Mars Retrograde Is Your Excuse to Chill for the Rest of the Year

Here's what your zodiac sign can expect for the next two-and-half months months, according to an astrologer.

Mars Retrograde Is Your Excuse to Chill for the Rest of the Year


Just a few short weeks after kissing yet another Mercury retrograde goodbye, it’s time to hunker down and prepare for Mars to begin its latest backspin. From October 30 to January 12, the planet that rules action, energy, anger, and sex, will appear to move backward from our vantage point on Earth for two to two-and-half months for the first time since late 2020.

While you’re probably pretty familiar with the vibe of a Mercury retrograde — because it happens three to four times per year — Mars retrogrades only happen every couple of years, or 26 months to be exact. (The last time was September 19 to November 13, 2020.) And given the infrequency of these phases, it’s normal to find yourself wondering what fresh hell this phase will bring. 

This particular slowdown phase can affect your motivation, libido, and energy level. You could feel stuck, uninspired, or just finding it tougher to build momentum in the area of life Mars is affecting for you (more on that in a moment). And anger that would usually be projected outward could come out in a more passive-aggressive or internalized way during a Mars retrograde. 

Scroll past any social media posts that make you feel like you need to do the most before 2022 is out. Because as far as astrology is considered, this year’s finale is actually more about stepping up self-care and getting even more discriminating with how you’re exerting your energy. 

If that sounds like a gigantic headache, take heart: Every retrograde, including this one, is about turning inward to review and refresh the ways you’re doing the work of the planet in question. So Mars retrogrades present a chance to explore how you handle anger and to address underlying tensions in a more conscious, reflective way than you would if the aggressive planet was at full strength. You may also gain clarity around the ways in which you’ve been exerting your energy and taking action. And while a compromised Mars can take a toll on sex drives, its retrogrades present an opportunity to nurture the connections among your spirituality, headspace, and physical desire. 

And it bears noting that your headspace and mental energy are even more in play this time around, because Mars will be retrograde in cerebral Gemini. You might want to revisit previously loved intellectually-stimulating activities — like games, journaling, working with a mentor, or tackling a creative project with friends. Yet with Mars moving back through the mutable air sign, known for its superior multitasking ability but also scattered thoughts and indecisiveness, you’re more apt to allow yourself to be pulled in a variety of directions or to get thrown off-track by seemingly cool ideas that, well, go nowhere fast. But it’s possible to use the reflective energy of the next few months to set yourself up for improved communication, connection, and learning — all Gemini-ruled subjects — going forward. 

There are plenty of ways to make Mars retrograde work for you. The first step? Scroll past any social media posts that make you feel like you need to do the most before 2022 is out. Because as far as astrology is considered, this year’s finale is actually more about stepping up self-care and getting even more discriminating with how you’re exerting your energy. 

Here, how this particular transit will affect you, based on your sign. (Pro-tip: Be sure to read both your sun and your rising sign, if you know it. If you don't, you can find it on your natal chart or via this CafeAstrology calculator.) 


Thanks to your ruler, Mars, moving backward through your communication zone, you may be compelled to talk through emotional issues with friends but find it’s harder than usual to be direct. In fact, plans, ideas, brainstorms, and pretty much any interaction with your social circle might feel tough to get a grip on during this period, because you’re bound to be more easily distracted and scattered. Doing your best to go with the flow and see where moments lead versus trying to steer the ship will serve you best. 


Mars’ retrograde happens in your money zone, encouraging you to be more conscious about how you’re exerting yourself to bring in cash. As the fixed earth sign, you likely have set routines, clients, projects, or an investment portfolio that’s been established for quite some time, and now you can figure out whether it’s best to stick to your tried-and-true path or explore a new approach. And while you’re usually anything but impulsive with your finances, when in doubt, save versus spend, as your motivation to hit the gas on income-boosting endeavors might not be as high as usual.  


Mars will be retrograde in your sign and self sector, which could make you feel like you’re lacking that clear runway for getting passion projects off the ground. Whether you’re low on energy, missing a clear, concrete vision, or meeting obstacles, you might feel frustrated by this slowdown. The silver lining is that this is a chance to ask yourself what you really want and what’s actually worth the struggle. And you’ll find that by going slow, being extra intentional, and leaning on innate talents — to connect, communicate, and tap into curiosity — brings you the results you’ve been hoping for.


