Mars stations retrograde at 00:53 (UT) on the 24th January at 23VIR05. It will backtrack through Virgo over the next three months, finally stationing direct at 3VIR40 on the 14th April at 03:53 (UT). The Sabians for Mars Retrograde January 2012 Mars stations retrograde on the Sabian Symbol
“Mary And Her Little Lamb”
Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.
In the last verse, when someone asks why the lamb loves Mary so much, the answer is – because Mary loves the lamb. This Sabian speaks of innocence and unconditional love. There is also perhaps a biblical reference here – Mary, Mother of Christ and Jesus, the lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of mankind. Mars slows down on this degree almost as if peace stops him in his tracks. Is Mars reflecting on whether this is even possible? Imagine the great warrior pausing mid bloody battle to witness a child cuddling a soft white lamb. Imagine the burnt out executive watching his toddler play happily with an empty box. The image is as poignant as it is gentle. It reminds us of childhood, of times past and an almost unrealistic ideal. But Mars is urging us to recall that time of innocence. Mars reminds us quietly what we are fighting for – or rather, what we should be fighting for…
Mars turns direct on the Sabian
“Black And White Children Play Together Happily”
Children have much to teach us. In a world strangled by man-made religious and cultural divides, this image reminds us that we are all simply human. What could the world be like if we put down our weapons and just embraced each other? Young children tend to see more similarity than difference, naturally seeking to bond and communicate. Unless otherwise indoctrinated, they seem to naturally overcome fear with curiosity. To me this Mars retrograde is about getting the details right. Are we fighting for the future, our children’s children? Are we serious about protecting each other? Can we lay down our weapons? Can we fight for what is right from a place of love instead of hate? Mars is urging us to overcome our prejudices, our criticisms of another’s ways and beliefs. Essentially we are all children of the divine. It’s time we learned to play nice.
Mars travelling through my 2nd House – Warming up…
I can’t say I’ve taken much notice of Mars transiting my 2nd house since late November last year. But in the last week or so, he’s making an impression; almost as if the energy intensifies as he slows down. I’ve found myself extremely focused on certain projects, working late into the night. I’ve changed ISP after I expressed my annoyance at being on a rather expensive plan when the sister company provided something much better. Consequently I now have more bandwidth for a cheaper price – both welcome resources (2nd house!). I’ve become much more organised (Virgo) since being introduced to Trello.com which helps me to work more efficiently. Finally I discovered my old PC was capable of super speedy browsing after changing to Google Chrome. The speed is another important resource considering I spend much of my time researching and writing on the internet for Lua.
Mars has a way of coming alive, like first shoots or spring flowers suddenly erupting into bloom. He bursts into the room shouting “where’s the fire?” or perhaps “where’s the fight?” He’s ready to kick some butt, gunning for action, wants to get going, is all fired up. So when Mars retrogrades, it can feel rather like the rug being pulled from under your feet.
The Mars Retrograde Cycle
Mars trine the Sun
Mars station retrograde
Mars opposite the Sun
Mars station direct
Mars trine the Sun
Just a couple of weeks before the station retrograde, the Sun makes a trine to Mars (this occured at 04:29 13th January UT time). During that time it can feel like everything’s going well, you’re on the home straight, it’s all up and running. So when he puts on the brakes and reverses, it can trigger a lot of frustration, not to mention possibly knocking you off balance for a moment.
By looking to the house through which Mars is currently transiting, you can see which area of life may be affected by the retrograde. After the initial stop, as Mars begins to move backwards, so your attention may be drawn inwards rather than outwards. What seemed to come easily beforehand may now seem difficult. Where there was fast progress, now it feels like driving in first gear. Your passion for a project or person may wane, your enthusiasm evaporate. You may feel like giving up the fight, backing off and letting someone else take over for while.
These ‘negative’ manifestations aren’t there just to tick you off. The purpose behind it is to slow you down a little and encourage a little more reflection on your actions.
” the station and retrogression of Mars will not necessarily mean that all activity ceases, but that change precipitates a period of reactive rather than active experiences…There may be no need actually to stop what we are doing, but more conscious introspection and contemplation is usually required’ p. 323 Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape by Erin Sullivan
Retrograde Mars may also trigger conflict but this tends to be things that have been at odds for a while. Mars brings them to a head. Conflict tends to block, slow-down or muddy the way ahead so it’s important that a resolution is made whether it is with another or with yourself. Internalised hostility and aggression can also seep out into other areas of your life manifesting as depleted energy, procrastination, lethargy, depression and misdirected attacks on others.
The prime time for conflict resolution tends to be when Mars opposes the Sun. This aspect will occur on the 3rd March 2012. The position of the Sun and Mars in your chart during the opposition and any aspects they make to natal planets or points may help you to identify the areas of life concerned. Note that Mars won’t make arguments happen out of nowhere. He only tends to disrupt when frustration is already present. Remember, he’s clearing the path. Mars opposite the Sun seems to ask:-
Are the things you are taking action on (Mars) aligned to true purpose (Sun)?
Are they taking you in the right direction? Have you discovered your passion?
