Is Retrograde Mars Career Hell or Heaven?

Is Retrograde Mars Career Hell Or Heaven? What if it is neither but rather an opportunity to re-tool? Circumstances will force you into sharpening blunt skills. And you may find that martian stoicism works better than diplomacy.

Dear Mystic,

A lot has been said about not making big, important life changes during Mars Retro. I find myself in a sucker situation (or blessing in disguise?) that’s been going on unchanging since June. I have no job. And I am positively lost as to what it is that I should, could or want to do with my future career. It is such a bummer of a circumstance to stagnate in. Don’t get me wrong – as an honest Libra, I’m enjoying all the laziness I can get my hands on with a good enough excuse. But it’s starting to grate on my family and cause a healthy bit of anxiety for me too.

This airy, ill-defined (and protracted) failure to make up my mind is probably to be expected from a double Libra with her Moon in Aquarius. I do indeed feel like I’ve been floating on air, being completely divorced from reality. I seem to suddenly have lost any ability to lay out strategies or even just think career-related things through with any clarity. Any creative proclivities and powers are likewise gone with the wind this summer. I’ve been wondering if this means the Mars in Aqua has a particularly angry effect on the job/money/vocation-related facets of my chart? Either because of my Moon sign or because my birth Mars is in Libra? How should I best proceed over the retrograde? Throw more energy into the job-search or perhaps withhold it completely, lay low and ponder?

Thank you!

Airhead Librarius

Existential Angst Is A Part Of The Process

Dear Librarius,

So I have several suggestions re this.  But first, i have noticed that every single time i have been compelled to lay low or been in an involuntary hiatus, that phase has been followed by a strong resurgence. It’s almost innate. And the questioning or existential angst is a part of the process. But practically, of course, this is no economy (Pluto + Saturn in Capricorn) to sit around lotus-eating, as pleasant as it might be if you surrendered to it.

So suggestions.

* Yes – Mars Retrograde (until August 27) is a good time to re-tool and devise new tactics. If you and your family can hack this situation for a few more weeks, late August and early September are more optimal.

* Do read your Rising Sign + Moon Sign as well as the Sun Sign even in the Horoscopes.

* Don’t see this so much as a chance to enjoy astrologically sanctioned “laziness” – view it as an opportunity to explore more opportunities. Research everything. Do a coding workshop. Volunteer at a charity. Set some outrageous fitness goal. If the clarity is not there, it’s because the current terrain you’re in is arid for you. It yields nothing. Take some tangential action and your energy reboots. Then you get the strategy.

Nineteen Days To Initiate Operation Awesome

* Time like this is an asset – there is something you ARE meant to discover in this Mars Retrograde. I don’t know anything about your qualifications or interests but i think if you throw yourself into a Retro-Mars Schedule – really work at the re-tooling – something WILL come of it. And you have 19 days left to initiate Operation Awesome.

* If Mars is buzzing around near your Moon, you ARE restless and it is hard to feel chill about anything. But it’s also super-inventive and circuit breaking. As well, Lilith is now in Aquarius and squaring Uranus. So you don’t lack for rebel energy around the place.

Intuitively, i think you do have a talent or an attribute that you have already dismissed trying to make a career or a business out of for dubious ‘practical’ reasons or because your family would not support it. And so this is not really all about your work at all – it is about your family and those expectations. And that fits with the current Saturn-Chiron square for Libra, totally.

What does everything else think?


Image: Daniel Egneus

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Silver HuangJuse GrechDaisyKellyHChrysalis Recent comment authors
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Silver Huang
Silver Huang

An interesting question to ask may be, “Why laziness?” Time is time, itself a neutral factor, it is the values we assign to it that transforms its meaning or function for us. You experienced this time as a time for laziness to be delighted in, nothing wrong with that, but as you noted, it is starting to cause a bit of friction in self and other and perhaps not necessarily just in an existentially constructive way but perhaps in a signal to be taken note of way i.e. this may not be 100% the right way to go about it.… Read more »

DaisyMM Member

I am also Libra and this really chimed for me. I have to use this period to write up my last project and the money has come to support this. But it’s a shoestring lifestyle and otherwise everything feels economically sluggish. I have also been feeling a bit sluggish and uninspired but starting to come out of this now. Like the 19 day plan idea!


