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    Martian Volte-Face: part 1 | part 2 | Mars | Mars Retrograde | Symbols | The Planets | About Astrology
    Mars, God of War
    Mars, God of War

    Martian Volte-Face
    Mars Retrograde in Virgo, 2012
    Part 2: Life on Earth

    In this second part of the article, Neil examines the effect of the Mars retrograde phase on all life on Earth, with special attention to the astrological meaning for each sign and drawing our attention to certain significant dates.

    Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces

    Each of the twelve signs is affected by Mars retrograde, in differing ways and to greater or lesser degrees. Aries the Ram and Scorpio the Scorpion are prime candidates as they are traditionally ruled by Mars. However, if either of these signs is found on the Ascendant or the Moon or if Mars is prominent or under pressure in any chart or if Mars turning retrograde forms a hard aspect to a key planet or placement in the natal chart, then there are lessons to be learned and cautions to be applied.

    The following is a guide for each of the twelve, one that will operate to greater or lesser degrees of intensity, depending on the natal chart and its placements. It is a brief outline of the effects on each sign as Mars hangs out in Virgo for a period of some eight months. Remember to check the forecast for your rising sign too, for a more balanced reading. To estimate your rising sign, click here.

    And if that's not enough, you can calculate your very own horoscope chart, to see if your Moon or any other planet is affected! Remember though that the Martian volte-face is a lesson for us all, whether subtle or 'in your face'.

    Aries, the RamAries, the Ram
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    Mars turns retrograde in Virgo and your solar sixth house. There may be disruption to the routines of work or health due to interactions with males or to sudden changes or disruptions to your modus operandi. You may find yourself back doing something you thought you had left behind, or solving a problem you believed you had already dealt with.

    Avoid conflict or sexual tension, especially in the workplace, doing everything you can to soften difficult situations or work around them. This is an excellent time to put a new health regime in place, although it may be that your hand is forced by developments or circumstance. You may feel frustrated with work and look for a change of job.

    Do not be hasty. Watch work safety in particular, especially with sharp edges or machinery and don't be surprised if the printer, computer or some other useful appliance runs amok. With Saturn still in Libra, others demand more from you these days and you must decide whether you wish to give it or whether you want to draw the line.

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    Taurus, the BullTaurus, the Bull
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    With Mars retrograde in Virgo and your solar fifth house, you may have setbacks, delays or disruption with lifestyle, children or creative projects, or you may hark back to old, neglected projects. Set yourself to work patiently through the details, solving problems one at a time. If there is a particular concern over a child, especially the eldest or a male, give time and attention to the requirements of the situation.

    Romantic life may hit a glitch or a hitch and, once again, the idea is to be patient, solving the small problems in order to rectify the bigger ones. Watch the safety aspect with sporting or extreme activity, particularly where equipment and mechanisms are concerned. If you feel you are going backwards on what you thought was a road ahead, take time to review your aspirations. It may be that you need a new plan or improved methods or skills. Do the groundwork first.

    This is not a good time for lifestyle indulgence, especially if it's a mask for a deeper frustration. A run of delay or difficulty may end in a bit of good fortune if you give it the chance. With Jupiter in your sign, grow as a person in every way, except where the waistline is concerned.

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    Gemini, the TwinsGemini, the Twins
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    Your solar fourth house is the scene for Mars retrograde in Virgo, so be sure you get a proper grip on any tools you use if DIY is the theme. Renovations could be delayed or unexpectedly expensive, especially if you don't see the full dimension of the work you are undertaking. Males (children, family members of housemates) may be tricky to deal with or feisty. Work or health related problems could be an underlying issue in such difficulties. Safety in the home will be at a premium especially where small appliances or devices are involved. Be careful with wiring or the simple matter of thumbs and hammers.

    If you've been putting off renovation or refurbishment for some time, you could be caught out by the demands of this period. Whatever the case, make a list of what needs doing and get the jobs done in order. There is no room for the slapdash.

    Take especial care if someone in the home is feeling frustrated or is unable to perform their usual tasks. You might find you have to take unfamiliar or long gone domestic routines in hand, or you may have to give up what you do to meet altered requirements. Change is your strength, so be ready to adapt at a moment's notice. Some may even think of flying the nest.

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    Cancer, the CrabCancer, the Crab
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    If you seem to have to deal with whirling dervishes running amok in traffic or along the lines of communication, don't worry! Retrograde Mars is in Virgo and your solar third house. Time and patience will solve all problems, so make sure you give yourself a quiet moment to let off steam when you need to. You may find yourself dealing with difficult males over rules or regulations to do with the daily business of communications and transport. Warning: don't take your Kalashnikov on the bus or train, just wear your best smile and fend off unwelcome attention or irritation.

    Business dealings may hit a glitch or a hitch and this will probably be because someone has not read the fine print. Of course, that won't be you! Contracts may suddenly morph into the Chinese Book of Changes, written in hieroglyphics. Siblings may be testy or difficult, or you may find that changes in work or health will affect your relations with them.

