On 17 April, Mars will be stationary retrograde. On this day he will begin his apparent backwards movement through Sagittarius and parts of Scorpio.
We know that in mundane astrology, Mars represents the military, war, terror attacks, conflicts, strikes, fire and arson. Due to his apparent retrograde movement, we can assume that we will see a repeat performance of Mars’ actions during his first visit of Scorpio and Sagittarius, earlier this year. On 24 May, for example, Mars will be in 01* Sagittarius, conjunct his position at the last solar eclipse. Around this time, there will be a heightened risk of conflicts or terror attacks. In an earlier post, we established that Mars is also Lord of the Revolution for the USA, pointing towards the ruthless election campaign (-> Aries Ingress of the Sun)
To make things even more difficult and volatile, at the time of retrogradation, Mars will also be conjunct the very important fixed star Antares. Ptolemy made the observation, that the bright stars in the front of the body of Scorpio have an effect similar to that produced by the influence of Mars, and partly to that produced by Saturn.
(NB: On 23 August 2016, Mars AND Saturn will be conjunct Antares!)
This fixed star is one of the four Royal Stars. The three others are Aldebaran, Regulus and Fomalhaut; together they were regarded as the guardians of the sky. At one time these stars marked the Equinoxes and Solstices. Aldebaran was at 0*Aries around 3044 BC, Antares at 0*Libra around 3052 BC, Fomalhaut at 0*Capricorn around 2582 BC, and Regulus was at 0*Cancer around 2345 BC.
Antares, or Alpha Scorpius, is also known as the Heart of the Scorpion. This is due to the fact that the fixed star is located in the middle of the constellation Scorpio. Diana Rosenberg, one of the most knowledgeable fixed star astrologers, knew that Antares had strong connections with the great issues of humankind, especially intolerance, racism and human rights. In their nativities, Julius Caesar, Heinrich Himmler, Winston Churchill and Ayatollah Khomeini had strong Antares placements. History also shows that a prominent, angular Antares in mundane charts indicates extremism, radicalism, acts of terrorism, but also the possibility of natural catastrophes, like earthquakes, storms, or epidemics.
Antares is the determinant star of the 18th lunar mansion, al-Kalb. It is said to cause discord, sedition, conspiracy against princes and mighty ones, and revenge from enemies, but it frees captives and helps edifices. On a personal level, retrograde Mars will bring a reduction of energy levels and new plans or projects will most likely be put on the back burner. Accidents and health problems are likely to affect natives who have Mars retrograde transits to prominent planetary placements in the appropriate house of their birth chart. There is also the possibility that a progressed retrograde Mars at an angle will heighten personal problems.
We also have to take the closeness of Antares into consideration, as astrologer Robson wrote: Antares “causes malevolence, destructiveness, liberality, broad-mindedness, evil presages and danger of fatality and makes its natives rash, ravenous, headstrong and destructive to themselves by their own obstinacy.”
See more Mars related blog posts: