In a few hours, on September 10 if you’re in Europe like me, or September 9 if you’re based in the USA, Mars stations Retrograde at 28°09’ Aries and will station direct on November 13, 2020 at 15°14’ Aries. This a pivotal cycle in the second half of 2020: for over two months, the eager, hot-tempered God of warfare, fully armoured and jeopardous in the sign of his domicile, will be held in place, pushed to retrace his steps — all in the midst of an ongoing square to Saturn Retrograde in Capricorn.
Most of us can already feel it — reality slowing down, or, at least some parts of it. Doors closing, temporarily or indefinitely, on a room where we’re left with our rage and our drive and the victories we thirst and yearn for, the calls from our fate we almost didn’t answer, and our feelings about all that we were hoping to accomplish this year, but never came to pass. It can be a disheartening, chaotic place to be — at least until we learn how to know that rage, that drive, that yearning intimately.
Mars goes Retrograde roughly once every two years, but the last time the Red Planet was retrograde in the sign of Aries was August through October, 1988. That’s when I came into this world, so it’s probably safe to say I know how life with a Retrograde Mars in Aries feels like. And let me tell you — sometimes I’m grateful that my reckless Aries Mars has brakes.
I have chased things — and people — that were not meant for me. I have acted on impulse in situations where composure and restraint were warranted. I have been on the verge of self-destruction a few times. The two steps back you take after a step forward can save your fucking life sometimes. You have to admit, at times it’s a good thing that we cannot possibly achieve everything we set out to do — even though it usually takes time for the wisdom and clarity of hindsight to truly sink in.
Not now, however.
Mars stationing Retrograde in Aries is hindsight happening in the present. It’s a chance to observe life happening in real time. In order to make the most of this chance, we might need to adjust our habitual pattern of behaviour. From engaging with reality with a proactive, participative approach to sitting with our impulses and observing them. Observing our anger and the way it moves through us. Observing our goals from a distance. Revisiting the ways in which we channel our personal energies towards our goals, and assessing whether or not those goals still matter to us —whether they ever, truly mattered. Acknowledging our frustration, the storms raging inside us. Pondering the consequences of our actions — who we are and what do we want and what do we set in motion when we are driven by our destructive urges, because we are unable to decipher the oracular messages of our sacred anger.
Seeing how it all fits in the grand scheme of things.
As the world decelerates and our focus turns inward, if you, like me, have a strong, albeit challenged Mars, try not to be tricked into going at war with yourself. You’re going to need that fuel to sustain you for the upcoming two months.
Instead, inspect. Witness. Find healthy, affirming outlets that aren’t strictly connected to productivity. Take on habits that help you self-regulate. With Saturn dominating Mars, the forward momentum will likely be next to non-existant throughout the whole Retrograde phase, so we might as well become familiar with where you are at now. How else are we supposed to know if we’re in the right place?
Mars stations direct on November 13 and leaves the Retrograde zone on January 2, 2021. The Red Planet will then enter Taurus on January 7, 2021.