You may have heard that Mars is getting ready to turn retrograde, an event that only occurs every two years or so. Mars is known as a malefic in traditional astrology signifying bad luck and loss (Mars is the “lesser malefic” and Saturn is the “greater malefic”), but in my work a strong Mars is absolutely essential for good fortune and for good health. Mars symbolizes our drive and inspiration, and the need each of us have for certain experiences. We need food to eat and experience hunger: that hunger is Mars in action. We have sexual drives that demand satisfaction: that demand for satisfaction is Mars. We need to feel that our loved ones reciprocate our affection: that need is Mars. When we are excited about going for a walk in the woods, that excitement is Mars. When we hear music and absolutely have to dance, that urge is Mars too.
When Mars is weak or afflicted in the birthchart, these urges are weakened. When we are unable to ask for the things we need or want, when we allow inertia to take the place of inspiration, Mars is weakened and it becomes more difficult for us to achieve our goals and dreams. Not impossible – just as any weak muscle we can exercise our Mars so that it becomes stronger. A weak Mars can also make it difficult for an individual to defend themselves or create good boundaries, resulting in a feeling of powerlessness that leads to a depression or frustrated state that saps our energy and creativity and ultimately creates a state of chronic poor health. When we feel our needs aren’t met we become angry, and overtime this can lead to a state of chronic rage. If this anger or rage operates primarily at the subconscious level, we can find ourselves in situation where others are chronically expressing anger at us or where we are prone to accidents or even violent encounters.
The effect of transits of Mars to planets in our birthchart typically last only a couple of days because Mars is a fast-moving planet. I generally don’t even discuss them in a client consultation unless we are targeting specific time periods that require more focused forecasting. But when Mars turns retrograde it can make a second and then third hit to the natal planet which gives that planetary cycle a stronger impact. Still, even when retrograde these hits of Mars last only a few days or a week at the longest if Mars changes direction right on a natal planet.
Transits of Mars activate and energize us, so if we have a weak Mars in our own chart a Mars transit can be very helpful if we consciously utilize its energyIf you feel more agitated than usual, you are probably having a Mars experience. My prescription for Mars transits is (1) exercise, and (2) speak out appropriately and where necessary before anger and rage have an opportunity to build up. Mars has already slowed down in anticipation of its retrograde turn on the 25th, and it will only travel a few degrees between now and then. Those of us with planets in the mutable signs (Virgo, Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces) will be most affected by this Mars cycle. Mars is in Virgo now where it inspires us to pay more attention to details, so when Mars retrogrades in Virgo there is a necessity to go back over details that we may have missed in the past. Mars is an active planet and prefers to be on the move, so this necessity to go back and re-do could be frustrating if we don’t keep in mind the higher purpose of the cycle.
Mars turns retrograde on January 25 2012, and then will retrograde back to 3 degrees Virgo where it will change direction on April 14th, moving forward again through Virgo. for daily planetary cycles visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.