Life with Mars

happy pigs in poo

If you land on this page, you are probably well versed in the latest astro drama brewing in the skies. This month, and for the rest of 2020, it’s all about Life with Mars. First we see it screaming through its home town of Aries, happy as a pig in poo*. By mid September that smell isn’t coming from the pig, it’s the smell of brakes as Mars screeches to a halt and begrudgingly goes back over the same roads its just travelled aka goes retrograde.

And it is a very pissed planet, having to look at the same old stuff again instead of charging ahead into new territory as it is wont to do. Just wait until it realises it’s a three times trip across the same landscape. Each time Mars squares off with Saturn, it is frustrating for Mars and antagonising for Saturn. The first hit is at the end of August, next hit is the end of September and first few days of October and then one final time in the middle of January, albeit with a sign change for both Big Baddies with Mars into Taurus and Saturn into Aquarius. Mars loses strength in Taurus, thank all deities for that small blessing. I think I speak for us all when I sigh a heartfelt “oof”.

So we have Mars in Aries going against its direct, assertive and impatient nature. And it is stepping into the ring with Saturn, the elder statesperson of Get Your Shit Together-ness, who is also retrograde rn but seems to be making the most of it, as Saturn in Capricorn does. Mars is bored, frustrated and not really paying attention coz, like, been here before so nothing interesting to see. Saturn is checking its foundations are solid and stable, because it ain’t gonna be here again for quite a while so may as well make the most of it and get to work from the inside out.

It’s been a tough year for the planets too

From September 10th/11th depending on where you reside on Earth, you, me and the whole damn world are going to be spectators of the planetary square off of 2020. We are so close to the finish line. Some of us will be covered in crap and blood and pig poo. Some of us are flinging the crap, blood and pig poo. These last few months are going to be the make or break of 2020 us. Mars is in Aries, Saturn is in Capricorn. These are both cardinal signs, and cardinal signs love to start things. Seeing it to the end is not their job, they are already off to start something new before the last job is even half way completed. There is no shying away from this three round fight. If it isn’t happening to you directly, you will most certainly be watching, living with or attempting to avoid the flying poo. No escape. So, basically 2020, but in a short Netflix must-see series. Remember the olden days of 2020 when y’all went nuts for Tiger King? You can’t believe you did that, right? Well here we are again, but in our own lives not Netflix. Yay.

When good Mars goes bad

Mars in Aries gives us action, drive, energy. We feel direct, assertive, courageous, or reckless depending on how you feel about the definition of courage. We seek the heat, we get impatient with the heat and we fire up quickly from the heat. Then it’s gone, all burned up and all good now. Mars in Aries cuts and burns and really doesn’t mean to, it’s just how it is, no time for apologies.

Retrograde Mars in Aries is frustrated, reactive, impotent. We feel passive aggressive, full of suppressed rage and bile. It has to come out. Burn up. Cut off the painful bits. It will hurt, but not for long. And why does everything take s o m u c h e f f o r t ?

We see, hear, or experience accidents, injuries, headaches, inflammation and rashes. We crave hot and spicy and then complain when it burns. We are reckless with sharp things, both physical and verbal. Bugs bite, road rage abounds, reckless behaviour begets regret, but only long after the event.

But it’s not all bad. Right?

No. Not everything is smelling like the pig’s delight. But there will certainly be an uncomfortable vibe in a particular area of life rn. Whether this square off between Mars and Saturn hits you hard and knocks you out, or merely pulls you up enough to pause and have a long ponder on the discomfort and how to remove it, well that depends on a few things. Your natal chart, transits, progressions, projections, returns…you will only know, when you feel it. And you are probably feeling it, or not, right about now. Which is exactly why everyone needs their own personal astrologer, just sayin’.

Band-aids suitable for cuts and burns

Ok, so how do we navigate and perhaps even remediate this hot cold, fast slow mess, or at least try to minimise the drama? Can we? Dare we? Of course we do, it’s the Life with Mars show!

Mars is energy, Saturn is time. We take the time to burn the energy so we don’t get burned up or out. Retrogrades are do-over time. If you find yourself frustrated at being back on familiar ground, try looking at it from a different perspective. Handstands are effective, though perhaps just stopping and laying down on the ground to stare at the clouds would be sufficient too.

