Posted by: Donna Cunningham | December 6, 2009

Mars and Conflict—Road Block or Productive Detour?

©12-6-2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 From one viewpoint, Mars stationary or retrograde periods may seem like frustrating detours for projects you’d hoped to finish soon. Seen from another perspective, they’re a window for concerted effort to clear away blockages that have stubbornly refused to budge for many years. Before you can move forward again, you’ve got issues to work out—matters that are highly likely to involve conflict with key players in that area of life.  

You probably don’t WANT things coming to a head in that part of your life—maybe you’d just as soon patch it up one last time, even if it’s falling into ruins around you. Leo, after all is a fixed sign—stubborn and just a tad lazy—and resists change even more than most of us. Addressing long-standing issues is sure to mean a certain amount of conflict with those involved, if not an out and out scream match. Far from being a catastrophe, bringing longstanding but unspoken irritants into the open for discussion is healthy. It can shift the status quo from stagnation to forward motion, revitalizing your joint efforts.

 Airing and addressing disagreements in this part of your life opens the way for a stronger, deeper connection and for action that can bring progress to the vital concerns of that horoscope sector. A meaningful dialogue now would create a space in which the needs of all concerned can be taken into account.

Otherwise, someone in the situation will be forced to remain a frustrated, resentful doormat.  Mars goes away eventually, but the grievance won’t if you cover it over. It’s likely to surface in a less resolvable form under an outer planet transit in the future.  If you have planets in the path of a retrograde, the issues are more clearly defined and the confrontation more intense. There are important matters that need to be sorted out with others who are major players in that area of life, and they can no longer be ignored.  Would there be a rift?  Most likely not, if you take time to learn new mediation and conflict-resolution skills rather than resort to door slamming, loud roaring, or other dramatic Leo tactics.

(For more information about what those issues might be, download a chapter from my ebook, An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness here: AGSA ch13-houses.  Here’s a downloadable chart blank, complete with house meanings, that you can use to plot your own Mars retrograde postion as well as other astrological cycles:  Blank chart with house meanings.)

Contrary to what classical astrology teaches, Mars is neither a baddie or a goodie in our horoscopes, it just IS.  Using this natural urge in a healthy manner can make us strong, vital, dynamic bundles of Beingness. Blocking its expression, on the other hand, can lead to festering, brooding stagnation.

Several readers have written in to say that they have Mars retrograde in their natal charts and that they are wondering what Mars retrograde by transit means for them. Naturally, it depends on aspects to their Mars, but in general, when a person is born with a personal planet (Mercury, Venus, Mars) retrograde, they seem to do much better when that planet is retrograde than people who were born with it direct. They often make decisions, take actions, and start things and seem to do quite well with them.

The stationary period of any planet is when it can be felt most powerfully, and Mars is stationary just now, about to turn retrograde. Let’s learn how to use it well.  The next several posts will be about that planet and what it represents in our lives. It’s a readily available, fully renewable energy source for all of us.  Properly channeled, it’s as vital an energy resource as Solar Power—it’s just red rather than green.Donna Cunningham Skywriter Mars

  More Posts about Mars on this Blog:

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  1. You’ve got my Leo sun pegged.

    Leo’ my sixth house cusp with sun at 21 degrees.

    And how cool is it that you post this just as the Moon is about to conjuct Tr Mars?

    On another note, I’m enjoying all the fire in the sky. We’ve had too much earth and water lately.

    • Me, too, Neeti. Mars in Leo is very firey! Donna

      • Because of all the water in my chart, I’m naturally attracted to strong water and earth in others. Which is great. But it’s only recently I’ve come to realize just what an upper the fire enthusiam and energy is. It’s warm, it’s inspired, it’s inspiring. And despite their brashness, I’ve come to love the fire signs. Need ’em in my life, too 🙂

        Air, now air, I don’t understand very well. But love the conversation, I guess.

  2. thanks for a very helpful article about this Mars in Leo retrograde cycle, I’ve been trying and failing to catch the scent of it, and you did it just perfectly-I’m forwarding it to a bunch of folks….

