Mars initiated its retrograde passage this year when the veil between worlds was thinnest. It’s a time when nature is losing leaves and we are drawing our energy inward, preparing to close the life cycle birthed in Spring.
Numerous cultures around the world mark this calendar time as a period to honour the dead. The sky reflects this with the Heliacal rising of the nebula, or open star cluster, The Pleiades. Traditionally used as an eyesight test for archers (Brady p.237), the symbolism of this cluster rising can translate into relying on insight, our third eye and seeing in the dark, over what appears on the surface. This serves as reinforcement for Mars who will be crossing thresholds in its passage through Gemini.
Dates to watch
In forward motion, Mars spends about 2 months in one sign. When retrograde, it occupies the same area of the zodiac for about 7 months. This is a long time to have a malefic loitering. Mars entered Gemini on August 21, 2022 and will stay here until March 26th, 2023.
Turning retrograde on October 30th, Mars sent out a mid-point flare that will burn until January, 2023 (Mars stations direct January 12, 2023). Mars will be brightest, and closest to Earth, the week of December 8th, 2022, so be sure to step outside and look east, and up, at night. It’s like an orange light bulb in the sky! In this time we can expect Mars themes to re-emerge in true retrograde fashion, seeking completion, renegotiation or regeneration; a phase change.
Something in the Air
Functioning well, Mars’ malefic nature is channelled into being protective, direct, and to the point. Inhibited or far from home, it misses the mark and becomes disruptive. Being hot and dry, governing weapons, sharp objects, and accidents, Mars misfiring can be devastating. Acting out anywhere along the spectrum from tantrums and arguments, to forced entry, killing and bloodshed, Mars in retrograde motion increases the potential for martial things to go awry.
Air is an unseen force. Its terrain encourages visioning, information sharing and new understandings of frequencies and quantum physics. Carrying the air triplicity, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are all tempered by Sanguine qualities. They are both hot, speeding things up, and moist, drawing things together. Just like baking a cake, the eggs, milk and butter bind the flour and sugar together, while putting it in the oven transforms the ingredients from one state to the next. Without the moisture, everything stays separated. If we put the pre-baked cake in the freezer, growth ceases.
From the big picture birds eye view, the dynamic adaptability of the Sanguine quality is part of our broader transition from Earth to Air, put into high gear on December 21, 2020. Since then, our new normal is a Sanguine high speed data download. This explains why it feels like it was February just yesterday, and it’s difficult to find solid, secure footing. Everything is in flux and nothing is as it was. What ever was built in the reliable tangibility of an analog world is being digitized, whether we like it or not.
Mars in Gemini
If we think about zodiac signs as accommodation for the planets in their orbit, Mercury (ruling Gemini) makes sure Mars is well connected during its seven month stay. There is no shortage of games, maps to get around, an electric car, office space, a desk for writing, gadgets and devices: phones & computers, VR, AI, high speed internet and satellite TV all keep Mars occupied. The house itself is located high up on a hill where it catches the afternoon zephyr. Inside there are long hallways with panelled rooms containing chests, with boxes inside boxes. The owners of the property are a couple called Belle and Whistle.
Mars isn’t one to relax and take in the scenery, though. Staying in a Mercury ruled Sanguine sign, the combined heat only increases speed, while the moisture of Gemini meeting Mars’ dry, separating quality suggests we are likely to be pulled in multiple directions at once, with the simultaneous desire to separate from things we are forced to bind with.
Mars accelerates our Geminian issues: accessing information, how and what we think about, speech patterns, and altering the ways in which we connect, trade and learn. Questions about facts and tangible reality can morph into demands as Mars wields its sword. Search engines, algorithms and influencers reinforcing a centralised agenda, coupled with fact-checking services not being as neutral as they sound, means questions around freedom and access to information have a high potential to devolve into heated, sometimes fatal, exchanges.
With the air influence kicking up a storm, we likely won’t land on one agreed understanding. Instead, it might feel like our nervous system is plugged into an electrical socket! With scattered and diffused energy, we can open up to new understandings of our interconnectedness as we find ourselves everywhere at once. Reflecting Gemini’s opposite sign, Sagittarius, we may have to get lost in the minutiae to find the truth.
Gemini is represented by the Twins, Castor and Pollux. With one twin being mortal and the other immortal, questions will likely rise from within about how we embody our divinity, and how we keep the lines of communication open between our physical, mortal selves and our eternal, Spirit selves when there is so much external distraction.
