Love in the Balance – Mars Retrograde in Libra
by Isaac George
Mars in Libra Retrograde begins this coming Saturday, March 1st at 4:23pm GMT. The planet of action and masculine sexuality isn’t exactly comfortable in the sign of Libra, which is not only ruled by Venus, but is the sign of relating to others with an eye to keeping the peace through balance and compromise. Mars rules Libra’s opposite, Aries, which is identified with independent action, and a very strong survival instinct. Taking action is Mars’ forte, and he lives in the battlefield, relying on his wits and warrior skills. “It’s me or the other guy”, and Mars means to be the last man or woman standing.
Venus is more inclined towards comfortable surroundings and love, and does not like conflict or confrontation at all. Libra prefers to live through, and for, the mystical ‘Other’. Since Libra is Cardinal Air, this mystical ‘Other’ embodies the spiritual longing for union with the Divine. Idealized forms of human longing for this mystical merging can also be transferred onto so many different icons – the perfect soul mate, or ‘twin soul/twin flame’ phenomena that have gained so much momentum over the past two or three decades is one example. Cheap and trashy romance novels are another style. I’m not trying to discount these themes, for the idealization of romantic and courtly love that first found its expression in the Middle Ages was a rebellion against the strict sexual apartheid of the Catholic Church. These images and feelings permeated human consciousness at that time, and I strongly feel it helped fire up enough energy to help bring in the Renaissance. Unfortunately so much of that pristine and playful energy has been watered down and sterilized into syrupy greeting cards and insipid little cupids.
In archetypal awareness, this upcoming dance between Mars and Venus (Aries and Libra) is set up in the classic Jungian psychology of the Anima (inner Feminine) and Animus (inner masculine), along with their shadow aspects. With Mars in Libra, this dialogue is often an internal one…shifting between one polarity and another…and hoping that the actions taken enhance the position and security of ‘the Other’. If so, then one’s own survival and status is also guaranteed. In the extreme, this polarity can result in what is now commonly known in relationship counselling as “co-dependent relationships.”
I’ve done an extraordinary amount of detective work on the astrological import of Mars and Venus in client’s charts over the years. Some of my deepest learnings around Mars in Libra have come from other astrologers, most notably Mr Jeffrey Wolfe Green. Mr Green’s seminal books on Pluto and the evolutionary journey of the Soul delve into the psycho-spiritual and sexual dynamics of Pluto, and in his second book, “Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul Through Relationships” he sheds a bright light on the personal and transpersonal inner space relationships between powerful Pluto, Venus and Mars.
Before I describe my take on this Mars-Libra retrograde, I need to describe some of the salient points about Mars in Libra. First and foremost, it has the desire to actualize (make real) evolutionary leaps in consciousness through the initiation of relating with many diverse types of individuals with different beliefs, values and perspectives. It is through this activity that Mars-Libra can expand its Consciousness through experiencing different ‘realities’ as it were. Mars in Libra is also concerned with issues of sexuality and its karma (though I prefer to use the word consequences). Mars in Libra possesses an instinctual capacity to free the sexual energy in others that is ‘locked up’. It is primarily through the act of giving to ‘the Other’ that Mars in Libra receives the experience and information that it needs to evolve the entire balance between masculine and feminine, Animus and Anima.
With Mars in Libra retrograde, this will be a period of retrospection about, you guessed it, relationships. I know I banged on about this in the last blog on Black Moon Lilith, but since Mars entered Libra on December 7th 2013, and will not leave that sign until July 26th of this year, this will be one of 2014’s most significant activators.
However, we won’t all be sitting around on meditation cushions and contemplating our inner masculine and feminine during this time. Mars is Mr Action after all, and will not settle for all of this introspective stuff. Chafing at the bit, there may be a strong desire to break loose, get wild, take risks, and dive deeply into whatever brings us into intimacy and closeness. Oh yes, confusion will reign, and there may be some quite severe back and forth stuff between the genders within us and without. Heavy negotiations, secret trysts, and even relationship triangulation may be in the offing. Libra will be the referee, seeking to bring the misunderstandings and projections into conscious awareness. Mars will be like the racehorse in the gate…and he is unlikely to stay patient and compliant for very long. The retrograde phase ends mercifully on May 20th, signalling a wild breakout of energy to initiate and break though whatever was being reviewed and considered during the previous 11 weeks.
