Mars in Retrograde

Everyone always blames everything on Mercury in retrograde but what happens when Mars, the red fighter planet named after the ancient god of conflict and war, decides to backtrack on its course? Astrologer Danny Larkin teaches us how to bite our tongues and keep our cool when confronted by all the sh*! we’ve been trying to ignore this summer!


Just when you thought that Mercury was the only backward moving planet you needed to worry about...


Are you ready for a crazy summer? Starting on June 26, Mars will start moving backwards in the sky, which is called Mars Retrograde.

If you star gaze multiple nights in a row – far away from a light polluted city – you will notice the red planet moving backwards in the zodiac during this period. Meanwhile, the moon and several other planets advance forward every night. This retrograde effect will last until August 28th.

At its heart, astrology is about the night sky as a set of omens for what happens below on earth. Mars is the red fighter planet, named after the ancient god of war and conflict. This backwards motion portends unfinished business and unresolved conflicts from the past coming back into the present. Mars will rise early on in evening during this period and be visible for most of the night. Mars is usually only visible for part of the night or not at all.

So what do you do with this ancient omen in modern 21st century life?

Face it – all of us are too busy. That’s not a newsflash. But sometimes if you leave a pot on the backburner for too long and don’t deal with it, it scorches and you get stuck cleaning up a mess. For example, there may be a friend we are overdue to see for a catch up. There may be a project we’ve putting off at work that our boss has been nagging us about. There may be an issue in our relationship that we’ve putting off addressing because it requires some tough conversations, humble admissions, and implementing some hard adjustments. It’s funny, we often wish our partner was working harder on their shit but then avoid dealing with our own equally hard stuff – because you know – it’s work.

So the chickens are coming home to roost. In the northern hemisphere, work slows down during the summer months and that more personal, emotional stuff we’ve been putting off will start to come up. In the southern hemisphere, the seasonal affective disorder will kick in worse than usual, and folks with light deprivation or cabin fever during rainy season or winter will lose their shit.

They key is to work proactively with this mars retrograde energy instead of suppressing it – easier said than done, obviously. Don’t avoid conflict but don’t reach for the bazooka when someone takes a shot at you either. Be diplomatic – focus on resolving, forgiving and putting things to bed.

Maybe, you can have that hard talk with your significant other before you leave for the vacation? It’s always really sad when a couple wrecks their one week away from the daily grind by getting riled about an unresolved situation from several months ago. Can’t you have an awkward cup of coffee, be vulnerable, and work it out instead of letting it fester until it’s supposedly party time?

Also, do yourself a favor. Don’t go ballistic when someone calls you on your shit this summer. And don’t snipe back when someone gets passive aggressive. Take a deep cooling breath. See the truth in what they are saying. Don’t overreact to the harsh language. Focus on learning the lesson you’ve been avoiding (paradox alert). Ain’t any of us perfect? Very often, when someone loses their shit on us, it’s because we ignored the subtle, gentle and diplomatic hints, so they had to turn on the fire to get our attention.

Because Mars retrograde is primarily visible at night, and mars in Ancient astrology is a night planet, it’s potent to reflect on how this mars retrograde will interact with your moon sign, which rules how you experience night, your emotional needs, and your body, and how it might interact with the mars retrograde through Aquarius and Capricorn. If you don’t know your moon sign, now is the time to look it up on!


You lost your temper and people aren’t over it. Maybe you don’t always need to explode volcanically to get your way? But then again, you are so good at using anger and aggression to get your way that it’s hard to stop doing it. And people now count on you to resolve impasses by yelling. The price you pay for victories earlier this year is that some people are still raw about a row from the past. Try to reach out to people to mend the fence by August 14th. Something unexpected is going to come up in the last two weeks of August. Try to let this period be open, so you can deal with it. Don’t go on vacation the last two weeks of August. It would be better if you can be in the daily grind to resolve it.


You want things to be so stable, nurturing and sensual. But sometimes, you just need to have a difficult talk with your partner or an awkward meeting at work to clear something up. You are going to hate July. But try to embrace that a bit of real talk can lead to a better more comfortable situation long term. Things will simmer down after August 14th. In fact, there is going to be opening in late August. So keep the faith, don’t shy away from the hard talks, and if you play your cards right, all the real talk will open up a golden opportunity in the last few weeks of August.

Moon in Gemini – you talk too much – this isn’t the first time you’re hearing this – but it’s time to work on listening. Please note – this doesn’t mean taking silent mental notes on what the other person says so you can use it against them later. It means repeating like a parrot so the other person feels heard. Open up tough conversations in the early part of the summer before August 14th. You may feel like you can get away with not talking about this stuff. But that’s precisely the conditions when it’s most ripe to explore when there isn’t a pressure cooker. In the last two weeks of August, you’re going to be tested around your blind spots. If you’re proactive about dealing with the hard stuff earlier in the summer, it won’t be that bad. But if you spend your summer sidestepping, you will be in for a wake up call and it will bite you in the ass.


You want to feel safe and secure all the time. But sometimes, you don’t ask tough questions you need to ask, because you don’t want to make the moment unpleasant. So, you miss out on learning key info. July is going to be tough – you’re going to face situations where you realize you didn’t have a key piece of the puzzle and that frustrates you. July is a time to start asking smart questions. If you’re upset – do some detective work – someone may have a hidden motive or weird trauma shit coming up – and it doesn’t make it right – but it might help you to take it less personally to learn the back story. Don’t go on vacation the last two weeks of August. You’re going to face a key test and you need all hands on deck and don’t want to be out to lunch. If you ask the right questions earlier on this summer, it will go easier. But if you keep people pleasing and avoid speaking up and broaching difficult subjects in July, it’s going to make the last few weeks of August harder.


