Mars retrograde 2020


Mars is called Kuja, as he is the son of the Earth/Pruthvi. Once Bhagwan Shiv was dancing the Tandav of destruction and a drop of his sweat fell on the Earth which was transformed into a warrior, Mars. His other name is Mangal, the auspicious. 

In the current year 2020, he is going to be retrograde for 66 days. Mars goes retrograde every 2yrs 2mths. In this, his slowed down,  stationary, retrograde, stationary, forward slow and regular forward again motion takes about 5-6months to complete. (There are 8 types of planetary movements which I have listed out in this post here.)

  • Mars has slowed down from 25th Jul in Pisces.
  • Entered Aries on 16 Aug.
  • Retrograde in Aries on 9th Sept
  • Enter Pisces on 4th Oct.
  • Forward in Pisces on 14th Nov
  • Enter Aries on 24th Dec.
  • Start moving at his regular speed from 2nd Jan 2021 in Aries.

In this about 5-6 month period he is going to be moving very slowly, first retrograde and then forward grinding into Pisces 21-30 deg and Aries 0-3deg. A retrograde planet releases tremendous amounts of energy into the sign/ nakshatra/ degree that he occupies. A planet becomes stronger when he goes retrograde. The energies are turned inwards ie not expressed outwards as they generally are. Mars is the energy of life and death. He is vitality, the will to live, confidence, boldness, aggression and competition. When Mars is retrograde, these qualities are not expressed in a healthy manner outwards but tend to move inwards and cause psychological and physical issues if imbalanced.


Here are the predictions in a nutshell.

Mars, indicates the ‘passion’ in your life. He is all about how you express yourself. Eg he will tell you how you respond to anger in others, how angry you get and how you at when you get angry. Be careful when Saturn aspects this retrograde Mars, you might express your emotions in an inappropriate manner causing problems for yourself later. There might be events where you face physical/ verbal strife, treachery, back-biting, etc. The ability to discriminate and take decisions will be affected, so expect confusions, few wrong decisions or losses. And health will be affected in some way or the other.

The general effect of this Mars retrograde will be more seen on people who have their birth Moon or ascendant sign in Aries, Scorpio (owns these), Cancer, Leo (yogkarak for these). Also Pisces will be affected when Mars actually moves into it. Those with their birth moon in Mruga, Chitra and Dhanishtha nakshatras should also take due care. If you are going through a major or sub-period of Mars as per the Vimshottari dasha you will feel the effects of this retrograde more intensely.

On a general note, expect the economic collapse to continue. Goods connected to fire and energy, like petroleum, LPG etc can increase in price. Industrial accidents, fires, explosions are possible. Communal violence or riot like situations will be seen. Several nations will see border related tensions. The global health issue will not see much relief as inappropriate medicines etc will be administered. Weather will be uncertain as monsoons will extend and the winter too will be colder than usual. This will affect agriculture and large tracts of lands will see hunger/ famine. Especially those nations which saw the June 21st solar eclipse should be careful as Nature will not be kind to them. 


If you have a Retrograde Mars at birth, you are generally unable to express your aggression, rage, dominating nature, competitive nature, sexual desires, passion, deepest emotions/ wishes etc in a healthy way, always. Instead you brood, are shy, introverted, these emotions twist and turn inwards suffocating you. You have little or no initiative in the aspects of your life controlled by Mars. So try to take active measures to work with the energy of this planet for your benefit. (Fine tune these results depending on the keywords of the sign and house occupied by Mars)

So in the current Mars retrograde, expect an internalisation of this sort to happen for everyone. The vitality that Mars represents moves inwards, making this more a time for internal work. But not everyone can introspect so there will be confusion. Retrograde Mars will unravel some things going on in your life and make you revise, redo, review his lessons in these few zodiac degrees in the coming times very thoroughly. These degrees are also the Gandant, the weak link in the zodiac, a junction between the watery-fiery signs. This particular degrees zone is also the end-beginning of the entire zodiac so this Mars retrograde is more intense and will affect everyone on some level or the other.

