How Mars Retrograde 2018 Will Affect Your Horoscope (and Sex Life)

June 27, 2018

Even though Mars retrograde 2018 officially begins on June 26, 2018 (at 9°13′ Aquarius) and ends on August 27 (at 28°36′ Capricorn), those Mars retrograde dates can be misleading.

The planet of passion actually entered its shadow period on May 12, 2018, and that’s when the funkiness really starts creeping in. And, Mars doesn’t exit his retrograde shadow until October 8, 2018… which is when we can all officially say we are in the clear. 

In astrology, Mars is the ruler of Aries and co-ruler of Scorpio as the planet of action, assertion, energy, and sexual desire. Named after the God of War, Mars is a celestial anomaly when it comes to retrograde patterns, only moving backward every two years.  

The last time Mars was retrograde was during the late summer of 2016. This year, Mars will retrograde between Aquarius and Capricorn, spending time in both signs before ambling forward again. Mars’ retrograde will activate two houses within the natal chart, trampling on the delicate tissues connecting two areas of life and psyche, but most of the action will unfurl in Aquarius. Potentially, this transit will be most intense for Aquarius and Capricorn, most beneficial for Gemini and Virgo, and most stressful for Cancer and Leo.

Normally hot-headed Mars is due to become altogether more cool and cerebral in Aquarius, transforming into a sure-footed, persistent warrior in Capricorn. Between these two celestial playgrounds, Mars will toe the line between the future (Aquarius) and the past (Capricorn), the newfangled opportunity (Aquarius) and the tried and true (Capricorn).  

Globally, this could create skirmishes between left and right-wing ideologies, which are perfectly exemplified by the polarized Aquarius-Capricorn binary; on the personal level, we are likely to grapple with a similarly gnawing sense that we must find a balance between alteration and convention.

Key aspects made during the Mars retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn will stoke the fires of Mars’ antipathy, forcing reactions and a growing sense of urgency to change. Squares between Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus will add a restless, itchy wish to break from restraints, while conjunctions between Mars and the South Node in Aquarius will help offload past anger and frustrations. This combination seems to imply that by letting go of what was, we’ll be plumped to fight towards a vision of what may be.

Mars squares Uranus May 16, August 1, and September 18, 2018; Mars conjoins the South Node June 7, July 20, and September 25, 2018.

by Lee Coleman


These Mars retrograde insights can be read for both your sun and ascendant sign.

Not sure of your ascendant? Try our free birth chart calculator!

Aries (and Aries Rising)

Rams have been in an intense phase of career responsibility and advancement since Saturn entered Capricorn in late 2017. To top it off, Pluto has been a longtime resident of this part of your chart, eviscerating any hopes you may have held about squeaking by half-heartedly in your career.  

Now, you’ll be contending with the Mars retrograde as it trots across the parts of your chart connecting your career and reputation to your aspirations. Some of you may be weighing up new forays into group spaces or reconsidering existing collective work, while others may find themselves called wondering how to align their day job with profound new daydreams.  

Part of the work here is to study your motivations to ensure they’ll go the distance; the Mars-Uranus squares will serve to highlight how new financial needs may play into this budding picture.

Taurus (and Taurus Rising)

Taureans have already been in a process of accelerated transformation since Uranus entered your sign mid-May 2018.  

The Mars retrograde will serve to amplify the necessity of these changes by spurring you to consider how matters of foreign travel, higher education, and spirituality intersect with your career. Big shifts are afoot: some may think about returning to university or investing in a new course of study, while others may seek to integrate mystical methods into their vocational path. A choice few may gestate grand plans to work or live abroad.  

Count on the Mars-Uranus squares to help you feel increasingly comfortable with striking out on a new path, one that will better reflect your shifting sense of self.

Gemini (and Gemini Rising)

It’s time to empty your energetic bin, dear Gemini: this Mars retrograde may have you seeking out alternative methods for ditching some of your demons. You may choose to ‘let go and let God,’ or, just let go altogether; an emanating sense of wisdom may lead you to relinquish your need for control in preference of peace. Others yet may find themselves exiting unsustainable joint ventures or weighing up how well certain spiritual edicts and teachers are at replenishing your soul’s coffers.  

Any ideas circulating about an investment in continuing education or foreign fancies could suddenly go off the boil. Though some of these postponements may be frustrating at first, there also seems to be a potent opportunity to discharge your vessel of what is no longer needed and refill it with something higher-minded.  

As part of this, the Mars-Uranus squares will help you identify with laser-precision what parts of your psyche (and even, your clan) are working for or against your betterment.

Cancer (and Cancer Rising)

There are truly some things money cannot buy, Cancer, and chief among these is love. ‘Money talks’ is an oft-used axiom because it’s true: where we most want to play, we’ll happily pay, and if we won’t cough up the cash, it’s a likely indication that our heart lies elsewhere.  

Be prepared for conversations about joint resources, pooled efforts, and serious partnerships, as Mars’ retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn provokes the delicate balance between you, your partners, and the bank. Although this is most likely to crop up in romantic partnerships, the same scenarios could arise in business alliances, too. Possible areas of conflict and subsequent compromise will include divorce settlements, investments, inheritances, and the no-longer-hidden emotions underpinning these arrangements. Included in that may be considering the all-too-important loans you hand out of your time and energy – priceless assets deserving of a fair ROI.  

To that end, the Mars-Uranus squares will have you hopefully chasing after new aspirations with intensity, a helpful fix for breaking out of stifling arrangements.

Leo (and Leo Rising)

Leo is in the hot seat for much of the Mars retrograde; it will be nigh on impossible to escape some levels of confrontation during this time, even if that happens primarily within yourself. While that may seem like sour news, the Mars retrograde will also helpfully flush out long-held resentments that have been bubbling below the surface for far too long.  

