After its transit through flirty and playful Gemini, Mars, which governs how we take action and go after our desires, is making its way over into emotional, loyal Cancer on April 23. This placement will put us on the defensive: We may feel more compelled to protect ourselves, protect others, and reach for things that truly make us feel safe.
Fiery Mars isn't actually super-comfortable in the sign of Cancer, where it resides until June 11. That's not necessarily a bad thing, according to Madi Murphy, astrologer and founder of The Cosmic Revolution. "Some say Mars has a difficult time in Cancer because Mars is all about fast-acting decision making and Cancer tends to be more nurturing, passive, and a total homebody. However, I disagree," Murphy says. "While Mars may move slower as it wades through the Cancerian waters, we get to feel a different type of heat." Mars in Cancer can bring up a kind of strong-willed, protective "mama bear energy," Murphy says. As such, this transit often creates an opportunity to strengthen our connection with our family and our homes as a whole.
We should channel these protective vibes inward first, and ensure our home base is in order. Take that advice figuratively and literally: Connect with your closest loved ones, but also clean out clutter so your space feels fresh, comfortable, and nourishing.
We'll want a peaceful space, because this isn't the calmest transit. "Expect emotions and feelings to run higher than normal while Mars transits through Cancer. You may feel on top of the world one day, and then down in the dumps the next," says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com. This is because the sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon, and "the moon changes signs and moods every 24 hours," Hale points out. "Our energy and action will be attached to the lunar cycles during this period."
Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck, notes that this transit is a good time to practice asserting our needs and asking for what we need in order to feel secure. During this transit, "when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones, we will act out," she warns. "Passions will be momentary but will run deep when they’re felt." That said, this isn't a selfish energy — it's just self-protective.
One of Cancer's primary traits is empathy and sensitivity, which can also make us vulnerable to a blow-up, adds Valerie Mesa, astrologer and daily love horoscope writer for Astrology.com. Our desire to keep ourselves safe can make us suppress or ignore our emotions, but that can lead to passive aggression or even outbursts. It's important to let yourself feel your feelings during this transit, and find a safe way to release them.
One suggestion: Take advantage of the domestic side of Cancer. Dive into those DIY home improvement projects you've been seeing on social media over the past year. "We suddenly have more energy for house repairs, family outings, intricate recipes, and more importantly, protecting our safe haven," Mesa says. This sort of work can help you burn off some energy and think through any emotions that come up during this transit.
Even if you're not normally a homebody, Mars moving through Cancer may bring out that side of you. Sure, many of us have been hoping to get outside a little more right now, as the weather gets nicer and more people get fully vaccinated, but don't fight your nesting instinct. Ensuring that you're feeling protected and comfortable, especially at home, will pay huge dividends in your peace of mind.