Watching Out for Retrograde Mars

I love Mars, the red planet. Easily recognizable in the sky by its pale pink tint, it stimulates activity, prods us to take the initiative, and fills us with courage. Mars is enterprising, dynamic, determined, and dominating. True, it's also the planet of hostility and war. But without it, nothing would ever get done.

I like to think that in my chart, and in yours, the energy that motivates Mars can be funneled in positive directions. If nothing else, it thrives at the gym — and I'm not talking about yoga or the stationary bicycle. Mars prefers kickbox-ing. Let's be honest: Mars wants to fight. The harder you work out, the better.

But when Mars is retrograde, that energy is diverted. Roadblocks pop up out of nowhere, and the anger and belligerence associated with the warrior planet are driven underground. So progress slows down, even at the gym. Instigating new pursuits leads nowhere, and taking the offensive — or trying to — can create unanticipated consequences.

Aggressive Mars goes retrograde every 22 months for about 11 weeks. During those times, the cardinal rule is simple: Don't launch a crusade or go to war, metaphorically or otherwise.

Table 18-3 tells you when (and where) Mars is retrograde from 2007 to 2012. (It doesn't go retrograde at all during 2011.)

Table 18-3 Retrograde Mars





Nov. 15-Dec. 31

12° Cancer-0° Cancer


Jan. 1-Jan. 30

29° Gemini-24° Gemini


Dec. 20-Dec. 31

19° Leo-18° Leo


Jan. 1-Mar. 10

18° Leo-0° Leo

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