During this period, Saturn is retrograde (post here) in Capricorn so will aspect Mars when in Pisces (Saturn’s 3rd aspect), this is not a good aspect and it will aggravate Mars. Also Jupiter is retrograde (post here) and then forward in Sagittarius, so he will aspect Mars when he is in Aries (Jupiter’s 5th aspect). This will tone down Mars’s harshness for this brief time at least. So remember to factor in these effects on Mars when you analyse. The three outer planets are all retrograde together for some time.

In fact this year 2020, (or even the Vedic Shri Sharvari naam samvatsara) has seen all the 5 planets going retrograde and the humungous eclipses saw the true nodes, Rahu and Ketu going forward. A weird year. (Generally in a year, Mercury will be in retrogression three times. Each time this will be for 19 to 24 days. Venus goes retrograde every 1.5yrs for a few days. Mars goes retrograde every 2yrs 2mths. Jupiter retrogrades every year for around 120 days. Saturn retrogrades every year for around 140 days. When you see any planet placed 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th from the Sun in your chart, they will be in the retrograde mode. The true nodes go in the forward motion around eclipses.)



Mars is about expressing yourself, more on the physical levels. Your hidden potential is brought out by the heat of Mars. And when something new sprouts, there is always some resistance. But Mars loves challenges and helps break your limits and reach into new stuff, so though there may be some trouble it is ultimately for your own growth. So try to work with Mars’s transits in this spirit.

In general, Mars in transit gives unpleasant results when he transits over your birth Moon sign and the signs 2nd 4th 5th 7th 8th 9th 10th and 12th counted from the birth Moon sign. The results vary from arguments with others, losses, confusions, accidents to health related issues depending on the keywords of that sign/ house. He is a natural malefic, a kroor-graha, ie a cruel force in life. If you are under an adverse transit of Mars, be prepared for issues cropping up and use his energy to intelligently overcome them. Mars is strife, so like it or not you will be required to be defend these parts of your life. 

He gives favourable results when he transits the 3rd 6th and 11th signs from the birth Moon sign. A malefic, he is best in the three upchaya houses as then he destroys enemies, gives the necessary courage to face upto the problems of life and the necessary vitality which to seize opportunities for gains. If Mars is in a favourable transit for your birth Moon sign then make use of this unprecedented opportunity of the upcoming retrograde.

To analyse how this retrograde Mars transit will be for you, find out if Mars is a benefic or malefic for your ascendant sign (post here). A benefic Mars generally will add physical strength, confidence, vitality etc to the aspects of life he controls in your chart. A benefic Mars going retrograde can give you some long term benefit in this period, but results will be visible after Dec 2020. In fact if any of you are into spiritual practice, then this period will benefit as Mars controls the nadi and the movement of pran within them. A malefic Mars will give violent behaviour, sudden changes, etc in the houses he is placed in, and also create lack of confidence in the things that he signifies in your chart. In this case you should be careful during his upcoming retrograde. Also avoid adventure sports, risky activities including swimming in unfamiliar water bodies.

Then locate where the Pisces and Aries signs lie in your birth chart. Eg if Pisces is your 6th house, you might find your heath affected by ‘internal heat’, boils, hair-loss, digestion related issues etc can pop up, office work might get on an over-load as demands for service increase etc. But you will be able to cope. Eg if Aries is your 10th house your father may fall ill, there may be trouble in your office etc.

Mars is going retrograde in first in Ashvini and then in Revati nakshatra.

Ashvini is the start of the zodiac. So its keywords are spontaneity, beginnings, power, courage, vitality, alertness, leadership, sensitivity, help, truth, health and healing. It has a straightforward nature, light-hearted, adventurous and active. It is ruled by the twin physicians of the demi-gods, the Ashvini-kumar and is linked to the energies of Ketu. When retrograde Mars occupies Ashvini, he will distort the expression of all these qualities. eg he can make it rash and impulsive, it does not learn from past mistakes, stubbornness can increase, lashing out in anger is possible. So if you have to start any new project during this period take all precautions and recheck everything before you do so. Health may be an issue and wrong medication possible. Losses in business are possible and interpersonal relations will show strain. Ashvini is linked to transport, movement, medicine, trade etc so these areas may suffer generally. 

