Mars Retrograde

Mars Retrograde Meaning. Like all retrogrades this period gives us a chance to look at things from a right-brain perspective. The effect is cyclical not linear, it is internalized and intuitive. Generally astrologers suggest that this a time where we find it hard to express our anger and become passive-aggressive. But the truth is far more complex and richer than Mars simply becoming a grumpy neutered cat. Rather it will feel inappropriate to attack things head-on.mars-retro

I believe Mars retrograde will behave like Pluto. Mars tends to do things in a hurry, so he’s more of flame-grilled affair, charred on the outside with raw bloody flesh on the inside. Instead Mars retrograde becomes a very slow, rich bake. The Martian impulse is slowed down and deepened. Mars retrograde could be similar in effect to Pallas Athena where every move is planned carefully and strategically. I have read that Mars retrograde is akin to it travelling in the 12th house, which would also give it a spiritual warrior type of energy. So I believe Mars retrograde is about karmic rebalancing so if one is going to wage war at all, it may well be a psychic one.

Since Mars is about sex as well as well as war, it will cause us to re-evaluate our sexual relationships. Our ambitions and goals also come under scrutiny. Mars retrograde may work very deep down below the surface, bringing things up very slowly, but surely. This gives it a chance to make daring decisions with a cool head and not in the usual Mars reactive way. In personal terms, warmongering could mean starting legal proceedings or initiating a new business venture. It is usually advised to wait till Mars is direct again. But if your intentions are honourable and for the greater good, then I think the universe should favourably take care of the outcome. Retrograde cycles are fated times, one must surrender to hidden forces. The problem with waiting to make a move until Mars is direct is Mars’s volcanic behaviour when it is suddenly released. It just depends how you want to play it. You might want to make use of this wild energy, so if you like playing with fire then go right ahead. If you have been unhappily celibate for a while or have been having problems reaching orgasm well…need I say more. Enjoy!

The next Mars Retrograde (April 17 to June 29 2016) will run from 8º Sagittarius back to 23º Scorpio. I will update the section below in March 2016.

Mars Retrograde Journey

mars2Mars stations retrograde on March 1 2014. Mars will traverse slowly backwards from 27º to 9º Libra.This retrograde is noteworthy because Mars is in the sign of its detriment where it is not seen as comfortable, so it is doubly challenged. Mars has been in Libra since December 8 2013. Austin Coppock’s writes in his Mars retrograde post (Entitled “Charm Offensive”) that Mars in Libra “learns to take others territory through charm, to defend himself by the pose of innocence. “ But eventually, (especially when it opposes Eris.) he says that “We, like Mars, may grow tired of the hate hidden beneath pleasant smiles and the malice disguised in passive aggressive remarks. At times, we may long for the truthful brutality of war..” Mars will travel through Libra Decan 2 & 3 reaching a crescendo when it falls on the much maligned star Algorab in the crow. This is also the infamous day of the Cardinal Grand cross. (I will write a separate post on this!) Mars on Algorab could be treachery, or might it simply be cunning? However it could actually be a blessing that Mars is not operating with full, direct strength on this scary looking cross.

Let’s look at some Mars on Algorab people to see if we can get an idea of its intentions. Marcel Proust (11’); French writer: “Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.” Elvis Presley (16’), Kathy Davis (19’); American politician and entrepreneur. Greg Chappell (21’); Australian cricketer. Herbert Quick (23’); American author. Natalie Barney (23’); 19th Century, openly lesbian playwright, poet and writer with controversial views. Pacifist, feminist and opposed monogamy. Johannes Kepler (46’); 17th century astrologer and mathematician. No terrorists or serial killers here! Yes Mars will trigger this cardinal grand cross, but not like it’s throwing a petrol bomb at it! If anything it might do some secret diplomacy, like James Bond.. (Mars in Libra has got to be Roger Moore. The dandy in the velvet suit with a really pretty gun.)


