Let Your Senses Drive: Mars Retrograde

By Amanda Painter

What have your dreams been like lately? I ask because Mars in Sagittarius is barely moving as it prepares to station retrograde this Sunday, April 17, at 8:14 am EDT (12:14 UTC) — and Mars is roughly square dreamy Neptune in Pisces.

Feasting the senses: Breeze, sunlight, sand and the sound of waves on Culebra, Puerto Rico. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Feasting the senses: Breeze, sunlight, sand and the sound of waves on Culebra, Puerto Rico. Photo by Amanda Painter.

I’m pretty sure that my own dream a couple nights ago involving various challenges with a car (Mars symbolizes drive — get it?) is related to Mars stationing.

I also know someone else who had an uncharacteristic (yet pleasant, if somewhat vague and odd) sex dream — sexual desire being another of Mars’ representations. So one way I’m reading Mars square Neptune right now is as a dreamtime nudge of some sort, one possibly related to your spiritual and emotional development.

Of course, your mileage may vary, especially if you don’t tend to remember or work with your nocturnal dreams.

It’s also possible that Mars-Neptune has shown up as some feeling of discouragement or self-doubt. If so, consider this a ‘trial run’ in terms of evaluating those doubts on your own terms (not those of someone else).

Mars won’t make its exact square to Neptune until this summer, after its retrograde is over. You have a chance to gather some real insight about yourself and what you want between now and then, which should help to bolster your confidence — even if it’s ‘just’ confidence about your desires. For some, having confidence that what you think you want really is what you want is a pretty major growth step.

There’s a lot going on with this Mars retrograde — enough for Eric to create an entire Spring Reading around it. We don’t have nearly as much experience with Mars retrograde as we do with Mercury retrograde, since Mars appears to dance backwards only every couple of years or so, whereas Mercury seemingly backpedals about three times per year. Even though Mars does not have the association with gadgets breaking, scrambled communications and travel snags that Mercury does, any inner-planet retrograde can be a little disorienting.

These events shake up our usual way of navigating and understanding ourselves. While that shift in perspective can open up a whole new landscape of insight and awareness, it often takes patience and conscious choice to reap the benefits.

Note that on Sunday the Virgo Moon will move through a square to Mars during the station retrograde. If you experience a blip of feeling annoyed or overcritical (especially of yourself), see if you can trace the feeling into some legit, underlying cause. Getting caught up in petty, superficial irritations won’t help. Airing out the underlying issue, however, is more likely to be productive.

Find out what the Mars retrograde will mean for you in Eric’s 2016 Spring Reading. You may pre-order all 12 signs here for less than $40. Includes video readings!

Find out what the Mars retrograde will mean for you in Eric’s 2016 Spring Reading. You may pre-order all 12 signs here for less than $40. Includes video readings!

One last aspect caught my eye in the chart for Mars stationing retrograde: Mercury and Vesta conjunct in the same degree of Taurus.

There is something about Mercury-Vesta in Taurus (exact Saturday, 6:11 pm EDT / 22:11 UTC) that speaks of the grounding we can enjoy when we devote some time to being fully present in our bodies and in our senses — especially when we translate that experience into an expression of art or beauty.

Whether that means for you walking barefoot in the grass or bundling up and sitting on a windy beach; or a massage or sex; or cooking and eating an amazing meal; or listening to your body’s need for a nap or to dance; or diving into an art project or enjoying and discussing the creativity of others; it’s all good. In fact, Ceres arriving on the Aries Point today — the first degree of Aries — suggests that what genuinely nourishes the individual Self also feeds the collective, and vice versa. (Ceres ingresses Aries at 10:50 am EDT / 14:50 UTC.)

As mentioned, inner-planet retrogrades can be a little disorienting with the gifts they offer; they point us backward and inward. Mars — the ‘energy planet’ of drive and desire — stationing in a sign that represents spiritual and religious beliefs could probably use some of the steady-as-she-goes influence of Mercury-Vesta in Taurus.

What are your senses telling you about what you want? If your body could speak, what would it say? This is only the beginning of the Mars retrograde story, but it’s an excellent place to start.

