(December 20, 2009 - March 10, 2010)
Mars entered Leo October 16, 2009 and will be transiting the sign of passionate, creative self-expression for almost eight months, until June 7, 2010. This period includes a retrograde beginning at 19 degrees Leo on December 20, 2009 and ending all the way back at the 0 degree, stationing direct on March 10, 2010.
As we enter the month of December, Mars is slowing to station retrograde, and we start to get a flavour for what this retro is going to mean in our personal lives.
Mars in Leo relates, very basically, to a desire to create. The motivation to create something that didn't exist before, something only we personally could create, and something we love enough that we are willing to pour our hearts - our blood, sweat and tears - into bringing it into existence, often with no guarantee of the result.
The zodiac sign Leo relates, in part, to children - children being (arguably) the most wondrous use of Leonine creative potential. It's a sign related to personal artistry and self-expression, traditionally associated with the performing arts like acting, dance and music.
But those are just some forms the energy of the sign takes...
The force of Leo as a sign relates to something broader (and possibly sappier): the creative power of the love in our hearts.
In basic terms, Leo refers to the artistry in each and every one of us and the realization of personal creative potential, whatever form the expression should take.
Creative self-actualization. Creating a life that is a pleasing and satisfying extension of who we truly are, from the heart. Using our particular talents, our particular self-expression, our particular personalities and shining the big, bold light of who we are in the world. Being the stars that we are.
Mars is the action planet, related to physical energy, will, goals, direction, motivation and desire, as well as sexuality. It's basically what gets us going, what excites a passion and desire within us.
As Mars transits and retrogrades in Leo, we're setting a new cycle of creative goals for ourselves and releasing previous ones. We're determining how to direct our physical energy and what actions we need to take to achieve the sexy, new creative goals that have us excited at the moment.
But more importantly, I think, in the face of shifting structures and the burgeoning Aquarian paradigm, this Mars retrograde in Leo coincides with us reclaiming and harnessing our personal, primal creative force.
We're reconnecting with our deepest heart's desires for love, joy, fun, excitement and the freedom to express whatever is in our hearts to express. We're reclaiming the right to be self-directed in these ways, to use our creative power only as we see fit.
Mars goes retrograde at 19 degrees Leo - just shy of an opposition to the triple conjunction in Aquarius. (Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune will be at 22-24 degrees of the sign.)
And this is purposeful. Because we need this time with ourselves and with our creative pursuits to get clear on where we go from here. There has been so much focus on Aquarius, so much detachment that has been required of us as we speed through these changing times. We've had to keep our eyes on the prize, and it was so far off in the distance at times that the immediacy of Leo, the joy of creating and being ourselves in the present moment, took a back seat as we worked on bringing about our visions for the collective future.
And now we need this retrograde time to draw our creative energy back inside us, to reconnect with our deep, primal creative force and bring it back to our hearts, energizing and fortifying ourselves for what's to come.
This will ensure that what we do and what we involve ourselves in from here, as the paradigm continues to rapidly shift, is from our deepest heart's desire.
We're fighting to get our mojo back with this retrograde in the midst of what are proving to be often quite unsexy times.
And we thaw the cool, Aquarian detachment here with a Mars in Leo furnace of passion, creativity and desire. Stoking the fire. Slowly, though, all through the transit and retrograde.
And this could be the frustrating part. Both Mars and Leo are masculine, outer-oriented. Both are in their element with external action and expression. But with a retrograde, the energy is drawn in. It's a time of disengagement from what has run its course and a recalibration and readying for what is up ahead. Retrogrades require patience and an inner focus, and that could feel quite thwarting to the Mars in Leo energy.
Mars retrograde is a time of (often) lower physical energy when it is not as easy as usual to exert your will and get things done. There is a deliberate timing related to retrogrades that, again, could be frustrating with this combination of planet and sign.
Although, those who have a somewhat thwarted natal Mars (through retrograde, detriment or aspects) could find things are easier than usual in those respects since they are accustomed to these types of conditions and deal with them better than most.
The level of frustration experienced will coincide greatly with how readily an individual allows any necessary creative re-direction. Leo is a fixed sign, and changes in course are not so comfortable. (Think of a mother being told that her child needs a correction or change in behaviour, for example. Not so comfortable.) But any changes in direction initiated now are for the best and have the future situation in mind.
This Mars in Leo retrograde will also be a time of strengthening self-love because loving ourselves fully and truly, through it all, is so crucial as we navigate the bumps and obstacles of these sometimes intimidating and frightening times. We can reclaim love and self-love as our prime motivators here in a world that seems to cultivate self-loathing as a marketing technique. The revolutionary act of loving yourself no matter what!
This Mars in Leo retrograde will allow us to get clear on the specific talents we hold inside that we simply must share with the world and also on the most powerful creative avenues to take with those talents.
We'll make sure here that our creative force is not being co-opted or siphoned off in ways that are not true to us.
There is a voracious appetite with Aquarius for "the next new thing," "something different," "something unique." And there are many people still playing in the same old structures who are looking to latch onto real, independent creative expression and artistry and milk it for all its worth to reinforce the same old bullshit.
We can ensure here that the goals for our creative energy are purely our own, connected to our own visions for the future, and that we are not unwittingly fuelling nefarious people or agendas.
With this Mars in Leo retrograde, we can reclaim our creative forces completely and stake our claim for their independent expressions. We can ensure that our personal creative energy is working to bring about real, meaningful change, not a phony Hollywood-ized, Obama-fied, commodified version of "the future." Creative self-expression that is relevant both personally and for these times, a force for freedom, both personal and collective. Here, we make sure that what we are creating comes from our own hearts and that we are not just following a formula that has been set out for us. There is no pattern to follow here. Just the raw, powerful direction of our own creative desire.
I hope we can finally slough off hollow, Hollywood versions of art and pseudo-artists once and for all and embrace our own artistry and the artistry of others who have something real to offer.
After this retrograde, we will be ready to head in new creative directions where necessary.
There are ways we've been exerting ourselves, ways we've been using our personalities and forms of creative self-expression that need to be re-directed, and that is what this retrograde process will do. (*cough!* Pluto in Leos *cough!*)
Reconnecting with our primal creative force is a big part of finding our true places within the developing Aquarian communities. We're creating the networks and communities as we go. Instead of trying to fit into crumbling, outdated constructs, we're creating new situations that have not previously existed.
Moving to artisan-quality lives with the personal, human touches that don't exist with corporate cookie-cutter products or roles. Taking pride in who we are and in what we do, in what we produce.
It's been done before, many times, as a reaction to industrialization and depersonalized corporatization.
And here we're making another attempt at it because really, it's all we can do. At the point of Pluto transiting Capricorn, the corporate structures and the factory production lines have gotten so out of control, so insane, so inhumane that going back to direction from the heart and soul is the only way.
Another interesting point to this retrograde is that Mars retrogrades back to 0 degrees Leo and stations direct there - the first degree of the sign - but it doesn't dip back into Cancer.
This is good news for anyone who has found the last two years (since the previous Mars retrograde) quite difficult. Mars takes just a hair under two years to go through the zodiac, and the last retrograde was in Cancer from November 2007 to January 2008.
Because Mars in Leo does not re-enter Cancer during this retrograde, it tells us that the goals we set then for achieving emotional independence, strength and vitality have been completed. We fought hard to break out of detrimental emotional habits, especially related to co-dependence and old familial patterns, and our hard work has gotten results.
At the point of this Mars retrograde in Leo, we are on a new emotional foundation (also kicked into gear by last summer's eclipse season) and can use it now as an anchoring point as we paint a new reality for this little planet...