When Mars is in Taurus

Mars, the planet of sex and war, spends an extra-long time in the sign of the bull this year. The cycle of Mars takes him around the Sun every two years and his heavenly journey is punctuated by a six-month retrograde period. In 2005/06, Mars spends this entire retrograde phase in one sign — Taurus — whereas he normally spends just six weeks in each sign. Mars’ presence in Taurus for such a long time will strongly emphasise the traits of Taurus in a very Mars-like way.

When a planet moves through a particular sign it has an especially strong effect on people who were born with planets in that sign; in this case, if your Sun sign is Taurus or your Mars is in Taurus. However, as this Mars-in-Taurus transit sets the astro-climate for the period from July 2005 to February 2006, it has an effect on us all as we go about expressing and asserting our desires, which is what Mars is all about.

Mars entered Taurus on 29 July 2005 and was moving forwards until 1 October. From 1 October to 9 December, Mars is retrograde, appearing to move backwards through the sky. On 9 December, Mars will slowly turn around and start to move forwards again, gradually picking up pace. On 18 February 2006 he will move out of Taurus.

What does Taurus represent?

Taurus is the sign of pleasure and indulgence. Taurus is a Fixed Earth sign, which makes it one of the most in-the-moment signs in the zodiac. Taurus is not in any hurry to get anywhere; he’s quite happy enjoying the pleasures of the space he’s in right now. Taurus is associated with the senses and it’s in this sign more than any other that we seek pleasure and physical enjoyment. Taurus is connected to the delights of the body. In Taurus we like to eat well, drink well, be pampered and have plenty of time for relaxing.

Taurus likes to indulge in the finer things in life and a tendency to overspend is common in those with a strong Taurus influence. In Taurus, material comfort can be confused with emotional support and sometimes one is traded off for the other.

When a planet moves through a sign it takes on the qualities of that sign. When planets move through Taurus they S-L-O-W D-O-W-N, almost to a complete stop. Remember, in Taurus we’re seeking enjoyment and pleasure, which doesn’t happen when we’re rushing around.

Taurus is also known for endurance and persistence. Being an Earth sign, Taurus relies heavily on the senses and practical reasoning. Because of its Fixed nature, Taurus is very stubborn and determined. Resistance is strong and butting heads with Taurus is not likely to get you anything except a sore head! Think of the bull, the animal associated with Taurus. Bulls take a lot of prodding to get them going. However, like the bull, once you’ve irritated Taurus enough you’ll find him charging. Once the bull charges, you’d best get out of the way, because it’s very hard to stop him. When dealing with people who have strong Taurus energy in their birth chart, allow more time and don’t be in a hurry. Pushing a Taurus tends to create more resistance — they are stubborn!


Farming is linked to Taurus and here we have a rhythmical and methodical approach. Taurus moves to its own beat, which tends to be a little slower than that of others. This is because Taurus really has a sense of one step at a time. Like the farmer who in the first year tills the ground, then through the second year grows a preparatory crop and, finally, in the third year plants the crop he had set out to sow, there is no need to rush with Taurus.

Taurus holds the space in the zodiac where we reconnect with our body and senses; where we take time to enjoy physical pleasure and sensations; where we come to understand there is a natural rhythm to growth and movement.

What are the characteristics of Mars?

A key word for Mars is energy. Astrologically, Mars shows where and how we get our energy and he energises whatever sign he is in. He is active and likes to move.

The placement of Mars in your birth chart shows how you go about getting your needs and desires met, how you express anger (or not), what turns you on physically and sexually, what inspires you, what motivates you and what gets you moving.

Mars derives many of his qualities from Ares, the god of war. Key words for Mars include brave, boisterous, selfish and competitive. Mars is a masculine energy and the sign placement of Mars in a woman’s chart often represents the type of man she is attracted to. Mars is driven to survive and is associated with combat — how we prove we are stronger or better than others in some way.

Whatever sign Mars is moving through shows what type of energy is available to us all. Some of us will more easily relate than others to the current movement of Mars in Taurus. The glyph for Mars is a round circle with an arrow pointing out (the same symbol for the male). Mars shows direction and Mars transits can encourage a change in direction or remind us of another area of life we’d like to focus more time and energy on.

Mars in Taurus

Mars’ extended passage through Taurus affects us all as it shows the energetic climate in which we are all trying to get things done. On a personal level, the sign placement of Mars in your birth chart suggests how easy or difficult this energy is for you.

With Mars in Taurus we have a physical, desire-focused planet (Mars) in a slow-moving, pleasure-loving sign (Taurus). There are ways in which Mars in Taurus gels well — the pursuit of desire and through physical connections — and there are ways in which Mars in Taurus doesn’t gel so well — most obviously, when it comes to movement, as Mars is fast and Taurus is slow.

