Posts Tagged Retrograde

Astro4Business Forecast Today – May 11

Source:Wikimedia Commons

Good Day!

Today Mercury resumes direct motion.  Mercury represents our conscious mind and rational thinking processes and includes all forms of communication.  In ancient times Mercury was the god of commerce and is usually represented holding a purse to signify his involvement in business.  He is the god of interchange, whether monetary interchange as in business transactions or purely mental interchange as in the realm of communications.  It is this faculty that is reflected in his title as the “messenger of the gods,” as he facilitates the interchange between gods and humans.

On the day that Mercury turns direct there is often a tangible outward manifestation of his power.  Watch for that today.  You can look for a business communication that resolves a matter from the past and allows it to move forward again.  Or perhaps clarity on an idea that was born about 10 days ago and gets the go ahead today.  Or you may finally get that meeting with the client that you’ve been working on.  Let’s all watch for Mercury to make himself known and share it with everyone in the comments if you notice his presence today.

Don’t be surprised if you feel a little groggy though.  In the weekly forecast I likened the few days around Mercury direct to the few minutes after you come out of a deep mediation.  It takes some time for our brain wave activity to return to its normal state of functioning.  Just like coming out of meditation, it’s good to come out of Mercury retrograde slowly, and not require the top level of mental clarity from yourself or your employees for a couple of days.

Other than Mercury, it’s a crossed purposes day in the tenor of the whole week.  The Moon in Aries fills us with energy and the desire to get something off the ground, but the Moon is waning into its darkest phase before it is New on Thursday.  It’s not the time to initiate something new.  Use the Aries energy to tie up loose ends and to bring what you’re working on to a complete close.  It could be tough to focus on these matters but you’ll thank yourself when you arrive at the true starting point later in the week.

Remember to watch for Mercury today!

For an overview of the week, see the Astro4Business Weekly Forecast – May 10 – 16

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – May

For more info on the planets influencing today, see

The Moon

Mercury

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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It’s Time to Find the Jewel

Hello, everyone.

Next week, on March 10, Mars resumes direct motion.  Let’s review where we are so we can take full advantage of these last few days of retrograde motion.  Many people feel they are standing still right now, and it’s true.  When a planet is coming close to changing direction it does move very, very slowly through the zodiac in the days just before its reversal.

Was that gold?

Gold on Quartz “The Dragon” (Wikimedia Commons)

Gold on Quartz “The Dragon” (Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve conceptualized retrograde motion as a hiker who has covered a certain portion of a trail, but then stops, turns around, and walks back to a certain point.  Then she stops again, turns around, and moves forward again.  Why did she stop and turn around in the first place?  What was it she missed the first time that made her want to retrace her steps? 

Perhaps she saw something shiny and intriguing but then dismissed the thought:  oh, it was probably just some Fool’s Gold.  But as she walks on it starts to bother her.  What if it was real gold, or a diamond shining in the soil? So she goes back for a closer inspection.

Right now, a few days before Mars turns direct, is like our hiker just reaching the point she headed back to.  She is slowing down because she is nearing her destination.  She’s looking for that shiny object.  Can she find it again?  If she does, what will she discover?

A Second Chance

In the days before a planet turns direct, it’s important to ask these questions.  Mars has returned to the very beginning of the sign of Leo.  It’s like we’re being given a second chance, a chance to start over on some creative project we had in mind last October.  This project may have been stalled since December, but soon the energy will move.  Have we learned what we needed to learn?  Have we uncovered the missing clue?  Have we gained wisdom?  Are we more ready to face the challenges of self-expression that are the mission of Mars in Leo?

In these last few days of stillness, look around, listen, observe your instinctual responses and what is drawing your interest naturally.  These few days are loaded with opportunities for insight.  They are packed with possibilities if we can uncover them.  Whether you notice something bright and shiny or something more subtle, we have come back here to this point for a reason.  Now is the time of discovery.  Now is the fertile opening, the pause filled with potential.