Revati is the last nakshatra of the zodiac and ruled by Pushan. It is also linked to Mercury. The keywords of this lunar mansion are completion, satisfaction, nourishing, light, assimilation, awareness, collective, messages, travel, wealth, luck, pleasure, optimism, beliefs, imagination, etc. So a retrograde Mars in such a sensitive Naksahtra can cause issues like lack of support, interference in business, loss of wealth, jealousy, misunderstandings, betrayals, exhaustion, hurts, getting caught in others problems, getting caught in illusions, inability to comprehend the bigger picture, passions triggered by rigid beliefs, etc. All these things will lead to physical action as it is Mars involved. Mars always indicates action and his emotional/ psychological effects are also in some way connected to ‘action’. Eg there might be communal riots as misplaced beliefs and intolerance leads to impulsive and rash ‘action’.

Manglik, a guide to analysing Mars in depth

And for your personal reading you can open your Janma Navtara chakra (this post) and locate Ashvini and Revati in it. Whatever these Nakshatra stand for in your chart, you will see extra energy in these aspects of life.

eg If your birth Moon Nakshatra is Uttarabhadrapada then this is your Janma nav tara chart,


Nakshatra count










































Ati mitra





A general interpretation would be like this. Revati is a Sampat tara for you so while Mars transits Revati (Pisces sign) his results will be favourable overall for you. There might be some opportunities which if you can pick up will give gains after Dec 2020. Retrograde planets teach patience as gains are delayed. Ashvini is a Vipat Tara so Mars when transiting Ashvini can create challenging situations in your life. You may feel stressed out, tired, etc  as vitality is affected. Again you are required to be patient, keep your mind cool and try to cope with what will come. The exact situations which will cause stresses must be seen from what Mars stands for in your individual horoscope.

For remedies, check the index page or use the search bar, I have written about remedies in several posts. The easiest remedy would be lighting a sesame oil lamp on Tuesdays and reciting the Mangal Beej mantra ‘Om kraang kreeng karung sah Mangalaya namah’. Doing regular puja of your favourite deity or family deity will also help.

There are several ways of analysing transits. You can try using the Ashtapadmadala chakra (post here) or the Ashtakvarga chart (post here) if you wish. These two methods give quite accurate readings so advanced students can try this for practice. These retrograde periods are a good learning experience, observe yourself and those around you to see how the planet performs.



Ashtapadmadala chakra for transits

I have written a post on how to use this Chakra here for a basic analysis. Do go through it first.

Now let’s use this Chakra for analysing transits. I am using the same example from my previous post, a birth chart visualised as a Chakra.

birth ashtapadmadalaYou have analysed this basic birth details in the previous post. And you want to find out the results of transits using this system. I always give a 25% weightage to the results of transits and 75% value to the basic birth chart. The main power/ potential is from the birth positions and the transits can only modify/ activate these. Transits with the Dasha however are quite important for timing time events (post here). The slowest moving planets Saturn (2.5yrs in a sign), Rahu/Ketu (1.5yrs in a sign) and Jupiter (1yr in a sign) set the tone which is then modified by the faster moving Mars, Venus, Sun and Mercury. Moon transits 1 sign in 2.25 days so is not used much to time events except in medical emergencies.

Suppose the planets in transit are as follows,

  1. Moon is in Ashleysha
  2. Ascendant degree/Lagna in Aradra
  3. Sun in Hasta
  4. Mercury in Chitra
  5. Venus in Jeyshtha
  6. Mars in Swati
  7. Jupiter in Abhijit
  8. Saturn in Shravan
  9. Rahu in Uttara-ashadha
  10. Ketu in Punarvasu

So now you have to superimpose the transiting planet details in the birth chakra. I have used green color to write the transits. This is an imaginary example with random planets positioned. (I don’t like using charts of actual people, I think analysing actual people like this adversely affects their 9th house)

transit ashtapadmadala

Now look at the new positions of the planetary forces and do a similar basic analysis as you did for their birth positions earlier (not repeating the same points here again). Now the additional points for transits,

