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Mars Retrograde (10/30/22 - 1/12/23)

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Patience is the calm acceptance

That things can happen

In a different order

Than the one you have in mind.

David G. Allen

The Mars Retrograde Phenomenon

Mars has a Retrograde cycle every other year. In contrast, Mercury has a Retrograde cycle every 3 months like clockwork and is part of the rhythm of each year. Mercury Retrogrades are not problematic if we are in tune with the rhythm of life, with the ebbs and flows associated with activity. Mercury Retrograde cues us to take a step back and review, re-evaluate and regroup before charging forth with plans and decisions. All retrogrades, but most especially with the Mars Retrograde, we can feel challenged to embracing their invitation because we live in a culture that does not appreciate the value for taking a step back, slowing down, regrouping and giving ourselves an extended period of time to re-evaluate plans. Western culture urges us to go, go, go and to get things done and decided.

Venus is the other fast moving planet that has a Retrograde cycle every 18 months, cuing us to take a step back from our relationships to review how they are going and how well our values are being expressed in what we have created in life. The slower moving Planets (Jupiter. Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are each Retrograde half of every year and move so slowly that their retrogrades may not be noticeable - unless one of them happens to station direct or retrograde at the same degree as one of our natal planets.

Mars is the one planet that calls us to pay attention when it goes Retrograde, because if we are not mindful to counter what it stirs in us, we can easily fall prey to its ill effects.

Mars, the warrior, expresses itsself through aggression and decisive action. It is hard wired to engage in a battle. Retrograde, it can initiate battles to compensate for an uncomfortable level of frustration and restlessness. Mars seeks action as the way out of any tough spot. It does not want to take a step back, re-evaluate or reconsider something it has already decided. Similarly, we may feel impatience and give into an impulse to take rash, ill-considered actions that sre not in our best interests.

Mars typically moves about 45 minutes of arc a day (3/4 of a degree in its 360 degree orbit around the sun), but in the shadow phase of its upcoming Retrograde during September and October, it was creeping along about 5 minutes of arc a day - eight times slower than usual. Mars does not like slowing down and was irritated when it came to a complete halt the end of October just before turning Retrograde. To its great amazement, it then found itself moving backwards, going over the same territory it had already covered. This produced tremendous frustration and a desire to battle what is thwarting its forward movement. On the filip side, it can also create a perception of being defeated and a feeling of impotence.

Like Mars, planet of drive and action, we may feel ourselves slowing down and making less headway with projects, deadlines and plans. We have be having a more difficult time sorting through information and discerning what we believe or know about something. This can lead to a feeling of sluggishness and inertia, or stir in us a call to urgent action to combat and try to get the upper hand of the challenges we face. The way through is between these two options.

Mars is closer to the earth while Retrograde. It appears brighter in the sky; the presence of this red star is thus magnified within us. We are heated up. There can be a restlessness and frustration as there is no easy way to release and express the energy. Normally, it is good to move big energy, to go for a run or chop a cord of wood, but we are in a holding position where we are to allow the heat, the pressure to build as part of the process to create some change within ourselves and our approach to life.

We may wish to relieve some of the pressure through some impulsive decision or emotional outburst, but the release will be shortlived and we may only create more stress, more heat for ourselves. If we make room for the stew brewing within us, acknowledging that this inner simmer is beneficial, we will be served in some way we cannot yet foresee.

A Metaphor: Preparation for an Arrow to Hit the Target

Mars, is like an arrow that just wants to instinctively be let loose to fly towards its intended target. Yet, in a Mars Retrograde, we must slow down and first fit the arrow into a bow. Then, slowly, purposefully, we pull the arrow back (the retrograde motion). Once pulled back until it is taut in the bow, we then make all kinds of micro movements and adjustments as we line our eye up with the arrow, the arrow with the target, and our body with the arrow. From the outside, it may look like we are doing very little, if anything. An onlooker may be thinking, ‘why are they taking so long? What are they waiting for?” Yet, when Mars goes direct, the arrow is ready to fly and hit its target.

In a nutshell, Mars retrograde slows us down. We can feel a frustration with this. We are to practice patience, take things a step at a time and be persististent in addressing the challenge facing us. The sign Mars is occupying during the Retrograde tells us where attention and adjustments need to be made. So, let's now look at the current Mars Retrograde.

Everything you are against

Weakens you.

Everything you are for

Empowers you.

Wayne Dyer

Mars Retrograde in Gemini (10/30/22 - 1/14/23)

Mars in Gemini (Aug 20, 2022 – Mar 25, 2023)

While Mars typically moves through a sign in 6 or 8 weeks, we are currently in the midst of Mars’ 7-month sojourn in the sign of Gemini. Mars extended stay in Gemini is the result of the Retrograde cycle happening in this sign.

