As I feel into what Mars in Aries is teaching us, I imagine a bed of coals, like a campfire at the end of the night. They provide a hot, smoldering, endless supply of energy yet they’re yin enough to lull you into a state of deep relaxation if you watch them flicker long enough. As a collective humans have been using their fiery energy in distorted ways for far too long: war, conflict, violence, capitalism, work/life imbalance, burn out, codependency, loose boundaries and a disrespect for consent. Mars matches up with powerful archetypes during this retrograde that, if worked with consciously, can help us come into right relationship with our fire, will and drive.
It’s important to understand that astrology is a tool that allows us to see ourselves through an archetypal lens. The planets and astrology aren't making things happen, we are not aimless victims at the mercy of the stars. Rather, by using an “as above, so below, as within, so without” quantum physics understanding of the universe, we can bring curiosity towards how the archetypes express both within us and in the world around us. Each planet, planetoid, luminary and asteroid have specific archetypal energy associated with it; we can look back through history and see their names have been appropriate for the energy expressed through earthly events. Astrology is a science and when paired with psychology and somatics it becomes a powerful tool for self understanding and empowerment.
Working With The Archetypes
We sometimes forget that “good” and “evil” are functions of the same absolute and that everything operates on a spectrum held by the tension of the opposites. This means that in order for something to exist, the exact opposite must also exist. We can not have one without the other, and blended expressions of each occur between the two. Just like the universe, we too are multifaceted and everything that exists within the universe is contained inside of us as well. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we’re conscious of its existence. The archetypes show up inside of us in one of three ways:
Repressed: We cannot even imagine what it would be like to hold or express the qualities present in an archetypal energy. We deny that it exists within us and often see it expressed in those who surround us.
Distorted: We express the archetypal energy in its distorted form or we are less than artful in our expression.
Divine: We express the archetypal energy in a pure, unobstructed way. We can artfully express and call upon the aspect within ourselves and others can see it expressing through us.
Archetypal Line-Up For The Retrograde With Important Dates
September 9: Mars stations retrograde at 28°09’ Aries
Mars in Aries asks us to be the leaders of our own lives. We can no longer look outside of ourselves to find our direction; we must follow the compass that is within. Mars energy is very active, it is about taking a stand, taking action, and moving past our fears. When a planet goes retrograde it symbolizes the need for reflection; when that planet is Mars we are being called to reflect on our inner warrior. Mars represents our will, drive, agency, anger and courage; It’s time to review, revise, and revisit your relationship to your Sacred Warrior so that you may root firmly into its power and potential.
September 22: Mars conjunct Black Moon Lilith
When a planet is conjunct another, the two archetypal energies merge and are expressed as one. In the first conjunction of the retrograde Mars pairs with Black Moon Lilith in Aries. BML in Aries is the activist and warrior who is willing to take a stand. This is the dark warrior Goddess who goes after what She wants even when it goes against the status quo; this energy stands up for what they believe in and is deeply instinctual. The shadow of Black Moon Lilith in Aries can show up as being overly competitive, selfish and aggressive. Watch out for energy that is combative, dominating and emotionally immature. Repressed or dormant Black Moon Lilith energy shows up as not standing up for self and repressing anger. There can be feelings of being defeated and hopeless as well as a fear of being overpowered, dominated or controlled.
September 29: Mars square Saturn
A square is an aspect that signifies tension and karma to be dealt with. When that square involves Saturn it is karmic for sure. The Lord of Karma, Saturn, is squaring off with Mars and this means we are collectively learning to work with our relationship to the status quo. Saturn is slow, traditional, boundaried, and restrictive while Mars wants to start sprinting and make exciting, new stuff happen. Both energies are useful and when wielded in a balanced way give both archetypes their greatest power. Pay attention to inner and outer authoritarianism. Use Saturn to create your own (flexible, not rigid) container and direct Mars’ power and energy where it needs to go.
October 3: Mars conjunct Eris
In the myth, Eris revealed the competition between the goddesses. She is the revealer of discord and chaos, this is the archetypal energy that reveals where our humanity and divinity are out of balance. This fierce feminine archetype is the harbinger of great awakening and change and is here to break down old structures, irrelevant rules and outdated traditions. Repressed or distorted Eris energy expresses as crisis and chaos, strife, fear, argument and contention; this can cause the Eris archetype to feel exiled or like an “outsider”. Divinely expressed Eris energy brings justice and balance by showing us that discord and harmony are two sides of the same coin. This Archetype reveals Truth and brings Freedom; paired with Mars we can most certainly expect fireworks
October 9: Mars square Pluto
When Pluto is involved we are dealing with power; this aspect in particular is pointing us to power over/power under dynamics. Where are you in relationships with uneven power dynamics? It’s time to take action against what co-opts our power and clean up where we are taking on the position of submissive or dominant; 2020 is about leveling the playing field and dismantling systems of hierarchy and oppression. Where do these systems operate within you?