Mars in Taurus commonly brings the desire to pursue pleasure at all costs. The types of pleasure at the top of the list are slow, sensual delights that indulge all the senses. If you’re trying to seduce someone during this period, a home-cooked meal, body massage or slow, hot bath are likely winners. On the flipside, Mars wants action and he wants it now, whereas Taurus enjoys the buildup and derives pleasure from foreplay and the process of progressively easing himself into a new state.

There’s an inner frustration with Mars in Taurus as the desire to move and act impulsively is curbed by Taurus’ let’s-take-it-slow approach. During the extended period of Mars in Taurus, frustrations concerning the development of sexual relations are likely as one partner wants things to move more quickly than the other. As you notice yourself becoming inspired and enthused about new projects (Mars energy) you may run into stumbling blocks that delay you and slow you down (Taurus energy). The will (Mars) is asked to stop, pause and take stock (Taurus). This affects us all. As Mars represents war, while Mars is in Taurus there may be a worldwide slowing down of the energy linked to some of the battles currently raging across the globe.

According to traditional astrological models, Mars is said to be in his detriment in Taurus. Mars is at home in the signs of Aries and Scorpio and is least comfortable in the signs opposite those — Libra and Taurus, respectively. The current extended passage of Mars occurs in a sign where he is out of his comfort zone. Your normal methods of getting motivated, harnessing physical energy and staying inspired may temporarily desert you now. The functions Mars represents (that is, energy, motivation and desire) are just not hitting the mark.

On the other hand, Mars is about physical energy and movement and Taurus is a sign that can endure. Physical feats involving a huge amount of drive and determination are possible now. When the desire strikes, Mars in Taurus creates an astrological climate in which we can fanatically pursue our goals. Mars in Taurus has an innate awareness that success comes through hard work and there’s a willingness now that encourages you to persevere and see things through. Taurus might be slow to get moving, but Mars provides the energy and drive to stoke the fires of passion. Once Taurus is up and running, his charge, like the bull’s, is unstoppable.

With Mars in Taurus be cautious of letting your appetite (for pleasure, security or sex) run away with you. In particular, the energy of Mars in Taurus is associated with entering into a relationship for security over love. Be wary of this if you engage in a cosmic dance of sensuality with another during this period. It’s a beautiful time for coming together to explore physical and emotional pleasure. Mars in Taurus wants at least financial security or physical pleasure; find a way to honour both these needs without compromising one for the other.

As Mars also represents anger, in Taurus this can be a fierce and controlled anger that nothing can stop. Mars in Taurus is slow to temper, however once the pressure has reached boiling point there’s an explosion of force like no other. Physical exercise is one way to diffuse the anger of Mars in Taurus; another is through sensual encounters.

Mars retrograde

Mars moves through Taurus every second year. The 2005/06 transit is notable because Mars spends an extra-long time in Taurus in a retrograde phase. A retrograde movement occurs as the speed of a planet changes in relation to the speed of the Earth. It’s like being on a train pulling into a station while another train moves past you at a faster speed; you feel like you’re moving backwards.

Retrograde phases internalise a planet’s energy, directing the focus inwards. Retrogrades are a time for reflection, not a time for new movement. When planets are retrograde the energy is turned inwards and is often a little frustrated. Imagine moving backwards — frustration builds as you feel you can’t get anything tangible done and you’re likely to become angry at expending all that energy only to achieve no movement whatsoever.

While Mars moves in reverse, irrational acts, outbursts of anger, frustration about lack of movement and delayed progress in intimate relationships are possible. For many of us, it’s likely we’ll experience a sense of moving backwards when it comes to things we really want. Treading water or holding your ground is a good way to move through any retrograde phase.

From one Mars retrograde to another you may notice similar issues appearing in your life. What surfaced as a problem or frustration last time Mars was retrograde may reappear now. When Mars is retrograde in your Sun sign you may experience a three-month period where you seem to lose your inspiration, energy and motivation. Taking time to re-evaluate where you’re heading and what you’re doing is ideal during this time.

Mars retrograde phases 1997-2010

  • 6 February 1997 – 27 April 1997 (Virgo/Libra)
  • 18 March 1999 – 4 June 1999 (Libra/Scorpio)
  • 11 May 2001 – 19 July 2001 (Sagittarius)
  • 29 July 2003 – 27 September 2003 (Pisces)
  • 1 October 2005 – 9 December 2005 (Taurus)
  • 15 November 2007 – 30 January 2008 (Gemini/Cancer)
  • 20 December 2009 – 9 March 2010 (Leo)

Kelly Surtees

Kelly Surtees

With more than 14 years in private practice, Kelly Surtees is experienced, warm and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include career and life direction, health and fertility, love, health and happiness. Kelly is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year.

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