MARS RETROGRADE 2016 – WHEN IS IT?
During 2016, Mars retrograde period occurs during April 18th – June 29th.
The affected degree areas in your horoscope are (in reverse order): 08 Sagittarius – 23 Scorpio. If you have planets or angles within this zone, the above period will have more significance to you.
WHAT IS MARS RETROGRADE?
During the 2-year orbit of Mars, there is a period of several months where – observed nightly – Mars appears to be moving in reverse of his usual direction. This is called Mars retrograde period. If you were born during Mars retrograde period, you’ll see a little ‘Rx’ or just ‘r’ marking by your natal Mars symbol in your natal chart.
In this article we’ll focus on transiting Mars retrograde, which will be significant regardless of your natal Mars being direct or retrograde.
WHAT DOES MARS RETROGRADE MEAN IN YOUR HOROSCOPE?
FIRST, LET’S GET TO KNOW MARS
In astrology Mars means “applied energy.” See that arrow pointing out from the circle? It’s the symbol of Sun’s energy being applied toward a specific purpose. There are literally thousands of ways you can choose to use your Mars energy – and your natal Mars placement (sign, house, aspect and midpoint) gives you a clue about which direction you need to direct it in order to fulfill your life purpose.
SECOND, TAKE A LOOK AT THE 2-YEAR MARS CYCLE
In astrology, each planetary cycle (e.g. Jupiter’s 12-year cycle or Saturn’s 29.5-year cycle) represents a fulfillment of the planet’s symbolism, and a time to move up to a next level of its expression. This is why Saturn cycle often involves career advancement or a complete change of vocation, and Jupiter cycle involves success or expansion into a next level of material/intellectual expression.
In the case of Mars, it completes the orbit every 2 years – so Mars returns to its natal position in your horoscope every two years. This means every two years, your way of applying your energy is evolving. What does that mean?
Think about it this way: It takes 2 years for you to get an advanced degree. 2 years to learn a foreign language or a musical instrument. 2 years to make solid progress in therapy. 2 years to get trained in most discipline of work…and so on. This means when you focus your effort on a specific goal, you get to the “next level” in about two years.
If you’re in business, you might feel a bit stagnant with the “same old way” in 2 years and try to do something differently, maybe expand into a different market niche, or develop a separate product or service, etc (look at Apple and its product innovation cycle in the last 15 years, from iPod, iTunes store, iPhone, iPad to Apple Watch, etc. It dominated the marketplace so far by focusing on continuous innovation – some other companies didn’t and they did not survive.)
By continuing to focus your effort on growth in a specific area, your skill and expression evolves and goes to a next level. Mars cycle reminds you to make sure you keep evolving, or else…You might stop growing (in business, relationship, spirituality – whatever areas that you’re passionate about.)
THIRD – NOW FOR THAT “RETROGRADE” PART…
Transiting planets invite you to evolve. In the case of Mars, it pushes you to apply your energy toward what’s important (your relationship, work, creativity etc.) The longer a transit lasts, the more powerful and insistent the “invitation” becomes (e.g. Saturn’s invitation might feel more like a summons to a police court).
When Mars retrogrades, it retraces its steps for a few months and goes forward again, thereby passing the same points in your horoscope three times. Mars will transit the degree areas between 23 Scorpio and 08 Sagittarius from mid February to August like this:
Mars direct: [February 18 – April 16] transits between 23 Scorpio – 08 Sagittarius.
Mars station retrograde: April 17 at 08 Sagittarius.
Mars retrograde: [April 18 – June 29] transits between 08 Sagittarius – 23 Scorpio.
Mars station direct: June 30 at 23 Scorpio.
Mars direct: [July 1 – August 22] transits between 23 Scorpio – 08 Sagittarius.
What does this mean for your horoscope? It means any planet or point you have within this degree range will be transited 3 times by Mars within a span of 5 months. That’s a pretty long transit, so the pressure to evolve your way of applying your energy will be strong.
