Mars entered it’s shadow last weekend, is now slowing in its tracks to prepare for the retrograde on September 9. Retrograde periods tend to bring out the shadow side of the planet, and this is exacerbated with Mars as stop and backwards are not in its vocabulary. We’re already seeing signs of the less lovable characteristics of its retrograde hijinks. Impatience, self-focus, impulsiveness and uncontrollable anger – all are the hallmarks of Mars retrograde and I’m seeing them writ large in the world right now. The warrior planet doesn’t like slowing down, or facing obstacles, and hence the feeling of irritability and frustration in the air.

It’s not just the retrograde alone either, Mars is creeping ever closer towards a series of tense squares with Saturn. Thankfully it is slowing down as it does so, because you don’t want to hit that Saturn wall at full Mars speed, but it makes Mars even more intractable. Mars and Saturn are both strong in their own signs, but Saturn is direct and the overcoming planet in the square aspect, so Mars is up against the ropes during the retrograde phase. Mars can struggle and curse all he likes, but Saturn’s patience and tenacity will win out in the end. Here’s a story to show illustrate…

Just this morning I was driving home up our winding mountain road with an elderly local farmer was ahead of me. He’s lived here all his life and takes his time in his ancient truck, driving at a speed that is safe for his vehicle and reflexes. Close to the bottom, a young tourist in his sports car roared in behind me, keen to play race cars through the twists and bends. He flashed his lights in impatience, driving close to my car and revving his engine but the farmer ignored him. Next was an attempt to illegally overtake us, so focused on himself and his own needs, and was almost wiped out twice by downhill traffic. In the end, he just had to patiently stay behind us as the farmer cautiously took his time navigating the hazardous road. Saturn won, as despite the energy and drive of that Mars engine, he had the dominant position. It’s manifesting everywhere right now, the news in Australia alone is full of stories of people impulsively doing whatever they want, endangering others and facing harsh consequences.

There will be friction over the next few months and when the Moon is in fire signs or Cardinals, it will play out even more. 2020 has been a LOT already and the squares from Mars will be strongly activating the resetting cycles between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto that has created the massive social change we’re all in right now. Finding your way as an individual may go against the social responsibilities and duties required of us all right now, and chafe is likely.

However, I don’t want to paint a totally bleak picture as Mars does have some power in the situation and offers his courage and enthusiasm to Saturn’s strategy and focus and I’m holding onto hope that Mars will be the activist towards ensure long term change happens, it will just be slower than we want.

It can be a strong combination, like a well-built harness on a stallion can plough fields and drag obstacles out of our way, it’s just working out how to get them to work together. With Mars now in orb of the Capricorn threesome, it’s time for some considered thinking about how to negotiate your energy and actions during the months ahead. So how can you stay more centered during these turbulent times? How do you harness the strength and focus of Mars and Saturn to work for you, and not be ground down in their conflicts?

Consciously slowing down – Now Mars is slowing, we need to make sure we put the brakes on ourselves to match his speed. Energy is ebbing and actions may take longer than usual. Irritability and frustration are inevitable results of having expectations set too high, so Saturn’s patience and long game focus are your friends. Take as much off your plate as you can, so you can put pour focus into those things that really matter right now.

Embrace your anger – your anger as a signal that something is wrong, not that you are wrong! It’s ok to feel anger, it’s what you do with it that counts. Acknowledging it, feeling it, and allowing it to pass through, or giving it an outlet, such as screaming or punching pillows are all cathartic expressions of anger. Bottling it up is becomes dangerous as anger quickly becomes toxic. Try using Saturn to calmly and strongly say no, or declare a boundary to ensure you don’t feel violated or give in to what isn’t right for you.

Staying mindful of impulsivity – Mars in Aries is as impulsive as a toddler, there is no filter there. Simply be mindful the energy is there and tap into your internal Saturn systems (executive functioning) to slow your decision making and regulate your behaviour can be the saving grace to stop you getting into hot water.

Find your pressure valve – The irritability of Mars is real, but finding a way to release his pent up energy will equalise the pressure. Physical exertion is perfect, try anything that gets the blood pumping, but don’t go too crazy as the retrograde has the reservoir at a lower level. Giving your Mars a mission is also helpful, even try pulling an old project off the back burner to fill out the retrograde energy.

Lean on Venus – Venus’s cool diplomacy is the ultimate coolant for Mars’ fiery temper. Now she direct, and soon to be in a water sign, doing Venus rituals or simple magic like wearing green on Fridays and Monday nights can bring her calm, peaceful balm to the table.

Mars Retrograde webinar – If you’d like to have a deeper look at how this retrograde may play out for you personally, my recent webinar on Mars Retrograde dives into each rising sign and natal planetary placements that may be tangled up in this. It opens up all of the tips above and adds more, brings in some real-life stories from race drivers Niki Lauder and James Hunt, plus great questions from students who attended live.

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