Mars goes retrograde 2016: What it means for you

Mars retrograde 2016The planet Mars is essentially the driver of the psyche.  Mars energizes us, motivates us, inspires desire and want and need.  Mars helps us to set boundaries and defend ourselves, it also gives us the chutzpah we need to go on the offensive where necessary.  If that primal instinct to need and defend is thwarted or blocked or oppressed, Mars can run amok into rage and violence so we often tend to be afraid of that instinct.

When I see a client whose Mars is powerful in the chart but it is blocked in some way, or perhaps affected by other planets which weaken its effect, they will often say “I never get angry because when I do I blow up and it frightens me.”  This is a signal that Mars needs to find expression in a healthy way.

Mars turns retrograde (meaning it appears to move backwards from our perspective on earth) every couple of years and like all retrograde cycles, retrograde Mars operates on a much more personal and intense level when retrograde.  Mars turned retrograde on April 17th, and until June 29th when it turns direct again we are likely to be much more aware of our inner frustrations and resentments.  It likely will be more difficult to assert ourselves and to express that urge into the outer world – Mars retrograde turns the focus within so that we can ultimately find greater personal expression of that primal urge to manifest desire and find our own independent way in the world.

Pluto turned retrograde at the same time as Mars, and because Pluto represents a higher octave energy of Mars there is parallel activity occurring here on both the personal and transpersonal levels.  Pluto is retrograde for six months every year so this is not as dramatic an occurrence as some articles may have led you to believe.  But the combination of Mars and Pluto stationary in the sky, beaming a laser of potent aggressive force, is a powerful one.

Mars is in freedom-loving Sagittarius now where it doesn’t appreciate being repressed and held back, which could heighten the sense of frustration.  Physical activity is always a great way to discharge built-up Mars energy and that is especially true in Sagittarius.  On April 28th Mercury will turn retrograde and that will make communication more difficult, potentially resulting in greater problems especially after May 28th when Mars retrogrades back into Scorpio and builds more power.

Remember that everyone is affected by these impulses, so the people around you are likely to exhibit frustration and rage and there is greater potential for conflict.  Mars energy can express itself in weird ways – those with difficulty expressing our anger and frustration can sometimes goad another into blowing up instead.  This is a good time to be thoughtful and conscious about how these energies operate in our lives so that they can be channeled effectively.

The key to getting the most from these planetary events is to pay close attention to your instincts and your desires and needs, and work to develop a clear strategy for achieving some sort of satisfaction and success.  Understand that the Mars-y energy is affecting everyone around the world, and remove yourself from situations that could become dangerous.

We will likely be frustrated in attempts to make anything happen between now and the end of June.  But we can certainly become more aware of the inner drives that motivate us and engage in positive actions to move forward in the direction of maximizing our potential for the ultimate achievement of those goals.

By | 2016-07-29T06:43:12+00:00 April 20th, 2016|Planetary cycles|13 Comments


  1. rhonda April 20, 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Bingo! This past week has shown its rage towards me and through me.
    Knew it was time to open the bottle of Bach flower impatience .
    My Mars had been a firce to recon with… making my anthem “nobody likes me I’m gonna eat some worms”
    Whew ! those 12 years recently passed and I wasn’t in the least sad to see them go.
    1-21-55/8:28PM/San Francisco ,ca

  2. Sharon April 20, 2016 at 11:33 am - Reply

    On the positive side of things I’ve returned to complete two projects that have been hanging for months. However, and I am an Aries, I’ve noticed that I’ve been impatient and sometimes angry the past couple of days, so going to do my best to observe that from the tower. Thanks for the article Lynn. <3

    • April 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm - Reply

      This kind of strong Mars energy does challenge us to utilize the fire energy well, and that’s even more true for those of you with a lot of fire already in your charts like my Aries friends. 🙂

  3. Gina April 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Thanks Lynn for your level headed explanation of this planetary activity. Natally, I have an Aries moon (moon square Mars) and the rest of my natal chart is mostly comprised of water and fire (libra rising) and very little earth. These last few years sometimes it feels like I am losing my mind! I have too be very careful what astrological blogs I read or I will become even more confused. I think because I lack air planets I have trouble with understanding the mechanics of astrology and rely on professional astrologers like yourself for explanation. It is kind of sad that I am fascinated by astrology but don’t really have the ability to really process it myself. Anyway, going on too long. Thanks for your work!

    • April 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gina- one thing I have found with the proliferation of astrology blogs is that unless someone is actually doing client consultations their knowledge is theoretical rather than practical. I have learned so much from 30 years of chart reading and I would say only half of what I know came from my astrological education. Most of it has come from working with clients!

  4. Kimberly April 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    This explains why I have felt like a frustrated resentful crazy woman since Monday. So much pain and anger around religion!! I just want to find peace and don’t understand why I am so bothered by organized religion in general and my husband’s Christianity. It’s been brewing for years and has definitely reached volcano level. Exercise keeps me sane. Thanks 😉

    • April 22, 2016 at 7:15 am - Reply

      Good luck Kimberly! It sounds like there is more going on that needs resolution. Wishing you the clarity to do the best thing for all concerned.

  5. Linda Rienzie April 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    OK so some insight needed….have to undergo cancer treatment. …should I wait till end of june?

    • Kimberly April 21, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      I can’t answer to the astrology but I am knowing health and wholeness for you! 🙂

    • April 22, 2016 at 7:14 am - Reply

      Linda, it would be irresponsible for me to make astrological recommendations without a full view of your chart for something this important. But generally speaking, surgeries and health treatments to repair a health problem are not a problem in a retrograde environment. So follow your doctor’s recommendation on this and don’t use a very general article like this to change your plans, and best of good wishes for healing and light.

  6. […] struggling with some deep stuff recently . . . it all seems to be coming to a head because of the handful of planets in retrograde right now.  Apparently I haven’t been taking good care of myself, because I am currently getting over […]

  7. Amit May 30, 2016 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Your Post Makes me Feel that Mars Retrograde Is Not a Positive Phrase and generates More of Impulsiveness and Frustrated Feelings

  8. Deb Johnson June 22, 2016 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I am soooo ready for Mars to move forward. It feels like trodding through mud to me. I want to get things accomplished! Energized! In addition as you wrote, “Pluto and Mars stationary in the sky, beaming a laser of potent aggressive force, is a powerful one” will be a welcome relief at the local to global level. Thank you Lynn for the insightful read about Mars Retrograde. You help me understand energies going on so that I can relax and know “this too shall pass.” Keep at it! -deb

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