Mars retrograde 2022 is here and slowing things down

Thank Mars retrograde 2022 for the drowsiness and yawns

mars in retrograde 2022 feature, mars retrograde 2022; an astronaut on mars on a colorful background
(Image credit: Future)

If you thought Mercury had a bad rep, Mars retrograde 2022 can certainly top it.

After a two-year hiatus, the infrequent event surfaced in our October astrology events calendar to shake things up, or rather, slow them down.

"It's my least favorite [retrograde]," astrologer Narayana Montúfar says of the transit. "Mars rules your drive and energy. You can't function at your best." 

While we're bound to feel a little bit sluggish and might not be at the absolute top of our game (see how Mars retrograde will affect your zodiac sign, by the way), the planet's backward motion actually offers a few learning opportunities. Consider them astrology gifts from Mars itself, even if they don't necessarily feel that way.

Headshot of astrologer Narayana Montufar
Meet the expert: Narayana Montúfar

Narayana Montúfar is an astrologer and an expert in the astrological studies of the Moon and the author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. She was one of’s Authority Magazine 2020’s Strong Female Leaders and one of Vogue’s 13 Astrologers to Follow in 2021.

When is Mars retrograde 2022?

  • When: October 30, 2022 to January 12, 2023

Right before the spookiest day of the year, Mars went retrograde, all while you were streaming your favorite Halloween movies. It will remain this way almost two weeks into the new year, colliding with Mercury retrograde's final antics of the year (which also spill into 2023). As you can see from our 2023 horoscope, we're off to a slow start in January before the cosmos take a "powerful" turn.

"This retrograde occurs in Gemini, a sign associated with versatility, mental alertness, quickness of perception, deductive reasoning and flexibility," says astrologer Desiree Roby Antila. "Since Mars controls action, aggression, and desire, its retrograde period can leave everyone feeling frustrated and adrift."

In technical terms, Antila says the planet will start its retrograde at 25° Gemini and back up through the multifaceted sign of the twins for over two months. Considering it's an energy we're not quite used to—and it's overstaying its welcome to boot—we can definitely expect to feel the effects.

Mars rules passion, intimacy and aggression, so we can count on a slowdown in those particular areas of our lives. But now that you're aware, perhaps you can beat the planet to the punch. We're not tired, thankyouverymuch, Mars!

Meet the expert: Desiree Roby Antila

Desiree Roby Antila, author of Sun Signs in Love, specializes in sun signs and astrological relationships. She has been studying astrology for several decades and has written numerous articles on matchmaking, cosmic timing, forecasts, and more. Desiree also teaches astrology classes in her local community and has conducted hundreds of natal chart and synastry readings. Visit her online at / @simplysunsigns.

If you were starting to fret, know that a few other astrological happenings are bound to make Mars retrograde feel a little less daunting, particularly Jupiter direct 2022, which happened on November 23 and will stay that way for roughly four months.

"Jupiter direct in Pisces teaches you the importance of inner connection, self-care, pleasure and the power of a positive mindset," Ivana Naskova, an astrologer for Nebula previously told My Imperfect Life. "Under this influence, you get inspired and driven to work on your creative pursuits."

Sure you might feel a little lethargic, but you're still going to feel inspired!

Mars retrograde meaning in astrology

Astrologically, Mars retrograde refers to a period when it appears as if Mars is moving backward in its orbit around the sun. However, it's basically an optical illusion—Mars is still moving forward, but it only seems to change direction due to our vantage point on Earth. (Sneaky!)

Spiritually and astrologically, however, Mars retrograde can mean a lack of forward movement in your own life, whether personally or professionally. You may experience feelings of stagnation, lethargy and low motivation during this period, but never fear! We've got some guidance on how to use this slowing down for good in your life. 

Mars retrograde tips: how to overcome it

Although we've acknowledged that the overall vibe is not ideal, this slower-than-usual pace offers a good time for reflection. Antila insists that the "re" in retrogrades is most important. 

"Mars retrograde can be a useful time for introspection, for slowing down, for reassessing your desires and your approach," she says. "Mars retrograde can give you doubts in areas you were so sure of and make you question goals you’ve been working toward."

If you're feeling a bit on the fence about certain things, take it easy and review whatever lies before you. There's no need to rush into a decision. Don't let Mars make you second guess your gut decisions.

Then, towards the end of the year and early into next, Mars retrograde will coincide with Mercury retrograde 2022 and 2023, and those communication themes might come to light as well.

"Because it’s happening in Gemini, it can be a particularly good time to rethink and reassess the ways you think and communicate, especially around the theme of the house that Gemini rules in your chart," Antila says. 

Perhaps the biggest takeaway of all? Move! Whether you're signing up for a yoga class or gathering your friends for a walk around the neighborhood, the best way to combat any negative effects of Mars is to stay active.

"When there is frustration, Mars' reaction is to do something physical," she adds. 

Though the weather is dropping, don't let that be your excuse to hibernate—don't let Mars give you a free pass! 

Be sure to have a look at the other 2022 retrogrades so that you're on top of all the celestial beings and what they rule. And remember, there's no need to stress about any astrology event—you have the power to face whatever the universe throws our way.

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Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.