This Year’s Mars Retrograde

Mars is now direct, not retrograde
Previous Mars Retrograde period:
June 26, 2018 to August 27, 2018
From 9º of Aquarius
to 28º of Capricorn.

Upcoming Mars Retrograde period:
September 9, 2020 to November 13, 2020
From 28º of Aries
to 15º of Aries.

“A hero, properly, is one who gives his life to something greater than himself.”
-Joseph Campbell

Understanding the Mars cycle can help you
go after what you want in life.

Mars is the keeper of your energy, drive,
vitality, self-assertion and potency.

Mars is the Hero in you.

What is Mars Retrograde?
“Mars retrograde” means Mars is in the part of its cycle where it is traveling backwards from our point of view here on Earth.  When Mars goes retrograde, we are cast upon a symbolic Hero’s Journey.

A retrograde period of any planet is a retrospective of that planet’s themes.  It is a time of moving backward, perhaps of going back to pick up pieces lost in the past.  It can be a retrieval, a turning inward, a letting-go.  A Hero’s Journey is a life-passage in which we retrieve our own heroism.  True heroism involves courage, strength, assertiveness, but also gentleness and appropriate restraint—and during this journey we are tested, in a number of ways, for those things.  While Mars is retrograde, we’ll face many opportunities to be a hero in a deeper, truer sense than we ever have before.

How Long Does It Last?
When Mars goes retrograde it usually does so for 8 to 10 weeks. That’s plenty of time to have a few interesting adventures t` test our mettle. If you want to understand how a retrograde Mars period affects you, you’d want to look at the house retrograde Mars is in in your own chart at the time. That tells you the arena of life where you must face frustration, deal with anger and take meaningful action to forward events in a good way.

Whom Does It Affect?
All of us, basically. But people with Sun in Aries or Aries Rising tend to feel Mars activity the most keenly, because they already have a strongly martial nature. And people with a retrograde Mars in their own chart are dealing with challenges regarding assertion, honesty, sexuality and self-determination—thus it’s likely for a Mars retrograde individual to also have a strong experience of Mars retrograde (and not necessarily a bad one).

Read here about Mars Retrograde through the Houses

Heroic Epiphany Day: the Beginning and End of the Cycle
The retrograde period of Mars is just one part of his larger cycle, which lasts about two years. The day Mars conjuncts the Sun marks the beginning and end of his cycle and I call it “Heroic Epiphany Day.” It’s a peak on a wave of energy, drive, action and clarity—a great time to make a strong beginning on a year-long project or assert yourself in a way you’ve hesitated to do before. The house in your chart where Mars is during Heroic Epiphany Day can provide a clue about where in your life you can more easily take heroic action.

The previous Mars cycle began on July 26, 2017 (when Mars conjuncted the Sun while direct) and ends on September 26, 2019 (when Mars again conjuncts the Sun while direct), closing the old cycle and initiating a new one. The retrograde period falls in the middle of the cycle and the following diagram shows its timing.

Mars cycle 2018

Mars Retrograde of 2020:

The cycle that begins in September of 2019 with a Heroic Epiphany Day will feature a Mars retrograde period starting in September of 2020. It looks like this:

Mars cycle 2020Does This Mean You?
If you were born in the following date-spans (of any year), Mars will be transiting your Sun during its retrograde period and you will definitely feel this transit:
January 5 to 18
April 4 to 18
July 7 to 21
October 8 to 22

If this is you, then take the following precautions during Mars Retrograde of 2020:

  • Drive carefully. Don’t speed.
  • Don’t over-exercise to make up for lost workouts.
  • Stay away from combative people, angry people or drunk people.
  • Avoid being one of the above.

 

When has this happened before?
Mars went retrograde from March 1, 2014 through May 19, 2014. During that time Mars was retrograde in Libra, and here’s what I said about it:
Mars Retrograde in Libra: The Deadly Diplomat

In the cycle previous to that one, Mars went retrograde from December 29, 2009 through March 10, 2010.  During that time I blogged about stories of famous heroes and how they might lend meaning to the Mars retrograde period.  Here is that post-thread:
Mars Retrograde—The Hero’s Journey

Finding out about Mars in YOUR chart:
Read here about Mars Retrograde through the Houses.
Use the clear, easy instructions in this blogpost to cast your own chart online and find out where Mars is in your chart.
If you want to go straight for the gold and explore Mars is in a reading with a dedicated professional, you can find out more about that on our services page.