What does retrograde mean, and what does it mean for Mars to enter this phase?
All of the planets in our system go through a period of retrogradation when they appear to move backwards. They aren’t actually moving backwards; it’s an illusion spurred by the slowing of their orbit. As Earth continues its normal pace through the solar system and the retrograding planet slows down, we pass the other planet which gives the illusion of it traveling backwards. When a planet goes retrograde, it ceases to work in its normal way. This means its usual effects on Earth are thrown for a loop, which in turn affects us. All the planets influence life on Earth, so when a planet is in retrograde, it is recommended that you hold off initiating any endeavors or actions which require the retrograding planet’s help. For example, Mercury is the planet of communication, Mars is associated with action and energy, and Venus with love. The various planets have very different orbital paths and speeds so it varies by planet how often we see retrogrades.
Mars only retrogrades once every two years for about 51 – 88 days, while Mercury goes retrograde an average of three times per year. This year Mars will go retrograde on April 17 at nine degrees Sagittarius. He will stay in Sagittarius until May 28th, when he enters Scorpio. On June 29th, Mars will go direct at 23 degrees Scorpio. Over this period Mars will seem to travel in reverse across the night sky. For more in depth information on the astrology of Mars Retrograde, read here.
How will Mars Retrograde affect you?
Mars is the planet of energy, action, vitality, initiative, and stamina. He fuels drive and ambition, giving us the needed fuel to see our endeavors or ideas through to fruition. Thus, when Mars slows down and we pass him by, this influence slows down as well. Mars Retro is not the time for starting new projects, as you may struggle to find the needed zest to keep them going. Carefully laid plans often backfire. Projects undertaken during Mars retrograde often fizzle out early in their conception. You may find yourself tapped out and feeling depleted of energy and vitality. This is nothing to worry about; it’s a normal effect of this period. Those not grounded in themselves and their connection with their Higher Self may experience extreme frustration and anger as nothing ‘seems’ to work out. Seemingly brilliant ideas may lack the needed vitality to carry them through to fruition.
Mars is also the planet of war and aggression, so these behaviors will be on the rise as well. Remember, don’t take anyone else’s behavior personally, even if it seems to be directed at you. Keep your protections up during this time and remember to breathe and keep yourself grounded. Turn within for solitude from what may at times seem to be an overly chaotic world. Don’t start anything if you can help it; not even arguments, and especially not any undertakings you need to be successful. You can carry Tibetan quartz to ward off and absorb the misdirected frustrations of others, or work with a tool like this emerald in black tourmaline matrix for inner wisdom and protection.
The dos of Mars Retrograde
This is a fantastic time to find out what it is that you inwardly desire most in life. Mars rules wants and desires, and while it is not the opportune time to get what you want, it is opportune to go inside to discover what outside goals or items you wish to accomplish or acquire. Misunderstandings may spiral into all out arguments so this is a fantastic time to practice diplomacy and compromise. Don’t allow the frustrations and anger of others spin you off your axis. Take time to assess your current relationships and behavior. Reassess your approach if you find yourself not getting cooperation from others; try being assertive yet diplomatic instead of aggressive and abrasive.
My Restore Toolkit offers the perfect tools to aid you in turning within, to take stock of where you have been and where you intend to go. Assess what changes need to be made to get you there, and begin planning the actions to undertake when retrograde ends. You are the only one who can honestly answer the question ‘What no longer serves you?’ on your evolutionary path. Get ready to move on from these aspects of your life, whether it’s relationships, jobs, or behaviors. Plan your exit route now, so when Mars goes direct you have your plan of action. Dear ones, take time to slow down and be a spectator. Observe yourself and your surroundings. This will set you up for success in the future, as you will have a full knowledge of what you are working with if you take stock and observe your current position honestly. Mars Retro or Direct, I find the best way to move through life is to observe without judgment all things, all situations, and all people. Engage the Observer’s Mind; it is the key to peace.
So it is.