Updated: Oct 31
Astrology is a language that uses pieces of the sky to compose its grammar, but the core of this practice is also deeply grounded in nature. Right here. We read the sky to better comprehend time on earth, and for Astrology, time isn't linear.
Retrograde motions are periods that are part of the rhythm of nature and happen more often than not. It translates into a time of maintenance, a return, that is actually an opportunity to look for something you might have forgotten, to revisit the past and reframe what haunts you. Time is cyclical, is a spiral, and oscillates. Retrogrades bring the message that things can and should be revisited. "Going backward" is not synonymous with failure and regression. To return is necessary, not to stay there, but to correct the course and do the necessary adjustments.
Mars has arrived in Gemini on August 20th, and a visit that normally tends to last only six weeks will be turning into a total of 7 months. Our planet of war is extending its stay as it stations retrograde, bringing many twists and turns for the matters of your Gemini house. This is a period that asks for a redirection of energy, and a better strategy to move through challenges and adversities. Mars retrograde is about redistributing your time by redefining priorities.
Let’s dive deep into the timeline of this transit, explore the journey of Mars through the Decans (the different expressions of Gemini), and what this time can reflect in your life. You will find your horoscopes below, as well as a practical guide to move through Mars Retrograde in Gemini 2022/23.
20 Aug 2022: Mars ingress into Gemini
Oct 30, 2022 at 2:24pm CET: Mars stations retrograde at 25’36 Gemini
Nov 19, 2022: Mars at 22’42 Square Neptune at 22’42 Pisces
Nov 28, 2022: Mars at 19’42 trine Saturn at 19’42 Aquarius
Jan 12, 2023 9:56:45 pm CET: Mars stations direct at 8’07 Gemini
Mar 15, 2023: Mars at 25’04 Gemini square Neptune at 25’04 Pisces
Mar 25, 2023: Mars leaves Gemini and enters Cancer
Mars in Astrology
Mars’ nature is hot and dry, quick and disruptive, it prefers the night than the day. In mythology, was the God of War who would shed blood without much of a thought, but also was symbol of protection, taking the role of the “defender” of the people. Mars reflects the impulsive act, either to conquer (Aries) or to defend (Scorpio). As an intrinsic malefic planet (whose nature goes contrary to life), it rules ruptures, cuts, and severs, losses, violence. In the natal chart it reflects both the pace and the intention of your actions, determination, the physical energy you put into your goals and projects, the drive that makes us stand up in the morning, the strategy for achieving something. Courage and cowardice. The battles you pick and why, and what you bring to the battlefield. The “weapons” and expression will be described by the archetype Mars is placed in. Mars transits to your natal chart can show an area where you may experience severs and cuts, a momentary “obsession” and an extra need to put your energy into those topics.
Mars in Gemini
Gemini is a multifaceted archetype, mutable air, hot and moist (sanguine), ruled by Mercury. Intellectual, versatile, flexible, curious - it rules over ideas, data, information, social interactions, duality. Mars in Gemini uses communication as a strategy, words become its ultimate sharp weapons. Here, Mars is flying around with Hermes’ borrowed wing shoes, which means it can take on many forms and shapes, its actions are constantly prone to change, which mirrors a period of nervousness, restlessness and oscillation. The focus might be inconsistent, but here Mars can remain curious and explore multiple alternatives to reach its goals.
Mars in a Mercurial sign can bring conflicts around misinformation, cyber-security, tricksters, verbal fights, gossip, trade, commerce, technology, social media and social interactions in general. Keep in mind that Mercury is a neutral planet capable of both good or evil, he is said to help the malefic planets and the benefics, depending on where it is at, embodying the qualities of each environment. Hermes (Mercury) is the God of thieves, and liars, but also the God that gives us tools and skills. It all depends on how you wanna use what is available to you at this time.
“Retrograde”is a term used in Astrology for the apparent backward motion of the planets. This doesn’t really happen, it's an optical illusion. Astrology is a symbolical language where visibility is important, considering the perspective of the human eyes.
Mars stations retrograde every 2 years, and this time this happens from October 30rd 2022 until January 12th 2023, this is a period where things can definitely feel sluggish.
