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Rob Tillett has been an astrologer for more than three decades.
In previous incarnations a poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist & composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many articles on this website.
Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.


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Mars Retrograde 2009–2010
Retro StationDirect StationRelease
19 Leo 42
Dec. 20, 2009
0 Leo 18
Mar. 10, 2010
19 Leo 42
May 17, 2010
Previous Period of Mars Retrograde
12 Cancer 27
Nov. 15, 2007
24 Gemini 05
Jan. 30, 2008
12 Cancer 27
Apr. 4, 2008
Next Period of Mars Retrograde
23 Virgo 06
Jan. 24, 2012
03 Virgo 41
Apr. 14, 2012
23 Virgo 06
Jun. 19, 2012
Mars
Mars

Rules: Aries & Scorpio
Exalted: Capricorn
Detriment: Libra & Taurus
Fall: Cancer
Exalted Degree: 28 Capricorn
Planetary Node: 19°21' Taurus

Mars by Velazquez. Click for more on Mars
Mars, God of War

Mars the mighty Warrior Mars Retrograde 2009 – 2010

Go Forward  Mars retrograde in Leo  [Dec. 20, 2009 – Mar. 10, 2010]

On December 20th, 2009, just before the Solstice, Mars reaches his retrograde station at 19°42' Leo, in preparation for a period of retrograde motion in Leo that will last until March 10th, 2010. The effects of the retrograde period will continue to be felt until he returns in direct motion on May 17th, 2010 to the degree where he first made his station (19° Leo 42'). The first beginnings of the effect take place from October 17, 2009, as Mars begins to slow, so prepare for issues to cloud in the Mars Shadow, especially if you have strong Fixed Sign placements in your chart. The Fixed Signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Scorpio is likely to be particularly hard hit, Mars being the traditional planetary ruler of Scorpio.

Mars turns retrograde only once every two years and two months, but the effects of each period differ, according to the sign in which it happens (see box for Mars Retrograde 2009–2010).

A planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. This traditional concept arises in the illusory planetary motion created by the orbital movement of the Earth, with relation to other planets in our solar system. It's a bit like travelling on the road watching another car beside you: when the other car slows down, or you speed up, it looks as though the other car is moving backwards. Click here for some neat graphics and more on the science of retrograde planetary motion. Planets are never actually retrograde or stationary, they just seem that way, due to this illusion. Retrograde periods, although often problematic for us earthlings, are not particularly uncommon. Each planet retrogrades, except the Sun and Moon.

Go to Top Fated Events
As a rule, retrograde planets presage a period of seemingly inevitable or fated events, which relate to their sphere of influence. The retrograde phase is when the planet concerned pushes itself into our consciousness, overshadowing the energies of the other planets and so affecting our personalities (each planet symbolizes and affects specific parts of our makeup). It presents us with a series of events over which we seem to have little or no control, relating especially to the sign in which the retrogradation occurs. For example, Mars retrograde in 2007 in emotional, home-oriented Cancer presented quite different sets of circumstances from those generated when he retreated into gossipy, intellectual Gemini.
Go to Top Retrograde Cycles

The retrograde period is best seen as a cycle, beginning when Mars begins to slow to a halt before travelling backwards through the zodiac, and ending when he returns to the point where he first paused. However, during the cycle, the planetary energy is most powerful – and more likely to generate critical events of universal importance – when Mars makes a station, appearing motionless in the sky. These stationary periods occur at the beginning of the cycle (when Mars first halts as he prepares to move backwards) and midway through the cycle when Mars slows to a stop before moving forward again. It is worth noting that retrograde periods only occur when Mars is physically closest to the Earth, glowing balefully in the sky! With Mars so close, no wonder we are so affected!

Go to Top What does Mars affect?

In general, Mars, the god of warriors, rules physical energy and efforts. His placement in your chart expresses the strength and direction of the physical force that drives your ego, your will to achieve. Mars fires your emotions and energizes your passions, but also powers your mental endeavours and communicative skills.

Mars describes male relationships and associations, risk-taking inclinations, and the physical challenges you are likely to encounter. Well-placed, Mars endows powerful energy and an indomitable will to succeed, but when poorly placed can mean accidents, injuries, fits of anger, rage, warfare or other forms of violence, according to the inclinations of the sign and house concerned.

Mars retrograde gives rise to irrational action; introspection; depression and self-assessment; sexual issues and relationship conflicts. Major rethinks and reorientation of current projects are also often required.

Go to Top Mars Retrograde in Leo
Leo, the Lion

On December 20th, 2009, Mars reaches his retrograde station at 19°42' Leo, just before the Solstice, in preparation for a period of retrograde motion in Leo that will last until March 10th, 2010. In addition, the effects of the retrograde period will continue to be felt until he returns in direct motion on May 17th, 2010 to the degree where he first made his station (19° Leo 42'). When Mars is retrograde, everyone's thought patterns are more introspective and we tend to think about ways of acting on issues and concerns which relate to the sign involved. With Mars retrograde in Leo, people with Sun or Moon in Leo, or Leo rising, will be especially prone to such introspection. There is little choice but to reconsider personal views and opinions about life, for it presents an opportunity to gain insight into unconscious motivations, the hidden motivations that cause us to act without thinking. Since Leo is a Fixed Sign, the other Fixed Signs, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius, will also feel the effects most keenly. Scorpio in particular is liable to conflict and headstrong behaviour in the arena of career and public image, because Mars rules Scorpio. We can therefore expect some serious sexual scandals in public and political life!

