Now, I know that everybody always talks about Mercury retrograde, and the chaos it brings to our lives. However, an event that’s significantly less talked about, but no less significant, is Mars retrograde.

Mars only goes retrograde once every two years. The frequency at which a planet stations retrograde all depends on how fast of an orbit that planet has. Mercury has a very quick orbit, which is why it’s turning retrograde on us so many times throughout the year. But the benefit to this is that its retrograde period is always pretty short, sweet, and to the point.

Because Mars is a slow mover, its retrograde period is always longer and its effects are felt more powerfully.

Related: Download Your Free Printable January 2021 Wall Calendar

And a slow orbit + a long retrograde can only mean one thing…

A long shadow phase. So even though Mars stationed direct on November 13th, 2020… we were stuck in its post-retrograde shadow up until January 2nd.

Oh, what? You mean you didn’t know that planets have more than just retrograde and direct stages?

Well believe it, sister. When any planet retrogrades it actually undergoes four stages during its solar travels: pre-retrograde shadow, retrograde, direct, and post-retrograde shadow… And the planet will be traveling through the same section of the zodiac three times. To help yourself understand this, you can visualize the planet making an ‘S’ or ‘Z’ motion in the sky. It’s traveling along in one direction (just minding its own dang business), then suddenly it pivots and “goes backward”, and then just as suddenly, it pivots again and continues to travel in its original path.

And believe it or not, the pre and post retrograde periods can be just as significant, transformational, and meaningful to your life.

But before we dive into the significance of Mars’ shadow period, let’s do a quick breakdown of each phase.

Pre-Retrograde Shadow: Once the planet passes the point in the zodiac where it will eventually station direct, the planet has entered its pre-shadow phase. We can think of this as the cosmic wind-up of what’s about to go down during retrograde.

Retrograde: This is the event that you always hear people buzzing about. It’s when the planet appears to be traveling backward in the sky, typically causing events, emotions, and feelings that are “opposite” to the planet’s normal characteristics.

Direct: This is when the planet resumes its regularly scheduled programming. The planet will start course directing and the cosmic energies will slowly start to line out again. Which brings us to…

Post-Retrograde Shadow: This is the period of time the planet is traveling until it hits that point in the zodiac where the planet turned retrograde. During this period between direct station and shadow, it’s likely that you will still feel some of those retrograde energies from time to time, as the planet is still trying to get it’s shit together, so to speak.

Although Mars retrograde only happens once every two years, its fiery temperament and close proximity to the Earth means that its effects are something we ALL felt deep to our core. Mars retrograde was peppered with frustration at every turn…

Related: Finally! 5 Reasons 2021 Is The Reason We’ve All Been Waiting For

When Mars is stationed direct, it’s full of action, energy, assertion, and straightforward behavior…

So when it goes retrograde on us, we begin to internalize all this energy. Making us hesitant to act, filling us with self-doubt, and causing us to second-guess every desire or impulse we have (instead of acting on them directly).

Mars is also associated with anger and sexuality, and during retrograde periods this sudden internalization can actually be quite dangerous to our mental health. When anger is directed inwards it can lead to depression, resentment, and low self-esteem. And when our sexuality is no longer expressed as freely, we can begin to go to a dark (or dare I say, shadowy) place if we aren’t careful…

So if you’ve felt like you’ve been battling an internal war against yourself for the past 4 months… then there’s a very good reason why. 

Mars was stationed retrograde from September 9th to November 13th, 2020… and seeing as it was stationed in its firey home sign of Aries, things were a little heated, to say the least.

But now that Mars has officially left its post-retrograde shadow, we can all end that raging internal war that we were fighting with ourselves.

And that’s not the only gift our cosmic neighbor is giving to us this New Year… Mars moves into Taurus territory on January 6th, which means that we can finally all BREATHE again.

So what can you expect now that all is well in the Martian universe again?

Well, to put it simply… things are to calm the eff down now, and slooooowwww the eff down too.

Mars in Taurus is calm, cool, and collected. When the planet of passion, action, energy, and desire meets up with the grounded sign of the Bull, you expect good things in the area of love and finance.

