Are your steps springier; is your laughter easier; is your brow less furrowed today? A sudden sense of levity could be due to the fact that the holiday weekend looms ahead and your vacation brain has already kicked in. But, if you're an avid horoscope reader, it's just as likely that your lightheartedness is thanks to the end of Mars retrograde. As of today, the red planet's backspin that started on June 26 is no more — but, as there always seems to be in astrology, there's a catch: We're not quite out of the woods yet.
While this year's Mars retrograde really is over, we're still in the midst of its shadow period, which astrologers describe as the time it takes for a planet to return to where it was on the Wheel of the Zodiac before its retrograde began. Since each planet moves through the signs at a different pace, their shadow periods vary in length. Mercury's shadow period, for example, usually lasts about two weeks. Meanwhile, Mars' will last until October 8 this year. That sounds like a long time, but it doesn't mean we have to act like we're in the throes of a full-blown retrograde until then.
More accurately, dealing with a post-retrograde shadow period means easing yourself back into the swimming pool (read: your everyday life), rather than diving straight into the deep end. We're absolutely free to restart the projects and plans we saw sputter to a halt under Mars retrograde, but we shouldn't expect to hand anything into the powers that be right away. Instead, we can use what we learned during the retrograde to garner better, albeit more gradual results.
If your Mars retrograde went as intended, hopefully you're more likely to show others (and yourself) patience before pushing and pressuring them to let you get your way. Sure, your temper might have frayed beyond recognition while you learned this lesson (and you still may be far from being a purely accommodating, tranquil sage), but you were probably met with less resistance when you acted in order to ease tensions and not in spite of them.
Luckily, the end of Mars retrograde isn't exclusively about walking on eggshells for another month and a half. Now that Mars is direct and still in Capricorn, we'll have a much-needed opportunity to reassess our responsibilities and ambitions — are you able to handle the former while pursuing and cultivating the latter? In the next few weeks, consider making those major career moves you've been putting off. This planet-sign combo is like rocket fuel for chasing your goals, as long as you do so with a bit of strategy.
So, for the time being, feel free to lean into those end-of-retrograde vibes — just remember to keep things lighthearted even when things get difficult.