|Giving Mars a rest can be rewarding!|
© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved
January 23 thru April 14, 2012
23 Virgo 05 – 3 Virgo 41
My article, Ten Ways to Celebrate Mercury Retrograde, was one of the Top 10 posts on The Radical Virgo last year. As I contemplated the upcoming Mars Retro, I thought to myself, “I’d like to read one of those for Mars.” So, I decided to write it and share it. Here are some ways to take optimal advantage of this cycle. Thanks for contributing your own ideas in the Comments. I hope this adds a big dollop of Virgo practicality to what you can do with Mars while its riding its “retrocycle.”
1. Stop rather than start something new. Mars rules Aries, those energetic self-starters, wired to go get it now, whatever “it” is. When Mars is retrograde, it’s better to contemplate what you might want to stop doing rather than start. In the sign of Virgo, begin with the one of the things Virgo is famous for, namely habits. Habits are what we do with repetition and little thought. What are you doing mindlessly or obsessively that you know is better for you not to do at all—or at least to lessen? Apply this to other Virgo key areas of interest, such as health and communications.
2. Review your desires and impulses—and how they get you into trouble. Mars is the planet of passion and wanting. This doesn’t just apply to your hormones. How do your longings serve you—or not? Are you obsessing over a lover, money, fame or other cravings? How about food cravings, given Virgo’s affiliation with diet? Stop for a quiet, objective review during this period and see what happens. Try de-emphasizing those desires or giving them a rest during the retrograde period. If you can’t control your impulses, become more aware of them so that you can take action, perhaps in a different direction, when Mars moves forward and you’re ready for it. What evolves?
3. Look at where Mars Retro falls in your chart. This will make its influence more specific to an area of life and to the aspects it makes to your personal planets. Some examples: Mars Retro in the 1st may ask you to stop and look at how you’re “putting yourself out there.” What does your first impression look like out in the world, whether it’s your physical face, how you dress, or your posts on Facebook or Twitter? In the 5th, you may want to stop and review what you’re creating. What are you doing, overdoing, or under-doing with your creative energy? And so on ‘round the zodiac. Turn you Inner Investigator loose on your “do” in this house and area of life. What changes would serve you better?
As to aspects, how ‘bout taking the planets in aspect to it “inner” along with this Mars Retro? My Uranus squares Mars Retro at its starting point at 23 Virgo. Think I’ll look at where my actions are erratic and how I push myself to make progress, perhaps at the expense of some things I value. (A step at a time is sometimes better than constantly pushing the envelope for change.)
4. Check out your relationship with physicality. I was discussing with a friend and colleague recently how many athletes have Mars Retrograde in their natal charts. I’ve been contemplating that fact while considering this upcoming Mars Retro. Since retrograde planets often reflect an energy expressed in a more inner than outer way, I’ve come to an interesting hypothesis. Mars Retro may be an expression of someone wired for movement and action. Having this inner drive for motion, action, even aggression and competition may fuel the drive to express it outward via athletics. What better channel? (Beats beating up on people!) I suspect that Mars Retro, by transit, may not give us the same feeling as the more personal natal type. However, it may grant us a period where conditions are more conducive to feeling Mars more acutely in our bodies, especially when Mars is in an Earth sign, as it is in the current retrograde. Our bodies are the Earth element. Experiment with feeling the Mars inside you, first, then how it craves expression in the outer.
5. Analyze how you make the choices that precede action. Actions result from decisions. How are you doing with discrimination in the choices you make (Mars in Virgo)? For everything we do, we made a decision to do it. We live more and more in a world of a million options, every second of our waking day. Modern communication tools bring us nearly endless opportunities. We know the old saws—there are many spins on the same idea—Think before you act. What is your Mercury to Mars connection? How do you come to your decisions about taking action? Need any revamping on the circuitry between idea, analysis and action? Reflect on these patterns and whether they are serving you.
6. Review your relationship with anger. Do you blow your top a lot? Hold in your rage and suffer illness because you let it seethe? How can you find ways to express anger in a healthy, productive way? As the wonderful quote in Ecclesiastes tells us, To everything, there is a season. Anger is. What we do with it is good to contemplate when Mars is in retrograde. In Virgo, especially consider angry words and communication patterns. Pay special attention to passive aggression—that nasty look or snarky sarcasm.
