How to Survive Mars Retrograde

how to survive mars retrograde

ETA: This piece was written for the April-June 2016 Mars retrograde. 

Apparently ‘super-gonorrhoea’ is on the rise according to a radio announcement yesterday. It’s not the first mention of it (the discovery of the new strand happened last year) but it’s the first time I heard it mentioned in the news… and on the day Mars goes retrograde. NOT a coincidence!

Mars rules sexuality and an aggressive STI is SO Mars retrograde. However, Mars does not only rule sexuality. Your drive, vitality levels, passion and competitiveness are also ruled by Mars. You may find that you are more argumentative with your partner than usual or that you are suddenly re-assessing/doubting your career goals, all depending on where this retrograde falls in your natal chart.

Now is not a great time to start new ventures, especially not if you have to engage with a competitor or enemy. A saying during Mars retrograde is: ‘Who initiates, loses’

Anyone heavy on Aries or Scorpio energies in their natal chart may find their energy blocked or diminished during this period. Go with the flow and look within. All retrogrades are essentially set up for us to revise and learn from past mistakes. We may not love it at the time but it is necessary in order to break bad patterns and habits.

It almost goes without saying that this retrograde period will affect your love life and closest relationships deeply. Some of the things you may have already noticed are that you may be more critical of and have less patience with the little annoying habits of your other half. Yet at the same time, you could feel less assertive in expressing your emotions. Anger or resentment could start building up inside.

Or perhaps you notice an increase in the rates of nights where the old ‘headache’ excuse is used by you or your partner. You may be skipping out on exercise and find yourself in a downward low-energy spiral. Vitality levels may be low or fluctuating wildly. You may feel ‘peculiar’ and not sure why which makes it difficult to explain to your partner why you are not in the mood. Learning to just be truthful about this is, of course, the way forward.

Work may take longer, as you find it more difficult to focus on details so you may arrive home from work more exhausted than usual – something which also affects the relationship. Cut your beloved some significant slack and ask them to do the same for you, so you can ride out the retrograde together in style and without too many ruffled feathers or even a complete break-down of the relationship.

Endings are more likely than new beginnings in love over the next couple of months.

Best actions to take this Mars retrograde

1. Re-assess how you deal handle aggression and personal boundaries
2. Contemplate healthy ways to be assertive
3. Learn from past mistakes in sexual relationships
4. Look closely at how you motivate yourself (and STAY motivated)
5. Check patience levels (and keep checking them!)

Personal development Tarot spreads for Mars Rx

For either of the best actions above, you can do a simple Situation/Don’t/Do Tarot spread, like the one below:

do don't tarot 3 card spread

The TowerYou may also wish to do a free-flowing spread based on the three main Martian cards in the deck. Simply shuffle and cut as usual, locate The Tower (Mars), Death (Scorpio) and The Emperor (Aries), as well as the cards on either side of each to see where the focus lies for your personally. It might be interesting to do this in conjunction with looking at your own natal chart.

Mars is currently retrograde in Sagittarius, so wherever 8 degrees Saggie is in your natal chart is probably where you will have felt the first impact. The backward dance then continues through to 23 degrees Scorpio.

You’re not a suicide bomber

All in all, the self-destruct factor can be high with this retrograde, so proceed with caution. Mars rules both eros (the sex drive) and thanatos (the death drive). If you have never owned your own death-drive before, now is the time to do so. Look it square in the eye, so that it you don’t find yourself pushing the self-destruct button ‘accidentally’.

Mars Rx relationship Tarot spread

For an in-depth overview of how Mars retrograde is impacting your love life and closest romantic relationship, I recommend laying out the cards like this:

mars retrograde relationship tarot spread

  1. How you interact with your partner – May or may not be how you see yourself. Contemplate what you see here and if there is a resonance with how you truly feel. If not, make extra sure that you communicate your intent and feelings more clearly.
  2. Your tolerance levels – How patient, open-minded and loving you are toward your partner inside your own head (may or may not come out)
  3. Your libido – Your own sex drive and how it is affected by the current Mars Rx
  4. This challenges you now – This is what is sent to test you right now (may or may not be relationship-related)
  5. This is where your relationship is heading
  6. The best action to take

Remember, the future is not set in stone. Focus more on the opportunity to change any patterns or habits that aren’t healthy than on the difficulties themselves. Growth is never pain-free and yes, this can be a challenging time for many of us, but in the end, it will be for the best if we set the intention to meet any challenges with the intent to learn and grow.


Lisa Frideborg

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Comments 6

  1. Thank you, very helpful! I was so grateful to receive your newsletter yesterday, as it brought in the awareness needed to take a huge step back, which i just needed to do again. I have my first three planets in aries, along with my rising sign. Mars is in the 4th house of my natal chart. I may have to read this and use the spreads every day. Bless you!!!

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      Mars affects all of us. Mars is now retrograde in first decan Sagittarius, so look at where that falls for you. It will continue back through Scorpio next.,

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      Hi Manda,

      Yes, it will not make you feel as uncomfortable as it may make someone else and the process of going within to do a ‘Mars lessons check-up’ should come more naturally. Blessed Be!

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