Running on Empty

Bumping on empty

Mars retrograde

I arrived home from New Zealand late yesterday afternoon.  I was tired, and still a tad battle weary, and looking forward to a night with my family and a sleep in my own bed.

The house on the corner had other ideas. They had a loud (outside) party planned. The sort of party where the already loud music is turned up, rather than down, at midnight, where the walls in the back room of our house shake and shudder- even though they are across the road and four (large) houses up from us.

Now, before you yell and say that I’m a party pooper blah blah flipping blah, I’ll put this in context. We live in a relatively conservative middle class suburb where most house blocks are large and contain young families. This isn’t high-density inner city living. The NSW EPA regulations are for noise to be minimized after midnight. Every other family in the neighbourhood abides by this. That’s the respectful thing to do. This family never does.

It all finally stopped at around 3am after a number of residents called the police.  I’m still on New Zealand time, so had pretty well been up for 24 hours by this time.

This happens fairly regularly with these guys, yet, unless their immediate neighbours are prepared to take action, there doesn’t appear to be much we can do. I was all for marching up there at the crack of dawn this morning and having it out with them, but was talked down.

I had other suggestions too, but we won’t go there.

The thing is, I found myself stewing about it, frustrated that there’s little that I can do, and logically knowing that if I wasn’t so tired, I probably wouldn’t have been so annoyed. I felt frustrated and impotent…and quite often with me, that leads to rash, impulsive and sometimes self-destructive behavior. I have Mars natally retrograde in Scorpio.

Another thing about having Mars natally retrograde, is I actively avoid conflict when resolution is required, or can be passively aggressive when I need to face the issues that need to be faced with courage.

My energy is directed internally, before it’s focused outward. Sometimes it’s as if I have to go backward before I go forward.

Sometimes the rage and the anger builds up so much inside me that it seems as though it can only be released volcanically. Finding a safe mechanism for the release of my anger can be a challenge.

Mars is our inner warrior. His placement in our chart tells us how we strap on our armour and go into battle for whatever it is that we think is worth strapping on armour and going into battle for.

He also represents our energy levels, so while he is retrograde- from now through until mid May- it can feel as though our get up and go has got up and gone, as if we’ve lost our mojo, as if we’re treading water, as if our forward motion has been somehow halted. As if you’ve lost your potency. This will especially be the case if your Mars is in the first house, or in Aries or Scorpio, or rules your Ascendant, Sun or Moon ie if your Ascendant, Sun or Moon is in Aries or Scorpio.

It mightn’t impact you as much if your Mars is natally retrograde…in fact, if, like me, you have Mars retrograde natally, you could actually feel more in sync than you usually do.

Mars is not at his strongest in Libra. Mars likes to move directly, intentionally forward, where Libra is a sign seeking balance and harmony. In Libra, Mars will seek to avoid conflict or manipulate the situation in order to keep the peace, often pushing aside his desires in the process.  Sounds a little like a retrograde Mars, doesn’t it?

What can we expect?

As with all retrogrades, the energy is at its’ highest during the station period, ie when Mars is stationed retrograde or direct- that means now  It is at these points, in particular, where other planets aspecting that same point can trigger actions that you may not be yet ready to take.

In frustration, we might find ourselves lashing out, acting impulsively or rashly- just so it feels as if we’re doing something. If this is you, take normal health and safety or common sense stuff into consideration in order to avoid pointless accidents or mistakes.

Physically Mars retrogrades can bring out underlying sinus and tension issues resulting in headaches and other health issues. If you are affected, maybe it’s the Universe telling you that you need to employ one of those re words. If Saturn is active in your chart, teeth might be an issue.  If Uranus is aspected during this transit, you may also experience sudden rashes- especially if you are Aries or Aries Rising.

Mars retrograde isn’t all bad news. As Mars energy is brought inward before it is directed outward, there is the opportunity for sound decision making, problem solving and a steady release of energy- as long as you allow that energy to be released in a controlled fashion.

Where will you be feeling this?

Aries (or Aries Rising):  7th house- relationships, back stabbing bitches that are open about it (ie open enemies), partnerships, connections. Being a Mars ruled sign, your energy will be impacted…a lot- take extra care not to lose your head in the process.

Taurus (or Taurus Rising): 6th house- health and wellness habits, nutrition, business as usual tasks, daily routines, employees.

Gemini (or Gemini Rising): 5th house- kids, fun, play, romance, love, creativity- the stuff we take risks on & give birth to.

Cancer (or Cancer Rising): 4th house- home, family, real estate, where you live and who you live with, history

Leo (or Leo Rising): 3rd house- what you say, how you say it and who you say it to, siblings, short or routine trips.

Virgo (or Virgo Rising): 2nd house- money, possessions, the dollars that are coming in, what you do with them, how you earn them, what you value and how you look after that which you value.

Libra (or Libra Rising): 1st house- all about you, your identity, your attitude, your appearance, your vitality, your behavior, your motivations.

Scorpio (or Scorpio Rising): 12th house- things that are hidden, secret enemies, where you run to and what you run from, self sabotage, institutions, the behavior that brings you undone. As Mars rules your sign take extra care and use tolerance when the inevitable happens. You can’t control everything.

Sagittarius (or Sagittarius Rising): 11th house- friends, groups, causes, networks., your hopes and dreams.

Capricorn (or Capricorn Rising): 10th house- waiting for that promotion? Expect delays. Career, work, professional life, public life.

Aquarius (or Aquarius Rising): 9th house- study, travel, philosophy, beliefs

Pisces (or Pisces Rising): 8th house- taxes, other peoples money, money of the partnership, debts, sex

So, how to get through the next couple of months with your goals and temper still intact? How do you prevent your courage turning to fear? How do you stop yourself from attacking and blaming others for your lack of progress? How do you stop yourself from whirling around in a million directions and achieving nothing but adrenal burnout?

Following the steps below will help:

  • As with all retrograde periods, the “re” words apply. Words like review, rest, relax, revise, rejuvenate. Given that this is Mars, energy levels may be lower than usual and those of you who are used to running on full, may feel a little more like they are running on empty.  This is the Universe’s signal to you to step back and slow down.
  • If you expect delays and factor them in to your planning, the frustration you feel when you encounter them may be mitigated somewhat. Build in contingency and buffers into your timetable.
  • Breathe. If possible, find somewhere quiet for 5-10 minutes each day.
  • Switch off from outside stimulus. If possible, schedule in technology downtime- perhaps a weekend, or a few hours. At the very least, establish routines around responses to emails, and social media updates.
  • Keep to a set routine- especially around meals- it will help ground your anxiety
  • Avoid too much clashing, jangling noise.
  • Look after your adrenals. This means minimizing stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, whatever.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Exhaustion will only heighten frustration.
  • Rather than multi-tasking and multi-screening, try and concentrate on one thing at a time. This is where building in sufficient contingency to your schedule is important.
  • Exercise will help with frustration levels, but if anxiety is heightened, you’d be wise to choose yoga over aerobics. Running and other aerobic activities are perfect for stress busting, but if the fire in your system is at exploding point, gentle movement, walking or meditation will slow it down and soothe your mood.