To prepare for the big year of progressions that I have in 2022, I’ve been looking back at my earlier experiences to get a feel for how it works. Last time we explored some of the changes that happen with progressed Venus, and in this post, we’ll look at Mars. For an overview of secondary progressions, see the first post here.
When Mars progresses into a new sign it means your energy and how you go about doing things subtly changes to incorporate more of the new sign’s approach. My Leo Mars in the 7th house progressed into Virgo when I was 5 years old. This is way too early for me to remember anything specific, but we can make some educated guesses.
With a Leo Mars progressed into Virgo you may focus more on work and doing things well, becoming more conscientious and perfectionist in your approach. You may also have more nervous energy and find it hard to relax.
This reinforces my Virgo Sun and underscores my tendency to be highly strung and easily jangled by other people’s energy. It coincides with when I started going to school so my energy was channelled into lots of diligent learning. Perhaps this progression increased my anxiety and added fuel to my overactive mind, but also my desire to do things well.
By the time I was 9, Mars had progressed to conjunct my south node in Virgo. With progressed Mars conjunct the south node you may lack energy which could cause problems with your health. You may find it hard to get things done, or suffer from accidents, conflicts and fights, and lost opportunities for action.
This progression coincides with when I was at school and starting to get into music in a big way (see Venus post). I was quite accident prone at this age, and was always falling over in the playground – my knees have scars from the rough asphalt. There was also the moment when I tripped in the toilets and hit my face against a door and ended up with a blackeye and stye.
I could be wrong about the timing of these events and my clumsiness at that age might have been down to growth spurts. I do have a report card from a ballet exam dated to this year, which says:
“Generally well placed legs and a good use of feet.”
So I guess I wasn’t always falling over! 🤣
Mars progressed to conjunct my Sun when I was 14. With progressed Mars conjunct natal Sun you have greater energy and confidence, and are more willing to be yourself and assert yourself in situations. During this time I was at high school and doing lots of music, playing in various orchestras and going on tours to Europe (see Venus post). Music gave me the confidence to express myself and be me, although I had no idea who I was at the time!
Through all this, my energy was focused on the 7th house area of relationships, but then Mars progressed into my 8th house when I was 37 and that slowly began to change. With progressed Mars in the 8th house your energy and will are transformed and you can express them in powerful and direct ways. You may have an intense desire to succeed and will dig deep to get what you want, but what you want will also be transformed.
As this progression began I was doing a lot of screenwriting and putting a huge amount of energy into learning the craft (progressed Mars in Virgo). This led to success when I won a screenwriting competition in 2008 when progressed Mercury returned to conjunct natal Mercury. I was determined to become a better writer and planned to take it as far as I could. It didn’t work out that way, for various reasons, but largely to do with my health breaking down in my early 40s (see progressed Venus opposite Saturn).
Looking back, I can see that early on, this progression was telling me to transform my whole approach. My energy was being undermined by bad habits but I didn’t notice until it was too late. Progressed Mars will be in my 8th house until the day I die – it reaches the 9th house when I’m 107! – so maybe by then I’ll have figured it out.
I received a massive prod in that direction when Mars progressed to conjunct my Pluto in 2016. Progressed Mars conjunct natal Pluto increases your willpower and drive to succeed, and you can accomplish a huge amount if you channel the intensity positively. It indicates a need to transform your will and how you use your energy.
When I saw this progression coming, I planned to use the energy to get loads of writing done. I was trying to finish my novel The Shining Ones at the same time as writing Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers. But my health was suffering after a bad flare up that had stopped me from doing anything at all – see What I Learned about Joy on the Sofa.
By the end of 2016 my will had been stripped right down and I was burnt out. I was still able to finish the books, but only by surrendering to the process and letting the writing do itself – I barely knew what I was doing half the time! The slow grind gradually deepened into a dark night of the soul which forced me to completely rethink all my goals and desires, aided and abetted by Pluto transiting my 12th house.
I clawed my way back into the light ready for progressed Mars to conjunct my Mercury in 2019. Progressed Mars conjunct natal Mercury increases your mental energy, giving you lots of ideas and a greater need to communicate. It might make you more talkative or argumentative, with a tendency to talk over people and not listen.
This progression blasted through the dark night doldrums and helped me to get a lot of writing done for this website. But later that year, I broke my wrist in a nasty fall which forced me to slow down again briefly – see A Fateful Encounter and an Unscheduled Pause. The accident happened when transiting Mars was conjunct my south node – perhaps a mirror of my earlier accident at school, although this time I didn’t end up with a blackeye, only a bust lip and wrist.
This year my progressed Mars will enter Libra. With progressed Mars in Libra your energy is more focused on relationships and finding balance and harmony with others. You may work well with others and be more willing to compromise and find common ground. This reinforces my natal placement of Mars in the 7th house, but since it’s in Leo, compromise isn’t exactly high on my agenda!
Perhaps that will change in the coming years, although the next stop for progressed Mars is my Uranus (in my early 60s). In the meantime, this progression is supported by progressed Mercury conjunct my natal Venus in Libra, and progressed Venus stationing retrograde. It’ll be interesting to watch how my energy changes and whether I start to feel a little more agreeable. Maybe I’ll find it easier to relax as it moves out of Virgo into a more harmonious environment – we shall see…