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Star Gazing

Astrology: Mars in Retrograde – Come Out and Play

Until June 29, 2016, the planet Mars will be in retrograde motion, and some astrologers warn against “rash actions” and others against “laziness” while the red planet backs up through Sagittarius and Scorpio. Well, rash actions and laziness aren’t optimal no matter what Mars is doing. So the retrograde must have another meaning.


All planetary retrogrades ask us to stop for a moment and assess where we are, and correct our paths if they aren’t leading to fulfillment and joy. During retrogrades the character of the retrograde planet changes, becomes more edgy and rebellious. Mars in retrograde is the cool guy with the leather jacket and motorbike, grinning, daring you, because he knows you’re more exciting than you look.

A Mars retrograde period occurs about every two and a half years, and this six-week retrograde occurs in Sagittarius, the sign governing education and travel. Sagittarius is an energetic, inventive, sporty, social, philosophical sign. It’s the sign of optimism, fun, and entertainment, but the Sagittarian spirit is not flighty. It has a well-built foundation of self-confidence. The Sagittarius dark side: cravings, especially for attention; workaholism, fanaticism, vanity, and drama.

Mars, planet of masculinity, aggression, rebellion, and action, harmonizes with the Sagittarian desire to get up and get moving. Sagittarius is a fire sign, and Mars is the fiery planet, so under the Mars retrograde influence drive carefully, don’t pick fights, and do as the boss says. But with fire in the sky, maybe you’re realizing how tired you are of routine. Under this transit, if life’s been dull, aim to be as spirited and bold as you used to be!

This retrograde will put ideas into your head. Suddenly everyday life inside of four walls is not enough. Your reliable, paid-off car suddenly looks nine years old and it’s time to find a newer one. You’ll long to meet new people who share your interests. Mars in retrograde is a great time to:

  • Page through travel catalogues, book a vacation, search online for air and hotel deals at a place you’ve always wanted to go. Mars turning direct late in June will likely free up some money for this.
  • Attend a class or a meet-up, or go to a talk or conference on a topic that interests you intensely.
  • Obtain tickets to a concert, play, or other special arts event you’d never otherwise go to.
  • Try a new activity. Ever try archery, bowling, yoga, or martial arts? After a good warmup (essential under Mars retrograde), go for it. It needn’t cost you a fortune. Under Mars retrograde you can often find coupons and deals for free lessons and sessions.
  • Under Mars retrograde you probably won’t find Mister or Ms. Right, but take that pressure off and just have fun meeting people and socializing.
  • Sagittarius the archer is always aiming his bow forward, into the future. With Mars in retrograde, have one last mope about the injustices done to you, and then forgive and let the past be the past. Look ahead—pave the way to where you want to be.
  • Deep-clean and unclutter. Look around at the stuff on your floor that can get in your way: cords, wastebaskets, furniture, shoes, bags, under-the-bed stuff, piles of clothes, and so on. You want your pathway open physically as well as spiritually so that when Mars turns direct you will feel refreshed and eager for the future.
  • Wear new colors. Sagittarius is the fire sign, and Mars is the red planet. How about a splash of fiery red or orange in your wardrobe? When you change your colors, you change your life.

Retrograde planets can surprise you, and Mars retrograde might deliver a surprise that at first maybe won’t feel like a gift. It’s meant to shake you out of complacency and mindless routine. Why not surprise yourself by stepping outside your four walls toward your better future?

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