What does all this mean for your seemingly mundane affairs, like profession and career? Well, if you have a plan, then come up with a backup plan…just in case. Starting new projects after Mercury Retrograde will definitely be easier, but the Mars in Libra retrograde will ask us to be prepared to adjust, renegotiate agreements and plans, and seek to create win-win situations with others. Since it is Libra and Venus we’re talking about here, then leading with love is going to work a lot better than trying to charge through obstacles like a bulldozer. This simply won’t work.
Mars in Libra demands a certain amount of liberation and freedom to relate to many people and situations fluidly, and doesn’t like being restricted very much. Liberation looks very attractive to some people, but does scare the bejesus out of most folks. Liberation requires self-responsibility, and after all the back and forth of this retrograde, a whole new set of agreements and arrangements may result in more freedom and flexibility for a whole lot of folks. And, in the absence of a consensus on how to proceed, then from an evolutionary perspective, it may be better to gracefully end certain relationships that are no longer providing the growth or stimulation desired.
However strange this period will be to the Mars archetype, it will only be through negotiation and seeking to understand the other’s point of view that real evolution will occur. In other words, I feel that the spiritual function of Mars in Libra transit will be to heal our ghosts and projections from past relationship wounds, and thereby develop the needed compassion to see and understand this process in ‘the Other’, and reach out in support rather than staying in isolation.
There is a tendency to focus entirely on Mars in Libra here, retrograde or not. However, it is very important to recognize and embrace the polarity point – Aries. Uranus is currently transiting in Aries, and it would be very remiss of me to not tip my hat to the planet that is so prominent in my own personal blueprint. Uranus is all about freedom and the collective evolution of Consciousness (it rules Aquarius). As such, it also is the source of ‘kundalini’ – the Life Force principle in its primordial state. The archetype that Uranus represents is CHANGE…and it does this in very surprising, sudden, and sometimes shocking ways. Predicting Uranus episodes is like predicting an earthquake – good luck with that. When Uranus entered Aries, a Cardinal Fire-power sign and The Warrior, it did so in drastic fashion on March 11th, 2011, when the sea floor rocked, and a massive tsunami hit north-eastern Japan. The result we still live with globally is known as Fukushima and the nuclear reactors in meltdown there. Uranus = Uranium. With Uranus in Aries, and Mars in Libra, we can renegotiate and we can forge new agreements and alliances with others, but we cannot ignore the polarity point, and accept compromise for the sake of peace and harmony alone. Integrity will demand that we keep the balance that Libra so ardently desires, between Self and Other, Yang and Yin, you…and me. We must learn to merge without fear for the survival of ‘self’, and also remember how to unmerge and claim our individuated Awareness as well. This is the Libra-Aries motif par excellence’. There’s you, there’s me, and then there is the Entity of our Relationship – Us.
For those of you who are a bit savvy with your own charts, the retrograde period begins at 27 degrees, 13 minutes of Libra on March 1st, and will station direct on May 20th at 9 degrees, 1 minute of Libra. If you have any planets or your angles (Ascendent, Descendent, etc.) or the Nodes of the Moon in aspect to or between any of those degrees, then you will be in the glare of the flashbulb during this phase.
There are other players involved during the Mars Retro, and the ones most active are Saturn in Scorpio, Jupiter in Cancer, Pluto in Capricorn and of course, Uranus in Aries. That exact station of Mars Retrograde in Libra also has an added punch due to the presence of Black Moon Lilith, the asteroid Goddess Vesta, and the Nodal Axis, which moved into Libra-Aries just about a week ago. For more on my previous blog post in this regard, click here to read “The Secret Ingredient.”
One last note of caution here is one that may be most personal for you, depending on your chart and the relationships it forms with the Mars in Libra transit. The overarching effect of this transit will also be experienced on a collective level in quite a major way in mid-April, when Mars Retrograde in Libra will form an intense Cardinal Grand Cross with Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto, who is also retrograde. This has the potential to be a game-changer, and with Uranus in Aries (10 degrees + at the moment) it could be rather explosive. I will be putting together two blogs on this event during March…one as an overview, and one that is quite a bit more in depth.
Thanks for reading, and now get on down and do the Cosmic Boogie.
What are Retrograding Planets? – During any transit of a retrograde planet, whatever the archetype or energy that planet represents will be somewhat reversed or subdued. It will turn its normal activity inward towards reflection and review. This phenomenon is merely observational, due to the perspective we have of our solar system in relationship to the Earth’s wobble on its axis. It ‘appears’ a planet is stopping and then moving backwards. That just doesn’t happen though astronomically or physically though.
For more information about Isaac, visit www.isaacgeorge.com