Today Mars goes retrograde. Mars has a cycle of retrograde motion that happens every two and a half years. It is significant in our astrological understanding of how Mars works. In honor of that I offer a whimsical story of an astrological journalist and her short interview with the great god Mars! Hopefully she will interview all the planets eventually.
“Can we talk?” she asks, self-consciously. How does one approach a god? “I know you’re not really a talker, and that I am but a lowly human. But you are such an enigma to me. I am constantly on guard against you.” She shifts uneasily on her feet as she says these words, hoping they won’t offend him. On the other hand perhaps it is exactly what this particular god wants to hear. “I thought maybe since you’re stirring up such havoc on this planet we could have a little chat. I would like to interview you because I know you’re about to become even more famous than you already are.”
The God says nothing. He ripples his muscles from head to toe, coiling and uncoiling; eloquently articulating his identity. Making sure she knows just who he is. She says no more. She waits, hoping he will respond in words.
“Well,” he says, in a raspy voice, as if he had breathed in smoke from a recent battle and possibly damaged his vocal cords, “I’m an action kind of god, you know. Words are not my thing. Wouldn’t you rather watch me do something?”
“Generally I would,” she says, “but right now I’m trying to understand more about how you see yourself. When I watch you I am usually so awestruck I can’t think about what I am seeing.” She knows that all gods are subject to flattery but you have to be subtle. They hate it when they think a human might have the upper hand. And there is a grain of truth to the awe. Sometimes Mars can be downright awful.
‘’OK”, he says, “I’ll try. I just hate how misunderstood I am. Like when that buffoon Ford shows me all over the world and I become laughing stock or even worse, pitiful.”
She nods, “How come that happens?”
“Well,” he says, “You know I was created to destroy demons. My parents hated me at first sight. They somehow forgot that to kill demons you have to be a bit of a demon yourself. They weren’t above turning me loose to protect the family but when I wasn’t needed they turned their backs on me. So I don’t need them. I don’t need anyone.” He walks across the room with its high ceiling and marble floor. He is dressed only in a toga and she cannot but help feel the raw sexual energy of his physical presence.
He turns toward her, as if reading her mind, “Wouldn’t you love to have sex with me?”
She blushes and thinks to herself, Well not actually in the middle of an interview. She is aware that he is not the kind of god who asks permission most of the time. She should be honored but instead she is busy fighting off the heat that is rising up from between her legs. It’s not just men who think with their sexual organs. Sometimes women think from down there too. “Thanks for asking,” she says with the emphasis on the word ‘asking’. “It’s not that you aren’t attractive,” she adds, with feeling, “but I would like to ask you a difficult question. Can you explain your connection to shame? I have noticed that in the aftermath of your presence there is often shame of such a powerful nature it is hard to bear. It turns some people into bullies and abusers and others crouch in corners, filled with intense self-loathing. And the most unfortunate seem to combine both attributes.”
His shoulders drop a bit and a frown darkens his face. Like a child caught in the act of something bad, he deflates but only slightly. “You should ask one of those Jungians. I can’t analyze myself. If I could analyze myself I would be some other god. And you, as a human know that. You know I don’t have some neat little answer for you.” He suddenly, frighteningly puffs up and begins to glow with a reddish light. He takes a step toward her, she takes a step back. She knew this would not be easy. She feels stupid for asking the question. He is right of course. She is horrified to think that just a moment ago she was fighting back a heavy sexual attraction. She turns her own kind of red as she flushes in the face of his aggressive stance. Fear and shame inhabit her being at the same time.
“Thank you,” she says. “I think I have my answer.”
He paces around the room, his strong, sandaled feet connecting with the floor in sharp, definite steps. “So what else do you want to know about me, the Great God Mars?” he says, glaring at her, reminding her that she is mortal; defying her right to speak to him: She who is endowed with mere human strength and her wits; her deeply cherished wits.