Mars' October Retrograde Promises To Bring The Drama

The year may be winding toward a close, but the stars are just heating up. After a relatively rocky Virgo season, Libra season is full of new beginnings and much-needed personal changes. This month, several planets will make key connections with one another and this alignment of energy promises to clear the air once and for all. "This October, prepare for A LOT of retrograde action as Mercury, Pluto, and Saturn retrograde will end. At the end of the month, Mars retrograde in Gemini will begin, causing a shift in your motivation, energy, and social interactions," astrologer Jupiter Jewel shares on Twitter. And the biggest cosmic shift of them all arrives at the end of the month – when Mars, the planet of ambition, passion, impulses, and aggression – stations retrograde and begins its seven-month detour in the sign of Gemini.

You can expect unusual challenges during a planetary retrograde. And this month's Mars in Gemini retrograde will usher in a period of curiosity, confusion, and possible conflict. When Mars crosses paths with the free-spirited and mutable energy Gemini is famous for, it can lead to feelings of restlessness and cause trouble with focusing on what matters (via In fact, this particular transit is famous for bringing up pent-up frustration and aggression when there's no clear outlet for Mars' relentless and aggressive energy. So, it's important to understand how this transit will influence your chart and how you can navigate this confounding cosmic event effectively.

What does Mars retrograde mean in Astrology?

Although it's lesser known than the infamous Mercury retrograde, Mars retrograde can still pack quite a punch. Each planet in your birth chart — other than the sun and moon — experiences retrograde motion and brings its own unique energy, per Time Magazine. A retrograde turns that energy inward and slows it down long enough for you to see things from a new perspective. During Mars retrograde, you should focus on finding new ways to channel your energy and be more open to taking alternative routes toward achieving your goals. The weeks leading up to Mars stationing retrograde will feel like they're unfolding in slow motion. So, make the most of the time leading up to it and finish your to-do list now.

While Mars in Gemini is infamous for sparking social conflicts, grudge matches, and digging up old drama, there are some positive sides to Mars in retrograde as well. In his book "Karmic Astrology: Retrogrades and Reincarnation," astrologer Martin Schulman explains how Mars in Gemini adds an element of deep soul exploration when influenced by retrograde motion. Schulman explains that Mars retrograde in Gemini transits can be felt in three distinct phases. The first is when passion and possibility feel nearly endless, the second is when frustrations and old issues threaten to derail progress, and the third is when perseverance is ultimately rewarded. So, the next time you think about firing off a passive-aggressive post on the timeline, consider pouring that energy into a hobby instead.

How long does Mars Retrograde last?

Mars retrograde occurs about every two years, lasting for a brief and intense two-and-a-half-month period. Of all the personal planets, Mars retrogrades the least (via NASA), which is probably why it causes such a fuss when it does. This year, Mars will station retrograde on October 30, 2022, and it will last until January 12, 2023, with the post-retrograde shadow causing the energy to linger until March 15, 2023 (via On a personal level, Mars retrogrades are not times for accomplishing goals or making concrete plans, but for observing, tinkering, and taking your time rather than acting on instinct.

Mars is an action planet that rules the energy an individual uses to maintain themselves in the face of pressure presented by the external world. When Mars experiences a major transit, your ego is likely to absorb and adapt that planet's energy. According to astrologer Robert Hand, this crisis of self-identity can lead many people to lash out in frustration. "You will try to establish your individuality toward others through the issues related to that planet. This can result in conflicts with others if the energy gets too strong or encounters serious resistance from others," Hand explains (via "Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living"). Change comes slowly and then all at once with this transit and you can expect to uncover many hidden truths to help you make the right choices moving forward.

What kind of drama will Mars retrograde dish out?

Retrogrades allow you the chance to review your current path and see which areas of your life may need re-evaluating. When Mars goes retrograde it can bring about situations that challenge you to reevaluate your drive, ambition, and focus. As astrologer Samylda Danielle shares on Twitter, Mars retrograde in Gemini will bring lessons regarding how you express frustration, handle conflict, and communicate with directness. When Mars is retrograde in Gemini, you may be prone to expressing your pent-up aggression in all the wrong ways. And this month, Mars will go retrograde just days after two planets — Saturn and Pluto — station direct, signaling that the universe wants you to pause before acting on impulse.

Major cosmic events like this one influence the collective whole differently, and each of the zodiac signs will deal with different drama courtesy of Mars Retrograde. This retrograde will be most intense for the mutable signs: Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Gemini. You'll feel the most fired up and rowdy during this time, so really take the time to think before you act or speak. Although it'll be a challenge, Mars retrograde promises to help fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — get their finances together and save some serious cash. And finally, after a tough first half of the year, Mars retrograde will bring some much-needed healing vibes to the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn (via Jessica Adams).