Mars in Capricorn: Mar 17 – May 15
Mars in Aquarius: May 15 – June 26
Mars Retrograde in Aquarius: June 26 – Aug 12
Mars Retrograde in Capricorn: Aug 12 – 27
Mars in Capricorn: Aug 27 – Sep 10
Mars in Aquarius: Sep 10 – Nov 15
Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is entirely an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.
Mars turns retrograde once every two years for about two months. We last experienced Mars Retrograde from Apr 17 – June 29, 2016. This next retrograde falls first in earthen Capricorn, then airy Aquarius. Mars enters Aquarius on May 15. The retrograde period begins June 26, but we will start to feel the effects of this cycle as soon as May 12. Mars Retrograde ends Aug 27 in the constellation of Capricorn. We will feel back to normal about a month after Mars has re-entered Aquarius, around Oct 8. Mars will then continue to hang out in Aquarius until Nov 15 before finally resting his bones in Pisces.
Lots of information, but I’ll break it down for you. First – Mars in Capricorn, and what the first two months of spring hold for us, and how this will be revisited in August for two weeks when Mars retrogrades all the way back to Capricorn. With Mars in Capricorn, there is a strong compulsion to be productive. Capricorn is associated with work, structure, foundation, direction, utility and application. He takes everything very seriously. We will gravitate towards a routine, a set framework. I visualize Capricorn as a punctilious office; a functional government; a family farm; a stern grandfather; a prodigious workforce. Likely topics of conversation will involve work, finance or organization.
Pay very close attention to what goes on around you at work. Watch for rancorous power struggles. Think back to Sep-Nov 2016, when Mars last transited Capricorn. At this time I was in a brand new work situation, beginning to notice cracks and fissures in what was ostensibly a happy place. It didn’t end well, but maybe it would have, had I listened more closely to the sea goat’s wizened voice creaking from the tree hollow. No matter what happens, work-related issues that initially surface in the spring will be resolved or at least revisited in August.
Capricorn is a stoic observer. His mantra: I use, like the body as it climbs and sweats, puffing dusky chill. The sea goat belongs to the earth element, and he can certainly be heavy and resistant. With Mars in Capricorn, we may feel stuck, lethargic. Rigidity steals flexibility from the soul-joints. As this happens, the ego pressurizes the spirit, demanding more, and the tired spirit falls into deep trenches of self-criticism and stress. Forget the head trip, curl up with a good book and sink into your bones. Chopping wood is an excellent way to channel Mars in Capricorn. I recommend eating light meals, going to sleep early and exercising upon waking.
Let’s talk about Mars in Aquarius, where most of the retrograde will take place. Mars in Aquarius is comparably light and unemotional, at once a social butterfly and a diehard individualist: brilliant, forthright and defiant. We will have the opportunity to approach emotionally-charged issues with a calm, cool mind. In remaining detached, we free ourselves from anger and sadness.
The Aquarian retrograde will expand and rearrange our social circles. Aquarius sources energy from the collective. Ironically, we will demand total independence. You may intentionally shock others with unusual or outlandish behavior. Aquarius is (often) the most erratic, unorganized brother in the zodiac. His mind and tongue are way ahead of his body. We must make a concerted effort to stay focused. Mars in Aquarius can also be lazy, but it’s certainly not energy he lacks – he just doesn’t want to do anything.
The purpose of Mars Retrograde is emotional and spiritual cleansing via bodily channels. Mars Retrograde means serious physical recalibration. Diet, sleep, exercise, health and wellness, meditation, yoga, weight – all of these and more may be thrown off. We must digest all of these changes and maintain a healthy routine. Lingering imbalances in the body will demand to be known. Anything that has not been properly healed will unearth itself so ferociously that you will be forced to finally address it, and perhaps more importantly, acknowledge its non-physical origins. The physical body is the last stop. Disturbances in the outer, subtle levels of the aura percolate down to the bodily level in a cry for attention. The most vulnerable areas of the body during this time include the bones and joints (especially knees and teeth), as well as the lower legs and Achilles.
Mars Retrograde also asks us to meditate on sexuality, body image and intimacy. Consider bodily perception, consider sexuality imbued in the act of gazing. On this subject, a certain viciousness dares to arise as we clamor, hot flesh brushed by spiked words.
Mars Retrograde is active in nature. Master your lessons by moving and climbing, and in so doing, resurrect the body as the most powerful means to engage the psyche. Mars Retrograde can be a confusing cycle. Time will feel as though it has frozen, but this is fortuitous. Just before it all ends, we will be downloaded with profound insight. But even after the retrograde period has come to a close, sit very still. Wait until you are completely settled before deciding on a direction.
For stability during the Capricorn retrograde, try Capricorn Yoga. For an influx of fresh energy during the Aquarius retrograde, try Aquarius Yoga. To find your personal Mars sign and see whether this planet was retrograde when you were born, click here.