Mars Return Astrology Part 1


A Mars return occurs when the planet moves through the entire zodiac and returns to the degree it was when you were born. This takes approximately 2 years, so we all have a Mars return quite often in the span of our lifetime. In astrology, Mars represents our assertion, drive, energy, masculine aspects, he’s the gas in our tank. Often he’s put in the box of representing our anger and sexuality. He’s those things too, but as in all things in astrology, he’s much more.

Mars rules the 1st house and is the planetary ruler of Aries. He is also the ancient co-ruler of Scorpio-ruled 8th house with Pluto. He is cardinal fire energy. In tarot Mars is represented by the Emperor (1st house) and the Tower (8th house).  When it comes to Mars return astrology, I tend to focus interpretation mostly through the lens of the 1st house.

The Mars return chart shows where our cardinal energy is, how much is available, as well as potential restrictions, barriers, advantage, and help. It can be a useful planning tool to hone in on where we can focus with greatest ease. The first thing I look at is which house Mars is in. This shows where we have extra reserves of energy. It is a neutral energy at its core, neither positive nor negative. It will always be the same sign and degree as in your birth chart. For example, in my Mars return chart for this cycle, he is in the 11th house. This house is about power in numbers, community, friendships, love received, our hopes and dreams, interacting with large groups, networking, and the power of our individual genius expanding outward. So this means I have focused energy and extra reserves when it comes to this aspect of my life for the next 2 years.

The next thing I consider is the type of house Mars is in.

Angular Houses 1,4,7,10 - These houses are ruled by cardinal signs and indicate growth and activity to start something new, initiating, and powering forward. I think of this as wands energy in the tarot.

Succedent Houses 2,5,8,11 - These houses are ruled by fixed signs. Mars return in these houses speaks of the grind, effort, energy put into something you’ve already started, and rewards reaped in the longer term. I think of as pentacles energy in the tarot, slow and steady, but solid and enduring.

Cadent Houses 3,6,9,12 – Ruled by mutable signs, Mars return in these houses shows that our energy may be spent reevaluating, discarding what isn’t working, refining, letting go, preparing for new beginnings, and surrender. I see this as a combo of cups and sword tarot energy.

The sign and house position of the Sun in the Mars return chart gives clues as to the soul reason for the energetic focus of the Mars position in the chart. The Sun will not always be the same sign as in the natal chart, so a different aspect of your persona may be more active around this Mars issue for this cycle. If there are aspects between Mars and the Sun in the chart, this can hint at the level of comfort your self-identity and ego will experience around the Mars return focus. A sextile or trine shows a harmonious energy flow between the ego and the Mars focus. An opposition or square can indicate a less comfortable situation and call for more patience around the topics covered by the house position of Mars in the chart.

Grab your own Mars Return Chart here and choose "Mars Return" from the drop down menu.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will go over Jupiter in the Mars return chart as well as the cycles within this 2 year period and what they mean for our energy levels and successful planning.


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    Galactic Mystic (Ananda)
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