However, there is always something a little dangerous and risky about Mars. If a fired-up Mars is let out "without a leash," or without a way to maintain some degree of control over it, the results can sometimes be damaging and destructive. If we release pent up feelings too suddenly or too abruptly, without a way to support them within the whole of who we are, this can create more problems than it solves. This is what grounding is all about, and it is essential when handling the electric fire of Mars. The forceful power of Mars needs to be balanced with awareness and integrity in order to function in a healing and constructive way.
While the transiting Mars is retrograde, we have access to all this Mars energy—in all its potential and danger—in ways that we may not ordinarily allow into our lives. The results may be startling, disturbing, thrilling, frightening, inspiring, liberating and/or overwhelming, but always challenging and bringing a potential for healing.
Mars is a Fire planet (it rules Aries, a Fire sign). And just like real-life fire, Mars can be harmful and destructive when out of control or used without discretion. It is best to handle Mars energy carefully, respectfully and mindfully, with lots of safety mechanisms in place. But also, just like fire, when Mars is used wisely it can fuel great achievements and transform whatever it touches.
During Mars retrograde, if you find yourself overwhelmed by feelings, passion, aggression or anger, it can be important to have a trusted person that you can call on and confide in. It's easy to feel consumed in the fires of Mars, when your objective judgment can be skewed or absent. It can be very helpful to be able to process and understand what's happening to you, and this can be difficult to do in isolation. Don’t let your pride, embarrassment or guilt get in the way of reaching out for help and support if you're having a hard time.
It will also help to have a constructive or harmless outlet for any frustration, anger, aggression or other Mars emotions that feel overwhelming. Physical exercise is a great way to use up Mars energy. Channeling your passion or ambition into a project can also help to transform that energy in a constructive way. Just be careful you don't overindulge in whatever you choose to do, to the point where you become obsessed and burnt out.
If you find yourself newly inspired and motivated, don't let yourself be held back by inhibitions, expectations or past history. That Mars motivation is a gift! However, don't expect immediate results either. Mars loves to move fast and can get frustrated easily if it feels limited by delay or boredom. Find ways to keep your Mars occupied—multi-tasking if necessary.
Plot a course from where you are now to where you want to be, and then start to move toward it when you're ready. For new or long-term projects this is often best done after Mars goes direct, but your Mars instinct will usually tell you when it is ready to act. During Mars retrograde, you'll probably find it works better to research, plan and delve under the surface of whatever your situation is, before you actually take steps in your new direction.
You will likely find that your best approach takes you on a route that you hadn't anticipated, or else you may need to gather resources first. It is wise to look before you leap! Despite Mars' love of leaping, understanding the potentials and pitfalls of what you are planning will increase your chance of success in the long run.
Above all, Mars is physical and instinctual, even though it helps to maintain an awareness of its energy and impulses from a mental perspective. It can really help to work off your passion, anger, frustration or inspiration at a physical level. Work out, have sex, take a walk, clean the house. (Not necessarily in that order. <g>)
However, if you start becoming accident prone, that could be a classic communication from your Higher Self to slow down and pay attention to what's in front of you, instead of rushing around trying to focus on something, somewhere or some-when else. Alternatively, Mars retrograde might also pull the plug on your physical energy and turn your body into something resembling a slug that won't move. It may be trying to tell you something, like: slow down, take a break, be gentle with yourself (and others), recharge your batteries.
Low physical energy could also be a symptom of psychological depression, in which case it may help to check in with your deep, hidden or secret feelings to see what's lurking underneath the surface. In this case, you might be burying your anger or discouragement beneath hopelessness, cynicism, boredom or depression. Or, you could be experiencing grief, even from a loss long ago that was never fully resolved.
In the end, whatever you're "hearing" from your body, it's a good idea to listen to it and your intuition. If you find you're resisting or fighting against what it seems to be saying, then that's a really good place to start exploring what retrograde Mars is trying to show you.
Mars is the planetary ruler of Aries, as well as the traditional planetary ruler of Scorpio. As much as the Aries side of Mars prefers to be straightforward and get where it's going quickly, the workings and effects of Mars in the human body and psyche can be very complex and multi-faceted. This is perhaps more of the Scorpio side of Mars, which may become more pronounced under Mars retrograde. Scorpio Mars seeks to transform and heal a problem by "lancing the boil," digging under the surface, and getting rid of the hidden toxins.
This can become a "healing crisis," where it feels like things get worse before they get better. It can take time and hard work before you start to see the healing benefits, so don't just automatically assume that worsening circumstances means you're "doing something wrong." At the same time, it can be tricky to tell a "healing crisis" from just a "crisis," so don't be afraid to reach out for help and support to assist the process along.
Mars retrograde often requires exploration of the deeper issues underneath the surface of the situation before you can move forward. As a result, progress can sometimes stall or go into hibernation during the retrograde period. Perhaps you've hit a roadblock or an impasse and you have to figure out the best way around it or through it. Maybe you're having doubts about a goal you've been trying to accomplish and you need to listen for a while to buried feelings, fears, drives and priorities that should be taken into account.
You might find yourself having a delayed reaction to something that happened a while ago—perhaps triggered during the two months before the retrograde began (in the pre-retrograde Shadow), or even rooted in other Mars retrograde times in the past. It pays to use the Mars retrograde period to "listen" to what those inner feelings, impulses, passions and motives are trying to tell us before we act on them.
This special time in the Mars cycle gives us a chance to discover and explore uncharted territory in ourselves and in our lives. We may not understand that territory or find our way to the other side until after Mars turns direct. But Mars honours our courage, drive, movement and willingness to try new things. Where will Mars lead you?
All serious daring starts from within.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe
Courage is often lack of insight, whereas cowardice in many cases is based on good information.
- Peter Ustinov
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.
- Mary Anne Radmacher
Courage is the price life exacts for peace.
- Amelia Earhart
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
- The Serenity Prayer (origin: Reinhold Niebuhr)
Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!
Cowardly Lion: You can say that again! Hunh!
- from the film "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
Quotes from WikiQuote.
|Year||Enters Shadow||Retrograde Station||Direct Station||Leaves Shadow|
|2003||18-Jun-2003||29-Jul-2003||10:08 Pisces||27-Sep.2003||0:07 Pisces||7-Nov-2003|
|2005||13-Aug-2005||1-Oct-2005||23:22 Taurus||9-Dec-2005||8:14 Taurus||3-Feb-2006|
|2007-08||17-Sep-2007||15-Nov-2007||12:27 Cancer||30-Jan-2008||24:05 Gemini||4-Apr-2008|
© 2005-2007 Wendy Guy, All rights reserved. This content may not be copied or used without the expressed permission of the author. Picture of Mars courtesy of NASA.