While we're anxiously waiting for the fourth and final Mercury retrograde of 2022 to commence, the cosmos have decided to gift — well, more like curse — us with another astrological backspin: Mars retrograde. On October 30, Mars will station retrograde in Gemini until January 12, 2023.
The Planet of Action's backwards dance occurs about once every two years and brings along themes of revision in the areas that Mars rules: action, motivation, anger, desire, and sexuality. This time around, a significant theme of this retrograde is anger. "This is going to be a time in which we can’t cool or temper our words," says Lisa Stardust, astrologer and author of The Love Deck. "During Mars retrograde, people will be unable to control their actions, and being that it is in Gemini, this applies to the words people are saying. Internet trolls and bots will be at a high, causing and creating a lot of unnecessary drama and bullying online."
A lot of our repressed anger will come to the surface, and we'll be forced to come to terms with it. "At a collective level, we will see anger being expressed in media, social media, and commerce," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. "To stay sane, it will be key to turn our phones off and protect our psyche. Internet scammers and cyber-attacks will be rampant, so it will be super-important to update our antivirus systems and not click on any weird texts and emails."
Besides anger and internet chaos, this retrograde will also impact us in a way where it'll feel tough to make things happen or take action. Iva Naskova, astrologer at the Nebula app, says that during this transit, we'll lose focus quickly and feel compelled to move from one project to another before completion. "Therefore, this backward spin of Mars will require stronger determination and focus if we want our projects completed and meeting the deadlines," she says. Since this retrograde occurs until mid-January, you can kiss starting any New Years' resolutions on time goodbye. But, to be fair, resolutions can be made and kept at any time if you put your mind to it — not just on January 1.
We won't leave you with just doom and gloom here though. There is, as always, a more positive note to this planetary backspin, according to Montúfar. "Mars retrograde is the perfect antidote for burnout, as productivity will greatly slow down in every possible industry," she says. "Projects or contracts that begin during these months will quickly fizzle." Although it may sound bad for business, this sentiment can be twisted into a positive thing for individual employees. Slowing down doesn't necessarily mean the quality of your work should decline, but a quick break from girl boss hustle culture can bring along much-needed peace.
Astrologer Stephanie Campos agrees, and says that big changes we've been working toward in our lives (professional and personal) may feel like they're hitting a standstill. "The opportunity to pause allows us to reflect and reconsider," she says. "It's through the reflection process that we're able to identify more aligned, productive avenues and opportunities as we move forward." This cosmic roadblock may be a blessing in disguise, and could potentially guide us towards a path through that we never thought of as open.
When it comes to relationships, Mars will have, "noteworthy and cosmically dramatic, telenovela moments" with other planets in the sky during its retrograde, according to Campos. "On December 1, Venus in Sagittarius will sit across the sky from Mars in Gemini," she says. "This can bring any sexual tension to a boiling point — a great day to spend under some leopard-printed silk sheets with a lover, but this energy can also manifest as a heated debate." What we want and need from a partner may differ or clash on this day, so remember to practice good listening and communication skills. Campos notes that both creativity and passion are in the air, and they can be good outlets to release any tension or stress.
Although Mars turns direct on January 12, we'll still be dealing with some chaotic Mars energy afterwards, according to Campos, specifically on March 24 and 25 when Mars prepares to leave Gemini after six months. "Mars will be sitting at a critical degree, the final degree before it changes signs and enters Cancer," she says. "This can add pressure, tension, and anxiety to the day. Even though the retrograde period is behind us, it can bring up any final lingering stressors and anxious thoughts that we were dealing with during the retrograde period." We may overreact or feel paralyzed during this two-day span — Campos advises that we focus on using this period to reflect on the past few months of retrograde. What triggers came up? How can we move forward? What have we learned?
Retrogrades can feel intimidating, but we need these times of revision and revisiting to be able to move forward with purpose (and this time, maybe a little bit of that pent-up anger left behind). Although it may slow us down, Mars retrograde can help propel us into a better future.