Mars Retrograde

2020 is full of retrogrades. Next up – Mars Retrograde in Aries from September 9 to November 13 2020. Individuals with Mars in Aries may feel the retrograde more keenly. With awareness of this potent energy, navigating these times will be easier.

According to Dana Rudhyar, “to move away, to go toward, to reproduce – such are the three great life-operations which Mars symbolizes. Each one is a poem of living which often turns into drama or tragedy. And Mars is the eternal Actor who never tires of going forth – away from the known, toward and into the unknown; the Warrior who ever leads the battle of existence and tends to equalize the inner and outer pressures of life.”

The Rulership of Mars

Mars and Venus, as you may know, rule the traditionally binary gender qualities. It is important to remember that we have both masculine and feminine energies within. It’s about the yin and yang, the receptive and the active principles. Mars’s qualities include passions, action, sex, assertion, and expression. Masculine energies are outward.

Mars is our drive, our initiative, and our individuation.

We often see the excessive or repressed energies of Mars in our patriarchal society. This is partly due to how we are or have been judged for our desires. Women, for example, are seen as deviant when assertive or sexual. So what we see are distorted energies, such as unbridled rage and a whole load of self judgment. Of course, it is not just women. Men, for example, are expected to be confident and self-assured. These stereotypes, already dissolving I feel, serve no one. The more we step away from them, the less energy their centres will hold.

Associated with the Warrior Archetype, Mars is about being courageous to take the necessary action and to face the conflicts within ourselves and in our lives.

What is a Retrograde?

You may have heard of Mercury Retrograde. This happens several times a year.

When a planet is in retrograde and most of the time we have at least one, the planet appears to be moving backwards. What we are seeing is the difference in the speed at which these planets are moving and their proximity relative to the earth.

When the personal planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are in retrograde, we may find these times more challenging and disruptive.

It being 2020, having one or two retrogrades at the same time is just child’s play! So to punctuate the pivotal potential of this year and to uplevelling our mastery, we have five other planets also in retrograde at the same time. This is very rare!

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are also in retrograde. Before Mars Retrograde ends, Jupiter and Saturn will go direct, on September 12 and 29, respectively.

It’s clear that 2020 is about sitting with ourselves, reviewing everything and all levels of our reality. There are potent messages and lessons here. The more quickly and more deeply we go inward and emerge the more easily we can navigate these very intense times.

Mars Retrograde

As with any retrogrades, Mars Retrograde is a slowing down. So initiatives may be more difficult to launch and conflict more challenging to resolve, especially with a Martian approach.

Mars retrograde also touches upon something far more nuanced: the fact of the matter is that Mars is not always metabolized well in polite society. From a very early age, we are taught to sublimate our primal, individual needs for the greater good of the community. Harsh words are tucked away in place of silent smiles, as we are coached to say nothing at all if we have nothing nice to say. No surprises then, that we later find ourselves with repressed Martial instincts, struggling to stand up for or assert ourselves when the occasion calls for it. Our teachers may have been too successful in transmitting this twisted piece of modern culture: we inherit the ability to see wrong and say nothing, and even further, to be wronged and to do nothing.

Because Mars is about the selfhood and our identity, we may question the different areas of our lives. It’s best not to take any action during a retrograde, especially one that is drastic and engineered to relieve the pressures we feel. Retrogrades are a time for contemplation, reflection, and inner dialogue.

Self-care at this time is crucial. Taking time for ourselves, getting distance from the conflicts of our lives for a broader and an eagle-eyed perspective. Energy levels may lag – take a nap. It is also a good time to re-look and perhaps re-define what courage means to us.

Photo credit : Noorulabdeen Ahmad