“Relationship means something complete, finished, closed. Love is never a relationship; love is relating. It is always a river, flowing, unending. Love knows no full stop; the honeymoon begins but never ends.” -Osho
When discussing the difference between relationships vs. relating, Osho explains that the word relationship is a noun, and so by its very nature something static. Relate on the other hand is a verb, hence, something that requires action. It’s a great example of elementary grammar leading to an intense discussion of love.
What better time to discuss this difference then when Mars, the planet of will, slows down (from the view of us here on Earth), stations, and then moves retrograde through the quintessential sign of relationships (or relating)—Libra.
Mars is not generally observed to be its most comfortable in Libra. Mars relates to independence, Libra to involvement with others, so there’s a lot to pay attention to in the next few months that one should consider whether relationshipping or relating in life.
When a planet is in retrograde motion it’s an inversion or counterpoint to its usual function. Mars retrograde may create an inner a resistance, like wheels spinning under a car stuck in mud. My sense is that if you’re feeling like this, particularly with the people you’re most intimately involved with, it may be your inner zodiac suggesting that you’re taking people for granted: you’re treating them like nouns, not verbs.
It’s easy in partnerships to do this. It’s easy to think that you know your friend, lover, teacher, or business partner so well that there’s nothing else to learn. Heck, it’s easy to think that you know yourself so well. You may be treating yourself like a noun!
One of the many things that Mars retrograde in Libra may be suggesting is to tune into how you’re balancing your will to relate with your need for independence and growth. In an ideal situation, neither you nor your partner will be considered so complete so as to become an artifact, a picture on a bookshelf occasionally admired and remembered. Instead, your loves and intimacies will be in a constant state of interest, mobility, and curiosity.
The moment that Mars stations (stops it’s apparent forward movement) it will have just passed through a square with Venus in Capricorn where the need to relate is administered dutifully and seriously; this question of relating vs relationshipping is significantly highlighted. A square represents an inner tension, a learning moment, so there’s an opportunity for all of us to take deep, thoughtful reflection on where this tension may be in our lives.
How it manifests depends on the house placement in your birth chart. Consult an astrologer for an internal weather report.