The first week of March is an interesting one.  We have several planets pausing to “change direction” in a short span of time: 

  • Mercury turns direct on February 28th at 18 degrees Aquarius

  • Mars turns retrograde on March 1st at 27 degrees Libra

  • Saturn turns retrograde on March 3rd at 23 degrees Scorpio

  • Jupiter turns direct on March 6th at 10 degrees Cancer  

When planets approach an apparent change of direction, they seem to slow down to a creeping crawl and to stop, before resuming motion in the opposite direction.  These points where they pause become very poignant.  We feel them deep in our bones, deep in our psyches, perhaps unconsciously as just a mood or a feeling in the environment that we may not even register to note or identify.  Having four planets at a seeming standstill in the short span of one week is rare, and many people will be feeling this intensely. 

Mars’ Journey

In this article, I want to focus on Mars retrograde, as it will be a key player over the next 2 ½ months, forming tense aspects to the planets in Aries, Cancer and Capricorn as it goes. 

Mars paused March 1st to move in apparent backward motion until May 19th, 2014.

The ancients called Mars one of the “malefic” planets, but it is important to remember that the planets are not trying to undermine us and our lives; they stimulate our growth and evolution.
This entire period of Mars retrograde may be one in which you pause to evaluate your relationship to action, assertiveness, ambition, passion, anger, and the right use of the fighting instinct. For some, this means learning to exercise more self-control and responsibility around imbalanced aggression and dominance. For others this means learning to speak up for yourself, be strong and courageous, get in touch with what you really think and want, and ask for that.

With Mars retrograde, it is not a great time to push forward with new projects and initiatives.  Efforts we make may fall flat or fail take off at all.  They may be/seem actively blocked.  Things we’ve planned might be postponed, and may or may not seem right to pursue or resume when Mars turns direct in a couple months. 
In the meantime, we may find ourselves in an internal process considering what we really want, and whether what we thought we wanted is really important to us after all.  In matters involving other people, they may be the ones to reconsider the value of a plan, initiative or desire.

As Mars retrogrades, it will form aspects of tension with planets that have loomed large in our psyches the last couple of years: Uranus in Aries (Mars will oppose it), Pluto in Capricorn (Mars will square it), and Jupiter in Cancer (Mars will square it).  I will be talking more about this in April, when they all form a large, dynamic configuration as part of the next Uranus-Pluto square.  Suffice it to say that this is an intense period of time in which Mars retrograde may indeed serve as a trigger for things within us or our lives that need to be rooted out. 

Mars Retrograde in Libra

To add another layer to our understanding of this Mars retrograde period, Mars has been moving through the sign of Libra for a while, and the entire retrograde period will be in the sign of Libra (moving from 27 degrees back to 9 degrees, where it will resume direct motion).  Mars naturally rules Aries, the sign opposite Libra.  In contrast to Aries’ unpremeditated, self-referential orientation to life, Libra observes polarities and seeks to find a balance in which all sides to everything are represented or at least given voice and fair consideration.  With Libra, we compromise; we find ways to navigate our relationships with other people so each of us gets some of our needs met.  We take others’ thoughts and feelings into account, and temper our own actions and reactions in a spirit of relative gracefulness. 

Therefore, Mars moving through the sign of Libra is a natural study and experience in contrast.  We may find that our personal will must be tempered by the need to cooperate and coordinate with others.  In this process, we may be called upon to modify our demands and expectations for the benefit of our relationships with others. 

Putting this together,
Mars retrograde in Libra can be a time when our drive, ambition and assertiveness may be slowed down by opposition from others.  We may even find ourselves in situations where our moral and ethical bases are called into question… where those Libran scales of justice demand a weighing and equalization of the polarity “us” and “them.”  Although Mars is about action (not thinking or feeling), in the spirit of retrograde reflection, it may be a time when we find ourselves questioning whether our desires and ambitions are right or good for us… whether they really mean something to us anymore.  If they don’t, we may find that when Mars resumes direct motion in May, we don’t choose to just pick up where we left off, but either reroute our blocked or stalled efforts, or perhaps abandon them altogether. 

Archetypal Mars may be a bully, a victim, or a hero who fights for the victimized.  Through the next two and a half months, it would be helpful for our evolution to be aware of whether/how we tend to naturally fall into one of these perspectives or roles. 

Certainly, the period of Mars retrograde in Libra can be a time in which old anger around the balance of power in relationships may arise to be healed, and imbalances in relationships may seek a natural recalibration.  It is a great time to be self-aware, and for us to do work on inner anger (conscious or unconscious), so we de-polarize our patterns of relating to others.  It is a good time to revisit the first Aquarian Sutra: “Recognize that the other person is you.”

What to Do

Yogic suggestions to consider integrating during this 2 ½ month period of Mars retrograde in Libra: 

  • Stress Set for the Adrenals and Kidneys 1  

  • Conquer Inner Anger and Burn It Out 2

  • Ego eradicatorexercise3 (a good exercise to do regularly to balance the ego function within ourselves)

  • Mantra: "Humee Hum, Toomee Toom, Wahe Guru, I am thine in mine myself, Wahe Guru" (a meditation that helps anchor the 1st Aquarian Sutra: Recognize that the other person is you.”) 3

  • Listen to the recording of Yogi Bhajan called “Patience Pays.” 4  (For times of frustration when you feel blocked, crossed, or just drained and frustrated)



1 Kundalini Research Institute. The Aquarian Teacher Level One Yoga Manual. Espanola, NM, 2003.

2 Kundalini Research Institute. Reaching Me In Me. Espanola, NM, 2003.

3 Kundalini Research Institute. The Aquarian Teacher Level One Textbook. Espanola, NM, 2003.

4 Patience Pays by Yogi Bhajan. Available online from Spirit Voyage ( and Ancient Healing Ways (


© Himat Kaur Khalsa,

Balancing Will and Grace

March 2014

understand your karma, energize your dharma

Evolve With Astrology