Mars Retrograde Meaning & More

Mythologically known as the God of War, in astrology, Mars is the planet of energy, action, and sexual desire. In modern astrology, Mars is the ruler of fire sign Aries. However, in traditional astrology Mars also rules watery Scorpio. In our natal charts, Mars is how we express our anger, drive, and self-assertion—representing our first instinct to act.

2021 Mars Retrograde Dates

  • Mars doesn't go retrograde in 2021

2021 Mars in Astrology

Mars doesn't go retrograde in 2021

Mars Retrograde Meaning

Mars stations retrograde every twenty-six months, with these retrogrades normally lasting between two to two-and-a-half months. During these transits, Mars appears to move backward in the sky, recovering anywhere from ten to twenty degrees each retrograde over the course of sixty to eighty days. Mars retrogrades are only second to Venus retrogrades in their rarity.

Mars embodies our drive and ability to act. While we may think of Mars as a warrior planet exclusively concerned with the offensive, in truth, Mars plays both sides of the battlefield equally well: a dignified Mars has more than enough chutzpah to strike as well as strike back, depending on the needs of the moment....

Mars Retrograde Effects

While there's often much ado about Mercury and its retrogrades, Mars' backward travels can be just as unsettling. As modern life trends ever closer to the need to be "on" (and online) 24/7, we've become quite attached to the driving spirit of Mars, whether we're conscious of that connection or not. Many of us are conditioned to envision life as an escalator which ascends in a perfectly linear fashion to the next destination. When Mars is in retrograde we may instead find ourselves in turmoil, frustrated by the lack of forward movement.

Typically, any plans initiated under Mars retrograde go nowhere, slowly. Well-intended schemes fizzle out before our eyes, while alluring would-be lovers that got our hearts racing at the start of Mars retrograde peter out and lose their charge. The entire motivational landscape may seem to change overnight, upending projects and plans, and stifling our passions. With Mars' connection to sharp instruments, appointments for haircuts, tattoos, and even acupuncture would be best left for a later date....

Mars Retrograde in the Natal Chart

It is relatively common to have transpersonal planets like Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto retrograde in the natal chart since they spend nearly half the year retrograde. Mars, on the other hand, only spends about nine percent of its time retrograde, making natal Mars retrograde far less common. Further, and importantly, because Mars is a personal planet tasked with integral parts of our personality and psyche, the effects of Mars retrograde in the natal chart are far more profound.

Mars is a planet which galvanizes us into action. With Mars retrograde, however, there is often an inhibited sense of this energy. If Mars normally seeks conflict so it can feel the thrill of the challenge, and hopefully even victory, Mars retrograde shirks from the same, preferring to stay well away from the battlefield....

Mars retrograde calendar dates

Dates based on Pacific Standard Time (PST)

  • Stations retrograde June 26, 2018, at 9°13' Aquarius
  • Stations direct August 27, 2018, at 28°36' Capricorn
  • Stations retrograde September 9, 2020, at 28°03' Aries
  • Stations direct November 13, 2020, at 15°13' Aries
  • Stations retrograde October 30, 2022, at 25°36' Gemini
  • Stations direct January 12, 2023, at 8°07' Gemini
  • Stations retrograde December 6, 2024, at 6°10' Leo
  • Stations direct February 23, 2025, at 17°00' Cancer
  • Stations retrograde January 10, 2027, at 10°25' Virgo
  • Stations direct April 1, 2027, at 20°55' Leo