In particular, you could find yourself in a contentious stand-off with colleagues and subordinates at work; similar showdowns could just as easily transpire with your better half. As you begin to release yourself from old hurts, new spaces will open within, enabling you to redirect your energy to far worthier purposes.  

The Mars-Uranus squares will provide the needed get-up-and-go to help power you forward into meaningful and much-needed career changes, which will benefit you long after this Mars retrograde ends.

Virgo (and Virgo Rising)

Nothing passes under your keen eye easily: separating the wheat from the chaff is your full-time job as a Virgo. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this is the way you approach all areas of life, even leisure. During the Mars retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn, you may surmise that all work and no play is making you a very dull maiden.  

After ticking a box or two regarding your health (which you have a natural tendency to safeguard), you’ll be in fine position to remind yourself that enjoyment, health, and work are not such strange bedfellows; perhaps they can even be considered a complementary set.  

The Mars-Uranus squares will drive you to reach beyond the mundane, and even the entertaining, for higher-minded wisdom that’s sure to enrich your daily beat.

Libra (and Libra Rising)

Trying to get people-pleasing behaviors out of socially canny Librans is like trying to get eggs out of a baked cake, but with varying aspects coming your way during the Mars retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn, you may decide for once to shove your diplomacy to the side in favor of decidedly more direct tactics.  

The start of the Mars retrograde is more likely to bring positive adaptations to circumstances involving children, creativity, and sex; the second phase of the retrograde, however, may demand you to step up and face challenges regarding family and home. Both periods are likely to push your buttons as it becomes necessary to examine what you’re busily creating or nurturing, and who is (or is not) chipping in to help.  

Use the Mars-Uranus squares to assert your needs, highlighting where and when the time, energy, or cash of others is required.

Scorpio (and Scorpio Rising)

Home is where the heart is, Scorpio, but it’s where the mind resides, too. So much of our inner peace depends on the home we were raised in, as well as the one that we make for ourselves later in life.  

This Mars retrograde, you may be weighing up how home, community, and even siblings, contribute to your sense of wellbeing. Necessary course corrections will become clear as you navigate through the muck, noting when it’s time to leave certain scars behind in favor of reconciliation. Writing or journaling could be just the ticket to aid you in this release. 

The Mars-Uranus squares unfolding between one part of your chart involving family and home, and another part involving significant others might manifest as dramatic showdowns, but only if you let your infamous talents for impalement do their worst. Attempt to find a middle path, somewhere between antipathy and apathy, allowing you to focus on manifesting change with parents and paramours.

Sagittarius (and Sagittarius Rising)

This Mars retrograde you’re likely to have your mind on your money, and your money on your mind, Sagittarius. 
The effects of the Mars retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn are likely to be mild, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be meaningful: use the messages you intercept about money to make necessary adjustments in your communications and thoughts about the same. If your work involves writing or speaking, there is an even greater likelihood that you need to rethink your rate or fine-tune what you’re saying and why (perhaps an all too common predicament for Sagittarians). 

Your mantra for the series of Mars-Uranus squares is to pray for a pause button before you click send on anything that may be divisive or extraneously contentious. Use that extra energy to discover ways that you can serve your community, a win-win for both body and mind.

Capricorn (and Capricorn Rising)

It would be entirely reasonable for Capricorns to wince before, during, and after reading their horoscopes these days: with Pluto and Saturn already in your sign, providing pressures on all fronts, you may have gotten used, or even resigned yourself, to be the personal punching bag of astrology.  

Although the Mars retrograde is happening in your sign, and thus portends a certain level of intensity, the news is not all bad. Essentially, the Mars retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn is coming for your money, honey: what it means to you, and what you do with it. You may also take off on tangents related to your self-worth and the tie that binds internal and external value.  

The Mars-Uranus squares are likely to have you chomping at the bit to spend it like it’s hot; perhaps the trick may be to find a healthy, happy medium for financial indulgences – investing in your creativity, for example, or developing a system of incremental rewards tied to achieving your saving goals. Don’t be too harsh on yourself though; Goats, like girls, just wanna have fun.

Aquarius (and Aquarius Rising)

In times like these, I’m often reminded of an old joke: ‘Just when I thought I hit rock bottom, I heard knocking from below.’ You’ll be hearing plenty of knocking from below this Mars retrograde, as Mars sets off spelunking into some mighty dark caverns, poking and prodding you in the most sensitive of places. Things will have been turbulent as of late, as you’ve had eclipses occurring in your sign for the last eighteen months; while the average Aquarian can handle more than its fair share of shifting, you may be suffering from change fatigue.  

The Mars retrograde in your sign, as well as Capricorn, is here to dredge up something awfully important: with your permission, he intends to reconnect you with who you are, and why you do – or undo, as it were – the things you do, the implication being that these proclivities could do with an edit.  

The Mars-Uranus squares may prompt swift adjustments in matters of home and family, or help you break free of the same.

Pisces (and Pisces Rising)

The Mars retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn is a mental exam in the making for Pisces. Akin to having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, you may find yourself betwixt and between two very different impulses, one of which is anchored in optimism, and the other which seeks to leave you unmoored in a sea of doubt.  

Wavering between these two states may feel tiring, and indeed, you may need to schedule some downtime during the Mars retrograde to refresh, allowing you more perspective to reassess your social circle. Some members of your entourage may be revealed as more frenemy than friend; with Mars around, you may decide to send them packing. 

The Mars-Uranus squares will quicken your mind, electrifying your thoughts with sudden bursts of intuitive knowing about your deepest pains. As part of this, a new urge may arise to form a community with other like-minded folks, who share similar wounds and wisdom.