“Seated in our heart and pervading every cell of our body lies a conscious, intelligent awareness. … outer layers of ourselves surround an inner, divine light of awareness called the Purusa or atman, which illuminates the truth and expresses love and compassion.” The Path of the Yoga Sutras by Nicolai Bachman
For many people the first weeks of 2016 have been filled with irritation, too much noise, loud political banter on TV, maddening upsets, unexpected angry outbursts, and an overload of stress. Various aspects to Planet Mars may account for some of this internal and external disorder and annoyance. Mars is major player in our life script this year. Mars offers us so much irritation that we WANT to find our inner light of awareness and serenity. While everything swirls around us with agitation, interruption and change, we can focus on that part of us that simply sits and breathes.
Welcome to Mars retrograde in 2016. Mars affects our outer world and our inner world. Do you feel more on edge (inside and outside) than you did in the recent past?
The Warrior Planet, Mars, makes a prominent appearance during most of 2016. Every two years Mars has a retrograde cycle that causes the planet to spend extra time in one or two signs. Usually Mars travels through a sign of the Zodiac in about six weeks. It visits a sign, and then moves on. We get to experience many difference temperaments of the Mars energy during the year. However, during the year that Mars goes retrograde, we experience Mars in one or two signs for up to 9 months. That’s a long time to have one archetypal energy hanging around your home, your society, your psyche, or your body and mind. In the end, we are given a chance to let Mars energy helps us slay our inner dragons (impatience, fears, phobias, revengefulness, anger, explosive rage, repressed sexual drive, obsessive sexual drive to mention a few) so we can better experience our inner core awareness.
For example, if Mars happens to visit your domestic area for 9 months, you will definitely notice it. There could be arguing or irritation on the home front. If you have repressed anger toward your partner, Mars will nag your inner world until you find ways to express your discontent and resolve some issue.
Most of us are familiar with Mars as the male, warrior energy and sexual drive (as in men are from Mars and women are from Venus). Mars is the sexual desire while Venus is the relational desire. We associate Mars with masculine energy, and a “do it and do it hard,” principle. If one hour on the treadmill is good, then two hours must be better. Mars gets the blood pumping. The ancient Greeks and astrologers of the Renaissance thought Mars brought war, fever and plagues. In addition Mars signifies survival and desire and under that heading we have competition, the battlefield, winners and losers.
On the medical front, Mars brings sudden fevers or acute illnesses. Fever, or virus, may come fast, work it way through the system and then dissolve just a quickly. This is a year to pay attention to your immune and find some sort of meditation practice. Mars energy is agitating and upsetting to the body’s energy field. Some individuals may be acutely aware of negative, toxic energy. Try to clear the energy field a little bit every day.
In 2013-2014 Mars made a long transit through the sign of Libra, whose qualities are justice, balance, harmony, and relationship. From December 2013 through July 2014, we were confronted with the scales! How did we handle our relationships? Maybe some people faced drawn-out legal situations (especially divorces) during 2014.
Mars makes a long journey through Scorpio and Sagittarius thanks to its retrograde cycle in 2016. Actual retrograde dates are April 18 to June 29.
Now in 2016, Mars will make an extra long journey through Scorpio (water sign) and Sagittarius (fire sign). The retrograde period affects both signs. In early January this year Mars cruised into Scorpio, a sign that Mars rules. In March Mars will step into Sagittarius, then turn retrograde in Sagittarius in mid April and go all the way back into Scorpio. Mars turns direct in late June at 23 degrees of Scorpio. Then it proceeds through Scorpio and on into Sagittarius again and finally completes its long journey in late September. We will be ready for Mars to settle down in earthy Capricorn by the time we get to October.
Why go into so much detail about Mars? Answer: Every two years there is some department of your life that really gets hammered.
Assertive Mars energy will hammer some area of your life. Ideally, you know where Scorpio and Sagittarius are in your horoscope. That will help you know what areas of life are taking center stage this year. For me, it’s my personality and presenting myself on life’s stage. I can’t get away from this. I’m stuck with getting to know myself in relationship to others and the world. Some of this won’t be fun. Not everyone will like me while Mars is hanging around my rising sign! I will come across with a little more assertion and I might appear impatient or irritable and harsh. I might even have “an attitude.”
Mars retrograde in Scorpio and Sagittarius affects politics and presidential hopefuls.
Mars rules Scorpio so we are receiving a lot of bloody competition in the political arena. Donald Trump was born with Mars on his ascendant. He is in his element right now while Mars is in Scorpio. He has no trouble putting on boxing gloves (made of words) and he knows what to do with that warrior helmet. Bernie Sanders is doing ok with Mars as well. He just keeps saying the same thing over and over again in a strong voice—get rid of super packs, take care of the middle class. Hillary Clinton, born under the sign of Scorpio, was using Mars well with a strong voice until she was accused of being too “loud” for a woman! Now Justice Scalia has died and a fierce battle will ensue regarding a new justice on the Supreme Court. This battlefield will be harsh and nasty. It’s interesting that Mars will retrograde in Sagittarius, the sign of the law itself, during this year of partisan fighting over who should appoint a new Justice to the Big Bench!
What can we expect in the Mars retrograde cycle? Possibilities extend from disharmony to inner awakening in a sacred historical location.
If this long Mars transit occurs in your house of partnership, you can expect a lot of arguing. All the fixed signs might have to endure relationship “disharmony” (that would be Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius). Likewise the signs of Sagittarius and Gemini will be bickering as partners compete or fight to have their side of the story heard and respected. While Mars goes through Sagittarius some of us will be involved with lawyers. Others may find themselves on spiritual journeys to sacred areas, since Sagittarius rules faraway places and the higher mind.
Where’s that Mars? Notice what gets your attention.
If Mars goes through your career area this year from January to the end of September, be prepared to compete in your job or expect some nasty energy to stir the cubicles. Lucky people who have a long Mars transit through the money houses!!! Good year to make some extra cash, or get a extra big tax refund, or sell a piece of property. You see, all kinds of things are possible. If you don’t know where the signs Scorpio and Sagittarius are in your horoscope, you might want to find out. Knowing where you need to take up your sword, put on your armor or focus on your survival skills could be very helpful before October rolls around. Remember that craziness is doing the same thing over and over again and not getting the result you want. We will have ample opportunity to do something over and over again until we do get it right. Do you know what it is? Keeping a journal might help. Notice what theme or themes keep repeating. What is upsetting you? What are you mad about? Paying attention to these questions will help you navigate the internal battlefield inside yourself that ultimately leads to the way you express your own unique Mars energy.
If you get overloaded with the heat, intensity and madness (!) of Mars, remind yourself that there is a still place inside that knows who you are without the competition, anger, desire to get even, or to even win the game. Go sit down and remember who you are.