Retrogrades are periods of revision, rethinking, recalculating, going back to cut ties or bringing an ending to something in order to move forward with more assertion. There’s nothing particularly bad about retrogrades since it can be extremely constructive to redo and have the chance to rewrite a narrative, but a malefic planet retrograde such as Mars can bring more discomfort than not, reflecting a period of paralysis, inaction, doubts, lethargy, fears, lack of focus and assertiveness, dealing with liars, thieves, engaging in verbal fights and overall difficulties to find immediate and practical solutions.
Is everything fated to go wrong?
No, but there’s a necessity to triple your focus, attention and effort. This is a period rather reflective, that asks to review what is already in motion and to do the necessary cuttings. Initiation, competition, focus, those pertain to Mars, but as our planet of War disperses in the mutable air of Gemini, projects, ideas, and conversations will take on a more flexible and changeable note, tending to go into disarray especially during the retrograde period.
Knowing how to focus on what really matters will be crucial as you cross this time. Mars will square Neptune a few times during this transit. This is an ongoing aspect that can confuse, show deceit and frustrations in the Gemini x Pisces area of your chart. It can be important and constructive to retrieve and call your energy back from possible illusions.
There is a certain desperation that arise when Astrologers say things can slow down or even be stagnant for more than 3 months. But if you allow yourself to rewrite how you view it, and see the constructive side of this period, this is a time of redirection of energy and will. Asking profound questions can help to navigate it, such as:
Why do I desire what I desire? Why do I want to achieve and conquer this specific thing? Why do I assume that this is the only way to get there? Why do I impose to myself that I should achieve x by y date? Who imposed that things should happen in this specific timeline? Which battles am I fighting that are not even mine? And which ones are truly worth fighting, and I should finally make a stand?
Mars retrograde is a time of redistributing your time by redefining priorities.
Slowing down and tending to your own timing. There’s no definition of "the right and only time" for things to happen to you. It is still important though, to reassess where you’re putting your efforts, to where and to who you give off your energy, and how much it has been costing you.
You might find out that you've been focusing your energy on something that won’t necessarily nourish you in the long run. Actually, this period is volatile so it isn't a great idea to pressure yourself to build something too "fixed", with no room for inventiveness and change. Choose to focus on something that you know it’s okay if you wanna change your mind in the future. Avoid beginning projects that aren't well structured, too risky, or that feel uncertain to you. It’s not the time to necessarily start something serious, but something that you might wanna experiment, or review if it's really something you want to commit.
Mars’ Backward Journey Through the Decans of Gemini.
Each sign has thirty degrees, which is divided into three parts (one decan = 10 degrees). These Decans provide various symbolisms associated with ruling planets assigned by Chaldean order and Triplicity. There are also associations with the Tarot (usually the Minor Arcana). I feel like the Decans provide “flavors” to the parts of the zodiac, so we can use figures to reflect upon their many expressions and nuances. If you want to learn more, Austin Coppock has an incredible material called 36 Faces. I also recommend the podcast "Fixed Astrology podcast", where you can also find free and in depth content about each Decan.
Let's explore the movement of Mars through Gemini and its different colors and expressions:
The III Decan of Gemini: a decision has to be made.
Mars stations retrograde at 25 degrees. These final degrees of Gemini are associated with Saturn by triplicity and with the 10 of Swords in Tarot. It's a moment where something's gotta give, a reset, a decision must be made, when you finally realize your limitations. Gemini is a double-bodied sign, its mutable qualities provides various possibilities, but in the end of this sign, there’s an understanding that: you can’t do it all. Austin Coppock calls this decan "The Executioner's Sword” and that it has a “separating and sacrificial quality”.
The classic symbol of Gemini is the “twins”. A figure of mortality and immortality, in many myths, there’s usually a story that one of the twins must die. Drawing an analogy here, we understand that there are moments in life where two things can’t coexist. We reach a point where we must split or sever one of our options.
Coppock says “For the possible to become actual, one twin must die. In Greek myth, Castor was slain while Pollux remained in the daylight world. Yet the two decided to split the realms between them, each trading off between the land of the dead and the territory of the living. Many things can be made real, many possibilities can manifest, but not all at once.” Making a choice because multiple things in your life cannot exist simultaneously or because you exhausted all your choices, is one of the meanings of the 10 of swords card. There’s a feeling of saturation, a moment of hitting rock-bottom where a decisive act is crucial. Or you keep laying where you are or you start climbing. The choice must be made by you, or life will find a way of forcing it on you. It's a moment where something’s gotta give. It’s also important to try and not fall into being a martyr and feel like the world is against you. You can move from this place by simply recognizing you’re exhausted and a reset is needed. In my eyes, the moment Mars stations retrograde is where we feel most deeply this realization that something can't continue and therefore, must be severed. Of course we can see these effects happening around us, cause Astrology is also about the collective scenario.
