When direct, Mars is our jetpack, compelling us to surge forward in our endeavors, with little concern for the repercussions of our actions. As long as we're on the move, even if it means barreling through a locked door instead of waiting to find the right key, nothing else matters to this fiery planet. But, when Mars starts its regular retrograde about every two years, it would much rather we take our time.
"Don't push ahead, don't force or forge forwards," advises astrologer Kimberly Peta Dewhirst, adding that we should avoid taking risks and playing into our impulses. Mars retrogrades are said to prompt an uptick in accidents, conflicts, and destructive decisions. In other words, Dewhirst says, make sure your brakes are in good shape, ignore any trolls in your mentions, and think twice before meeting up with your ex "just to talk." Taking these added precautions, rather than focusing on getting ahead, will make this retrograde period much smoother.
With this period's emphasis on slowing down, we'll have plenty of time to relax, review, and reorganize, Dewhirst says. The red planet will begin its retrograde in Aquarius, so take some time to consider the role you play in the teams and groups you belong to. This air sign tends to put community before the self — you may feel a nudge to be more collaborative and vocal about the causes you hold close to your heart. Do a little research to see where your efforts are needed most then direct them there (remember, this retrograde wants you to take things slowly). Then, when Mars moves into Capricorn on August 13, focus on your strategy and goals at work. Does your everyday routine align with your long-term vision for success? Use the leisurely pace of this retrograde to pull back and look at the big picture.
If you're not in a reflective mood but still want to stay on Mars retrograde's good side, just do your best to be patient and kind. "Rather than being aggressive, be quick to step down and show compassion," Dewhirst says. As much as this planet is linked to confrontation and, yes, aggression, leaning into that influence during its backspin may come back and bite you later.
Mars will go direct on August 27, so at least your Labor Day weekend plans will likely unfold as expected. That said, it's probably still a good idea not to text your ex back.