The planet of action will be retrograde in your spirituality zone, which can make for a super-sleepy next couple of months. You might have a lot of ideas, perhaps spurred by vivid dreams and imaginative conversations with loved ones or therapy sessions, but find it challenging to come up with a game plan for moving the ball forward. Instead of feeling pressured to act, allow yourself to play, knowing that you’ll have more clarity and energy in the new year.  


This retrograde falls in your networking and long-term wishes sector, which means that group endeavors — perhaps interwoven with a goal you’ve had your eye on for years now — might be slower to come together than they would otherwise. You might wish you felt more connected to colleagues and friends, especially those who are working with you toward the same endgame, and you could get rather feisty when wires cross. Remember this is a chance to go inward and reflect on how you show up as a team player. Self-reflection on this subject will lead to more solid results — and camaraderie — down the road.


The planet of action and energy will be moving backward in your career zone, potentially slowing down momentum on professional goals. You might be feeling more competitive than usual, as you’re chomping at the bit to earn recognition, rewards, or just a shot at the spotlight for your hard work. But keeping your cool and reminding yourself that you can only control so much is probably your best bet. Channel any frenetic energy into brushing up your skill set or working with a mentor, and you could come up with a new perspective on success.


Being so conflict-averse, you might actually like the fact that Mars retrograde moves anger out of plain view, but it’s still there, showing up as the undercurrent during this time, and for you, that’s happening in your adventure and higher learning sector. You could be frustrated — and end up behaving in a passive-aggressive way — if you feel like you’re being held back from learning and pursuing personal growth at the pace you’re accustomed to. But this period is also a chance to reframe your goals and think of ways forward that are truly outside of your comfort zone. And the more you can focus on the big picture versus the minor details, the more successful you’ll be. 


With Mars as one of your co-rulers, you can’t help but feel its retrogrades a bit more than others, and this time around, it’s affecting your intimate relationships and joint resources zone. As you know — being the sign that’s associated with this house — this is complex territory, and Mars’ backspin here could curb your ability to gain traction on ambitious financial goals (like a business loan) or fantasies you share with someone special. But it is a moment in which you can revisit and reassess existing strategies, step up self-work, and lean on your closest loved ones for comfort and support. 


With Mars retrograde in your partnership zone, it’ll be more challenging than usual to feel like you’re making progress on one-on-one endeavors. You could find yourself second-guessing yourself and a friend, colleague, lover, and then potentially butting heads because you’re so in your head. Over-communicating can preempt some of this drama, but you’ll also do well to give yourself credit for showing up. Partnership takes work, and as long as you’re willing to pull your weight, you — and your other half — are going to be just fine.


This Mars retrograde’s happening in your health and routine zone, which could make it tougher to stick to that daily schedule you generally live and die by. It’s time to loosen your grip on how you’ve structured your hustle, because you’ll just be too damn stressed out otherwise. At the same time, this period offers a chance to prioritize self-care over going so hard with your fitness and/or work. Catch up on those doctors appointments, research that specialist you’ve been wanting to see, add in more acupuncture or yoga, and take heart that even if you feel like you’re phoning it in, you’re probably still doing the most.


As the fixed air sign, you tend to find activities you adore and then stick with them forever and ever, amen. But with Mars retrograde in your romance and self-expression sector, you’ll be nudged to embrace a more scattered approach to creative projects and love. Maybe you’ve always loved writing poetry, but during this phase, you’re compelled to experiment with watercolors to express what’s in your heart. Or that usual group hang game night with your S.O. just isn’t coming together right now, so you opt for a virtual cooking class instead. Impromptu pivots bolster positivity.  


Mars will be retrograde in your home zone, which could stir up underlying tensions with loved ones and in your home. Putting anger into words is pretty much the last thing you want to do, but making an effort to talk it out can go a long way to clearing up confusion that could be abounding right now, thanks to Mars’ agitating square to illusion-boosting Neptune in your sign. And when in doubt, take a step back to focus on your own, inner, emotional needs. Consider extra check-ins with your therapist, more meditation, or writing out letters that allow you to compose your thoughts before you share them with a family member.

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