Painting: Maxfield Parish "Stars"
Mars rules Aries, the sign of "I Am." As such, Mars is the symbol of knowing who you are and doing something with that person that you are. Not always well and not always all that carefully (no one ever said Mars is about neat, clean and thorough!). But if you need the job done, Mars is the symbol of the determination, gusto and courage to get out there and slay that dragon, unclog that sink or look under the log to see if the noise is really a snake or just a squirrel rustling in some leaves.
Mars is also the primary ruler of Scorpio. Famously about sex, Scorpio is really all about where we test out how our values cause us to choose this, that or the other thing. Taking that risk takes some kind of courage - which applies whether you're investing your money, trusting someone else with your secrets, feelings or savings, or if you're taking your clothes off to do that deed most intimate.
What signs Mars is strong in actually tells us rather a bunch - all of which is probably best begun by giving you a little ol' natural zodiac wheel to see and grok with.
Voila! There would be that wheel.
Now...let's think quarter-past-nursery school. If we only have 100% of any given thing (say, a strength) and we give 75% of that strength to one side, what does that mean for the other?
Right! It's less strong. In astrology, we call these opposite pairs of signs (and houses) 'polarities.' And every sign (and house) have planets which are naturally strong(er) there...and naturally weaker there.
Since we're talking about Mars entering Libra (a sign), we'll just concentrate on that part today...Mars being very, very strong in Aries means it's less strong in Libra.
But is it weak, or is it merely less assertive? Ah! That would be exactly the issue we now get to deal with, my wise little grasshoppers!
Mars in Aries is all about being self possessed and aware of yourself and your capacities. Take that to extremes and you get people who are obnoxiously egotistical and self centered like to make you want to barf.
Mars in Libra can be about capitulation. Then again, it can be the lowering of that 'it's all about me' thing just enough that you can actually hear someone else.
It's all a sense of proportion. If you're someone who has trouble with others saying 'no' to you, Mars in Libra is going to feel like being an undercooked turnip getting a mashing. And let's not just be all one sided (that wouldn't be fair and fair is a totally Libra buzz-word!) ... if you are someone who normally capitulates and doesn't speak up, this transit can be totally demoralizing!
And yet...and yet...the REAL purpose of Mars in Libra is about doing what it takes to promote and find resolutions. Mars in Libra, at its best, is the negotiating a compromise. That means the meek have to step up to the plate and the strong have to stop with the bullying routine.
Mars in whatever sign it transits tends to want to assert. And whatever your natal Mars is, your inclination will be read from there. And again, we can kind of group these inclinations by their polarities:
If you have either a Capricorn or Cancer Mars, you won't much like Mars in Libra because you're going to feel like you're being 'called out' on something or other. If (and to the degree) you can own up to your own hard headed-ness and tendency to impose your point of view or run roughshod over others, you'll do well under Mars in Libra. You may (MAY...) even come out smelling like the proverbial rose.
If your natal chart includes either an Aquarius or Leo Mars, this incoming Mars transit is an opportunity to get a lot done. As things ease up tension-wise you may feel like kicking back and just taking a break - and that's fine too...but you would be missing out on an opportunity which only comes around once every 6-8 months.
If your natal Mars falls in either Pisces or Virgo, your in for some personal confrontation - not with others, but with yourself. You're just coming out of a very intense period and this 'tapering off' of focus may tempt you to relax - except for the bumps. Those bumps and rough patches are meant to keep you in focus, calling your attention to little points which still need fine tuning so you're ready when in a couple of months opportunities burst out like light bursting from the horizon at sunrise.
If you're one of the natal Mars-in-Aries or Libra folks, this is your time to either shine or face the music. Much depends on what you've been up to over the past 6 months or so. This isn't a subtle time no matter what - you can fuss and feud or deal with things productively, taking all things into consideration.
