2020: Mars turns retrograde on September 9 at 28° Aries and returns to 15° Aries on November 13, 2020
Mars was the god of war for the Romans and through the years war-like attributes became associated with planet Mars. In Astrology Mars has come to represent the aggressive principle. Fearless Mars is courageous, reckless and driven by passion. Mars indicates action generally, along with motivation, your “get up and go”. Mars is associated with physical energy, willpower, intense focus, determination, anger and all aggressive instincts. Mars also governs men and traditionally male dominated activities like sports, police, the military, war and testosterone driven male energy in general especially young men.
In your own birth chart Mars reveals how you go about getting what you want and need, your personal energy patterns and passion – your own distinctive style of moving through life. Mars in the birth chart for women also reveals the type of men you attract into your life and for men Mars indicates your male role models and the type of male friends you attract.
Mars takes around 2 years to travel the full zodiac wheel and once during this period appears to slow down and back up in orbit. In comparison, every other planet retrogrades every year (except Venus). When Mars turns retrograde it orbits closer to Earth and shines more brightly in the night sky making its influence stronger. Mars usually stays in a sign 6-8 weeks, but when retro it stays in a sign for around 6 months.
On 9/9/20 Mars goes retrograde for the first time since June 26, 2018. Mars stays retro for 2 months, turning around at 28° Aries and reversing to 15° Aries before moving direct again on 11/13/20. Mars rules pioneering fire sign Aries and is the co-ruler of powerful water sign Scorpio so these two signs tend to be the most affected by Mars retrograde and people with Sun, rising sign or other significant planets at the degrees Mars retrogrades through need to be more aware of Mars retro effects too.
When Mars travels in his own sign of Aries it emphasizes the positive Aries traits of breaking through barriers and trail blazing leadership for the rest of us to follow. Mars in Aries is valiant, filled with courage and has ability to leap first and figure out how to land on the way down. Mars in Aries understands you must get things off your chest in spite of the consequences, which leads to the downside qualities. Untamed Mars/Aries is bombastic, abusive and narcissistic.
When Mars goes retrograde in Aries it becomes very important to be more aware of how all these qualities manifest in your own life, to dig deeper and become more conscious so that you can manage this energy better. Here’s a quote from Peter Coyote born with Mars retro in Aries, who seems to have realized this, Where I didn’t have the maturity and the compassion to consider other people’s needs, I did a lot of damage. ~ Peter Coyote
When a planet is retrograde the energy is more internalized, and when active Mars reverses if not handled appropriately energy can back up and implode. Think of Mars retrograde as a classic muscle car speeding down the highway when suddenly the red engine light comes on. You’ve got to pull over to figure out what the situation is or risk engine failure. It means you need to slow down and pay attention to figure out what needs to be done to get your energy moving again. It only becomes a problem if you ignore the indicator eventually causing major damage.
Mars retro can mean things which were going full steam ahead get off track for a while or seem to dissipate altogether. They will come back though, and like the muscle car metaphor, if problems aren’t dealt with during the retro phase things do move forward again, but the problems continue too and can get worse!
Mars retrograde in the birth chart needs interpretation because it can indicate different things, depending upon what sign and house it is in and how Mars relates to the rest of the planets in the birth chart (the aspects involved). For example Mars retrograde in the first house could indicate early life health problems held the person back from physical activity and if Mars is in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces) it might mean emotional issues arising from this setback take a long time for the person to get over. But if Mars retro is in a fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) the person has more ability to bounce back and move forward more easily.
I like this article by astrologer Nadia Gilchrist Mars Retrograde in the Natal Chart: When Yang Energy Goes Yin Here is an excerpt: “Its energy is internalized. Think about what Mars stands for: moving forward, being aggressive, starting something. This is true no matter what sign it’s in. If there is an internal focus, you’re going to express its energy very differently. You’re rebelling, but it’s an internal rebellion. A common misconception is that Mars retrograde is weak. This is simply not true; its energy is redirected.”
Mars retro in the birth chart can also indicate a delayed start in life for any number of reasons such as having no male role model in early life so that getting in touch with traits like will power, the ability to initiate and learning how to handle aggressive instincts takes longer to achieve or is never actualized at all. And for a women it can mean their early male role models (or lack of any) gave them a fractured concept about men so they tend to choose inappropriate men to bond with along with all the problems that brings.
Mars retrograde can also mean the person’s timing is off kilter. They might hesitate to take a chance at something when the time is lined up for them, then when they finally do get up the nerve circumstances have changed so things don’t manifest for them. It could also be outer conditions delay them or get in the way. For example a young person is ready to leave for college, but a parent dies or gets an illness so the person feels the responsibility to stay home to help out and their education is put off and may not resume until much later if at all.
Having Mars retrograde does not mean lack of success however. Many famous people who have achieved much were born with Mars retro. Mozart, born with Mars retro in Cancer, was a child prodigy and musical genius for all time. Mikhail Baryshnilkov considered one of the greatest ballet performers ever, has Mars retrograde in Virgo, and basketball legend Michael Jordan has Mars, which rules sports, retro in Leo. Joan Crawford who is ranked as number ten among the greatest female stars of all time by The American Film Institute, was born with Mars retro in Libra which rules glamor and the arts. Judy Garland whose fame began in young age and is still known world wide as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz has Mars retrograde in Sagittarius. These famous examples let us know that Mars retrograde may actually help individuals dig deeper to find their inner passion and strength of purpose, and when they do, their achievements can be astounding!
This current Mars retrograde is an excellent time to go deeper to find your own passion and discover more about your own motivations. And since Mars retros in his own sign of Aries there is even greater emphasis on discovering your inner flame which will light the fire of your next project, life plan and better realization of your life’s purpose. Mars retro in Aries says dig deeper then get going!
Here is a list of other famous people born with Mars Retrograde from the Celebrity Astro Search Engine from Astro Seek. A great resource especially if you’d like to do your own research. One interesting thing I noticed when I listed these Mars retro people by sign, is that certain signs have many famous people born with Mars retrograde while others had few, like Taurus and Aquarius. Seems like a good subject to do some more research about, maybe while Mars is retro!
People tell me I’m from Mars all the time. ~ Joni Mitchell, born with Mars retrograde in Gemini.
Famous People born with Mars Retrograde
Louisa May Alcott
Jamie Lee Curtis
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Ludwig van Beethovan
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Martin Luther King, Jr
Billie Jean King
William S. Burroughs
James Earl Jones
Henry Wordsworth Longfellow
Robert Downey junior
Sarah Jessica Parker
Pope John Paul II
Eric von Daniken
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Robert Penn Warren
Czar Nicholas I
Ho Chi Minh