Mars has a two year cycle and is in each sign for almost six weeks – and the sharp eyed among you will have noticed that 12 signs x almost 6 weeks = 16 months. That’s right – so what, you may be wondering, happens to the other 8 months?
Well, every two years Mars stays in one sign for the whole of the 8 month period by stopping somewhere along the sign, going backwards, stopping again and then going forwards to leave for the next sign up to his normal speed. This is called going retrograde when a planet goes backwards. Actually, planets don’t go backwards, but appear to do so when our orbit overtakes the orbit of the planet in question.This creates a similar visual sensation that we get when a fast train overtakes a slow train – from the fast train, the slow train appears to go backwards; and if you happen to be on the slow train, it does feel as if you are moving backwards until you reorient yourself.
This weekend, Mars enters Libra and slowly moves through almost to the end of the sign, then 1st March, 2014, he stops and begins a slow roll back to 9 Libra on 20th May. He then begins to slowly move forward and leaves Libra at the end of July. A long and exhausting time for gentle, laid-back Librans to suffer the action, decision and sheer chutzpah of Mars in their camp.