|Sandro Botticelli’s painting depicts exactly what will be happening in the skies at the beginning
of February when Venus opposes sleeping Mars.
Mars the planet of action aggression and war is about to go retrograde in the sign of skill, precision and organisation, Virgo. As you doubtless know, Mars has been in Virgo since December, so we may all already have a bit of a feel of what that means.
Where Mars transits your chart, you are most likely to have real action in your life. For example, Mars in the second house would indicate that money is either coming in or going out faster than usual. Mars in the twelfth might show a lot of activity in the bedroom. Mars crossing the IC is often a good indicator of a change of address or just getting the builders in.
What’s different right now is that because Mars is going retrograde, he’s spending an unconscionably long time in Virgo. And also because he’s retrograde the action may be stalled (rather frustrating) or inward (much better use of the energy). Take a look at your chart to see which house Mars is transiting right now, and you’ll get a flavour of where there’s bound to be a lot of energy (blocked or not) in the months to come.
Mars retrograde is a strange period because this is the planet of action, but retrograde implies an inward experience. In the painting, Mars is asleep, and while he is asleep the satyrs play with his weapons. What is he dreaming of? At the start of February, Venus will oppose Mars from Pisces, the sign where she is said to behave most beautifully. I am hoping for an outbreak of peace somewhere in the world. Maybe Syria, whose natal Sun is at 22° Virgo.
The fact that this retrograde starts on a New Moon in humanitarian, future-focused sign Aquarius at around the same part of the chart as the Arab Spring leads me to believe that this is start of a new phase in the Middle East process towards self-determination.
In case you were wondering about specifics, Mars is stationing retrograde at 23°. If you have any planets there or in opposition or square to that point, you may feel full of energy but somehow unable to act.
Here are what some other astrologers have to say about Mars retrograde in Virgo.
Rob Tillett is excellent and thorough.
Lynn Koiner has an interesting take.
Molly’s Astrology gives a nice summary of Mars retrograde in general.
Lynn Hayes gives a general mood piece on Mars retrograde.