To prepare for the Mars retrograde transit, think about any area of your life where you’re doing things out of duty, habit or lack of will or energy to change. Ask yourself what action you can take to improve things. Or as Steve Jobs put it: “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you’re about to do today?”
Mars Retrograde through Sagittarius and Scorpio – Hold Your Horses!
Mars is a dual-faced god with a civilised side and a primitive side. The Roman god Mars embodies the civilised side of Mars – the desire to be powerful coupled with the courage and ability to take risks and achieve goals. By contrast, the Greek god Ares (cf Aries) represents the more primitive side of Mars – a fierce warrior driven by passion, rage and lust and the force behind accidents, injury and violence. This more primitive side of Mars tends to come to the fore during the Mars retrograde cycle, which occurs every 26 months.
Mars in the birth chart acts as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the Sun externalising the ego’s desire for accomplishment and helping us express our individuality. Mars themes include : will, desire, libido, courage, passion, energy, spirit and anger. When the Sun and Mars work together, we are able to achieve our goals in a bold and constructive fashion. Not so when Mars moves to oppose the Sun during the Mars retrograde cycle….the wilful CEO goes his own way instead of following orders! The symbolic purpose of the Mars retrograde cycle is to show us where our actions and goals (Mars) are out of alignment with our true nature and purpose (Sun). Once we understand this, we can take steps to balance these opposing forces and live a life of integrity.
Symbolism of the 2016 Mars Retrograde Cycle
At the beginning of April, Mars starts to slow down and on the 17th April will turn retrograde at 8° Sagittarius. He will then begin a 75-day backward journey through fire sign Sagittarius and water sign Scorpio. This most challenging part of the retrograde cycle lasts from mid-April to 22nd May when Mars at 1-2° Sagittarius opposes the Sun at 1-2° Gemini. We could compare it to the build-up of energy in a pressure cooker or volcano. Those with birthdays between the 14th November and 3rd December or with planets or chart angles at 0-8° Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo and Pisces or 23-29° Scorpio, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius will be most affected.
Here are some common manifestations.
- Daily progress becomes suddenly filled with effort.
- Projects are delayed or cancelled.
- Bad luck or fate appears to intervene.
- Feelings of illness, exhaustion, depression and weakness.
- Cessation of interest, drive, energy and focus in what might previously have been an important project, commitment or relationship.
- Suppressed feelings of anger and hostility rise to the surface.
- Psychological depletion or complete liberation.
- Irrational action and forced introspection.
- Conflict with friends, colleagues or partners.
Sagittarius is a sign of passion, adventure, truth and belief, while Scorpio plumbs the depth of the unconscious to fearlessly expose deceit, denial or lack of integrity. If something’s not right in your life, you won’t be able to put your head in the sand when Mars is travelling backwards through these passionate zodiac signs. To prepare for the Mars retrograde transit, think about any area of your life where you’re doing things out of duty, habit or lack of will or energy to change. Ask yourself what action you can take to improve things. Or as Steve Jobs put it: “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you’re about to do today?”
Sun in Aries – Courage & Independence
From the 20th March to the 20th April, the Sun travels through masculine fire sign Aries. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the seed, the new beginning, the hero. Its keywords are “I am” and “I initiate”. The symbol for Aries is the horned ram who rushes fearlessly into new situations, heedless of danger with no consideration for others. Arians are true individuals, keen to build their own personality and ego. The typical Arian is youthful, independent and adventurous, displaying strength, boldness, initiative and courage. Negatively they can be angry, headstrong, selfish, domineering and arrogant. Arians need to learn how to cooperate with others, complete projects they have started and conserve their energy. If you want to annoy an Aries, boss them around or tell them to calm down! Each zodiac sign rules a part of the body. For Aries this is the head. When Arians are out of balance they often suffer from headaches, migraines and injuries to the head. And the Aries colour is red. When we get angry we talk about ‘seeing red’.
April New Moon – Follow Your Instincts
The April new moon falls on the 7th in fire sign Aries. With the Sun and Moon conjunct erratic Uranus, square Pluto and trine Saturn the mood is rebellious and feisty, so be open to new ideas and follow your instincts.New moons signify new beginnings and with this one so close to revolutionary Uranus and in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, we’ll be pushed to take bold steps in new directions. However as both the April new moon and April full moon occur in signs ruled by Mars (Aries and Scorpio) and with Mars slowing down and turning retrograde this month, our inner hero will be challenged and put to the test. Determination, persistence and courage will be needed to win the battle.
Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the Full Moon or when the Moon is in the same sign as your Sun (or Star) sign.
New Moon 7th
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.
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