Mars Stations Retrograde: Astrology of 9/9 – 9/15

In the last week leading up to this week’s Mars retrograde (which we will be exploring at some depth!), I had a few synchronistic encounters with Mars, which makes me all the more excited to share this forecast with you. I’ve been thinking of this retrograde for months. You can also watch this forecast on YouTube, or keep reading below.

The other night at my desk, I felt a sudden, but soft, understanding of how I’ve already been feeling this retrograde approaching and how the Mars retrograde ceremony has already begun (we have been in pre-shadow). For me it has taken the form of writing in a journal more frequently again and being more honest with myself about fears and impasses that I sense, conflicts that are coming up, outcomes I desire, and being diligent to pray for support – allowing these spaces of the unknown to be openings. As the situations unfold, I watch more graceful outcomes that appear to not be my own, but a collaboration between me and the Universe. I’d asked for divine help.

In this slowing down and contemplating action or course of action, I felt my heart open with the thought of Mars. And I looked up, and right outside my window (through the blinds initially, before this photo was taken) was Mars, red and twinkling.

Then on Saturday night, as I was thinking about this forecast and about Mars specifically. I was walking back to my car specifically thinking about Mars when I passed a man who said to his group of friends, “That one is Mars!” I looked to where he was pointing, and there was Mars so beautifully visible next to the Moon.

(Not an actual photo – Mars would not look this big!)

The reason I have thought about this retrograde so carefully is that for all Mars retrogrades I’ve consciously observed since 2014, I’ve felt Mars retrograde to be a challenging transit. Mars relates to courage and the challenge – so I like a good lay-of-the-land for entering Mars retrograde season so I can be more intentional and self-accurate. I’ve known a fair bit of natal Mars retrograde individuals who are personal trainers or athletic teachers of some kind, and they are so aware of, and able to express, the microscopic aspects of their athletic craft, that they help people level up and have embodied epiphanies. Mars retrograde, as a season, can be a time of becoming more accurate. So in this forecast I’ve detailed some of the tensions that can be up with this transit, but also advice for how to work with the opportunities of this moment.

Welcome back! Or in case this is your first time here, I’m Sabrina Monarch and I’m a soul-centered astrologer. I love providing perspectives on the opportunities of transits and putting into words what the vibe feels like at this moment in time, to support you on your path & open a dialogue between us and the cosmos. If you would like to receive these weekly forecasts to your inbox and be notified of upcoming educational opportunities, sign up for my mailing list here.

Here’s our week after a few announcements:

New episode of Magic of the Spheres!

New episode of Magic of the Spheres! I interviewed Daniela Gil (@danielagillove on IG), an Akashic Records practitioner and practitioner trainer. She opened the records and we discussed the Mars retrograde (Mars stations retrograde September 9) and the transits of Mars square Pluto and Saturn the rest of the 2020. ⁣

We discussed the transmutation of fear, what makes the warrior archetype enlightened, moving through conflict as opportunity, and more – this episode is full of transmissions to support your year and we loved having this conversation! 💕 Tune in where you listen to podcasts! Or on your browser here.

Astrology Reading Bookings FULL: I am booked out for a little bit, but still taking new clients for ongoing mentorship/coaching (6 month – 1 year commitment). If you’re interested in working with me in that capacity, send me an email at sabrina@monarchastrology.com. And make sure you’re on my mailing list if you’d like to be informed of when my books open again!


We’ve just begun the current intensive, but I’m going to announce the dates for the upcoming one sooner than I normally do, so you have time to plan. I’m also going to make the next one friendlier to European time zones. Stay tuned, and make sure you’re on my mailing list to be informed. View the course page here for more information on this amazing learning opportunity.

Here’s our week!

September 9, 2020

Sun in 17 Virgo trine Jupiter retrograde in 17 Capricorn: 9:04 AM PDT

(Image: Minon self portrait, apartment of Kathy Wilhelm)

  • Sun-Jupiter contacts can relate to happiness and feeling boosted confidence. With the two planets in these signs particularly, this boost might come from fulfilling necessary tasks that are not necessarily glamorous, but relate to maintaining a functioning life.
  • Jupiter has some correspondence to Ganesha, and Ganesha helps with clearing obstacles. Inside of necessary chores, to-do list items, and life-maintaining activities may be a surprising reserve of happiness and esteem. Especially when we take on tasks we have been avoiding, we clear a lot of energy in our lives.
  • On the other hand, if our experience is currently dominated with monotony or delayed gratification in the service of loftier and farther out goals, and it is pleasure or leisure we have been putting off – it would be a good time for those activities which support happiness and positive mental health.