    If it all seems a bit loud or hard to bear while Mars is running backwards, make sure to hide yourself away in the bosom of your home with your favourite bath toys, comfort foods and close family (with the possible exception of a grumpy sibling). Friends or groups may be a salve for the 'set upon' Crab psyche.

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    Leo, the LionLeo, the Lion
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    Can you hear the jingle of coins hitting the pavement? It could be that retrograde Mars in Virgo and your solar second house wreaks a tiny bit of havoc with the Lion's department of finance and there's a hole in your purse or wallet. You may have to retrace your steps to see where things started to go wrong. You may need to adopt expedient measures in order to rectify a problem or fill a gap.

    Details and small things will be responsible for losses or close-fitting economic garb. Get the small spending right and take care of the change. No generous tips, no matter how good the service is or how the waiter or waitress smiles. Do you need to look at contracts or payment schedules with finance? They may require revision or review.

    It's not a good time to splash money about on personal possessions or resources. Secure holdings with wise management and re-jig the way in which personal finances work. You may argue with minor officials over money, males in particular. You may simply argue with males about money anyway. Whose way of doing things is correct? That is the question to answer.

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    Virgo, the VirginVirgo, the Virgin
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    Smack bang in your solar first house, Mars begins his retrograde trail, leaving you frustrated (or aghast!) at the actions of others, and perhaps at your own actions. Take care with personal safety, but, if you've been putting off an activity that you've wanted to pursue for some time, now could be the moment.

    The Earth signs are well served at this point with Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter in Taurus. Thus, if you need a fresh start or an expansive new beginning, retrograde Mars will show you how to retrace your steps and revivify your endeavours. However, with Mars in reverse, do not rush into things, take care when dealing with males you are close to and look for a new way or new routines as you go about the business of daily life. An exercise program may be required or disrupted.

    The light at the end of the tunnel will be a lift or a confirmation of the values you have held to be important over time. As a sign, patience is your virtue, and patience will be rewarded. Do not underplay injuries or health concerns, no matter how minor they seem. Fix them. You may find you are thrown back to the execution of skills or practices you thought you'd left behind.

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    Libra, the ScalesLibra, the Scales
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    Mars retrograde in Virgo and your solar twelfth house might lay the occasional ambush to unsettle you. As a rule, you don't like dealing with anger in others, but you may have to put that preference aside during this phase. Discover how to work through past issues or feelings that others bring (sometimes unexpectedly) to the table.

    It will also be a good time to consider the ways and means of activities (especially creative or spiritual) that you may in the past have left until another day. This may be the day, Libra! If you've ignored it or let it lie untouched, it's bound to come up again needing attention. If there are unresolved tensions over sex or relations with males (especially with hidden or secret activity), once again bring them to light for open discussion and perhaps an unexpected resolution.

    Saturn still sets the measure this year, so take a mature and responsible path whenever you feel the pressure. It may also be that you need to cut some people from the list of your associates if you are not comfortable with what they do or with their responses. Be considered but draw the lines anyway. Look both ways when you cross the road, whether it is a highway literal or metaphorical. Whatever comes will do so from an unexpected quarter. Field vision is the key.

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    Scorpio, the ScorpionScorpio, the Scorpion
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    Traditionally, Mars is the powerful and sometimes eruptive ruler of your sign. Here, we find him retrograde in Virgo and your solar eleventh house. Projects or activities may come up unexpectedly through the agency of friends or in the wider community. You may have to put your back in, even if your heart is not quite there.

    Friends or people in groups (males in particular) may be difficult or testy. There may be problems with groups, due to health or work concerns. It may be time to put your energy into something you've been thinking about for a while but have as yet taken no action with. If group projects or community activities seem to stall or to be forever delayed, do not despair! Give yourself time to work out the detail or pay attention to the small but needful things.

    Do you need to up-skill for an activity you'd like to get involved with? You might want to or need to spend time thinking about the practices and routines that give you common ground with others. For some, the community need may eclipse personal desire. With Saturn still travelling in your solar twelfth house, there are things only the outer world can teach the inner Scorpion.

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    Sagittarius, the ArcherSagittarius, the Archer
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    Professional life and demands may become something of a minor maelstrom, or perhaps just a storm in a teacup, as Mars turns retrograde in Virgo and your solar tenth house. You may clash with authority, especially males, over routine, method, rules or regulations. Is it time to give your career direction serious thought? Are you doing the things you actually like to do?

    Be patient and determined if the details of your professional life or responsibilities seem to be overwhelming at this point. Pick your way through the bits and pieces until you work out how it all fits together. If you take authority in any walk or area of life, you may find you are challenged by unruly or recalcitrant folk. You may find yourself back acquitting duties you have undertaken in the past, or you may find there is simply disruption to the routines and structures of your life.

    If you are going to argue about the rules, make sure you do your research and have the accurate information to hand. Sweeping statements will light a short fuse. If you are contemplating a career change, be meticulous and attentive to detail as to how you will bring it about. Do not be in a hurry.