The planet of decsive action is in inquisitive, quick-footed, fast talking Gemini. The pace of our life can get ahead of us. We can find ourselves multi-tasking or jumping from one task to the next without completing the one before. We are apt to verbally spar or speak without first considering what we are wanting to communicate. In a typical year, we have a month or so, with Mars in Gemini, where we find ourselves darting about, being a little chattier, more curious about varying things going on, and inclined to be a little more argumentative. But…

As Mars moved into the shadow zone of its Retrograde in early September, we have needed to counter the impulse to move fast, make quick decisions, and let our life be filled with activity and busyness. As Mars slowed down in September and October, we were cued to slow down and avoid traveling in the fast line. Otherwise, may have found ourselves feeling mentally frazzled and emotionally frustrated.

Then, at the end of October, much to Mars’ great surprise, Mars stopped all together and began to move backward. Mars does not like to contemplate, go over territory its already been. Rather fuel the natural impatience, anger or impotence we are feeling, we are to slow down and pay attention to Gemini energies: our thought processes, communication styles, how we discern the truth about information we receive. We are to be curious about how we can rewire the way we talk to ourselves and others so that we are in more integrity with who we say we are and with what we want to create in the world.

Gemini Rules Social Exchange - exchange of ideas, money, information

Mars in Gemini will effect Communications, Education, Information, Social Media, and daily travel/short trips. It is mental in nature and so with Mars in Gemini, energy moves towards our head. We can become hot-headed. Our thinking processes are amped up. Our mind can rapidly jump from topic to topic, leaving us feeling mentally scattered. Its like we are in permanent ‘surf’ mode.

The Pitfalls in the Retrograde Period of Mars in Gemini

  • Getting sucked in by a dizzying speed of misinformation we are exposed to

  • Increased activity of internet trolls and online bullying

  • Rapid and divisive communication that can compel us to verbally spar with others

  • Restlessness that leads to impulsive or illthought out actions

  • Jumping from one project to another without completing the previous one

  • Getting partial information and not focusing long enough to understand the whole picture

Elon Musk became the sole owner of Twitter on October 27, as Mars was stationing and turning Retrograde. People banned from Twitter were reinstated and began tweeting again. Overnight, Twitter was flooded with millions of tweets using the N word in celebration of Musk’s announcement that ‘the bird is free’ and there will be no censorship. The day Mars turned Retrograde, Musk began to back pedal on this statement as he began to grasp what he may be in the process of unleashing. His desire for an international town hall where everyone has a voice may prove to be more than he has bargained for as Mars moves Retrograde through the middle of January.

Moving in a Fog, Visibility is Limited

Mars square Neptune

Mars is in a stressful relationship with the planet of illusions, dreams and ideals (Neptune) for a significant portion of its retrograde cycle. The experience is much like driving in the fog when we can only look at the center divider to guide us. We are unable to see the big picture or where we the road we are on is going. Something larger than ourselves and our beliefs and dreams is at play.

Neptune dissolves the boundaries of the ego so that we can tap into something larger than ourselves. There is something at play that we have yet to see or understand about our life direction. We may refer to this 'something' as we may think of it as the divine, our higher self, or our soul's desire.

To navigate the road in front of us, we need to slow down. Thinking too far ahead will confuse, frustrate, or scramble our mind. We are to move slow enough so we can listen to our intuition and to the messages that are to hear only when we are quiet with ourselves.The best course of action is to pay attention to what is in front of us and the next step we are to take, trusting that if we can take right action now it will lead us to the best possible outcome.

Practice the Pause.

Pause before judging, pause

Before assuming, pause before

Accusing. Pause whenever you are

About to react harshly and you’ll avoid

Doing things and saying things

You will later regret.

Lori Deschene

The Opportunity of Mars Retrograde in Gemini

There is a stew brewing within us. We can dissipate the discomfort and the pressure through impulsive decisions, staying overly busy, or lashing out in anger. The key is to see that what is simmering within us is beneficial. When we think of a crucible that is used to transmute coal into gold, first the crucible must be heated to a temperature that tests the limits and integrity of the crucible. We are much like this crucible. The building of inner heat is beneficial, though not comfortable to effect the change that will have us better aligned with the future we are living into.

What to Do:

  • Slow down. Slowing down can help to avoid burnout, overwhelm and increased agitation

  • Practice patience

  • Question facts, information and be willing to rethink the truths that we have already discerned. Be curious about the veracity of information we are receiving and be willing to ask questions

  • Monitor how much time we give to social media and be selective about the sources we engage to receive information

  • Consider our thoughts and words. Are they destructive or generative? Are they distracting or dissipating energy? Are they true? We are to monitor and make choices in how we to talk to ourselves and others.

