Once every two years Mars, the planet that rules our motivation and ambition, turns retrograde for about a 2 1/2-month stretch. On April 17, 2016, Mars turns retrograde in adventurous Sagittarius, and will remain backpedaling until June 29. You've undoubtedly read all of the warnings about Mars Retrograde by now, and they are indeed accurate. Since Mars is the planet of initiation, you must have a strong and direct Mars if you ever want your endeavor to succeed. This is why astrologers advise against starting vital projects during this phase.
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The "oomph" factor is missing or lessened somehow when Mars is retrograde. Often, we feel a sense of frustration during Mars Retrograde because we want to press forward in a certain area of our lives but feel as if our efforts to progress are futile. The universe demands that we fortify what's happening in that area already rather than break new ground. As long as you remember that simple rule you'll be fine. Mars Retrograde won't be your downfall.
When Mars is your ruler
If you're ruled by Mars however, either by having the Sun or Ascendant in Aries or Scorpio, then you belong to the VIP Mars club. Mars, as our ruling planet, has a special emphasis in our lives. When this planet moves direct we're enlivened and embroiled. We're full of vim and vigor. When retrograde however, we are forced into a cosmic time out. The universe doesn't ask, but rather orders us to take a chill pill.
I, for one, am relieved.
That's right, I said it. When Mars turns retrograde I know that for at least a few weeks I'll have time to fully inhale and exhale. You see, being ruled by Mars and having Mars heavily aspected in my chart (the apex of a T-square with it square Venus, conjunct Saturn, square Pluto as well as trine Jupiter) you can say that I am a high strung, an on-the-go person. I live this high octane existence and rarely give myself any down time. So when Mars turns retrograde every couple of years I might experience a bout of frustration if I'm trying to get something off the ground, but even so, I tend to be secretly thankful. Why? Because at the very least, I can count on a BREAK!
As soon as Mars enters his cave for hibernation I feel the endless anxiety begin to lift. I realize that I've got time to relax. There's an almost unhurried vibration in my energy field that is foreign to me most of the time. But it allows my "fight or flight" tendency to diminish just enough to stop, sit down and smell the roses.