I can share a similar experience. In 2015 I took a whole year off. An unexpected offer to house sit for a few months turned into a year of doing nothing. I survived by living off my savings. I was used to a fancy world in my corporate work, then there I was cleaning chicken shit, digging potatoes with broken fingernails and a rat’s nest in the guise of a hairdo. I’m a Leo, that sums it all :), Acqua ascendant, Moon and Neptune in Scorpio, I kept thinking: “this new version can’t be me, wtf…” but it was! A… Read more »

FireTryin'MM Member

Taking that info about staying right in the present moment to heart. I needed to be reminded.

socialgraffitiMM Member

I feel this almost in an opposite way. I am encountering a lot of opposition. I am surrounded by incompetence. Saturn is in Aries in my 10th though, so Mars retrograde making my career hang in suspension makes sense.

LibrariusMM Member

Thank you, Mystic! Your answer kind of verbalised the things I’ve been vaguely telling myself, or moving towards, so it feels very right. Also, I did describe doing “non-job, non-study” period as “laziness” but I’m actually not THAT hopeless, haha. Yes, captain! Moving towards fitness goals, healthier eating, reading tons o books and actively thinking things through here! I now realise your hunch re “dismissed talent(s)” and “family expectations” was correct, and I feel like I’m back to teenage years with this vibe, like I was graduating school all over again and trying to pic a uni programme, haha. I… Read more »

Juse Grech
Juse Grech

Dear Lovely Libran, When I tune into you I get a very nice energy. I see you in a kitchen baking gorgeous little cakes. It is sunny , the flour is flying and you are laughing. What you like to do is creative and has an element of pretty and beauty. I also see you with flowers. How many people tell us these things are not practical . But these things are so innate to people like you and if we didn’t have people like you the world would be ugly. Let the bankers bank and let the creators create.… Read more »

LibrariusMM Member

Well, it seems talent-nurturing is not always well paid for but I’d like a job that ateady doesn’t make me go crazy and burn myself out to the point where I can’t do ANYTHING creative after work or on weekends even when I have the time. I’m not very actively job-hunting yet (as I still have no ifea what it should be yet), only working on improving some of my skills. Baking, thankfully, also did happen, but it’s not one of the skills I meant, haha!

Juse Grech
Juse Grech


While you have the free time just find something that makes you laugh (I just watched the little hours on SBS : hilarious).

Dont take things literally.

The thing is find what brings you out of your mind then you can find your own way. It is so hard to follow other peoples advice: find your own way. I hope this helps.

Sweet dreams

amazonalisonMM Member

After being laid off in 2016, I took a year off, living off my savings and credit cards. While I don’t recommend maxing those out to survive, you’d be surprised what life will provide when your usual sources of funding aren’t open to you. I needed the break and it was the best time of my life, even though it looked to everyone else as I was doing nothing. Everyone on here is saying nurture your creative gifts during this time and they’re right…DO THAT. If you don’t know where to start, immerse yourself with experts and people living their… Read more »

Juse Grech
Juse Grech

Dear Amazonalison,

You express it all so well. My apologies Lovely Libran. I have been a bit grumpy and me thinks my Taurus moon is coming out all dogmatic.

Its funny I,m typing this for the 2nd time. As the first time it followed with a rant about a previous friend, then some really deep plutonic stuff with monumental shifts made all by myself then my battery died, when I turned my phone back on message was lost. I think it was a good thing, at least I expressed it to myself.

rachelMM Member

Side note: asteroid Circe is on Uranus atm


You mean opposite.

kriblackMM Member

Have you tried job searching with no ultimate career goal in mind but just applying for things that sound like they could be fun or at least easy for you to do? An in the meantime job. Last December I relocated and moved in with my parents to get back on my feet financially again. I knew I wanted to go back to school but I needed to get out of debt first. So I applied for a job I knew I could do with my hands tied behind my back and would be stress-free, if ultimately boring and promised… Read more »


my god, i actually feel soothed just reading this.

FireTryin'MM Member

Loving this outlook.

Venusian8MM Member

I can relate. I have mars and Pluto in my 6th and i have had multiple knock backs as i am desperately trying to find a way out of an extremely toxic shithole of a workplace. Its so bad that the sicky days have increased. Yesterday was particularly bad as i received yet another no to the one of many applications i havd put forward. It effects your confidence terribly and i actually got so angry with the world. I cried. I feel hopeles. For me, this retro is just shit. I think this current astro terrain really is very… Read more »


this retro has been shit for me too.

Christina HMM Member
Christina H

Same here. More rollercoasters for no real reason. Glad it’s almost over.