Mars stations retrograde in 28 Aries: 3:22 PM PDT

(Image: Kate Moss by Nick Knight 2018)

Mars will square Pluto and Saturn for the rest of the year due to this retrograde (Mars will square Jupiter in Capricorn most of the retrograde as well). Mars stations direct on November 13, 2020 in 15 degrees of Aries, and leaves retrograde shadow on January 2, 2021.

  • Similar to how Venus retrogrades bring in heightened Venusian experiences (of relationship and discord alike) and can relate to journeys of the heart, Mars retrogrades can be journeys of the solar plexus, the personal will, and courage. Mars retrogrades can constellate activating, catalyzing situations where we find ourselves having to choose a course of action, perhaps within an impasse that we’ve not quite experienced before. In the midst of novel conflict or a novel activation, it’s like slow-motion.
  • With Mars in Aries squaring the Capricorn planets, there is a major emphasis on slowing down and sinking into a deeper intentionality with our actions. 
  • What are the differences to you, between inhibition, caution, and wisdom?
  • Impasses are by definition, “A situation in which no progress is possible, especially because of disagreement; a deadlock.” (Oxford) If you look back to previous impasses in your life – often you rerouted course. At worst, it felt like a defeat, and at best there was a paradigm shift that made the original impasse irrelevant and opened up a whole new course that felt more authentic and valuable to you.
  • There is an archetypal tension within this transit between establishment/tradition/‘the old’ and fresh burst of life and instinct. At times, the disagreement is warlike – establishment wants to quell the new, or the new wants to destroy the establishment. At this level of intense disagreement, there is often lack of understanding and even developmental blocks from understanding (what is established is too crystallized to be flexible, and what is new is too immature to understand the full depth of the situation).
  • On the other hand, this archetypal tension can often be fruitful. The new energy comes into maturity within the container of the world that has already been built (established). Sometimes the youth and the elders have immensely respectful relationships to each other and feel enhanced by the other. 
  • These archetypal frictions (between old and new) challenge what is old/established to become more clear about where standing ground is necessary and where flexibility is needed. The long-established energies may be bothered by being challenged so recklessly (as it would appear). 
  • If there are places in our lives where we possess a certain amount of authority or expertise, or we have worked and climbed hard to attain our position, we may find ourselves playing Capricorn/establishment in this dynamic. It could be a social position of power, but it could also be a well-maintained sense of personal integrity. If we are playing Capricorn, Mars is squaring us. 🙂 Rather than being shocked at being challenged, we might come to expect that our position will be challenged. The question is how skillfully and perhaps even playfully we can work with resistance.
  • Be mindful of sparring occurring in your environment between the old and the new, elders and youth, traditional values and rebellion to those values, authority and recklessness, the experienced and the initiates. This is rich, and human. It’s been playing out archetypally for as long as we’ve been organizing in society! You can find it in books, movies, and your own family systems.

(Image: Timothy Von Rueden)

  • This archetypal tension challenges what is new/instinctual/impulsive to find an efficacious course of action that is more responsible and aware than it is impatient or foolish – or to be willing at least to accept the consequences of foolishness, to learn through trial and error and feedback – and perhaps even some developmental necessity to test life and one’s abilities and learn what happens.
  • For lack of a better word, we speak of foolishness. Archetypally, one who is fresh/new and unaware of the path before them is a “fool”. The fool often finds support, luck, as well as ‘lessons’ in life that are the feedback from one’s actions. One at the onset of a new journey has to have some reserve of courage (or naïveté, or a mix of both) to set off. Often this courage is rewarded, and a repetitive or consistent willingness to try new things and get back up is a kind of strength that is represented at the intersection of Aries and Capricorn energy.
  • The fool, the fresh initiate, the new one – these characters may have less experience, but they are also less crystallized in their perception and potentially less jaded by life. The perspective they bring is truly fresh – and it can challenge or invigorate the status quo.
  • These tense dynamics explored above exist within intergenerational discord, conservatism versus progress, as well as within the self’s competing impulses for maintaining the status quo versus breaking it. It is also the self’s competing impulses for new adventure versus staying in the known, and whether we give ourselves permission and support for learning new things or feel to inhibited to do so, or shame ourselves too hard when we make mistakes. Remember that planetary transits occur across people (relationally) but also represents aspects of ourselves. These dynamics can be found in many places.
  • Consider the radical, evolutionary, or revelatory opportunities available when these archetypal tensions collaborate and teach one another more than they war with each other, and what that could look like in your own life.
  • I believe one of the highest expressions of the warrior is the peacemaker – one who understands war and because they truly respect the damage that war causes, they work to create peace instead at every possible opportunity. This an alchemical warrior. When we find more skillful ways of resolving conflict or negotiating agreements, or learning how to opt-out of inner-violence, we support a more peaceful planet. Peace moves. It is a power, and it takes courage and nobility.

