Mars in Aries: a trigger warning, a red flag, the razor’s edge.

This 6 month journey of Mars retrograding through Aries has been hot, tense, exhilarating and at times exhausting. Throughout the year Mars stirred the Capricorn pot, waltzed with Venus in and out of their respective retrograde cycles, and played in the Aries sandbox with Chiron, resulting in sand in the eyes and a lot of tears.

Aries being the first sign of the zodiac is associated with Spring and new beginnings. It initiates, takes charge and persists. Spring may produce vibrant, colourful flowers and a renewed energy, but that is due to persevering through, and surviving, the harshness of Winter.

Mars, at home in this sign, takes this fight for survival to another level. Since June we’ve heard the battle cry coming from protests in the street, we’ve become familiar with the tiny virus that can run though our veins and either take a life or steer it on a whole new course, and we’ve had to confront the hostility in our fellow humans when base level safety and security is challenged.

With Chiron (the Wounded Healer) also in Aries, it has been a hot and tender journey in addressing what was once an underlying survival instinct, reserved for running from that lion thousands of years ago, to now producing cortisol like it’s toilet paper in a pandemic. Mars in Aries showed us precisely where we’re running on all cylinders and potentially burning out. Without stopping to regroup, our adrenals suffer the burden of the constant chase and leave us depleted and lacking vitality. Modern day life has down-time filled with scrolling and analysis, never really allowing the body or mind space to fully reset.

Mars burns, it stings. It’s hot and dry. When backed into a corner it can attack and retaliate, inflicting harm and inciting violence. If the wounds of Mars are left untreated they don’t heal, they bleed out. These past 6 months have taught us a lot about where we are wounded and what hasn’t healed. It pushed us to question our own responsibility for healing and repair. It was also a call to action for the the Pluto in Libra generation: how do we mediate when injustice is so apparent? How do we instil equity as an act, not just a concept?

As the Moon moved through Aries each month, carrying light from Chiron to Mars, it illuminated how that which was once a point of safety in a trigger warning (an opportunity to leave and take care), can easily be turned around to pull the trigger on who, or whatever, activates the unhealed in us. The desire for blood and projecting what is raw and painful are signs of Mars being out of balance. This expression, “trigger warning,” is violent in itself when you think of American culture and its stand off between guns and personal freedom. The rest of the world watches this as a theatrical show about shooting yourself in the foot.

Mars in Aries is sharp. It can maintain single pointed focus and be exact in its execution. Mars moving retrograde, as it did through September to November, derails the precision it’s known for and prompts us to reassess our target. What are we aiming for? Where are we missing the mark? If a trigger initiates a process or reaction, Mars in Aries allowed us to see very precisely where we have marched into a battle that could have been better approached with an intention for healing. But that’s not what Mars does, it asserts and pushes, so we’ll likely see some reassessment of actions taken during this transit to rectify and recalibrate.

We’ve lived through Saturn at the 29th degree of Capricorn and it was no party. We have in our recent memory the experience of the coldest, most extreme version of what Saturn can dish out (see previous 29* post). Now in Aquarius, and having recently initiated us into a new Air era, we will no doubt come to understand mental health in new ways, and be forced to look at the invisible realms of inherited trauma. The old “head down, forge on” mentality of the past never offered time or space to unpack trauma. If it wasn’t impacting you physically it didn’t exist, so it has been passed down the line, continually unaddressed.

This final degree in Aries can be hard on the adrenals. Any planet at 29 degrees is tired, even Mars. It’s been a long journey and to be honest, who isn’t exhausted from 2020? This doesn’t feel like a new year, it just feels like 2020 with a twist of Aquarius.

Mars finally moves into Taurus today, though it’s a sign it struggles in. Taurus doesn’t allow Mars to rush ahead and act without considering consequences. Taurus prefers deliberate action that produces results and offers sustenance. While it won’t be a cosy fire side feast without sparks (Uranus in Taurus / squaring Saturn), it will be a shift in gears that offers time for replenishment and nourishment.

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