(c)12-13-09 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
The best writing teachers advise, “Write what you know,” and one thing in astrology I DON’T know is retrograde planets, so I seldom write about them. I believe we only truly know–deep in our bones– what we’ve experienced. All other forms of knowledge are cerebral. Other than when the heart is engaged, OBSERVATION is vastly different from direct experience.
My only experience of retrograde planets is observing them by transit. Like everyone born between June 24-September 10, 1942 in one of those long intervals when all the planets were direct, I have no retrogrades in my birth chart. Furthermore, unless I live to be 85, I’ll never experience a retrograde planet by progression.
So when my readers ask—and they have—what a retrograde Mars means, I might recount someone else’s experience or theory, but I wouldn’t claim it’s coming from a deeply grounded place. Therefore, what I’m doing today is a survey of what some fine astrologers are saying about this transit that will be going on for the next several months.
Erin Sullivan wrote the definitive text, Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape. Here’s part of what she has to say about Mars Retrograde:
“The slow burn that the transit of Mars retrograde engenders can be both corrosive and psychologically depleting and it can free up frustrated energy – simultaneously…Over time, people often ignore or suppress frustration, which inevitably becomes aggression, easily misplaced or displaced.
“This state of ‘unrealized Mars’ is the origin of all discord and conflict – often which is difficult to name. On the psychological level, during the retrograde cycle we can heal distress caused by frustrated creativity and passion and unfulfilled desire and ambition.” See the rest of Erin’s article and buy the book here: Mars Retrograde – A long, hot summer.
Elsa Elsa, the creator of AstroDispatch–Digest of Blogs, the invaluable daily digest of the best astrology articles on the web, has had several posts and a lively discussion about Mars retrograde on her own blog, ElsaElsa.com. Here’s her take on Mars’ extra long stay in the sign Leo this time:
“Mars goes into Leo on October 17, 2009 and stays there until June 9, 2010 so I hope you like your fire hot!
“Mars is at home in a fire sign, ego driven in Leo so this will be interesting. As to effects on the individual, note the house in your chart where Mars will be transiting for the better part of a year because it is going to be hotted up like nobodies business.
“If you are a Leo, a Leo rising or have planets in Leo, this goes double for you. Personally I have Leo in the 7th and can vividly recall the last time Mars went retrograde in the sign. It was 1994-95, and I had so much strife in relationships at that time, the memory has not yet faded.” Read the rest and see the discussion that ensued on her boards at: ElsaElsa.com » Blog Archive » Mars In Leo For 8 Months (October 16 …
One of my favorite astrology bloggers is fellow Cancerian, C. J. Wright of Auntie Moon. As always, her homey way of explaining things makes astrology both fun and familiar. Here’s what she says about retrograde planets in general and Mars retrograde in particular:
“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.” (Read the rest of her clear, simple explanation here: Mars Retrograde ~ A Cosmic Do-Over « Auntie Moon.)
Lauren Edmond of ArtCharts.com says,
“When Mars is retrograde, you may need to slow down. But to do that, you may find yourself face to face with— yourself. The urge to get what you want may be strong, but instead of rushing out to get what you want when you want it, you may need to take another look at what you’re pursuing and how you’re pursuing it. Is it really in line with what you want or is it an unhealthy competition that has you running in circles?
“Action is necessary, but what kind? You can bring your desires in line with what you really want and gain more personal power if you learn to control your needs and master your energy by taking action only when and where needed.
“If you can bring your own burning agenda back in line with others, you may be able to deepen your intimate relationships and re-energize yourself.” (See the rest of her excellent summary of all the retrograde planets at: http://www.artcharts.com/learn_astrology/rx.html)
Of retrograde planet periods in general, Roxanna Muise has this sage advice:
“What can we learn from retrograde planets, and what can we do during retrograde periods?
- Know that there is an area of your life that needs more of your attention than usual.
- Be aware of concepts and principles and avoid getting lost in details.
- Avoid rushing into making decisions – there may be information that you are not yet aware of, or have missed.
- Expect to feel more intensity than usual – and know that the intensity will pass.
- Reexamine situations for new perspectives and to correct possible errors.
- Plan some time to be by yourself to work on internal processes.
- Know that everyone will be experiencing some of the same things, so don’t take it personally.”
(Read the rest of Roxanna’s excellent summary of retrograde planets here: http://www.roxanamuise.com/Retrograde_Planets.htm.)
I’ve enjoyed surveying the web this morning to see what my colleagues have to say about Mars retrograde and retrogrades in general. I hope it’s helped you roll up your figurative sleeves and get ready for a ride on the Mars Retro Express! You’re invited to share with us how this stationary period on the Red Rocket is affecting you in our comments section.
More Posts about Mars on this Blog:
- 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 Retrograde 101—Answering your Questions
- Mars—What Great Minds say about Its Functions
- Mars-Pluto Aspects? Use your Manifestation Mojo!
- The Law of Progressive Annoyance—Mars or Jupiter?
- The Mars-Uranus Conjunction in Pisces and Children Born with it
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