Mars Retrograde: Running In The Wrong Direction

Mars retrograde, wrong directionRetrodiction is a useful tool in astrology. It’s the opposite of prediction, i.e. instead of predicting the future you look back to the past and notice what happened when important planetary events took place. This is one of the ways that astrologers bring your chart to life.

So looking back two years to the period from March 1st to May 20th 2014 when Mars was last retrograde in the relationship sign of Libra, I remember that I was working on a project which was not going well.

Mars is a key planet in my own chart because I’m a Sun Scorpio with an Aries Ascendant (in other words, the two signs ruled by Mars, Scorpio & Aries, play major roles in my birth chart narrative).

Last time that Mars was retrograde I wasn’t in charge by any means. Everything I suggested had to be agreed by a third party, a very Libran experience, and I couldn’t get my own needs met. Not surprisingly, I enjoy working for myself with Mars powerful in my chart (self-motivation), plus I like dealing with people direct.

Not being able to do either in this particular project was a real challenge for me and in the end the project folded and I was greatly relieved. That’s not to say I didn’t experience a few weeks of frustration, unable to get my ideas and plans across. It was a steep learning curve and in retrospect I could have heeded the warning signs sooner.

Mars retrograde in Sagittarius & Scorpio

So Mars is now retrograde again, this time from April 17th until June 29th 2016. This could prove to be testing for many of us, especially if you’re an Aries, Scorpio or Sagittarius, but everyone will notice the planet of action on go slow.

Mars retreats through Sagittarius, the sign which rules travel, study, the deeper meaning of life until May 27th when it moves back into Scorpio until June 29th, the sign linked to the psyche and all things hidden and taboo.

How Mars retrograde might play out for you

In astrology, Mars is the warrior and when Mars is strong this symbolises desire, passion, a fighting spirit, physical activity, courage, bravado. Mars wants to get from A to B as swiftly as possible. Direct action is Mars’ domain, fierce and forceful.

So when Mars is on go slow, it can be harder to get going. You might feel demotivated, lacking in energy or you end up running fast, charging into something new but going in the wrong direction. Choose your actions carefully now so you don’t end up beating your head against the proverbial brick wall when things don’t work out.

There can be issues around sex or sexuality when Mars is retrograde because Mars is the lusty hero, ruling the libido. The driving force of Mars taps you into your life force and with Mars now retrograde, you might find that your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.

Mars rules anger and is linked to spontaneity and impulsive moves. You need to access your anger now but in a constructive way. Squashing down your frustration can lead to depression or inertia but be wary too of an out-of-control Mars and volatile, angry behaviour.

Tips on what to do & what not to do

When planets are retrograde, it’s always helpful to review and reflect on your current situation. You might be keen to make new plans to travel or study (Sagittarius) or want to sort out money matters and ties that bind you (Scorpio). Do the groundwork now and be ready to fire your arrows into the air once Mars is back up to speed late June.

Don’t waste your energy unnecessarily and think carefully about what you say Yes to in the next 10 weeks. Look after your body, keep fit but don’t overdo it. Learn to slow down the pace and recognise that patience is a virtue. Avoid angry individuals. Experiment with pulling back and adopt the mantra ‘less is more’.

There are always key lessons to learn when a major planet is retrograde so notice what happens when you’re halted in your efforts or you find you’re on the wrong track. Do you let frustration control you, do you give up easily, do you keep pressing on regardless or do you recognise the signs when you’re out of control or running in the wrong direction?

Mars retrograde will be a bumpy ride for some and you might already have clocked the warning signs (April 17th/April 18th). From today, there are four important planets retrograde or on go slow, Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn and somewhere in your life the brakes will slam on if they haven’t already. It might be worth trying a different tactic if you don’t at first succeed.

Here are the areas of your life where Mars is most active, where you might be ‘at war’ or where frustration kicks in. Read both your Sun sign and your Ascendant sign:

  • Aries: Travel & study; Sex & finances
  • Taurus: Sex & finances; Relationships, 1-to-1’s
  • Gemini: Relationships, 1-to-1’s; Work & health
  • Cancer: Work & health; Creativity, children, love affairs
  • Leo: Creativity, children, love affairs; Home & family
  • Virgo: Home & family; Communication, neighbours, siblings
  • Libra: Communication, neighbours, siblings; Money & values
  • Scorpio: Money & values; Personal goals, image, body
  • Sagittarius: Personal goals, image, body; Retreat, sacrifice
  • Capricorn: Retreat, sacrifice; Friends & group activities
  • Aquarius: Friends & group activities: Career & vocation
  • Pisces: Career & vocation; Travel & study


Mars & Saturn In Tandem

Mars turned retrograde yesterday, April 17th at 8 Sagittarius and turns direct on June 29th at 23 Scorpio. If you have key planets/angles at these degrees, these are hot points in your chart. Right now, Mars (action) and Saturn (taskmaster/discipline) are both in Sagittarius and they remain in tandem for the majority of the next few months.

The turning point comes in August as Saturn turns direct on August 13th at 9 Sagittarius (the same degree at which Mars turned retrograde yesterday) and 11 days later on August 24th, there’s a Mars/Saturn conjunction in the heavens, also at 9 Sagittarius.

This is a gritty combination and perhaps it’s only later this year somewhere between July and September that you regain control or you can start to move forward in the areas where Mars and Saturn have held you back.

If astrology is the art of good timing, then notice where in life you’re coming up against obstacles and maybe try again at a later date. Some projects might be best left by the wayside so you can start to pick up speed and run fast in the right direction later this year.


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