Mars stationed retrograde on Monday, January 23rd, 2012. I was very aware of the Mars station as I headed out on a trip to visit to my family. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I scheduled my flight for the date of a Mars station. I probably should have asked my astrologer if this was a good idea. Ahem.
When a planet "stations," it appears to stop as it changes direction from forward to backward, or the reverse. Astrologers interpret the station of a planet as a time when that planet's energies are more powerfully felt, infusing the themes of the day. Mars is related to our will, our instinct to act, and our impulses. Mars is the warrior within us, our ability to channel anger and even to commit violence. Mars stationed retrograde in the sign of Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury. Mercury is associated with communication, travel, and speed. The Mars station happened right on my natal Pluto, South Node, and Jupiter. This was potentially a time wherein my fears, and even nightmares (Pluto), could be more easily made manifest.
I've had a recurring nightmare for many years about running through airports and missing planes. The dream plays out in different ways, but the common denominator is that I am frantically trying to get to the plane, and I keep getting misdirected by airport employees. While I have had some near misses of connections at airports, things had never played out quite so dramatically in waking life as in this nightmare. Yet.
I arrived at the airport on time to find out that my flight out was delayed. First by one hour, then by two. Since I always have to make a connection on this trip, I became increasingly worried about missing my second flight. When I walked off the very late first plane, I found that I actually had to change airlines and had to run to a completely different part of the airport. This was about a mile a way. My second flight was leaving in 20 minutes. I gave up caring about how silly I must look and I flat out ran, carrying two bags and wearing clogs. I dropped my bags several times. My heart was pounding and my adrenaline was running. Several different TSA officers sent me the wrong way or the long way. The monitors said my flight was leaving on time. I was angry and swearing by the time I reached security. And then they pulled me aside to pat me down. This did not help my mood.
When I finally reached the gate, I found out that the flight to Bakersfield had been delayed by three hours. I plopped on the floor in the hallway, hoping my heart wasn't about to burst in my chest, and wishing I'd been to the gym more recently.
By the end of the day, I was pretty floored by the way in which Mars had made its mark. The astrologer in me was taking mental notes, and I was ultimately able to laugh at the way in which these events were so completely a reflection of the Mars station. As a nice final touch, while boarding the plane to Bakersfield, we passengers were treated to the ranting of an angry customer shouting and waving his hands at an attendant behind a counter. Ah, Mars.
In the past, I have actually called on the planet Mercury to help me with my frequent travels, and it has worked. In this instance, however, it felt like the forces at play were powerful and completely out of my control (Mars on my natal Pluto, stationing retrograde). Maybe I should have asked Mars for help instead?
In the end, I was still able to make positive use of some of these energies. During the 5 hours I had to wait for my planes, I was able to make several detailed lists of all the tasks I need to complete over the next several months. I got this strange clarity as I was sitting there, and I was able to see exactly what steps I need to be taking in my life. I could also discern what things I need to eliminate in order to be more efficient in achieving the sense of order I'm longing for. Clarity, efficiency, and discernment are Virgo's strengths. I believe this Mars Retrograde can be a great time for us all to take that step back and re-strategize our lives from a place of more clarity. Hopefully, you won't need a 5-hour delay at the airport to slow you down enough to get that!