Happy New Year to us, and to the planet of drive, motivation, and action — aka Mars. On January 6, the Red Planet is leaving its home sign of fiery Aries, where it's been for the past six months, and entering Taurus, where it will reside until March 3. This is a transit that Stephanie Powell, head of content for Astrology.com, is calling "a sigh of relief" — even though Mars doesn't fully thrive in the sign of the bull.
"This is a much-needed energetic shift that will allow us to slow down," Powell tells Refinery29. "Mars wants us to take action, and Taurus likes to take its time." Taurus wins: We'll be pumping the breaks, and the change is definitely welcome. Mars in Aries made us feel impulsive and rushed, and ultimately led to us feeling on edge. Because of this, we may be burned out as we start off the New Year. So this new, relaxed Mars energy, combined with our hope for a brighter 2021, might be the shift we need to get out of our rut and move forward this year.
But like we said: Mars and Taurus are fundamentally at odds. Mars is all about doing, while Taurus is more reliable and careful. That clash has consequences. "We may find that it’s a little more difficult to take action or makes decisions," Powell says. You may feel that the decisions you make during the next few months require some extra planning or thought. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but make sure you're not losing out on valuable time by delaying a decision. Set up a schedule, create to-do lists, and take the steps needed to make effective choices.
Mars also rules our sex drives — and this transit may change the way you communicate with your partner. "Mars in Taurus has a strong sensuality and sexuality," says astrologer Lisa Stardust says. "This placement can be a bit more lazy and passive." On the one hand, that's a good thing. "It means that arguments won’t become major dramas and projects may be slower to start," Stardust says. But you may also feel that your partner isn't giving you enough attention during this time, and you may be more likely to let resentment or anger slowly build up. "Holding on to anger can be a problem with Mars in Venus-ruled Taurus," says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com. "Many would rather try and keep the peace by holding onto things until they reach a boiling point — then they explode." Stardust points out that while Mars in Taurus is slow to anger and passion, when it gets there, things can get pretty wild. Since a blowout fight prob isn't your ideal way to start 2021, be intentional about letting yourself feel emotions during the next few months. Share your feelings as they arise, and think up solutions to resentments before they have a chance to grow.
As Mars moves its way through the sign of the bull, Powell points out that the Planet of Action will face off with Jupiter and Saturn, who both just entered into Aquarius. These placements can bring "frustrations, delays, or even over-exertion," she says. Hale agrees, saying that during these run-ins "stubbornness and inability to bend may be a problem, and we could experience anger and frustration ourselves."
Mars will also form an exact conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on January 20: the Planet of Anger meeting with the Planet of Surprises, Powell notes. "This can be quite a volatile aspect," she says. "In the United States, this also happens to be Inauguration Day. To say there will be tension in the air is an understatement." No surprise there. Powell says that on this day, the energy can manifest in intense ways if we're not patient, so remember to focus on self-care. Give yourself plenty of time and space to take breaks as needed.
Thankfully, things start to lighten up in February, Powell says. "Mars will form gentle aspects with spiritual Neptune and transformative Pluto, asking us to internalise some of the tougher lessons from January," she says. "There will be room to grow from what we experience and the chance to embrace healing, too."
The bottom line: Mars in Taurus offers us a much-needed chance to slow down. And though this transit may bring some challenges, we can get through the next several months with our happiness intact, as long as we remember to be patient, to stay calm, and to allow ourselves to take our time as we start off the brand-new year. After 2020, we're all in need of a breather — the trick is to remind yourself that you deserve one, too.