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The Warrior Rests: Mars Retrograde in Gemini, 2022

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Viking Warrior at rest after battle

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Intro to Mars and Mars Retrograde

Are you familiar with Mars and His significations??

Mars is a powerful warrior and tactician. It's His job to go after the things we want in Life. As Jung once said, "We are what we DO; not what we SAY we're going to do." The whole 'doing' part is Mars' job.

(You can hear the commonalities with the Number 1, yes??)

Mars has the strength and focus to just keep on going. In fact, He keeps moving forward, without a rest, for two whole years - far longer than any of the other planets. Nearly double, in fact!

But, ultimately, even Mars needs to stop for a moment to rest and reflect. This is where we are right now in His cycle. He is just about to enter Shadow of His bi-annual Retrograde cycle. He'll cross that threshold on 4 September, to be precise.

When Mars retrogrades, we have the opportunity to slow down and reflect on our Path. How are we going? Are we making good progress on our goals, as determined at the previous Sun Mars conjunction on 8 October, 2021? Or not? (See Key Dates for this cycle below.)

As our on-the-ground tactician, and the one who forges our new path forward, Mars may have some questions or insights to offer on how we're using His time, energy, & focus.

Mars Retrograde (Mars Rx) also gives us the opportunity to consider our personal relationship with Martial energy. How comfortable are we with it? How well do we wield it?

Mars has many significations! Let's look at a few of the more prominent ones that could be stirred up over the next couple of months. The whole Retrograde period will last from 4 September, 2022 to 16 March, 2023, including the Shadow periods.

Key Significations and Questions for Self-Reflection:

* A simple one, to get us started - old beaus may resurface, for better or worse. (This is a real thing! My partner and I reconnected after 25 years, in the first few days of Mars Retrograde four years ago!)

Art work: Berserker, by Tomas Duchek

* Mars rules our energy, so this may fluctuate wildly until Mars turns Direct again on 13 January, 2023.

We may feel completely burned-out during this period, and need more Nanna-naps than usual. Our inner warrior is re-charging. Having said that, on other days, we might charge at our tasks like a Beserker! Be mindful that our energy levels are going to be irregular for the next couple of months.

* Mars signifies our motivation and drive, too. During Mars Rx, we may feel as though we've completely lost interest in our Path, or in certain aspects of it, at least. As they say, we may feel tired, not because we've done too much, but because we've done too little of what actually excites us. (Let that land.)

Part of the 'problem' is that Mars is currently as far away from the Sun as He can possibly get. This means that our inner Warrior may have lost touch with the 'big picture' the Sun has of what we're creating and why. Where once we felt excited and passionate about our Path forward, we may now feel drained, and hopelessly mired in the tiny, grinding, daily minutia of bringing our goals to fruition. We may find ourselves going back and forth between the pros and cons of a project or of a smaller task.

Mars may ask us: What are we doing all this for??? Is it really worth the sacrifice of our time and energy? Isn't there something more useful we could be focusing on, instead?? Wouldn't I be better to focus my energy on this?? (Whatever "this" may be.)

And He has a point!

It's okay to trust and engage this process of questioning, even if we fear the sense of ambivalence that accompanies it. If we sit with His questions, Mars Rx will help us gain clarity on how best to focus our time and energy in order to make progress on our long-term goals. We'll better understand where we may be scattering our time and energy, unwisely.

In fact, this greater sense of clarity may lead us to cut whole portions of our plans. As Warren Buffett once said, "The difference between successful and very successful people is that very successful people say NO to almost everything."

Mars Retrograde periods usually force me to realise that if I seriously want to make progress on my goals, I'll need to HALVE what I thought I was capable of getting through. I typically bite off wayyyyy more than I can chew. And then Mars Retrograde periods come along and clip me upside the head to make me get the fact that by saying "Yes" to all of my plans, I'm in fact saying "No" to them. I don't have the time, energy, and resources to follow through on all of them, simultaneously. Thanks for the reality check, Mars Rx. One day it'll sink in, and I won't need the constant reminder. (Maybe??)