But just in case, and with tongue firmly in cheek, here are your sassy and definitely NSFW Mars in Aries Rx square Saturn in Capricorn Rx horoscopes/survival tips/band-aids for getting through the next two months with a smile on your dial and your life relatively intact by the end of it.

If your Sun or Ascendant is in –
  • Aries – Burn yourself out with exercise. Get sweaty. Love yourself sick because you are so damn hot. Now take a cold shower, have a tantrum because cold showers suck and your usual assertive ways aren’t being appreciated enough for the effort you put in to getting shit done. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Taurus – 2020 so far may have you deeply pondering the Meaning Of It All. Or deeply frustrated with everyone else failing to see The Point Of It All and just have faith. Humans, huh?! Take a long nap, you deserve it
  • Gemini – Your debts to society are really cranking you up. Staying in and sorting out your taxes may not sound like the most fun you’ve had this year, or maybe it is, ’cause 2020. But it sure beats going out with the gang and ending up further in debt for something you didn’t even enjoy. Drop your phone in the loo and stay home instead
  • Cancer – You don’t have to stay where you are Cancer. You are a successful person. You eat the competition for breakfast. You don’t have to put up with this crap. Just remember what they say about keeping your enemies closer. Try separate beds for a while yeah?
  • Leo – Oh Leo, I hear you. What is the point of the daily grind if you’ve had your wings clipped and can’t fly away to distant exotic beaches during your hols to be admired and adored? Well, your health is one reason. And your socials for two. Post and poo regularly
  • Virgo – Birth, death and taxes. Insurance. Loans. A stroll in the park for you usually Virgo. Usually. ATM it’s all feeling like you’ve killed your creativity to feed the banks and taxes. You’ll be right. Lube up buttercup and take a break, enjoy some hot (kinky?) fun. With protection. Kids tend to wreck both the bottomline on spreadsheets and all your kinks
  • Libra – So how awesome is it to spend So Much Time with your beloved/partner? All of your dreams have come true. So why do you feel you are being hugged by a boa constrictor. Practice fake snoring and politely offer to sleep in the spare bedroom for a while ‘so your partner gets a good rest’
  • Scorpio – You know you need to watch your health. The ads on TV know your weaknesses. It’s all too depressing. Do yourself a favour and delete Uber Eats. Only eat fast food if you are prepared to walk there and back to get it. You hate me now but to future you, you’re welcome
  • Sagittarius – There are only so many ways to have a good time on your own. You need money, other people need you. Get creative. Start an Only Fans. If you are lucky enough to be free to hook up, use protection. It’s not just your imagination that is fertile
  • Capricorn – You need a bigger office. With a big lock on the door. Paint a feature wall for all of your awards and honours. Get another lock installed. Sign up to the next season of Survivor. It will be a cakewalk after the last few years you’ve lived. Congrats in advance #winner
  • Aquarius – It is all a conspiracy. But no one will listen. Take the high road. Write angry letters to the local online newspaper or HOA. Anonymously ofc and using your neighbour’s VPN
  • Pisces – Show me the money!! Those outstanding payments for your hard work are burning you, hard. It is coming. In the meantime light a bonfire (outside!) and burn all your old financial records. Marshmallows are a tax deduction, right?

* “Happy as a pig in shit” is a common Aussie expression. We are professionals here so for the purposes of this article we have amended this saying to “happy as a pig in poo”

Astrology Book Review Book Reviews

The Inner Sky

Steven Forrest


Beginners, Intermediate, Students


Evolutionary, Modern Psychological, Contemporary

What is a Sting?

Let’s start with the face palm bit – my copy of this absolute gem of a book has a blurb from Sting on the front cover. Do not be put off! For those who don’t know him, he’s an elder rock legend mind-altering substance tantric sex loving yoga fan. And a bit of a fox, still, imo, though I only appreciate his music many many years later, indie music snob that I am.

Now, back to business, The Inner Sky. This book is the book to gift your pals when they say they wanna know more about astrology. Steven Forrest is one of the kindest, most generous astrologers around and we will all be utterly devastated when his time to evolve to the great beyond comes. Steven cares! His writing style is what tender loving care looks like in print. I suggest you have a quick squizz at some of Steven’s content on his website or YouTube to hear his lovely voice so you can imagine he is narrating the book to you while you read. Go on, you will love it.


