When Mars goes retrograde (backwards) in our skies we have a greater than usual tendency to feel irritation, frustration, anger and impatience. This is a signal from the Red Planet that there’s something that we need to assert or clarify through meaningful action. This will impact you in the house in your chart that Mars is passing through.

While retrograde, Mars asks questions like these:

  • What is frustrating you, where are you stuck and what action will “unstick” you?
  • If you can’t tackle things head-on, what measures can you take to sidestep the issue?
  • Is there something that you should have done before, lingering from the past, that you can do now to handle this thing?

To understand how this Mars retrograde period is affecting you personally, find the house in your chart that Mars is passing through. This year Mars travels retrograde from 8º Sagittarius back to 23º Scorpio, so the house in your chart containing late Scorpio and early Sag will be Mars’ location.

Here are some thoughts on the meaning of Mars Retrograde in the houses:

First House:  If Mars is retrograding through your First House, the way you see yourself is under revision. Take time to look inwardly to manifest change outwardly.  Perhaps it’s time to use unresolved anger in a more positive way—take up boxing or martial arts. Do not let anger fester or you risk a huge blow-up during this time.

Second House: If Mars is retrograding through your Second House, take a look at your values. Are there better ways of utilizing your resources?  Are there steps you can take or ways you can assert yourself to ensure a more secure future?  This is a good time to revisit your budget and plan ahead for any large expenditures later this year. Then act on that new budget.

Third House: If Mars is retrograding through your Third House, you may find communicating a challenge. Try using influence rather than force. Do what you can to reduce your frustration about not being heard, or it may explode. Consider alternate styles or forms of communication during this time.  What has always worked in the past may need reconsidering.  Bring honesty, but don’t use it as a bludgeon.

Fourth House: If Mars is retrograding through your Fourth House, use caution when expressing anger towards those you live with. While it’s always good not to let things fester, it might be better to practice compassion at home—even when you don’t feel it.  Frustrated about your home? Take that energy and redirect it towards completing some improvement projects that you’ve been meaning to get to.

Fifth House: If Mars is retrograding through your Fifth House, your creativity can feel blocked. Or is the universe merely redirecting you so that you can discover alternate outlets for that expressive energy? It’s best to let it flow at this time. What will it take to get you unstuck? Dogged determination to finish a creative endeavor may not be the best approach. Try relaxing into it and see what happens—your vitality may be restored.

Sixth House: If Mars is retrograding through your Sixth House, ways of working may require restructuring. You may not move as quickly or as assuredly as you have in the past, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. This is a good time to review your productivity. Let quality take precedence over quantity. Don’t allow your frustration to destroy your structures. A state of order helps you move forward.

Seventh House: If Mars is retrograding through your Seventh House, you may be arguing more with your partner. Re-assess how you handle conflict with one another. If you are not asserting yourself enough in your relationship, try to understand what is holding you back from affirming your position. Then take the actions necessary to persuade your partner that you mean what you say. But gently. If you are too hard on your partner, too demanding, then step it back a notch. Or several notches.

Eighth House: If Mars is retrograding through your Eighth House, you may want to insist on putting your sexual needs first. You cannot just demand more intimacy, you may have to ask for what you want—clearly but gently. Do you also feel entitled to some shared resources? What’s holding you back from asking for them? Bring honesty into these conversations. But don’t poke at your partner’s vulnerable places to gain an advantage.

Ninth House: If Mars is retrograding through your Ninth House, it’s adventure time! Frustrated about that trip you never took? Hit the road! Get out there and if you can’t spontaneously do it, then initiate the planning of it. Ask yourself what is inhibiting you from expanding your horizons. Strategize for your future growth and then make the first move—whether that means going back to school, or finally finishing/publishing that novel.

Tenth House: If Mars is retrograding through your Tenth House, you may encounter career blockages and feel frustration about not advancing fast enough in your field. Revisit some of your career goals from years ago, and see how they line up with where you are now. What is stopping you from asking for that promotion or bonus? What’s the next move for you? Don’t let suppressed anger blow it for you.

Eleventh House: When Mars is retrograding through your Eleventh House, you may find that you are not asserting yourself among your friends, peers and colleagues. How are your needs being eclipsed by the will of your tribe? How can you reclaim your place without stepping on too many toes? Alternatively, if you pick up your tribe’s banner and begin waving it (i.e. take political action on behalf of your demographic), you may find yourself bonding with your “comrades at arms.”

Twelfth House: When Mars is retrograding through your Twelfth House, are you the protagonist in your own dream, or are you just watching things happen to you? You may experience blockages and frustrations that come from mysterious sources, or possibly that are rooted in superstition. Seek out the heart of these mysteries that are draining your vital energy. Is it time for you to know the truth? Could facing it set you free? Assert your need for the retreat, seclusion and spiritual “time-in” that can turn your attention inward.

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