Retreat! – Mars Retrograde in Sagittarius and Scorpio March – September 2016
By Agent 17 – Armand Diaz
Every two years or so, Mars retrogrades for about ten weeks. As a result, one or two signs get an extended visit from the Cosmic Warrior. With a two-year orbit, we’d expect Mars to spend about two months in each sign – and he generally does. Thanks to his retrograde, however, Mars will be traversing Scorpio and Sagittarius for nearly nine months in 2016.
Mars’ retrogrades are typically considered less than ideal for beginning things that require a lot of drive. For example, an exercise program begun under Mars retrograde may get off to a great start, but after a month or so the expensive membership to the health club goes unused. Beginning a new job can present problems, too, as the motivation to accomplish something is likely to be reduced. Enthusiasm for work of any kind may not be very strong, or it may be quite strong but fail to manifest. Imagine proudly strutting into your new office on the first day of work, hanging up your coat, sitting down at your desk, heaving a sigh of accomplishment… and spending the rest of the day wondering what you should do.
Famously, or infamously, Mars retrogrades are thought of as a poor time to begin a new sexual relationship. The sex drive is turned inward during these periods, and so outer-directed activities may fizzle. There’s no reason to be celibate, and if a new sexual partnership starts off grand then dries up, it may be worthwhile anyway, but be aware that ‘hot and heavy’ may become simply heavy.
We can’t put life on hold for ten weeks, of course. It’s better to get a paycheck and pay your rent than to wait for Mars to go direct to start your new job. And as for sex, well… you know. Whatever experiences the retrograde brings, you can learn from them and incorporate the lessons into your life. Very frequently, the lesson is that everything has its time.
Yet as with all retrogrades, we may be feeling especially attracted to Martial activities. When Mercury goes retrograde, we want to buy software or a new car. When Venus is retrograde, we yearn for relationship and love. And when Mars goes retrograde, we usually feel more motivated, more ready for action, and maybe a bit hornier, than usual. As the energy of the planet goes internal, we get in touch with what the planet represents in our lives, and we want those experiences. That’s why when Mars is retrograde, we’re actually more likely to sign up for kickboxing lessons than at other times – we are motivated, but we often have trouble externalizing the motivation.
While beginning new things is often challenging during a retrograde, it’s actually an excellent time to continue with projects that are already underway. A renewed commitment to that exercise program, focusing on getting the job done at work (even if progress is slow), or deepening your sexual relationship are all possibilities with Mars backpedaling through the zodiac. Perhaps wait to break ground on a new addition to your house, but do go ahead and make needed repairs.
Everyone is affected in one way or another by Mars’ retrograde, but those who are ruled by Mars – sun or ascendant in Aries or Scorpio – feel it particularly strongly. These two signs, especially Scorpio since Mars will be retrograding in the sign, will feel the energy (or lack of it) most directly, and almost any area of life can feel like it’s ‘on hold’.
We’ll be looking at Mars’ progress each month, but here’s an overview of the next six months for each sign:
Aries – as I said above, you may feel that life is going slowly, and that could lead to frustration for this action-oriented sign. Taking time to go within and sort things out is not the favorite activity of the ram, but that’s what this time is calling you to do. Some alone time could be just the thing for you. Don’t overexert yourself in an attempt to compensate for the lack of external progress, but some exercise could be helpful for you during the retrograde.
Taurus – The bull may feel the most pressure in relationships. If things are not going very smoothly in this area of life, consider if security issues, whether emotional or financial, may be at the root of any problems. Taurus enjoys sensation, and managing Mars retrograde in your houses of relationship and sexuality may be especially challenging.
Gemini – The twins may also feel some unrest from relationships, although work could also be a bit of a drag. Worry about one could affect the other, but Mars retrograde is more about delays and frustration than worry. Try to take things one day at a time, and don’t look too far ahead. Progress could be slow, but you’ll accomplish a lot if you focus. Gemini might take extra care to avoid colds and other minor infections, too – note that these become more likely if you’re stressed, so take care of your immune system.
Cancer – Aside from the general considerations that apply to us all, crabs may have an easier time of the retrograde than most signs. It could be time to get back to creative projects that have been put aside, or to focus on children. Work may require extra effort, perhaps because the reality isn’t matching up very well with the stated goals, or because those in control are more interested in promoting ‘team spirit’ than supplying the resources to make things really happen.
Leo – Creative efforts may take two steps forward and three steps back during this retrograde period. It’s a good time to sharpen skills and focus your efforts, but results may be a while in manifesting. Home and family issues could also be prominent, and you may find your comfort zone less comfortable than you’d like. It’s not a good time to start new work on your home, but needed repairs can be made.
Virgo – Home and family issues may be especially prickly for Virgo. Possibly, some repairs will have to be made on your house, and finding a compatible contractor might not be the easiest task. If you’re inclined to disagreements with your siblings, these may also be a feature of the retrograde, although don’t expect fisticuffs unless there’s really something to fight about.
Libra – Last time around, in early 2014, Libra took the brunt of Mars’ retrograde, as he spent six months stirring up the warrior vibe in the peace-loving sign of the scales. This retrograde should be a bit smoother for Libra, although financial concerns may spike a little during this time. Libra is another sign that may have words with siblings, although this will be the case for some time with Saturn in Sagittarius for the next couple of years.
Scorpio – It’s hard going when your ruler is retrograde, especially if it’s active Mars that’s in charge. However, Scorpio is more in tune with Mars’ retrograde than Aries, as it’s a more reserved, protective sign. The trick for this retrograde is not to be too protective, or let reserve become withdrawal. Finances and other issues around security are always a possible issue for Scorpio, and the retrograde may highlight these. A good defense doesn’t mean that you have to pre-emptively sting anything or anyone that looks like a potential threat.
Sagittarius – Ah, Sag… Your normally upbeat and outgoing energy is challenged by Saturn in your sign for the next couple of years. Until mid-2016, your ruler, outgoing and generous Jupiter, will be counting pennies in Virgo. And now, you’ve got Mars retrograding through your sign. It could be hard to maintain the optimistic attitude for which archers are known with all these things going on. You may have to adjust your attitude a bit and accept that things are going more slowly than you’d like. This is a time to focus, turning big-picture ideas into practical actions. Mars’ retrograde can actually help the process, although you may not exactly appreciate it. Watch also for unexpected turns of events – with Mars retrograde in your 12th house, your course could change on a moment’s notice.
Capricorn – Mountain goats (or is it sea goats?) may also have to deal with unexpected changes that originate from unusual places. Keep a sense of humor, and carry on. Capricorn may be reviewing its social network and friendships during the retrograde: try to decide rather than react.
Aquarius – This retrograde can affect career, social network, and professional associations. Water Bearers may have problematic folks to deal with in any or all of these areas. Patience is an Aquarian virtue, but judgment isn’t entirely out of the equation most of the time. Watch out for “with us or against us” sorts of thinking, from others or yourself.
Pisces – The sign of the fish is very active as we begin the retrograde period – and the south node of the moon will be in Pisces all year. Mars’ retrograde is likely to have an effect on career, and also higher education, religion, and travel. Annoyances shouldn’t become opportunities to give up, but patience could be needed to persevere.
Agent 17 – Armand Diaz