Mars-Direct Refresher Playbook


As of last Wednesday (Jun 29), Mars is once again direct after spending 2 months retrograde, bringing us to the final chapter of one of the year's most impactful astro-happenings.

Mars entered its pre-retrograde shadow (i.e., the zodiac zone through which it would later retrograde) back in mid-February while in Scorpio, then entered Sagittarius early in March, before slowing to an apparent standstill and beginning its retrograde midway through April.

In simple terms, this means Mars is now treading zodiac steps it's already taken twice before over these past five months, first while in the pre-retrograde shadow zone, then during the retrograde itself. Is it any wonder it still feels like we 'haven't gotten anywhere'—or at least where we'd thought we would've gotten by now—when it comes to externalizing our desires into manifest being?

But we actually are 'getting somewhere'. It's just been a much slower, more involved and/or protracted process than we might've bargained for.

I've written extensively about the whole Mars-retrograde unfolding, so I won't duplicate my work here… though I encourage you to review the writings listed below, to refresh yourself about the themes, challenges, and opportunities it's brought up. As we move through these last post-retrograde weeks, knowing just what's at stake can help us be as mindful as possible about how we're 'finishing up' what first got started back in February:

'Mars Enters a Familiar Shadow-Zone' (2.12.16)
'Eclipse Page-Flip' (3.6.16)
'Not Letting Mars Retrograde Get the Best of Us' (4.14.16)
'Rewinding the Anger' (5.6.16)
'Mars Rx, Pt. II: The Return to Scorpio' (5.17.16)

Through the rest of July, Mars remains in Scorpio… a powerfully watery sign/planet pairing which pulls us deep into the root-source of our desires, forcing us to confront the indisputable truth our feelings have been telling us about what we really want. There shouldn't be any major surprises here, of course—unless we've been working overtime to disavow the obvious, ignore our emotional instincts, and/or bury our heads in the sand—since Mars has already been in Scorpio for half of '16 so far.

In the few weeks ahead, Mars in Scorpio expects us to confidently own our desires, once for and all. That's not the same as deciding to actively pursue what we want, however. After all, this extended Mars-retrograde pause has tested the seriousness and lasting-power of our desires. How badly do we want what we want? Are we willing to invite the collateral consequences which would necessarily come along with getting what we want, as they may upset or interfere with other circumstances in our lives?

Mars in Scorpio is courageously willing to engage with all these complicating consequences, and any challenging or painful exchanges required to get the job done… if, at the end of the day, it satisfies a yearning we otherwise couldn't ignore, in an effort to better integrate our trickiest or messiest psychological threads-of-self. This could lead us to finally claim that forbidden urge or lust, no matter what else gets displaced or destroyed by its claiming—or to make the conscious choice to leave it unfulfilled, to grieve what we won't bring to fruition because the fallout costs would be too great.

The critical assertive step, on Mars-in-Scorpio's watch, is to resolve that, yes, you will proceed towards what you've chosen… that you've made your choice with both eyes wide open (and cannot later attest you 'didn't understand what you were signing on for')… and that you'll readily face any less-pleasant consequences like a champ. It's about time, after all these months, to attain this inner resolve.

Spend the month of July resolutely deciding on your chosen way-forward. While you need not actually move through real-world space towards it quite yet, you should certainly take action on the interpersonal level if there are uncomfortable realities to discuss, groundwork to lay, confessions to make, and/or other emotional business to clean up. Expect a few bumps, naturally, especially with both Venus and Mercury moving into Leo (on Jul 11 and Jul 13, respectively) and applying to square Mars in the weeks that follow: Sometimes, our wish to be perceived as warm, generous, and likable is at odds with our pressing drive to quench a self-serving thirst. Sometimes, there's no way to heroically 'spin' a difficult tale. Sometimes, even when it's us who pulled a ripcord and impacted someone else's life, we find our pride's still injured anyway.

Mars returns to Sagittarius on Aug 2, regaining its fiery get-up-and-go—and signaling that now is the time for actual on-the-ground motion. Mars in Sagittarius is bold, enthusiastic, antsy, and adventure-seeking… perhaps even more so after having been dashed in its initial pre-retrograde efforts to 'get to the next destination'. For the succeeding three weeks, Mars will retrace the Sagittarian ground it covered in March, April, and May, providing us the opportunity to revisit strides we'd attempted to make before discovering we, for whatever reasons, hadn't been quite ready to 'go all the way' at that time. This time around, with all those months of hindsight knowledge now in tow, we should be better suited to perceptibly advance. By that point, Mercury and Venus will have shifted into Virgo, providing us an improved functional capacity for handling all the relevant practical details, a helpful counterbalance to Mars-in-Sagittarius's looser attitude.

Mars finally leaves the post-retrograde shadow on Aug 22, a mere two days before it conjoins Saturn, a planetary union which puts a rather striking finish on this entire Mars-retrograde configuration. This Mars-Saturn conjunction signifies the lasting importance of whatever self-assertive acts we've spent these many months carrying out (or, as the case may be, situating ourselves to carry out). Efforts which have been properly thought-out and felt-through, comprehensive in scope and measured in pace-of-enactment, will be rewarded with a secure, enduring foundation upon which further deeds can solidly rest, concretely defining a course of action based upon intentional directional choices made. Those which were hasty, sloppy, and/or ill-fitting of where we ultimately want to head? Whatever fix-it work hasn't yet been conducted will make itself acutely known—to the point where its urgency threatens to freeze any further progress.

By the tail-end of August, we will be visibly reaping whatever we've sown, whether we triumphantly earned an impressive benchmark or shamefully pissed away an opportunity because it required more than we were willing or able to give. The same week Mars reaches fresh ground, we also welcome the first of a trio of eclipses… kicking off a late-August-into-September eclipse period (which simultaneously features Jupiter's once-a-year sign-change on Sep 9) which brings the first palpable sense of 'something different' we've had all year. Between now and then, we'll want to get as many of these lingering loose-ends into order as we can—so we can at last move onto the next chapter, whether it involves making the most of a hard-earned victory or valiantly leaving disappointment behind.