Regulars and Shorts

Ask the Astrologer: Mars Retrograde

By Christopher Renstrom

Leo-Virgo combo means making a choice.
by Christopher Renstrom

Will my work with the nonprofit 337 Project be rewarding in 2010? (My birthday is August 22, 1968.)

Yes—depending on what you consider to be rewarding.

For the past few years it looks like you’ve led a double life with one foot in the workaday world and one foot in the your artsy one, and never the twain did meet. But in 2010 the planets will urge you to choose between the two.

Your horoscope is equal parts Leo and Virgo. The Leo side is all for moving ahead with your creative ambitions. The zodiac sign of arts and entertainment, Leo energy champions individual expression. You were born with the courage and audacity to keep pursuing your dreams long after others have thrown in the towel on theirs. Your Virgo side, however, will always ask: Where is this going? Virgo, an earth sign, is more materialistic than Leo. It needs to see tangible results. You don’t expect to get rich (if you did you would never have entered the world of not-for-profit in the first place) but you do expect to have something to show for all your efforts. If you knew that you made a difference both creatively (Leo) and community service-wise (Virgo), then you would be a very happy camper. But only you can decide if you want to take your work with the 337 Project to the next level.

This will all be contingent on how you deal with Mars turning retrograde in Leo from December 2009 through March 2010. Mars is the planet of action and passion. It rises before the Sun in your horoscope and it’s the planet that makes you an advocate for the arts. Yet retrogrades can be very tricky.

“Retro­grade” refers to a backward motion—obviously Mars doesn’t actually reverse direction (if it did, we would all be in a lot of trouble) but that is the way it looks to us. A retrograde is an optical illusion that occurs periodically from Earth’s viewpoint, giving the impression of a planet moving backward against the setting of constellations in the sky. When a planet is retrograde, its energy becomes adversarial. This could create a situation where you have to get more “serious” about your vision, either because your professional obligations are competing with your artistic aspirations or because Mars turns you into a lightning rod of controversy. In any case, Mars energy is all about facing challenges and pushing back when you feel like you’re being pushed into a corner.

This is a fork in the road that people with heavy Leo and Virgo in their horoscopes inevitably face: Do you stick with your day job or do you “go for it”? The only way to find out may be to take the plunge. That’s where Mars energy can be the most useful. Mars in Leo gives you the courage to do the impossible when things look the most improbable and the steely nerve to take the sort of chance that transforms a daring feat into a breakthrough success.

This article was originally published on September 30, 2009.