This particular Mars retrograde period is even more significant than usual because it is very long in duration. Although this period is ten weeks in length, Mars is actually moving through the area of Sagittarius and Scorpio where it is now for six months. This brings a lot of the "Martian energy" into focus which can be a good thing, even when the planet is retrograde (quite a few athletes have Mars retrograde in their birth charts. I do myself actually and though I am definitely not an athlete, I have accomplished quite a lot. I say this because there is some thought that during Mars retrograde periods we just can't accomplish anything - it is one step forward and two back. This is why we need to understand these important periods).
Although some planetary configurations and astrological periods are difficult, and are known to be negative; as you will see from my books and my own experience with astrology for over forty years, I believe that everything is potentially good. Even the hardest periods can bring us the most useful lessons. And I also believe that this is what life is all about - learning, growing and evolving into more aware and enlightened human beings.
The planet Mars rules our self- assertion and is the energy that gets us moving towards our goals. When Mars is retrograde instead of just surging ahead in what is called "direct motion", we tend to question our style of assertion and examine why we seem to get into conflict with other people. Its a good time to reflect on the past (similar here to Mercury retrograde but more about how we assert and achieve rather than how we communicate). Perhaps we haven't achieved as much as we would have liked; either by asserting ourselves with others in an unpleasant way or by getting distracted from our goals; by taking on too much and ending up dealing with "the small stuff". Now, until the end of June, we can examine this and see if we can improve how we "come across." Also improve our physical vitality and energy levels by assessing our diet and exercise regime, etc.
We should remember that this period is affecting everyone in the world - not just you and me. Some people, of course, won't learn from it and could have a very difficult, frustrating time during this period. Others, more aware, will have begun to wonder why things are going ahead as smoothly as they would have liked. Others may already be sensitive and intuitive enough to have felt the shift of energy and have already been working with it in positive ways - trying a different approach - and succeeding.
It's a good time for self-analysis and to be as honest and authentic as possible, however painful that may be:) The retrograde periods generally present good times for us to be impartial observers of ourselves and there are several slow-moving retrograde planets right now - Saturn and Pluto with Neptune going retrograde next week.
It's not a great time to begin new things but to ponder how we can achieve our goals and assert ourselves differently once the retrograde period is over at the end of this month. We shouldn't avoid taking action, just as we shouldn't avoid communications during Mercury retrograde, but become more conscious of how and why we're taking action.
Mars retrograde is encouraging us to live simply, free from the confines of guilt, fear, competition and ego. It is encouraging us to have joy in the fact that we do have the energy to get up in the mornings and to accomplish what we need to do, and what we aspire to do. It is a time to be grateful for the wonderful influence of the fiery planet Mars - the builder, the achiever, the energizer.