7. Examine your patience. Do you have too much or too little? (A friend once told me I was ridiculously patient, and she wasn’t far off during an era of my life when I was short on boundaries and too long-suffering.) Mars is about going for it, but sometimes it’s the season for rest. It’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that’s a fact. Mars Retro gives us an opportunity to look at how we handle being in harmony with nature rather than with what we want—now—regardless of other considerations. I love that most of the Mars Retro cycle this time precedes spring. But it remains Retro for the first few weeks after the Spring Equinox. Given that, you might want to ease into your new beginnings, even though spring is the right time for them. By mid-April, the timing will be better for launching your new projects. Don’t hurry, even then. Mars Retro will have a “shadow” just like Mercury Retro. You’ll likely feel its afterglow till June.
8. Take the pulse of your vitality. Mars is highly connected to our physical energy and life force. Depending on your natal Mars configuration, you might be naturally energetic or like that commercial with the two adorable tortoises, a Mr. or Ms. Slowsky. Are you happy with your “juice?” Is it up to par or do you need rejuvenating? Again, with Mars in Virgo, look at what health habits you need to keep your engine running in top form. It’d be a great time to go to a spa, to give your Mars a vacation and your energy a booster shot.
9. Get more intimate with you natal Mars. Is your natal Mars retrograde? How do you feel during Mars Retro? It may be different from those of us with Mars direct. What is the element of your natal Mars? If it’s in water, it may feel a bit like it’s retrograde. Whether its fiery, airy, or earthy, how does the Martian energy play into how you operate? Pay special attention to things like Mars angular (1st, 4th, 7th or 10th houses) or in its own sign of Aries or Scorpio (co-ruled with Pluto). My own Mars is in Water (Cancer), and it’s my only angular planet (on the IC). It trines Jupiter in Scorpio. What could otherwise seem like a watered down Mars principle is actually big in my life. I’m Marsy enough that many people mistake me for having Aries Rising. Don’t take too seriously the classic interpretations of your Mars position. Discover what your Mars means to you with an open mind and a commitment to express its highest possibilities.
10. Look at your relationship with the masculine principle. Do you “have balls” when you need them, whether you’re male or female? Are you a good leader, initiator and extrovert—when its called for? Can you win when important principles are at stake? Ideally, we balance yin and yang, masculine and feminine in our lives. The reason the yin/yang symbol has a dot of the opposite energy in each half is that we all need both energies to function as whole human beings. Mars Retro is a great time to rest with your male energy and look at how you’re working with it. Is it hostile? Accident prone? Selfish? Or does it have some of the more enviable qualities of Mars like drive, excitement, and strength?
I get a kick out of the fact that the Mars glyph looks so phallic. It reminds us that to take action, we need to point our male energy in the direction of where we’re going and just do it, as the Nike commercial says. But remember this. All those Viagra and Cialis commercials warn about too much of a good thing. You can harm yourself with too much for too long. Users of male enhancement drugs are warned to get themselves to the emergency room if the drug is effective for too many hours. This also applies to Martian energy in general. Too much testosterone, drive, anger, impatience—it can all lead to flashing lights and the emergency room.
There are many other qualities of Mars we could take retrograde this cycle for learning: jealousy, ego, and impetuousness, to name a few. While the motto of The Radical Virgo is live on the upside of the zodiac, we still have to be realistic about the fact that Mars Retro can make us more accident prone, if we refuse to slow down. I’m going to repeat one thing I said for Mercury Retro that applies to both planets in retrograde: Quit running around so much.
That’s hard for most modern people. One profession considered ruled by Mars is law enforcement. I can’t help but think of that positive and nurturing sergeant on Hill Street Blues. After every roll call and before he sent his officers out onto the streets, the Sarge said, Let's be careful out there.
We can’t quit living during retrograde cycles, but if we’re smart, we’ll stay in rhythm with them and “do less” for this 2.5 month cycle. It only comes every couple of years.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meditate on Mars and celebrate it!
Photo Credits: Mars Award, © valdis torms - Fotolia.com; Mars Venus YinYang, © vlorzor - Fotolia.com