Every two years or so, Mars begins its approximately two month-long retrograde, and this Sunday, the warrior planet re-enters determined and hardworking earth sign Capricorn—where it will remain retrograde until August 27 (Mars stays direct in Capricorn until September 10). "Mars is the planet of action, of passion, of war," says Broadly staff astrologer Annabel Gat. "It severs things, it cuts things off, it wants to start shit."
According to Annabel, this is a time to reassess any issues we're trying to overcome. "We're probably gonna be much more irritable than usual," she explains. "We won't be able to control our temper in the same ways that we have been." Ahead of what is likely to be a trying couple weeks, Annabel says that there are five habits we should approach intentionally to ensure that our lives aren't completely uprooted by Mars retrograde:
Remember your limits and don't blow up in anger
Mars retrograde will bring up stuff from the past, but Annabel encourages us to remember that these are things we've already dealt with. "It's really important during a Mars retrograde: If you know that something makes you angry—don't tempt fate! It's not like you're magically not gonna be pissed off about it anymore," she explains.
If the last time you called your ex left you hyperventilating and shaking with anger, maybe don't do that again—especially not during Mars retrograde! If and when you get the chance to deal with something that upset you in the past, you should really take the time to reflect on how you can approach it differently today. You may just get a different result, which leads us to our next point...
Remember that your actions have consequences
"Mars retrograde may find us losing our temper, but if you have a firmer grasp on the possible consequences of your actions, you'll have more incentive to be patient," Annabel explains.
From now until August 27, it's a good idea to look at the big picture when it comes to calibrating your reactions—both personally and professionally. "Kicking and yelling can feel like a really good release in the moment, but you may end up making yourself look irresponsible and lose opportunities and/or relationships." Mars retrograde may be a temperamental time, but lashing out is not worth compromising the good things in your future.
Don't take your sexual frustration out on others
Mars, being the planet of war, is usually quite passionate. When it's retrograde, however, Annabel says its energy tends to go a little limp. "People can be mad because they're not fucking or mad that they're not in the mood," she explains. Still, it's never a good idea to take this frustration out on others.
If your libido feels a little low, Annabel says that is a pretty usual occurrence during Mars retrograde, and the best thing to do is wait it out. If you're otherwise dissatisfied with the sex you're having, try communicating with your partner and telling them that you'd like a foot job or whatever it is you're hankering for, instead of being passive aggressive and hoping they'll read your mind.
Ask for help!
Mars retrograde is no time to have a huge ego. "This month's retrograde is in Capricorn, which is the sign of the boss—but that doesn’t mean doing everything alone," Annabel explains. "A good boss knows how to delegate."
Be a boss during this retrograde and call in some help, whether it's for simple tasks like building IKEA furniture (no one should have to go through this alone!) or bigger things like emotional support during a tough time. Anger is in the air, and talking through the source of our frustrations may just be the calming remedy we desperately need.
Stop planning everything
I know "don't make plans" isn't something you generally hear when seeking advice, but Annabel has a point here. Capricorn is a Type A–planner, but since Mars is retrograde in that sign, our organizational skills are not going to be at their sharpest. Additionally, "Mars symbolizes our energy and it's retrograde, so we actually have less energy," Annabel explains.
With anger in the air, reminders to do chores might just set you over the edge, so give yourself permission to take a few days (or more) away from your planner, organizational apps, or to-do list, and try to relax.