Mars Just Went Retrograde, and It’s Your 2-Month Opportunity To Refuel

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Pause for exasperated sighs: After a parade of retrogrades, Mars retrograde 2020 is making its grand appearance before the curtain closes on this wild (and often objectively awful) year. And in addition to being potently sexual, the red-hot, angry energy of this Mars retrograde in Aries (occurring September 9 to November 12) poses the opportunity to give us space to reach our goals. Think of it as the Rocky training montage of this year that can help us strengthen ourselves before we attack our more important challenges.

According to astrologer Bess Matassa, "any retrograde is an opportunity for us to stage an after-school slumber party with the planet in question—taking its energy from outside to inside, and moving into a more private relationship with its secret inner workings." So while Mars energy (and by extension of that, Aries energy) loves to move forward and fast, during Mars retrograde, we lose momentum and must focus on charging up first. To stick with the slumber part analogy, Mars packs a lot of kinetic energy, so it would typically be first to, say, start a pillow fight. But During retrograde, it may be more likely to go to sleep early as a means to replenish itself for tomorrow.

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"While Mars is sometimes associated with pure mojo and making things happen, at its core it connects us to our very vitality and life force," Matassa says. "This Mars retrograde cycle asks all of us to excavate our personal 'power packs' and remember that we have every right to be here in the first place, check any energy sinks or sources of depletion, and come ever closer to exactly what really fuels our engines."

"This Mars retrograde cycle asks all of us to remember that we have every right to be here in the first place, check any energy sinks or sources of depletion, and come closer to exactly what really fuels our engines." —Bess Matassa, astrologer

In other words, the Mars retrograde 2020 cycle is about taking necessary steps before you charge into action, and, in practice, it probably involves a little maintenance. That might mean taking stock of a self-care practice, but it can also be anything consciously rejuvenating and healing for your physical body—especially in treating any power imbalances.

"Mars holds the energy of the divine masculine," says Corina Crysler, transformational astrologer. "In a time of several retrogrades, including Uranus and Chiron, we can use this Mars retrograde to understand where the possible imbalances are between the divine feminine and masculine in our bodies and how we can change and heal from our realizations."

So for example, I've been kind of...well, passive all summer. I've been eating French cheeses on picnic blankets, and clocking plenty of after-work glasses of wine on the couch, and it's been great and leisurely, but if I keep it up, I will low-key feel like a dumpster fire of a useless person as the world around me continues to burn. So my retrograde objective is to get active and start hula-hooping again and, in general, stick to a routine that feels healthy and active for me so I can feel as strong as possible as temperatures drop, daylight wanes, and virus rates likely surge.

But Mars retrograde objectives might look different for you! Maybe it's prioritizing sleep health to fight social-justice burnout, or prioritizing self-love to get in touch with pleasure preferences for sexual health, or both, or something else entirely. Whatever you've been lacking that contributes to functioning optimally, make it a priority. Like any planetary backpedal, you can expect Mars retrograde to shake things up and make us feel slower. So, use the time wisely to power up and replenish your physical body. And then, spring forth with your newfound restored energy.

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