You say you have a natal Mars in Taurus or Scorpio? Given this, Mars in Libra means an adjustment. Mars in Scorpio types are going to be forced to reconsider priorities in all their resplendent, repercussive glory. Mars in Taurus folks face a re-balancing period which though you'd like to think it was about others is really about how well you consider who others really are before making many a choice.
Last (but certainly not least!), for those with Mars in either Gemini or Sagittarius, you also have an opportunity. Gemini Mars people are going to need to focus on interactions with the world around them while Mars in Sagittarius people work on getting where they want to go - the sorting out of choices, and making one, following it through with erstwhile charm.
One other thing...when Mars rolls into Libra on July 29 at 23:47 (GMT), it obviously enters the sign at zero. Whatever your natal Mars is placed at numerically, that tells you pretty much when your personal 'issues' are going to come to the fore. Transit descriptions above hold generally for the whole of the period, but it's also worth breaking this down a little too - decanate by decanate...for reasons you will see as we move along.
July 29 - August 14/Mars at 0 to 9 Libra: This is Libra's physical decanate. The focus is on physicality and what we do to-with-according to others. If your Mars is in any 1st decan of any sign, this you're likely to literally feel (or at least hear about) Mars-in-Libra effects in your world.
The negatives here are a'plenty: retribution, criticism, feeling attacked, ousting, feeling ignored...oh, for some this may be such the trying time! You may feel undervalued, overworked, underpaid...and get into a personal snit about how inconsiderate and domineering others are. How dare they!
And yet...the tough part here is really your ego. Don't blame them - ask yourself why they would be saying such a thing to you. This period exalts Mars in Libra on a personal level: imbalances between parties now are about the right to be who you are and how as people we tend to overstep our bounds in asserting our Mars/ego thing.
August 15 - August 26/Mars at 10 to 19 Libra: The second ten degrees of any sign - it's 2nd decanate - are always emotional. (Yes, even when it's an air sign!) Emotions and verbalization are more emphatic and passionately expressed now than ever - and that may be the reality of it, or merely the fervency of the moment. If you are the proud owner of a 2nd decan Mars in any sign, your emotions are going to get called out now either through provocation or commentary.
How you respond? That would be the crux of the thing so be prepared. You may not need a muzzle, but even without a 2nd decan Mars this is going to be a sufficiently touchy time that it might be best to have picked up your flack jacket from the cleaners before we get this far.
August 27-September 13/Mars in 20-29 Libra: This is Mars in the 3rd and worldly decanate. If your natal Mars is in a 3rd decanate then you tend to do things and there's a general pause before you find out if they work or not, which is genuinely difficult and oftentimes annoying.
I don't want to get all preachy here, but this is your Mars and understanding this pattern should in time teach you to be careful about evading rules, cutting corners and otherwise jumping your own gun. You may hate, loathe and go all flapjacks about taking the long route to anything, but you're probably better off teaching yourself to look, think, and look again before you leap lest you act in haste and repent at discouraging leisure.
In any case, if you do have one those late-in-a-sign natal Mars signatures, this is the time when everything comes to a head in your life. Pressure or need or effort you may have avoided now becomes unavoidable.
And yet...even as I write that, I know there are a few who will dive under a rock rather than deal with situations straight out.
Well okay...but don't be surprised to find someone has come along and dumped a load of concrete on that rock while you were hiding. You want to hide? That's your choice - Mars is always about what we do or don't do. But if you have a late Mars and do your hiding now, be prepared to spend the next two years breaking out of the bunker without the door you've now constructed.
For all those willing to own their Mars in Libra integration and interaction thing...for everyone brave enough to face themselves in the mirror of the audience and get that what we receive is all about what we've put out there...this can be a miraculous time.
Mars in Libra offers us a chance to get where we want to go. It just won't let us hide. It doesn't honor dishonorable behavior. It doesn't reward those who don't give in kind, but merely take because they can.
Mars is always about ego...and now we learn the lesson that sometimes less is more. This isn't about goodness, this is about true mortal humility.
There's a difference!
Mars as seen by the Hubble Telescope - source: NASA