Mars retrograde is coming! Mars didn't retrograde in 2019, so 2020 comes with a Mars retrograde (it was the same with Venus). Like this year couldn't get any wackier! Make sure you're buckled up for this one, it's sure to be a bumpy ride ;)
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The basics - what is Mars retrograde?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth. It's not actually moving backward, and only looks that way. Mars retrogrades roughly every 2 - 2 1/2 years for about 2 - 2 1/2 months. Mercury retrogrades most often (3-4 times each year for about 3 weeks at a time) while Neptune and Pluto are retrograde for almost as much time as they're not (so much more subtle).
Mars is a personal planet (with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Venus), and personal planets have energy we feel more personally. This makes their retrograde much stronger in our lives. Mars rules our energy and drive, what makes us take action and how we do so. Mars retrograde tends to bring out frustration and annoyance, impulsive behavior and impatience, and we can see a surge in fights.
Mars Retrograde in Aries 2020 Dates:
Mars Retrograde Effects:
Mars retrograde! This Mars retrograde comes to us in Aries, which is the sign that Mars naturally rules, so Mars is at home here. This means we're reeeally going to be hit hard by the Mars/Aries impact for this retrograde. It'll almost be like a pure Mars retrograde impact - lots of fighting, frustration, anger, annoyance, violence, and impatience. We may jump to act in ways that aren't very smart, and feel stuck in other ways where we need to be pushing forward. We may not be clear about what is driving us to act, what our motivations are, and what we want out of it. We have to work on being smarter with our actions and thinking them through. We may need to take action in ways that are new and different, or in ways that we've done before and need to try again.
Energy is likely to be crazy high in some ways, and this can lead to those actions that get us in trouble, that lead to violence and major outbursts, or that lead to accidents and injuries. I am definitely concerned about that with this retrograde! At the same time, we can burn ourselves out pretty easily, especially from anger and frustration. It takes a physical, mental, and emotional toll on you eventually, and you have to take a step back. There's likely some underlying cause that needs to be addressed, so peel back the layers and see what's there.
We also need to be mindful of the urge to win. Aries is a highly competitive sign, and Mars rules Aries, so the desire to "win" may be huge during this retrograde. But that may cause us to not see a way out that's right in front of us, keeping us stuck in problems that we don't need to be, and drive a bigger wedge between us. It can lead to more fighting and frustration. Compromise doesn't have to be a bad thing, and understanding one another doesn't mean we're throwing in the towel. But this may be something we just have a hard time embracing during the retrograde.
There are many complicating factors with this retrograde. We've got a cardinal t-square going for starters, with Mars opposing the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Libra at different points, and all of them squaring (hard aspect, 3 signs away) the Capricorn stellium of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. Aye! Likely super focused on ripping down old structures, the traditional, the status quo; but missing Cancer energy, so we need to come together more personally, be more nurturing and supportive and emotionally understanding, and make sure we're tackling the foundation of the problem and not just cutting off the top. Gotta get at the roots!
To start the retrograde, Mars will be conjunct (aligned with) Black Moon Lilith in Aries, and this can stimulate some major strife. Black Moon Lilith helps us rise up, fight back, defend ourselves, and take a stand, which are good things, but this may go into overdrive with Mars retrograde and lead to some bad choices and actions. Remember, we have to resist being impulsive and impatient and be smarter about how, why, where, and when we take action. You might want to check out the article I wrote for Astrology Answers about the Black Moon Lilith in Aries transit to brush up!
Mars & Mercury Retrogrades:
Mercury will retrograde October 13th - November 3rd in Scorpio and Libra, and this is likely going to bring out even more challenges. Libra opposes Aries (though Mars and Mercury won't oppose) so we're likely to feel out of balance, lack peace and harmony, and refuse to see eye-to-eye. There's a lot of oppositional energy during this period that needs to be addressed in a healthy way, otherwise we're just fighting and not getting anywhere.
Mercury retrograde in Scorpio is also super hard since Mars used to rule Scorpio, and Scorpio likes to dig up major issues, and rules rage and war. So there's so very angry, frustrated, potentially violent energy going on throughout this retrograde that I don't like at all! Try to use the Scorpio energy for positive transformations and deep understanding instead of giving in the rage and the urge for violence.
Mars Retrograde in Aries Aspects:
During the Mars retrograde, Mars will make 7 major aspects to the other planets. They are:
Moons of Mars Retrograde:
Pay special attention to the full moon in Aries on October 1st; it's not conjunct (aligned with) Mars retrograde but is in the same sign, and it is conjunct Chiron (the wounded healer), so there is potential for some physical accidents or violence with that full moon. Also pay attention to the new moon in Libra on October 16th which is widely opposing Mars retrograde and might bring matters to a head between opposing parties. We have to work a lot harder to get on the same page, but compromise may feel like it's not an option as we're just looking past and talking over one another.
The Moon will be in the same sign as the Mars retrograde and the sign Mars rules, Aries, twice: September 30th (10:48PM ET) - October 3rd (11:13AM ET) and October 28th (4:45AM ET) - 30th (5:19PM ET). This brings our emotional energy squarely on the retrograde, and it's extra heightened. We can feel extra off, and have a hard time with focus and understanding. Healthy physical outlets for frustration are important, so long as we're mindful to avoid injury.
Mars retrograde will hit one critical degree, 26 degrees Aries, September 22nd - 27th. Critical degrees are special degrees of critical energy, and we may be extra annoyed, easily provoked, and need to keep busy. Don't give in to the fight!
The retrograde begins at 28 degrees Aries, so those of you Rams born April 15th and later can feel the start of the retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 15 degrees Aries, so those of you Rams born April 2nd - 7th can feel the end of the retrograde most.
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Mars will be retrograding in your own natal chart, and any aspects Mars will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you have Mars retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others.
Suggested Reading: The Mercury, Venus, & Mars Retrogrades page for interpretations for Mars retrograde in the houses and aspects
Anaretic Saturn in Capricorn
Jupiter Conjunct Pluto 2020
Saturn Conjunct Pluto 2020
December 2020 New & Full Moons
November 2020 New & Full Moons
Black Moon Lilith in Taurus: October 2020 - July 2021
Jupiter in Aquarius: December 2020 - May 2021, July - December 2021
Jupiter in Capricorn: December 2019 - December 2020
Saturn in Aquarius: March - July 2020, December 2020 - March 2023
Saturn in Capricorn: December 2017 - March 2020, July - December 2020
Uranus in Taurus: May - November 2018, March 2019 - July 2025, November 2025 - April 2026