9 thoughts on “Let Your Senses Drive: Mars Retrograde

  1. Lizzy

    I dreamed last night that this woman was doing shiatsu on me. It was an incredibly healing dream, as the body work she was doing was real (and I feel that it was really happening, on an “astro level”). Thanks for this great piece, dear Amanda.

  2. Vincent

    and now that you mention it – i was driving in a dream last night – first to, then from a friend sex relationship where love was not allowed

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Vincent — what a totally fascinating combination of Mars themes. Does that Mars association make sense to you with this dream? Or do you feel like it “means” something else entirely?

      Coincidentally, I also had an interesting mix of Mars themes again in my dream last night. Including someone I know driving a vintage powder-blue VW bus. *No* idea where that specific vehicle came from, though!

  3. Michael Mayes

    I had a dream early this morning, shortly before I woke up, in which I opened a pocket of my backpack to discover an envelope the size that you put a birthday card in, that had “Geography” on it in cursive. I didn’t open it, all I remember is seeing it, and thinking it was odd. I looked up “geography” to get a clear, specific feel for the definition: “the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments”. What’s interesting is that by this definition, I’ve always been a geographer at heart; I’m still that little wide-eyed boy soaking everything up around me like a sponge.

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Mike, that’s a really fun dream image / message to yourself. Especially since it was in your backpack, I can’t help but think of the Sagittarius association with travel and exploration.

      So… is Mars about to station in Sag kicking up any wanderlust for you? Whether of the inner (metaphorical) or outer (literal) kind?

  4. Michael Mayes

    Yes, those associations with sadge and travel came up for me as well! I just got back from my last of 12 therapy sessions with my therapist Liza, who is a grad student in the therapy department at Naropa. They offer 12 sessions free each year to students, it’s a great service. It was the most fulfilling therapy experience I’ve had to date, and the longest. To the point, Liza was reflecting today on my work throughout this process, saying that one of the things she noticed and appreciated was the willingness I have to explore my own “inner landscape”. And as we know, therapy helps us relate to our inner emotional, mental, and physical landscape. So there’s that as well, in relation to the dream.
    Also, I just started a lawn care company here in Boulder called New Dawn Lawn Care. The website went live last week, and today I had 2,500 door hanger advertisements distributed. So there’s a link as well with lawn/land, branching out in this new land, getting to know and doing business with new people in a new land.
    Artistically, in school we’re in the process of devising an opera version of “Three Sisters” for next fall, which is new artistic territory for me as well.
    In relationship, I am exploring what it takes to really support others. Sexually, this is a period of the most connected, deeply felt, fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had. I’m exploring new inner, and outer landscapes. Maybe the Mars retrograde will be a period of processing all these new initiatives.

  5. Priya

    A friend of mine shared a dream that he had some days ago….that he was in a bus with just two males and the rest were all females – girls from his class at school…..and then he dreamed of his school days and the amazing relationship he shared with all the girls, boys and others there, during his teenage years…..it was one of the most joyous periods of his life, where he was completely himself, innocent and curious, and where everyone was simply able to connect with him warmly and deeply, especially the girls, who seemed to see him as one among them, sharing things that they would usually not share with members of the opposite sex, especially in those days of conservatism.

    He feels that this dream is in some ways, taking him back to a period of his life he had forgotten about, and bringing him an important, powerful message. He is wondering what that message could be, what is it revealing to him?

    Any thoughts, pointers or questions that he could ask him himself?

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Priya — what a great dream! It sounds like the dream really brought your friend some joyful memories. He might want to try imagining himself as the two males, and see if that brings any information; and then imagine himself as one or more of the girls, and see what that perspective feels like.

      The overwhelming presence of feminine energy in the dream is striking. You might try asking him how he feels he’s integrated the openness and warmness of those schoolgirls (i.e., positive feminine qualities) in himself, and how he feels his inner feminine and positive inner masculine are balanced.

      You might also ask him if something about that simple, joyful, accepting and curious time in his life wants to be brought forward into the present in a more tangible way. If he felt “completely himself” then, what (if anything) is keeping him from feeling that way now?

      Just some thoughts and questions, since you asked and since you say your friend is wondering about “the message.” The again, maybe its sole purpose was to remind him of how good that period felt as he takes this Mars Rx trip?

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