  1. If the benefics are transiting closer to the center of the chart, their energies are more available for you to use. Pay attention to their direction of movement. If they are moving inwards their energies are supporting your personal development. If their movement is outwards, you are projecting more of their energies on your surroundings and other people.
  2. Malefics transiting in closer to the center of the chakra cause more drain on your self.
  3. And now try to analyse the interaction of the birth planets and the transiting planets. For example,
    • The birth Mars has a transiting Ketu on it. The basic tendency for aggressive fiery behaviour is now enhanced by this ‘headless’ graha’s influence.
    • Venus has entered the innermost stambha boundary, It is favourably placed in a Kendra axis in the birth chakra too. So while he transits this Stambha period his energies will be very high and easily available for you. You will see a growth in resources, balance, beauty, partnerships, gain and spirituality.
    • Mercury is transiting the birth Mercury, in the direction governed by the Energy of destruction, Nirriti. So you will need to be careful of the communication, trade and financial angle in your life.

This transit chakra is very useful especially in medical emergencies. These clients are already worried and tense. So taking time to check this simple chakra is helpful in coming to a more accurate conclusion.

  1. You get a general idea from the basic birth chart.
  2. Then superimpose the running periods, dashas to get a broad framework for the present time.
  3. The add the transits to the basic birth chart.
  4. Now draw the chakra for the birth time and superimpose the transiting planets on it.
    • In this mark the positions of the regular malefics, owners of the dushamsthanas
    • Mark the position of marak planets
    • The closer all these are to the stambha/innermost core the more serious is the emergency.

This is a very tiny exercise to get you interested in using the ‘Chakra’ diagrams too. In astrology there are several chakras which are used. As these are very visual they are rather easy to understand. You can try and use this chakra for more information in addition to the normal superimposed birth and transit positions chart that you draw.

It is possible that some astrology software calculate this ashtapadmadala chakra, but just pay attention to which planet it is using as the base nakshatra. Here we have used the Moon’s nakshatra as the base (position 1). This variant of the Chakra is suitable for all sorts of analysis. Especially if the client is past 49yrs this Moon nakshatra chakra will give the most accurate readings. However you can draw the chakra using the other planets nakshatras, or the ascendant degree nakshatra as a start point, you can even go anti-clockwise, depending on what you want to find out from your planetary forces!

Ashtapadmadala chakra

Image 16-02-19 at 7.12 PM

The grahas and their energies can be mapped geometrically too. The basic chakra/ energy geometry used is this Ashtapadmadala chakra. The eight petalled lotus. This is also called the Kaalachakra or Kota chakra and there is a whole tantra written on it. However for Jyotish purposes this is how you start, with a simple analysis to understand its basic dynamics. There are lots of ways of using this Chakra to get layers and layers of information.

The basic layout of the chakra means the following,

  1. The outermost square is called ‘Bhaya’ boundary.
  2. The middle square is called Prakaara boundary.
  3. The innermost square is Durgantar boundary.
  4. The fortress of which the 4 nakshatra positions 4,11,18, 25 are the Stambha boundary.
  5. The central bindu is the Durg. This Durg represents the Point where Devi Mahamaya and the Kaalpurush merge into the Ultimate. The Reality that you are.
  6. The direction lines, East-west, North-south have the auspicious Kendra points. These are 1 2 3 4 8 9 10 11 15 16 17 18 22 23 24 25.
  7. The diagonal direction lines North-east/South-west and North-west/South-east are the inauspicious Kona. In this chakra they are the numbers 5 6 7  12 13 14 19 20 21 26 17 28
  8. The energy of the chart moves as per the arrows marked, following the sequence of the nakshatras. Energies moving inwards are constructive, give gains and are positive. Energies moving outwards are destructive, negative and create losses.
  9. The guardians of the directions are also important, Sun-East, Moon-North, Venus-West and Jupiter-South. Then the diagonals are Rahu-NE, Saturn-NW, Mars-SE and Mercury-SW.

For using this chakra you will need to have a basic understanding of the following

  1. Lunar mansions/ Nakshatra (read here). For drawing this chart you will use the 28 number of nakshatra which include Abhijit.
  2. The Nakshatra occupied by each of the graha/ planetary forces in your birth chart.
  3. And if any of the planets are retrograde. (When you open your horoscope in any software or panchang, the software will mention it, look for it.)

