Living Your Life’s Purpose, Mars Retrograde, WHAT?!?!?!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It’s hard enough living your life in tune with your purpose when things are going smoothly but, put a planet in retrograde, in its own sign no less, and that’s a recipe for trouble.

Or, is it?

Everything life throws at us is both a struggle and an opportunity – and it’s ok to wallow in the struggle AND (or) look for the opportunity. Sometimes it makes sense to move away from the struggle you’re feeling and find the path of least resistance – it’s there for a reason. Society teaches us that following that path equates to laziness. What if the path of least resistance is actually, profoundly, exactly the purpose of your life? What if it’s easy because it is exactly what you are supposed to do and how you are supposed to do it?

There’s a chance that, during or before this pandemic, you’ve put together a plan for a project you want to finish, a goal you want to accomplish, or a change you want to make. You might be on the verge of taking the first steps on that path, or you might be fully on that path, and maybe it’s going pretty smoothly, or maybe you’re struggling and running face first into some brick walls.  When things get difficult, do you feel like you’re not getting anything done or that you’ve strayed from your goal? Do you wonder what’s wrong with you and assume that you’re not doing enough or you’re doing it wrong? Herein lies the opportunity.

Now (specifically September 10, although you likely started feeling it around the end of July if you’re able to isolate it from pandemic-related tension), the planets are going to add a little extra pressure in the resistance area as Mars goes retrograde (basically it looks to us like Mars is moving backwards). The magic of this retrograde is that Mars is at home in Aries so the energy is more intense and has greater clarity (imagine how you feel, think, and behave differently at home versus when you are in someone else’s home).

Your project, goal, or change is a transition and I imagine you have a process you follow when you are going through a transition. That process is an important part of who you are, and it will be helpful to honor it as you navigate this retrograde and the struggles and resistance you will face. Your initial response may be to beat yourself up, your truer response is something more personal and actionable (if it helps, think of the you that is beating yourself up as a good friend who came to you for guidance, I doubt you would tell that friend to keep beating themselves up).

Let’s step back a minute. Going on the assumption that you have a plan for what you want to accomplish next, this Mars retrograde is providing the opportunity to really decide how badly you want this thing. There is no right or wrong here, there is only what is true for you.

You might feel like complaining about and questioning all the things that are going wrong right now (and that is an important part of the process, so, embrace it) and you may have done that and have a desire to figure out what the brick walls are trying to show you about your path (or you might be doing both, and that’s ok, too).

If you’re trying to figure out what the brick walls are trying to show you, especially with Mars at home asking us to slow down and reassess, you can ask yourself any one, or combination, of these questions:

  • Is this really what I thought I wanted?
  • Do I still have the energy to execute the plans I have already set in motion?
  • Does this project or goal still light my fire?
  • Do I still have the resources (external support, money, brain power, emotional resilience, and internal desire) I need to accomplish this plan?
  • Is this project, goal, or change still right for me?

I think the important thing to remember here, as you reassess and do the internal work of this cycle, is that you always have the right to change your mind (and, I would argue, the responsibility to give yourself the freedom to do so). You are not the same person you were when you constructed the plan: you know more now, you’re listening to your inner wisdom, and you’re in tune with what you really want. It is ok (dare I say, mandatory) to reassess and give yourself the freedom to change your mind about specific steps or even completely change course and throw out, burn, or shred the plan.

I was told growing up that I could not change my mind once I committed to something – you may have been told the same. I understand what the lesson there was but have learned that that is not my truth (man do I WISH I had learned that personal truth MUCH earlier). Giving myself the freedom to change my mind and do what is right for me has transformed my mental and physical health and I’ve found it’s actually quite a lot of fun. This freedom has given me the ability to be more spontaneous (which is actually a powerful part of my natal chart that I’ve been denying for 40+years) and that helps me move through situations with more ease and joy.

As a side note (don’t tell Mars I said that), this retrograde is also about boundaries.  This is the perfect time to really look at your boundaries and set boundaries with even deeper awareness of what is true for you. I have gained so much freedom, and improved my health exponentially, by establishing and maintaining boundaries in my life. I feel freer and definitely move through my life with more flow and ease. My Mars has a tough placement in Pisces (no boundaries) so it makes sense that it took me longer to learn this lesson. Applying this cycle to my life, Mars retrograde in Aries is my opportunity to support the boundary work I’ve been slogging through for the last few years.

What might this Mars retrograde in Aries mean for you?

Whatever it means for you, being kind to yourself and honoring what your mind and body are telling you – and supporting your being with whatever restorative practices you prefer (including napping, meditating, reading, playing an instrument, dancing, singing, connecting with loved ones, some form of energy healing, like a distance reiki session, etc.) – will be essential for you getting the most out of this Mars retrograde opportunity. And, if wallowing and complaining is part of that process, go for it with freedom and abandon. Better yet, find someone you can let loose with and do a practice called Conscious Complaining (a wonderful tool I learned about through Karla McLaren’s book, The Art of Empathy).

The intensity of this retrograde should wane in mid-November and fully drop off in early January. There’s more to look at in your natal chart to understand specifically how this retrograde might affect you – what I’ve expressed here are generalities that don’t take into account the full uniqueness that is you (I’ve been more specific than your sun sign horoscope would be but it gets a lot more personal than I can here).

If you want to get more familiar with how you process through transitions, and break down familial and societal programming that is not true for you so that you can uncover your personal beliefs and identify your skills and gifts, the training I’ve completed will help me help you see your true self.

If you want to work with the mind-body connection to more thoroughly understand your whole self (mind-body-spirit), the training I’ve completed will help you live more fully in your body, regulate your nervous system, and understand your thoughts so that you can access your emotions and inner wisdom more easily.

If you want to learn more about the planetary blueprint of your life, a natal chart reading is a great place to start.  If you want to know how what’s going on in the sky is affecting you now and might affect you over the coming months, regular transit readings can do just that (consider an annual transit reading a sort of birthday gift to yourself).

If you want energetic support through whatever is going on in your life, regardless of whether you’re working with a coach or not, a distance reiki session might be exactly what you need. Reiki sessions also offer great support as you process through the transitions and shifts you will no doubt be going through when you’re working with a coach. Your nervous system will thank you. Double bonus…Reiki supports you in achieving your goals and seeing what is true for you.

If you want to mesh all of that together to support your mind, body, and emotions (which is a great way to see the big picture and the details, while supporting your nervous system), we can do that, too.

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