When Mars resumes direct motion, our business lives will gradually become more and more busy and we will forget the stillness of this time.  So in these last few days, let’s find the jewel, the gift of this waiting period so it’s in our backpack when we move forward again.

Here are some earlier posts about Mars in Leo.  Reading them may reveal what you are looking for, or where you should be looking.  As you find the gems, share them in the comments with all of us.

Mars in Leo

Let Your Light Shine

The Creativity of Business

4 Ways to Benefit from Mars Retrograde

Life doesn’t stand still – how to work with Retrograde Mars

Retracing Your Steps – Retrograde Motion

Are You Stalled?

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Are you stalled?

Hello, everyone.

There are several astrology blogs I follow all the time.  I was reading a post by Frederick Woodruff yesterday and it reminded me of something I wanted to remind you about:  retrograde motion.

Retrograde Motion, revisited

Both Saturn and Mars are in retrograde motion now.  Not only that, but they are forming a very supportive aspect to each other, each reinforcing the other’s retreat.  It’s like Mars, our competitive spirit, and Saturn, representing our ambitions in the world, are on vacation together.  Here’s an excerpt of what Frederick has to say about this:

 

Stopped by Time.  Le Temps, Charles Van der Stappen (Source:Wikipedia)

Stopped by Time. Le Temps, Charles Van der Stappen (Source:Wikipedia)

“With both Saturn (the prime mover) and Mars (the feisty shaker) in retrograde motion, our direction, our sense of time, our desire (Mars) for a forward momentum (Saturn) — all of our leaning toward and lunging for is, well, suspended — left dangling. So when someone asks you, “What are you up to?” You can say, in all honesty, “Just hanging around.” Or if you’re a more melodramatic type: “Man, I’m going down.” 

Mars and Saturn move backwards and there’s a universal stall. To have both timekeepers in retrograde disrupts the mechanical/animal routine of our lives. The dynamism of time takes on a different sense. The impersonal glide of time (Saturn), as we experience it within the collective, feels enclosing and stock still. And personal time (Mars) — as we experience it within the rhythm and robustness of our instincts — feels thwarted; forced to lean towards introspection, reevaluation and psychic excavation.

Cosmic stalling hints at a kind of mystical cessation, and … we notice a different quality of attention available to us, an opportunity to use this new ‘down time’ to reassess our place within time.”

The Cosmic Stall

Have you noticed this sense of time being stalled?  Several of my clients have.  One woman bought new clothes and went to a promising interview, only to have the key players absent due to illness.  Another client is anxious to file her tax returns so she can submit her daughter’s financial aid application for college, but cannot get the information she needs.  One client is hampered in her work by pain in her shoulder cuff, but can’t find the right practitioner to address it.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture – they are all experiencing a cosmic stall.

Reassessing our place within time

When I see people struggling to make progress in their business lives I tend to think in terms of sidestepping or waiting out the trend so they can move forward again.  That’s why I was so interested in Frederick’s post.  He points out that there may be a mystical reason behind our lack of forward motion – that we can take the opportunity to “reassess our place within time”.

Do you have too much ‘down time’?  Can you redefine it as a precious space with something to learn – something that you cannot perceive when you are continually busy accomplishing something?  It takes a lot of faith to be within the cycles of time, to rest and to trust that once again the time for forward motion will come.  If we take the opportunity to gather energy and resources when Mars and Saturn are retrograde, we will be fully rejuvenated and ready to apply what we’ve learned.  Then when Mars resumes direct motion on March 10, the vacation will be over and it will be full speed ahead!

Are you experiencing a cosmic stall in your business life?  Let us know in the comments section.

 For more discussion on retrograde motion, see the category “Retrograde Motion” under Astro4Business Basics to the right.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Have a question now? Email it and let’s get started! 

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Your questions – client presentations with retrograde Mars

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello, everyone.

This is a question from a reader in Texas.  Concerning the current Mars retrograde period until March 10, she asks:

I have several clients where we are presenting our 2010 plans. They are existing clients and in one way it is a continuation of what we’ve been doing, but it is also a new year and new plans. Any suggestions on how to handle?

