This summer is more favourable for introspection, reflection and readjustments than for launching new projects. Mars, the planet of action went retrograde on the 26th of June and it will go direct only on the 27th of August.
When a planet is retrograde, it appears to move backwards viewed from the Earth. Certainly there is no physical change of direction, but it has an Astrological significance. Apart of the two luminaries (Sun and Moon) every planet goes retrograde. They have their own cycles; Mars moves backwards every two years. His last retrograde occured in 2016 while transiting Scorpio and Sagittarius.
While retrograde periods are part of the natural planetary cycles, from human perspective they can be quite a challenge. They are associated with slowdowns, delays, breakdowns and all sorts of impasses. Mars is associated with energy, passion, drive, determination, self-assertivity, agression, stamina, achievement, ambition, competition, sexuality. It rules wars, weapons, accidents, conflagrations, surgery.
Consequently during Mars retrograde we are likely to experience lower (or changing) energy levels. There may be difficulties with asserting your will ( represented by outer obstacles, resistance or explicite hostility of the environment), launching projects and progressing with them. Due to the blocked or distorted flow of Martian energy these periods are accident and illness- prone. Other issues of mismanaged anger may also rise. They can be related to passive agression, power struggles, violence, impulsiveness. Thus finding healthy outlets for these impulses is essential. Hatha Yoga, different styles of Tai-Chi, Martial Arts can be an option as well as physical exercise generally. Walking in the nature, meditation, different types of mental toughness exercises, creative activity can be helpful, too.
It is also very important, not to push forward when you encounter a hindrance or you experience a slowdown. This is an invitation to make some fine attunements, make a pause to pay attention to the subtle signals of your instincts, to think twice about the possible implications of your projects and actions. Trying to move forward by force can only be a source of further frustration during retrogrades. The more you push, the more you’ll be pushed back, and if you force the progress you may completely block it. So take a break, detach your mind, focus your attention on other areas of life and do your best to figure out what this situation wants to teach you. (Your dreams may have important messages about it, so take your time to write them.)
What to expect ?
The way retrograde Mars will manifest depends on the charracteristics of your birth chart and your level of awareness. However there are some general traits. During 2018 Mars travels through Aquarius, the sign associated with our ideals, longer-term goals, the causes we value, friendships, groups, supporters, social concerns, innovations, revolutions, freedom, individuality, nonconformity, the unconventional, technology, internet, etc.
During the current transit Mars opposes the planets in Leo (Venus – 25th of June, Mercury – 5th of July, Sun – 27th of August), squares Uranus in Taurus and Jupiter in Scorpio. The T-square between Mars in Aquarius, Sun in Leo, Uranus in Taurus will play a central role in the chart of the full lunar eclipse of the 27th of July. The challenging aspects Mars makes during this transit with the planets in the other fixed signs, will direct our attention to the themes of Leo, Taurus and Scorpio, too. For instance Leo and Aquarius are two complementary and antagonistic archetypes. Leo is about the individual, the needs of the ego, the importance of creativity, self-expression, passion, love, leisures, hobbies in our lives. It also involves topics related to children/ childhood, teachings, sports. Taurus has to do with our stability, security, value system, the material world, finances, etc. Passion, sexuality, obsessions, deepness, instincts, transformation, intimacy, death, crises, regeneration, shared values, taxes, secret, taboos belong to the Plutonic underworld of the Scorpio. Thus the issues we are to deal with during the coming few months will be related in one way or other to these analogies. They will play out both on individual and collective level.
Fixed signs can be very opinionated and stubborn. Destructive thought patterns or behaviors can slow down all the parts involved in the interactions. The frictions are likely to be centered around the following topics: adventure versus security, freedom versus commitment, hanging on old hurts, on power, on outworn ideologies, philosophies, getting stuck in the comfort zone, clinging to old habits and traditions. The spirit of initiative, revolution, spontaneousness, eagerness of asserting your identity, uniqueness will be combined with a lot of hot air. We will see a lot of drama queens and kings on the stages. The square aspects can play out in impatience, temper tantrums -especially in case of rejections and hindrances. Foolish risk taking, getting involved in conflicts which could be avoided with empathy, timing and patience also are a part of the picture.
Delays and adjustments regarding your projects and longer term goals are also expectable. This doesn’t mean that you will have to give them up, but new ways of approach, paying more attention to the details, some corrections may be needed. During retrogrades hidden aspects can be revealed, even some skeletons may fall out of the wardrobe, leading to a complete change of perspective.
Relationships (both intimate ones and friendships, aquintanceships) can go through different transformations. Generally the tensions arisen during the retrograde periods will prevail until the planet turns direct, and the new directions will clear up only after it leaves the zone of the retrograde shadow. (In case of Mars this happens only on the 9th of October, although it will go direct on the 27th of August).
Do not forget that Facebook – groups and other forms of online communities are also ruled by Aquarius. Heated up dialogues in social media communities can be a trademark of this Astrological period. If you own a website, a Facebook page or a group don’t let the communication escalate. Trolling, cyberstalking, cíberbullying, hacking can also be a serious issue.
There can be a lot of revolts and protests. There are many occasions when the circumstances and rules are really restrictive and should be criticised. However, due to the challenging aspects Mars makes during this period (especially the square with its ruler, Uranus), people are prone to break the rules for the sheer sake of driving against the traffic. (Let’s not forget that as a fixed sign Aquarius may hang on to old ideas, concepts and philosophies believing that he represents something new and radical. He may also believe that the only way to bring changes is to revolt and incite against those norms which make communities work. In such cases he pays very less attention to the longer term consequences.) Since this is a theoretical sign, practical tools and groundedness necessary to make the reforms work may be missing.