Mars traditionally is reflective of energy directed outward. During its retrograde cycle however, those affected by this transit may feel stagnated in their efforts and feel as though they had little to no energy. This is particularly true if you have a natal planet in conjunction (the most powerful aspect), square or in opposition to transiting Mars. These aspects are known as maleficent energies when associated with Mars, the planet of aggressive force and drive, although the conjunction can be released in many other ways. Much will depend on the sign and house position as well as aspect to this conjunction in the natal chart.
When Mars is in its retrograde motion, the energy is turned inward, which is not a comfortable expression of Mars’ energy. You may feel that you could neither release your inner drive nor could you motivate yourself into a forward direction. You may feel a release of that energy once Mars turns direct again and what previously felt restricted or held back may now come to the forefront and be released. Make sure that the release of these energies is not in an aggressive manner, even if you have felt thwarted in the past few months. Mars can be quite forceful in its expression.
If, for example, transiting Mars in retrograde was conjunction with the Moon in your chart. You could have felt as though your emotions were on hold or even though you had strong inner emotional reactions to life’s events and situations, you were not able to release those emotions. This could have included the want to make changes in your life. Your emotions were so stifled that they kept you at bay and nothing seemed to have moved in the manner you wanted. All you really wanted to do was to express how you felt on an emotion level. After Mars turned direct, you would have been able to express yourself which is what you wanted for what may have seemed an eternity.
A further example, if Saturn had been involved in the equation with this retrograde Mars, this cycle would actually have been to your advantage as you undoubted had needed that time to examine all the details before you plunged into some activity.
Most planets in retrograde suggest a time of review before moving ahead once the planet go direct again, transiting Saturn in retrograde however often works in the opposite. See our Article on “Saturn in Retrograde Motion”.
Mars retrograde is a time to examine and review all details to make sure that you were prepared and on a solid foundation before you moved ahead. Saturn normally restricts action and suggests that you build a proper base before you move ahead and your drive would have been held back which gave you the perfect opportunity to prepare. Once Mars goes direct again, you may be ready to move ahead in your endeavours.
Mars is also about sexual energies and sexual drive, and you may have felt as though you were stifled in this area. Perhaps you wanted to pursue a sexual union with someone you were interested in and the events never seemed to play out to allow this union to come together. You may find that once Mars goes direct that things move along in ways that were previously stagnated or held back. Just make sure that your feelings go beyond just a sexual nature. Mars tends to be overly aggressive when it comes to sex and the sexual drive, especially when it moves through Scorpio.
Check to see which house transiting Mars is moving through as this will indicate the areas of life involved in the process. Also you will need to review which houses are involved with other planetary energies and how they may surface or fail to surface during the retrograde cycle and again when Mars goes direct. The placement of natal Mars by house position will also be highlighted. Transiting Mars may pass over planets or significant areas of the natal chart (ascendant and midheaven) three times as it goes through the retrograde and direct cycles making these areas of extreme importance in your life at that time.
If Mars stations on a planet or significant point in the birth chart, it will also be noteworthy.