In astrology, Mars, the warrior planet, is associated with war, anger and recklessness, as well as more positive energies such as courage, bravery, ambition, drive and passion. However, every so often, Mars turns retrograde, and when that happens this fiery planet’s energy manifests slightly differently.
What is Mars Retrograde?
When a planet is in retrograde motion, it appears – as seen from here on earth – to be traveling backwards through the heavens. This is an optical illusion, similar to when you overtake a vehicle and the other vehicle appears to fall behind, even though it is still traveling forwards. No planet actually moves backwards in its orbit, but the astrological significance of a retrograde period comes from the symbolism of the apparent backwards motion.
Mars turns retrograde once every two years, for approximately 60-80 days. On this occasion, Mars is currently transiting through the zodiac sign Aries, so we say that Mars is turning retrograde in Aries.
What is the Astrological Significance of Mars Retrograde in Aries?
First and foremost, Mars retrograde brings about a decrease in energy and vitality in astrology, because this manifestation of this most active and vibrant planet is diverted. When Mars is retrograde, therefore, it’s difficult to maintain drive or ambition, or to find the energy or willpower to push ahead with difficult plans.
Because Mars is retrograde in Aries (its home zodiac sign), this retrograde period has a stronger influence than some others. Aries as a zodiac sign in astrology is associated with the need to win or to be first – but when Mars is retrograde, this competitive energy is turned inwards, which can lead us to be very harshly critical of ourselves.
Aries is also a highly impulsive zodiac sign, but the internalized or misdirected Martian energy keeps those impulses inside until almost the breaking point – so we find people living in a pressure cooker atmosphere, until someone snaps.
There are more positive elements to Mars energy being retrograde in Aries, too. Take bravery and courage, for example. During normal motion of Mars, its bravery tends to be expressed towards others, in a kind of knight in shining armor scenario. During Mars retrograde's transit through Aries, however, we are able to use our own courage and bravery internally – this can be a huge help to anyone who is trying to process a trauma or come to terms with mental health issues. We are stronger now than we can normally imagine and, provided this is channeled healthily, it can be a very positive thing.
In astrology, Aries can be quite a selfish zodiac sign, but when Mars is retrograde in Aries we can also learn from our selfishness. Use this period to understand how your own selfish actions may have contributed to your current situation or hurt others. While the warrior planet is turned inwards, we have a lot of learning to do, but we tend to emerge from a Mars retrograde period as better people.
Horoscopes: What Does Mars Retrograde in Aries Mean for Each Sun Sign?
Each Sun Sign will process Mars Retrograde's transit through Aries 2020 in a slightly different manner depending on their natal chart, but the key focus for all signs is that this huge energy, now turned inwards, can be put to positive use.
Aries Zodiac Sign (Aries Dates: March 20 – April 19) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
With Mars now retrograde in your own sign, you need to slow down. Your thoughts are probably racing, and you may feel physically restless, anxious or on edge during this transit. Try to avoid making hasty decisions – sleep on things first. If you can stay calm and take it easy, this period is excellent for karmic self-analysis and for learning from your past.
Taurus Zodiac Sign (Taurus Dates: April 20 – May 20) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Mars retrograde is here to show you that you cannot control every factor of life. You are a solid, practical sign, and you won’t like the all-at-sea feeling that comes with this Astro retrograde – but you can learn from it. Accept that you cannot micromanage life and allow things to unfurl as they are fated to. You will be OK.
Gemini Zodiac Sign (Gemini Dates: May 21 – June 20) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Resist the temptation to blame others for absolutely everything, Gemini. Somehow, you’ve played a major part in getting to where you are now. Instead of seeking someone to blame, work with your sweetheart, your family, your friends or colleagues, as applicable, to find a joint, win-win solution.
Cancer Zodiac Sign (Cancer Dates: June 21 – July 21) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Mars is retrograde in your career and ambitions zone, which means you need to dial down the competitive instinct and dial up the patience. Avoid trying to force the issue at work and definitely avoid anything unethical or immoral in your quest to get ahead. It's good to have self-confidence, but being a team player will get you further now than being a lone wolf.
Leo Zodiac Sign (Leo Dates: July 22 – August 22) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
You’ve been so focused on the detail that you’re losing sight of the bigger picture. Use the Mars retrograde period to re-think your life direction and ensure that you are still aligned with your goals. Don’t be surprised if you discover a new fascination, passion or obsession at this time. It won’t hurt to run with it.
Virgo Zodiac Sign (Virgo Dates: August 23 – September 22) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Materialistically, Virgo, you’re being taught by this Retrograde Mars that you already have more than enough of everything you need. It may not feel like it, for sure, but the more you to acquire during this period, the more you will lose. Instead, be generous, gracious and giving, of your time, your attention, and what money you can afford.
Libra Zodiac Sign (Libra Dates: September 23 – October 22) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
With Mars retrograde in your love zone, Libra, beware of passive aggressive behavior in your closest relationship. Don’t use love or sex as a weapon and be completely honest with your partner. There’s no getting away from the fact that this could be a stressful few weeks – but if you are sincerely in love, you’ll stay that way. Focus on what binds you together rather than what pushes you apart.
Scorpio Zodiac Sign (Scorpio Dates: October 23 – November 21) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Physically, Scorpio, this Retrograde Mars period hits you harder than most; you may feel lethargic or you may not be sleeping well. It’s important now to take care of your physical and mental health above all else. Don’t be too hard on yourself or expect too much. As much as you can do is as much as you can do, and that’s enough. Where possible, rest and enjoy the view.
Sagittarius Zodiac Sign (Sagittarius Dates: November 22 – December 20) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Don’t be surprised if you feel creatively blocked during this period. Ideas are thin on the ground and inspiration is a rare commodity indeed. It doesn’t matter. Focus on routine day to day tasks and get ahead with your most boring items of work. The more productive you can be now, even with mundane things, the more time you’ll have to enjoy when this period ends.
Capricorn Zodiac Sign (Capricorn Dates: December 21 – January 19) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Frustrations at home could boil over during this retrograde period, Capricorn, especially if you’re involved in a big domestic project or if you have difficult relatives. A few major rows may clear the air and arguments are not necessarily always a bad thing – but watch your temper. You can cut deeply with words, much more deeply than you realize, and not all violence is physical.
Aquarius Zodiac Sign (Aquarius Dates: January 20 – February 17) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
It’s hard to stay organized during this Mars retrograde period, Aquarius, so don’t worry if your brain feels like it’s in a blender. You’re not going mad. Resort to lists and sticky notes if you have to, but don’t blame yourself for dropping the ball now and then. Getting plenty of sleep is important, and you’ll also need to build in some time to relax.
Pisces Zodiac Sign (Pisces Dates: February 18 – March 19) during Mars Retrograde in Aries
Retrograde Mars in your money zone may indicate a slowdown in your financial situation. However, this can be a blessing in disguise. Instead of being driven to make money, you’re being driven to reflect on how blessed you in other ways. It’s a fantastic time to start a gratitude journal, which should give you a lot of insight.
*Note: The exact date and time Mars turns retrograde in Aries will differ depending on your timezone. This planet update was published the day before Mars turned retrograde in Aries in Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the year 2020, which is September 9, 2020 @ 18:22.