Mars retrogradeThe Mars Retrograde chart is practically the same as the New Moon chart, which I have discussed in the March Horoscope. The theme of it is triangular relationships since Mars is making a T-square to both Lilith and Venus. You can’t get more threesome than that really. Clandestine romances seem to be highlighted here and also falling for the forbidden fruit. Uranus square Jupiter stresses freedom and unconventional relationships, so I see lovers take risks here, playing close to the edge and almost getting caught. This is a Mars Retrograde of secret affairs. You want to be careful you don’t end up with a bunny boiler though. The potential for crimes of passion exists when Mars goes direct again on Diadem, a star that likes to make sacrifices… Unlike the daring New Moon chart though, this Moon is on Achernar in the river “Well-placed, it promises happiness and success by giving good morals, faithful adherence to one’s religious beliefs or philosophical inclinations. According to tradition, Achernar is credited with bestowing high offices in the church.” So the guilt factor will be very high if one does have an illicit affair. I’m thinking of the “Thornbirds” now! This romance might stay “courtly” for a very long time, very like another simmering love story “Brief Encounter.”  That is until it messily explodes on May 20, so keep some wet wipes handy..

All that Mars Retrograde is likely to do is delay the inevitable and it will make whatever is formed that much richer and permanent. During this Retrograde Mars will oppose my favourite lady Eris, so this will also shake up co-dependant or toxic relationships in the collective. A good example of this is what is happening in India right now. “In 2014, India is in the throes of a major sexual revolution. As I travelled the country conducting interviews for my book India in Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century, I observed dramatic shifts in traditional values related to sex and sexuality. Pre-marital sex in urban areas is on the rise and is currently at an estimated 75 per cent in the 18-24 age group.” ~ Ira Trivedi. As you can see the aspects Mars will make during its retrograde are certainly conducive to some sort of sexual revolution. I have already written about this in my Uranus square Pluto post. Unfortunately the violent negative side of the dark goddess has been appearing in the news lately during this shadow period. Two female serial killers; Occult killer Miranda Barbour. (Lilith on Algol square Mars and opposite Pluto!) and British Joanna Dennehy. Psychologist Godsi states “when Dennehy met her first victim she ‘flipped’ and then ‘externalised’ her feelings about sex and brutality. ‘She’s just turning the tables.’ He said”


mars directI did say in the 2014 Horoscope that I thought that Mars retrograde wouldn’t be too difficult since much of it would be subdued in Libra decan 3, which contains lucky Spica. That may be so, since it is the Mars direct chart that is probably more challenging. The general feel is undercover lawlessness, which is aggravated by Mars opposite Eris. It looks like we can’t avoid discord and it will burst out in the period after Mars goes direct from May 20 to July 21. While retrograde a great deal of resentment has built up. There could be some kind of secret resistance forming, which will surface when Mars goes direct. In your own lives, the house in which Mars is cooking will be the area where you are baking one passionate or angry cake. It’s not all bad either, those who have Mars retrograde in the 5th might even have a “bun in the oven” as the expression goes! So although painful, it’s always satisfying to burst that boil. I think the volcanic finale will fall on July 15 when we get what I am calling Persephone’s Nodes. This is where things should turn around.

Eris on the South Node brings in collective karma relating to the suppression and abuse of the sacred feminine. Mars opposite Eris on the south Node could be about addressing thousands of years of war against nature and sacred sexuality. I do like the Mars direct chart with Moon opposite Lilith and Venus opposite Ceres. Mercury is on Bellatrix the female warrior. It really looks like the sacred feminine on the warpath. We my resist attempts to “divide and conquer” because all the goddesses are in opposition here. Hopefully this is about finding a middle ground. With Moon opposite Lilith it’s not about being priestess or temptress, but being both. Our hero Mars is being the mediator here, making harmonious aspects to both the Moon and Lilith. “Because the Moon and the Black Moon are such polar opposites, in an opposition they could actually end up cancelling each other out. A successful balance of these two would mean that the domestic moon can restrain Lilith from going too far off the rails and lusty Lilith could break some of the moons stagnating habits.” I think this is a good note to end on.

