The basics: A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth. It isn’t actually moving backward, it just appears that way because of the way the planets move in relation to one another. Mars retrograde once every 2 years or so for about 2 ½ months at a time. The last Mars retrograde we had was in early 2014.
And so Mars madness begins!!! And Mars madness, unlike Mercury madness (aka Mercury retrograde) has the capability to *really* make us mad. Scalding hot, fiery balls of flames, rip the world to shreds MAD! Mars rules assertiveness, on the positive side, which on the negative side means aggression, and we tend to get a LOT of that during Mars retrograde. Everyone is on edge and ready to snap if you just look at them funny. Or just look at them period. Or just exist.
We usually see an increase in violence when Mars is retrograde, and we all need to work on getting a grip on our anger. The more locked up anger, rage, hatred, hostility, and frustrations you have, the more likely you are to snap during Mars retrograde. The solution? Don’t bottle things up! That’s rarely a good thing, and Mars retrograde serves to uncork us when we’ve refused to uncork ourselves. (an aside, when you see or hear the word “cork”, how many of you think of that SNL skit with Janet Jackson from back in the day?)
Anywho, Mars retrograde begins on April 17th at 8:14AM ET in Sagittarius, so Sagittarius-related stuff gets the brunt of the madness at the start of the retrograde. Sagittarius is a travel sign, so we can see more accidents, especially involving planes (Sagittarius rules air travel). We can also see things disrupting travel (like weather events), or some sort of scandal involving the travel industry. Sagittarius is one of the communication signs, so we can have a harder time with communication, especially when it comes to big ideas, big promises, big talk. Talking the talk, but not walking the walk? That seems quite big right now, especially in the U.S. (not naming names, just pointing fingers, since you can’t see my fingers). Sagittarius is a fire sign, which ain’t so good with Mars, the fiery planet, so we’re extra fiery. Sagittarius tries to look at the bright side, but we may be unrealistic about it, and when things don’t turn out roses, we can lose it in a big way.
We may find that we’re constantly at odds over our beliefs as well, since Sagittarius is a ruler of beliefs (Taurus rules our values, Pisces rules our spiritual beliefs, Sagittarius rules religious beliefs). Soo this probably won’t be so great of a time for terrorism. Though since the world has stunk bad at fighting terrorism, maybe that’ll reverse and it’ll go better? Let’s do that Sagittarius looking-at-the-bright-side thing!
Honesty is ruled by Sagittarius, and while it’s usually the best policy, it may cause a lot of fighting during Mars retrograde. Conversely, we can finally see the truth revealed while Mars is retrograde in Sagittarius with some things we’ve felt we haven’t been told the truth about. But will we be happy with the truth when it’s out?
And Sagittarius rules the law, so we can also see some big legal developments at this time. I’ve been worried about the Supreme Court getting by missing one justice, and I wonder how this retrograde may impact the nominee, Merrick Garland (who officially has one of my new favorite names, it sounds like he‘s a wizard). It all falls apart, or comes together?
Mars in Sagittarius will play right into the mutable t-square we have going on right now with Jupiter in mutable sign Virgo opposite Neptune in mutable sign Pisces and both square (hard aspect, 3 signs away) Saturn in mutable sign Sagittarius. Mars will be joining Saturn in Sagittarius, who is the squared planet and gets all of the energy funneled to it in a t-square.
Add in Mars retrograde, and that energy is going to be so riled up! We all need to be more mindful, more careful, more considerate, more measured, more practical. This energy will be strongest at the onset of the retrograde since it begins square Neptune (and we’re extra delusional at the onset too).
Mars does not spend his entire retrograde in Sagittarius. On May 27th at 9:51AM ET, Mars will retrograde backward into water sign Scorpio. If you think we’re mad with Mars in Sagittarius, just wait until Mars in Scorpio! Scorpio used to be ruled by Mars before Pluto came along, and is a darker side of Mars. Scorpio rules rage, hatred, jealousy, revenge.
Now, we won’t have to deal with Mars heating up the mutable t-square anymore, which is very good, but anger is still a big, big problem. This will likely especially be the case right around when Mars goes into Scorpio since he’ll be anaretic, at the very last degree of Scorpio, which is a highly charged position. Whenever a planet retrogrades over the anaretic degree, bad things tend to happen, so I would watch for a triggered event around then.
A couple things Scorpio rules that can be impacted while Mars is retrograde in Scorpio: transformations (includes sex - a sex scandal? - and death - an important person dies? - and pregnancy), other people’s money (taxes, debts, loans, inheritances, joint finances, stocks - perhaps some sort of stock meltdown or financial crisis somewhere)
Mars retrograde will end June 29th at 7:38PM in Scorpio. The end may be a bit wonky with Mars quincunx (hard aspect) Uranus in Aries, the sign naturally ruled by Mars. Quincunxes are erratic energy, Uranus is changeable, so it might seem like a lot of stuff is going haywire or is difficult to get a grip on.
Mars retrograde starts at 8 degrees Sagittarius, which is close to the 9 degrees Sagittarius Saturn retrograde will end at in August, so if you have anything in your chart getting hit at the start of Mars retrograde, it’ll be hit again in August (and if it’s a mutable sign, it’ll also be hit by the solar eclipse September 1st). Mars retrograde ends at 23 degrees Scorpio, and the April/May Mercury retrograde starts at 23 degrees Taurus, the sign opposite, so these also stimulate the same parts of your chart. A lot of repetition going on!
Check the house(s) Mars will retrograde in your chart and any aspects he’ll make so you can understand how the retrograde will impact you.
If you have Mars retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may be exempt from the worst. This tends to protect you because the energy is more natural to you, and you can feel more comfortable with the retrograde energy, especially if you were born with it. You can still have problems though, because not everyone around you has this, so difficulties can be brought on by others.
Suggested Reading: The Mercury, Venus, and Mars retrogrades page for general interpretations