpio, the sign wherein the eclipsed Sun resides during the event. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect.

These are: Italy (Aquilea), Bavaria, Morocco (Fez), France, Monaco, Turkey, and Austria (Vienna).

Below is a map, showing the eclipse’s lines of angularity (ASC and MC) which also greatly enhances its effect:

What immediately springs to mind is the fact that the eclipse point is in the 8th house. In mundane astrology the 8th house shows national debt and danger to people through war, as well as public mortality, and the death rate in general.

Secondly, the chart is dominated by Mars, the Lesser Malefic, who is eclipse ruler, and Saturn, the Greater Malefic, ruling Capricorn the rising sign. Furthermore, Saturn is located in the first house, in Aquarius, which is intercepted. The first house indicates the country and its inhabitants, their general condition of prosperity and health, or the lack of, as is the case, here.  Mars, the eclipse ruler is located in the 6th house. In mundane astrology, this house signifies the working classes in general, but also the armed forces. It can also signify the nation’s food reserves, especially grains, and the farming industry inn general.  

There are also two quite nasty fixed stars conjunct these significators. Mars is conjunct Al Hecka, in Taurus (which, by the way is natural significator of Russia). This is a violent star, portending accidents and misfortune. The other one is Castra, in Capricornus, conjunct Saturn, with a malevolent, destructive influence; It can show a violent, uncontrollable temper.

What is also noteworthy here is the conjunction of Venus to the eclipse point. Venus is in her detriment in Scorpio, and the Moon is in her fall in this sign also. Both planets signify women, women’s issues, the national birth rate, as well as social factors connected to marriage and children.

All in all, the future doesn’t look very good for Russia and so also for the rest of the world. With the eclipse point located in the 8th house, there doesn’t seem to be a quick ending of this war and its social and economical problems in sight, either. This chart tells of further restrictions, and increased death rate of soldiers. Particularly with the debilitated state of Venus and the Moon, one cannot help but think of Russian mothers desperately demanding answers as to why so many of their sons are returning home in body bags.

In his Annus Tenebrosus, William Lilly wrote about the impact of a solar eclipse in the first decant of Scorpio that:

“it moves and raises warlick tumults, murthers, dissentions, captivities, and cherishes underhand practices, or plots of Treasons”

For the impact of this eclipse on a personal level, it may be useful to know though, that the last time a solar eclipse occurred near 2*Scorpio was in December 2014, at 0* Scorpio. It will therefore be of merit to expect and prepare for a repeat of some of the personal experiences that occurred back in 2014. 

Although an eclipse usually affects only a small number of people, it may be beneficial to try to remember if any problems occurred during this year. If so, but also to generally establish the possibility of any effect that could take place, the birth chart should be scrutinised for any of the following:

  • Sun or Moon are in or around 2* Scorpio
  • Sun or Moon are in or around 2* Taurus (opposition)
  • 2* Scorpio is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
  • 2* Scorpio is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)

Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart and an investigation of the current solar revolution chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.

Review: The Mirror of Stones  – Camillo Leonardi

Camillo Leonardi’s Speculum Lapidum, which comprised three books, was first published in 1502. In the Translator’s Preface of the first English translation, published in 1750, we find the following:

“The Third Book we have wholly omitted, for the reason following. The Author there treats of the Sculpture on Stones engraved by the Antients; but says there are few who understand the Import of these Seals and Impressions on stones, unless they at the same Time are skill’d in the Astronomical, Magical and Necromantic Sciences. […] 

To read the full review of this exciting book, click the link below:

New Review: Sue Ward’s Traditional Horary Course

“Sue Ward’s new horary astrology course book, which takes up the tradition as laid out by the celebrated 17th Century astrologer William Lilly, could not have been published at a more appropriate point in time.[…]

To read the full review of this remarkable book, which, in my opinion, sets a new benchmark, click the link below:

Unusually Long Mars Transit in Gemini

On 20 August 2022, Mars, a nocturnal, masculine planet, associated with the element of Fire, will move into Gemini. He will stay therein until 25 March 2023. It is very unusual for Mars to remain in a zodiac sign for such a long time as his typical stay in a single sign is usually about six weeks. This prolonged time is mainly due to a singularly long phase of retrogradation, which begins on 31 October and ends on 13 January 2023.

Gemini is the masculine, diurnal, mutable sign of Air. It is ruled by Mercury and represents rapid movement, but also instability. Mars does not have any essential dignity in Gemini, which is not as bad as it can be, but not very helpful either. 

Mars and Saturn, also known as the Lesser and the Greater Malefic, tend to be less troublesome the higher their levels of essential dignity are. This is opposed to Venus and Jupiter, the Lesser and the Greater Benefic. The higher their levels of essential dignity, the more beneficial they turn out to be. 

Genrally speaking, we can assume that Mars in Gemini will provide additional energy for multitasking, including communication, writing and manual dexterity. Quite often, we will feel excessively mobile, and even restless. Feeling mentally agile and even quick witted at times, we run the danger of focusing our attention on a multitude of different issues.

I also want to point out that there is the danger of harsh criticism, too. If we are not particularly careful, this could get us into arguments or even fights. The best advice during Mars’ stay in Gemini is to try and stay as calm as possible to avoid confrontations of any kind.

As always, the impact this long Mars transit through Gemini will have on the individual depends on its placement in the birth chart. For example, people with Gemini rising will particularly feel the impact of Mars activating their Ascendant repeatedly during the seven months transit.

During his travel through Gemini, Mars will also be conjunct a number of fixed stars. This could also be problematic. The following provides a brief description and the approximate times Mars will be conjunct the individual fixed star:

  • • Alcyone, central star of the Pleiades (0* Gemini).  Robson writes in his The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, that Pleiades with Mars indicate many accidents to the head, loss and suffering through fires. Alcyone will be conjunct Mars around 20 August.
  • • Aldebaran (10* Gemini). Robson writes that Mars conjunct this fixed star indicates great military preferment but attended by much danger; liable to accidents, fevers and a violent death. There will be three conjunctions during Mars’ stay in Gemini, on 8 September, 23 December (Rx), and 31 Jan 2023.
  • • Bellatrix (21* Gemini). Robson writes that Mars conjunct Bellatrix indicates strength, energy, success as soldier, surgeon or metal worker, liable to accidents. There will be three conjunctions, on 4 October, 22 November (Rx), and 6 March 2023.
  • • Al-Hecka (25* Gemini). Robson writes that al-Hecka with Mars makes evil companions, bad habits, sex troubles, and afflictions of a Mars-Venus type. The fixed star will be conjunct Mars on 21 October, 8 November (Rx), and 15 March 2023.
  • • Polaris (29* Gemini). Robson writes that Polaris causes much sickness, trouble, loss of fortune, disgrace and great affliction, and may give legacies and inheritances attended by much evil. Polrias will be conjunct Mars around 23 March 2023