  • Examine the way we think and process information as a means to discover new ways to articulate, name and language what is meaningful to us

  • Embrace the heat, the frustration we feel as not a problem, but an opportunity to rewire our relationship to anger. We are to look for better ways to respect others who disagree with us, and to be courageous in speaking the truths that live in our heart.

  • Be disciplined and persistent about the next step that is to be taken, without thinking too far ahead

  • Engage in practices that calm the mind and relax the nervous system

What to Avoid:

  • Avoid lashing out in anger or venting our frustration on others

  • Avoid going too fast, which can make us vulnerable to accidents

  • Avoid forcing or pushing something to happen that doesn't seem to want to happen

  • Avoid ‘surfing’ our day – jumping from one thing to another to another in a way that we leaves our mind scattered or frazzled. For those of us who identify with being ADD, we are to give extra attention to practices we have adopted to keep our ADD to a minimum

  • Avoid making decisions impulsiviely or from a sense of false urgency. (If someone is having a heart attack, this demands urgent action. The urgency we may feel to give notice at a job or sell a house or divorce a person may not be so urgent). We need to take our time, move slowly and steadfastly and make decisions from a centered, clear, informed place

  • Avoid surgerical procedures, if possible. Mars rules surgery and while retrograde they are contraindicated. If surgery is scheduled, make sure that nothing feels rushed or hurried in the preparation process.

The United States and Mars Retrograde

Mars stationed and turned Retrograde conjunct the U.S. Natal Mars

Mars Retrograde squares the U.S. Neptune.

Neptune and Retrograde Mars are in hard aspect to the U.S. natal Neptune

U.S. Pluto Return's influence in the Mars Retrograde

There is a simmering frustration that can easily lead to outbursts of anger and rash action (Mars Retrograde conjunct Mars) Misinformation, distortion of truth, and misguided ideals are fueled (Mars square Neptune) and its citizens and leaders are cautioned to see beyond the false narratives. With the upcoming November 8 eclipse (the day of the U.S. midterm elections), we will feel compelled to act on the truth as we see it; Mars Retrograde asks that we slow down so that we can discern the best course of action and not give into the impulse to shoot first and ask questions later.

The U.S. is still in a Pluto Return, which reflects the identity crisis the country is encountering. The potential is for the country to experience a rebirth. To experience rebirth, there first must be a death - the country is experiencing a death of what was, and facing fears around its possible extinction. The question is will the country have the strength and fortitude to see it through to the rebirth or not. With the Pluto Return is in the U.S. second house, there is a profound transformational process the country is encountering around its values. The very notion of democracy, its definition and its core intrinsic values have come into question. There are profound disagreements as to what these are and differing interpretations of what is articulated in the U.S. Constituion. The country is being compelled to engage this crisis to renew itself, to come to a shared understanding of its core principles and values, or the country and its democracy are at great risk of dissolving.

Mars Retrograde will amplify the country's simmering tensions. Divisive dialogue becomes even more heated and people will become - believe it or not - more vocal. There is likely to be increased volital outbursts, a ramping up social media as a tool to vent frustration, and a potential for rash action that will only serve to further amplify the issues and crisis that the country faces.

A Neptune fog prevents the country, its people and its leaders from seeing the big picture and shaping a long term plan. There is a collective need to slow down, keep anger in check, to question information, to discern misinformation and find a way to engage in a dialogue where peole engage the dialogue able to respect themselves and each other. The potential of the Mars Retrograde, if taken, is to discover ways in which a true dialogue can happen between the various factions.

The country as a whole will need to exercise measure of patience, and to slow down enough to look at the next right steps to avoid escalating an already volatile situation. Currently, it seems we can anticipate that the shadow side of the Mars Retrograde will be featured in the news of the day, and demonstrated in how the simmering tensions are further externalized in volatile words and actions. It is up to each of us to not be swept up in feelings of urgency, anger and distrust, and instead to purposely slow ourselves and our nervous systems down so that we can speak and act from a place of centerdness as we do our part in supporting the desire for resolution and a national rebirth.

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1 Comment

Rebecca Carina
Rebecca Carina
Nov 04, 2022

Thank you, Liv, for clarifying the role Mars is playing in each of us and how to wisely and practically use this energy during its retrograde and beyond. Also, for addressing the bigger picture of Mars' return in the USA chart along with the transformation we as a nation feel with Pluto's first return. No wonder we all recognize the losses and feel the uncertainties of the future. Yet, we all are growing in awareness and consciousness of life in a new way. Thank you for your insightful sharing.

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