Mars is currently transiting Capricorn from May 3rd to November 5th. On June 26th however, it will begin its retrograde phase which will last until August 27th. When a planet is retrograde it expresses its energy in a more excessive way. Among other things, Mars signifies assertiveness, aggression, anger, ambition, siblings, will, leadership, the blood, muscles, exercise, and the fire element.
On the personal level, when Mars is retrograde, people tend to experience some of these things in a more intense way. It is possible that we could find ourselves reflecting deeply, obsessing, or even worrying about something related to Mars. On a more global level, it can mean that larger groups of people can experience the Mars' energy in a more pronounced way, which is typically expressed through violent demonstrations, excessive force by police, military flare ups, terrorist events, or heat waves. Sometimes even new wars break out during or after Mars retrograde periods.
During the summer, Mars will be in a conjunction with Ketu, a combination that has been associated with terrorist events, so this summer will be a period to watch the news for an increase on that level. The exact conjunction of Mars and Ketu will occur three times over the next few months. First, during its direct motion Mars and Ketu will conjunct on June 8th. Then, while it is retrograding they will again conjunct on July 20th. Finally, on September 26th, they will conjunct during Mars' direct phase. During a period of about 6 days on either side of these dates there will be a greater tendency towards the type of Mars/Ketu events described above.
It is also interesting to note, that while Mars and Ketu are combining their energies, we have two Nuclear arms issues developing on the world stage; one with North Korea and the other with Iran. Mars is the planet that signifies weapons. Ketu can represent renunciation-the process of letting go. The U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear arms agreement is an example of the combination of these two influences. The willingness of the North Koreans to talk about arms reduction is another example. However, Ketu is also one of the planets of warfare. So the political events related to nuclear negotiations or talks with these two countries may appear to go back and forth during the next few months. And with Mars transiting Capricorn, its strongest sign, it is unlikely that North Korea has any intention of giving up their nuclear weapons.
On the positive side, the Mars/Ketu conjunction is a combination that favors anything that promotes the subtle flow of energy. Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, Qigong, Acupuncture, Vastu, Feng Sui, walking, hiking, and body work are all things that one can do to express both the energy of the Mars/Ketu conjunction and Mars' retrograde motion.
Walking and hiking are activities that can be particularly helpful during this retrograde Mars period. The three conjunctions of Mars and Ketu, and most of Mars' transit during its retrograde phase, will take place in Sharavana nakshatra, symbolized by three footprints. So this summer may be an excellent time to plan a few extra hikes or simply to go on some long meditative walks.