Are you asserting your right to be who you are?
Are you fighting for your rights?
Are you allowing others to ride roughshod over your destiny?
Is your anger at what could have been keeping you from what could be?
Do you have the courage to create?
Mars opposite the Sun turns up the heat!
Once this aspect has past, you feel a sense of release. Whilst Mars is still retrograde at this point, you are probably clearer about what action you need to take next. The time after the opposition is quieter, like boiled water slowly cooling, the calm after the storm. As Mars stations direct on the 14th April, you’re revving the engine. By the 23rd April, as Mars once again trines the Sun, it’s like motoring along a country road with the hood down, shades on, music blaring from the stereo.
Mars retrograde in Virgo suggests that this is a fine tuning exercise. It’s the opportunity to critically examine that which consumes your energy. It may also show how anger manifests in the body through disease, illness or accident. Mars can have a tendency to gloss over details when he’s in a hurry so the retrograde is rather like putting him into strategic mode, planning his battle moves rather than striking out. Virgo is also the immaculate sign, a perfectionist attuned to spotting the finest of details. Virgo, associated with the hermit in the tarot, is also about apprenticeship; being willing to learn the skills necessary to proceed with a strong measure of humility. Mars in Virgo is also about following through. It’s likely that you will learn something about efficiency during this phase, what works and what doesn’t.
To help you gauge how Mars in working for you, I have listed below some of the possible manifestations of retrograde Mars energy through the houses. I have explored negative manifestations (Hand to Hand Combat!) and what possible actions or strategic position may be useful to take. Bear in mind that Mars may also aspect other planets and points, triggering other areas of your chart. Mars retrograde is also a good time to ponder your natal Mars position and find out how your Mars energy works for you.
Essentially Mars is there to work for you, not against you. He’s the one you call on when you need a bit of oomph, when you’re in a rush, when you start something new, when you fancy the pants off someone, when you’re working against the clock, when you set yourself a challenge. He’s there when you leap up and dance at a party, get excited over something or someone and he’s there when you need to defend yourself. He’s your own personal warrior.
Mars retrograde in the 1st house
Hand to Hand Combat Conserve your energy, accidents or injury can happen from trying to push yourself too hard. You can’t seem to take the initiative; inaction; you can’t seem to get ahead; you feel like you’re losing the race; you feel like you can’t compete; you have a temperature; three steps forward; two steps back; you’re coming across as passive aggressive; blocked at every turn; feeling dowdy and in need of a make-over.
Strategy Being willing to slow down; letting go of the idea of ‘winning’; why are you fighting yourself? Appreciating slow progress; reflecting upon recent actions and their results; boosting your image.
Mars retrograde in the 2nd House
Hand to Hand Combat Income may slow to a trickle; arguments over income and expenditure; your values seem at odds with others; a lack of resources causes frustration; your sense of self -esteem is low; confidence is lacking; things feel worthless; you feel worthless; insecurity; feeling things are being taken from you; feeling you don’t have enough to survive; surviving not thriving.
Strategy Holding off making large purchases or financial commitments; make small investments; appreciating the slow-build; figuring out why you are angry with yourself; exploring where you deny yourself, making the best of what you have.
Mars retrograde in the 3rd House
Hand to Hand Combat Sore throat; screaming inside; angry thoughts; the idea is a non-starter; feeling that your not allowed to put across your point of view; feeling you have to defend your point of view; biting your tongue with neighbours or siblings; feeling mentally dull; blunt words; idle gossip; going round in circles; feeling that you’re not learning fast enough; slow journeys frustrate you; the car breaks down; short-tempered; short circuit.
Strategy Allow yourself time to think; think before speaking; sharpen your thoughts; learn to control your temper; be willing to go over what you have learned before; go back to basics; hone in on the information you need; read books that have just been sat on the shelf; drive carefully; wait before purchasing a new vehicle.
Mars retrograde in the 4th House
Hand to Hand Combat Repressed anger at your parents; rocky foundations; work needs doing on your home but time, money or energy isn’t available; feeling like you can’t get things finished; there’s no light at the end of the tunnel; the past is too present; shaky inside; family responsibilities sap your energy; a house move delayed; spending less time at home due to overtime at work.
Strategy Do one thing at a time; Rome wasn’t built in a day; let go of past resentments; choose your base carefully; consider restructuring, renovating or moving (but don’t rush it); fortify your home; make peace with the past.
Mars retrograde in the 5th House
Hand to Hand Combat Fun seems in short supply; romance goes off the boil; all work and no play; creative projects don’t appeal; stage-fright; bored in bed; the gamble didn’t pay off; we are not amused! Children acting up; kids taking more time and energy than usual; a sick child; wanting to spend more time with the kids; wanting to spend time away from the kids (!); battling to finish a creative project; not really knowing what you want; feeling like you’ve lost your spark.
