Hey, star-gazers! Have you heard about the major Mars transit that we’re going to be feeling into the New Year? If not, stick with this post to learn everything you need to know to prepare for this year’s Mars Retrograde and 2023’s Mars Direct station!
Mars’ Path through the Sky
Mars is going to spend a lot of time in Gemini between this year and next, from August 20 to March 24, 2023. It will finally enter Cancer on March 25, 2023, where it will be in the place of fall (that’s a position of debility for Mars, where it struggles), so expect challenges next year arising from the choices we make over the red planet’s sojourn through Gemini now.
To maximize this discussion, let’s cover some basic astrological theory about planetary cycles.
A synodic cycle is just a fancy term for a planet’s transit from one conjunction with the Sun to the next. However, we can evaluate any planetary cycle, for example, Mars-Venus cycles for relationships or Saturn-Uranus cycles for large-scale structural changes.
When we talk about Mars’ “synodic cycle,” however, we mean the relationship that it forms with the Sun — the proxy in our charts for our ego selves, our life path and destiny, and where we feel directed in this lifetime — and, as with most planetary cycles, we base our evaluative criteria on the template of the eight-fold lunation cycle.
The Lunation Cycle in a Nutshell
The lunation cycle occurs from the New Moon to the Balsamic Moon, with the initial half of the cycle up to the Full Moon being all about the increase of light.
It concerns the initial seed moment at the New Moon — or the conjunction with the Sun — then, as it undergoes its waxing cycle, the critical aspects it forms correspond to certain archetypal events in our lives, such as the first crisis moment at the opening square, or the culmination of action at the Full Moon where some pivotal understanding is reached.
The second-half of the cycle, when the light is decreasing or waning, is all about disseminating and integrating knowledge. It includes a closing crisis moment, a consolidation of new structures, and a processing and internalizing of new information and ways of being.
This is the essential template for all planetary cycles — just the periods of time differ as the Moon takes just shy of a month from one conjunction with the Sun to the next, while Mercury takes roughly 116 days, Mars just over two years, and so forth. From the initiating “New Moon” phase, to the opening and closing squares containing the so-called crisis points, to the opposition, representing a major period of culmination, a turning point, or a time where a critical choice has to be made, each synodic cycle contains elements of growth and restriction, opportunities and obstacles that need to be overcome for personal growth and development.
Mars’ Synodic Cycle
You’ll see that the major cycles began in the areas shaded purple below— when Mars becomes a morning star, and is in the heart of the Sun. This is when it’s going through a metaphorical rebirth, initiating the analogous New Moon phase.
The current cycle began on October 8, 2021 in the sign of Libra.
The sign that the conjunction between Mars and the Sun took place in colours the entire transit.
If we think about Venus-ruled Libra, then this transit could very well have us considering our romantic relationships or friendships; how we balance work and play; our values; or the role of luxury, pleasure and beauty in our lives.
It might have seen us initiating new partnerships, or cutting people out of our lives, because Mars can also be quite a slashing and excising energy.
Alternatively, we might have been drastically reconsidering the role of pleasure, creativity, and sensuality in our lives, but perhaps with more of a cerebral spin, given that Libra is an air sign.
More specific to our own individual charts, the house that Libra rules will help narrow down and discretely pinpoint the topics that this transit would have you deal with. Any aspects that natal planets make to the Sun or Mars will also flesh out the storyline and, of course, your natal Mars would also be activated by this transit, so look to any planets that might be at 15 degrees in your birth chart to understand what area of life was also triggered and what kind of aspect is being made. This will help describe the quality of the experience you might have with this Mars transit.
You will also want to think about how this topic was activated back in 2006 when Mars and the Sun were conjunct in Libra. For those old enough to remember 1989, look to that year as well. This is going to signal the larger cyclical nature of this transit for you.
Now, because Mars has a wonky and irregular orbital path, the conjunctions with Libra won’t automatically match up with a corresponding opposition in Gemini to mirror this current transit since the 2006 conjunction saw the opposition take place in the sign of Cancer in late 2007, but for those who can look back to 1989-1990, you may find this transit the most significant to consider since this is when we saw a similar patterning to the current Mars transit.
For Milennials and Gen Z, this is going to be a defining opposition for many of you since this will be the first major Mars opposition occurring in the sign of Gemini. Look to your charts to see what house that is — that’s where those changes will happen.
Dates to Watch
Now, I want to cover off some specific dates associated with this half of Mars’ transit and talk a little about what we might expect as a prelude to Mars turning retrograde later this year.
As mentioned above, Mars enters Gemini on August 20 and will station retrograde on October 30 at 25 degrees of Gemini.
It will go direct again on January 12, 2023 at 8 degrees of Gemini.
These degrees of 8 and 25 respectively are going to be important so pay attention on the days in and around September 4–5 because that’s when Mars will be going over the 8th degree of Gemini.
Events taking place within a few days on either side of that date could have their story line resumed or continued in January, and everything transpiring between Mars’ retrograde and direct motion in early 2023 can see reversals or significant changes occur.