Duality is being normalised at every turn. The popularity of reality TV, which is more like orchestrated reality, has transferred a fictional narrative into our lived experience. Sayings like, “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to win,” is social suicide in the real world. We now say, “I don’t care!” without realising that the statement itself is more an acknowledgement of how far we have been coerced from mutual care than any statement of fact.
Looking beyond the surface, 2022 is a digital hell-scape. As we use technology, the technology is simultaneously using us. Twins are being created to match literally everything in our physical world. All of us, right now, have a digital identity being created. Regardless of age or location etc, each time we use technology our data is being mined and harvested. Digital versions of cities, parks, transport and financial systems are being created alongside our lived reality. People are buying up digital real estate which they can visit while sitting on their couch using a VR headset. Marketed as “the experience of presence,” the power of suggestion, coupled with a lack of transparency and consent, means that a digitised world is forcing its way in, with no way for us out. When everything is duplicated, how do we know what’s real?
If we are predominantly using devices to connect with one another, and ourselves, then only one of the Gemini twins is satisfied. There lies the potential to lose, or diminish, connection with our own eternal nature. While we can never be severed from Spirit, without dedicated attention to remaining connected to Source, we predominantly strengthen the muscles that are required in a digital world and offer less attention to what is happening in front of our eyes.
Gemini gets a bad wrap in pop astrology for being superficial, light and lacking depth. However, this is where Gemini’s older associations with Hermes are overlooked. The only deity able to travel between all three worlds; from conversing with the Gods, to being with mortals, to facilitating the transition of souls from life to death in the Underworld passage, means that while Mars stays in Gemini, we will swiftly move between worlds. We will have to confront our relationship with technology, and how devices are intercepting our reliance on natural intelligence. A true and honest investigation often results in having to usher oneself out from this forced underworld of dependence. Once free, we can more easily remember and connect with our eternal self by generating vitality through connection, creativity, the reverence of dance and the abundance within silence.
Hermes wore a hat of invisibility, winged sandals and carried a caduceus wrapped with snakes. One could easily be distracted by the technology of how the cap, shoes and caduceus all work together, but it’s where the technology take us that Hermes, and this Mars Rx cycle, comes to life.
With freedom comes great responsibility. If there is nowhere we cannot go, no threshold that cannot be crossed, once there how do we tread respectfully and ensure we can leave? A shape-shifting energy, neither Mercury, nor Hermes nor the air of Gemini, functions well when contained, or limited in movement. Air trapped in a jar becomes stale, just like hearing someone repeat themselves over and over gets old pretty quick. We need fresh air for survival.
Mars’ passage through Gemini offers us a jump start. Where we have been severed from connection, where our minds have been hijacked, and how our thoughts and speech have been coerced will likely become apparent. As both aggressor and defender, Mars prompts us to identify both sword and shield.
Gemini shadow: Trick or Treat?
Mercury ruled, we can easily get lost in the subway of the Gemini mind. The shadow side of Gemini tempts us into the illusion of separateness, duality and ‘us versus them’ narratives, fuelled by polarising and divisive language. Offering the gift of seeing everything from both sides, Gemini illuminates the One behind the two; there is no us & them, there is only us. Therefore, there is nothing that we are not. We are always our past, present and future selves in constant conversation.
This doesn’t mean we all deny our individual colours and unquestioningly blend into a monochromal, watered down, digitised projection of ourselves. It means we remember who we are so we are clear about what we’re fighting for.
The internet has become duality’s playground. Initially intended to be decentralised, it’s currently controlled by corporate greed which herd us like cattle into a centralised agenda. The margins, always defined by the centre, are now co-opted into sharing this virtual, town square. Where it was once clear who were the bigots and who were the faggots, this forced assimilation has altered our view from local to global, from diverse to homogenised, and we are thrown together and told it’s equality.
The word marginalised has been given meaning by the central power to depict poverty, uncleanliness, perversion and hostility, when it’s actually where the magic lies. It’s on the margins, outside the reach of central control, where weeds take over manicured lawns and wildness flourishes. No one is forced to care about diversity because it is not seen as separate from life, or something to be feared.
With Mars dressed as the oppressor for Halloween this year, operating from Mercury’s house, it’s no surprise that we’re hearing cries about free-speech and censorship. The internet is not free, nor a free space, and every time we interact with it, we reinforce a digital prison. This is new terrain for all of us that intentionally lacks a serious dose of transparency. Distracted, we end up fighting each other, instead of being able to identify who the oppressor really is.
Mars in Gemini is like a multi-tool where quality is compromised for variety. It gives us a lot of options to pull out the hooks, and look honestly at where there has been forced consent. Mars’ sharp precision means we can use the masters tools to pierce through the illusion, but will we believe what we see? This solely relies on us being fully connected to ourselves, our eternal self, and each other.