  3. Donna, a quick questions which maybe you can or already plan to address in future columns about Mars — what about those of us born with Mars retro? Was wondering if that changes how it affects us when it’s transiting retro? (did I word that right? astro talk is not easy for me:) Transiting Mars is in my eighth house — and my husband and I have been dreaming of a big vacation to Europe. We’ve talked about it for years and now have a specific savings account just for that. I hope we don’t end up getting into a fuss over these joint funds!ha! But whatever — I want to be open what Mars is trying to teach us:) See what I need to go back and ponder…..
    Thanks as always!

    • HI, Trishia. All I can really say about retrogrades is that when a person is born with a personal planet (Mercury, Venus, Mars) retrograde, they seem to do much better when that planet is retrograde than people who were born with it direct. They often make decisions, take actions, start things and seem to do quite well with them. Donna

      • Thanks! I like the sound of that:)

  4. My Sun is in Leo, my moon and ascendent are in Scorpio – my Mars is in Pisces, my Venus in Cancer…. I feel yuck !!!

  5. (chuckling) Mars stations just past my Ascendant/Moon at 17/18 Leo (and Uranus at 14 Leo), and trines my Saturn at 19 Sag. It had a bit of a rough ride through my 12th as I’m unhappy with my job, but it’s been overall good with my relationship. I think my Leo Asc likes having fun and maybe Mars only gets angry when that fun is taken away! Work has become burnout and drudgery. So hopefully I can spend Mars Rx planning my next move. My natal Mars in my 10th (27 Tau), alas, is getting a long Neptune transit – will have to rely on intuition.

    • Hi, Leslee, Listen to that Leo Ascendant of yours and let it have some fun amidst all the hard work. Mars is energy AND anger, and there’s nothing like a bad case of burnout to make one resentful. If the work is all sedentary and mental, talking a walk or other physical exercise can refresh you. Donna

      • Thanks, Donna. I think you’re exactly right about getting physical exercise to give Mars what it needs and also burn off resentment and irritation.

  6. Thank you Donna for another illuminating piece. Mars Stations Rx exactly on my husband’s 5th house Mars in Leo and this week he’s losing his job (he has followed a creative career)! He obviously needs to consider very carefully what his next move is going to be. For practical reasons he may have to take a bit of a sidetrack just to bring in some money, at least in the short term. Needless to say, I shall be watching this Mars Rx VERY closely indeed.

    • Hello, Mandi, I’m so glad you wrote. I visited your site yesterday and was very impressed with the series you’re doing on the Pluto-Saturn square–great insights and a solid, sane approach to a difficult transit.

      I tried my best to leave a comment about it, but Mars wasn’t just stationary yesterday, it had locked its heels and refused to budge. (Man, I’ll never complain about Mercury stationary again!) Whatever I tried, I was blocked from saving it. (It kept saying I was using illegal characters–good old law-abiding me!)

      At any rate, folks, if you’d like helpful and practical tips on how to use this transit, visit Donna

      • Thank you so much Donna for your generous compliment, I’m lost for words (for a change) Mandi 😀

  7. Thanks for the great article! I have been rather frustrated at church lately and with a class I am taking there and couldn’t figure out why that was, astrologically, but I have Leo in the 12th house and my moon at 9 degrees (in the 11th ruling the 11th) so no wonder I am feeling a bit frustrated with my spiritual community and group involvement! I also have Venus at 14 Aquarius.

    Natal Mars in the 4th at 2Cap39 is otherwise occupied with Pluto and Saturn 😉

    • Between the two sets of Mars-related transits, it sounds like your Higher Self has given you a project of exploring what makes you angry and what you can do to handle it more effectively.

      Stay tuned! I’ve just uncovered a mother lode of excellent self-help articles about assertiveness and anger management that I’ll be publishing over the next couple of weeks in addition to my own more astrological writings. I’m learning right along with you, folks, with transiting Mars astride my natal Mars for several months running. Donna

      • So true! I keep asking myself: Do I really care so much about this thing that is making me angry (or obsessed or whatever)? Natal Pluto also at 4 Libra so it’s like a Mars-Pluto party going on, with Saturn as the chaperone or perhaps in Libra he is the mediator!

        So glad I found your blog, I love it!

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