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Yep, you read that right Mercury isn’t the one to blame this time. Mars went into retrograde on September 9 and will remain so until November 13. So, what exactly does that mean?

When a planet is in retrograde, it appears to us as though the planet is moving backward in its orbit. Scientifically, this is a phenomenon that occurs pretty often. The planet is not actually moving backward; it just looks that way because of the planet’s position in relation to Earth. According to astrology, each planet rules different aspects of our lives; therefore, a retrograde planet presents challenges associated with those various areas.

Mars is the planet that rules sex, aggression and assertiveness. Related to these are also your energy levels, focus and motivation. Unfortunately, Mars retrograde will negatively impact all of these areas. Most of us will find ourselves more prone to conflict, having trouble focusing and experiencing general sluggishness.

So how can we, as college students, combat these inconvenient effects brought on by Mars retrograde?

Plan ahead. Mars retrograde can often impede our ability to “go with the flow” because the flow just doesn’t want to go. Things can often feel stagnant during this time, and you might find yourself out of ideas or unable to accomplish tasks. So it’s important to have a plan already set out. That way, you can easily follow the predetermined path you've paved for yourself. This is really a time to invest in creating some sort of formal planner. Color coding, bulleting, journaling anything you can think of to help you out! Just make sure you have a clear plan way ahead of time in order to leave room for any errors that Mars retrograde will inevitably bring about.

Try to avoid making big decisions. Mars retrograde can really inhibit our decision-making skills, as it changes how we assert ourselves in the face of conflict. But, of course, don’t stress about every little decision you may be presented with during this time. It may be a bad idea to get a tattoo or make any major financial decisions while Mars is in retrograde. However, decisions like what subjects to choose for your final papers are pretty safe. Mars is in the impulsive sign of Aries this retrograde, so the best way to combat this is to just be mindful of any impulsivity that may arise as a result.

Find something new to do. While it’s unwise to make big decisions during Mars retrograde, an easy way to lift any feelings of sluggishness is to find a new hobby! I know this can be hard to do as a busy college student, but ultimately it’ll save you more time than it takes. Adding something new to your routine can increase your energy levels and, by extension, your motivation. Whether it’s cooking, learning to paint or working out, any expressive outlet for the heightened tension that Mars retrograde creates will be helpful. Ultimately, just make sure you’re nurturing your own mental health.

More than anything, it's important to be mindful of how you’re feeling and work to combat the negativity that arises during this time. This year has not exactly been kind to us, and Mars retrograde certainly won’t alleviate any of that stress. But now, it's especially important to plan for the big, scary things ahead and find little things that bring us peace.


Karleigh Wallace

Chapel Hill '22

Karleigh Wallace is an aspiring writer who is a senior at UNC majoring in English and minoring in history and creative writing.
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