Kuja (Mars) is the graha that signifies our efforts to find security in a world that is often fraught with danger, upheaval and loss. In relation to our view from Earth, Kuja will become completely stationary (vikal) from Jan. 23-25, after which it will retrograde (vakra) from Jan. 25 until April 15 (tax day :)). When a graha is stationary it is the strongest, and when retrograde it is also very strong. Kuja’s manifestations can be “good” and/or “bad” depending on its placement and various aspects in the natal, mundane and transit horoscopes.
Kuja represents the inner fire generated through the Manipura Chakra, the “Lustrous Gem” or Third Chakra. This vital force allows us to overcome inner and outer obstacles so that we can manifest our goals. Kuja also signifies the precision, logic and courage we have to muster in order to flourish in life. According to the late Swami Sri Yukteswar, “Firmness of moral courage when attained removes all the obstacles in the way of salvation. These obstacles are of eight sorts, viz., hatred, shame, fear, grief, condemnation, race distinction, pride of pedigree, and a narrow sense of respectability, which are the meannesses of the human heart.”
Transiting in the sign of a friend (sidereal Leo) as it will be until June 21, the upcoming retrograde Mars cycle offers the opportunity to strengthen personal valor and cultivate a massive amount of creative energy, but also there can be the potential for impatience, aggression, conflict, and frustration unless we can remain firmly centered in the heart (Leo).
Kuja is often represented as Kshitinandana, which as far as I know translates as the “Delightful Son of the Earth,” or “Rejoicing Earth-born Son,” as he was born of the sky (Shiva) and the Earth (Bhumi). Thus, I believe that his archetypal power bridges spirit and matter. In other words, according to astrologer Bepin Behari, Mars is engaged in “articulating the inner potential on the outer surface of life” (Myths and Symbols of Vedic Astrology, p 81). During the Mars in Leo retrograde cycle, I encourage you to invoke your inner warrior and slay the mind demons that prevent you from living your full glory. Om Namaha Shivaya!