Refresher: Mars Still in Leo


Ordinarily, by now, Mars—in Leo since Oct 16—would've already moved himself onto the next sign-visit in his zodiac circuit.

But this isn't an ordinary moment for Mars, who has instead begun to slow his apparent motion, in preparation to go retrograde on Sun Dec 20 for nearly more than 2 months.

So let's please reacquaint ourselves with the Mars-in-Leo qualities presently persisting in their influence over us. I've previously provided this punchy character sketch of several of Mars-in-Leo's faces, covering a gamut of his personality traits from proud, confident and expressive to pushy, vain and self-serving.

One thing we know for sure: Regardless of whether he asserts himself in a favorable or unflattering light, Mars in Leo makes himself known. Under his effect, we rarely miss taking note of each other's desires. Hell, we can barely help revealing what it is we want, even when we may attempt to be sly in angling for it.

A protracted Mars-in-Leo period such as this, therefore, increases our likelihood of receiving direct answers to our equally direct appeals. We please ourselves, or else somebody or something thwarts us in the act of pleasing themselves. We embody triumph (with the possibility of stirring envy in others), or we openly scowl at our dashed hopes (and dare to spunkily undermine the power of whatever's obstructing us?). We still want what we want, after all.

In negotiating so much Mars in Leo, the catch (as I expressed in an earlier article) is to fuel our inner fire of vital selfhood through bravely seeking that which most satisfyingly fills our heart… but not to do it with such single-minded insistence that we become the self-centered boob whose egoic excesses thwart other people's quests for self-satisfaction (and anger the hell out of 'em in the process).

The presence of the Sun and Venus in Sagittarius (a fire-sign ally to Leo) provides aspect support by trine to Mars, further encouragement to dispense with all beating-around-the-bush and dive toward an unambiguous result (whether we like what it ends up to be or not). In such an astro-environment, we can easily identify the upshots from rushing in, moving things along, and living on the edge of excitements that defy planning… all with faith in our personal abilities to act and react righteously whenever another new moment necessitates it. Why not go for it? Succeed or fail, you can handle it once you need to.

Of course, there's also the retrograde factor to consider. Within less than two weeks, Mars begins his backwards-seeming rewind through his recent Leo steps… indicating that, despite a backdrop that fosters unequivocal cutting-to-the-chase with regards to self-defined purposes, the final results may prove to be inconclusive. Huh? Didn't I just report, a few paragraphs back, that we're likelier to get direct answers when we embrace direct approaches? Just because we get an answer, alas, that doesn't mean it's 'final'. Retrogrades, after all, suggest unfinished business.

I will be the first to admit that, among the many astrological happenings I decipher for you, I find Mars retrograde a fairly elusive phenomenon to reliably describe. To me, it possesses a certain wild-card quality. I liken its effects to flipping some electrical switch that swiftly shifts the current from, say, one format to another (not that I really know anything about electricity), so that one's energies flow in an alternate direction, according to atypical patterns, and/or toward different ends.

Earlier on in my astro-career, my hypothesis about Mars-retrogrades held that they would cause our outward initiative to be redirected inward, essentially hindering our physical efforts from making their way into the world. In other words, I expected it to produce stunted assertiveness and a sluggish bodily experience. Yet, my own participations and observations have not confirmed that hypothesis. During one Mars retrograde, for instance, I was a gym-going machine who couldn't get enough of physical exercise, while I found it difficult to sleep because I felt an excess of electrical impulses coursing through my body. Not exactly 'sluggish'.

What I can confidently conclude, however, is that Mars retrograde spurs us to reallocate our vim and vigor in some noteworthy manner, so that what we were previously expending our energy on no longer seems as compelling… while, on the other hand, activities or interests that had slipped out of our immediate awareness suddenly command our attention again. Desires are revisited. Rhythms change. The main project becomes temporarily peripheral. A sidenote or detour takes on a passing primary importance.

Couple these Mars-retrograde notions with what we've already said about Mars in Leo, and here's a recipe for our rediscovering personal pursuits and proclivities we may've recently forgotten… as well as redistributing our attentions away from areas where we've hit an impasse, may need a break, or no longer feel a hunger in quite the same way. Perhaps we table one aspiration (because it's yielding us nothing in any immediate sense), replacing it with another undertaking in which there's less precedent of uncomfortable pressure bearing down on us.

While this might sound like good news as I've phrased it, the experience isn't likely to be quite such a relief. If anything, Mars retrograde in Leo can deliver a sense of frustrated intentions. We give it a go. We get shot down (or so, on first appearances, it seems). We may secretly wonder whether we'll ever make it, but still we refuse to quit. (Remember: Mars in Leo is proud.) If we're really going to secure the victory, though, it could well take us a while longer—beyond mid-March (when Mars goes direct again), or perhaps even until mid-May (after Mars clears the shadow). And if we can't groove with the retrograde and shift our energies elsewhere, we're left with stymied desires, unfulfilled and irritating.

So, knowing this Mars situation, it behooves us to respond accordingly to any changes in where our impetus moves us to direct our efforts. While it doesn't hurt to try anything ('cut to the chase, and go for it!'), we'll only create inner aggravation by repeatedly pounding on those doors that obviously aren't budging… and at the expense of other exercises and endeavors that, though we maybe haven't focused much on 'em lately, will show movement in the short-term time being.

That's called going with the flow.

Further reading:
Mars Retrograde 2009 (Astrology on the Web)