The next Mars retrograde will be from Oct 30, 2022 at 25º Gemini until it turns direct on
Jan 12, 2023 at 8º Gemini. The red planet turns retrograde about every 2 years. Retrogrades work in a right-brained/cyclical/intuitive way, rather than the direct linear mode we tend to operate in just to get through our daily lives.
The planet’s energy is turning itself upside down in a sense, so we get the opportunity to view things from another angle. Mars is traditionally a malefic, but it does not follow that in retrograde it becomes even more malefic. Nor does Mars become its opposite, a benefic! It just becomes well… weird.
Mars Retrograde Meaning
With Mars retrograde, instead of the usual flame-grilled Mars direct affair, it becomes more of a slow, rich bake. Much depends on in which sign Mars finds itself during the retrograde period. Generally, the Martian impulse will be slowed down, deepened and feel more Plutonic. Mars retrograde could also be similar in effect to the energy of Pallas Athena, where every move is planned carefully and strategically.
I have read that Mars retrograde is akin to it traveling in the 12th house, which would make it more of a spiritual-warrior. So if one is going to wage war at all, it will probably be a psychic one.
Re-evaluate Sexual Relationships
Since Mars is about sex as well as war, Mars retrograde prompts us to re-evaluate our sexual relationships. A new sexual attraction may burn out quickly, while a fling with an old flame could turn into something unexpectedly long term. Our ambitions and goals are bound to come under scrutiny also. It is said that those who start a war during Mars retrograde are likely to lose.
In personal terms, ‘starting a war’ could mean summoning someone to court or initiating a new business campaign against a rival. In competitive cases like those, it is usually advised to wait till Mars is direct again. However if someone should wage war on you, then it would be foolish not to defend yourself.
Mars Retrograde Path
Mars Retrograde For All Signs
Mars retrograde In the 1st House ~ Gemini
While Mars is retrograde in your sign, you will get the opportunity to rebuild your persona from the bottom up. Events that happen will force you to reconstruct your personality or even your physical body altogether. It will become apparent that you cannot simply patch over the cracks and that some actual deep down cleansing is needed.
Mars is the destroyer and the healing scalpel of the surgeon that removes any toxic relationships or blockages in your body that are weighing you down or preventing flow. Conflict surface in your relationships so that you lose patience with keeping up a false face to please people. The only way you can be now is authentic.
If you have not been keeping it real, the volcano action of the retrograde should clear out any erm toxic waste (i.e. crap) you have been retaining! Mars in your first house is a great period to be quite selfish and work on your physical body with exercise, even through vanity. You will end up with a healthier, fit body at the end of it, which can only be a good thing!
Mars retrograde In the 2nd House ~ Taurus
Burn the clutter before Mars does it for you! If you have been holding onto too many useless possessions, Mars retrograde here will do a great job of nuking all those dust-gathering nic-naks you have lying around your home. Take this opportunity to go through your belonging and see whether you really need them. A good clear out will revitalise your energy and create space for a new vibration to come in.
If you stubbornly hold on to vast hordes of junk, Mars might decide to erupt in the form of a house fire. Don’t worry; this is very rare, so don’t panic! But symbolically, this is a very apt image for what Mars wants to do when stuff needs recycling. It is Phoenix from the flames stuff.
Money will have a habit of burning a hole in your pocket during this time. You have an extended period where you can choose to make investments work for you, however. During the retrograde, you can strategically plan your business moves for when Mars is direct. It’s all about strategy and patience, and you can achieve a lot with mars here if you learn how to reign in greedy impulses.
ARTWORK: ‘seven of worlds’. VOYAGER TAROT © JAMES WANLESS JAMES-WANLESS.COM
Mars retrograde In the 3rd House ~ Aries
It’s book-burning time! Ways of thinking that are holding you back and are negative have got to go. Give your brain a total reboot. Turn everything on its head by listening to media that is quite the opposite of what you usually take in. Purposely seek those who think the complete opposite of you so that you can have exciting debates.
That way, you can test out whether your own opinions can stand up to interrogation. Mars Rx in the house of communication means that sometimes you will simmer with rage at someone who has pushed your buttons for a very long time before you hit back, and when you do, you will tend to just vomit out a personal attack.
This period can get you into trouble online, but it will also stimulate your synapses into researching information to back up your argument. Of course, all this means you will learn a lot, and it might mean you also have to chuck out a lot of redundant theories that were false. Mars here puts much energy into your local environments, so you will feel very inspired by meet-ups in your area, even if you have a few heated debates along the way.
Mars retrograde In the 4th House ~ Pisces
There is a simmering volcano sitting behind the sofa in the living room. Well, that’s what it will feel like with Mars Retrograde in your domestic zone. Put a child lock over all those sharp objects and make sure the fire alarms are working. If you don’t, then avoid lighting candles while under the influence…
Ok, so all the warnings are out of the way; you might find this transit quite exciting, for this is quite a sexy place for Mars to be, especially if you have just moved in with your beloved. It’s the kind of transit where you will be furiously decorating and putting a lot of energy into your love nest, which would be the best way to use this position.
