Mars Retrograde

This Year’s Mars Retrograde Is Your Chance to Focus On Self-Work and Mindfulness

Mars, the planet of action and energy, will be retrograde for the rest of 2022, but there’s no reason to freak out. Check out these wellness tips to make the most of this regular astrological event.

With fall now in full swing, it undoubtedly feels like the tail end of 2022 is here. Every time you open a social media platform, there’s a meme asking how you’re going to make the most of the last couple months of the year. The pressure is on.

But whether messages like this motivate you to step up your current fitness routine or send your anxiety through the roof and pulse racing, it might be helpful to know that one of the last big planetary events of the year is about to occur: Mars, the planet of action and energy, is going retrograde from October 30, 2022 to January 12, 2023 — and the moment is all about slowing down versus going hard.

While you’re likely aware of the communication chaos that a Mercury retrograde can cause, Mars’ backspins are a bit different. Instead of spurring miscommunication, technology glitches, and transportation headaches, Mars retrograde can curb your motivation and take a toll on your energy. If that sounds like a total pain, that’s completely fair, but the astrological event is not without its benefits and lessons as well. 

Here, your guide to making the most of 2022's Mars retrograde in Gemini. 

What Mars Retrograde Means

First, some basics on Mars and what it means when it’s retrograde. Mars is best known for fueling your drive, passions, energy, and how you take action. It’s also the planet of aggression — and sex. It shapes how you make moves to fulfill your desires and how you cope with and express anger. When it’s moving forward (aka direct, or when it is not retrograde), the planet is the fuel in your tank, influencing how you’ll get fired up. 

Say Mars is currently moving through your sixth house of wellness. (Currently, that’s true for people whose rising/ascendant sign is Capricorn. Just take a look at your natal chart and see which houses — if any — Gemini rules for you.) In this case, you may have been feeling extra pumped up lately (since August 20, to be precise) and ready to step up your everyday fitness regimen — and to satiate an amplified thirst for info related to it. Maybe you’ve been talking to and trading notes with friends about what they’re doing on a weekly basis or using a new app to stay on track with your favorite mindfulness or strength training practice. 

But roughly every two years — specifically, 26 months — the planet of action, energy, and aggression goes retrograde, which means Mars looks, from an Earth-based perspective, as though it’s moving backward. Typically, the planets in the solar system appear to move from west to east through the stars. But every so often, they begin to look like they're instead moving from east to west, known as an apparent retrograde motion, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

This optical illusion all comes down to the speeds of the planets, their location, and how quickly they revolve around the sun. As Mars moves through the signs, it covers about half a degree per day. That means it spends about two months in each sign. And when Mars passes Earth in orbit, it creates the appearance that the planet is moving backward. Each of these retrograde periods lasts for about two to two and a half months, so Mars is retrograde 9 percent of each year. (By comparison, Mercury is retrograde 18 percent of each year!) 

During a Mars retrograde, you’re nudged to turn inward and examine how you’ve been doing the work of the planet: finding your motivation, dealing with anger, and tapping into your passions.  And just like Mercury’s backspins, these phases can prove frustrating at times, but they’re also meant to spur self-reflection and, ultimately, self-improvement. You might find that restorative practices (such as deep breathing) are just as beneficial for your wellness as higher-intensity workouts. Or, you could realize that the pace you’ve been maintaining in your everyday hustle just isn't sustainable and needs adjustment to bolster your productivity — and strengthen your inner drive. Plus, a Mars retrograde is an opportunity to address underlying anger that could be inhibiting your overall growth. 

TL;DR: Mars direct may light you up inside and serve as the gas pedal that allows you to blaze new trails. But Mars retrograde gives you a chance to slow down and get more conscious about what’s actually worth hitting the gas for in the first place.  

Wellness Themes of the 2022 Mars Retrograde In Gemini

Mutable air sign Gemini — symbolized by the Twins — is ruled by Mercury. People born with their sun or other personal placements in Gemini are generally inquisitive, lively, erratic super communicators who zip from one activity to the next. Lovers of connection and communication, Geminis have a nature that's playful, cerebral, and flexible (sometimes to the point of indecision). 

A Mars retrograde in Gemini could feel a bit Mercury retrograde-ish in that communication — specifically of the conflict-laden variety — is sure to be affected. Because of the retrograde’s push to go inward, you won’t be as likely to spout off and air grievances as directly as you would otherwise. And this could result in more passive-aggressive behavior

You might also be compelled to address past conflicts and reach a final resolution. And because Gemini seeks intellectual stimulation and learning opportunities, you might want to brush up on previously honed skills. 

While you can count on Mars retrograde to occur every couple of years, the planetary aspects — or weather, if you will — change from year to year. The main aspect that’s worth noting this time around: On November 19, Mars will square off against Neptune, the planet of spirituality and illusion, in Pisces, which can be tense but activating, as it cranks up the potential for confusion and deception. You’d be wise to second guess any anxious thoughts or anxiety-inducing messages you get now, as the truth will be just out of reach in the days around this challenging aspect. 

How to Make the Most of 2022's Mars Retrograde

With buzzy Gemini at the helm of this astrological event, this Mars retrograde is a chance to reframe how you're thinking about — and dealing with — interpersonal conflicts, learning opportunities, and self-expression, especially of your most passionate ideas and beliefs. No matter your sign, here are a few ways you can make the most of the Mars retrograde in 2022.

Prioritize Restorative Practices

It’s not that you need to check out of your fitness routine through the holiday season, but taking a less aggressive approach might be a way to keep firing on all cylinders while the planet of energy is compromised. Instead of striving for a certain number of specific types of workouts per week, you’ll do well to tune in with your body and consider what you need. Trying a few yin yoga poses — or taking a nap! — might very well be a better bet than a grueling HIIT class. 

Be Consistent With Mental and Physical Health Routines

It might be easier to find yourself feeling rundown from the daily grind with Mars moving backward, so make a point to lean even more so on healthy habits that will help to manage stress levels and keep your immune system strong. Try picking up a meditation practice, spending time with loved ones who lift your spirits, getting a massage, or eating nutrient-rich foods to stay mentally and physically healthy. 

Cultivate Mindfulness 

You might have a particular goal that gets you so fired up, you can literally feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins when you think about it. That kind of passion goes hand-in-hand with Mars’ energy. But during a Mars retrograde, you're more likely to feel like you're hitting a wall in terms of your progress, and you could find yourself feeling frustrated.

Instead of ruminating on your anger, use this Mars retrograde as a chance to temporarily put your ideal vision of the future aside and focus on the here and now. Whether you use a mindfulness app or simply take a bit of time out of your day to go for a short nature walk or catch up with a friend, you can more easily practice mindfulness during this phase.       

The Astrological Takeaway for Mars’ Retrograde in Gemini

Just the word “retrograde” usually causes people to freak out about their world being turned upside down for a matter of weeks — or months. But no astrological event is entirely negative or 100 percent positive. That said, it can help to reframe this Mars retrograde in Gemini as a chance to do valuable inner work that will ultimately get you past whichever finish line you’ve been eyeing. Come the new year, you’ll be prepared to hit the ground running.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles