One of 2016’s key themes is the extended amount of time Mars will be fumbling for his arrows in Sagittarius. Generally, Mars spends about 6 weeks in a sign but he’ll be fanning the flames of Sadge for around of 20 weeks, 10 of which are in reverse. What is unique about this particular retrograde is, in addition to Sadge, Mars will retrace the steps he took back in February and early March, in his own sign of Scorpio. From April 17 through til June 28 Mars will be in the thick of retrograde motion and will finally enter Capricorn late September.
The red planet is astrology’s most prominent male symbol representing factors including war, aggression, competition, heat, violence and force. His positive manifestations include leadership, courage, bravery and the heat that Mars radiates often serves as the catalyst to strive onwards and upwards.
For the best part of 5 months, Mars will be visiting the same area of your life where Saturn also occupies until late next year. The area where you may be experiencing the struggle to find focus or the ability to move at the pace you’d prefer, like the half man half beast that the sign of Sagittarius represents ,Mars will swoop along and provide the inferno that will be a test of both courage and faith alike.
This retrograde phase will likely reduce roaring flames to mere embers, albeit temporarily, think slow cooker as opposed to flash fry. Although this may produce increased frustration, possibly even anger, every woman/man on a mission has to stop and recalibrate their compass from time to time.
This stop, backtrack and re-start can be beneficial if you wish to complete a task or project that has been on the ‘gonna do’ list for too long. The dissatisfaction of an incomplete undertaking may finally prompt you to bring something to a conclusion.
Mars retrograde is known to deliver sudden lack of confidence or reduced energy. If you tend to be action orientated, you might find your energy fluctuates. Similarly, if you are more inclined to plod along, sudden bursts of vitality may instigate progress that seemed beyond your capability.
Setbacks and obstacles can leave the planet of war to utilise less than virtuous methods of achieving ones means. In Sagittarius, the challenge is to stay ethical and maintain your integrity in pursuing your outcomes, whether that be climbing the corporate ladder, entering or ending a relationship or delving into and exploring spiritual practices.
These upcoming months you may question the path you’re travelling and wonder if you really have the passion to forge ahead. A destination that once seemed so clear and that you were so intent on may now leave you feeling ambivalent or possibly burnt out.
Before the embers fade entirely, Mars will back track into Scorpio. Here, is where Mars finds his home and you too can find a place of rest and retreat where you can re-stratagise, re-plan and gather the necessary tools required to rekindle your fire. Mars will also re-enter a different place in your birth chart, reducing the temperature from where you’re experiencing the most heat. May 28 – June 28 will provide your best opportunity for solace and retreat, to whet some new arrows and rebuild your energy reserves, returning to full energy, full passion and to surge towards your greatest ideals.
Often retrogrades are described as ‘re’ doing, ‘re’ working, ‘re’ vising. While this is true to some degree, Mars retrograde tends to be a test of ‘how bad do you want it?’ As it often happens in life, what is most enduring and permanent is forged in fire.
Mars and Saturn tend to reflect the less favourable themes in life such as separation, distance, anger, fear and responsibility (the list is endless), together, they do provide a willingness to work. Though your energy levels may flicker like a fluorescent light bulb due to be replaced, in the next few months, you may find the gift of a temporary slow down is the renewal of your passion and energy. You may experience a few hits and misses or lost opportunities now, but a second bite of the apple is promised in August and September.
Mars retrograde dates for your diary…
April 17th- station retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius
May 28th – Mars retrograde into Scorpio
June 29th – Mars direct at 23 degrees Scorpio, end of retrograde
August 3rd – Mars returns to Sagittarius
August 23rd – Mars conjoins Saturn
September 28th – Mars in Capricorn
*You may also enjoy this blog post about Mars Rx, I wrote back in February
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***Interested about how Mars extended focus will play out for you? Find out about my readings here