ArielMM Member

I relate so much to this – retro Mars in my 6th. Have things I very much want to do but they are not ‘practical’ & contingent on already having money/ qualifications. I’m honestly just so tired of it. Natally I have Neptune in the 6th with Mars opposing from the 12th, a chronic health problem complicates everything. I wish you luck, & maybe catch you in the careers counselling lounge…

Centauri_ScorpMM Member

Nourish your soul, meditation, walking whatever it is you do. Stay out of debt that goes beyond your family/closest friends. Opportunity favors those that desire, you just have to figure out what you desire, and make the little steps to get there, the universe starts the push once you get moving again. “What Color is your Parachute” from Richard N. Bolles, can be a good book, but really there is only one page you should look at. Since I could easily google, I’ve put a link at the bottom. The Job hunting pyramid. The results I’ve had in job hunting… Read more »

LibrariusMM Member

Any advice that ends with a book recommemdation is the kind of advice I take extra seriously, haha! Thank you, will definitely look into it!

LiberatingVenusMM Member

I don’t actually see this problem as a function of Mars Rx, believe it or not. To me, this is something else; a Neptune issue as indicated by this planet both ruling and currently passing through your work-related Solar 6th H. The aimlessness you convey is textbook Neptune; Mars Rx is more of a sense of frustrated inertia IMO. I think Mars is just a red herring in this instance – certainly more conspicuous, yes, but I think it’s throwing you off the trail of a much more significant and longer-running astrological influence. And Neptune went stationary Rx in –… Read more »

LibrariusMM Member

You have struck a chord all right with many of your insights! Very interesting observation re Mars retro being “a red herring”; and an apt one re relocating because actually that’s what I’ve been thinking about for quite some time – I’ve been drawn to a certain country for no apparent reason and have been having vague plans about MAYBE moving there. Thanks! A very curious detail: until the beginning of June, I was working at an NGO that I co-founded (several years ago, and volunteered there intensively for a couple of years before I could be employed). Then I… Read more »


Neptune is natally in my 6th in a wide square to my sun-mercury and this is SO VERY relevant:
“Neptune affecting the Solar 6th tends to correlate with disillusionment regarding the daily grind. If our work doesn’t allow us to feel as if we’re serving humanity in some way, we can become listless and find ourselves adrift like a ship without a rudder during this transit. Neptune’s motivations tend to be more self-less than selfish, so it’s important to seize upon any waves of altruistic inclination that surface and ride them to wherever you are guided.”

ChrysalisMM Member

Neptune isn’t in my 6th – Mars retro is – but this absolutely resonated with me in a way that nothing in life has recently, so forgive the long post. I seem to be suffering some kind of textbook Neptune situation because aimless is where I’m at. When Neptune reversed over the cusp of my 8th back into my 7th in June all my mainstay relationships seemed to disappear; key bodywork people upped and left, Triple Toro and I called it quits, loved ones moved away/went travelling etc. Since then I’ve pretty much been living in my pyjamas, hidden away… Read more »

skarabMM Member

Hey Chrysalis, i just had a thought as i remembered that on a recent post on Leo & Hair, you mentioned that you were taking medication & you were worried that it might be responsible for changing your hair. Do you think that it might also be responsible for changing your mood – as drugs/meds (Neptune) can very often do – setting off chain reactions in areas that seem unconnected to the original problem?

ChrysalisMM Member

Thanks lovely, I had wondered the same thing. I went to the doc’s this week and changed the meds… fingers crossed.
Saturn’s about to hit my moon. No wonder I feel ancient and am doing extensive cataloguing of my failures and unrealised dreams. x

IncenseMM Member

This is, once again, perfect timing. I just had a convo this morning with my boss in which the promotion and big raise I’d been hoping for & trying to manifest for months … turned out to be a nonstarter. Boss’s boss never really knew what kind of position to create for me and so has done nothing whatever. I am capable, I am trainable, I am loved at work for what I can do … but apparently not enough to be taken very seriously as anything but an admin. And plenty of people leave our admin track for other… Read more »

MutatisMutandisMM Member

Librarius! I feel you so hard, I am like 80% air (sun/moon/pluto/lillith/saturn in libra, asc in aquarius) and this summer has been so tough. Mars has retrograded across my ascendent and is now back in my 12th house. I got to a peak career experience about 4 months ago – maybe right before the retro shadow though I didn’t realize it was the peak then – and since then it’s all been dissolved. As in my direct reports are being moved to other teams and my achievement is somewhat in limbo and I do not know what my role will… Read more »

