Aggressive Mars has been in sharp-eyed Virgo since November 2011, and won't leave this pragmatic sign until July 3, 2012. The warrior planet generally blasts through a sign in seven weeks, but it turned retrograde on Jan. 23 this year, shifting back into forward gear on Friday, April 13. This retrograde period narrows perspectives as we find ourselves taxed with unfinished tasks and grow cold with criticism and over-analysis. On the plus side, details are discovered to help us untangle knots or prepare ourselves for more complex tasks ahead.
We don't get to strut our stuff in comfort when macho Mars is in modest Virgo. Awareness of our flaws is humbling and can tame runaway egos and discourage childish ideas. We may grow more sophisticated in our thinking and discerning in our tastes. We can practically taste the appetizers on "Chopped" and act like we know when one is lacking salt. Some of us are collecting facts and figures to back up our beliefs.
On April 13, Mars begins moving forward at 3 degrees of Virgo, very close to an opposition with Neptune at 2 degrees of Pisces. Mars and Virgo are tight while Neptune and Pisces are loose, making this a powerful time of contrast, tension and potential. Mars' pivot starts giving traction to our actions. Wheels that were spinning during its retrograde period get a better grip on the road, making us more productive. The question is whether these efforts are being expended in a worthy cause.
Mars and Virgo are precise and purposeful but Neptune and Pisces are idealistic and imaginative. When we act with inspiration, their alignment is productive; the angels are on our side. Yet, if we aim too low, frustration may ensue. Time is wasted and energy drained with fatigue from working toward unfulfilling goals. There are, of course, routine tasks that must be done, but don't make them more important than they are. Save the best of yourself for the things that matter most.
Mars and Neptune are an odd couple. They are the warrior and the mystic, motion and contemplation. One is about force and the other is about forgiveness. It is challenging to integrate their energies, yet this near opposition at Mars' April 13 turning point could be a magic moment. It is a time when force aligned with faith can move mountains, a time when compassion in action heals wounds, saves souls and makes beautiful art. Use it wisely.