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Mars Retrograde Meaning What You Can Expect Every Two Years

Mars goes into Retrograde every two years; here’s what you can expect no matter what Sign this red planet is Transiting.

Who wouldn't want the capacity to pursue their desires in an unstoppable manner?!

Life would be fantastic if we could chase our goals without hindrances or long wait times.

Of course, this is something most would want; a life that’s free of blockages. Everyone feels empowered when things are going as planned. However, sometimes in our lives, we must wait patiently while sitting quietly with our hands neatly folded.


However, Mars is not one to take it easy; this celestial body has no patience and want’s everything immediately! But, once Mars Retrograde rolls in, that fast-paced approach becomes ineffective.


In Astrology, Retrogrades are a period to slow down to recalibrate, review and redirect, so when we’re dealing with a Mars RX, it can feel more frustrating than most of the other Inverse Phases.


Here’s what you can expect anytime Mars enters Retrograde, no matter what year or Sign this planet is in during any of its Regressive Phases.

How Mars Retrograde Works



Mars is the planet that governs our aspirations, our desire for things, and how we pursue our goals.

This red planet is our hype person or the motivational speaker that gets us fired up so we can seize life by the horns. Mars also governs our sex drive, which helps us pursue a healthy bedroom life. And this celestial body helps us assert ourselves and get in touch with our brave side so we can be victorious in life.

During Mars Retrogrades, however, this action-oriented planet goes inward so that we can review these topics. When this happens, our ability to react slows down and, in some respects, could feel like it’s come to a halt.

Because Mars only goes backward every two years or so, this Retrograde is more potent than Mercury’s Inverse Cycle. Also, this manifests differently than Mars Retrograde in the Natal Chart.

The less frequent an Astrological event, the more enunciated it becomes. Considering Mars is only in its Regressive Cycle, 7% of the time, we go from highly kinetic energy to needing to pump the brakes.

Mars will spend about 6 to 7 months in a Sign throughout an Inverse Phase.

Mars's Regressive Phases remind us of things we've forgotten. For this reason, it’s essential to work through this energy effectively, even if it feels like an annoyance. Unlike other planets (except Venus, which has an RX cycle every 18 months), Mars only Retrogrades every two years.

Mars rules two Signs, Aries and Scorpio, so we deal with two sides of this Retrograde.

Mars' dual essence includes a fire adaption and a watery spirit. The Warrior facet, influenced by the fiery Aries-like part, brings forth physical manifestations. Its water character, which is Scorpionic, brings in the psychological effects of Mars Retrogrades, which is on the other side of that.


So, in addition to our ability to act, we must also consider the underlying issues brought to the fore.


Its Pre-Shadow Period lasts a little over two months. This is the time when our Retrograde theme shows up. In other words, when we see an ongoing scenario related to this Inverse Cycle, it’s important to jot it down because it will be with us throughout the next 7 months.

Over that period, it will slow down, going about one degree every two days.

Then by the time we reach the 2 ½ months mark, this planet will Station in Retrograde for a while. In this phase, we retrace our steps from the past 12 weeks and work on the topics that need a resolution from the Pre-Shadow-Period.

We then hit the Post Shadow RX section, which will last another 12 weeks. In this portion of the Regressive Period, we now deal with all of the themes piling up; however, we can maneuver easier since some of the blockages have been worked through, and we have more clarity in our situation.

All Retrograde planets are closest to Earth, causing their energies to be louder than typical.

Once a planet, Stations on either side of its Regressive Period are at max strength.

However, since this Retrograde is longer and less frequent than Mercury RX, things feel more intense and non-stop. Because this planet is on the other side of the Sun, solar waves are not obstructing its energy from Earth's perspective. As a result, Mars’s Transit will be felt louder than typical because it has nothing to impede its intensity, and despite moving slowly, the power does not diminish.

One of the cool things about these phenomena is we can at least go out and take pictures of Mars. So, take advantage of Mars’s visibility because it’s only available to us like this every few years.

Mars Retrogrades Of The Last 10 Years



A Mars RX phase tends to feel like our speed boats went into failure, and now we’re stranded on an island until we can find a way to reorient our vessel. Of course, the stifling nature of this Inverse Cycle can be beyond frustrating.

To understand what themes might surface in your life, one must look at the last time Mars went Retrograde.

  • Mars, for instance, entered Retrograde in its Home Sign of Aries on September 9, 2020, to November 14th, 2020. The Inverse Cycle occurred from 28 to 15 Degrees of Aries.

  • On June 26, 2018, it went backward at 9 degrees Aquarius, then to 28 Capricorn. Mars then went Direct on August 27th, 2018.

  • Before that, it backed into 23 Scorpio on April 17, 2016, and Retrograded into 8 Sagittarius. This planet went out of RX on June 29th, 2016

  • Prior to the 2016 RX, it was Retrograded on March 1, 2014, at 27 degrees in Libra to May 19th, 2014. This planet went Direct at 9 degrees of Libra.

  • For fun, let's add one more date: another inverse incident occurred in 2012 on January 24 at 23 degrees of Virgo. Mars went Direct on April 13th, 2012, at 3 degrees of Virgo.

See the 2-year pattern?!

To understand how the next Retrograde will impact your life, look back at some of these periods. Consider these dates and how your sense of longing, motivation, and purpose might have altered.