Also, make sure you also note any planets you may have at these degrees natally, since they will also be pulled into this evolving story line.
The next important date are those of Mars’ maximum brightness on December 7 and first appearance on January 9.
In astrology, a planet’s visibility or invisibility is huge.
When a planet becomes visible in the sky, something concerning the planet in the house and sign it’s in metaphorically comes to light and it can occur quite literally in our lives.
This will be especially impactful if this Mars transit is angular for you, so mutable rising signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sag, and Pisces — keep your eyes peeled, but this goes for everyone to a lesser degree.
Also, when planets become visible, we can get a burst of confidence or forward motion to realize our goals.
This can be following a period of retreat, isolation or even a feeling of invisibility.
Finally, you may want to pay attention to any planets that ping off against the 8 degree point of Mars’ direct motion — that includes any squares to that degree, such as the one at 8 degrees of Libra in September 2023 or the opposition point at 8 degrees of Sag in November. There could very well be additional echo events touched off by that Mars direct degree.
Now, you need to be aware that we won’t end this current Mars cycle we’re in until November 2023, when the next conjunction takes place at 25 degrees of Scorpio. That follows up with some fairly impactful transits in early 2024, including Mars getting into the mix of a dense Aquarius stellium. Talk about traffic jam! While this feels like in the distant future, it’s helpful to look at the bigger picture movements in our lives.
Mars will be closing off a Libra-tinged cycle and moving into a Scorpio one, so how will this unfold as this current transit winds down and the next one begins? We’ll just have to find out.
Now, let’s take a look at what this transit could bring.
Mars Retrograde Preview
I’ll do a deeper dive later this fall, but previews are important as we map the month of September and October, paying attention to events occurring in our lives.
Mars is an energy of strong desire, motivation and, often anger.
In Gemini, some immediate significations include sharp words, sharp minds, severing communications, and being burned by words, ideas and choices.
Gemini has a natural zodiacal affinity with the third house, so this could be a transit where we might see everything from harsh words to full-out battles with siblings, extended families and neighbours, or accidents relating to modes of transportation — so while everyone should proceed with caution, Aries risings, you may want to be especially on your guard for these types of events because Gemini rules your third house.
More obscure significations for Gemini include the lungs and bronchial tubes, the respiratory system more generally, the nervous system and the pericardium. Since Mars is associated with inflammation, fevers, burning, fire, and so forth, from a health perspective, its effects can be acute, particularly if you might be hit with a health-related transit. Capricorn and Cancer risings, this may be something for you both to watch between now and March of next year.
A couple of other things to note might be those who have Gemini on the financial houses — so Taurus and Scorpio risings, this could be you guys — since Gemini can rule stocks in general, stock brokers, and speculation and, with Aquarius risings, this could touch you peripherally, since the fifth house is the house of speculation — therefore, you could all be burned metaphorically in some financial way.
Libra risings, you’re going to want to pay attention to events touching your ninth house — higher learning, spirituality, travel, the law, and communications, contracts, and information associated with that.
Gemini and Sag risings, this could be important for you and your relationships, especially if you have your ascendant-descendent axis at 8 or 25 degrees.
Pisces, you’ll want to pay attention to your home and family matters, real estate, property that you own, matters concerning inheritances, your parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and the like. Since this transit is angular for you, this is going to be a big one to flag.
Leo risings, you’ll of course want to pay attention to topics concerning your eleventh house — friends, acquaintances, business income, social engagements and associational groups, and your partner’s finances, especially if they play the stock market or engage in any other speculative endeavours, similar to what I said for Aquarius risings.
Finally, Virgo risings, you’ll want to pay attention to matters concerning your career since this can undergo some fairly significant changes and this transit is, of course, angular for you as well.
As we get closer to the Mars retrograde period, I’ll be covering off the potential implications of the transit for the various rising signs in greater detail in my weekly forecast, but, as I said, start preparing now.
In summary, to prepare, look at:
15 degrees of Libra in your natal chart as this was the degree of the initial conjunction for this cycle — do you have any planets exact or within one to two degrees of this, conjunct or in hard aspect (square, opposition)?
Where Mars is in your natal chart, since the topics of the house you find it in will also be activated and therefore somehow woven into the story line of this transit;
Any planets at 8 degrees in your charts in hard aspect to the Mars direct station of 25 degrees of Gemini; and
Because Mercury is the planetary ruler of Gemini, look to where it is in your chart as its topical placement will have some influence over the significations of this transit for you as well.
Hopefully, you find this a helpful primer on the upcoming transit. Remember, be especially vigilant in early September as events occurring on or around the 4–5th could see reversals, re-dos, or continuing storylines into 2023!
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*DISCLAIMER: All astrological forecasts are for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. Any decisions that you might make as a result of reading this or any other astrological blog entry are YOURS ALONE and the creator of this blog will not be held responsible! For any legal issues, see a lawyer; for medical ones, consult a physician. None of the information in this blog constitutes actionable advice from a licensed professional. Once again, this forecast is for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!