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Mars is retrograde from the period of April 17th to June 29th. This occurs every two years on average and it is the least common of all the retrogrades.

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When a planet goes retrograde, it appears to be moving backwards from our geocentric (Earth-based) perspective. Technically it is not really going backwards, but it appears that way due to the positioning of the orbiting path of our planet and the retrograde planet.

Retrograde motions represent a process of reworking how we orientate ourselves with the themes and energies of that specific planet. The most noticeable retrogrades are those of Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

Mars: Assertion, Willpower, Courage, Desires, Aggression, and Anger

Mars is a male planet that represents how we ‘take action’ in our lives. It is a driving force associated with our forward momentum in achieving our goals. Mars is also associated with our ‘carnal desires’ therefore during this period we can be making some adjustments with that as well. When it goes retrograde, it is a time for us to go back and make the necessary changes so that we can proceed forward in a much more clear, strong, and functional way.

mars-rxThe events and new circumstances that we have experienced from February 17th – April 17th will play a central role during this period of reworking our own Mars energy. Any new initiatives we have put in place during that time may face challenges and cause frustration during the retrograde period occurring until June 29th.

We need to be aware that it is necessary to reflect on these challenges and respond to them so that we can later proceed into new territory in a more empowered way after June 29th. The retrograde period is usually not a good time to start anything that is completely new, but if we do initiate anything new it can be a major learning experience. In many cases it is a good time to start or revisit an idea that had been conceived prior.

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This period can be more complicated for people who are very assertive and not reflective enough. It could manifest as inner tension. This will especially apply to many people born under the Mars-ruled signs of Aries and Scorpio, as well as others who also have a strong Mars energy (indicated by ones natal astrology chart). Also, most people born between Nov 14th – 30th, May 13th – 30th,  Aug 15th – Sept 1st, or Feb 11th – 27th will also notice its effects more strongly as well.

Alternatively, those born during Mars retrograde (less then 15% of the population) may actually find this period to be more productive for them in comparison to other periods.

It is important to observe the feedback you get from the Universe to get a clue into what changes you need to make in order to empower yourself towards a stronger future.

Mars Starts Retrograde in Sagittarius-Conjunct Antares, then in Scorpio

Mars starts its retrograde motion in the sign of Sagittarius and will also be aligned with the star Antares of the Scorpio constellation. This is a major star as it is one of the brightest that is visible to us here on Earth. It is red in colour and has similar properties to Mars. Antares is associated with intensity and extremes, power and control, as well honours and success. Mars turning retrograde at this point represents the need for us to go back and make the changes we need in order to attain the success indicated by this star.

Sagittarius is about exploration, expansion, experience, perspective, teaching, travel, philosophy, publishing, sales, and marketing. Here, Mars wants to go on an adventure and explore new territory, but before we can venture in this direction, we need to rework the way we embody the Mars energy.

Mars returns into Scorpio on May 27th and for this part of the retrograde period we are gaining new awareness about what needs to be changed in the way we assert power, share values and resources, and express sexuality. Scorpio is also about our fears, losses, secrets, and the darker aspects of our lives. This specific retrograde is an opportunity to reflect and shift how we convey ourselves in these areas.

Pluto in Capricorn also starts retrograde motion around the same time as Mars, which really emphasizes the Scorpio and Antares themes of power and control and the need to rework that to achieve a positive shift in the structures of our lives. This is also indicated by Mars’s conjunction to Saturn following the post-retrograde period in August.

What to Reflect on During Mars Retrograde

Are you asserting yourself appropriately in your life? What are you being shown by the Universe? How are people responding to the way you take action? What do you need to go back to and change in ce-astrology-ad-feb-2016-250x250order to proceed with your goals and aspirations? Which of your past decisions, ideas, or initiatives should you now experimentally proceed with?

These are some examples of what to reflect on during this time. From June 29th – August 22nd we will be able to proceed with the Mars energy in a way that is more confident and reworked based on our experiences from now until then.

Receive future articles by Carmen Di Luccio by clicking here to join his mailing list. Carmen also offers personalized astrology readings/consultations based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information. 


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