Strategy It’s ok to question who you are; look for ways to rediscover your passion in all forms of the word; redefine your creative projects and choose what really excites you; find or remember your old toys; be a child again; spend quiet time with the children; make time for pleasure; maintain a positive outlook
Mars retrograde in the 6th House
Hand to Hand Combat Withdrawing from conflict with co-workers; feeling bullied by co-workers; unable to keep on top of chores or your to-do list; low energy, susceptibility to colds and flu; a sick pet; broken routines; unexpected nuisances; feeling unable to give your all in the workplace; feeling tired at work; delayed projects at work.
Strategy A need to recall scattered energy and focus on what’s important; overhaul routines to become more effective; improve your skill-set, show humility; resolve conflict with colleagues; ensure your pets are getting enough exercise/stimulation; organise your life; stop burning the candle at both ends; make changes to benefit your physical body; reinforce your diet.
Mars retrograde in the 7th House
Hand to Hand Combat Brewing conflict with your partner; fear of confrontation with open enemies; a withdrawal from a relationship (physically or emotionally); feeling brow-beaten by your partner; being attracted to someone else when you’re already with someone; an old flame reappears; feeling like you’ve lost the argument; feeling like your defences have been taken down.
Strategy Learning that arguments aren’t the end of the world; love the person but hate the crime; arguing like a grown-up; adult discussion instead of a slanging match; understanding both your own and your partner’s defences; a need to remove your armour to come to an agreement; the art of negotiation and compromise; asserting yourself without aggression; let others see your passion.
Mars retrograde in the 8th House
Hand to Hand Combat Feeling powerless; the loan doesn’t come through; the tax bill is more than expected; refused help; sexual problems; lack of desire; feeling undesired or undesirable; power games; conflicting sexual needs or desires; you don’t understand why; a struggle to understand yourself; fearing the unknown; feeling unable to deal with loss.
Strategy Unearthing the truth; facing your own darkness; being willing to drop your guard to experience true intimacy; dealing with sexual problems openly; accepting your sexual nature; making a plan to pay off debts; knowing you will survive; learning to share; aggressive self-analysis; entering research mode; understanding what you’ve inherited; looking death in the eye **
**Mars in the 8th house can bring up death issues both physically and psychologically however you cannot predict that you or another person will die just from one transit of Mars. This transit occurs every couple of years so don’t scare yourself!
Mars retrograde in the 9th House
Hand to Hand Combat You don’t know what to believe anymore; a loss of faith; you can’t make your mind up; adverse legal problems; feeling like the law isn’t on your side; final exams delayed; a withdrawal of interest in your subject of expertise; nowhere to turn to for guidance; wanting to run away; flights delayed; the visa doesn’t come through; the holiday is a let-down; you seriously need a holiday.
Strategy Being willing to explore your beliefs; examining your faith without judgement; trying a different place of worship; calmly defending what you believe in; removing yourself to neutral ground; deferring to the advice of others; going back to what first triggered your interest; being willing to move on to a new area of study if your current one no longer excites you; not pinning all your hopes on something or someone else; look beyond your own back door; not being afraid of something you don’t understand.
Mars retrograde in the 10th House
Hand to Hand Combat Off sick from work; redundancy; brewing conflict with your boss or superiors; having your toes trodden on; feeling like you’re never going to get up the career ladder; having to swallow your ego; unsure whether you want to pursue your vocation; difficulty asserting your authority; wanting to go it alone; finding it hard to work with others; procrastination; problems with parents; damaged reputation; change of status; withdrawing from the public eye.
Strategy Taking a sabbatical; making room for other things in your life besides work; reassessing your career; taking a step back so others can take charge; allowing someone else to lead; appreciating what you do; analysing your relationship with authority; getting in touch with your inner authority; work on developing your expertise; fortify your public self; being clear about who or what you want to be seen as, acknowledging your achievements.
Mars retrograde in the 11th House
Hand to Hand Combat Irritation with friends; unable to work with the group; feeling that there are too many problems in the world; feeling like a lone voice; a dream achieved no longer fulfils; feeling disconnected from the wider community; feeling like things are never going to change; disliking the way society is going; withdrawal of funds/energy for charity projects.
Strategy Needing to accept friends as they are, needing friends to accept you as you are; realising that many small acts can change the world; realising that you alone can’t change the world – but you can change your world; making appropriate connections; letting go of an ideal; deciding on your next goal; recognising life is a constant process of change; being in the now; choosing to protect the underdog.
Mars retrograde in the 12th House
Hand to Hand Combat Difficulty sleeping; sleeping too much; nightmares or disturbing dreams; unable to face your demons; afraid of being alone; running out of excuses; doubt; feeling unable to set any boundaries; self-sabotage; self-harm; self-defeating attitudes; irrational fear.
Strategy Face your demons; tackle your fears; become comfortable with your own company; write down your dreams; become aware of unconscious patterns that adversely affect you; work to remove negative conditioning; practice encouraging self talk; learn to protect yourself; practice active meditation such as chanting or tai chi.
You may find this post from a couple of years back useful where I explored the effect retrograde Mars was having on me as it moved back across my Ascendant into the 12th house.
If you know your time of birth, you can check which house Mars is currently transiting on Astro.com. It’s free –
Do you have any retrograde Mars stories to share?