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6 Differences Between Mars & Mercury Retrograde Every Stargazer Should Know

by Steph Montgomery

If you don't live under a rock, you've probably heard that Mars is in retrograde. But what does that actually mean? I've heard people talk about Mercury in retrograde as the root cause of their kids' bizarre behavior, or a particularly bad day at work, but I've never actually heard of Mars in retrograde. Is it essentially the same, or are their differences between Mars and Mercury in retrograde? Here's what you need to know, especially if you fancy yourself a stargazer.

According to, a planet like Mars or Mercury "being in retrograde" simply means that it appears to move backwards in the sky for a few weeks. The same sites notes that planets in retrograde aren't actually moving, they just appear to move because of where they are in relationship to the Earth in their normal orbit around the sun. So, in terms of astronomy, the main difference between Mars and Mercury retrograde is the planet involved. And while Mercury is in retrograde four times a year, Mars only appears that way once every 26 months.

Astrologically speaking, there are a few other key differences. According to, astrologers believe that planets in retrograde can impact everyone, but especially those people born under certain signs and depending on where the planet is in the sky when it happens. reports that Mercury in retrograde is known to cause challenges on the technology and communication fronts. Because Mars is the planet associated with war and sex, according to Astrologer Judith Auora Ryan, Mars in retrograde can seriously impact your sex life... and not in a good way.

To learn more about differences between Mars and Mercury in retrogrades and how they might impact you in certain areas of your life, read on:

How They Impact Your Sex Life

According to, the main difference between Mars and Mercury in retrograde is how the period will affect you based on the strengths of the planets involved. Because Mars is connected with passion and sexual energy, when it's in retrograde, things can get icy on the sexual front. It's also aid to be the absolute worst time to start a new sexual relationship.

Mercury, on the other hand and according to, is the planet of communication. So when Mercury is in retrograde don't be surprised if you are unable to communicate your needs and desires to your partner in your relationship and in the bedroom.

How They Impact Your Career

According to Astronomer Judith Auora Ryan, when Mars is in retrograde you should never start anything new including, it seems, a new job. Because Mars is assertive and direct when in retrograde, you are likely to be the opposite, so making new plans or substantial life changes is really the last thing you want to do.

In contrast, as reports, the planet Mercury in retrograde messes with your ability to communicate. If you write, give public speeches, or persuade other human beings for a living, Mercury in retrograde might be a great time to take a vacation.

How They Impact Your Communication Skills

Mars is the planet of aggression and decisiveness, so according to Astrologer Judith Auora Ryan you won't be a great person to be around when Mars is in retrograde because of all that pent up tension. Instead of being a strong leader you are likely to be angry and mean.

Your communication skills will definitely suffer when Mercury is in retrograde, too, according to Astrology Zone. Mercury is a strong communicator, and when he's travelling backwards you will absolutely not be able to get your point across.

How They Impact Your Finances

When Mars is in retrograde you should absolutely not make any major financial decisions, according to You could be more susceptible to making poor investments, and those decisions can come back to bite you later on in life.

Likewise, Mercury is a planet strongly associated with contracts and financial agreements, so buying a house or making a large purchase should probably wait until the planet starts moving forward again.

How They Impact Your Plans

According to, when Mars is in retrograde you might make some pretty unrealistic plans. You should really try to wait until things get back to normal, though, because you probably won't be able to see those plans through.

Likewise, according to Astrology Zone, Mercury in retrograde is also a period of uncertainty. Now is not the time to sign a contract or make life-changing decisions, unless you are comfortable with things totally not going as planned.

How They Impact Your Family Life

Because Mars is the planet of aggression and war, Mars in retrograde can make everyone in your family act a bit off. According to Astronomer Judith Auora Ryan, "Because of this seemingly displaced energy, you may find yourself and others becoming increasingly antagonistic and combative. You may feel that people in general are more belligerent in speech and action." So, in other words, you might experience a few fights in your otherwise peaceful home.

Because Mercury is the communicator, when he's in retrograde Astology Zone warns that no one will be able to get their point across. Because not being able to communicate can cause your toddler to tantrum, you might want to cut them and yourself some slack when Mercury is in retrograde.