It is going to be an interesting two months! Has anyone felt sleepy, sluggish, or a lacking energy? Don’t worry, Mars’ transition into retrograde is dramatic for the ‘action, do, do, go for it’ planet. There is a hidden treasure. This is a rare moment when we can go inside and truly let go of tension and stress.
We talk about an inner journey, but often don’t have the time or motivation to take our attention away from our activities. (or phone!) Mars retrograde offers us a chance to tune into what is going on inside and to feel what our energy is doing.
Focusing on our inner journey doesn’t mean that we are doing nothing or that nothing is happening. It gives us a chance to stay tuned and be in attraction mode. Maybe this is why important events in one’s life tend to happen when Mars is retrograde.
Mars Entered Aries June 27
Normally Mars transits a sign in six weeks, but because of its time retrograde, Mars will be in Aries for 6 months! Mars entered Aries June 27 and moves into Taurus January 6, 2021.
Wherever Aries falls in your birth chart is where you will focus your energy while Mars is in Aries. You will be preoccupied with lessons and activities related to that house or houses. This arena of life will demand your attention, including new beginnings and the initiation of new projects.
Mars Energy and Nature
Mars takes on a very ‘Mars’ flavor when it is transiting through its own sign Aries. Its warrior energy, physical strength, and combativeness are amplified.
Mars energy is dynamic, energetic, and commanding. Mars is courageous, passionate, assertive, driven, on purpose, and ambitious. Aries and its ruler Mars are always in search of more adventures and experiences.
Mars represents our willpower, passion, and courage. Its shadow side is selfish, rash, domineering, and aggressive. Mars doesn’t like to wait and its impatience can get it in trouble. Excessive self-absorption can result in disappointment. The lack of results can fuel anger, sadness, and self-criticism.
Mars and Aries are known for their independent and solo attitude. They prefer to go it alone. They do not feel the need to ask permission or get another opinion. Self-assured, they generally do not doubt themselves. Action-oriented, this pair looks for the quickest, most direct, and efficient way to climb the mountain. Once they have defined their course of action, their approach is decisive, determined, and clear.
Conflictual Mars in Aries
Much of our culture is indulges in negativity, judgment, and asserting ones’s opinion. We like, need, and feed off conflict. Creating and participating in conflict is a habit and tactic to get energy and attention and to satisfy the negative mind. Physiologically we are addicted to the rush of adrenaline and production of cortosal, which taxes and depletes our adrenals and kidneys.
As a result of our negative stance, our society thrives on violence and war. Driven by unevolved Mars energy, we exploit Mother Earth’s resources and our economy feeds off greed and the war machine. A culture of conflict is the foundation for police brutality, which is an outlet to express resentment, prejudice, racism, and all forms of inner anger.
When our mental and emotional state is impulsive, reactive, and out of control, we thrive on conflict. And we are always is a state of stress. A violent, resentful nature that seeks pay back and revenge is always seeding chaos, never searching for peace. Inner anger blinds us from seeing the truth and prevents us from working toward cooperation and harmony through compassion and forgiveness.
September 9 – November 13 – Mars Is Retrograde in Aries
Mars retrograde has a very different energy, and if used wisely, can deliver us to another way of living. Active Mars is associated with the warrior, combativeness, and war. Mars retrograde is about how to make peace with our Mars energy.
Mars spends 2 months retrograde, turning direct on November 13.
Mars goes retrograde only once every two years. The complete retrograde phase includes the shadow period (time when a planet slows down to change direction) July 25 through December 25 when it reaches 28 degrees Aries again.
The impact of Mars retrograde this year will be more intense because it makes a series of 3 squares each to Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn. Although the squares are exact in August, October, and December, we will be impacted by these confrontations through January 2021.
Mars is also conjuncting Eris, Goddess of discord, for the last half of 2020.
The last time Mars was retrograde in Aries was in 1988. The next time will 2067. The year 2020 offers us a rare opportunity to dive deep into the elevated essence of our inner Mars. see (1) below
Retrograde at 15 – 30° Aries
Mars went retrograde at 28° Aries and goes direct at 15° Aries. The placement of 15 to 28 degrees Aries in our birth chart is where something significant is happening, where we can understand at a deeper level what we are doing and why, re-orient our energy to be more on purpose, and take more soul-directed action.
Mars retrograde in the last 15 degrees of Aries challenges the other cardinal signs (Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) through squares or oppositions We will feel the intensity especially in the house or houses in our natal chart that contain the last 15 degrees of these signs or planets in these degrees.
Full Moon Mars
Mars retrograde has a very different flavor than Mercury and Venus retrograde, who join or are very close to the Sun. Mercury and Venus retrograde disappear under the glare of the Sun. Mars retrograde is at its brightest and thus amplifies what we do and pay attention to.
During its retrograde, Mars is OPPOSITE the Sun in Libra, stirring up energy like a challenging “Full Moon.” October 13 is the Midpoint of Mars retrograde, when at 21 degrees Aries it opposes the Sun in Libra, creating energy that can be intense and highly charged. Mars is at it closest proximity to the Earth and clearly visible in the sky.
Mars is the first planet to go full circle around the Sun, which means that Mars is the first planet to make squares and oppositions to the Sun. The other personal planets (Mercury and Venus) never travel farther than 48° from the Sun.
We develop our full identity as our Sun actively engages with the other planets, i.e. in forming aspects other than joining in a conjunction.
Mars thus initiates our journey of self-discovery and character development. The role of Mars is to establish our own identity, which requires releasing our dependence on our parents and other external authorities. (At the age of 2, when we have our first Mars return, children begin to become aware of themselves as differentiated and unique entities.)