So knock out walls, paint walls in warm, glowing colours, install an antique fireplace and yes, dammit, light the dinner candles! You have an extended time of Mars’s ambition, aggression and focus in the most private zone of your chart.
The 4th house is the territory you own, so it is also a helpful transit if you work from home because Mars is well suited to wheeling and dealing. You can do your best Trump impression from the comfort of your home office. Don’t get the rooms mixed up, though; you don’t want to act Trump out in the bedroom… unless your partner likes belligerent role-playing in a blonde wig. The point is you will need a sense of humour with Mars in this most sensitive zone.
Mars retrograde In the 5th House ~ Aquarius
The house of lovers is where you want passionate Mars Retrograde to be! Oh yes, the zone of love affairs, fun, leisure time and children. Mars here will not start any wars or get silly and resentful as it will be too busy bounding around with the dogs or ab-sailing down a cliff to be bothered with petty squabbles. Make time then to take advantage of the enthusiastic and motivating energy of the red planet and go on an adventure.
Of course, Mars will be going backwards, so there can be a certain amount of frustration here too, but not if you give Mars free rein and let it play. It just won’t be taking its usual direct route, that’s all. How can you be passive-aggressive while holding a multi-coloured ice-cream swirl smothered in hundreds and thousands?
In terms of starting a love affair, there could be a period of shy courting, where you enjoy the chase and hype-up expectations. The tension is formed from the drawing back of the arrow before it is released. Mars then hits the target at twice the speed since it has built up such traction. So, play this strategically and resist the temptation to rush in and spook your prey! Yes, it will feel like you are on a hunt, but Mars is not the god of both sex and war for nothing.
Mars retrograde In the 6th House ~ Capricorn
Mars can feel quite inflamed in the house of health; you might get quite sweaty while it’s here and have strange rashes. But this doesn’t have to be the case if you are open and honest with your feelings and don’t keep your anger bottled up.
Otherwise, this is where Mars will do its psychosomatic thing and show up as weird symptoms. Your body will speak to you in strange ways and have you look up what ‘nasty boil on chin’ means. You will learn that everybody part corresponds to a humour; it’s not just for medieval doctors!
At this time, you could benefit from a good detox, so refresh your blood. Again you don’t need to get hold of some leeches, but foods that purify the blood, such as cabbage, lemon and garlic, will be very beneficial at this time. Mars rules the blood and iron, so check iron levels also.
Apart from health, this is also the house of daily work and servants. If you have been feeling like the office slave, then you might well blow up at any whip crackers at this time. Speak up before you let the anger fester; otherwise, your complaints could come out in an undiplomatic and embarrassing way. Mars can cause quite a lot of trouble here if not channelled wisely. Sticking to a rigorous routine would be a great use of this energy. A new diet and fitness routine beckons!
Mars retrograde In the 7th House ~ Sagittarius
Selfish Mars can find it tough retreating through the house of relationships, but what he will learn at the end of it all is compromise. Others will test your patience, that’s for sure, but at the same time, you will find it impossible to go it alone. One way or another, you will have to learn to grit your teeth and co-operate. Mars here means putting energy into dealings with others, and that includes business collaborations too.
You could find yourself going back over old ground with partners, maybe old scores are settled, or an enemy resurfaces. You will get the opportunity to thrash it out good and proper when Mars suddenly turns direct here. But, astrologers usually advise that you not start the war when Mars is retrograde; otherwise, you will lose the battle. ‘War’ these days often means legal proceedings.
You certainly don’t want to file for divorce, especially if you have much equity to lose. If you are after a large settlement from your ex, forget it if you initiate proceedings. However, if the other party starts the ball rolling, then you should be fine. Indeed, if it is they who had done the dirty, then you can secretly smile to yourself that divine retribution will take care of everything.
Mars retrograde In the 8th House ~ Scorpio
Prepare to start amputating any nightmare brain cells that have been messing with your psyche. You get to be your own personal psychologist as you become very well acquainted with the dungeons of your soul. That sounds dramatic, but Mars inverted has an immense Plutonic feel to it, and the 8th house is just plain creepy, so this experience is hardly going to be a summer stroll in the park.
No, instead, this transit will drag you through the woods backwards, kicking and screaming. Ok, I jest. It doesn’t have to be that way at all. It could be more like Alice falling into a rabbit hole because you are just so darn curious, and it will just get curiouser and curiouser.
The universe can speak to you in quite mysterious ways and feel entirely supernatural. If you stick your fingers in your ears and refuse to acknowledge messages from your shadow, then that’s when the ‘dragging into the woods’ part is likely to start.
Pay attention to who or what makes you angry. If you drink, your subconscious could spill out involuntarily, taking you or your company by surprise. The demon alcohol really could show its face at this time. If the demons don’t rise because you are a sober sort, you might experience Mars externally instead. Arguments could erupt around you out of nowhere. It should be fun watching the performance, but try not to get lured into the battle.