Astrology is really good for marking beginnings. From an originating (root) point we can chart, or map, iterations of patterns. Just like having an originating birth chart, we continue to have firsts such as starting school, moving cities, forming relationships etc, that can be mapped in relation to your moment of birth.
The planets do the same thing. Seeding their cycle at the conjunction with the Sun, each planet separates from that originating place, and in its own rhythm eventually turns retrograde, has varying degrees of invisibility and brightness, until it completes the cycle, returning to the Sun for the burning up of Combustion and Cazimi. This intense ending doubles as a rebirth from where the cycle repeats again and again…
Tracing the current Mars Rx cycle in Gemini back to the 1600’s I noticed recurring themes of wrongful convictions, treaties, shipwrecks and technological inventions. The paperclip, safety pin, bifocals and fire extinguisher are all helpful Mars in Gemini inventions, while TV, Infrared photography, electric start cars, the World Wide Web and the digital camera are all technologies we still benefit from today. In Mars’ combative mode, it produced aerial bombing, submarine warfare, planetary defence, and the first sword swallower! We can now add to this list the largest labour movement in history, a billionaire buying a social media platform, battles for free speech and liberty, and the accidental killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie, Rust.
This particular Mars cycle we’re in is one of the more unfortunate passages for Mars. Seeding in Libra, it is debilitated by being far from home, and incompatible with the environment. This is a difficult starting point that colours the entire cycle.
Mars in Libra: Shooting blanks
Libra’s home is a double story house, also on the side of a hill. Here, the air is crisp and serenity sets the mood. Floor to ceiling windows invite the natural colours of the outside environment in to match the interior which is neat and clean, decorated with bird art, books about communication, and musical instruments. There are sweet offerings like fruit and flowers, and beauty products in the bathroom. It’s a luxurious stay, ideal for a 3 day group bonding workshop, or a get away for loverzzz.
When staying at Libra’s house, Mars comes crashing in with a sense of calamity, brute force and unsavoury uncouthness. Sweaty from the gym, blood drenched from the battlefield, or worked up from driving aggressively through traffic, Mars is immediately out of its element, bringing dirty boots inside. The environment supports refinement, negotiation and working together, not hot- headed oppressive dominance. Should Mars have a tantrum, things are likely to get broken. The repercussions can be devastating; destroying the mood and causing a divide where there was once the opportunity to merge and co-create. Mars can’t win unless it is completely disempowered.
Blinded by the light
The New Moon on 6th October, 2021 at 13 degrees Libra was both the beginning of a new Lunation (new moon in Libra), and also the seed point of Mars’ next cycle. This is where the current Mars Retrograde in Gemini originates from.
The Sabain Symbol for 13 degrees Libra is A Noon Siesta: A nap after lunch, aiding digestion and marking a transition in the day. The symbolism implies that events are clear, occurring in full view while the Sun is high, but we are asleep, unconscious and unaware. With Mars combust the Sun at this degree, it is blinded by the light. The traditional symbol of vitality and vigour, accuracy and sharpness, in this Siesta hour is left prone to accident and injury.
At the time of the New Moon-Mars initiation, Facebook went off-line and Frances Haugen added ‘Whistle-blower’ to her list of credentials as she sat before the US Senate exposing Facebook’s dedication to profits over people, and a whole list of other BS. Conveniently, Facebook used this time to distract the conversation and relaunch their brand, Meta, distancing themselves from the allegations, releasing an awkward, polished Mars in Libra combust advertisement from inside Meta headquarters. Following this, the scales of justice tipped, producing Striketober, the largest organised labour movement in history.
Filming of the movie Rust also began on the New Moon, October 6, 2021. A low budget Western about a Grandfather – Grandson fugitive duo on the run after accidentally killing someone. Ruling weapons, accidents, desert-scapes and Iron (rust), the invitation for an ill-equipped Mars to be present on set was sent and received.
The New Moon reached its peak on October 20th. The illumination of a fiery Full Moon at 27 degrees of Mars ruled, Aries, prompted multiple crew members to walk off set and strike over safety issues. After lunch the following day, in the siesta hour, Alec Baldwin accidentally fatally shot and killed Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins with a prop gun. Baldwin still denies pulling the trigger, and it remains unclear how a live round ended up mixed in with cosmetic rounds.
At the time of the incident, Mars was still combust the Sun at 24 Libra, making an exact partile received square with Pluto, transitioning from the Underworld to being fully active and present in the light of day (Pluto conjunct Ascendant). This aspect holds the potential for expressed aggravation and volatility when given free rein, or pressured. Passive aggressive at best, this aspect can manifest as a symbol of Hades being present, taking life at will.
