The Astrology of 2022: Mars Retrograde in Gemini
Mars is the next planet in my 2022 forecast series is Mars. This is a retrograde year for Mars: it takes Mars about two years to orbit the Sun, and every other year we get a Mars retrograde. These retrogrades last for several months if you include the shadow period on each side.
The other big events for Mars this year are conjunctions with the outer planets, which includes when he conjoins Saturn and Uranus – thus triggering the ongoing Saturn-Uranus square.
Mars conjoins Pluto in Capricorn on March 3, 2022. Venus is also conjunct both of them on the same day – all of them at 27 Capricorn. This is yet another punctuation note on the heavy Capricornian transformations that Pluto has been undertaking since 2008. Adding Mars into the mix is likely to accelerate some of the events related to this.
Capricorn represents our structures of government, business and finance, so watch for some big news about transformations in these areas around this time. March 3 is actually quite the day to watch for big news, as it has a set of three different conjunctions involving all of the planets except Uranus in Taurus. There’s Mars-Venus-Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn-Mercury in Aquarius and Sun-Jupiter-Moon-Neptune in Pisces. That Pisces stellium is really supportive, and it is sextile Mars-Venus-Pluto in Capricorn, so maybe the news will be positive, for a change.
Mars conjoins Saturn in Aquarius on April 4, pouring some gasoline onto that Saturn-Uranus square. This will emphasize the Saturnian half of that duo, so this is a time where we may tend to see another push for Saturn to restore/impose order over unruly Uranus. Look for tightening of rules and boundaries of all kinds, including around borders, public health, finance and real estate/housing.
Venus is included in this conjunction too, so I’m hoping she will bring some temperance and fair judgment to these orders – but it’s possible she might get steamrolled, too. Jupiter is almost exactly conjunct Neptune at the same time, which is interesting and would be fairly auspicious in and of itself, but in this case might serve a dose of illusion (or disillusion) into the proceedings. Mercury being combust at the same time doesn’t help, as it might obscure some useful information.
Mars conjoins Neptune in Pisces on May 18. If Neptune represents both dreams and illusions, Mars conjoining him might serve as an abrupt reality check. In the context of financial astrology, I’ve heard this described as popping a bubble – so if any bubbles have built up around then (such as real estate, tech stocks or cryptocurrency), brace yourself for a potential sell-off at this time. Then again, Neptune is also tied to inflation and Mars entering the picture might throw even more gas on that.
Either way, I’m expecting this period to be pretty rocky in the financial realm, especially because Jupiter (the ruler of Pisces) has just ingressed fiery Aries – Mars’ sign – at this time. That puts Mars and Jupiter in mutual reception, which is beneficial, and hopefully the two will work together on whatever excitement Mars wants to bring with his Neptune conjunction.
The next big Mars transit is when he conjoins Uranus on August 1. This triggers the Saturn-Uranus square again, only this time from Uranus’ half. Both Mars and Uranus are also exactly conjunct the North Node at this time too, which might give us a bit of a preview for what to expect during eclipse season later this year (more on that below).
Mars conjoining Uranus may accelerate the Uranian disruptions that have been constantly challenging Saturn for the last year. Watch for more unexpected and disruptive events to occur, particularly in the realm of food, finance and land, which will have Saturn scrambling to try to contain the chaos and impose order again. If I had to pick a time for land-based natural disasters like earthquakes or mud slides, this would be a top contender.
And now we get to Mars retrograde. The warrior planet gives us a spooky Halloween retrograde station on October 31 at 25 Gemini. Mars will spend the next five months in Gemini – he stations direct on January 13, 2023 and doesn’t leave Gemini until March 25, 2023.
Mars doesn’t have any particular dignity in Gemini, except for some dignity by face in the second decan (from 11 to 20 degrees); but he doesn’t have any significant debility either.
The good news about this retrograde is that it’s averse Taurus, where Uranus is, and trine Aquarius, where Saturn is. This is a nice relief from the hard Mars-Saturn-Uranus aspects we had throughout 2021 and in the first part of 2022.
Mars being retrograde in Gemini means that we are likely to have more intellectual, airy expressions of aggression/passive aggression and action/inaction over the next few months. Cyber attacks or other major hacks, in particular, come to mind as a pretty literal expression.
Mars retrogrades are times when the usual rules of combat might not apply. Fighters may play dirty, or give up entirely without even fighting at all. This can be both metaphoric and literal.
Mars is also Out of Bounds (OOB) the entire time. OOB means that the planet is outside the ecliptic, which is the Sun’s apparent path around the Earth, running from 23.4 degrees North and South. All the planets travel within the ecliptic, though occasionally some of them edge outside this boundary. The Moon does this the most, but all of the other planets do it occasionally. Mars is OOB about 10-15% of the time, so it’s not super rare – but it’s definitely a double whammy when it falls during the Mars retrograde cycle.
Planets that are OOB tend to express themselves in more unusual, odd, irrational or inappropriate ways. So, when a planet is both retrograde and OOB, such as Mars will be for the last part of 2022, we are more likely to see strange or inexplicable manifestations of this energy.
Pay close attention to Mercury during the Mars retrograde period, because Mercury rules Gemini and therefore will have a very big role to play in how this Mars retrograde plays out. At the start of the retrograde, Mercury is in Scorpio – this puts Mercury and Mars in mutual reception with one another, which is actually really beneficial and will hopefully keep things on an even keel as we ease into the retrograde and start figuring out what it’s all about.
Things are even more complicated with this Mars retrograde given that it falls within eclipse season. Specifically, it starts within the bardo period between eclipses – we get a solar eclipse on October 25, then Mars stations retrograde on October 31, and then we get a lunar eclipse on November 8.
This latter eclipse, in particular, will really affect/be affected by the Mars retrograde, because Mars rules the Mercury-Sun-Venus in Scorpio conjunction occurring during the eclipse. The Moon is also exactly conjunct Uranus in Taurus too. This is a pretty wild night for space weather, and honestly I have no idea how it might play out – I’ll be doing some extra prayers that night.
The end of Mars retrograde – and 2022 – is likely to be rougher than the start, as Mercury stations retrograde (in Capricorn) at the very end of the year, on December 29. That means Mars is retrograde in Mercury’s sign, and Mercury is also retrograde at the same time. This is likely to cause all manner of confusion and crossed signals. Capricorn and Gemini are averse, meaning the planets in them can’t communicate with each other, so there’s no way for them to sort things out for while. This will be more of a problem in 2023, but it’s worth knowing that this will happen right at the end of 2022 and will be present as we go into the next year.
But for now, just know that this Mars retrograde may intensify as it progresses. How this Mars retrograde plays out in your own life will be determined by your own chart, as always. Look at Gemini and what house that is for you, what planets you might have there, and especially where Mercury is in your chart. Finally, be mindful of your energy levels during the retrograde – guard against manic bursts of activity (although these can be great for getting stuff done), but be aware you might be more lethargic too.
In the context of mundane astrology, this Mars retrograde in Gemini has significant implications on the US in particular. Mars was in Gemini when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Gemini is the US’s seventh house of foreign affairs. Let’s hope they don’t start a war with anyone.
In Canada’s chart, Gemini is Canada’s third house containing Canada’s natal Venus and Moon, so this implies some events concerning our neighbouring nations (so again, probably big things for the US) and communications/news (which will be all about whatever the US is doing, as usual).