Thanks to the bad reputation Mercury in retrograde has earned, you probably associate the term "retrograde" with a period of bad luck no matter what planet's name is attached. But even though retrogrades are typically associated with delays, miscommunications, and everything in general seeming to go awry, these periods of seemingly backwards motion don't necessarily spell doom. Right now, Mars is in retrograde — something that happens only about every two years. So how will Mars retrograde affect your sign?
The retrograde phase began on June 26, and while the planet goes direct again on August 27, the shadow won't be fully clear until October 8. What can we expect until then? "Mars represents our efforts, our initiatives, the way we defend our desires and passions," astrologer Helene Cierzo of Heart House Astrology told Romper.
"Mars is known as a malefic planet, and rules our warrior nature," she adds. "A healthy Mars energy wants to propel forward, to initiate, and take action! However, during a Mars retrograde cycle, our energy is lower. We are in a more reflective state. Our sexual desires may seem to have been hit by the snooze button. We may feel much more lethargic and have a difficult time getting things done. It is a good time to re-assess our past actions."
While this advice holds true for all signs, just as with a Jupiter retrograde or a Mercury retrograde, your specific sign might feel the effects of this Martian movement more in certain areas of your life. So hold on... it's going to be quite the summer!
1. Aries & Aries Rising
If things seem a little nuts right now, you can blame the stars: Mars is your ruling planet, so you are strongly affected by Mars retrograde cycles," Cierzo explains.
"Mars will be retrograde in your 11th house, which rules friendships, social circles and your goals and ambitions." This might translate into arguments with friends and family and feeling stuck.
"You may need to review how you can better use your energy towards achieving your goals," says Cierzo. "You may also re-asses your alliances to see if their ideals align with yours. Does your tribe support your authentic dreams? If not your evolving self may want to look for a new crew."
2. Taurus & Taurus Rising
"Mars going backwards in your career house may stall a big project and have you going back to the drawing board," warns Cierzo.
"Use the summer months to revamp a work project and by October you just may be in the limelight for a job well done."
Just beware of conflicts with authority figures, and keep an open mind to taking new directions if necessary. As an article on Astrology.com said, "Big shifts are afoot: Some may think about returning to university or investing in a new course of study,while others may seek to integrate mystical methods into their vocational path."
3. Gemini & Gemini Rising
Perhaps your summer travel plans aren't panning out the way you'd hoped. "You may need to rethink your reason for travel or put off travel plans until Mars starts to move forward," Cierzo says.
This isn't the time to get litigious, either.
"If you are involved in any legal matters, it is advised that you do not initiate any lawsuits at this time. It's said that if one initiates a lawsuit during a Mars retrograde, one will not win. Hold off until early October if you can!"
4. Cancer & Cancer Rising
Mars’ retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn "provokes the delicate balance between you, your partners, and the bank," said Astrology.com. That explains why, as Cierzo says, "there could be an issue over an inheritance at this time."
"Mars retrograding in your 8th house of shared resources can also affect your partner’s resources," Cierzo adds. "You may need to make a plan on how to survive on less until this matter gets sorted out. You may also find yourself evaluating your deep bonds. Are you feeling empowered in your closest relationships? If not it’s time to take your power back."
5. Leo & Leo Rising
Warn your partner and your kids: "You may notice you are feeling more irritable with others this summer," says Cierzo.
"Try to get your yoga on before you burn any bridges! Exercise is a productive use of Martian energy."
And keep your wits about you: "A former flame (or past nemesis!) may reenter the scene," according to an article on Vice's Broadly.
"By the end of Mars retrograde, you'll feel clear on what you want in your partnerships."
6. Virgo & Virgo Rising
Seems like nearly every mom can relate to Virgo's plight right now. "Perhaps you have put your health and fitness goals on the side burner to deal with the high demand of your family’s needs," says Cierzo. "You may have had some health crisis when Mars stationed to retrograde. Or perhaps you had an enough is enough moment, and realize it is time to take better care of your health. This is a good time to research diet and fitness regimes."
7. Libra & Libra Rising
Summer vacation seem like it's been dragging on forever already? "Your children will be requiring more effort during this retrograde season," Cierzo cautions.
"Be open to new approaches for your child, to teach them to deal with anger." Focus on being a good role model even when patience is short. And if your relationship with your S.O. is in a rut, now's the time to reconsider your needs in the relationship.
"If you put in a little more effort, you may see by early fall a new beginning in your love life."
8. Scorpio & Scorpio Rising
Along with Pluto, Mars is one of Scorpio’s ruling planets, so you can expect to feel the effects of this retrograde big-time. On the plus side, as Cierzo explains, the typical Scorpio can roll with this energy because they're "masters" of rebirth. Home and family life will be affected the most.
"There may have been some family drama coming to a head as Mars stationed to change directions. Try to avoid a family feud right now." Your family relationships are "up for reassessment," so rethink the role you play in your home right now and be open to shifting the way you interact with others.
9. Sagittarius & Sagittarius Rising
Bite your tongue, fiery Sag: "Mars retrograde is activating your communication house," says Cierzo, "and if you do not control your anger you may impulsively say something that will wreak havoc on your summer."
Broadly echoed these sentiments: "Arguments with everyone from your sister to your supermarket clerk will leave you agitated."
"If you have a disagreement, try to distance yourself calmly. Give yourself time to reflect, and really think about what you want to say," suggests Cierzo.
10. Capricorn & Capricorn Rising
Now might be a good time to sit down with a financial planner, even if that sounds less than appealing.
"Mars retrograde is asking you to revaluate your finances," Cierzo says.
"Your cash flow may come and go. It is a good time to really think about how you spend your money."
11. Aquarius & Aquarius Rising
Because Mars is retrograding in your sign, you'll be feeling this retrograde season strongly, too, and in potentially physical ways. The first house rules the body, as Cierzo says, so "you may experience lethargy during this Mars retrograde cycle." While this isn't a great time to start new things in general, "you may reinvent the way you do self-care. Hit up the salt cave, allow yourself some R & R, try working with color therapy. This is really a time to tend to your needs, allow your self some gentleness and you will see by fall a rebirth and transformation."
12. Pisces & Pisces Rising
Here's some not-so-great news for the already exhausted Pisces mom: This retrograde might interrupt your sleep, as you deal with "unconscious" or "buried" anger.
"This is a great time for doing your shadow work," recommends Cierzo. "Take more time to reflect. Start by making a dream journal. Write down your dreams, and integrate them into your conscious awareness. Reflect on ways you may be self-sabotaging your desires by old mental conditioning. Release old outworn ways."