How Retrograde Mars Affects Us



Even though Mars RX can be stressful, it’s an excellent time to gain a solution to correct the things in your life that require healing.

With this Inverse Cycle, we look at scenarios about going after what you want, and it is possible to experience more than one of these outcomes.


Depending on how this Retrograde is aspecting your chart, you could experience one or 3 of these themes. Mars RX can be broken up into sections, so some topics might be physicality, while others might have to do with how you assert yourself.

The critical situations that arise for you to address are as follows:

Are You Living in a Passive or Reactionary Way?

Mars has to do with how we assert ourselves, so topics about this could come up for review.


  • How do you respond to conflict?

  • Passive-aggressive energy can resemble a pressure cooker that's about to burst.

  • Regulate an irrational attitude and learn how to react in a healthy manner

  • Increase your self-confidence and fight for your principles.

  • With others, issues that have been brewing may finally be resolved.

  • In the end, you learn how to speak up and protect yourself.

  • This is the moment to assess your condition if you suffer from reckless mouth syndrome or anger management problems.

  • Arrogant people tend to get a slice of humble pie during this transit.

  • A chance to confront the issues you avoided out of fear

  • Understanding self-discipline

  • People who are violent, possessive, jealous, petty, or no longer have a place in your life tend to get cut off.

It’s Should Be All About You

Mars helps us look out for ourselves because sometimes, that’s where our focus needs to go.


  • Past goals resurface because it's time to assess and determine whether you are still interested in them.

  • Additionally, you can view things differently if you are suppressed in some way.

  • We learn to resolve issues by being self-reliant.

  • This could be a time to return to your original self after being inauthentic due to a relationship or other circumstance that caused you to abandon yourself.

  • Resuming old aims that you set aside a few years ago or a passion or pastime that you've always had an interest in

  • Collectively, there is a chance for aggressive behavior to be more amped up than typical.

  • Try to take a step back and review your direction rather than reacting impulsively or going into survival mode.

  • This period could give you the urge to work on past trauma.

  • Hidden aggression, like resentment or secrets, comes out sideways if you aren’t advocating for yourself.

  • Reconnecting with our personal power so we can face the things that make us uncomfortable.

Are You in Shape Physically?

Mars deals with our ability to use energy and channel it into physical activity, which could be another theme during the Retrograde. Also, it could show manifestations of stress, feeling drained, bodily irritation, or mishaps due to impulsivity.


  • We may have to slow down physically and mentally to avoid mishaps

  • Exhaustion becomes more pronounced in some cases requiring additional sleep.

  • There could be an increase in inflammation.

  • Avoid rash reactions resulting in harm, accidents, burns, and cuts.

  • Put on sunscreen while you're at it. I’m not kidding. Mars deals with skin irritations. Protecting your skin is a given, but Mars being Retrograde pronounces these issues, so cover up if you’re out in the sun a lot.

  • A time to cut off things that prevent you from taking action, drain your energy, or individuals who impede your progress

  • Take care of your immune system as it may become compromised due to Mars having to do with our vigor.

  • When you have been operating nonstop, know when to take a rest; with our planet of action going backward, we could feel burnt out easier than expected.

  • It's an excellent time to focus on your libido, promiscuity difficulties, passion levels, and desire for closeness.

  • Try to put off elective procedures, but if you absolutely must have one, make sure you get all the facts.

  • If you’re new to cosmetic Injectables, it could cause irritation. Needles in the skin during Mars Retrograde can be problematic. For those who had these treatments, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue; it’s more so starting something you never tried before during a Retrograde.

  • The same goes for tattoos, piercings, and branding on the body, especially the face and private areas, which could lead to irritation. I’m not saying don’t do it but make sure you know your stuff, and if it’s your first time, wait until the Retrograde is over.

  • Mars deals with skin eruptions, so the chances of skin mishaps are more potent than typical.

  • This could be a time to get back on track with your fitness and endurance.

  • Vitality reserves will be unleashed, for better or worse.

How To Be Pumped

With Mars Retrograde, we could reconnect with our go-getter side and learn to be more excited about life. In some cases, this could be a period to step back from things you were enthusiastic about because they might not be the right fit for you.


  • Working on your levels of enthusiasm will be a must.

  • This could be a time to step away from aims that are no longer enticing.

  • Adjusting your approach to pursuing your goals

  • Finding ways to stay motivated on a passion project that’s worth your energy

  • Working on why you’ve felt disjointed and unfocused

  • We could feel drained and not have as much of a competitive edge

  • On an inflated side, there could be issues with people who need to win everything.

  • Coming to an understanding that you were acting on the wrong things.

  • This supplies a burst of enthusiasm for individuals who lack motivation, causing you to begin working on something you put off.

  • Learning to focus your efforts on goals that will help you succeed

  • Seeing why you need to work on your confidence

  • It's time for you to adopt a winning mentality.


Mars Retrogrades puts us on task to pick ourselves up off the ground and get back on the horse. We learn to restore our strength in the areas of life affected so we can assert our individual authority.

These are tricky lessons to revisit, but if you don't avoid the challenges to overcome from this Retrograde, you will succeed. In other words, when things slow down or stop, it is for a purpose but also a blessing in disguise.

Therefore, it is essential to take some time to contemplate during these Retrograde periods. That way, you can reroute yourself to the best destination for you.

Use Mars’s RX cycle to reclaim any suppressed ambitions and get back in touch with your personal power.



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