We entered the new year with Mars in retrograde, bringing to mind what Mars represents for us. What does the planet of action, energy and desire say for you? Noticing your personal relationship to this archetype can be insightful. Within my natal chart, Mars appears in Cancer. Are you familiar with your Mars placement?
Knowing Mars’ placement when you were born can be a fun way to decipher how the warrior archetype shows up for you. Energetically, Mars can signal your assertion of passion and drive. In more practical terms, this can provide exploration around how you choose to lead and take action.
The Mars retrograde can have you feeling like you’re being held back from leading. You may be feeling like there’s something slowing you down or getting in the way of doing what you feel called to do. It can evoke an inner struggle of: “should I stay or should I go?” Your warrior spirit wants to “go” but there’s some cosmic interference to “stay.” You want to take action on that next thing, but there’s an intuitive tugging not to do so “right now.”
When the Waiting is the Hardest Part
From the warrior’s vantage point, to not take action can feel like you’re letting yourself down. It can feel frustrating or demotivating. The trick with leaning into a retrograde is to remind yourself that you’re not giving up. You’re intuitively assessing when it’s best to make your move and go forward. Tapping into the wisdom of matching internal and external motivations, and moving when you have some assistance from forces around you.
I see “retrograde” as synonymous with going inward. Going inward is helpful during any moment when you sense forward motion is becoming stagnant or stunted. Like when you’re driving a car and you get stuck in traffic. This is a good time to do an internal check — dip into your mind and see if it’s flowing with your heart-center.
Internal checks and balances can include Indulging yourself with affirmations. This practice maintains the resonance for what you’re wanting to achieve. Allow acknowledgment and acceptance of when action isn’t being called to the forefront. It’s a helpful practice for not having you disengage from the process. It’s simply adding some extra steps within the process until those pivotal moments to re-engage.
What is your Mars Element?
Some individuals have a more forceful or impulsive Mars energy. There’s a good chance this kind of energy coincides with your Mars being associated with a fire or air sign. Whereas Mars placement in water and earth signs may indicate needing more time for digesting information before acting.
Without getting too caught up in the weeds of your Mars Zodiac sign (unless of course, you’re already aware of this) you can get a sense of your style through this elemental framing. I’ve come to embrace that my “warrior” drive often doesn’t show up as we often see represented in popularized cinema or literature. Which tends to be more forceful and fiery.
There’s room to see this aspect of oneself through multiple lenses and still feel true to the archetype. I find astrological terminology a great way to describe archetype and aspects of how we show up in the world. The terminology also lends itself to how we connect with others, and how we can frame relational dynamics.
What are the benefits in taking this approach? It can help you gain clarity around what themes are being represented within your process of enactment. How to enhance your character in your personal storyline. Maybe you’re already using astrological musings for describing archetypes and relational dynamics. If not, you can try this lens and see if it fits for you.
Honoring the Watered-down Warrior
For me the Mars retrograde energy is reminiscent of my feelings due to having Mars within a water sign. The aspects of the water element and a retrograde compound each other. Mars is ruled by fiery Aires, so having Mars in watery Cancer often feels like there’s some inherent opposition. I’ve been reconciling this contradiction my entire life.
This dynamic comes with feeling: “I should be doing more.” Do you ever have that feeling? Like when you hear a calling, and a strategy of action clearly begins to take shape. Yet something slows the action from happening. How to honor this, without putting the fire out.
The image of an anchor seems applicable here. It’s like the retrograde is another form of anchor within the Cancerian sea. The vast sea has enough emotional tidal waves to dampen even the most astute warrior. What I’m describing here is not the imagery and setting that often depicts the Mars warrior. But this may be your warrior process.
Juxtaposing the Lover and the Fighter
It wouldn’t exist if it were in opposition to the archetype, right? You’ll be provided the chance to elaborate the intricacies of your version of the archetype. There are positive attributes to feeling like a watered-down warrior. The leadership style can be more hospitable than other types. I feel that my Mars in Cancer shows up with strong “protector” energy.
I’m determined that my shade of Mars energy isn’t meant to be debilitated. There can be a a loving fighter, a nurturing soldier, a compassionate crusader… of course, there can be. It’s more than just fortitude and forcefulness. It’s more than just being in touch with your intuition. You want to have thoughtful, heart-centered ways of engaging with others. If you bring the heart into your warrior style, you have to know how to appeal to the hearts of other warriors. Find the feedback loop of heart-informed action.
After retrograding, once Mars goes direct, you can check-in again. See if there’s more openness for taking action. Are there vibes of expansion, exploration and discovery? When there is, trust that your watered-down warrior will appear and create the next story.