Her question stems from our advice in a couple of recent posts that during a Mars retrograde period it is best not to commence anything new.  Mars rules beginnings of activities and projects, and when it is in retrograde motion, its energy is diminished and not actively supporting new endeavors.  Mars also rules new ideas, productivity, and will power.  It’s hard to move forward when these are missing.

When Mars is retrograde our drive is backtracking, stepping into the shadows.  We continue to stay alert but our will to move forward is arrested.  Our inclination is to silently watch as matters unfold, without our reaction or participation. 

Of course, there is no standing still.  As I said in a recent post, the other planets continue to move forward; life goes on!  And in business you have to strike while the iron’s hot, or even lukewarm.  Especially now, it is important to offer existing clients the consistent service they have come to expect.

In light of this, I have several suggestions:

  1. Especially with existing clients, revisit projects or campaigns you conducted from October 15 to December 20, when Mars was covering this ground the first time.  See if there is something to finish, something you were perhaps too busy to complete last fall.  Mine that period for ideas to bring into this year. 
  2. Know what you’re bringing to the table and what you’re not.  There are other planets, energies, available.  Just because Mars is retrograde doesn’t mean your other faculties aren’t working.   Venus, for example, is very useful in client presentations.  In Aquarius, she brings sociability, innovation, and inclusion.  Perhaps an innovative setting or unique use of technology can support your work.   Jupiter in Pisces makes us all more open to images, music, color, and sensation.  Perhaps working in highly creative or artistic content will fuel your imagination and gain the client’s appreciation. 
  3. Take the support of the Moon.  The Moon in Aries and the other Fire signs can help mitigate the missing spark.  Upcoming Fire sign Moons are January 29-31, February 7-9, February 17-19, February 26-27, March 6-8. 
  4. Pitch projects with shorter timelines and wait until Mars turns direct to begin longer-term projects. 
  5. Put a lot of space into your timelines.  Projects may take longer than you expect until Mars resumes direct motion. 
  6. Remember that the clients, too, are experiencing the retrograde motion.  Expect delays in decision-making and approvals. 

Do any readers have additional suggestions?  Please post them in the comments section.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Got a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Your questions – should I let this employee go?

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello, everyone.

I’m so excited!  I let you all know in this blog that I’d love to receive your questions to answer in these posts, and the questions are coming in!  Fantastic!  I think this can be an excellent forum for all of us interested in the astrology of business.

In my commitment to answer your questions anonymously, I will paraphrase this inquiry.  It is from a business owner about an employee, and who knows, maybe the employee is a reader too. 

The question is regarding Mars retrograde, and whether this is a good time to end or re-arrange the employment of a key person in her business.  She wonders whether she should address these issues now, expecting that when she does, the employee will either leave or there will be a major change in her role.  She says, “Either way, it will change, marking a new beginning in its own way.”

Thorny Cycles

I really like this question because it points out a thorny issue with cycles:  every ending is the first day of something new.  It’s like the commencement ceremonies at the end of high school.  Commencement means beginning, but it certainly felt like an ending, didn’t it?  Now we know, it was both.

Let’s take another look at the quote from Karen Hamaker-Zondag that we noted in our last post:

If we wish to undertake a really important activity, then a retrograde Mars should be seen as an unmistakable warning of difficulties, certainly when the chart is for the commencement itself.  What retrograde Mars is saying is, “Finish what you are already doing, and begin nothing new until I turn direct.”

As this quote makes clear, if we are commencing an activity, then it’s best to wait.  If we are finishing something we have been doing, then a retrograde Mars is the right timing.  In this case, our questioner will have to decide whether she has been having ongoing discussions about the issue with this person and this meeting is simply finishing what has been started.  Or is it a new conversation? 

Did I miss something?

But let’s look a little deeper.  We’ve discussed how retrograde motion is like a hiker who covers a certain portion of the trail, then turns around and retraces her steps, then reaches a certain point and heads forward again.  We said possibly she missed something, that she had to backtrack to discover something about the situation she didn’t take proper note of the first time.

