July 2018 Forecast: Mars Retro: Turning Heated Confusion in Strategic Reorganization

The Big Picture

From January 2017 through January of 2019, Mars spends FIVE months hanging out in just a narrow 11-degree neighborhood of the entire 360-degree zodiac. (What neighborhood, you ask? The turf between 28 degrees Capricorn and 9 degrees Aquarius). 

Welcome to Mars in retrograde, which happens every two years. The actual period of retrograde lasts two months (June 27—August 26), but the period before and after when Mars is first traversing and then finally leaving the same neighborhood is always part of the story.

There are other important things happening this summer (three eclipses, Mercury retrograde, a Saturn/Uranus trine etc.) but I’m highlighting Mars because we can work to train our noble protector/warrior to serve our larger goals in this period. Or we could kvetch…. the choice is ours!


So how do we use this time well?

Mars is the drive to move forward and achieve goals. It often does so through separation, discernment, and initiating new activities (think of Mars as a ‘knife’.) . Mars retrograde usually puts the brakes on lots of forward motion, and instead requires disciplined review, pruning, and finding the opportunities in roadblocks and delays.

Astrologer Georgia Stathis has described this as ‘rerouting to a new outcome’ so the crucial question is ‘”where do I want to go?” Set some GPS targets (short-term and long-term). Small experiments with awareness work quite well with Mars retro periods, so put on the lab coat and try a few crazy experiments in the laboratory of your life! You don’t have to know but you do need to be willing to experiment.


Key takeaways:

·      Find yourself super-angry or blowing your top? Your Mars is signaling that it’s on fire and ready to work, so direct it appropriately. Holding grudges, resentments, or regrets will keep you trapped in the past; strategic renewal in Aquarius and Capricorn is about rebuilding structures to support future growth.

·      If you noticed or created significant shifts in mid-late May, these issues are ready to develop and would benefit from lots of attention. They come to fruition (if you’re nurturing them) in September.

·      Get any crucial technical equipment repaired or maintained as appropriate (e.g., computers, HVAC systems, cars) before Mercury goes Rx (7/25-8/18).

·      If you’re not sure what to do or where you want to go, declutter with a strong intention to clear space in order to clear your mind for greater clarity.

·      The ‘heated period’ is particularly intense from around July 20-Aug. 2, when Mars is triggering the Nodes and Uranus; what appears as sudden changes and disruptions are the manifestation of what’s been underground, so be sure you’re doing creative composting in your own garden.


Highlights for July

July 10:       Venus enters the sign of Virgo (through Aug. 7). Considered ‘in detriment’ in traditional astrology, Venus in Virgo can be a powerhouse for applying practical discernment to nurturing relationships. Make sure you’re using information to make positive change, and not just nit-picking.

July 12:       A Solar eclipse in Cancer that invites shadow work, recognizing something that either needs attention, recognition, and/or release. [Solar eclipse at 20 degrees Cancer is opposite Pluto; Mars conjunct South Node.]

July 26:      Mercury enters retro period.

July 27:       This powerful lunar eclipse is a strong invitation to make change NOW; with the Sun, Moon, Mars, and Uranus all hitting the lunar nodes, it’s time to take a fresh look at the past ideas about community and ask what kinds of relationships between the individual and the collective can really thrive now, paying respect to both. [Lunar Eclipse at 4 degrees Aquarius conjunct Mars Rx and the South Node, opposite the Sun in Leo conjunct the North Node, square Uranus in Taurus.]


Sheila Roher