Sunday 12/20 Mars stations retrograde today and blessedly it is a Sunday, which may quell some of it’s societal impact.

You may be hit with a sense of paralysis, as though your ability to carry out goals becomes somehow frozen. It’s best not to push too hard.

Frustration may run high and you may find yourself in arguments or witness sudden outbursts of temper.

Pacing yourself is key. A Venus/Jupiter picture in the late evening suggests the possibility of reconciliation or connection with someone you love.

Mars begins his retrograde cycle at 19 degrees of Leo. More than two months later, Mars returns to direct motion on March 10, 2010 from 0 degrees of Leo. This is over 60 days in early Leo/late Virgo of dynamic “stillness”. Mars symbolizes desire, assertion, aggression, anger and action; in retrograde all of this becomes internal, stalled and measured. Picture a race horse stamping at the gate. Depending on the placement of this retrograde Mars in your personal horoscope will indicate the level of frustration you feel in this cycle.

If you are born with a retrograde Mars, this is your time. You will feel on top of your game and as though you are in flow.

To get a sense of how this Mars retrograde cycle will effect you depends on several factors. Looking at your natal Mars, its sign and house position in your natal chart, and any aspects it makes to other planets. Unless effected by strong aspects, Mars is strongly influenced by the sign it was in when you were born. Whatever house ruled by Aries/Scorpio may also be active; houses determine the area of life that is emphasized by Mars’ influence.

If Mars is strong in your natal chart, you enjoy competing, asserting yourself and your courage. A healthy Mars allows you to express your desires openly, compete with pleasure and express anger directly. When Mars is suppressed or hampered by aspect or sign, you may have difficulty in a competitive environment, because you avoid it or measure yourself harshly or only derive pleasure in beating your opponent without grace. A challenged Mars also may indicate a tendency for depression or inappropriate explosions of anger. When retrograde by transit, Mars can help certain challenges or exacerbate them, depending on your birth horoscope.

If your Mars is well-aspected, the retrograde probably won’t unseat you. You can ride this period by going within on your projects and planning strategies for taking initiative in early spring (March 10 when it goes direct). If however, you’re feeling challenged, especially today with the stationing Mars, consider a way to come to terms with your unexpressed desires.

Mars is the planet of action, desire, courage, the libido and how you assert yourself. If you feel frustrated in any way in those expressions of self, this retrograde period will allow you greater awareness if you’re ready to move energetically. Begin an exercise program you can handle, not one beyond your ability. When someone triggers your anger, try to take a moment to focus on your breath. It is impossible to stay at the same level of anger if you slow down your breath.

Take some time today and jot down what you must accomplish in the next few months. Realize it’s not going to unfold exactly the way you plan, but if you map out your priorities and give yourself an ample timeline, you can minimize stress and create realistic expectations.