can forget the fiery bursts of energy, activity and negativism as their
two-year-old children struggled to maintain supremacy by screaming and
refusing to cooperate or even negotiate their authority? The toddler is
furious. He rules the world, he pulls the strings and the parents respond.
A toddler’s defiant actions reveal that through the successful integration
of his Mars he has attained a healthy and appropriate desire for the recognition
of his individual will to be.
Mars is the
planet most active in directing the individual will outward and manifesting
it in the physical world. Mars represents our ability to take action on
any level of desire, be it physical, sexual, emotional, mental or spiritual.
Mars leads us to assert ourselves and to act in our own self-interest.
It fuels our desires and drives us toward life and toward experience.
A child is approximately two years old when Mars returns for the first
time to the sign and degree of the horoscope it occupied at the child’s
an infant’s Mars begins at birth with the impulsive action of the infant
and the supportive reaction of the primary caregiver. An infant’s actions
are purely impulsive reactions to the sensations and emotions he is experiencing.
His desires do not exist as thoughts or ideas, but rather as motor behavior.
It is an infant’s instinctive motor behavior that gives evidence of his
an infant’s impulsive actions, fueled by his desires, have rightly gone
uncontested—he was fed when hungry, carried when tired of walking and
easily got his parents’ attention. In time, an infant begins to see this
happen and becomes aware that it is his actions that lead to the attainment
of his desires. Healthy assertive development requires that the two year
old see himself as omnipotent.
Powerlessness to Preeminence: The First Mars Cycle
Eight Months: Transiting Mars has traveled 90 degrees from its birth
position (waxing square). With appropriate care and attention, an infant’s
emotions have been fully integrated and he is ready to begin connecting
emotions to actions. The ability to sit upright, unaided by a caregiver,
frees an infant’s arms and hands while changing his perspective. The infant
begins to act on his own behalf with increased freedom and dexterity by
consciously choosing and grasping any desired object that is within his
limited reach. The ability to independently and purposefully select and
play with one toy after another marks a turning point, and during the
second half of the first year voluntary mobility becomes an option.
to Fourteen Months: Transiting Mars has traveled 180 degrees (opposition)
from its birth position. The surge to become independent and the negativism
that accompanies it begins with walking. As an infant gets to his feet,
he becomes a toddler and the world of independence opens up. By walking,
a toddler begins to realize, “I can leave and I can come back.” “You are
there and I am here.” The ability to purposefully separate from the caregiver
gives rise to ambiguity. “Can I come back?” “What will happen if I do?”
“What do I want?” “How can I get it?” As the toddler becomes increasingly
aware that he is a separate and interactive individual with a will of
his own, he has reached another turning point and the age of willful reciprocity
to Twenty Months: Transiting Mars has traveled 270 degrees (waning
square) from its birth position. With increased mobility and the freedom
to act purposefully on his own behalf, the toddler has developed courage,
and with a new burst of energy begins to demand recognition by asserting
his personal authority. Not yet two years old, the terrible twos have
already begun with the toddler acting out to prove his individuality not
only to others but also to himself.
to Twenty-Six Months: Transiting Mars has traveled 360 degrees (conjunction)
and returned to its birth position for the first time. Having fully integrated
Mars into his developing personality, the toddler is full of it. He knows
“he is,” and though he still requires freedom to discover who he is and
what he is capable of becoming, he must also establish an understanding
that the parent is in charge. The first Mars return marks the end of preeminence
and the beginning of socialization.
Mitigating Factors to Consider
every infant/toddler, through his Mars, will participate in the developmental
process described above, each Mars acts within the context of the individual
life and horoscope, according to its sign placement and aspects. The sign
tells us how the infant/toddler will reach out to gain experience and
the aspects, or angles between Mars and other planets in the birth chart,
reveal areas of the personality that will assist or be obstacles to assertive
transiting Mars will retrograde approximately every two years and two
months. A retrograde* is a perfectly natural cyclic phenomenon
that must also be seen within context. A Mars retrograde occurs when,
from our Earthly vantage point, the planet Mars appears to stand still
and then move backward in the sky. Because of retrograde motion, not every
infant will experience the phases and aspects listed above during the
age range listed.
a retrograde indicates that almost every infant will experience a two-month
period in which there will be more emphasis on assimilating previous initiatives
than on moving forward. While this period of assimilation may slow motor
development for a time, it also enables the infant to move forward in
a more deliberate manner.
development is a cyclic process that is set in motion at birth. From the
moment the umbilical cord is cut and an infant is separated from its mother,
there are ongoing stages of separation and development that have led to
the creation of the healthy and actively selfish two-year old. Crying
for attention, sitting upright, walking and the uncompromising demand
for recognition of his desires are all developmental milestones related
to the first passage of transiting Mars around the infant’s horoscope.
As the infant successfully develops his physical prowess, he gains ever-increasing
independence, learns to assert and win and to identify himself as a separate
and important individual.
additional information on Mars retrograde see Retrograde Planets,
Traversing the Inner Landscape by Erin Sullivan.