This book really does cover all astrological basics, and though the chapters are short, you get a lot out of each one. In Part One Steven shares a birthchart of a famous person, ‘the Englishman’ and his chart is used as an example all the way through the book. Do yourself a favour and DO NOT PEEK OR GOOGLE the data, if my Scorpio Mercury can resist, so can you. Also, it is a delightful way to learn how to piece all the different bits of information together when reading a chart, and quite rare for an Astrologer to use only one chart example throughout a whole book. There are eight sample charts of famous humans in the appendix to play with once you’ve finished the book, but by focussing on just one you don’t get overwhelmed flicking back and forth between pages to see what the author is referring to. An under appreciated gift, truly.

Astro Style

Steven is an Evolutionary Astrologer (EA) and I highly recommend checking out his website for more information on this particular style of astrology at He works with the Natural Houses style, that is; 8th House corresponds to Scorpio corresponds to sexuality etc. I have dabbled in EA, as all astrologers of my vintage would’ve, as this was in line with the Modern Psychological style I was taught by my teacher. I am a great believer in looking at all the different astro styles as you learn the discipline, I am not a fan of the staunch ‘One True Astrology’ brouhaha that crops up with cyclic regularity on the socials. Lifelong research is integral to your astrological knowledge. Fads come and go, in astrology as in the world, but any investigation into different astrological styles add a little to your own, whether you are a professional or just astro-curious.

I love this book. I have scribbled throughout it, notes and glyphs and !!! and 0_0…. all through it, as well as sticky tabs and post it notes and I just discovered when I pulled it off my shelf, 3 bookmarks?!? As a former library tech, I generally consider writing in books sacrilege. As an astrologer, I consider this my astro love language, it says “I will never ever get rid of this book”. There are very few in my collection who are desecrated in this way. The Inner Sky deserves nothing but.

Must. Own. The Inner Sky

The Inner Sky is available at Book Depository, in Kindle and paperback from Amazon.

Nah, I don’t receive money or perks from any endorsements I make on this blog for you to buy this book. It’s all for the love of astrology and books. Enjoy!

Check out Steven’s website here –

Happy astro reading!

Part One – The Territory

Chapter 1

Why Bother?; What About Metaphysics?; The Seven Principles

Chapter 2

Symbolic Language; Symbolic Reading

Chapter 3

What Exactly is a Birthchart?; Why is East on the Left?; Planetary Motions

Part Two – Words

Chapter 4

The Prime Symbol; The Circle of the Year; Seasons. Not Stars; The Dance of the Elements; The Modes; The Twelve Signs;

Chapter 5


Chapter 6

Planets; Two Solar Systems; Retrogradation; Introducing the Players; Significance of Retrogradation; The Invisible Planets; Beyond Pluto

Chapter 7

Houses; The Daily Cycle; Horizon; Meridian; The Great Cross; Houses and Signs

Part Three – Sentences

Chapter 8

Interpretation I:

Planets in Signs and Houses; Planets in Signs; What about Houses?; Tactics; Five Steps

Chapter 9

Interpretation II:

Aspects, Rulerships and the Nodes; Aspects; Minor Aspects; Orbs; How to Recognise Aspects; Planetary Rulerships; The Moon’s Nodes

Chapter 10

Interpretation III:

Putting It All Together; A Helpful Trick; The Ruler of the Ascendant; Planets in their Rulerships; Planets Conjunct the Sun; The Stellium; Angular Planets; Singletons; Stationary Planets; Strong Aspects; Keeping Perspective on Focalizers; The Moon’s Nodes

Chapter 11

The Englishman

Chapter 12

Dreaming the Universe


The Englishman’s Birthchart

Astrological Software

Sample Birthcharts – Muhammad Ali; Neil Armstrong; Phil Donahue; Billy Graham; Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; Bruce Springsteen; Gloria Steinem; Lily Tomlin

Suggestions for Further reading




Chiron, the asteroids, but that is about it. Seriously, this book is a must have.


Seven Paws Press

Borrego Springs, California

First published in 1984, still going strong. I tell ya, it’s a classic!

This book review was originally published on the stellarleeastrology blog.