Mars, the red planet, is coming up to 23 Scorpio, shadow point of his upcoming retrograde through Sagittarius and Scorpio through April to July. The next six months offer you the opportunity to explore the 'how' of intention, action and assertion - your patterned way of responding to life and others with passion or lack of it, drive or indifference, power or force.
Mars goes retrograde every two years 2 months so this is a fairly rare occurrence. As Mars, traditionally the planet of action, also rules our physical energy we’re all going to feel this retrograde as a diving inward on some level, less available ‘oomph’, initiative disappearing down a plughole, output levels changing. Do I hear an ‘Oh no’? Well let’s be philosophical about it and recognise these are universal rhythms, way beyond our control, but not beyond our conscious response. So let’s look at the potentials. There’s always a gift, or two.
If we look at the year as a whole the red planet will spend 9 months in just two signs: Scorpio and Sagittarius. It’s no coincidence that these two signs are both associated with passion, nonetheless they express it in very different ways. Scorpio is the deepest of the water signs so passion here is related to powerful emotion and sexuality. It’s the primal power of the ocean, of the desire to plunge into the depths and explore the mystery of who we are and what life really is. It’s the passion that encompasses suffering, the capacity to go through our own darkness and transform; it’s enduring, deep and resourceful. It’s also edgy, perhaps compulsive, with the potential for harshness, even cruelty. It’s our sexual passion, the desire to merge, to be consumed in the power of union. The retrograde of Mars in Scorpio brings awareness to these themes and more; how you respond to the primal pull of emotion, especially anger; your sexuality; your courage to go into the darkness, to look at the things you fear. It’s a journey that will pull us into the mysteries of what human beings are capable of, on every level.
Sagittarius is the most expansive of the fire signs so passion here is fast and furious, wild and reckless. Think ‘bush fire’, ‘grand prix driver’, ‘Bear Grylls’ ‘evangelist preacher’, and you’ll get the picture. Mars in Sagittarius is the ultimate thrill of adventure; it’s risk-taking; it’s doing anything to the extreme, pushing the limits in the desire for real freedom of mind and body. Yet Mars in this sign of expansive optimism is also wisdom. It’s the wisdom that comes from that risk-taking experience, from going beyond the edges of what you already know into new places. The retrograde of Mars in Sagittarius brings awareness to your approach to risk-taking and expansion, your belief system and how it supports or restricts your freedom; your energetic capacity - where you over-reach and where you hold back. It’s the learning journey of life and how you engage it.
As Mars reaches the shadow degree of his retrograde now it’s good to pay attention to Mars type interactions over the next few days. They’ll provide clues to the upcoming retrograde themes for you. Any experience connected to energy, passion and drive, initiative and courage, conflicts and anger, sexuality, risk-taking, physical health and energy levels is primary. It’s the ‘how’ you operate these qualities that provides food for reflection and profound change over the next six months. More on Mars when we reach mid-April and Mars begins his retrograde journey.
If you enjoyed this article you might like to read this one on how astrology works.