marsunMars Retrograde: April 17 through June 29, 2016

We have been in the “shadow” of the Mars retrograde since mid-February 2016. Many people are familiar with “Mercury retrograde”, even the NY Times has given occasional press to the phenomenon.

But Mars only appears to run backwards in its orbit every 2.5 years from our perspective, so it does not have the “stickiness” of Mercury’s upsets. But less is more, and when the planet that symbolizes “action, desire and the libido” goes retrograde, its impact is unmistakable.

If you have strong Aries or Scorpio signatures in your horoscope, you’ll sense something is up. When it goes retrograde on April 17 through June 29, it will be in the sign of Sagittarius and then Scorpio, to pull the reigns on dynamic action.

Regardless of your birth sign, many may slow down their usual pace. With Mars retrograde, we are collectively nudged to become more introspective and to second-guess focus. There is a tendency to diminish or pull back on innate drive. This can be a very helpful period for some and highly frustrating for others.

Hillary Clinton is a Scorpio, so we may see her backtrack over old issues or movements. Bernie Sanders has an Aries Moon, so he may show signs of reassessing as well. Donald Trump may fare the least favorably, since with Mars Rising, whatever the “halt” will be obvious to all.

Mars When Mars goes direct again the end of June, these candidates could both approach the race with renewed vigor or a new agenda. The “shadow” energy doesn’t end until Mars returns to the point from which it appeared to go retrograde in late August. Yet another sign of a highly-charged autumn 2016.

The best course if you’ve set goals is to start projects before the retrograde. Once Mars Retrograde is activated, accept setbacks with grace. View it as an opportunity to rework concepts or to shelve them for awhile.

Avoid starting ANYTHING of importance while Mars Retrograde is happening. Whoever initiates is not the one who succeeds. If you start something, the odds are someone else profits from your action.

This is a powerful time to contemplate how you get angry or take action. You may go over situations in the past to solve a more effective way in the future. If someone instigates something at this time, do not lash out. Decide the best way to respond and do so. Do not let the anger or grievance fester, or when Mars goes Direct, you most likely erupt. Mars Retrograde is a valuable time to encourage appropriate manifestations of anger, assertion and desire. It can be a highly beneficial time to work these engines in a more productive way.

Mars stations on April 17, a potentially volatile time. This offers tremendous transformative ability, especially if your work has a healing, therapeutic, leadership or creative component to it.

Pluto goes retrograde the next day which adds to the intensity of this Mars Retrograde. The more self-aware each of us is the better for all. The more conscious and clear you become leads to a slow-cooker aspect to this period.

Forgo ambivalence or any tendency to shortchange your desire. You can truly use this time to forge a blade of decisive intention that has the right combination of hardness, strength, flexibility and balance. Those are the four components of a great sword. Swords symbolize justice — the blade that cuts through deception, prejudice, greed and confusion.

Please give some thought and prayer to a peaceful world, because whatever you think magnifies. If you forget to do so in the heat of your personal battles and strides, just do it when you remember.

Mars returning to Scorpio means there is still some pus to get out of the wound. We cannot heal unless we are willing to release the toxins. Remember this is good for you and good for the planet.

Mars Shadow — 2/17 through 8/22/16