around the world this spring, horoscope columnists will mention how
Venus and Mars are "about to change directions" or are "moving
backward in the sky," which will undoubtedly be linked to predictions
about sex and relationships for the coming months.
coming season, we are likely to hear from lovers from the past and long-lost
friends, and our personal journey of seeking love is likely to be turned
toward inner realities and reflecting on what has happened in the past.
This is the story of the Venus and Mars retrogrades of 2001. There's a
lot to this tale, and on some level we're all going to feel it. Let's
take a closer look.
Venus and Mars
Mars are the planets that shine most brightly over experiences of love
and passion. These are our closest planetary neighbors, and astrologically
are two of the easiest energies to relate to personally. Venus represents
an aspect of the feminine and Mars represents an aspect of the masculine,
which explains why you frequently find their symbols on the doors of men's
and women’s washrooms.
think of Venus as the planet of love (after the goddess by the same name)
and Mars as the planet of war (after his namesake), but actually it's
not so simple. Both planets represent personal qualities and inner realities
that all of us possess. In our somewhat confused culture and limited thinking,
we tend to associate feelings of assertiveness with war and violence,
and those of beauty with sex and love.
be much more accurate to say that Venus is the attractive or receptive
aspect of who a person is—the part of us that draws other people to us
with our love, beauty, sensitivity, art or good cooking. Mars is the assertive
or aggressive aspect of who a person is—the quality of a person that expresses
desire, need and passion in an outgoing way.
everyone has Venus and Mars in their horoscopes, many people don’t feel
attractive, or feel strong or clear enough to strive for what they want
out of life. And often, one energy or the other dominates the personality.
Attractive people often feel like they don't have to express desire because
things just come to them, and aggressive people don't realize they can
ease back and draw what they want in their direction rather than conquering
it. The gift of astrology is that we contain both inner male and female
qualities if we choose to seek within and find them.
and Mars in the Fire Signs
that a planet is in colors or modifies its energy. Both Venus and Mars
are now in hot, outgoing fire signs. Venus is in Aries, and Mars is in
the first sign, the sign of beginnings, the spring time. It makes bold
statements about who we are. Its motto is "I Am!" Venus is about
our values. So Venus in Aries is a clear statement: "I value who
I am!" This is a learning process, however, and it is more about
feeling beautiful on the inside and less about fixing one's makeup or
wearing nice clothing. It is about learning to love and appreciate who
we are and, because Venus likes to share, extending that sense of value
Mars in Sagittarius
is associated with strong ideologies, deeply-held beliefs and the motivation
to do something about them. Mars is like the arrow of energy, intention
and aggression being shot from the Sagittarian centaur's bow. Sagittarius
is free and Mars is desire; the effect is a tendency to liberate our passions.
Desire is recognized as natural.
Back, Looking Within
different about this spring and summer is that both Venus and Mars will
be retrograde. Between March 9 and April 20, Venus will be retrograde;
between May 11 and July 19, Mars will be retrograde. Venus and Mars are
retrograde the least frequently of all the planets. Because these are
personal planets, we will feel the retrogrades distinctly; as distinctly,
for example, as when Mercury is retrograde, only the effects will involve
emotional energy rather than the mental energy of Mercury.
motion, or the appearance of a planet moving backward in the zodiac from
the viewpoint of the Earth, occurs when the Earth and the retrograde planet
align on the same side of the Sun. The effect is just like when one train
is passing another, and the slower train appears, very convincingly, to
be going slowly backward.
emotional energy of these retrogrades will be worked out in our relationships
with others, and within ourselves. Retrograde planets entice us to be
introspective and reflective. We will have a wider opportunity to contemplate
the past history of our partnerships and to explore inner reality. As
an example, we might come into closer contact with both the inner male
represented by Mars and the inner female represented by Venus.
are likely to be presented with opportunities (in the form of challenges)
to take their relationships to another level. The working out process
will require patience, however. One partner in a couple may go through
a series of changes, and then find his or her way; next, the other partner
may go through a series of changes before coming to a place of stability.
If relationships seem difficult or hopeless, it may be worth sticking
with the process until a few weeks after both retrogrades are over and
see where both of you end up.
We live in a world that is obsessed with externals, particularly where love and relationships are concerned. There are few influences that teach us to investigate our inner world, to ask ourselves questions about our values or even to question what our true needs in relationship are. Yet as Venus and Mars, certainly among the most tangible planets, make their retrogrades together, it's clear that now is the time to slow down, pay attention and ask ourselves real questions. Who knows: we just might get some real answers.