September 11, 2020

Sun in 19 Virgo opposite Neptune retrograde in 19 Pisces: 1:26 PM PDT

(Image: Timothy Von Rueden)

  • The Virgo-Pisces axis relates to the connection of heaven and earth, and the magic that we can experience through ‘ordinary life’, and ways we can blur the lines between heaven and earth or magic and reality so that these are not starkly separate realities. It is only the mind (and mental habit) that makes it so!
  • One way this can be done is through accepting and forgiving life as it is, and loosening our grip on needing to make things problems. It is still possible to refine and improve reality from a place of love and acceptance, rather than fear and control.
  • Another way this can be done is through ritual, prayer, or sparkling up mundane daily moments. One of my re-discovered inspirations of late is praying over food and infusing the food with vitality, love, abundance, pleasure, etc, and really feeling those intentions in my heart as I speak them.
  • There is potential for feelings of divine discontent this week with this transit, which can be a signal that more connection is desired. As much as we want life to do something for us or to impress us in some way, we also have to create our own magic, and this can be done in small basic moments with a little intention and heart. I offer a prayer for re-enchantment 🙂

September 12, 2020

Jupiter stations direct in 17 Capricorn: 5:41 PM PDT

  • There can be a gravity, seriousness in the air, or personal and collective sense of doubt/pessimism/uncertainty. An invitation to be mindful to not believe these feelings at face value. It runs the risk of unchecked, half-baked philosophy. 😉 Reality does not just belong to the pessimists who “see it how it is”. Pessimism is a highly exaggerated and tinted perspective, and like any focus, it magnetizes its own evidence and validation.
  • Jupiter works magic with exaggeration – it is often a full expression of an emotion that helps move the energy. When we make space for our grief, it heals us. If we feel an inflated, extreme sense of depression, we could be on the precipice of a breakthrough. If we have a more dramatic emotional mood, what would it mean to not believe it but to ask what its ceremony is? To indulge in the ceremony of it, and then move on?

September 14, 2020

Sun in 22 Virgo trine Pluto retrograde in 22 Capricorn: 4:09 PM PDT

September 15, 2020

Venus in 10 Leo square Uranus retrograde in 10 Taurus: 8:29 AM PDT

(Image: Ira Carter)

  • While many of this week’s transits have more of a sobering energy (Capricorn planets involved), this is party energy. Venus-Uranus puts us in touch with a desire to connect with new people or to connect in new ways, to experiment with fashion/appearance, or more psychospiritually – how to uplevel our relationships and break through stagnant patterns that we have in love and friendship.
  • There may also be some activation here around self-sourcing confidence – finding that power from within and seeing how that often ends up magnetizing external validation – but it was internally generated.
  • The freedom to be confident, the freedom to feel luxurious and beautiful, the liberation of feeling worthy – are up this week as themes. We hold beliefs of what we need to feel these ways – but some of these needs are things we don’t ‘have’, so we set ourselves up to sit just outside of Paradise, on the outside looking in, “if only I had [the money, the looks, the partner, the house, etc]”. There has to be another way, no? A way to feel beautiful, luxurious, or wealthy unconditionally? This week may ask us to loosen our grip on our preconceived conditions of how we are allowed to feel these ways, and to discover some more inherent inner worthiness that we can radiate through our being, instead of needing to get it from the outside.

Thank you for meditating on the planets with me this week! If you would like further guidance, I have been increasingly focused on longer-term 1:1 work with my students and clients, in the form of mentorship – helping people form a depth relationship to their natal chart and personal transits over time, to develop themselves, to heal, and to reach their goals, all through the soul-making lens of evolutionary astrology. If you’re interested in working together in that capacity, I am currently accepting new clients. Send me an email at sabrina@monarchastrology.com to start a conversation and set up a free consultation call.

Find me on Instagram @sabrinamonarch and Twitter @Sabrina_monarch, get on my mailing list to stay apprised of all upcoming offerings and events, and I’ll see you next week!

With love,

Sabrina Monarch

(YouTube thumbnail photograph taken by @hersoulwrites)

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  • Reply
    September 9, 2020 at 2:56 am

    This couldn’t be more perfectly what I needed to read. I have natal Mars retrograde in Aries and my birthday is November 14. Your words capture, describe and present what I’ve been feeling and sensing leading up to this Mars retro/transit. The timing too. I just happened to read this article not knowing the retrograde started today … It’s so many personal confirmations in a beautiful essay. Thank you, thank you, thank you Sabrina.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      wonderful!! (just seeing this now) <3

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