Mars: Retrograde/June 26th, Opposition/July 26-27th, Direct/August 27th
Whereas Mercury moves retrograde 3 times a year for about 23 days each time, and Venus retrogrades about every 1.5 years for about 40 days, Mars will move retrograde about every 2 years and 2 months, and this time it will do so for 62 days. It is the planet that goes retrograde the least, so you should always take advantage of this opportunity.
Whenever a planet is moving retrograde it is actually moving closer to the Earth; Mars and Earth will be closer to one another than at any time when we reach the midpoint of the retrograde, when Mars is Opposite the Sun, with the Earth between the Sun and Mars. This time that will occur on July 26-27th.
Though some might consider a planet to be somehow "weakened" by moving backwards, you must remember that this is only an appearance for us here on Earth. In the matter of Mars, it is we on Earth who are "catching up" to Mars and passing by, as if we were on an inside lane of a race track. Moreover, as we do catch up we make our closest approach to Mars as it "grows" bigger and brighter. Mars, the Avatar of Desires and Actions will shine redder than ever, and much will be stirred within and around you too. You will see Mars most luminous, a glowing crimson orb, when it forms the opposition to the Sun at the end of July.
Mars rules your actions and desires, it serves your "self" (the Sun) by providing the drive to secure your needs and wants. But when it turns retrograde it signals a time for you to turn inward. Mars retrograde offers you the opportunity to re-examine what exactly it is that you do desire, and, just as importantly, it calls upon you to re-consider how you should secure it.
This time Mars is retrograding through Aquarius until August 12th, and then continues to retrograde in Capricorn until it turns direct on August 27th, so the review of your desires and aims will be upon your dreams of a better world to be made true, and then shift to considerations about your path of self-fulfillment and your responsibilities. It will principally bring a re-examination of your friendships and communities, and it will remind you that your dreams are made of one another, and you can only be fulfilled if their dreams come true too.
Many observers have noted that whenever Mars turns retrograde the forces of Self-Assertion seem to slip beyond the normative bounds of caution or self-restraint, and we find increasing manifestations of aggression and even violence...yes, there is real "danger" here.
The misunderstanding and misuse of Spiritual Energies is always a problem no matter what is happening "up there". But the time of Mars Retrograde stirs more strongly the shadowed depths of the human psyche where hurts and resentments have festered, and the result of this stirring of painful energies inflames passion, stokes fear and anger, and this collision of passion, pain and anger erupts in actions that can lead to the harming of oneself or of others.
Always remember, the Energies evoked or stoked by Mars are neither "good" or "bad"...rather it is your degree of spiritual awareness and evolution that will indicate how the energy will be received. And, then how you will pass it on equally depends upon your own spiritual development and self-control. How you receive the Energies around you, how you work with them, and in what form will you pass them on is determined by your Spiritual Integration and Awareness.
To the extent that you have become more Self-Masterful, guided by your Higher Self and not your Ego, then to that same extent will you be able to wield your Physical, Emotional, Mental and Intuitional Powers in a Loving and Constructive Manner. And, to the extent that you remain unintegrated, with conflicts within and between your Hierarchical Nature of Body, Feelings, Mind and Spirit, then to that same extent will you act Destructively towards yourself and/or towards others. This is true always.
This is why Mars moving retrograde is such an opportunity for spiritual quickening. What Mars retrograde can and should be used for is to take this time and use it to pierce through those self-made shadows of old fears and hurts. You can transform yourself and your world by over-turning limited fear-formed desires, transforming those misdirected energies into aspirations. Mars retrograde is truly a time to stir your awakening, as you continue on the one true path of greater mindfulness, unconditional love and a centered will.
In the end, as always, it comes quite simply down to one thing, do you Love Yourself? Do you have and know the Love of your Higher Self as real and ever present and before you at all times? Do you stand in its presence, so that this eternal fountain-source of love pervades your entire being and all of your actions too? And, from this experience of your true self you will equally know that you are to treat the other before you as you treat yourself, with unconditional love too.
Mars is the part of your journey informed by your Desire. You are always on the path of awakening, of learning to become a better or more complete human. Yes, as long as you strive to become outwardly what you are in your Higher Self, to be fully awakened, to become a Deva or shining one, you will continue on this journey to discover, accept and embrace your true nature which is Spirit, which is Love.
As Mars grows brighter, night after night, as you move towards that moment of greater revelation, take time to re-consider where you are going and how you are getting there. Look more deeply within yourself and ask:
"Is this what I should aim for, is this the way to move my dreams and the dreams of others closer to the One Universal dream? Is this the noble path forged and formed by unconditional Love and Truth? Is this the way we will enter with song and laughter, to become that shining city on the hill?”
In the end, as it was at the beginning,
We are here to be the Light,
We are here because of Love.
Just Love one another.