Viet Cong Fighter with Landmine

* Further, we may find ourselves unearthing buried anger and memories of old power-battles; memories of being powerless, bullied, attacked, old resentments, bitterness, and frustration ... just like unearthing landmines from long-forgotten wars. This is a priceless gift of the Mars Retrograde season, although it may not feel like it when we find the old landmines.

We'd be wise to work with whatever Mars unearths, so we can let it go and move forward unencumbered. The precious psychic energy we dedicate to 'maintaining' our past enmities could be better spent in the here and now, forging our future.

* We may also find ourselves feeling vulnerable. During Mars Retrograde, it's as though the Warrior has removed his armour and is now inspecting his wounds. Without His armour, those of us who tend to rely on Mars' strength may feel naked, exposed, and more vulnerable than usual over the coming weeks. Be aware of what's happening and lean into it! Be present with it and try not to over-react. And be aware that those around us may be feeling particularly vulnerable and irritable, too. Let's cut everyone some slack.

* Last, but not least, the Mars Retrograde season gives us a prime opportunity to reflect on our personal relationship with Mars. How well do we embody His energy? As my teacher, Austin Coppock, would say, no matter how well we think we engage Mars' might and wisdom, there's always more to learn. Over the coming weeks, we are taking Mars apart and getting to the core of His energy within us. It's an extraordinary opportunity to more fully develop our connection with Mars' energy, that only comes around every two years. Let's make the most of it!

Questions to ponder during Mars Retrograde:

1. Where does my power come from?

2. How do I wield my power?

3. Do I feel confident in going for what I want?

4. How confident do I feel initiating a new project or Path?

5. Do I tend to feel like the hero, the victim/coward, or the aggressor?

6. When do I feel powerless?

7. What is worth fighting for? What's worth devoting my time & energy to?

8. What drives me? Motivates me? What's my passion?

9. How can I best assert myself? Am I passive, assertive, or aggressive?

10. What am I willing to fight for, to protect?

11. How do I handle my anger? Do I bury it; displace it; or express it well?

12. Is there an area of life where I haven't stepped into the ring, yet?

13. Am I willing to compete for what I want?

14. Is there an area of life where I let people bulldoze me? Or where I bulldoze others?

15. Am I weak-willed? Or do I have an iron will? How can I sharpen my willpower?

16. When, how, and why do I struggle?

17. Am I willing to engage in conflict to protect myself, my Path, and those in my care?

Let's get to know our inner Warrior while He's resting . . . If any deep insights arise for you about your relationship with Mars, I'd encourage you to take the time to stop, listen, and integrate whatever awakens.

Potential Unrest and Atrocities During Mars Rx

This is not a 'fun' aspect of Mars Retrograde to consider, but here we go.

Mars can be a highly volatile and potentially dangerous energy at times. That's why society tends to place lots of rules around Mars' domains. For example, boxing. You want to box someone? Okay. Let's put soft pillows on your hands, and have lots of rules about the timing of bouts and where it's okay and not okay to punch. Eg: Not below the belt! War? Most countries have rules of engagement, and rules for how they'll treat prisoners of war, etc. Even though horrific things can happen with these rules in place, imagine what it would be like with no rules. Society seems to understand that we need suitable restrictions in place to govern and contain Mars' energy.

Having said that . . .

During Mars Retrograde, the boxing gloves tend to come off, and the rules of engagement can be overlooked. Notions of power and powerlessness can really raise their heads during this period. Without wanting to fear monger, it will be worth paying attention to evolving situations in Ukraine, in Taiwan, in Afghanistan, and in Myanmar, for example.

Composite image from NASA of Mars' movement through His Retrograde Cycle.
NASA image: Mars' Retrograde Path through the Sky

Random Aside

Before we go any further, I'd like to quickly clarify something. The idea that Mars is retrograding through the skies above refers to His "apparent motion" from our perspective here on Earth. In reality, planets never stop moving forward.