But, just like anything else, this cosmic alignment will affect everyone slightly differently… all depending on your zodiac sign.

 Here’s what you can expect over the next two months. 

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19)

After all the energy Mars directed in your sign over the past several months, your sign is probably going to benefit from this chilled out transition the most. Take advantage of this stable energy and use it to refine a current hobby or passion.

Now, get your quick Aries horoscope for this week

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20)

Yep. Mars is hanging out in your sign for the next 2 months, so that means you’re going to have a consistent stream of energy that will help you outlast everyone else. You’re no quitter, and these next 2 months will be the perfect time to prove it.

Now, get your quick Taurus horoscope for this week

Gemini (May 21-Jun 20)

What happens when the energizer bunny (you) meets up with Mars in Taurus? You’re going to be feeling very energetic. This energy is going to make you want to go out there and smash all those New Years’ goals, but just remember that slow and steady wins the race. Taking shortcuts is NOT a good idea.

Now, get your quick Gemini horoscope for this week

Cancer (Jun 21-Jul 22)

This alignment is going to be very nurturing for your relationships. Of course, you’re already a seasoned pro in that department, but with the passion of Mars and the love of Taurus, you’re going to be feeling extra sentimental and appreciative for your loved ones. Take this time to show them just how much they matter to you.

Now, get your quick Cancer horoscope for this week

Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22)

Mars in Taurus isn’t going to steal your shine (honestly, what could?) but it will make you even more bold and courageous than you usually are. Thanks to Mars’ assertive energy you’ll be able to tackle any obstacle, but don’t worry, Taurus will keep you grounded when you start to get carried away.

Now, get your quick Leo horoscope for this week

Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22)

You’re really going to love this Mars/Taurus energy because it’s going to amplify your (already superior) work and detail-oriented nature. This is a good time to get yourself reorganized, plan out your year, and check off some tasks on that to-do list.

Now, get your quick Virgo horoscope for this week

Libra (Sept 23-Oct 22)

Your social nature is likely to go into a slight hibernation over the next two months, and instead, your artistic side is going to flourish. Mars is going to provide you with the sudden urge to pick up that hobby again. Let your instincts and desires lead the way.

Now, get your quick Libra horoscope for this week

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21)

We all know that you can be the most stubborn person in the room, and this Mars/Taurus energy isn’t going to do anything to change that. It will however, put that stubbornness to good use. This is a great time to master anything you’ve been learning, practicing, or wanting to explore.

Now, get your quick Scorpio horoscope for this week

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21)

Lucky you, the next two months will be blessing your finances and your love life! It’s a good time to start that savings account, talk to an investor AND it’s a good time to date, court, or “hang out”. But remember, good things come to those who wait, so don’t rush into anything before really considering it.

Now, get your quick Sagittarius horoscope for this week

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19)

Mars in Taurus is going to do great things for your mile-long to-do list. The next two months will be the perfect time for you to really slow down, get present, get serious and ACT.

Now, get your quick Capricorn horoscope for this week

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)

This is a great time for you to do some deep inner work. Mars in Taurus is providing you with the get-it-done energy that you’ll need to be able to really focus. Use it to your advantage and practice ample self-care, reflection, and meditation.

Now, get your quick Aquarius horoscope for this week

Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20)

This alignment is going to pull you ever-so-slightly out of clouds. You might even feel a little uncomfortable, with this very strong and grounded energy. But instead of letting it through you off, use it to your advantage and get some of your “boring” tasks done.

Now, get your quick Pisces horoscope for this week

So, what do you say… are you ready to finally stop internalizing all that pent-up energy? Comment YES below if you’re ready for everything 2021 has to offer!

About Brittany Jordan

Brittany is a writer for Drawn to astrology, herb magic, and spirituality she loves connecting with people through well-crafted words and the occasional belly laugh. Bored by the traditional ''seriousness'' that spirituality is often associated with, she enjoys making divination fun through playful writing that keeps topics down-to-Earth, easy to digest, and most importantly... FUN to read.

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