People are going to call you out for being selfish this summer. Yes, we all need to look out for number 1 – but when you refuse to compromise with other people who work differently than you, or hog the spotlight in group situations, people aren’t going to like you and shit will get ugly. This is not the summer to try and get away with being a diva. Focus on your creative outlets as an authentic expression of your you-ness. It will be a nice break. You would make way better creative work if you had less drama in your life. So make that extra effort to meet people half way. Ask questions, feel people out, make sure they want what you want, and find fair ways to resolve things. The world needs your creativity, so try to see this summer as a chance to learn some lessons that will reduce the drama that’s been sucking up your precious creative mojo.


You focus too much on your little list of daily health goals. You’re missing out on some of the bigger picture stuff. This summer, you’re going to be forced to look at some stuff in your blind spot. You are going to have some talks with people and it’s going to dawn on you that the problem all along hasn’t been what you thought it was. This will make you mental. But sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know and it doesn’t matter how great your daily routine is. Just roll with it. It doesn’t have to be brutal rude awakening. It can be a discovery that can lead you to develop even better routines. Yes, I knew you would like that point. It will get easier at the end of August after the 14th. And that will be a great time to learn from difficult talks to make some adjustments going forward.


You want to resolve everything diplomatically – so you’ve got a golden opening until August 14th – oh but wait, you are nervous because other people aren’t going to be as gentle or nice or appropriate as you always are. And you get so annoyed in fights about how you are being the nice one while the other person is going off. And very often, because you decide to be a good person, you end up not saying your piece if you detect it’s going to hurt the other person. It’s time to be authentic. You aren’t helping people when you aren’t sharing the truth. Some of the things that are bugging you are easier to fix than you think. So just take a risk and broach the subject and focus how easy it is to fix. Don’t put off the hard conversations before it’s going to be way more difficult in late August after the 14th. You like a deadline, don’t you?


You have a deep need to call people on their shit and stir the pot – but sometimes you waste your energy fighting with people who aren’t ready to benefit from being challenged. You tend to have an all is fair in love and war attitude. But sometimes you go too far and hit below the belt and play mind games that don’t need to be played. Like maybe you don’t need to say that really weird intense probing 8 sentences with that look in your eyes. Maybe you can just say no. You’re going to be tested this July with hurt people from the past come back and take their revenge or work things out. Don’t escalate – just hear them out – apologize for your part – and remind yourself that they are still as immature as when you parted ways and that they aren’t going to do any better with your wise unsolicited feedback. Bite your tongue with colleagues. Most fights at work aren’t worth it. Focus your energy on appeasing the weird psychological quirks of your boss that it will take to get your next raise or big project. It’s going to get better in late August after the 14th, so that would be an ideal time for a vacation.


So your entire I like to learn about different cultures and different ways of doing things is going to make this summer easier for you than other signs. When conflict comes up, it’s going to be easy for you to diffuse by focusing attention on how you come from different backgrounds and to explore it in a calm way. Still, you may have some misunderstandings because you don’t understand where other people are coming from as well as you think you do. But there is no shame in that. Try to honor where everyone is coming from and to focus on the insights you are gaining. Try to resolve as much conflict as you can by August 14. You aren’t going to be able to see things as clearly in the last few weeks of August.


So that entire not feeling your feelings and being a stoic can makes it hard for others to connect with you sometimes. Sometimes you shut down when people open up and become vulnerable. Are you surprised some people are upset with you about it? This summer people are going to challenge you to feel more, and call you out for being shut down, which is going to gross you out. You are going to have experiences in July where people are upset with you for not seeing things or understanding their feelings. To be frank, it may not be realistic to expect such empathy from a Capricorn moon. But be apologetic and be honest – you just didn’t pick up subtler emotional stuff. At the end of August, it’s going to get more intense, so don’t plan your vacation for that time. Be honest with people about your emotional limitations and consider doing some work to start opening up more.


You think you are Spock but you aren’t. You arrogantly think you are more logical and rational when it comes to emotions than most people. But you are just as human and foible as everyone else. And you get on the nerves of the people you are closest to by condescending them when they get emotional. They then blow up at you and call you on your shit in ways you find severe and unfair. But what you don’t realize is how aggravating you can be. You are going to have some big fights this summer about some entirely crazy irrational shit. You are going to hate it because you really wish that everyone could just calm down. Be honest. If you love someone, tell them. If you don’t like someone, tell them. Very often, Moon in Aquarius forgets to share their feelings – you think it’s irrelevant. But once people know how you feel, they may start to act differently, since human beings often misread your stoic signals. Ask people to share their feelings – you may be surprised what you learn. It’s going to be intense but constructive in July and early August. Don’t put things off because it will be even harder to deal with stuff at the end of August.


Yes, we all know…. you are so sensitive. It gets hard because you perseverate over shit from months ago that hurt and stung in the moment that most people have long forgotten about. You don’t realize how much of a shape shifter you are – sometimes you seem tough as nails – other times you seem as delicate as petals. People often don’t know whether it’s going to be too much to talk about something with you. Don’t big pick fights with people during July or try to broach difficult topics – unless it’s about bills that can’t wait. It would be better for you to get some body work and explore your feelings with supportive people in July and then focus on a special opening during the last two weeks of August for a confrontation that you’ve had time to prepare for.