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devotion & consideration (mars in taurus)

Each Mars ingress tends to recall experiences and motives from two years before as this is the amount of time it takes for this planet to return to each sign. Though I must say, the current transit differs drastically from the last Mars in Taurus transit.


Mars in Taurus 2022


Mars last traversed Taurus from July 5th to August 20th 2022 and saw just about every roadblock and resistance possible from squares to Saturn, Mercury, very close to t-squaring the Full Moon in Aquarius, and completed conjunctions to both the North Node and Uranus. I remember this time in my life as a period of thwarted plans. The universe called for a collective brake check on the fixed planets and houses. Frustrating delays, arguments, and misplaced motivation kept many of us stagnant in the very places we desired movement the most and this was likely for the purpose of a total structural overhaul. Mars in Taurus has a habit of ripping it all up by the roots for the purpose of transferring to a different pot altogether. It's a transit that reminds us of what our true desires are and in 2022, it did this by throwing us situations that did not align with the wants, the needs, and the values of those true desires. As a fixed rising girlie myself, I would not choose to relive that summer but I am grateful for those many delays now. While it wasn't clear then, I can see how beneficial it was to not get what I thought I wanted then. In a way, Mars transits set the tone for the motivations of that house in the two years following; I wouldn't be surprised if any decreases or chokeholds that kept us paralyzed then are showing their full benefit now.


2022's Mars in Taurus transit was a big player in the Saturn in Aquarius / Nodes in Taurus-Scorpio storylines where our resources, livelihoods, systems of support, and literal or psychic debt were all being rearranged and reckoned with. It was likely a difficult time but one absolutely packed with realization about what needed to slow down. That's because 2022's transit preceded Mars retrograde in Gemini and the build to the halfway point in the synodic cycle that began on October 8th 2021 at the Mars cazimi at 15º Libra.


When Mars begins a new cycle, the entire two year period (in this case, October 2021- November 2023) Mars and all its significations (desire, power, motive, anger, passion, wrath, spirit, attack, and craftsmanship) is colored by the sign it starts in. Mars acted as a vehicle for wrath and passion alike to either build up or tear apart Libra's themes of relationships, balance, and justice within this two year cycle. Since the 2021 cazimi occurred in Libra, a Venusian sign and Mars' detriment, we can imagine that Mars transiting Taurus (the other Venusian, detriment sign) would be significant to this particular cycle.


Inconjunctions naturally give us a laundry list of adjustments to be made and that's what I feel was the goal of this planet was in Summer of 2022 as preparation for the retrograde. When Mars turns retrograde, it travels backwards to meet the Sun in a hard opposition indicating a time of profound confrontation of all the tension that has been swirling around internally up until that point and as we've discovered, there was plenty of celestial tension while Mars transited Taurus in the lead up.


To clarify all that has passed: The last Mars cycle (2021-2023) was about refining our relationships, confronting the passive, unnecessarily compliant, and people pleasing parts of us, as well as noticing when a delicate balance became too heavy to maintain. Mars struggles in Venusian signs because Venus rules anything that cannot be forced, only coaxed. Have you ever tried to wake a Taurus in the early hours? Or push a quick decision on Libra? Impatience and applied pressure doesn't typically work with these two, does it? In Venusian signs, Mars has to find a way to express itself differently than it usually would, taking the cues and contorting itself to Venusian etiquette and social convention by manipulating its intrinsic motivations. Like bribing sleepy Taurus with pancakes (worth leaving bed for) or posing the decision to Libra between the ethical and unethical (if you know what their personal rules and principles for motivation are). Very often, we struggle under the detriment transits as it can truly take a lifetime to learn a different way of expression when traveling under resourced and, during this time period in particular, this could've resulted in trying to force things at all the wrong times. In the second half of the two year cycle, post Mars retrograde (January-November 2023), it's likely that an understanding of what went wrong and what could be actively done differently to break out of the old stories such as passivity, breaking our backs for convention, or choosing to partner with a certain archetype over and over, (etc.) emerged.


Life after the Sun-Mars opposition is like going to physical therapy, participating in a series of actions that strengthen how you want to do things in the future but still approaching many of the same challenges and themes that the cazimi brought on in the first place. After Mars retrograde in Gemini in particular, January-November 2023 was likely a time of going back to the basics, relearning, diving deep into the details.


Mars in Taurus 2024 (and some Mars rx foresight)


This transit is so different than the last. No Saturn squares, no nodal conjunctions, none of the squares to planets in Leo actually perfect as Mars will be too far gone, and while this transit is still detriment, it isn't inconjunct the place Mars last cazimi-ed but is instead opposite and therefore able to witness how far we've come in these last 7 months as we are about a fourth of the way through the cycle.


We still have our conjunction to Uranus and now we've added a square to Pluto at the ingression, but instead of the churning tension with Saturn and the inner planets, we're dealing with more long form, unfolding changes than the full stop roadblocks from 2022. We may be facing some inner planet-Saturn tension from our mutable houses, but I have to say (especially for nocturnal charts) Mars is likely to be more productive and restorative than it has been lately– and I say this post Mars-Saturn in Pisces and Mars-Chiron-North Node in Aries conjunctions from April and May.


Something that may become relevant is how much our values have changed since we last saw this transit and how we approach our Taurean sector now that we've seen oh, so many changes since Mars left Taurus in 2022 (hello Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, Nodal axis and final eclipse in Taurus). It is still detriment, right? That means we don't have the same Martian resources that we would like such as power, energy, speed, courage, etc. but we may benefit from this different way of doing things. Mars tells us what it's time to put our energy towards and in a Venusian sign? It's time to put our energy towards receptivity. Do you know how much energy, courage, and passion it requires to be receptive? Taurus knows because it prefers to stay rooted in how things have always been, only true devotion brings receptivity out in such an adamant sign and even so, it takes a long time to draw it out. A receptive Taurus is one that truly values the matter at hand.


