Mars, planet of drive and assertiveness, enters Bharani nakshatra in the zodiacal sign of Aries on January 22nd until February 15th.

Mars is fiery and powerful by sign, and in Bharani shows a struggle for achievements and ambition, giving birth to your new plans on the way to success. Despite its familiar macho Aries energy, Bharani means ‘she who bears’, and its symbol of a vulva has a lot to do with giving birth – either literally, as in bearing children, or hatching creative ideas.

Likewise, there is a motherly strength and protectiveness to this nakshatra, with a flair for catering and hospitality, and you may be looking after people or taking a maternal role in a job or business. Bharani’s ruler is Yama, Lord of Death, which affirms its transformational energy – you may have to let one project go before starting on another, or achieving goals gives you a feeling of purification and release from attachment.

This can apply in your relationships, so try to give your partners space and time to move without making your affections constricting or overwhelming. Mars naturally gives strength and assertiveness, you are bold and direct in your actions, and Bharani itself lends added determination and willpower.

The Shakti, or unique gift, of this asterism is the Power to Carry Things Away, which applies in the sense of a soul journey, or where a factor or person is removed from your life. Bearing the initial sting of separation is a character-building experience, though Mars’s energy is strong and soon has you on your feet again and back in the game.

Still, the very impulsiveness of Mars may see you getting ‘carried away’, either in anger or enthusiasm, and your challenge is to find the right balance. This transit also coincides with Mercury retrograde from the end of January, so be careful of leaping in too quickly in any situation.

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