Now to draw your Ashtapadmadala Chakra for your birth time.

  1. Find out the Nakshatra occupied by Moon in your birth chart. Write this name at point number (1) and then continue writing the rest of the Nakshatras as per their sequence in the Chakra diagram above. We have chosen the Moon Nakshatra as the “Guard” of the Chakra and the Moon sign will be called the “Ruler” of the Chakra.
  2. Now find out all the nakshatra occupied by all the planets and the ascendent degree in your birth chart. Now in the chakra, write the names of all the planets from your birth chart and the ascendant degree, next to the nakshatra which they occupy as per your chart.

(You can also choose the Ascendant sign nakshatra as the start point. Do this if your analysis is more on the physical self and the physical manifested reality. I prefer using the Moon nakshatra for a beginners exercise because Moon in my opinion is a bit more relevant than the ascendant degree, as it controls the filters of your perceptions. You are always more aware of your emotional perceptions than your actual physical reality.)

Suppose in your birth chart

  1. Moon is in Ashvini
  2. Ascendant degree/Lagna in Poorva-phalguni
  3. Sun in Hasta
  4. Mercury in Chitra
  5. Venus in Ashleysha
  6. Mars in Punarvasu
  7. Jupiter in Moola
  8. Saturn in Poorva-ashadha
  9. Rahu in Uttara-phalguni
  10. Ketu in Poorva-bhadrapada

So your your birth time Ashtapadmadala chakra now looks like this,

birth ashtapadmadala

Now the interpretation.

  1. Now the Bhaya outermost boundary has Moon, Mars and Mercury. These planets are the face you show to the world. You are perceived by your acquaintances and distant others to be a combined expression of these 3 planetary natures.
  2. The Prakaara boundary has Venus, Sun and Saturn. Your close friends will see you more as a combination of these 3 planetary energies.
  3. The Durgantara boundary has Rahu, Jupiter and Ketu. So the people closest to you know you as a combination of Rahu and Jupiter. (Ketu in this specific birth chakra analysis is considered neutral.)
  4. And finally the Stambha boundary has the ascendant degree itself. You are a highly private person and do not let anyone see the real you so easily!
  5. Planets on the Kendra – Moon, Venus, Ascendant degree. These energies and activities of these planets are positive in outlook, will reinforce the self. Just 3 energies are supportive. But they are the Moon itself and the Ascendant degree, which is good.
  6. Planets on the Kona – Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Sun, Ketu, Rahu. These energies and activities associated with these planets will cause reduction in vitality and stress to the inner core of your self.
  7. Now the energies of the entire chakra move as per the directional arrows so if some planet is retrograde its energy will move in a direction opposite to the general direction. A normally outward moving energy will move towards the inner self and a normally inward moving energy will move outwards towards the environment.
  8. Now the directions, Moon will always be in the East-Indra, it shows the influence of objects, materials, desires on the Moon which are being analysed in detail in this form of the Chakra. The natural planetary ruler of East is the Sun so this chart will show how we perform when our Lunar tendencies are given center-stage. Now in our example, Mars is in SE- Agni Kona. Martian energies added to the fiery corner will cause you to be quite hot-tempered and aggressive. Mercury in the SW-Niritti Kona will encourage you to use your Mercury’s energies in destructive ways causing losses.
  9. You can add another layer to your interpretation by considering the influence of the Nakshatra itself and its Nakshatra Ruler on its resident planet.

Interpreting the planets placed in the nakshatra requires some practice. You will have to link up the keywords of,

  1. The planet
  2. The sign
  3. The house that he is in the birth chart, ie the chart with the ascendant sign as the 1st house. And also his position in the birth Moon chart, ie the chart where the birth Moon sign is counted as the 1st house.
  4. The energies of the nakshatra that he is in and how these will modify the planet at the subtle levels. ie the yoni, gana, nadi etc.
  5. The nakshatra devata /deity. The nakshatra technically do not have planetary rulers. The deities rule the Nakshatra.

For your first brush with this very useful Chakra, I think this much is enough. This Ashtapadmadala Chakra fascinates me, so have written a second post for beginners, read here.