Mars Retrograde Dates & Aspects


March 1 Mars Station Retrograde at 27º Libra. 4.22pm GMT.
March 2 Venus square Mars. March 29 Mars trine Venus. March 30 Mars opposite Eris. April 16 Mars opposite Mercury. April 23 Mars Square Pluto, Mars square Jupiter, Mars opposite Uranus. May 11 Mars opposite Venus.

May 20 Mars Station Direct at 9º Libra. 1.31am GMT. 
May 26 Mars sextile Lilith. May 31 Mars trine Sun. Mars sextile Lilith. June 14 Mars square Pluto. June 24 Mars opposite Uranus. July 12 Mars conjunct Ceres. Mars opposite Eris. July 15 Persephone’s Nodes Mars/Ceres/North Node conjunction opposite Eris. July 21 Mars leaves shadow zone.


Diadem Libra 9º ~ Dec 26, Rx May 10, May 11-19.
“Hardship, sacrifice of oneself for other. The rescue worker, the one who tries to help” [1] 
Vindemiatrix Libra 9º ~ Dec 28, Rx May 9, May 21-29.
“Rash, headstrong, indiscreet, energetic, trouble through law, business and friends.”
Porrima Libra 10º ~ Dec 29, Rx May 3, Jun 4.
“Loss through lawsuits and by fire or storm, trouble with opposite sex, marriage partner and public.” 
Algorab Libra 13º ~ Jan 5, Rx Apr 23, Jun 17.
Generally “It gives destructiveness, malevolence, fiendishness, repulsiveness and lying, and is connected with scavenging.”
Spica Libra 24º ~ Feb 4, Rx Mar 25, Jul 13.
Popular social success, may have good judgment and quick decision or be violent in dispute, rigid, and nearly or quite a fool.” 
Rx Starts Here Arcturus Libra 24º ~ Feb 5, Rx Mar 23, Jul 14. 
“Popular, many friends, considerable gain but does not save owing to extravagance.” 

1. Bernadette Brady. Stars & Planets Combinations. Pg 158.

257 thoughts on “Mars Retrograde

  • January 23, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I really enjoy your deapth of knowledge on this subject. I hope your version is “Truth and trust worthy”. I am in the midst of a battle for my self expression that started back in November and has esculated right up to January 23, 2012.

    This shall be an interesting journey, and I will let you know the outcome; as I am using your version for guidance.

  • January 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Mars retrograde touching the fixed stars of
    Alkes & Sedna has seen direct expression for me re ancestral inheritance via the father. My father has just told me that he is giving my siblings and I some of the money he has reently inherited from a distant relative. This marks the culmination of a family ‘myth’ about my father’s family being done out of a rightful inheritance by a weak father & a wicked stepmother. The money was left to him by the relative expressly to redress this wrong. I am very struck by the timing of this.

    • January 23, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      getting ready to plant those daring seeds….

    • January 24, 2012 at 12:48 am

      A very strong solar flare is heading this way and Mars is also in its path! So our little red retro friend is going to get a little – or big! – kick up his little red bottom!!

  • January 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks Marina, genuinely insightful, as ever. Like Sarah on Jan 23rd, this is whipping up finances and fathers for me too – well, for my 6 year old son – whose (rather wealthy) father pays for his private education while contributing nothing to the general daily costs of raising him. On Jan 18th I formally requested that he begins to pay his half (I am sinking ever further into debt). It will be most interesting to see whether he decides to contribute or if his son is, figuratively, ‘thrown overboard’.

    • January 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Interestingly Mars will retrograde over my natal Mars at 16 Vir and Pluto at 14 Vir, both fourth house, while rx through his dad’s 10th with his Pluto at 20.

  • January 25, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Excellent! Two phrases come to mind with mars retrograde in virgo: ‘Seperate the wheat from the chaff.’ and ‘Beat your swords into plowshares. Also this is a particularly challenging mars retro since mars spends it’s greatest time retro in virgo and virgo is inconjunct aries by nature emphasizing the need for teachable flexibilty that retrogrades require.


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