LibrariusMM Member

Same here with the workouts! I upgraded my workouts something fierce since I lost the job, haha. I simultaneously put on weight (not all of it muscle, unfortunately), which is a bit annoying, so I guess trailing health issues and the eating-sleeping habits are and will be one of the main areas of revolution in my life for now. And I’m sorry to hear about the nuisance of paperwork! That’s such an air-sign think to do, I mean, to postpone dealing with a practical, structural issue… I remembered like 5 I probably should solve while I was reading your responce,… Read more »

emgMM Member

Well, I have been on a universe led hiatus since 2009 ! Really so stuck it became mind bending. So after last year I determined that I had to shove life by going and taking a way off course and seeing what I could muster. Well things have progressed and finally it is teetering on an edge of graphene. So close so utterly close. I await the go ahead to book the flight for this Friday! I am so happy just to get this far and will continue to push for something in this industry. So I recognise the process… Read more »

MissDeeMM Member

I’m having a hard time picking up the vibe of this Mars retro myself. It’s supposedly in my 5th. In which house is Mars going retro for you Librarius? I think it would help if you could be using all of Mystic listed excellent strategies in the area of your birth chart where Mars is now. Retro planets are for the area where they are sitting: you don’t have to stop and or retrieve from everything while they are on. It’s like a lens that tell you to focus way more than usual in a certain area. I think knowing… Read more »

LibrariusMM Member

I’m not experienced with all this chart thingy – how exactly does that work? My natal Mars is in Libra, but how do I determine where it’s now for me? I thought it was retro’ing back from Aquarius for everyone?

Lux Interior Is My Co-PilotMM Member
Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

omg we can read our moon signs????

I feel like mars retro is a brillo vocation rethink. It happened to me. Something I’d given up on hit me in an epiphany that THIS WAS MY THING

PiMM Member

Agree with mm , keep mixing it up just to keep the energy moving . Too much time out of the game can be a bit … Derailing You dont need to decide a whole career path right this minute. Take one step and see if you like it, then keep going. Your decision might be contingent on how many mouths you have to feed, but as a Libra you’d lean towards something that is friendly and social? If you’re in drop-out territory, Checkcts to Neptune, progressions , moon. Also check in with any change anxiety, not that that may… Read more »

LibrariusMM Member

Thank you!
For now I don’t feel like working with people at all, un-Libra as that sounds, haha. Maybe it’ll pass but now I’m mostly looking at options that would allow me to work alone, and the central piece of the crisis is the classic “how can I do work that allows me to grow spiritually and express myself but also actually get paid enough to not suffer”.
Will google career councellors!


Re the express self etc, also consider that the work itself may not necessarily have to tick every box but might simply need to offer an environment (good people / woke boss / location / workplace vibes, fringe benefits , etc ) that doesn’t crush your spiritual growth and expression generally. If that makes sense. So you have the headspace / energy to develop yourself outside of the job even if the job itself is not defined by that. x

KellyHMM Member

Librans, we love the people, but it’s a mistake to believe we want to be with them all the time. People tend to be a bit exhausting. Sensual solitude is good for us. And I completely understand your crisis, going through it myself. Ditched serious govt job..and now wondering who I am and looking at starting feminist stitching classes and wondering about doing a PhD in creative writing. All of which is highly shocking to my “be a responsible girl and have a proper job” core operating system for the past 35 years…

JacquiMM Member

Ride it out, prepping for the new. First aid certs, update resumes, organize paperwork like taxes and throw out feelers. As the saying goes (I went to type “its who you know” but thought…) “out with the old in with the new”. Enjoy the journey X

LibrariusMM Member

Totally didn’t think about stuff like first aid certification, thanks a lot for reminding it exists!

KellyHMM Member

As a Libra with cap rising, ooh this resonated with me. I took a redundancy. Having been working a business startup with a mate doing the stuff for govt that I am oh so good at but my mind keeps drifting to running feminist embroidery workshops or running for parliament or volunteering to run a campaign for legislative changes on women’s issues. The totally not practical serious work girl stuff. It’s terrfiying and I’m struggling in a rut. Oh, all the while Perimenopause is kicking my butt. Help us,Mystic Kenobi, you’re a Libra s only hope…


I absolutely loved this: “Help us,Mystic Kenobi, you’re a Libra s only hope…”. 🙂

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