The II Decan of Gemini: dealing with dilemas and frustration.
On November 25th, Mars arrives to the second decan, around this time, there might be a feeling of being splitted between two energies, dealing with dilemas. This decan has an "incoherence"tone, the card associated with it is the 9 of swords, a card that symbolizes a time of overwhelm, mental anguish, worries, fear and anxiety.
That quote by Ivan Nuru "If it's out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too." applies well here, specially because most of what might be overwhelming you and keeping you up at night, are possibly creations of the mind. Acting cruelly towards yourself (and others), or comparing your journey won't help.
However, there's a "constructive"and even positive note to this decan. Venus and Mars are the rulers of this place. You can use this time to experiment with your double thoughts and options, as well as asking for help, receiving collaborations, or just finally coming into terms of which doors to close and which doors to open.
The I Decan of Gemini: new possibilities.
Finally, on December 23rd, Mars arrives into the first decan.
The first decan is where we can say that the raw essence of Gemini is expressed. Expansive, curious, dual, experimental. It’s called “The Apple of Eden” by Coppock. For me, this is a symbol of choices but also a certain innocence. Coppock says “The gusts of Gemini’s first decan have the potential to confuse, they can also lift us out of ruts and blow us toward new places and ideas. This curious breeze guides us down unexplored avenues of both travel and thought. It is the fresh air of curiosity. Our goal is thus to circulate, but not dissipate; to spread out, but not to scatter.”
At this time around, and as Mars stations direct (at 8 degrees on January 12th), there might be new possibilities blossoming, but after this long journey, is important to make choices out of a still mind and to not forget the lessons of this time, looking at them with perspective, you don't wanna return to the 10 of swords and forget your journey. This decan is associated with the 8 of swords in Tarot. At first, we see a woman with a blindfold, feeling hopeless while surrounded by weapons. There’s a sense of being trapped or stuck, but the essence of this card is the necessity to calm the mind, the solution is not to overthink about the problem itself cause it is already there anyway. Overthinking or cry over your problems won’t be a solution. The first step is to try and remove the blindfold to see clearly.
Here, there’s a need for integration about what wasn’t working and how you won’t repeat it again. The backward journey of Mars through Gemini shows a sequence of reaching the rock bottom that at first, can feel like becoming paralyzed, in order recognize that something can’t possibly go further the way it is. A moment of severs and cuts. You’ve reached a point of exhaustion, a project, an idea, the way you are doing something, a battle you’ve been picking needs to stop, at least for a moment. Then comes a potential worry and mental anguish, which is natural when thinking about what you’ve lost, but opens a window for a time to be open to different perspectives, knowing that a lot of this is creation of the mind. Instead of being cruel to yourself and others, finding who and what to blame, this is possibly a time to search for help. As we finish this retrograde with a moment of possibilities appearing again, is important to knowing how to assert your energy, to focus on what is important and making better choices. This is important to keep in mind, because from this point on, Mars will move forward, walking back again through the same path (degrees), clearing out the shadow of the retrograde period until March 2023.
Mars Retrograde Survival Guide
Prompts for reflection
What battles am I fighting and why? How can I choose my own? And pull my energy back from those that aren’t mine, and aren’t constructive.
What is the real motivation/ intention behind my actions?
How much energy am I spending on x project, and where could it be better redirected?
What I want really is what I want, or what was conditioned for me to want?
Was the timing I put on my achievement decided by myself? Whose hurry am I embodying?
What are the necessary cuttings I should do?
Ups and downs, twists and turns,
Delays, things taking longer to manifest, or needing to be reinvented. Give room for things to change.
Difficulty focusing and asserting yourself.
Pay attention to:
Thoughts, words, overthinking, and inner criticism.
Handling (Gemini) sharp objects (Mars); Verbal fight and manipulation of information.
Surgical procedures unless emergency and necessary.
Important beginnings that you desire to last and be solid, like signing contracts, moving to another house, etc.
