What's Mars Retrograde?
Mars is moving retrograde this Summer—a once in 2 year event—from June 26 to August 27. Mars represents new initiatives, our enterprising abilities and overall energy levels. So for everyone, this summer might feel a bit, well, sluggish.
Mars Rx in Aquarius: 6/26-8/12
Aquarius is an Air sign, so there will be a Mercury retrograde-type feel while Mars moves backward through Aquarius: miscommunications with friends, technological misfires or breakdowns, social awkwardness or challenges meeting new people and difficulties getting your message across with even our nearest and dearest are all likely to happen during this cycle.
Mars Rx in Capricorn: 8/12-8/27
While Mars retrogrades through the late degrees of Capricorn, the energy will shift slightly to reflect areas of life associated with the sign of Capricorn—namely, work, career, our social status or “image.” One key difference in Mars changing signs is that Mars is considered “exalted” in the sign of Capricorn. What this means is that Mars is simply more productive in the sign of Capricorn. So while the slower pace of Mars retrograde will still be in effect, the bright side here is that putting energy into any work projects that may have lapsed can be reinvigorated through some careful revision or review now.
The upside? Mars retrograde teaches us perseverance through patience, how to recognize the ways we push ourselves or others, and to learn from impulsive actions. You might realize the need to cut that bad friend out of your life, tone it down (or up?) when it comes to social media, or learn the value of patience in your sex and dating life. Whatever the realizations you have during this cycle, for best results, save yourself the time and think now, act later.
When Mars moves retrograde, there’s a tendency to “shoot yourself in the foot,” so to speak, especially if you tend to push yourself too hard in one way or another. Whether hitting the gym too hard, trying too hard with a friend or special someone or overworking on the job, Mars retrograde periods are generally not an ideal time to “push” anything, as any attempts to do so will likely backfire.
If you can, use this time to go back to projects that were left unfinished or put on the back burner. Mars retrograde is a fantastic time to go back to old projects you may have started but never finished, revise old work, or to do some research into those great ideas you might’ve dismissed, put on the back burner or forgotten about entirely.
Sex, Romance & (Online) Dating
Mars is the planet associated with sexuality and sexual desire. So don’t be surprised if you or people you know are feeling some frustration when it comes to fulfillment on this level. Online dating especially is subject to more awkwardness than usual during this time, so please handle with care. Though all transits are ultimately a learning experience, if you find yourself continually frustrated in the dating department now, the wisest action is to ask yourself why the “sex thing” isn’t “your thing” right now.
With Mars retrograde in Aquarius, pursuing a sexual relationship with a friend, acquaintance or, heaven forbid, an ex may...um...not the best idea for the time being. Tempting though it may be to seek a “familiar” source of sexual satisfaction during this phase, you’ll be better off in the end if you keep your cool.
Online dating especially is subject to even more awkwardness than usual during this time, so it may be best to focus more on cultivating the romantic aspect of our dating lives instead of pushing a strictly sexual agenda with those we find ourselves attracted to.
The benefit of this cycle is that it gives us the opportunity to reflect upon what’s working and not working in our sex/dating lives so that we can make changes if needed. For instance, you might realize that your seeming “lack” of opportunities in your dating or sex life is really only in your head; or, you might realize that although you are sexually active you might not be “feeling the love” on the romantic side of things.
So whether you’re single or spoken for, *do* focus on cultivating the romantic element of your connection with whoever you find yourself feeling (up) this Summer.
Friends, Communication & Social Media
Asserting yourself within a group of friends or acquaintances is likely to create misunderstandings at this time, so if there’s any dispute with a friend or ex-lover during this period, it may be best to keep quiet for the time being. Any new initiative involving networking, particularly via the internet or social media, might hit a bump or two in the road this Summer.
Be particularly mindful of your message when expressing yourself through any technological medium, whether through text, email or social media. Whatever you send, post, or write is not likely to be taken the way it was intended, which may or may not cause problems in your social world.
Disputes that do arise during this period are a signal that it may be time to “look in the mirror” and reassess our role within our current group of friends or even simply our “image” in terms of how we communicate our feelings and thoughts—how we come across—to others.
Do we even like the people we’ve surrounded ourselves with? Are our friends interested in our personal growth and the general interests of the group, or are they selfish in ways you might’ve readily overlooked in the past? Taking a closer look at our friendships, social networks and past long-term relationships will be extremely useful to those willing to reflect this Summer.
Work, Revise, Repeat
As mentioned, Mars retrograde is not a favorable time to launch new projects or enterprises. But while we may be able to maintain a certain degree of control over this energy in our personal lives, the reality is that most of us have jobs requiring us to start projects and enterprises on a regular basis—and let’s face it: most of our bosses would not take kindly to “I can’t, sorry, Mars is in retrograde.”
If you work within a large corporation, getting new initiatives or projects off the ground is likely to bring frustration through having to navigate exhausting administrative delays or other red tape; those of us who own internet-based businesses may struggle with launching a new website, podcast, blog, social media enterprises or anything involving our online presence.
For those of us who work for an organization, avoid being the point person on any new projects you might be assigned now. The reason? Whether it’s an impossible deadline you’re tasked to meet, your go-to co-worker is on vacation for an entire month, or you realize it “just can’t be done,” you don’t want to be the one who’s thrown under the bus when that pristine project idea ends up requiring more fine-tuning than originally anticipated.
So What Should You Do While Mars Is Retrograde This Summer?
My answer to this one is simple: Be patient. If you can, use this time to re-assess any friendships, old flames or work projects left unfinished or in need of closure.
But rest assured: Whether it’s a new romance, friendship or work project that’s hit a snag, don’t be afraid to make a plan of action. No matter what your latest and greatest ambition is, once Mars begins to move direct again at the end of August, you’ll certainly be able to get it off the ground with gusto.