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    Capricorn, the Sea-GoatCapricorn, the Sea-Goat
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    With Mars retrograde in Virgo and your solar ninth house, this is not a favourable time for travel overseas or to a wider horizon, unless of course you're completing long outstanding business, meticulously planned or urgently needed. Take care in dealings with those who have defined beliefs, customs or practices, as offence may be taken more easily than you think.

    Are you frustrated in your search for knowledge and a wider understanding of the world? If so, it may be time for a plan to reopen the books or enrol in a course of study that will in time round out the picture you have. Some of you may take a break from study. Even though long distance travel may put you under pressure, it may be necessary to take extra care with the details and schedules that will get you from A to B. However, don't make flip remarks to border guards or officials, especially if they're armed!

    If something is missing in the bigger picture, it will be up to you to take the action to rectify the absence. Such a process though may prove to be testing—or troubled by delay. If there is a legal matter at work, make sure you understand the detail, because the little things could prove to be stumbling blocks if you are careless or unaware. A difficult male (or frustration within) may lead you to accidentally open a door on a wider view of the world.

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    Aquarius, the Water BearerAquarius, the Water-Bearer
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    Joint finances, the mortgage and investments or holdings will be liable for scrutiny and review as Mars turns retrograde in Virgo and your solar eighth house. Don't look for the obvious! Look under the surface and watch for the hidden traps and unwritten clauses (especially in the detail) that are there to trip you up. It's a question of balancing the whole picture against the bits and pieces to make sure that all is working.

    Males in particular may create frustration—or have a hidden purpose. If you have a secret plan, don't give it away by being obvious. It's not a good time for impulse with spending, especially if you're using one resource to finance another. Go gently with the plastic, filling the gaps with cash or restraint rather than extended credit. If you feel lured to a big splash, resist!

    Take time to look more deeply into matters hidden or esoteric, studying the whys and wherefores of human behaviour, or even dabbling in magic or the occult if you feel so called. Spend time examining your motivations and desires, as you try to come to grips with what makes you tick and why it is that you want what you want.

    Be perceptive about the actions of others, trying to discern who is keeping secrets or masking their true desires. With Saturn in your solar ninth house, this is a good time to expand horizons, as long as you stay anchored in your own emotional life (Jupiter in your solar fourth house) and look deeply into the behaviour of you and those around you. Avoid risky, secret liaisons. You may discover a startling secret about someone you thought you knew.

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    Pisces, the FishesPisces, the Fishes
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    Partnership and close associations are in the frame, as Mars turns retrograde in Virgo in your solar seventh house. However, it may not be all sweetness and light in the Piscean world. You may deal with people close to you who are perhaps frustrated, angry, or out of sorts due to changes in the pattern or organisation of their health or work routines.

    Someone near to you, a male especially, may be unable to complete the normal run of activities. Get out the cold compress and be a good listener when the pressure is on. With Jupiter in Taurus, you'll have to keep a balance between personal life and the world around you as you will need to seek advice or to grasp opportunities for education or elevation. Think seriously about the meaning of your life with all its twists and turns and you'll find that a period of frustration can help you crystallise your beliefs and sense of purpose.

    Though you may find yourself sensitive, more than usually so, to the feelings of others, you can gain greatly through the embrace of encompassing beliefs. The actions of someone close that will perhaps disturb or disrupt could, in the end, bring valuable understanding.

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    KEY DATES:

    • Feb 1: Retrograde Mars opposes Venus in Pisces
      • small hurts or upsets, sexual or social tensions, an encounter from the past, minor difficulties with spending, a frisson or an intense exchange.
    • Feb 23: Retrograde Mars opposes Mercury in Pisces
      • testing communications or difficulty getting the words out or the job done. Hasty or impulsive reactions may make their mark. Watch for accidents or minor hurts through impatience or impulsiveness. Someone will not understand something or someone else and jump the wrong way.
    • Mar 3: Retrograde Mars opposes the Sun in Pisces
      • clashes over authority or radical action, or seizing control by force. Directions may be set on impulse or in haste. There may be separations or terminations due to frustration, impatience or unexpected developments.
    • Mar 22: Retrograde Mars opposes Chiron in Pisces
      • tests from opposition, bringing strong emotions or angry reactions that are difficult to control or keep in check. Idealism may push too hard for impossible results. Pressure from others may provoke extreme reactions. Overreaction or heightened emotion may turn people into their own worst enemies.
    • Apr 15: Retrograde Mars comes into opposition with Neptune in Pisces though the aspect does not become exact
      • chemicals or firearms may find careless or reckless usage amid a fog of heightened fear or feeling. Alienation or distorted perceptions may misguide those on a mission or seeking redress. This is a time to go gently and act with compassion, as Mars hits station and comes back to forward motion while glancing off the uncertain forces of mystic Neptune. Creative or spiritual development is favoured but cut back on the wine, the lattes, the sugar and substances prone to abuse. Let your highest aspiration choose the path. Those who haven't revised their action style or changed their view may be left with only fanaticism and implacable action.

    This is the end of the article.

    Go BackReturn to the start of Martian Volte-Face: Life On Mars.

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