To initiate new projects that are uncertain or not well planned before. Prefer to stick with what you have on your hands, and being flexible.
To overload yourself with tasks, spreading yourself too thin.
To actively listen but know when to shut out the noises
Repair, tolerance, conflict solving
When to engage in debates and what doesn't deserve your 'hot takes'
Energetic boundaries, especially on social media
Discernment is the biggest weapon against misinformation: don't get carried away by everything you see/ read around this time
Horoscopes for Rising Signs
These horoscopes were thought for rising/ ascendant signs. Keep in mind that any planet inside your Gemini house will also be affected, as well as any aspect Mars forms to any of your other planets, and the house Mercury sits in your chart should be considered. Those are general horoscopes, if you want more guidance based on your unique birth chart and life context, you can book a consultation with me.
Mars is the ruler of your ascendant, therefore an important planet to always pay attention to. This period is printed in a more intellectual color for you. Mars has been assisting you in amplifying your connections and community, but as it retrogrades, conflicts may arise in the way you approach things and how things are addressed. It’s a time of resolving differences. Stressful conversations especially involving people in your immediate surroundings, siblings, cousins, close friends, neighbors, colleagues or even your digital community can be happening. You might notice your calendar more filled than ever, multitasking isn’t the best answer as it can deplete you over time. It’s important to focus on not dispersing your energy and spreading yourself too thin around this period, know how to prioritize your daily focus. The mind may be all over the place, a lot of information to process and deal with, know when to set your limits, not everything deserves an answer or immediate action, a lot of it will be just noise anyway. Protect your peace. Use your words as a tool instead of a weapon. But also be wise when is time to defend yourself, certain battles must be fought, yes. The house where Mars is transiting also involves short journeys and means of transportation, maybe you’ll be needing to fix your car, also important to be more attentive with accidents. A huge topic of Mars in Gemini is cyber-security, so double protecting your passwords and information at this time won’t hurt, as well as being careful with publications online.
Your own Mercury placement by house will also show the area of development and possible outcomes of this retrograde season.
The passage of Mars in Gemini overall can be helpful to change the way you do business, being more adaptable about your source(s) of income or change the way you receive payments. Since Gemini is a dual sign, you might be exploring your multiple gifts, skills and talents or new ways to monetize them. Maybe a project or the way you’ve been doing it and charging for it aren’t sustainable anymore. Some business partnership can be deceiving, specially because Mars rules your 7th and 12th house. You might wanna rethink your contractual partnerships specially if involves money. Overall, it’s important to align your own priorities and care for your fundamental needs.
As Mars stations retrograde, things can go into disarray for a while, there might be changes on resources and assets that you are comfortable with and rely on. Mars can show an area of life where we tend to worry or even obsess about, your mind is on your sustenance, the things you value, hold and possess, which can be very constructive to be realigned and re-framed. This is a period that require a bigger care with finances and what you possess, a time where you might not seeing where your money is going, spending it more than usual or even dealing with “cuts”.
Your own Mercury placement by house will also show the area of development and possible outcomes of this retrograde season.
Mars is transiting in a very important and personal area for you, your ascendant. For a while, Mars is bringing more energy and motivation to conquer your desires, perhaps you’re dealing with a position of leadership or needing more initiative to assume a big change in your life. As Mars retrogrades, will require more patience and perseverance from you, to exercise your focus instead of dispersing it, to pick your battles wisely. It can feel like things were put on hold and slowing down, that you are being pulled back from whatever you were doing, but remember that no one should define the “timing” that things should happen for you. By the end, there’s a lot being reinvented, a true deep dive in your self-knowledge and what is a priority for you. But to cross this volatile time, you will have to be disciplined and centered and to ask big questions such as what is the intention you’re putting on your actions. It’s a personal time of revision about your own motives. There is a major necessity to tend to your body and health around this time. Mars is famous for causing inflammations, and accidents, and not only it sits on your ascendant but also rules your 6th house. Prudence is key. Pay more attention on your daily life as you handle things, as well as measuring and dosing well your impulses.
Your own Mercury placement by house will also show the area of development and possible outcomes of this retrograde season.
