As the summer begins to wane, so, too, can our sense of motivation, especially now, as Mars goes retrograde. A rarer celestial event than Mercury’s three or four retrogrades a year, Mars’s retrograde occurs only once every 26 months, for about 10 weeks.
Red Mars is the planet of action, assertion, and aggression. When it goes retrograde, our forward motion seems to stall while alluring intrigues fizzle and fade. In a more nuanced sense, Mars represents the words and actions we are encouraged not to express in so-called polite society, which has a hard time swallowing its red pill. It can rule over repressed instincts or a stunted sense of self-assertion.
Mars retrograde, however, will have us confronting such unresolved conflicts. Take this retrograde period to discover new ways in which to merge motivations with a sense of meaning. This time calls to mind the famous line from “The Summer Day” by Provincetown’s late Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
March 21 – April 19
Conflict between your professional and personal lives is imminent. Pushback to preserve your sense of self should be framed as a values issue, not as a battle to be won.
April 20 – May 20
What will energize you and keep you in motion? Choose between an active, stimulating escape or some good old-fashioned peace and quiet. R & R looks the same both ways.
May 21 – June 20
Be clear about your priorities, because your social entanglements may be tricky to navigate. Choosing both getting ahead and getting laid is a hard feat … but not impossible.
June 21 – July 22
Choosing between career and close relationships is challenging. Personal commitments benefit you more in the long run, but making them may be hard on your bottom line. No pun intended.
July 23 – Aug. 22
Strike a balance between work and play. Productivity is measured in time under tension, which ultimately helps you free more time for adventure and intrigue.
Aug. 23 – Sept. 22
Can you make room for risk and reap the rewards? Whether it’s romantic or financial, take those leaps of faith. Who knows? You might even learn to fly.
Sept. 23 – Oct. 22
Pressure in your relationships has you demanding more space. Try giving space, instead, and don’t be ashamed to stand your ground on issues that are important to you.
Oct. 23 – Nov. 21
You’re getting a boost of energy, which benefits your health and organization skills the most. If you’re using these as an excuse to avoid society, roll with it. They don’t deserve you.
Nov. 22 – Dec. 21
You’re an optimistic type but sometimes big risks shake your foundations more than they strengthen them. Channel your ambitions into making the most of what you’ve already got.
Dec. 22 – Jan. 19
Measuring risk is your specialty, but sometimes you get pulled into the fray, usually with your family. You’ve got the power to resolve any conflict. Just remember to learn the lesson.
Jan. 20 – Feb. 18
Leave your seclusion and rejoin society. Overdoing it, however, will zap you quickly. Mental health does not always equal social wealth.
Feb. 19 – March 20
You’re ready to fight over the value of gold. Forget pretty objects and look more closely instead at the bright jewel of your spirit. Your values don’t have a market value.