Mars retrograde In the 9th House ~ Libra
Mars retrograde in your house of beliefs and religion could get highly zealous. At this time, confrontation with other cultures and tolerance of their strange customs becomes an issue. In your hometown, you might have a valid point, but complaining that there is no tomato ketchup in the wilds of the Congo is another situation altogether. During this transit, you will find out just how adaptable your ‘wild, gipsy traveller’ side of you is.
This transit gives you a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate your beliefs and perhaps remove those elements mainly there through indoctrination as a child. Pushing yourself to travel to places out of your comfort zone is also a possibility at this time.
Amazingly you should find that you can live without the wifi or ketchup or whatever Western comfort you have grown accustomed to. At the same time, expect some frustration to surface, as it will take time to adapt to the new mode of being. The same goes for if you take up a new spiritual practise that involves discipline.
Yoga or martial arts are attractive at this time, but putting up with sore muscles can be challenging, too, as the body stretches into alien shapes. Mars retrograde should make you quite brave and game to try anything, however. By the time it goes direct, Mars cannot help but propel you into new territory due to the pioneering energy it built up while it was retrograde.
Mars retrograde In the 10th House ~ Virgo
Mars reeving backwards in your career house can be a double-edged sword. You get an extra boost of ambition here, but it can also make you unduly scheming or even ruthless. However, Mars retrograde can be helpful in that you should be daring and pioneering in terms of pushing yourself out there into the world. It’s always good to have courage!
This transit is a lot easier to handle if you are self-employed. You will have the motivation to try new things without anyone holding you back. The only thing that does hold you back is that Mars can be pretty defensive while retrograde, so you might not take public criticism too well.
You might choose to leave a job when Mars goes direct after a build-up of frustrations in the workplace. I would wait until Mars turns direct before you make any leaving announcement; you want to say goodbye holding a good reference! Mars often means brave new starts, sometimes made impulsively; however, you know you have looked at all options with the retrograde, and you are not too rash in your decision.
Mars sometimes slows achievements down in your career house. Mars can feel quite frustrated with the pace and want things to bake a lot quicker. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat; you can’t rush a good cake. The challenge with Mars here is thinking long-term and realizing you don’t have to do everything at once. Another problem is finding it hard to work as a team player; you will feel highly self-sufficient at this time.
Mars retrograde In the 11th House ~ leo
Mars Retrograde in the house of friendship could mean that you turn into a networking dynamo or have lots of niggly arguments with your friends. This transit will sort out the wheat from the chaff in terms of who are your true blood brothers or sisters and those who are just a bloody nuisance.
During this time, you will be brutal with how much time you spend on social engagements. Anything that is draining or does not resonate with your soul will have to go. That means clubs where you no longer fit in or friendships where you have grown apart.
With Mars, you won’t have the patience to suffer fools gladly, so even if you don’t mean to end a friendship, it could just happen anyway out of happenstance. Others sense that you are bored or are not giving them the attention they crave so that they will fly off to a more captive audience, and that’s totally fine.
Birds of a feather flock together, so you have the choice to move on yourself. With family, you are stuck with them, marriages you make an effort to ride through bad patches, but the beauty of friendships is that nothing holds you together unless you have made some kind of masonic pact!
This transit is also in your hope and wishes sector so that you will place a significant amount of energy into wishful thinking. If some friends do suddenly disappear, it shouldn’t be very long until new ones take their place; voids have a habit of being filled, so don’t worry if you feel ‘cut off’ from company for a little while. It will give you the chance to dream up a new social network filled with people who more closely align with your interests.
Mars retrograde In the 12th House ~ Cancer
This mystical zone is a weird place for Mars to hang out. It’s like a flame-breathing dragon suddenly finds itself 2000 leagues under the sea. Any trumpets of fire will come out as bubbles, but those dragon wings can learn to swim pretty fast! This transit is a floaty, mystical time and one where you might find out what spiritual values are worth fighting for. Mars retrograde in the Neptunian 12th house has a Joan of Arc energy and is a spiritual warrior.
The much-maligned 12th is called the house of self-undoing because it isn’t a place that is conducive to material abundance. The 12th is the area of the chart where some self-flagellation happens to some extent to gain enlightenment. You won’t have to beat yourself senseless with a pointy stick, however. Instead, Mars will bring challenges into your life (most usually loss of some kind) where you will have to painfully let go of something to which you have become addicted. You might go through some ‘cold turkey’ over drugs, alcohol, gluten, sugar or a person.
During this time, you will put yourself into ‘rehab’ and be quite hermit-like. Meditation, yoga, martial arts are good, anything that brings a mind/body connection and space for restoration and healing. Think of it as an extended time in the womb; when Mars goes direct again, you should start to feel the contractions of the red planet as it becomes impatient for rebirth. It won’t be long until Mars resurrects itself in your own sign! So those wobbly Neptune bubbles will transform into the confident, strident flames of the Phoenix. Hurrah!