Cleanse. rinse and repeat. Mars retrograde is a period of massive inner work (and perhaps you’ll be doing more behind the scenes than in the public eye). It’s important to be attentive to your boundaries and people who try to cross them, even energetically. You might be aware of hidden enemies or alliances working behind your back, hence the importance of protection and moving wisely. This is a period more favorable for endings, letting go, revisiting things that no longer serve and do the necessary severs. You might be coming into terms with ongoing conflicts or uncomfortable situations, feeling the grief but bringing closure, and this will be very important in the future as Mars enters your sign. Avoid to enter in any risky business where you don’t know the full picture, is important to know exactly where you’re stepping in terms of contracts and beginnings. You can feel like things are slowing down more than usual, taking longer to come to fruition, but this is a period of inner reflection. Work on your sleep hygiene if you notice trouble with resting. Give yourself more grace for the upcoming months, do not embody anyone else’s hurry or expectation on you to perform. Breathe. Release.
Mars in Gemini brings movement to your social life, but as it retrogrades, this can take on a more chaotic note. It’s a great time to revise and reconsider your hopes for the future and with who you wanna get there, being more selective with your alliances. You are not for everyone and that’s okay. You might see yourself twisting, changing, and having to adapt to new groups. Recognition and honors can be delayed, but is a great time to review if what you are receiving is aligned with your efforts and change the strategy. This transit can show a time of rehashing conflicts with groups you belong. Know when to engage into healthy competition and which battle is yours to enter. Mars also rules your 4th house where a series of Eclipses are happening. Some foundations might need to go in order to create change, or you may see yourself fixing matters of your private life, home and family.
Mars transits right over your MC, your personal growth and ambitions are big themes you are dealing with at this time. As Mars retrogrades, you might be revising, changing, and reorganizing matters of career, perhaps multitasking and spreading yourself too thin between multiple projects. Discipline and focus might be extra needs, as well as putting important decisions on hold with possible. Know that this “waiting” and ruminating decisions might be important for your future, there is no rush. Dealing with authorities and people that have power over you, or you having power about something might be stressful themes of this period too. It’s important to not get carried away too much by other’s opinions, fake information, unnecessary debates. Save your energy for what really matters.
Mars in Gemini is a period of reinvention where you are enlarging your notion of self and the world. It’s a process of changing perspectives for you. As it retrogrades, you are reviewing and reconsidering beliefs, philosophies, perhaps religion and devotion. Mars represents cuts, and the house where is transiting also deals with university and knowledge, maybe you might be reconsidering cutting a scholarship or changing courses. Can signify as well conflicts with mentors. Curiously, Mars retrograde forms a trine to your ascendant so this period can be a good review of your own motivations and intentions, and what is in alignment with yourself, and how the lessons of this period are expanding your notion of freedom, and reinventing your view about something you used to believe. In addition, be extra careful with long journeys and matters of law.
Mars rules your ascendant, so this transit is very important to you, your body, and situations of your life. This is a moment to rather protect yourself before taking any major risks. Travelling through your 8th house, this can be a period of severing, cutting, retrieving agreements, contracts, and bonds, rethinking professional and emotional entanglements. Be extra careful with signing up, and teaming up around this time. Debts can be also a theme. Do you feel in debt with something or someone? this could be an auspicious time to cut loose from it. Also ask deep questions such as what you want to entangle yourself with. Notice shame patterns, the shame of intimacy, or any imposed taboos. Mars in Gemini indicates a time to word out our intentions in the midst of so much noice. For you, also a process of unravelling your own depths, being face to face with your fears. Even more because, at the moment when Mars turns retrograde, Mercury (ruler of this transit), will be transiting through your sign.
Mars travels through your 7th house, at first it brings a lot of busy times in the realms of contractual relationships to you, such as marriage and business partners. But as it turns retrograde the focus will be to release attachments, conflicts, and even cutting loose from declared enemies. Another possibility is that your partner (or business partner(s)) can be experiencing a busier time, perhaps moving into another direction, or going through major changes in their personal life. Other people’s actions and reactions can be triggering, but is important to tend to the lessons of this time of seeing other perspectives and choose wisely which battles to engage with. Revisiting past conflicts is also a possibility that may take a while to solve but will be important to navigate.
Ending contracts and partnerships can be more successful around this time than making new ones.
Mars travels through your 6th house, which is where this planet rejoices. Mars is also an important planet for you as it is your ruler by exaltation, so this transit will be very relevant and important. This house deals with your life obl