Apr 17 – May 27, 2016
Once every two years, Mars turns retrograde for approximately three months. Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is entirely an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.
The last Mars Retrograde cycle was Mar 1 – May 19, 2014 in the sign of Libra. Mars rules our physical body and primal urges, so he deals in the basics. When Mars is retrograde, we examine whether or not we’re meeting the minimum requirements for well-being and daily survival. We might learn how to cook, or maybe we learn how to maintain healthy skin. These are just a few examples. In short, Mars Retrograde teaches us to stand alone and take care of ourselves. People often set out on solo journeys during this transit. When we’re alone we have plenty of time to be silent and cultivate impartial observation. Mars Retrograde is the nitty gritty, the point at which we see what we are really supposed to be learning. Retrograde periods return to that which has been ignored, forgotten or discarded, so we will revisit lessons we failed to learn the first time around.
Mars is now spinning through Sagittarius. He normally rules Aries, so Mars is right at home in a fellow fire sign. Mars in Sagittarius thirsts for experience and adventure. This transit asks whether or not we’ve gotten too comfortable. Sagittarius rejects predictability. He is expansive and restless. Indeed the pace of life has spiraled into insanity with this placement…! Mars in Sagittarius is candid, forthright, fearless, joyous, animated, alive. In Sagittarius, martial power is sourced from ideals. Spontaneous and open-hearted, the archer surmounts with ease. Mars in Sagittarius promotes physical energy, a burning desire to learn and connection to all that is beyond the Self. I hope you’ve been having lots of fun and meeting new people who feed your soul ^___^
When direct, Mars in Sagittarius takes us out and away, toward the next horizon. When retrograde, we reach within. Unlike other planetary retrogrades, Mars transits are very active by nature. So we’ll work through our lessons by moving and climbing through the terrestrial world. This doesn’t mean that we won’t confront emotional/spiritual blocks. In fact, the body provides the most powerful means to engage the psyche. But fear not, the pain you feel is directly proportional to the grandeur of the solution. Transformation is rapid and complete in this realm.
Mars Retrograde can be a confusing time where we seem to be wandering aimlessly. Even afterward, you may be asking, what now? I often talk about intuition and the importance of changing your “plans.” This cycle is no different. You will receive a multitude of insights all at once. When the retrograde period is coming to a close, continue observing the Self minutely. Wait until you feel settled internally before you decide on a direction. Although we will be in a state of heightened awareness, we must move with caution lest Mars indulges the centaur’s propensity for carelessness. The warrior planet does not move slowly or deliberately, even when retrograde. So be vigilant, especially because we are in a period of massive shift and if you act too quickly, you may lock yourself into a karmic whirlpool that drags on for months or years. Take your time, there’s no need to rush.
Mars Rx in Sagittarius examines the crown chakra and our willingness to learn, our potential for Self-expansion. The archer’s ultimate lesson is justice and Truth. You may run until you can’t breathe anymore, but the centaur’s legs do not tire, my friend. The archer does not want to look anything squarely in the eye if it’s less than perfectly jovial. Resist the urge to flee: this is what we have to do before we step completely into Sagittarius’ effervescent flames. Mars Rx in Sagittarius is all about embracing responsibility and discipline, rather than taking half-baked shortcuts. The paradox with any retrograde period is that the very thing we are encouraged to do is the most trying. However, this is precisely what makes these transits so rewarding and powerful.
Right now we have another planet retrograde in Sagittarius, and that would be Saturn. He serves a different purpose and his influence extends over a longer period of time, but I think it is helpful to keep in mind that these two masculine planets will be spinning retrograde together in a masculine sign. I’m wondering what we need to learn from Sagittarius on a collective level?
Whatever journey begins now will come from deep within the soul, and you’ve probably been sensing its arrival for a long time now. You will find that, as always, your answer lies in the present moment. But sometimes we have to climb up many mountains to remember this. So go and be free and don’t worry too much. I wish you total clarity. You are so loved.
Celebrate Mars with Sagittarius Yoga.
To ascertain your personal Mars sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.
Mantra: I am