Home / Cosmic Update / Mars Retrograde – April 17 – June 29

Mars Retrograde – April 17 – June 29

[photography: George Dimitrov]
[photography: George Dimitrov]
Mars is the planet of action, energy, drive, masculine sexuality and the force to assert or defend our own unique identity, often at all costs.  The dynamic effect of Mars, both in our natal charts and by transit, also influences our individual needs for carnal, materialistic and physical fulfilment. It is the force that drives our basic need for physical survival against the elements of nature and serves to protect us from any likelihood of predation or competition by others in the social arena. At its highest operation, the action of Mars acts as a defender and preserver of the higher self, thus ensuring our best possible chance to complete our spiritual mission here on earth.

Mars does this whole ‘defence’ thing regardless of whether we are aware of our ‘higher purpose’ or not. He’s the little warrior within us that fires up, takes arms and strikes (fight or flight) whenever we feel threatened on any level. Mars may also act in offence/defence for anything under threat that we might identify as an extension of ourselves, be it people, things or ideas.

When Mars turns retrograde, its energies are directed inwards, and we reflect back on events or incidents where we feel we have failed to protect or defend our self appropriately. Feeling we have sublimated, twisted, distorted, denied or betrayed our self interests, the retrograde can instigate an intense inner journey as our personal warrior seeks to restore his connection to the Higher Self.

During his retrograde, it would appear that Mars’ reflections upon past efforts where he has felt unsuccessful in upholding boundaries, will now, somehow turn inwards on the self. Rather than asserting force outwardly, regrets, self-denial and repressed anger begin to take form internally. This is particularly true if there are any regrets that in our past pursuit to fulfil physical desires, impulsiveness to assert ourselves has driven us to rash and thoughtless actions, resulting in unnecessarily hostile, self-defeating or repugnant outcomes.

Whilst on some level, these incidents may have seemed necessary, during retrograde, we seek to redress these instances. This sets us off into a different kind of activity:

Mars Rx

Motivated by an incentive for retribution or ‘setting things straight’, we make an attempt to ‘correct’ our past, discordant actions. However, the less conscious we are of this tendency, the more we will appear to others as either coming on too strong, too late, or totally unnecessarily. Sensing a danger of humiliation or rejection, we then quickly pull back, retreating further into the anger with self. In this, we become infuriatingly trapped in an inward spiral of personal discontent and irritability. This then develops into a harboured grudge, contempt or mistrust towards anyone who dared to reject our efforts to ‘fix our efforts’. Eventually this pent up heat is taken either into the mind/body/spirit (inflammatory dis-ease) or it is vented outwardly by indiscriminate displays of misdirected anger, hostility, or revenge.

Familiar with such cycles? Perhaps you were born with a retrograde Mars yourself.

Anyway, during the next few months, it is this process which needs to be checked, since individuals who become prone to act in this mode are now inclined to express Mars energy in a subjectively anguished, wild, and apparently hapless manner, exhibiting all sorts of destructive behaviour, particularly upon themselves or towards their own kind.

Driven to make amends for any actions perceived to be a ‘failure’, ‘disappointment’, or for a reticence to take any action at all (when action seemed most necessary), there is a tendency to over-react in the cause to ‘undo a wrong-doing’, or to over-compensate for any under-performed deeds.

So goes the desperate recourse of the individual who becomes dangerously trapped in the destructive cycle of the ill-expressed Mars in retrograde.

  1. [photography: George Dimitrov]
    [photography: George Dimitrov]
    Sensing bitterness for past actions
  2. Feeling driven to make amends
  3. being blocked or rejected by others
  4. Anger becomes internalised
  5. Mental/physical/spiritual/emotional aggravation
  6.  Surfacing later as aggression (expressed as inflammatory symptoms/reactions)
  7. Seething over-reaction and blame
  8. Anger at one’s world

On the higher note, the more mindful, less self-absorbed individual is able to process this inward-turning journey of Rx Mars more constructively, taking a less subjective or personal course of action. Keeping a meditative, or reflective view of instances where they may have acted with the sole intent to satisfy ego desires, they come to own how these may have served to aggravate situations for them and the world around them. By choosing to integrate any past regrets into purposeful attempts to close off, resolve and dispel any disputes or hostilities they set the ball rolling for true repair work. This can be achieved by offering their energy resources towards a project, cause or rekindling of relationships that is based on co-operation rather than competition. Beginning with the self, the individual can choose to focus on overcoming any selfish tendencies in their desire complexes that seize control over them, becoming more outwardly engaged in ways and means that serve the higher self.

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

~ Buddha

Mars retrograde at 8°54′ Sagittarius (April 17 – May 27)

Here, we begin to sense an individual impulse to assert our understanding of the entire world and everyone’s place in it, all at once, with a hasty restlessness. The impetus to do something ‘true and meaningful’, one which aligns to our philosophical/religious beliefs and cultural values is so overwhelmingly strong, yet impossible to implement with any objective respect to anyone’s individual needs or priorities.

"Nobody fucks with the Jesus..." ~ The Big Lebowski
“Nobody fucks with the Jesus…” ~ The Big Lebowski

A scattering of our energies ensues, not only outwardly through the things we do, but internally as a hit & miss effort to impart what we believe to be ‘living our truth’. Inwardly, the inability to pinpoint exactly what is driving our desires causes us to act from the place of  ‘self-righteousness’ or to exude a sense of ‘moral arrogance’, pitting us into an endless cycle of trying to justify our cause, first to others, then ourselves, then to others…. etc. The real danger comes when we feel challenged or insulted in the course of trying to assert any ill-conceived philosophical notions, or misinterpretations of our ‘god-truth’ to those who just don’t get it (even to ourselves).

The ego-driven personality takes such offense to heart, becoming angered first with others, then with his own truth, which eventually may escalate into a war over principles motivated by confusion and fantasy, rather misaligned with the principles of universal Higher Law.

Ultimately all actions lead us to turn inward, where we are called to transmute all our errant experiences into exploring the real reason for our existence. It can be a conflicting journey, quite crushing, especially if we are acting from a place of judgement, both towards others and upon ourselves.

Mars retrograde in Scorpio (May 27 – June 29-direct)

All activity now turns towards exploring the inner life, waging an indefatigable fight to delve deeper and deeper into the true motives behind why it is that we feel we must satisfy our personal desires. Working desperately to find the true cause behind where our power comes from and what leads us into temptation, we may become caught up in the pulses of attributing blame or scorn upon any external forces that we deem to be working to prevent us from reaching wilful self-control.

[art: Michael MacRae]
In this horrid struggle between our inner ‘demons’ and outer seductions, we begin to engage into a fierce, largely unconscious psychological war against any perceived enemies that may sabotage our fixed desire to gain power over ourselves.

So, with the retrograde Mars in Scorpio, rather than seek to directly satisfy our intense psychological  desires, we turn instead to appeasing any grudges and vengeances against all those that tempt us to fulfil these (sex, addictions, power, pain) hence entering a much more complex cycle of indirect, brooding aggression. The only result in this destructive activity is that we eventually become our own worst enemy by eventual self-immolation.

Ultimately, we must learn that instead of destroying ourselves, our best efforts are to focus on destroying those elements of our inner nature that blindly keep us at odds with our exterior world and alienate us from others.


© All rights reserved, Ang Stoic 2016


  1. This was a perfectly timed piece! Thank you for the insights. I can relate so much to this. Thank you for new awareness.

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