Mars retro in Leo generates an aggressive, egocentric mood, inclining those most affected toward grandiose gestures and improbable schemes. Enthusiasm and inspiration, however, seem muted during this phase, as anxieties develop around image and ego-desires. Because Mars in Leo is usually fearless, independent, generous and honest in any dealings with others, we can expect some dependence, trickery and reluctance to contribute during the retro phase, especially should issues from the past where grand statements were made come forward to demand a reckoning. People in positions of responsibility, trust, or authority will need to watch their backs.

The Chariot

Even while working or playing hard, we need to beware the expression of a fiery, violent temper, which will take its toll upon the heart. Liability to fever and inflammatory diseases, sunstroke and rheumatism of the back increases. This Mars placement also indicates possible loss through speculation and other business ventures; loss of children and disappointment and sorrow in love. There is also danger of accident, or violence, usually the outcome of carelessness, aggression, or foolishness.

Mars makes no significant planetary aspects on the 20th, but does turn retrograde in conjunction with the fixed stars, Merak, in the flank of the Great Bear and Algenubi (Ras Elased Australis), in the mouth of the Lion. Merak, a martial star, is noted for prudence and self-control, but is angry and vengeful when roused. Naturally enough, the station of Mars is likely to rouse it! Merak is, however, reputed to bring success, leadership and power or dominion over animals. In Hindu astrology, this star is known as Pulaha, one of the seven rishis, or wise men. The rishis are light-beings, planetary avatars and guardians of the divine laws, whose task is to aid people in their realisation of the coming Age of Light. It is cabalistically associated with the Hebrew letter Zain (the mystical sword, which has the numerical value: 7, marking the 7th Master Path) and the 7th Tarot Trump, "The Chariot." The Chariot is known for giving great impetus forward and diminishing the unfortunate influences surrounding it.

Mars travels through the constellation of Ursa Major (traditionally known for expressing a martial nature) during this retro phase, contacting several of the stars involved. Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is rarely good for nations and political leaders whose charts are affected. Fortunately, Mars turns direct again on March 10, 2010, in the first degree of Leo, remaining in that degree for much of the month, forming a potent trine with the Sun at the Equinox on March 20/21. Mars is at this time in conjunction with Talitha, in the forepaw of the Great Bear, offering a guide to the nations as they turn from the angry persuasions of the retrograde phase. The Sun in Aries and Mars in Leo at the Equinox are in the favourable relationship known as mutual reception, greatly aiding the benefits associated with the trine aspect. It's an ego-boosting time.

Some of the most highly favoured activities include those involving men, or products and services related to men, military manoeuvres, sports, surgical procedures, manufacturing, and firearms. The energy is dynamic and will give a big boost to courageous activities, and a dynamic push to get ahead. Just plain good luck can save you from accidents and other mishaps. Nevertheless, do not take things too much for granted, or become too sure of yourself, as Mars is not to be trusted, especially when so highly stimulated.

Mars at this time is also under the influence of The Aselli and other difficult stars, indicating death by fever, fire, hanging, beheading, or violent catastrophe; ruin and disgrace; danger of wounds, hurts to face, eye trouble, blindness, imprisonment; mass murder and other horrors; and stimulating great changes in society. Planets affect subconscious motivations, so they stimulate the collective more noticeably than the individual – who may be said to have a degree of willpower and intent – enabling an aware person to stand against the tide. But, political and social action will be aroused in a rather more mindless, aggressive way during this period, as the political and social mileu is seized by fits of fury, liable to violence, catastrophe and aggression. The end of January and beginning of February in particular arouse these influences, as Mars is retrograde conjunct Asellus Australis, but they will notwithstanding have power during this whole phase – Mars turned retro in the same degree of declination as Asellus Australis – until released in late April.

A heroic and defiant leader will have influence, so let us hope he can control the murderous urges of the time. Is this Obama? Or Ahmadinejad...? Interestingly, the Moon of the current Iranian State is rising in the 4th degree of Aries, so the Sun will be on it on March 24, while the trine from Mars will become exact during the second week of April. Iran, formerly known as Persia, is one of the most ancient and productive cultures known to mankind, since it was developing a uniquely powerful and prosperous civilisation, and controlling much of Asia long before Christianity, long before Islam, when America was unknown and many Western Europeans were still clad in bearskins. Astrology, among other sciences, was first developed there and in neighbouring Mesopotamia, in a flurry of creativity that flowered more than a thousand years before Christ. Read more on the Fixed Stars in Leo.

These are the main underlying effects of Mars being retrograde in Leo, which remain a factor throughout the forecast period. Mars turns direct again at 00°18' Leo on March 10th, returning to full speed ahead by May 17th.


Go Forward This is the end of the article. Click here to read Mars, Our Astrological "Why" Chromosome.

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