Mars Retrograde Meaning, Dates And Effects On Each Zodiac Sign

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planet mars

Every person's natal chart includes 10 planets that determine specific personality traits, one of which is Mars. Mars, though called the 'planet of war,' reveals a lot more than what you fight over.

Your Mars sign signifies what drives and motivates you the most.

Mars can also reveal what brings you motivation to a task.

Mars, like most of the other planets, goes retrograde. When retrograde, Mars energy is turned inwardly, and it means you can be a real powerhouse or a person who struggles to get things done at certain times — it all depends on your zodiac sign.

Mars retrograde dates

Mars retrograde occurs approximately every 26 months or so. When Mars is retrograde, the effects last about 60 to 80 days, while the Mars retrograde shadow period can extend those effects even longer.

The next Mars retrograde dates are:

  • October 30, 2022, to January 12, 2023
  • December 6, 2024, to February 23, 2025
  • January 10, 2027, to April 1, 2027

RELATED: How Mars Affects The Way You Love, According To Astrology

Mars retrograde meaning

In astrology, when a planet is retrograde, it means that the dominant traits of the planet go dormant. Therefore, whatever traits or energies the planet rules become subdued, which can feel confusing or off-putting.

Mars is a planet of energy. It controls action, courage, and desire. It is responsible for the drive to accomplish the things that stand in your way. It rules sexual desires and activity.

When it goes into retrograde, these traits can feel… backward. During this period, you may feel confused, uncertain, or lost. You can also feel a dip in your sex drive. You may not feel as passionate and confident in your hook-ups.

RELATED: What It Means If You Have Retrograde Planets In Your Birth Chart

But have you stopped to wonder what all of this truly means for you specifically?

Mars retrograde effects on each zodiac sign

Here's what happens when Mars is retrograde in the following sign and affecting your horoscope.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Aries, you are ruled by Mars, so you will likely feel the effects of its retrograde period the strongest. You may not feel as supported or grounded in your natural personality, which can be alarming.

You are always used to being a driven person, but in retrograde, you will likely fall back on your commitments and be less productive in your day-to-day activity. These feelings may leave you with rocky patches in your friendships.

Remember to stay present and aware. Apologize where needed; seek justice where needed. Take it day by day and you'll be back to normal in no time.

RELATED: 10 Best & Worst Personality Traits & Characteristics Of The Aries Zodiac Sign

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Taurus, you look to Mars to maintain your goal-oriented disposition. So, when in retrograde, you will find yourself a little slower to accomplish those tasks.

You are generally known to have a calm temper unless provoked. During a retrograde, this equilibrium can be thrown off balance.

Focus on your closest relationships and actively work to keep them healthy. 

RELATED: The Best And Worst Taurus Personality Traits

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Gemini, you are known for being rather scattered. You may have heard that you put too many eggs in different baskets. Essentially you spread yourself thin without coving the most important bases— your personal needs.

When Mars is in retrograde, take the lull in ambition and drive as a blessing. Stop trying to please everyone and get back to your roots. Do activities that only benefit your happiness for a change.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Personality Traits Of The Gemini Zodiac Sign

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Cancer, you lean on Mars to remain emotionally connected and in touch with others. When in retrograde, you can feel a detachment to that tether, especially in the bedroom.

My advice: stick it out. You will likely go through a string of less-than-satisfying hookups during the weeks of retrograde, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don't give up on any relationships that seem to be fizzling out.

Once you are back to connecting with your emotional expression, you'll feel better!

RELATED: The Best And Worst Cancer Personality Traits

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Leo, you should take advantage of a Mars retrograde by eliminating any pent-up assumptions or expectations of yourself.

You are typically always acting with authority and attention. Naturally, this can be exhausting to carry out. While Mars goes dormant, do yourself a courtesy and focus on yourself.

Remember that people's perceptions of you are just that, perceptions. You know your true self and reconnecting with your center will have you coming out on top in the end.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Personality Traits Of The Leo Zodiac Sign

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Virgo, you work best in your routine and carry out the same methods of problem-solving year-round.

In the bedroom, you are just the same. You expect your partners to bring something satisfying to the table. You are willing to experiment, but you may not always be as open as you desire.

Use the Mars retrograde to push back against those urges. Demand freedom and optimism from everyone you cross paths with.

Practice saying yes to situations your ego would have kept you from enjoying. You might learn a thing or two from this retrograde period that you can use at other times.

RELATED: 20 Best & Worst Virgo Personality Traits

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Libra, you often feel bound by your position as a mediator for your most important relationships. As Mars enters retrograde, you will find this burden increasing as everyone's alignments drift away from the center.

Acknowledge that your friends and family may need you more than usual during these times. But don't allow others to take away from the things you need.

Gear up to support your relationships and maintain the peace, but never be afraid to make your own needs known.

RELATED: The 10 Best & Worst Personality Traits Of The Libra Zodiac Sign

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Scorpio, you will likely feel the sexual effects of a Mars retrograde the most. Your traditionally bold and adventurous bedroom nature will likely take a back seat.

While this may not be as fun and exciting, it could benefit you. Allow yourself to reconnect with your sexual foundations. Rest up from the wilder choices you are inclined to make and rebuild your strength and stamina.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Personality Traits Of The Scorpio Zodiac Sign

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

Sagittarius, you are known for being a driven and powerful force amongst your friends and acquaintances. You love to get into moderate debates and share your opinion, no matter what the occasion.

But this may get you into some serious trouble during a Mars retrograde.

Remember to fully think out everything you say before it leaves your head. People are likely to be more offended by your tough love. Practice gratitude and empathy.

RELATED: 20 Best & Worst Traits Of The Sagittarius Zodiac Sign

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

Capricorn, Mars helps to control your anger and impulsiveness, which keeps you calm, cool, and collected. Therefore, these aspects of your life may feel uncontrollable when Mars enters retrograde.

Be aware of this by remaining conservative in regard to any big decision-making opportunities. If possible, put it off until after the retrograde is complete. 

RELATED: The Best & Worst Personality Traits Of The Capricorn Zodiac Sign

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Aquarius, you are relatively skilled in getting your way. You are a smooth talker and charming personality that thrives in communication. Others may not be so receptive to your advances during a Mars retrograde.

Remember to stay calm and keep your head on your shoulders. You will likely get easily frustrated and impatient with those around you. Acknowledge that response, but let it go. The retrograde, like your temper at this time, is only temporary.

RELATED: The 10 Best And Worst Personality Traits Of Aquarius + Their Perfect Love Match

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Pisces, you find your energy fluctuates regularly when Mars is direct. So, that inconsistency will only expand during a Mars retrograde.

Try to combat your lack of drive and passion. Be aware of the number of times you pass up on opportunities that have the potential to yield amazing results for you and those around you. Don't make excuses for yourself and never be afraid to make a difference!

RELATED: The Best & Worst Pisces Personality Traits

Madison Kerth is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, and relationships.