spring equinoxToday the Sun enters Aries (9:57 am Pacific), marking Spring Equinox, when the day and night are equal and the light starts to take ascendance (or, in the Southern Hemisphere, Autumnal Equinox, when the darkness starts to prevail). The start of a new astrological cycle, Spring Equinox is a time for renewing your passion and vitality, clarifying your desires, and initiating a brave new direction.

Not feeling so fired-up, not so clear about what you want? Thinking you may have lost your mojo? The characteristic feistiness of the Sun in Aries is tempered by the placement of Mars – the ruler of Aries and presiding deity of the Spring season. Mars is in Libra, traditionally the sign of his “detriment,” and Retrograde, appearing to travel backwards in the sky. Mars Retro in Libra (March 1 to May 20) suggests that the way forward is not direct and linear, and that it might not be time yet to know exactly what you want or how best to pursue your goals.

Indecision, hesitation, vacillating from one extreme to another – these are potential expressions of Mars Retro in Libra, now amplified by the Sun’s move into Aries. Pay attention to where you feel indecisive, and instead of overriding that feeling by willfully “pushing the river,” or taking action just for the sake of doing something, consider that there are more layers to uncover before you’re ready to take a big leap forward. Retrograde planets push us toward deeper levels of understanding, and in the case of Mars, this means uncovering our authentic desires, passions, motivations. What are you genuinely excited about? What drives you forward?

libraIn Libra, this Mars Retro puts a big focus on relationships. Mars in Libra is ultimately about the core desire for love and connection, and Mars Retro in Libra asks, How do you go about getting the love you want? How’s that working for you? And, what DO you actually want when it comes to love and relationship? We’re asked to reorient toward our primary relationship, the one that determines what all our relationships “out there” are going to look like – our relationship with self. How loving are you toward yourself? How connected do you feel within yourself? How’s that “inner marriage” going – the balance and integration of your Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine?

Libra the Scales is the sign of balance, and part of the Mars Retro in Libra mission is to find the balance between deeply considering the effects of your actions on other people, and caring too much about what other people think and how others see you. Shadow Libra constantly looks to others to see how you’re doing, not trusting (or discounting) your own instincts and desires, looking for cues from other people to tell you what to do, how to act, what you “should” want. High-vibration Libra is about equality – treating others as you would like to be treated, honoring your own needs, desires and individuality while also honoring the other, generating a dynamic of equal exchange between partners, seeing the other as a sacred mirror of the self and owning your projections.

Libra is ruled by Venus, the Divine Feminine, whose placement at the Equinox gives us more insight into how we might work with these Libran Martian themes. After an extended tour through Capricorn, Venus has recently shifted into Aquarius – the sign of radical individuality, truth and freedom. Venus in Aquarius awakens the truth of your own heart, and the feelings of peace, harmony and balance that come from aligning with this truth. Venus in Aquarius is about love as an impersonal force for change in the world, having nothing to do with being nice or pleasing or trying to get other people’s approval.

aquariusThis is the liberated feminine, not bound by society’s rules but following guidance that comes as a direct cosmic download. In the context of Mars Retro in Libra, this could look like overturning and revolutionizing not only society’s rules, but also our own rules about what love and relationship are supposed to look like – rules that have limited our pleasure, freedom and vitality.

Aries, as the first sign of the Zodiac, represents the quality of innocence, like the Fool stepping out into the unknown. At this profound initiatory moment of the Equinox, we can draw on the Aries capacity for seeing our lives and the life of the collective with new eyes, getting a fresh perspective on the places that seem stuck and stagnant. The rebirth invoked by this Spring might be happening on a more internal level, a preparation for what’s to come, but is no less powerful because it’s unseen.

– Emily Trinkaus