October 13: Mars opposite the sun (closest to Earth)
Mars opposing the sun puts our life force essence across the table from the Sacred Warrior. When the will and ego face off a lot can happen; pay attention to fiery exchanges and a tendency to be arrogant and impulsive today. Let the sun shine a light on your warrior and see what you see, hear what your ego has to say but don’t react. You are being given important information; listen.
October 18: Mars in Aries square Jupiter
Jupiter tends to make Mars more noble and compassionate but can also create impatience. Jupiter wants ultimate freedom and Mars wants victory; this aspect is about getting real and balancing greed with the desire to win for the highest good of all. Jupiter is a wise teacher and has an expansive perspective; coupled with Mars’ fiery drive this means a lot of proverbial ground can be covered in a short amount of time. It can also mean a lot of explosive energy in a too loose or too rigid container. Pay attention.
November 13: Mars stations direct at 15°14’ Aries
December 11: Mars trine the sun (begins to speed up)
January 6, 2021: Mars leaves Aries and enters Taurus
Integrate what you’ve learned and embody it fully. Taurus is all about using your senses and being IN THE BODY. It’s time for you to pull all of your practice into sacred action and this Mars retrograde is showing you exactly what you need to do so.
How will this Mars retrograde show up for us collectively?
I have been saying this for the last few years and it’s never been more true than now; we are no longer in the dress rehearsal, if you’ve been sitting on the bench up until now, it is game on. I agree with Chani Nicholas when she said, “This is not a time to wait for the perfect set up, person, leader, or situation; it’s a time to accept the situation we are in and move with it as best as we possibly can.” This Mars retrograde is about fine tuning our warrior energy so that we work through conflict without betraying our integrity or being codependent. It’s about cultivating the skills to stay in the battles that are worth fighting and coming into right relationship with our usage of power.
“Mars in Aries is fiery, motivating energy that brings a boost of energy and helps us to feel passionate, purposeful, and ambitious.” ~Tanaaz
Collective Earth School Assignment:
Can you stand in your power without giving it away and without using it to get something from someone else? Mars is about leadership and direction; this is a new dawning of a non-distorted masculine and we are birthing it from within.
Mars is a fiery planet that is representative of our own inner fire; Mars is our will, our drive and our energy. Mars brings force, conflict, war and aggression as well as courage and forward movement. Mars carries the archetypal energy of the Sacred Warrior; this is the archetypal energy we use when we want to make an impact or a statement. Mars strengthens and fortifies all action while defending and protecting all that is sacred. Mars is bravery no matter what is being faced. Healthy mars is direct and takes action while distorted mars is pushy, impulsive, reactive, aggressive, combative, selfish and violent. Repressed mars is weak, passive aggressive, depressed and lacks boundaries. Both distorted and repressed Mars Energy can show up as an unhealthy drive.
If you have sun, moon, nodes or angles in Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, your personal expression of these archetypes will be activated by this retrograde more intensely than others, which means you may feel it more intensely as well.
You can navigate this upcoming Mars retrograde and learn how the Sacred Warrior archetype is meant to show up for you personally by looking at where Mars and Aries show up in your personal natal chart. Each of us has our own personal flavor of Mars and Aries energy based on what sign and house they show up in within our chart. An Aries Mars will express much differently than a Mars in Gemini. Knowing about your Mars can help you learn to channel your energy in an effective way while knowing what house or personal planets will be transited by Mars during the retrograde will help you focus your awareness.
2020 has already been intense and it is not over yet; this upcoming Mars retrograde is giving us the opportunity to gather the tools and information we need to finish out the year strong and forge into 2021 with determination and inspired vision.
You can cast your own free chart at astro.com to see the who, what and where of your personal chart. If you want guidance, I’m taking a group on a 10 week Mars retrograde journey to Reclaim The Sacred Warrior. I’ll look at your chart for you, let you know how your personal warrior is wanting to express and where the retrograde will be playing out in your life. You’ll get somatic tools and self inquiry practices to help you navigate and you’ll be able to lean into the energy of a group during this intense time. If you’re curious check out the link. However you choose to navigate, remember you were made for these times, you’ve been training your whole life for this moment in time and with awareness you will thrive.