There’s lots of talk now about Mars’ passage through Leo and the retrograde period that will accompany it. Mars is moving through Leo now, but halts on December 20th and then retrogrades until March 10 next year before moving on toward Virgo.
Retrogrades are one of the most popular questions beginning astrology students ask and, sometimes, one of the toughest to answer. There are two aspects to this question ~ the astronomical question of movement and the astrological question of meaning. Then, of course, the big question we ask ~ What am I supposed to do?
This isn’t a fluff question. It’s a deep subject, requiring quite a bit of thought and self-awareness. Retrograde motion, in a way, is a cosmic Do-Over. Get ready to pull a great big bucket of experience out of your zodiac well to understand how you normally react to Mars’ nomadic energy. Mars moves quickly in the grand scheme of planetary motion, making a trip around the zodiac every two years and bringing a burst of energy to every house in your chart for about a couple of months at a time. That means you’ve had plenty of experience with Mars energy in all parts of your life. It’s common enough to have overlooked.
Astronomically, retrogrades are periods of time when a planet appears to be moving backward in the sky. The planets aren’t actually moving backward. It’s a play of light and perspective, a cosmic trick. These retrograde periods are bookended with “stations,” periods of time on either side of the retrograde period when the planet appears to stand still ~ another cosmic trick on our perspective. Planets never stand still.
Retrogrades work like parallel parking your car. Imagine your car is a planet. A planet’s regular motion is like driving forward. To parallel park, you have to drive a little past the parking space. You then put your foot on the brake which stops the motion briefly ~ that’s the first “station” in astrology. Then you move backward into the parking space (the retrograde), put your foot on the brake again (the second “station”) and then resume forward motion into the space.
If that was too confusing or you want a visual to help you understand the astronomical motion, check out the applet showing two perspectives here. I ran the applet several times and I finally really get it.
Astrologically, retrograde periods are similar to the parked car. Take the time while you’re parked to pull out your map, check your route, look at your gauges, clean off your windshield in preparation for continuing your drive forward. That drive forward is when you get your Cosmic Do-Over and a new chance to act on the issues at hand.
Donna Cunningham has written a series of posts to get you ready for your Mars Mission and its 6-month stay in Leo. Subscribe to stay on top of the Mission. December 20th is fast approaching, and you might be feeling some Martial effects already. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.”
- Mars Retrograde 101–Answering Your Questions
- Mars Mission 1: Mars and Conflict—Road Block or Productive Detour?
- Mars Mission 2: Anger—the Guard Dog of Denial
- Mars Mission 3: Understanding Mars in the Fixed Signs
- Mars—What Great Minds say about Its Functions
- Mars-Pluto Aspects? Use your Manifestation Mojo!
- The Law of Progressive Annoyance—Mars or Jupiter?
- Mars-Neptune Aspects and the Sweatbox Deaths
- The Mars-Uranus Conjunction in Pisces and Children Born with it
- It’s Baaaaaack–The Mars Hoax!
There are plenty of exceptional posts now on MarsRx. Mandi Lockley at Astroair has an excellent post on tempering our behavior in Mars in Leo -A Retrograde Catfight. Don’t miss that one.