On Sunday, December 20, 2009, Mars goes retrograde in Leo. Since the cycle of Mars is around 2 years, it usually remains in any sign around 2 months. Mars goes retrograde every other year. The complete retrograde cycle, including stationing points and 'shadow' periods, makes it so that Mars will stay in the sign of Leo for around 8 months. Mars went into Leo on October 16, 2009 and will stay in Leo until June 6, 2010.
Mars represents the archetype of action, the instinct to become and go after what we want in life. In western astrology, Mars is the god of war, although in mythology, Mars never killed anyone.
The sign of Aries, ruled by Mars is a fire sign that has an instinct to act and speak without thinking. Like a child, Aries is pure, no ulterior motives. Aries people need a lot of physical activity and have a hard time staying still. They need to move and because of their impulsive nature, can be accident prone, especially when out of balance.
Mars/Aries needs complete freedom to be who it wants to be and shape its own reality. This is increased when in Leo, another fire sign.
Mars in Leo has an incredible urge for creative self-expression. There is a need to be the center of attention, no matter what the consequences. By any means necessary... so that the person may resort to clowning or acting out, just to get the attention that is craved. The behavior is without malice however, and the person who blurts out the secret they promised to keep, did so naively, not wanting to cause harm, just wanting to have something to say or to be noticed.
Retrograde... all this external expression is frustrated... stopped even. Depending on the person, this bottled-up energy could become toxic if there are not ways to let it out. For those who have a regular exercise routine or spiritual practice, there will be an increase of energy to channel and work with.
In general, retrograde periods are times to review, reflect, revise and I would add, rest and restore. Thankfully, this retrograde is occurring in the winter when most people are not as active anyway. The weather and the holidays tend to keep people indoors. It is very important that we find suitable outlets for the pent-up energy or we may find ourselves in conflict with others over minor issues.
This is a good time to do some strategic planning for projects to be launched in late spring/early summer.
In Evolutionary Astrology, Mars represents conscious desire, while Pluto represents unconscious desire. There are two directions for the manifestation of these desires - one is separation from Source (manifestation on the Earth plane), the other returning to Source. This is part of our nature and the cycle of Creation. We are supposed to separate fully, then return. Only when we have satisfied all separating desires, can we be ready to return.
This is one of the major problems faced in religion and spiritual groups. There is a tendency to discredit and even demonize earthly existence. People want to transcend this level of existence in favor of 'higher' dimensions, reunion with God, bliss. But the whole intent of Creation is that you BE HERE NOW! You were born to have a human life which includes relationships, work, emotions, etc. There is a purpose to this, even if we cannot see it. You cannot pray away your separating desires, you must exhaust them. Which means, they must be acted upon and expressed and... the results must be faced as well. All of it: the good, the bad and the ugly. This is part of natural law. At our current level, things appear to be divided into polarities that we call 'good' and 'bad'. This is the level of manifestation on the Earth plane. The more we try to deny it or ignore it... the longer it will take to complete and harder to accept.
Just look at all the so-called spiritual and religious leaders who end up in prison (or who should end up in prison). The natural expression of sexuality if repressed becomes evil, toxic and criminal. The natural expression of the desire for material possessions, if denied, becomes embezzlement, theft.
So during this long period of Mars retrograde, deliberate and well-thought out action - while slower - will be well-rewarded. Take the time to think about what you really want to create for the rest of your life.
For many of us baby boomers, this Mars retrograde in Leo will conjunct, at some time in the next 8 months, our natal Pluto. At that point, unconscious desires may become conscious. Some of you may be surprised and shocked at what you find out about yourself.
Take these revelations as gifts. Your unconscious, which usually manifests itself in dreams, will be more available to you during this period. This can be very helpful, because you may find out that, in fact, you have competing desires. Part of you wants success in the world while the other part wants to be hidden in a monastery. Part may desire wealth, whereas the other part took a vow of poverty. This will be a time to re-evaluate then, possibly, take new vows. But remember, you always get what you want - eventually. The trouble is that we have not yet mastered time and space and so... when the thing we wanted comes along....the timing is wrong. Or, more often, we did not ask for enough. When you are broke, 10,000 seems like a lot. But 10 years later when you get a windfall, it is not enough. It would be better to want prosperity, which, of course, is relative.
We tend to 'want' specific things. During this time it is can be useful to think about how you want to feel - this need not be dependent on circumstances. Believe it or not, you can 'feel' gratitude any time... all the time, no matter what.
This may be a time to release some of the separating desires... to see that we really don't want to party all night anymore. We are really done with that. And it is okay. Or to see that we have gotten into habits due to the circumstances we are in and that certain things just do not fit anymore. When we are in social relationships, we may find it difficult to change because of the expectations of others. But...using the courage of Mars...the adventuring spirit of Mars...what do we have to lose to find out? Maybe the other person/persons want a change too. We have to have courage to be ourselves, even if that means we are alone.
One of the aspects of Leo is the need to be loved and admired by others. Fearing rejection, we conceal our true nature. A life spent like that, is a life not lived. It is a life controlled and owned by others. No one should be the author/authority of your life but you. Don't worry about who will love you. Who will you love? Love yourself first.
"This above all: to thine own self be true,/And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou cans't not be false to any man" from Hamlet by Shakespeare. You know Hamlet, he's the one who said, "to be or not to be, that is the question." Indeed, that is the question. Do you want to live your life or not and how do you want to live it?
If you want be loving, honest, compassionate, forgiving - start with yourself. How can you be honest with others if you lie to yourself? Living someone else's life... saying you are doing it to keep the peace or whatever the reason, is the act of a coward. Blaming others for your cowardice is (to me) a crime of the spirit. It takes courage to live your own life, but if you do, it is worth it. Remember the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz? He wanted courage. He wanted to know that no matter what, he was loved. But he had to take a chance in order to find what he really wanted. There are no guarantees.
Take this time to slow down and look inside to find out what you really want. When Mars turns direct at 0 Leo on March 10, it will be time to begin to act. Mars will be completely out of the shadow May 17, 2010 and you should be launching your new life at that time.
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