The planet Mars represents direct action, war and aggression, boundary protection, vital life energy, sport and competition, the pursuit of goals, survival impulses, risk-taking and courage. This very personal energy is taking center stage in the far-reaching historical drama unfolding in 2020 under the influence of Saturn-Pluto conjunction which is transforming (Pluto) our social organization (Saturn). Saturn is not usually subtle in its effects, but Mars is even less subtle, and when it conjoined Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in March 2020, the entire globe was actively drawn into the years-long Saturn-Pluto collective birthing process.
Mars Retrograde is 9 weeks, but it’ll be poking around for another 6 months.
Mars is again making direct contact with the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, but instead of a five-week connection, this time Mars makes a stressful square aspect for six months, from July 2020 through January 2021. This is due to its retrograde period—appearing to move backward in the zodiac—which will complicate the full expression of Mars qualities of pursuit, direction and vitality. And while this retrograde generally gives us a chance to revisit our goals, aspirations and to review the roots of our desires, it is particularly hashing it out with Saturn’s ideas of authority, tradition and structure. One of Saturn’s manifestations comes through the archetype of Father, and it is safe to say that “daddy trauma” will be up for us throughout September. Mars’ retrograde motion indicates a chance to revisit and rework old wounds and violations related to “Father” in all its forms.
Whether we are the father figure or the child/dependent in the dynamic, it will be helpful to embody or seek out the most nurturing and supportive version of Saturn’s structure and guidance, rather than becoming possessed by a willful Mars who would like to simply re-traumatize oneself, or imitate perpetrators. We can use the resurfacing of old wounds to work on healing the Father and associated archetypes, to grapple with the images of guidance and protection and safe boundaries. But we must beware of compulsively imitating our ancestors’ and our cultures’ shortcomings in this regard.
This is going to take patience, which may be difficult to find. Remember that Rome was not built in a day, and it cannot be dismantled in a day. Maybe our obstacles or slowdowns are allies and not enemies, because they give us a golden chance to (re)connect our passions to a deeper power source. Is it the best use of our limited energy to spread it wide and thin, popping off at every provocation? Maybe that IS the best use, but investigate this because our energy is being called to root into life sources now, and withdraw from life draining activities. We may notice how our passions are misdirected or co-opted by oppositional forces. What discernment can we bring to what must be done now, and what is best postponed or even relinquished?
Our influence on how this historical moment shapes our lives can arise from seemingly small things. What we offer attention to. The care and kindness we extend to ourselves and others. We could question rigid belief systems. Notice, what is the quality of your own heart? Does it need to grieve? Does it need to celebrate something beautiful—because wonderful things are also being birthed in this time. Does it need to rest? Can we make time for pleasure and enjoyment? This may be more important than we realize. So much is up for transformation. Our lives are under the microscope. We are being asked to adapt—and our adaptation reflects our choices and beliefs in the future. Act on your values, don’t simply react against an opponent or obstacle.
UP AND COMING NEW MOON
The Virgo New Moon at 4am Pacific on Sept. 17 suggests that we need a healthy container for our imagination. Attend to how your mind is operating, the bigger picture it is weaving, the future it is midwifing. There is a great deal of confusion out there which takes advantage of our fears and worries. It is okay to not be in control, to not have all the answers. Humility, care, discernment, skill—these are Virgo traits which speak to caring for our nervous systems, and holding our soft bodies with love. A fight/flight/freeze response on extended overdrive contributes to adrenal fatigue. It is a worthwhile investment of time and energy to practice calming our nervous systems. Because when we’re in a long emergency, we are served by responsiveness, presence and awareness much more than reactivity, feeling trapped in the past and closing off from life’s variety and richness.
Again, Mars retrograde is bringing a personal dimension to a period of time which will bear consequences for many, many years to come. It may be hard to imagine now, but working with issues around how we feel separate, and what inclusivity looks like is central to allowing what is outworn to pass away, so that we have space for the new world which is birthing through us.
MARS RETROGRADE SURVIVAL TIPS
- An open heart is key to imagination, new possibilities, adaptability
- Take breaks for beauty, appreciate the small things
- Practice self care rigorously
- Seek out support for healing processes
- Acknowledge frustration and rage, but stay in touch with serving what you most value
- Practice welcoming obstacles as opportunities for growth
- Review past actions with compassion; mistakes can guide more desirable behavior
HERBS OF MARS
By our founder @adrianaayales
By nature, the herbs of Mars are energetically yang and considered hot, energetic, and dry. They frequently cause an increase in energy or heat, even if only energetically. These herbs need to be used mindfully, as using some of them extensively can overthrow the adrenals for example (like coffee!), along with emotions. Many of the herbs that fall under this umbrella are also naturally protecting, physically and metaphorically, strengthening, detoxifying,and many contain the energetics of protection (like Palo Santo).
Nettle, for example, is a classic herb falling under Mars’ rulerships. It possesses little spines that act as hypodermics, injecting subcutaneous doses of stinging fluid. It is this same irritating juice, however, that when properly prepared becomes a powerful internal astringent and anti-inflammatory, eliminating infections, regulating blood pressure and flow, cleansing and relieving hemorrhoids, reducing susceptibility to colds and by virtue of its heating action, relieving rheumatic conditions.
HERBS + FOODS RULED BY MARS
Remember a lot of the herbs below have presence with other planetary archetypes, for example Coffee is associated with Mars and Uranus. Catuaba, one of the jungle’s most loved aphrodisiacs and it’s ruled by both Mars, and Venus.
Blessed Thistle, Basil, Black Pepper, Bay Laurel, Cardamom, Cayenne, Coffee, Cinchona, Catuaba, Cashew fruit, Coriander, Castor Bean, Chinese Ginseng, Dragons Blood, Ephedra, Guarana, Garlic, Ginkgo, Gentian, Kratom, Maca, Mustard, Nettles, Palo santo, Prickly Ash, Pine (+ pine pollen), Plantain leaf, Parsley, Quassia, Suma, Turmeric, Gentian, Onions.