In my post, Fours Ways to Benefit from Mars retrograde, I noted,

In the chart of a business, Mars represents operations, productivity, and the skills of the second tier of leadership.  These may falter over the next couple of months.  The line managers and supervisors you’ve come to rely upon may experience a setback and productivity may fall.  This is in the natural order and serves the same purpose as above:  are you on the right track with your staff?  Are your expectations for productivity reasonable?  Are people working on the right projects, tackling the important assignments?

Mars indicates the second tier in a business.  Since this question concerns her second-in-command, I’d like to see her let the Mars retrograde period complete before she takes this step. She’s retracing her steps now, and so is her employee.  There might be something more that needs to come to light.

All in all, I’d suggest that she wait if she can.  As she astutely pointed out, letting someone go or revamping their job description is a new beginning, for her, for her business, and for the employee.  So I’d say to give it more time, to let the retrograde motion do its work to reveal all the facets of the situation.  When Mars turns direct, she can take the action she needs to take, with the confidence that all of the factors are clear.

Don’t forget. If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com. I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences. I look forward to it! Got a question now? Email it and let’s get started!

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Life doesn’t stand still – how to work with retrograde Mars

Hello, everyone.

Two clients recently called, one to ask a date about incorporating a business; another wanted to discuss whether or not to transition to a joint medical practice from her independent practice.  Both cases reminded me of something I want to pass on to you.

Unmistakable warning of difficulties

We’ve spoken in these posts about the current Mars retrograde period, from December 20, 2009 to March 10, 2010.   Mars, as the ruler of Aries, the first sign, is the planet that rules the beginnings of things.  It’s important to pay attention to the position of Mars when we initiate anything new.  And a retrograde Mars should certainly bring us pause.  As Karen Hamaker-Zondag states in her excellent Horary Astrology,

If we wish to undertake a really important activity, then a retrograde Mars should be seen as an unmistakable warning of difficulties, certainly when the chart is for the commencement itself.  What retrograde Mars is saying is, “Finish what you are already doing, and begin nothing new until I turn direct.”

Mars is retrograde every two years for 2-3 months so most of the time we don’t have to worry about the motion of Mars.  However if an opportunity arises during those bi-annual retrograde periods, it may seem foolish to let it go by.  And given that all the other planets are in direct motion, life doesn’t just stand still.  Sometimes circumstances force us to act now, unable to wait for a better moment. 

Waiting or wasting time?

In other cases it can be completely clear to an objective observer why we should wait before initiating an activity, but not to us.  We can’t see the wisdom of waiting, feeling instead like we are wasting time.  Mars retrograde tells us there are very productive ways to spend time not acting, but rather planning, networking, researching and studying, letting ourselves come into synch with the right moment.

But what if you’re like a reader of this blog who teaches at a university and must begin classes during a retrograde Mars, or another reader whose start date for a new job included a retrograde Mars?  What if you just must act?  Here are a few suggestions if you can’t wait:

  • Work with the Mars retrograde energy by only beginning projects you expect to be short-term
  • Work on projects that require a long review or preparation period which you will complete during the retrograde period
  • Assign only short-term goals until Mars resumes direct motion
  • Take an attitude of experimentation and learning since the endeavor may or may not survive
  • Invest as little time and money as possible until Mars resumes direct motion
  • Take the support of the Moon and initiate the project only when the Moon is waxing, between the New and Full Moon.

On Another Note

Don’t forget.  If you have an astrology-related business question (or a business-related astrology question) send it to me at ellen@astro4business.com.  I’ll answer it in these posts, anonymously of course, and we can all learn from each other’s experiences.  I look forward to it!  Got a question now?  Email it and let’s get started!

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What did you miss?

(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

(Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Hello everyone.

