Mars Retrograde and Out of Bounds: All Bets Are Off
That’s the phrase I keep hearing in my mind whenever I think about the astrological storm brewing over the next two months. Meaning (I think):
No one knows what’s going to happen. A lot of what happens will be beyond my control. So I’m going to make up my mind right now that I’m going to roll with the punches, keep my expectations light, stay limber, keep grounding and centering….and trust that it’s all proceeding according to the master plan.
I’m sure you’re feeling the energy already, especially after the Capricorn Full Moon conjunct Saturn on June 27/28 (depending on time zone). I’m going to give you my take on some of the major astrological events happening between now and September.
If your mind glazes over at the mention of aspects, retrogrades and the like, just know that (a) this time period promises to take us on a pretty wild ride and (b) there are things you can do to improve your experience of this summer. Besides drinking heavily or rocking yourself to sleep in the fetal position every night.
Mars Retrograde and Out of Bounds
Expect frustration, delays, unseen obstacles, angry people projecting their shadows onto you, and weird energy patterns (such as heavy fatigue punctuated by bursts of manic productivity).
When the red planet goes retrograde, our assertive, aggressive, anger energy gets turned inward and backwards in time. Generally speaking, Mars Rx periods are not good times to launch a new business, roll out your new membership program, or start a brand-new creative project.
Mars goes retrograde every two years. In 2018, Mars stationed retrograde on June 26 at 9 Aquarius 13′. Mars returns to direct motion on August 27 at 28 Capricorn 36′.
Mars will also be out of bounds from July 7 – September 24. Planets are defined as out of bounds once they have passed the maximum declination of the Sun. A planet being out of bounds is not inherently ‘bad’. But it does often manifest in that planet acting in unusually strong ways. It’s as if the planet has gone renegade; outside the scope of the law, it can do what it wants.
As Mars is by nature aggressive, we can expect to see Mars in vigilante mode at least periodically this summer. This is Mars acting as the lone wolf, the self-exiled one.
[UPDATE: As I was writing this piece, I heard that a lone gunman had killed five people at a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland.]
On a practical level, this means we had better pay attention. To our own anger, irritation, frustration and resentment. And to anger and aggression coming at us from other people. Other people may come at us with anger that is totally out of proportion to the situation at hand. Knowing the heightened potential for this, we can exercise patience, avoid the angry people in our lives as much as possible between now and September, etc.
Empaths, Beware (or Forewarned is Forearmed)
Like all planetary retrogrades, the bi-annual Mars retrograde does serve a purpose. This is a time to slow down, practice patience, and make course corrections regarding how you are dealing with Mars energy, specifically in relation to the life areas Mars is influencing in your chart.
On a general level, our society has a huge problem with the expression of healthy anger. Many of us who are “sensitives” grew up in a house where at least one parent used anger as a weapon. Maybe this was done to avoid intimacy, to protect the parent’s toxic shame from being exposed, or simply as a way of controlling the others in the family.
Many of us, naturally empathic, learned that the way to survive this toxic anger was to over-give. We became the emotional caretakers of our parents, and we were rewarded – if not by them, then by others – by being seen as good, caring, selfless, and so forth.
But this pattern, carried into adulthood, makes it impossible for us to have healthy, intimate relationships. Three common ways in which this manifests:
- Lack of boundaries leading to dysfunctional relationships. When we deny our anger, we are unable to set healthy boundaries with others. Because (as I learned from Karla McLaren) anger is the energy in the psyche that enables us to erect and maintain our boundaries.
- Attracting the wrong people. The natural law of the soul tells us that any part of the Self we suppress will come back to us in the form of projection. When we stuff our anger, in other words, we will continually attract friends, lovers, enemies and coworkers who express their anger in abusive ways.
- Fatigue, auto-immune disorders, and an inability to sustain the energy and drive needed to realize our dreams. Turned inward, Mars’ assertiveness and fierceness gradually destroys our health, energy, and self-belief.
If you’ve chronically suffered from any of the issues mentioned, this is a stellar opportunity to rehabilitate your anger/fierceness/Mars energy! It won’t likely be easy, it probably won’t be a lot of fun. But I hope you’ll take up the challenge and invest in some serious self-reflection. You can learn to use your anger in a healthy way and you and everyone around you will benefit. (Even those who just hate the fact they can no longer control you with their resentment or their rage!)
Your natal chart will also show you the specific life areas the current Mars transit is affecting and the best ways for you to activate your healthy fierceness and warrior nature. As someone who struggled with assertiveness and using anger constructively for many years, I’ve done a lot of research and learned (and developed) some stellar techniques for unblocking our native fierceness and using it to build healthy boundaries and self-confidence.
If you’re ready to understand what your chart says about where your Mars energy got blocked and about the best ways for you to get to work reclaiming your inner warrior, book a reading or soul healing session with me here.