One of the stand out planetary aspects for 2016 is the Mars retrograde cycle. Today, he enters his pre-retrograde phase, which highlights the Saturn in Sagittarius cycle in play until late 2017.
‘He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.’ Nietzsche
Normally, Mars spends about 2ish months in a sign. However, this reverse passage sees Mars spend 4 months in Scorpio and 4.5 months in Sagittarius (inclusive of shadow time). He doesn’t enter Capricorn until September 27!
This is a long time for Mars to be focused on just 16 out of 360 degrees of the zodiac, shining a bright spotlight on one or perhaps two areas of your life.
As the ruler of both Aries and Scorpio, the red planet symbolises what we want and how we go about getting it. It can demonstrate our ability to defend and protect ourselves and whom we hold dear.
In Aries, Mars is a gladiator, in Scorpio, he’s a ninja.
Scorpio is a feminine water sign so actions tend to be emotional or inward of nature. In the Scorpion, Mars has clear focus on what he wants and how to get it. Like a snake, he will watch his prey, patiently wait and strike at the perfect moment whether it takes minutes, hours or even days. Scorpio is a fixed sign so it is patient, persevering, strategic with laser like precision and focus, even to the point of being obsessive or manipulative, especially when he doesn’t get what he wants.
Is there an area of life where you have extra keen focus and drive now? Perhaps you have a do or die approach, giving everything you’ve got?
Sagittarius, being in aversion to Scorpio is a very different experience. Masculine, yang, fire and mutable of nature, Sagittarius does not care for the inner workings of Scorpio, but for the adventures of distant planes, foreign lands and of knowledge.
Mars here seeks to find meaning and purpose and can be the impetus to bust you out of a Groundhog Day type rut, seeking out wisdom, truth and meaning. With the pairing of a hot planet in a hot sign, it can be difficult for Mars to find focus and stick to the plan. At times the volatile nature of Mars and Sagittarius can bring about a premature severing of circumstances.
When Mars turns retrograde in Sagittarius you may wonder what is my purpose? Is this all there is? To work, pay bills and die? Perhaps you have cast your centaurs arrow in too many directions and not focusing on what is truly important? Have you spread yourself too thin and failing to achieve anything of substance? Does your quest align with your personal beliefs, passion and purpose?
When Mars is retrograde, he invites you to slow down. Delays may occur in order for you to stop and consider if the direction you’re taking is the right one. In order to find the right direction, you may have to go back and acquire more knowledge or even question what you know or think to be true.
Projects and plans may be difficult to get off the ground but a second bite at the apple is offered in August and September where you’ll be better poised for benefit.
Mars begins his retrograde on the 8th degree of Sagittarius, just one degree shy of an exact conjunction with the fixed star Antares. This royal star signifies themes of endings, release, letting go and transitions. One of Mars’ major significations is that of severing and separation. Cutting ties, letting go of what no longer serves your vision, truth and path will be hallmarks of this retrograde.
You may be less inclined to act instinctively, instead, with more caution and deliberateness when Mars re-visits Scorpio from May 28 through til June 30. Re-visiting your inner motivations and why you do what you do may resurface now. During any process of self discovery or self examination, those closest to you may not always respond positively. This period is ideal for dealing with any inner conflict or issues that have left you feeling dis-empowered or held back from realising your true path.
Due to retrograde action of both Mars and Saturn, they won’t conjoin until August 23, a day after Mars leaves his post retrograde shadow. This union will highlight the need to get serious about what you’re doing, especially after the retrograde revision cycle. Saturn will help with efficiency and time management. Focus your aim on the most important matters as opposed to spreading yourself too thin and achieving little. By clarifying your passions, choosing your top priorities you can stay on track with realising your long held dreams.
Energy can be harder to come by when the malefics meet, again this re-enforces the need to get clear on your responsibilities and obligations. Mars is about passion and drive and Saturn will help keep you grounded so you don’t get sidetracked!
Time is lifes most precious commodity and the Mars/Saturn cycle is a reminder to choose what is most important and focus on that. Mars’ retrograde will help you clear out any emotional or motivational issues and refocus and redefine your passion. Once you get clear on your passion, you will find your purpose that speaks most truthfully to you.
Is there an area of life you feel needs to be redefined? Do you need to re-ignite your passion for something you once held dear?
Mars will cover the same spectrum of the zodiac Saturn transited from late October 2015 through to December 2015, revisiting themes from the majority of last year.
Mars Rx shadow 18 February – 23 degrees Scorpio
Retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius- 23 Scorpio, April 17- June 30
Mars direct at 8 degrees Sagittarius August 22
Mars in Capricorn September 27