Are you on edge? Depleted? In a heated Twitter argument with a stranger?
Take a deep breath. Mars has gone retrograde, and . . . we’re feeling feeling it.
We’ve been down this road before; Mars goes retrograde once about every two years. Before we dive deeper, just know this: Mars retrograde isn’t hell on earth (even though that wouldn’t be too shocking this year). It’s going to be OKAY! But knowing the forecast in advance can help you prepare a little better, you know?
“Knowing what’s going on astrologically can help you feel more empowered than afraid,” said Moon Gathering founder and astrologer Shannon Aganza.
Astrologer Thea Nichelle Anderson agrees. “Mars Rx doesn’t mean we hide under the covers for six weeks. If we’re prepared and know what to expect we can meet the challenges.”
What Does This Mean?
This astrological event — in which Mars changes its direction — “creates turmoil, destruction, irregular energy levels,” said Anderson. “It creates irritability and an environment of aggression [because] the planet of war becomes unfocused and prone to unpredictable shifts in tactics.”
Here’s what NASA Says...
For you astronomy/space buffs, here’s the explanation from NASA: “Earth comes up from behind and overtakes Mars; While we're passing by the red planet this year, it will look to us as though Mars is moving up and down. Then, as we move farther along our curved orbit and see the planet from a different angle, the illusion will disappear and we will once again see Mars move in a straight line. This apparent erratic movement is called ‘retrograde motion.’”
“A retrograde planet means that its movement slows to a point that it appears to be moving backwards from the earth’s point of view,” said Anderson.
How Long Will This Sh*t Last?!
“Mars retrogrades last about a month and a half and during the retrograde cycle,” (yikes) “Mars will oppose the sun; The red planet will be at its most visible in the night sky and astronomically, closest to the earth during this phase. You can think of this as Mars’ full moon phase such that it will be hard to ignore,” said Anderson.
Aganza agreed, and said it would be roughly seven weeks. “Saturn and Mars will have made their square before the election; it’s the last few days of September (where the square is) so that part will fortunately be over!” she said.
“The important thing to note is that Mars will station direct [will no longer be retrograde] November 13 and tensions will feel easier to navigate,” said Anderson. “The [last] square to Saturn ends December 19.”
Mars is in Aries — What Does THAT Mean?
Essentially, Mars is supercharged in Aries. “Mars rules Aries; it is his home of cardinal (signs that begin a season) and fire (of the four elemental properties). Mars is extremely powerful in this sign where he can wage war, achieve championship status and display bravery,” said Anderson. “Normally Mars is in a sign for six weeks — however because he’s moving so slowly, he’ll be in Aries for six months!!
What Does This Mean For Us?
“Intense frustration,” said Aganza. (Yikes) “We may find ourselves really focusing in on something, and unable to let it go. Saturn makes us feel like we are stuck and there’s nothing we can do about it, while Mars is a motivational force,” she said. This can feel incredibly challenging internally.
We’re also going to feel a roller coaster of energy. “A transit of Mars in Aries can offer rocket fuel, renewed ambition and drive to achieve,” said Anderson. “If there’s anything you want to fight for, you can experience renewed passion toward that end.”
She went on to explain that “When Mars retrogrades in Aries, the drive may have too much or too little fuel resulting in lethargy or uncalled for aggression.” This means some days you might be going for a morning run before cleaning your entire house and getting through all your work before noon, and other days you might not be able to get off the couch. This is normal. Aganza explained this as “Expending all this excess energy at once... and then we end up depleted.” So the buildup of energy burns a hole in our pockets, so to speak, and then we’re left zapped.
“The sizzle will be felt in relationships, especially when the sun in Libra opposes Mars in Aries on October 13th,” said Anderson.
Aganza noted that those with an Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn (especially Capricorn!) sun might feel these Mars Rx effects more intensely than other sun signs.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
The Good: While this can certainly be a time of destruction, Aganza says to remember it can be an empowering time. “Think of this as a tremendous blessing,” she said. “Think of it as a purging time … purging 2020.” She said that despite the intensity of this year, we’ve been getting a serious check in about what’s important to us (what we value) and what is not important to us. The Mars retrograde is giving us one final push into this reflection and assessment of where we want to put our energy.
The Bad: Keep an eye out for challenges, and take them in stride as best you can. “Mars retrograde in Aries means that he will be capable of causing the most damage,” warns Anderson.
“People are more intense during this time,” said Aganza. This includes words and actions — even road rage. Try to go with the flow and remember that the conflict at this time is “not worth it,” she said. Pick your battles, and instead try to reflect on what is triggering you and why.
The Ugly: “On a mundane level, we can expect to see violence, fires, explosions, and more protests,” she said. “The public discourse will be heated and cutting. But there will also be an intense frustration on a macro and micro level because Mars Rx in Aries will make a difficult aspect to Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn is the planet of obstacles, societal structures and self-denial. There’s a sense of running up against an immovable force [as mentioned above]. It’s telling that the US presidential election happens at this time!”
So . . . How Do We Handle This?
Learn about yourself! Aganza recommends you “get truthful with self,” during this period, as it’s essentially a “classroom” period. “This is our own virtual classroom; we’ll be getting progress reports with immediate feedback,” she explained. Think of it as the universe giving you some tough love, so you can learn quickly. “It can hurt, but it’s good in the end,” she said. “Think of it like rubber band snapping for breaking bad habits — that’s Mars!” She also urges you to remember this is very temporary.
Redirect some excess energy, too! “This is about redirecting the bouts of Mars energy into something constructive and disciplined while being realistic about results,” said Anderson. “Saturn is in the superior position and thus gets to have a final say in the fight with Mars Rx. Therefore, take it day by day and understand that setbacks mean pauses and a chance to temper the heat with a vision.”
Self Care During Mars Rx Season
Some of this is mental, and just remembering that your energy fluctuations are normal (don’t beat yourself up!) Reminder: Anderson says you must “Realize it’s a marathon although some days we’ll want to sprint. Other days, we’ll experience a complete lack of energy. Don’t try to do everything all at once.”
Exercise, too! “If you have intense anger in your body, you want to do something like run or HIIT (if you don’t know how to remove this energy out of your nervous system and body),” said Aganza.
What You SHOULD NOT Do…
Avoid confrontation, even if something is egging you on. Aganza reminds us that Mars retro in a fire sign usually leads to wildfires (both literal and emotional) —”It’s ‘the spark,’” she explained. “Things and people are more irritating, irritated, and on edge — so don't poke other people! And remember, “Everyone’s cycling through their own process at different points,” and you won’t be on the same page as the people around you all the time. We’re all on our own path.
Anderson also said to “Avoid setting overly optimistic and ambitious goals that require a huge amount of energy and also favorable circumstances,” which makes sense, given everything we just learned! “This is the time to preserve your energy for when you need it. Channel it in a productive manner wherever you can but don’t try to win everything all at once.”
Also, Aganza advises taking a pause before “canceling” something or someone during this period. “There’s a catch 22 with cancel culture,” she said. “When you mute someone — because they said one thing you don’t like — that means there’s no room for you and your ideas.”
On another note, be a bit cautious with cooking and high intensity workouts, advises Anderson. “Mars in Rx can lead to freak accidents, so be mindful whether it’s cooking (fire and sharp objects are his domain) or doing high impact workouts.”
Sh*t is crazy right now, y’all. Embrace it, learn from it, be careful with your words and actions, take care of yourself — we can really grow from this period of time if we approach it correctly. Be extra kind to yourself and others, reflect and journal, take it easy… and remember that this time might be fiery, but some of the most beautiful things on this earth are forged in a fire. Godspeed!