Mars Retrograde Cycle in 2020

mars pluto

By Melanie Reinhart

On July 25th 2020,  Mars will enter the forthcoming Retrograde ‘loop’, passing the degree of Aries where it will later turn Direct [15°13′ Aries].

The diagram below shows the full ‘loop’.
(90° graph, mid-July 2020 > mid-Feb 2021, illustrates the squares of Mars to the Jupter-Saturn-Pluto trio.)

This ‘loop’ is strongly relevant for the next six months!

The red line shows Mars, moving up and down through the lines representing Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. Note the little coloured blobs on the lines, in December and January, indicating a change of sign. December shows Jupiter and Saturn, in quick succession, moving into Aquarius, while January shows Mars entering Taurus. After moving through the squares to Jupiter and Saturn, Mars makes a single conjunction to Uranus in Taurus!

The main Mars 2020 dates

  • July 25 – Mars enters the Retrograde ‘loop’, passing the degree in Aries where it will later turn Direct
  • September 9 – Mars turns Rx [28°08′ Aries]
  • October 13 – Mars Rx opposite the Sun [21°04′ Aries/Libra]
  • November 14 – Mars turns Direct [15°13′ Aries]
  • December 15 – Mars passes the degree of its earlier opposition to the Sun
  • January 1, 2021 – Mars passes the degree where it turned Rx in September 2020, and ‘exits’ the Rx ‘loop’

Click here to download a date-list of the next few months, focusing on the movement of Mars.

The Process

From the picture above, we can see that the Mars in Aries sequence begins with a conjunction of Mars and Chiron (top left corner – Chiron represented by the green line). This is exact on July 14th, but within orb for the whole month of July. So this aspect sets the tone for the next several months – throughout the period when Mars remains within orb of its squares with the Capricorn trio of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.

What guidance is Chiron offering to us for this sequence? Read on …

Chiron reveals areas of pain and woundedness in the soul, as well as offering healing. Its primary process concerns our awakening to a broader, higher, deeper perspective within which to view, experience and relate to our own suffering and that of others. Chiron’s position in our chart may also indicate gifts in this very area – unique qualities, some of which may have an ancestral legacy supporting them. 

And Mars? Known as the “God of War”, Mars is traditonally one of the ‘malefics’, associated with anger, aggression, violence, divisiveness, conflict and brutality in general. Its metal is iron, its colour is red. In the body it is heat, eruptions, fever, blood, surgery, healing crises. Mars also signifies valour, courage, vitality, life-force, expression, will, intention – and perhaps it is the felt lack of these which gives rise to anger, violence and destructiveness in general. 

Currently, both Mars and Saturn are in dignity, placed in signs they rule. Significantly, Mars is exalted in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. Most of us are being subjected to ‘lockdown’ at present, – a total metalogue of Saturn! And a full spectrum of Mars manifestations – anger (including righteous anger) and aggressive reactivity all the way to courage, initiative and bravery. Mars energy ‘tempered’ by Saturn? (Note the pun with the word ‘temper’!)

All the above are poignantly obvious ‘out there’. But what does this look like ‘in here’ within my own heart and soul? With Saturnian restrictions on the expression of our Mars energy at present, this could be an opportunity to allow the restrained energy of Mars to strengthen, focus, and be refined. ‘Right use of Will and Intention’ is a worthy aspiration where Mars is concerned, and it often comes down to cultivating the awareness of how we use our energy. This is a real nitty-gritty practice which can infuse our day and sharpen our choices, moment to moment. Conserving our energy, protecting and respecting it, can increase our vitality and well-being so we are less likely to become frozen and conflicted about ‘big issues’, or ‘The Future’ and therefore more likely to act wisely in the present.

During any Retrograde phase, we are encouraged to review, reconsider, re-visit, re-frame, recycle … many words which begin with ‘re’ are relevant for the ‘Retrograde process’! Here, this applies particularly to the period from September 9th (Mars Rx) to November 14th (Mars Direct), but the entire ‘loop’ (as shown above) evokes this process. Here, we are invited to welcome new insights about how we use our energy and towards what goals it seeks to be directed. For without conscious intention, we are more likely to taken over by compulsion.

From now until early September, we might feel eager to ‘get going’ and to take action. However, it might be wise to recognise that a process of tempering may follow between the two Stations of Mars (Sept 9th – Nov 14th). While Mars in Aries can be the perfect energy to initiate and get things moving, it can also be prone to haste. Strategy preceding action might be more effective than reactivity during these months! Making a conscious choice to wait may be more empowering than haste, or sinking into a feeling of helplessness.

Look to the area of your own horoscope where the signs of Aries and Capricorn are placed. Which houses? And which planets, if any, are located there? Are they being aspected at present? Contemplating these themes will reveal the specific nature of the challenges you are facing, and show the resources of strength and courage which you bring to them.

Ready to learn more?

Explore the mythic dimensions relevant to 2020 in Melanie’s well-received talk, Chariklo and the Saturn-Pluto Conjunction.

Learn about Chiron in depth with Melanie’s Transits of Chiron – The Healing Journey (3-part series).

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100%…astute observation and impeccable language! Comet Neowise showed up aligned to fixed star in Aurigae, the Chariot, whose pathway on the Tree of Life speaks of the yoga between Saturn and Mars! those squares indeed a time of self governing with use of Will and intention, It reminds me of a quote of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche that I have to look up! Thank you Melanie and AU

Tony Howard

Thanks Latifa. Take care.

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