Mars Retrograde in Aries

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Mars entered the sign of his rulership, Aries, on June 27th, 2020. The Red Planet usually spends about 2 months in each sign, but 2020 plays by its own rules! This year, because of an extended retrograde period, we have Mars in Aries for 6 months. On September 9th, he started his backspin in Aries, and this retrograde motion will continue until November 13th. Mars will finally leave Aries on January 6, 2021.

In Roman mythology, Mars was the god of war, the military, and agriculture. Astrologically, he represents action (and aggression), physical energy, and willpower. Mars is undoubtedly an intense and powerful planet—and he rarely goes retrograde in his own sign. When this happens, we feel the martial effects more strongly.

Mars in Aries asserts his will with a heavy focus on individual freedom. Forward momentum and drive increase, as does rebellion against the status quo and people in authority. Mars retrograde often brings uprising and revolution. The last time Mars went retrograde in Aries was August to October, 1988. During that time, thousands gathered to protest against government oppression in Algeria, Burma, and Soviet-occupied Estonia. In New York City, hundreds assembled in Tompkins Square Park to protest against gentrification and class warfare.

This year during our Mars in Aries transit and retrograde, we are seeing similar patterns. Social unrest is emerging all over the world. Mars in Aries focuses on individual liberty, which is causing people to rise up against perceived oppression. This year has seen the largest sustained protest movement in the U.S. since the 1960s, with demonstrations in response to police violence and systemic racism. People are speaking out against governmental oppression and control, as anti-lockdown and anti-mask protests are popping up as well.

When Mars is in Aries, any feeling of being pushed down and oppressed will come out—loudly. With this transit comes anger and assertion of will, which can be messy. But coupled with other transits we have this year (Saturn in Capricorn square Mars retrograde), it can also bring serious change at a systemic level. People are speaking their truths, marching in the streets, and asking for serious restructuring of the systems and structures in which we live. There is no turning back—the reordering of our values as a society has begun.