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What does Mars retrograde actually mean? Here’s what you can expect

Mars retrograde is known to make people feel lethargic, passive and tense — and it starts up again soon.
A mosaic of the Schiaparelli Hemisphere of the planet Mars, showing the Schiaparelli Crater, circa 1980.Space Frontiers / Getty Images

Within astrology, the planet Mars is associated with action, energy, sex and temperaments. Look at the placement of Mars in your natal chart, and gain insight about how you fight, argue and use our combative nature in sports or wars.

Mars brings our passions and desires out to play — so when the planet moves retrograde, like it's about to, we can expect the opposite to happen.

Like the notorious (and long-lasting) Mercury retrograde and other planetary retrogrades, Mars retrograde is an optical illusion, though astrologers believe the transit has an impact on our lives.

Retrogrades occur due to differences in planets' orbital speeds. During Mars retrograde, Earth appears to overtake Mars in its orbit around the sun. Mars appears to slow down and move away from Earth. Remember, though: Mars only seems to change direction because of our vantage point from the blue planet. It's still moving forward in its orbit.

Now that we got that astronomy out of the way, let's move on to the meaning of Mars retrograde, and what to expect from the upcoming transit.

What are the effects of Mars retrograde?

Watch out: Mars retrograde is known to make people feel lethargic, passive and tense. During this time, you may struggle release tension and relieve stress.

Without an outlet, frustrations boil over. Be aware of repressed sentiments. Try walk regularly and journal to keep temper tantrums at bay. It's not you, it's the retrograde.

What are the dates of the next Mars retrograde?

Mars retrograde happens about every two years, according to NASA.

On Oct. 30, Mars begins its planetary moonwalk in the zodiac sign Gemini, spanning until Jan. 12, 2023.

Since Gemini is associated with communication, people may use words to hurt to wound others during this time, or feel unable to speak their minds. Responses to emails and texts will slow down, while travel will bring annoyances and aggression out to play. Translation? Watch out for moments of road rage.

How to manage Mars retrograde

The trick to maintaining a good vibe during Mars retrograde is to implement self-care. Permission to indulge, granted.

Some ideas? Sleep in, take a walk when needed, relax in a bath to find peace of mind and don’t pressure yourself to do more than you can. Remember to move at your own pace.

Most importantly, think before responding. Put your higher mind in the driver's seat, not Mars retrograde.

How the next Mars retrograde will affect your Sun sign


You may find yourself being more passive than ever, mostly due to the fact that you are trying to avoid confrontation and arguments with others now. There could be moments in the next several months where you dip into your dreamworld in an effort to steer clear of any drama.


With new endeavors comes the promise of financial success. But you may be waiting to feel stable. This may be due to Mars’ planetary moonwalk causing delays by temporarily putting a purge on your assets and spending.


You may find it challenging get things started and get things finished at this time. Instead of trying to rush through projects, complete them at your own pace. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Have patience with yourself in the weeks ahead.


This is a moment of reflection. You'll find yourself contemplating your deepest desires, and needs. You may find want to escape the mundane and fantasize about the future. Dream away, as long as you don’t forget your daily responsibilities.


Stand up for yourself. Actually, do it the Leo way, and let out the inner "roar." You have done the work to prove yourself. Now it’s time to get the respect — or the paycheck — you deserve.


The uncertain and foggy influence of Mars retrograde running through the career sector of your chart will make you reassess your professional aspirations. This could lead you towards embracing several humanitarian causes and helping others. The end result will lead you to implementing philanthropy into the work that you do.


Stop putting all of your eggs in one basket. Diversify your time, relationships, investments and interests. By keeping a broad perspective, you can totally ensure that personal matters like your bank account or personal partnerships are protected — plus, it will give you more autonomy and freedom as a result.


Old debts are resurfacing, causing your finances to hit the rocks. Try to live on a budget and don’t max out your credit cards. Sales are your friend during Mars retrograde.


The past pay be present when it comes to your love life. Be prepared to hear from an ex, or want to reach out to one yourself. This could bring a lot of unresolved emotions to the surface. Before you reach out or respond, decide if you want to reignite an old flame or restart a renaissance of your past relationship. Move forward with caution. Don’t act impulsively.


Power struggles are flaring up within your intimate relationships. In order to avoid arguments from brewing, try to have open and honest conversations. Instead of playing games, be direct with those you care about to gain the clarity and understanding you need to move forward in a healthy way within the partnership.


You haven’t seen your friends in a while, which is making you yearn for one-on-one time with them. The reason being is that you’ve gotten too wrapped up in your own life that you forgot to check in. Don’t be a stranger and plan a fun get together with them.


In order to avoid physical and mental burn out, find balance in your life. Before you take on too many tasks and sign up for extra activities, make sure that you have the bandwidth for everything. No matter how busy you get, make time for fun.

Disclaimer: Astrology is not based in science. These posts are not intended to act as a directive.