Mars typically spends about 6 – 8 weeks in a sign, but when it turns retrograde it camps out to fan its flames a lot longer. Whereas we have the pleasure of experiencing Mercury retrograde three times a year, Mars only does his retrograde tap dance every two years. In 2020 Mars is going to hang out in his home of Aries from June 27th – January 6th.
Holy Moly!! Did you catch that?!? I’m going to say it again: 193 days of Mars in Aries!!
If you don’t know where Aries falls in your birth chart, now would be the time to get acquainted. I imagine it going something like this: Cue Frank Sinatra’s “I Do It My Way” as ambiance music. “Self, meet the sign of the Ram. I understand you like to set the rules, volunteer yourself as tribute.” Expect some sort of grunt in acknowledgement. “So, you are going to be reorganizing my house of family/career/relationships/money, etc for the next 4 months? And in that time you will be changing the rules of how things get done? Awesome.” Then, remove all breakable things, put the trophies on display, and be wary of all sharp objects.
The last Mars retrograde was in 2018. There, he flitted about between Capricorn and Aquarius. What was different about this is he was doing his back and forth dance about 149 days (May 12, 2018 – October 8, 2018). And the flavor was different as he danced between topics. Different signs occupy different houses and thus highlight different areas of your life. For me Mars was tripping back and forth between my 1st house of self image and my 2nd house of income.
But let’s compare apples with apples shall we? In 2018 Mars hung out in his shadow periods and retrograde for about 149 days total. In 2020 he is going to be hanging out in his shadow periods and retrograde for 161 days. This does not include the total time he will be spending in Aries alone which adds up to 193 days. Ladies and Gentleman, let me again redirect you to paragraph 3 where you introduce yourself to Aries. This is not a drill.
So what does Mars retrograde really do? It asks us to reassess our current projects, our desires, and how we get things done. It makes us really question: is this the best way to get what I want? During Mars retrograde we see that planet’s energy get turned inward and internalized. Mars at it’s worst is rage. Rage directed at ourselves is really hard. It can turn into depression, blaming ourselves, and resentment. During the retrograde periods we second-guess ourselves, we appear indecisive, and we don’t trust our first instinct to act. However Mars in retrograde at it’s best makes us courageous: it dares us to do something different. Just because we have always done things a certain way doesn’t mean it is the BEST way. And Mars in Aries wants to be THE BEST. It forces us to innovate and take a leap of faith. During retrograde periods it gives us the grace to step out of what is normal for ourselves. If you are that kid who waits to be called on, take the initiative and raise your hand. If you are the one who waits for life to happen and then react, be the one who starts something new. You get to learn how to RESPOND vs REACT. Both are action-oriented, but the latter shows an evolved emotional wisdom. The Universe has given you permission to experiment during this time. During retrogrades, everything slows down a bit. We aren’t as effective and our to-do list gets short circuited. It is designed that way so we can do things better once the pace picks back up. Is your anger really justified or is it a reflex that you’ve learned.
What is nice about this retrograde is that Mars is spending the whole time in his house. He knows where his comfy chair is and his Netflix password is loaded up. He doesn’t have to tiptoe around someone else’s domicile and learn their rules. He can sit back and really be king of his castle, surrounded by his trophies and chugging Red Bull. What is also nice about this period is that during Mars’s stay in Aries, he will be the sole planet in that part of the chart aside from the monthly visit from the Moon. He doesn’t have to compete with anyone else for attention.
Another bonus of this Mars retrograde is that we just completed our Venus retrograde in June. So while Venus retrograde really asks us what we want, the Mars retrograde asks if the way we are fulfilling our desires by the most effective means. They go hand in hand. Sometimes things don’t line up as well, but in 2020 it does. The timeline is perfect.
Other ways retrogrades can manifest are old projects coming back from the past asking for completion. This could be a work project, a home project, or even an old sexual partner trying to see if the sparks are still there. If Aries is in your 7th house, you could have old fighting patterns resurface. But the bonus is you get to figure out how to deal with them once and for all to have resolution.
Aries in your 1st: Time to look at your anger. How do you respond vs. react. Watch the negative self-talk and reprogram yourself.
Aries in your 2nd: It’s all about the Benjamins. Do you go through money like wildfire? It’s time to rework that financial system of yours.
Aries in your 3rd: Are you assuming good intent when communicating? Are you truly listening or just thinking of your next response when people are talking?
Aries in your 4th: Expect some home renovations or dealing with your family members
Aries in your 5th: Are your children getting enough attention or are they acting out? It might be a good time to pick up an old hobby or sport you enjoyed in the past.
Aries in the 6th: Individual work projects come back or its time to rework your health.
Aries in your 7th: You know that fight that keeps occurring? Its time to find resolution once and for all.
Aries in your 8th: Are your debts asking for attention? Time to work with the IRS for a plan moving forward. It’s also a good time to revisit alimony or child support.
Aries in your 9th: Are you really driven to go back to school or is it a “should”? Maybe its time to find a new faith or church that supports your beliefs.
Aries in your 10th: Maybe it’s time for you to take the helm at work or finally resolve the boss issues and stand up for yourself. For some of you this means taking the initiative and stepping out on your own.
Aries in your 11th: Are you stuck in a rut with your friends? Maybe it’s time to branch out.
Aries in in your 12th: Take stock of how you assert yourself. Are you undermining yourself? It’s time to find your healthy boundaries and say NO.
Leave me a note of what you are hoping Mars retrograde will help you in 2020.