Are Men Really From Mars?

If you identify as a man are you from Mars?   I am a woman and I have a Mars, so does that mean I’m not from Venus?   Well, the answer is we all have a Mars and we all have a Venus and it gets tricky when we assign gender to planets.  Personally, I like to keep gender out of the discussion when it comes to planetary energies.  Our understanding of astrology and ultimately our understanding of ourselves is sculpted by our culture and customs.  In our culture Mars and Venus are highly charged with gender stereotypes and these prevent us from going deep into a place of knowing the true Self.  Certainly, they prevent us from getting beyond the superficial.   

Here is a more helpful way to look at the planets without getting mired in the dogma.

There are two categories of energy that planets manifest:  yin energy and yang energy.  Yin  pulls energy inward; its process and focus are internal.  Yang pushes energy outward, is dynamic and external.  Each planet also possesses the essence of an element (earth, water, fire, air).  These elements interact with yin or yang energy, creating a unique dynamic.  So, let’s use Mars and Venus for examples to illustrate how this works.  Mars is yang and the element is fire.  It rules the first house, our beginning, our act of continually becoming.  This calls up images of extroversion, boldness, courage, initiation, and high energy.  Venus is yin energy and is earth, making it more an inner process of harmony, grounding, sustenance, and beauty.  In this way we can see that the planets have much more to teach us if we look beneath the surface of stereotype.

Now that we have tweaked our vision of Mars, let’s take a peek at this planet’s upcoming retrograde and what that might mean for us.  For those who do not know what retrograde is, it is a perceived change in the movement of a planet through the sky.  The planet appears to be traveling in reverse, but it is an illusion created by our view of the retrograde planet from the earth.  The earth’s orbit is moving faster than the retrograde planet at a particular time of the year. 

Mars will station retrograde on September 9 and will stay there until November 13, 2020. Mars stations retrograde about every year and a half or so.  If you would like to see where Mars retrograde will be impacting you, locate between 28 degrees to 15 degrees Aries in your birth chart, give or take 5 degrees on either side.  What house does Aries rule in your chart and which of your planets are in Aries?  Do they make any significant angles (conjunctions, squares, oppositions, sextiles, or trines) to other significant points or planets?   

In general, retrograde Mars can be a time of overdrive, making it difficult for some to relax.  Retrograde motions tend to direct energies inward and Mars is a planet that is yang, so it isn’t quite comfortable hanging back and listening to the grass grow.  It’s a bit like gunning the accelerator of your car and at the same time pushing down on the brakes.  Tension can build from a slow boil to a burst of scalding steam if we don’t mind our minds and our bodies!  Making sure to eat nutritious foods, getting adequate exercise and taking time to rest and relax are all ways to manage these potentially volatile energies.  Mars retrograde can make it difficult to face situations head-on, so you may want to postpone any confrontation or launch of a major project.  If you can’t, then using a journal or some other tool for self-awareness can be a godsend.  It will allow you to sort feelings and to defuse any untended psychological land mines.  Retrogrades are always a fantastic opportunity to grow in our understanding of our selves as we take our yearly trips around the Sun.

Other astrological points of interest for September 2020:

Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn are still hunkered down in Capricorn.  Pluto will remain in retrograde throughout the month, but Jupiter stations direct on September 12 and Saturn stations direct on the 29th.  This threesome will be squaring Mars (which will be in retrograde).   Look at 17 to 25 degrees Capricorn is in your chart.

Full Moon in Pisces, September 2 at 1:22 a.m.   The Sun in Virgo brings a sense of realism and focus to our dreams but be careful not to limit your imagination.

Sun enters Libra at 9:31 a.m. on the 22nd.

New Moon in Virgo, September 17, bringing a focus on how we serve ourselves and others and how we strive (or don’t) to be the very best version of ourselves.

(Much gratitude to Sarah Bachman for allowing me to display her wonderful graphics along with this post!)

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