MARS RETROGRADE IN YOUR HOROSCOPE – WHAT TO FOCUS ON
Here are some thoughts about what you might focus on during the Mars retrograde period:
- Consider what planets or points you have in the degree areas [23 Scorpio – 08 Sagittarius]. This zone in your chart has been going through some major reconstruction thanks to the passage of Saturn last year in the same area, and now Mars has been passing through it since mid February. What kind of change did you have to make in the areas suggested by the planet last year (and last month)? Is the change going well? If not, here comes more opportunities to work on it…
- What houses does this degree area occupy in your natal chart? Most likely you’ve been forced to grow a lot in this area during last year, and more lessons might have been cropping up in this arena since February.
Consider the following thoughts for the houses being transited by retrograde Mars:
Mars retrograde through 1st house: It’s time to develop your style of self-expression and self-assertion. Know that it’s possible to be constructive and assertive at the same time…
Mars retrograde through 2nd house: It’s time to work on your self-worth and confidence. You’ve worked hard this past year, now do not be afraid to show others what you can do…
Mars retrograde through 3rd house: It’s time to renew your way of thinking and communicating. Have you gotten too serious for your own good? If you’re seriously studying something, this is the time to buckle down and dig deeper – there will be a breakthrough at the end!
Mars retrograde through 4th house: It’s time to strengthen the new foundation you set in your home and life last year. What is the emotional value that is motivating you – what is it all for? It’s time to take care of what truly matters…
Mars retrograde through 5th house: It’s time for your creative expression to evolve. If you’ve been working on honing your talent, this is the time to start expressing it on stage. 5th house also has to do with giving of love in relationship and sex – make sure your effort is contributing to the long term success of your relationship in this area as well.
Mars retrograde through 6th house: It’s time to give, but perhaps in a new way. 6th house has to do with your attitude toward work and service. Has your work or service become drudgery? If so, it’s time to seriously review why you do what you do, so you can reignite your passion to help others.
Mars retrograde through 7th house: It’s time to reevaluate your relationships, as well as how you relate to the public (think customers, students, clients.) Are you holding yourself back unduly, or perhaps the way you assert yourself needs a little more tweaking? Either way these relationships are calling for your attention, so give them focus at this period to see what needs to be improved.
Mars retrograde through 8th house: It’s time to delve deeply into healing work. You’ve been working hard the past year, either helping others or going through your own healing journey. There is more digging to do at this time period, which will prove to be productive in the end.
Mars retrograde through 9th house: It’s time to expand your faith and worldview. If your belief in life has been tested during the past year, you’ve probably become stronger in your faith as a result. It may be time to speak out and express what you know. If you travel, keep a notebook with you and discover how your worldview is evolving during this time period. If you’re working on a course of study, know that much learning is taking place within you at this time.
Mars retrograde through 10th house: It’s time to review your career or business strategy! If you’ve been able to make solid progress during the past year, expect more activities during this time period. If you’ve been reorganizing your career or business, this is the time to reassess your strategy. If what you’re doing is not working, maybe it’s time to change direction. If you feel you’re on the right track, then apply laser sharp focus to the area of your work you consider important during this period.
Mars retrograde through 11th house: It’s time to reenergize your community involvement. You may have cut ties with some friends during the past year out of necessity, and you may need to do so again if these relationships are toxic to you. However, it’s also a good time to consider what kind of groups you do want to be involved in, and connect (or reconnect) with people that reflect your goals and values more fully.
Mars retrograde through 12th house: It’s time to put in some spiritual work. Whether it takes the form of prayer or artistic expression, you need to feel the connection with the unseen realm of existence. If you’ve been working hard in this area for the past year, then this is going to be a period of deeper work that leads to breakthrough.
IN CLOSING: MARS RETROGRADE IN YOUR LIFE
You will be impacted more strongly by this year’s Mars retrograde period if there is a planet or an Angle in the degree areas [23 Scorpio – 08 Sagittarius]. The key insight is to recognize that you’ve been experiencing Saturn transits to the same zone during the past year. How have you been experiencing this?
As an additional note, Pluto stations and turns retrograde at just about the same time as Mars, on April 17th. This double station is making some people nervous (the implication for potential violence is clear). While there is not much we can do about the collective situation surrounding us, on an individual level this signal strengthens the power of this retrograde period to initiate a serious effort toward changing the way we apply our energy.
Do you have a Mars retrograde story from past experience you want to share? From your horoscope, what do you anticipate this year’s Mars retrograde will be about? Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comment section.