In this series we’ve been exploring retrograde motion and how it occasionally causes a planet to cover the same ground three times:  the first pass in forward motion; the second pass in retrograde motion; and the third pass over the same territory in forward motion again.  What is the purpose of revisiting where we’ve been, and in particular, what is the purpose of the current retrograde cycle of Mercury? 

What did we miss?

We noted in the last post that a retrograde planet is like a backpacker who covers a portion of a trail, turns around and walks back to a certain point, and then turns around again and retraces her steps to the furthest point reached before.  She passes over the same section of trail three times before she reaches new ground.

Why do you think our hiker turned around in the first place?  She may have felt she missed something along the way.  Or the weather may have been just too forbidding to proceed any further.  She may have forgotten some essential tool.  She may have fallen ill and needed to recuperate before going further. 

The purpose of retrograde motion is similar.  So I looked at the current Mercury retrograde cycle to see what it could tell us.

Saturn/Pluto square, again!

What I found surprised me, but it shouldn’t have.  The major astrological signature of this year is the square between Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn.  You can read more about this important aspect in the “Saturn/Pluto Square” category at the right.  The long-lasting transit of Pluto in Capricorn is reflected by the current financial and economic crisis and the exposure of sordid secrets in government, business, the military and other national and global institutions.  This year Saturn in Libra is presenting us with a challenge:  as these structures fall, are we willing to build new ones based on the Libra values of fairness, equity, and diplomacy?

These massive societal trends affect our lives, including our business lives.  Even if you have managed to avoid a direct impact of this harsh square, I’m sure you know people who have not.  Many of our neighbors, friends, and clients are struggling and attempting to form alliances of cooperation to share the burdens of the time.

Mercury coming and going

Mercury made direct contact with this Saturn/Pluto square in early December.  You may remember a moment when practical realities hit home, when you realized Christmas sales were not going to be what you had hoped, or a client cancelled a major contract.  Or perhaps you accepted a client or position that you really didn’t want, in order to deal with the necessities of the day.   Or you made a decision that was a partial fix but not a full solution.

Then Mercury moved on and your mind moved on with it until the day after Christmas when Mercury began its retrograde period.  And where will Mercury travel in its retrograde motion?  Right back to the Saturn/Pluto square!  Once was not enough.  Our planning and thinking processes need to take another look.  Like our backpacker, we missed something, something important for us to notice.  And we don’t want to move forward until we recognize what we missed.

On January 15 the square will be right in front of us again, just like it was in early December.  I think we are being given a second chance to take this Saturn/Pluto square seriously!  We will be dealing with it for most of 2010 with the second exact aspect forming on January 31. 

Wait, wait!

Mercury is saying, wait, wait, there’s something more to understand.  Since it’s Mercury, the messenger of the gods, listen for your message around January 15 in the form of news, a sales conversation, or an enlightening dialogue with your IT support or your bookkeeper. 

With Mercury in Capricorn, serious business planning is particularly favored so once you get the message, sit yourself down and do some planning.  Consider enlisting a partner to please Saturn in Libra and get it in writing.  That’s what I’m going to do.

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Retracing Your Steps – Retrograde Motion

Hello everyone.

In the last post, I related an anecdote about watching a flight of geese, and how I noticed that retrograde motion is a natural part of life.  There are periods when we’re just meant to slow down, retrace, and take another look.  In this series I want to look at whether we can discern, through the lens of astrology, the purpose of these “do over” times.

Retracing Steps

(Source:Wikipedia)

(Source:Wikipedia)

When a planet goes retrograde it retraces its steps.  Think of it like a backpacker who covered a certain portion of a trail, then turned around and retraced her steps to a point, and then turned around and headed out again on the same trail.  As she backtracks, she is walking the same trail but looking at it from a different direction.  And when she turns around and heads forward again, she will be covering the same ground she hiked the first time.  Then at some point she begins to forge new trail again.

