Planetary news this week: Mars and Saturn change direction

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Art from Deviant Art

I am late with the Planetary Illuminations report this week, but you all may be feeling the influence of Mars turning retrograde on March 1st followed immediately by Saturn on the 2nd.

Planets don’t travel backwards, but because astrologers view the movement of the planets from our perspective on earth they sometimes appear to travel in reverse direction.  Before a planet changes direction its movement slows down to a crawl and they appear stationary in the sky at the time the change of direction actually occurs.

When a planet is stationary its influence is more powerful.  Mars only turns retrograde every couple of years and the fact that it is retracing its steps over the challenging dynamic square between Uranus and Pluto makes this a significant event.  I discussed this back in December when Mars entered the sign of Libra:

The archetype of Mars is the “God of War.”  This gives Mars dominion over the human quality of aggression and the emotion of rage, but it also helps us to define boundaries and defend ourselves. Mars has been called “the lesser malefic” but it is also the desire nature – the drive that gets us out of bed in the morning and instills excitement and eagerness to make something happen.  When Mars is repressed or afflicted in the natal chart it becomes more difficult to express, resulting in fatigue or health problems.

Mars is said to be in its detriment in Libra, meaning it is not very happy there.  Rather than be directly obnoxious, as Mars prefers to be, Mars in Libra covers its irritation and anger with a veneer of Libran polish so that it can be difficult to really see the truth that lies beneath.

Over the past few months Mars made it almost to the end of Libra before it turned retrograde, and between now and May 20th when Mars turns direct again it will travel about 20 degrees back through Libra.  During this time it will become part of the big Grand Cross alignment in mid-April, intensifying the challenging dynamics and likely igniting some big fires of passion and aggression.

We are also under the influence of Saturn sitting stationary in the sky, having just turned retrograde and at a virtual standstill as it begins to pick up speed for its travel back through the past to clean up any areas of our lives that need work.  At the best of times Saturn will try to put the kibosh on impulsive behavior, and Saturn retrograde periods are important times to take responsibility and face the hard realities that may be present in our lives.

With both Mars and Saturn retrograde we will likely find it more difficult to begin anything new.  While Mars generally initiates activity, when retrograde he looks backwards towards the past.  “I wish I had done something else” will likely be a common complaint.

Where Mars is conflicting with the outer planets, though, Saturn is harmonizing with the power of transformation symbolized by Uranus and Pluto. The energy now is focused on cleaning up commitments and strengthening responsibility.  This can cause a great deal of frustration because instead of two steps forward and one step back, we are just walking backwards for some time.  But you can find comfort in the fact that this rearward focus will help you to build the strength and resilience that will be required when the call for change of the April planetary events begins to blare through our consciousness.

Still – with Mars not finding its full expression in the polite sign of Libra, and Saturn creating restrictions and delays, a great deal of frustration may build up if we don’t find a vehicle to express this frustration productively.  Developing better communication skills, holding meetings where our opinions can be openly aired, and of course finding a physical outlet for this energy through exercise, dance, sports, and other Martian activities – all of these solutions will be very helpful in navigating the next few months.

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By | 2018-06-11T11:31:24+00:00 March 5th, 2014|Planetary news this week|4 Comments


  1. Roderick March 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Since Saturn moved into Scorpio in late 2012 it has been adversely impacting my natal Sun even though it’s at 18 Taurus.

    How many times will Saturn retrograde while in Scorpio? LOL

    I know that Saturn doesn’t move completely into Sag until sometime next year but it opposes my natal Sun a couple of times this year.

    It’s funny you should mention that Saturn prevents us from acting on impulse because I had three situations yesterday which could have become romantic.

    The first occurred during a meeting and this person and l exchanged business cards with someone l had not seen in years, but this person was more than a little overt about the intentions.

    Another was when I was walking to the cafeteria and someone that I have been interested in for years was walking toward me but walked back and pretended to look at a message board. I guess this person was hoping that l would say something but l was too afraid of being rejected so I passed by.

    The third one happened when I went to see my chiropractor and the conversation went toward my personal life (marital status) and some of my personal interest.

    Of course neither one of us made a move and I left unscathed.

    Unfortuantely I almost had a meltdown before I worked out last night wondering why l have so much trouble establishing relationships, and when I do attempt to initiate a relationship it always ends in disappointment.

  2. Greg F March 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Hi Roderick,
    My Jupiter is at 18 Taurus, and Venus and Mercury are at 25 and 11 Scorpio, respectively. Saturn’s in my 12th house, so there is lots of soul-searching and inner work going on in my head as well. Plus, my health seems to falter when I have outer planets in hard aspect to 11th house Mercury and 6th house Jupiter.

    I had a similar day to you on October 4. Women seemed inordinately attracted to me. I just passed it off as a lucky day, not a trend. I have read that relationships started with Mars retrograde often fail, but I don’t know this to be true or false.

    I’m sure you’ll know when you meet the right person. Don’t try too hard. 🙂

    • Greg F March 7, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Correction: March 4, of course.

  3. Greg F March 12, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I’ve been sick the last couple of days with dizziness, back pain, and nausea. I’m blaming Mercury square Saturn, opposition my natal Pluto. I finally got out a bit today, but I’m still a little weak. This is very odd for me. Are you feeling the effects too, Lynn?

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