Mars Retrograde is not so well known or talked about these days, but it used to get way more traction. Shakespeare refers to it in Alls Well That Ends Well, having one of his characters refer to another as obviously being born with Mars Retrograde. Why? Because he always goes backward. But, replies the other person, that is for advantage. And it is. People born with the action planet retrograde are not passive, but they don’t care whether you think they’re “winning” or not. They innately know the advantage of seeming to be weaker or less ambitious than they are on occasion.
No ancient times general would have gone into battle with Mars Retrograde nor attempted anything against the odds. Mars Retrograde occurs for eight weeks, every two years. From earth, the red planet appears to be tracking backward, though that is an optical illusion. During these times, it’s best to assert yourself obliquely and focus more on tactics than action. Mars is the Warrior God and conflicts initiated when Mars is Retro can go awry.
The tactical and astrology-aware person lets other people make the aggressive moves at these times, knowing the advantage will go to the person technically ‘on the back foot.’ And, that it is going to be a time when they can use their opponent’s strength against them. People ruled by Mars – Aries and Aries Rising, and to a lesser extent Scorpios and Scorpio Rising – are especially sensitive to Mars Retrograde.
But what of people born with Mars Retrograde? Are they permanently on the back foot? Pacifists? Not quite. Mars Retrograde people are extremely good at picking up on concealed hostility and are often hyper-sensitive to it. They’re uncomfortable in situations that seem “okay” to someone else because they sense the underlying anger dynamics. They usually dislike overt scenes or assertiveness and will go to great lengths to avoid it. But, once they have decided that a situation requires a forceful response, they will arm up, take command and conquer.
Because they can seem so serene and tranquil, the activation of this Mars Vibe often comes as quite the shock to people not expecting it. Mars Retrograde people are tactical, conserving their Mars Vibe until it is expedient to use it. They’re the sort of people who seem like they’re gliding along, handling a dysfunctional situation or inequity without fuss and then suddenly; bam – they’ve mounted a decisive response. Mars Retrograde people can be better in crisis, under challenge or on a tight deadline than they are in more sedate times.
But they are also prone to turning the Mars heat on themselves, being caustic in their self-talk and making harsh judgment calls they would never dream of dishing out to another. Mars Retrograde people need a lot of exercise to channel this energy.
Image: Lili Des Bellons