Our Hero’s Journey and Our Inner Journey
Mars retrograde is part of our Hero’s journey. The great challenge to “fight the dragon” is about healing our subconscious wounded ego programming so that we can wake up to our soul.
Fighting the villain uncovers our inner anger. Thus we can become frustrated and aggressive when Mars is retrograde. At first we may identify the villain as someone or something external to ourselves, which leads us to project our own negativity onto other people and situations.
But in fact the villain is a metaphor for our dark side, or subconscious wounds, which when recognized, serve to awaken us to our authentic self and personal power.
To successfully complete our journey, we must move from ego to soul consciousness.
This includes establishing healthy boundaries so we can separate ourselves from others and allow them to be themselves and navigate their own lives. In other words, we must find our own wholeness within ourselves and allow others to do so as well.
What Happens When Mars Is Retrograde?
Mars retrograde is the rarest of retrogrades and also the longest of all the personal planets.
There may be a feeling of things and time slowing down, but a lot can happen with less effort than we usually feel is required. Focus not force is our motto.
We are well advised to relate to what may appear as ‘slow time’ to feel and listen to the messages of our emotions and instincts. Trust the directives that you receive. Then act from awareness and your heart. Operating from our inner guidance makes it possible to give our thinking mind a break. We realize that we don’t have to figure everything out or always be in control. These realizations are critical for releasing anxiety and self-induced stress.
Energy of Our Soul
Mars energizes, but during its retrograde phase we can feel less physical energy and enthusiasm and possibly even depleted. However, when we turn our focus inward, we can touch the fortitude and endurance of our soul and find our inner strength.
This is a good time to let go of stress-creating habits. Give yourself extra time. Allow 5-10 minutes extra to get ready, or plan to be somewhere early. Don’t force yourself to do more. Do less and be kinder to yourself.
Introspective Time and Self Focus
Mars in Aries is focused, determined, and active. During its retrograde period we can turn these qualities inward and tune into our inner guru. Our inner Mars tells us what we really want, what drives us, and thus what we choose in life.
This is an introspective time that can yield insights, which redirect or embellish our creativity. We can get in touch with tendencies to react impulsively and subjectively and consider the underlying issues that drive these behaviors. We can also use this time to rework or prepare the groundwork for new projects.
For myself, I summarize my Mars motto as ‘I do only what only I can do.’ This is where I put in my time and energy. Nothing else computes. I am at peace when I do only what only I can do. I am vigilant to stay on track and not to waste time on what is not my assignment this lifetime.
New Approaches and Goals
We will ask ourselves some tough questions and make pivotal decisions. (1) How can I use my energy and my life to serve my soul and to serve love and Mother Earth? (2) Where do I need to take directed and decisive action?
We may find new solutions to old problems.
We may find another approach or take a path that we have never considered before.
We may be directed to switch direction and head toward new frontiers.
Ultimately we will uncover more authentic heart-centered motivations for our actions and what we do with our lives.
By the end of this retrograde, how we use our energy and direct our lives will have dramatically shifted.
Individual and Institutional Power
We may be more subjective in our personal viewpoint and find it difficult to see another’s point of viewpoint. We can take things too personally and can be excessively reactive, righteous, and uncompromising.
This is also a good time to examine the relationship between our individual power and institutional power. Our Mars will fight for what we believe in. But projecting and acting from anger and frustration has its limitations and can be used against us. Inner work to bring our fire energy to a higher vibration and thereby infuse our actions with the strength and power of love. We can experience that our actions are impactful in mysterious ways when we interact from our personal center and power.
In retrograde, Mars urges us to be spiritual warriors, acting from kindness and compassion, rather than from fear and aggressiveness. Mars retrograde can also remind us that there is so much that we don’t know, and that we need to trust our inner guru.
What Is Your Energy Doing?
Mars retrograde in Aries is a very personal time to be with ourselves and to get in touch with how we relate to, take care of, and use our energy. Our thoughts, feelings, and energy are very individual and private. This is a time to get closer to ourselves.
Aries represents the primal energy of our soul as it gives life to our physical body. Aries fire energy is the light that gives us life and keeps us alive. Because the home of our emotions is in our physical body, we are simultaneously aware of our emotional body and what triggers our emotional reactions.
Our energy is constantly moving, adjusting, and working to keep our body alive. We use, abuse, and waste our energy and then wonder why we are tired, sick, depleted, worn out, and age so quickly. There is always an emotional component. Forcing ourselves is emotionally driven.
This retrograde time can be used to get in touch with what we do with our energy and how we interact with others and in the world. To what extent do we act out the abuse, fear, and insecurities formed in our childhood? Is our wounded inner child still in charge?
Our Basic Problem – We Can’t Rest and Relax
One of our basic problems is that we don’t know how or take the time to rest, relax, and renew our energy. Generally we focus on stimulating, activating, and using our energy. We don’t give importance to relaxing, and operate as though it is a waste of time that would be better spent on getting something done.
We use stimulants and force to try to increase our energy. An alternative approach is avoid wasting the energy that we do have. We can have more energy when we train ourselves to relax, take time to rest, and respect the energy flowing through our bodies. We feel more energized as we train our body to rest, relax, and let go. In fact, we cultivate a more pleasurable way of being with ourselves and in the world.
*(1) You will be receiving an email in the next few days about how to sign up for my new workshop Saturday October 3, 10:00-1:00 PM Pacific time. We will maximize our experience of Mars retrograde. The theme is ‘What Is Your Energy Doing?’. This is the first of my new series on Awakened Womanhood – Diving into the Deep Feminine. This is a great new beginning!