Oh boy, here comes Mars retrograde! This was always the time of year I was most concerned about going into 2022, and we haven't dealt with Mars retrograde since late 2020. What's in store for us now?
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The basics - what is Mars retrograde?
A planet is called retrograde when it appears to be moving backward from our view here on Earth. It's not actually moving backward, and only looks that way. Mars retrogrades roughly every 2 - 2 1/2 years for about 2 - 2 1/2 months. Mercury retrogrades most often (3-4 times each year for about 3 weeks at a time) while Neptune and Pluto are retrograde for almost as much time as they're not (so much more subtle).
Mars is a personal planet (with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Venus), and personal planets have energy we feel more personally. This makes their retrograde much stronger in our lives. Mars rules our energy and drive, what makes us take action and how we do so. Mars retrograde tends to bring out frustration and annoyance, impulsive behavior and impatience, and we can see a surge in fights.
Mars Retrograde in Gemini 2022-2023 Dates:
Mars Retrograde in Gemini Effects:
Mars retrograde normally makes us prone to fights, easily angered, and constantly irritated, and Gemini is the sign of the mind and communication. Put the two of them together, and we've got a recipe for major fighting and a war of words.
We're taking everything everyone says to heart, reading between lines that don't exist, and playing the victim in every conversation. We're not listening, but we think we are. We're a little out of it!
Communication is likely just terrible during this retrograde unless we find a different way of expressing ourselves. This would be a great time to evaluate already-existing broken communication and try to fix it.
The usual ways of communicating likely won't work during this retrograde, so we have to be willing to try a different approach. If your usual words aren't working, try new words; if words aren't working, try something else!
This is especially important at the start of this retrograde because Mars is square, which is a challenging aspect, Neptune in Pisces (for basically all of October and November). Neptune is the foggy planet of illusion and delusion, so dang our minds are just soooo not working right going into this retrograde!
Gemini loves logic and facts and information, while Neptune runs on intuition. We need to have a strong connection to our intuition, otherwise we may think we're being logical but we're actually just trusting the wrong voice.
This would be a great time to channel compassionate energy, as well as imagination (excellent for anything artistic and creative!). Reach out, listen, and help, but also be open to help yourself too.
Now, if we are helping, we do need to be mindful of boundaries, because Neptune loves to rip them down and make us way too vulnerable. Help needs to come with some healthy boundaries to protect ourselves and others.
But we may see some trouble, much worse than usual, thanks to Mars retrograde square Neptune. There may be an especially cruel act that occurs, or we may see some sort of disaster involving water or toxins (I don't think I'd do anything on a ship during this time . . .).
Adding to this distressing energy is asteroid Nessus, ruler of abuse (could be the darkest of all) ends its retrograde November 26th in Pisces, and Mars retrograde squares Nessus on December 14th (Mars first squared Nessus on September 17th, so concerns around then may be amplified late November to mid-December).
Throw in the December full moon hitting Mars, and aye, I'm very concerned! There's not a lot we can do individually to stop something big (unless you're a world leader - cool for reading this but why aren't you improving things, eh?), so just try to be mindful with yourself and those around you.
Mars & Mercury Retrogrades:
Mercury retrograde starts on December 29th and lasts until January 18th, so it ends 6 days after Mars retrograde ends. Their overlap adds to us feeling very off, and this is ten times the case since Mercury is the natural ruler of Gemini.
Communication gets even harder, and we're lacking focus and easily annoyed. We have to work much harder at improving communication and not talking all over each other.
Both retrogrades end at 8 degrees, by the way (Gemini for Mars, Capricorn for Mercury), so if you have anything at 8 degrees in your natal chart, that is getting hit by the turn direct for both. Pay special attention to whatever that rules in your natal chart since that gets a big burst of energy.
Mars Retrograde in Gemini Aspects:
During the retrograde in Gemini, Mars will make 5 major aspects to the other transit planets. They are:
November 19 10:43AM ET/7:43AM PT | Square Neptune
- already talked about this, but the foggy energy is super high going into this retrograde and we need to be as grounded as we can be to avoid the problems
November 28 12:56PM ET/9:56AM PT | Trine Saturn
- Saturn tries to help out with the Neptunian fog, and we can work on being better disciplined and structured; if we put in the effort, this can be helpful, but if we don't, we can miss out on the energy
December 1 12:28AM ET/November 30 9:28PM PT | Opposite Venus
- This ramps up passionate energy, but that can be very frustrating without a healthy outlet; good for relationships and creativity
December 8 12:42AM ET/December 7 9:42PM PT | Opposite Sun
- This comes with the full moon noted in the next section, and we may be extra grumpy, frustrated, and lash out with words, so we need to control that
January 9 10:22AM ET/7:22AM PT | Trine Venus
- This can be affectionate and romantic energy, good for romance and sparks; can also be great creative energy
Moons of Mars Retrograde:
There is one Moon to pay attention to with this Mars retrograde and that's the full moon on December 7th. It's in Gemini and conjunct (aligned with) Mars retrograde.
Full moons are highly emotionally-charged, and add this one being conjunct the mentally-charged Mars retrograde in Gemini, and we're struggling with seeing things as they are, having open communication, and feeling understood.
We need to get more in tune with what we're thinking and feeling, and merge our hearts and minds a bit better. We need to be gentle with our words, considerate of others, but also of ourselves.
This is also one of those times during the retrograde where we see some sort of big event or development in the world (watch for accidents or tech problems). There could also be some sort of big news (hopefully not bad but there's sure to be a lot more information flowing around with this full moon).
Mars retrograde will hit one critical degree, 17 degrees Gemini, December 3rd - 5th. Critical degrees are special degrees of critical energy, and we may get into extra fights, are frustrated, and want to blow. We need to keep busy and be mindful of our words.
The retrograde begins at 25 degrees Gemini, so those of you Geminis born June 13th - 19th can feel the start of the retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 8 degrees Gemini, so those of you Geminis born May 26th - June 2nd can feel the end of the retrograde most.
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Mars will be retrograding in your own natal chart, and any aspects Mars will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you have Mars retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others.
Suggested Reading: The Mercury, Venus, & Mars Retrogrades page for interpretations for Mars retrograde in the houses and aspects