Working with Your Astrology Chart

To see which areas of life are most likely to be impacted by this Mars Rx season, I invite you to check four Houses in your astrology chart. Firstly, consider the placement of Mars in your natal chart. Then consider those Houses that are ruled by Aries and Scorpio. Why? Because Mars traditionally rules both of these signs, and so His movements through the Heavens always directly impacts those Houses. And finally, check to see which House is ruled by Gemini, as this is where Mars will actually be retrograding over the coming months.

Key Dates

Check your journals, calendars, & social media posts

If you're anything like me, you'll want to check what is going on in your world on the relevant dates of this retrograde cycle. It helps us stay in sync with the conversation that Life is trying to have with us. So, here are the Key Dates to check in your journals, calendar, and social media posts etc.

1. The previous time Mars retrograded in Gemini was in early 2007.

For those who are curious, the exact Retrograde dates for 2007 (ie: Phase 2 of the greater cycle) were from 15 November, 2007 (12° 27' Cancer) to 31 January, 2008 (24° 04' Gemini). Mars then turned Direct and returned to 12° 27' Cancer on 5 April, 2008.

I invite you to check through your journals and calendars etc. Think back to what you were doing in late 2007. What stands out for you? Somehow, this year's Mars Retrograde will be touching back on our former story line from that time. Perhaps memories of old buried anger, bitterness, and powerlessness will surface? Hopefully, this retrograde season will bring a sense of resolution to wounds that may have been festering all these years. What's the connection between now and then?? Can you see it?

2. The Sun Mars conjunction that initiated our current Mars cycle was on 8 October, 2021. This is when our inner Warrior (Mars) received His marching orders from the King (the Sun) for His current two-year cycle. Do you remember what those orders were??

Again, look back in your journals, social media posts, photos etc. What were your dreams & visions for the future, nigh on a year ago? What was gnawing at you? What was frustrating you? Exciting you?? What was demanding your attention? Can you see a thread or a connection between what was happening in your world back on 8 October, 2021 and now? Try to think archetypally or symbolically rather than just literally.

3. Mars enters Shadow (Phase 1) of our current retrograde cycle on 4 September, 2022. From then until 30 October, 2022, Mars will travel all the way from 8° 07' Gemini to 25° 36' Gemini. This will be Mars' first journey through these degrees. This 1st Phase of the cycle usually gives us our itinerary, so to speak, for what is to come. So, it's worth paying attention and taking some notes in preparation.

4. The official Retrograde period (Phase 2) of Mars' Retrograde season, will span from 31 October, 2022 to 13 January, 2023. During this time, Mars will journey all the way back to 8° 07' Gemini - i.e. where He will be on 4 September, 2022. This will be His second pass over this same terrain.

Pay attention to the ideas and events that occur in your world during the week leading up to 31 October, 2022. As Mars slows down to Station Retrograde on that day, we'll typically receive deep insights into the personal reason why Mars needs to turn around and venture backwards in our charts. What needs attending to before He can then continue on His way around our chart?

5. The 3rd and final Phase (Shadow) will begin on 13 January, 2023, when Mars Stations Direct at 8° 07' Gemini. For the third and final time, Mars will traverse the same 17 degrees, reaching 25° 36' Gemini (yet again) on 16 March, 2023.

And that's it.

He'll be done for another Retrograde Cycle.

Once He's completed this cycle, He'll simply continue on His way around the zodiac until the next retrograde season in two years time.

What Did You Notice?

Pay attention to these dates over the coming months. Do you notice a thread connecting all of these Key Dates?? Did the Key Questions above help you to reflect on your inner alignment with Mars?

I truly hope this has been helpful.

I'd love to hear how the season impacts you. Feel free to reach out via email, or to leave a comment below! Please share the article with your circle, if you think it may serve others. And if you have any questions, please contact me! I'd love to hear from you.

Blessings for our Mars Retrograde journey, 2022!


Juliette xo

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