Mars will be averse to Jupiter who has newly ingressed Gemini, a planet also in its detriment that could be considered too receptive right now. I mean truly, what an interesting pair of transits, Mars resistant to suggestion and Jupiter open, curious, pumping out all of the suggestions at once. It's like Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss– would you could you in a boat? I could not would not in a boat! It takes an entire book of convincing just to get him to try something that he ultimately ends up loving. Mars must be detriment in Taurus because of the sheer amount of energy Taurus requires (this is a do it right or not at all sign), not because Taurus doesn't have any to spare. More practically, Taurus does rule finances, land, ownership. These are all things that tend to require a lot from us and they are likely to be behind our "why" over these next two months.


Bringing it back to Mars synodic cycles, the last one began on November 17th 2023 at 25º Scorpio where Mars was domicile in one of its most powerful signs. Where we were focused on justice last cycle, we've been on a journey to autonomy and evolution during these last 7 months and it continues until January 2026. Here's what I said about the Mars cazimi and Scorpio last November:


"This is the face of Mars that wrecks, destroys, shatters, and devastates. This face isn't inherently bad either, many things need a bit of destruction in order for reconstruction. It's why Martians excel in positions of power where reorganization and transformation is necessary, be that the surgeon, the politician, the chef, the mother. That transformation may be as serious as removing a tumor or as trivial as breaking an egg yolk, but the process of "breaking down" or "busting open" is in every hidden corner of cyclical existence, it is essential to life itself. These "losses" that Scorpio endures are for its own reconstruction, there is often something misplaced about the desire behind the thing once owned and perhaps it is even that Scorpio thought it could ever "own" it in the first place."


I can't speak for anyone else, but I can confirm that I have been on my own journey of destruction and reconstruction since the cazimi, reorganizing my own relationship to power. What does that look like? Is it soft or loud? What does it feel like? Is it easy to exercise or does it require force? At the core, Scorpio is all about insight. The internal processes that precede the swift action, the battle strategy behind motivated manipulation. For me that has looked like: how can I quiet a room of 28 children? It turns out, the answer is not to yell over them. It requires much less energy to sing a little song or to pretend you have a secret to tell them or to turn the light off to shift their attention. More than that, it's been about using energy in a way that is efficient instead of depleting. There is such a thing as Martian manipulation, it isn't telling a lie or fluffing someone up with words, that's Mercurial. It might instead look like doing something to change or transform the situation to your benefit, a redirection, or a diversion (defined as an activity). Mars has a gift for organizing chaos.


Mars in Taurus will naturally oppose the cazimi by sign and by degree later on in July. I have a feeling that this might be a transit of cringing at our past selves or making sense of the moments of this necessary parting, that's how you know you have been transforming. Taurus represents slow growth, the kind that staves off death. Taurus often wonders if there is enough or if it is enough, there is a natural inclination to worry about what is missing and to overcompensate for it in some way. This is a symbol of its lack of trust, a thing it has to build over time in the unfolding of its own daimon. Taurus fights for things that it is not yet ready for. It might see the value in something and try to keep it in its orbit even if it is not currently aligned with what Taurus needs. It struggles to trust that a particular resource (or person or whatever) will still be available later when it is finally ready.


This contributes to its miserly ways and its inability to properly consider and care for the people, things, and resources it collects. Taurus can be a symbol of objectification. Allowing something alive to sit and wait for Taurus to be ready (not fair) because it is afraid of death and necessary loss. This is why I felt it important to set the tone for this Mars transit: Baby steps (regardless of how obstinate or wobbly you may appear in the process) are what maintain creation; Mars in Taurus represents the devotion and consideration we put into a process, Mars in Scorpio represents the losses necessary when devotion and consideration are not present. This transit is a great time for aligning and exploring what you are devoted to and what you expect others to devote themselves to if they are to be present in your life and process. Don't be afraid to lose now to gain later (and maybe now is later, a natural time of gain, depending on where you are in your own story).


Mars in Taurus answers to Venus who will transit the luminary signs, Venus will ingress Cancer on June 17th and Leo on July 11th. When the lights have the final say, this is about either internal intuition or outward clarity. We often start in the lunar realm with things that we feel or know inwardly about what needs nourishment and when we move into the solar realm, all of these things become externalized to be clearly seen and followed. The unknown becomes the known and guides the way.

It is especially intriguing to see Mars serving the luminaries through Venus as Mars will retrograde between Cancer and Leo at the end of this year. The Mars in Taurus transit is one to pay attention to as it is essentially shadowing Venus, getting a glimpse of what it has to consider for itself later. Mars will go on to Gemini from Taurus on July 21st to finish some important work on our mutable houses before ingressing Cancer on September 4th and beginning the retrograde story that takes us into 2025.


So, consider: What was delayed or halted in 2022? Was there something in particular that you were trying to force then that did not take form? Do you have any regrets or motivations that could be reexamined now? What have you learned about devotion and what would you like to be devoted to this transit? Is there something that, in the past, it wasn't yet time for but that could be enacted now? What is your relationship to "right timing" and what revelations did time bring you between 2022 and 2024? Furthermore, take notice of themes of identity, needs, nourishment, loyalty, and ego arising now as they may become more relevant later in the year.


Your friendly neighborhood astrologer,

Katie

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