This is how a retrograde planet behaves.  Taking the example of the current Mercury retrograde period, Mercury travelled from 5 degrees of Capricorn to 21 degrees of Capricorn between December 9 and December 26.  It then went retrograde and backtracked to 5 degrees of Capricorn, covering the same ground but in retrograde motion.  On January 15 it will resume direct motion, again covering the same ground until February 4.  After February 4 it steps into new territory.  Over a period of two months Mercury traverses from 5 degrees of Capricorn to 21 degrees of Capricorn three times:  the first pass in forward motion, the second in retrograde motion, and the third pass in forward motion again.

Dilly-Dallying

But this is the important point:  even though Mercury has been retracing the same steps, dilly-dallying as the nuns used to say, the other planets have been moving forward for two months.  Just as the season may have changed for our backpacker as she went back and forth on the trail, by the third time Mercury covers the same ground, the environment can be quite different due to the changed position of the rest of the planets. 

Can you think back to December 9 and identify a Mercury-related issue you were grappling with then?  Mercury-related issues are connected to thinking and perception, processing and disseminating information, and communication, commerce, education and transportation. Industries ruled by Mercury are sales, writing, public relations, advertising, publishing, document delivery, and transportation.  See if you can identify a matter you were working on from December 9 to the day after Christmas, and which seems to be delayed now.

In the next post we’ll see if we can identify the purpose for the delay and how to move forward with confidence when the time comes.

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4 Ways to Benefit from Mars retrograde

Apparent retrograde motion of Mars in 2003. (Source:Wikipedia)

Apparent retrograde motion of Mars in 2003. (Source:Wikipedia)

“Three steps forward; two steps back”:  sounds like Mars in retrograde motion.  This coming Sunday, December 20th, Mars appears to stand still for a few days and then begins retrograde motion.  Retrograde motion is when a planet appears from the earth to be moving backward in the sky.

Mars entered the sign of Leo (see category at right) in mid-October and has zoomed through 19 degrees of that sign.  (Each sign has 30 degrees.)  Now it will begin to backtrack, moving all of the way back to the beginning of Leo before it stops and begins moving ahead again in March.  Three steps forward, three steps back!

Mars represents our energy, effort, and will.  It is the urge to take action, to pursue our goals, to make it happen.  It represents the part of us that is competitive and motivated.  In the business world, it shows how effective we are in setting goals and achieving them.  Here are four ways to get the best from Mars retrograde.

1.      Revisit and review

With Mars in retrograde motion, retracing all of the ground it covered since mid-October, we can expect to revisit and review all the progress we’ve made since then.  This is an opportunity to take another look at our goals; are we accomplishing what we intended?  Although it may feel like stepping back or treading water, it’s a chance to recheck our direction.  Have we compromised our original intention?  Are we on the right track?  It’s a time to pause and consider whether new information has become available that should cause a course-correction.

2.      Set new productivity goals

In the chart of a business, Mars represents operations, productivity, and the skills of the second tier of leadership.  These may falter over the next couple of months.  The line managers and supervisors you’ve come to rely upon may experience a setback and productivity may fall.  This is in the natural order and serves the same purpose as above:  are you on the right track with your staff?  Are your expectations for productivity reasonable?  Are people working on the right projects, tackling the important assignments?

3.      Pull back and regroup

Mars also represents your competitive nature and the nature of your competitors.  If you feel you are losing ground during this period, it’s best to pull back and regroup rather than trying to overcome the opposition.  Remember, Mars is in retrograde motion for everyone, including the competition.  Use this time to plan your next move so you’re ready to act when the time comes.

4.      Experiment

Mars rules our own personal productivity.  You may feel lethargic and less than enthusiastic during its retrograde period.  Or you may persistently feel you are falling behind.  If so, take it as a sign to focus on inner work rather than outer accomplishment.  Retrograde periods are usually very useful for delving deeper into an endeavor, even though it may look like very little is being accomplished on the outside.  Explore new tools and techniques and new styles of working.  Experiment with alternate ways to maintain your productivity, such as working from home, outsourcing, or additional delegation. 

With Mars retrograde, it may look like three steps back.  It may especially feel like three steps back.  But used well, it is a fertile preparation time for renewed motion and solid gains come March.

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