There are threads that connect people and events in life that are obvious and understood, and there are also threads that are undeniable, yet unknowable until an event transpires. Alec Baldwin was born with the Sun exactly opposite the degree of the 2021 Libra New Moon, at 13 Aries. Coupled with this, on the day he was born there was a Full Moon at 13 Libra, the Noon Siesta degree. His chart was hot for Mars to play with! We could say he was a smoking gun.
Unlike Mars in Libra, Baldwin is not known for shooting blanks. Fathering eight children, seven of whom have been birthed since 2013, he is well known for his hot-headed aggression and martial arrogance, and leaving a message on his daughter’s voice mail in 2007. Had he consulted an astrologer prior to filming, could this tragedy have been prevented? That’s impossible to say. What could have been imparted though, was caution for a very Mars-heavy individual: ‘Accidents are a high probability at this time. Be mindful of playing with sharp objects, and don’t point guns at people,’ would have been good advice. The debility of Mars here is devastating, and gives us insight into how unjust the other incidents were in this long, repeating cycle.
The investigation into the incident wrapped up on October 27, 2022, three days before Mars stationed retrograde. It has been handed over to the Sante Fe DA Office for completion. Filming is due to resume in January 2023, the same month that Mars stations direct at 8 Gemini.
Mars began this cycle compromised in Libra, blinded by the light. Initiating the retrograde phase at Samhain, when the unseen is closest to us, suggests there is a lot going on right under our noses that we are not seeing, or choosing to ignore.
As uncomfortable and destructive as malefic presence can be, Mars’ passage through Gemini is likely to agitate us into action once we see clearly where we have let our defences slip. Being the intruder, oppressor and pillager, Mars offers us plenty of opportunity to ask, What has penetrated my mind? What have I been forced to consent to? What am I fighting for? With sharp pointed focus we can simultaneously identifying and protect what we value, and what we do not want taken away. Like any tool though, we need to learn how to use it to avoid accidents and injury, but we also need to remove the blinders to be realistic about what we’re dealing with.
Mars on the street in 2022
October 30th can now be known from this day forward as “Dependence Day” as IG users yelled into the void on Twitter.
Instagram deleting itself on the day Mars turned retrograde suggests that this may have actually been a cyber attack more than a glitch. With thousands of accounts spontaneously self-deleting, IG’s Twitter page resembled a wall of remembrance, as people documented their forced dependence on the social media site, and realised the frustration of powerlessness.
Chief Twit ignores the canary in the coal mine
The bird icon for Twitter is more like the canary in the coal mine at this point. Calling himself “Chief Twit,” Elon Musk announced to us that he is taking on the role of Mars in Gemini (Mars ruling soldiers, Captains, Generals & Chiefs – Lilly p.67). Executing his first mission, he callously cut 50% of Twitter staff and charged Twitter users $20, then $8, for a Blue Check mark badge of authentication.
Mars in Gemini offers us tools to crack the code for our own benefit, too, and Twitter users armed themselves with the masters tools and successfully dismantled the nuts and bolts of the master’s house. An $8 purchase resulted in millions of dollars loss in stocks and a loss of trust in Musks’ abilities. It’s been a steep learning curve for him as he appears to be managing a social media company like it’s a car factory. Bear in mind that we haven’t hit the worst part of the Rx cycle yet.
What his purchase of Twitter does on a grander scale is create a trifecta between social media, AI and colonising Mars. Let’s talk about crossing thresholds and forced consent! Having already sent a string of satellites up into our atmosphere without consulting the public, he is now close to blanketing the entire planet with internet service. There is no public consultation and no opt-out button with his vision for our future, and our use of technology. You will not be able to be on this planet without being trackable by technology. This f’sure has its advantages for some, but the disadvantages are conveniently not discussed nor put to public, planetary vote. It has been decided for us, even though it impacts literally everyone on the planet.
We can expect some half cocked tweets to inflame the internet through this Mars passage. Speaking of which, Ye (formally Kanye West), stands side by side Musk on the Gemini battlefield. Armed with Mars in Gemini as a word gun, he disseminates information and data at an alarming rate, illustrating how words can be weaponised and hurtful when not used with consideration.
Caught on the wrong side of a Martial debate, you can be shot down by reams of texts and pages of emails dissecting every detail, or in Ye’s case, spitting out sound bites that get strung together in some form of semi-cohesion that apparently qualifies one as a genius. Ye is clearly feeling the impacts of Mars’ turnaround and has taken a 30 day verbal fast. Let’s see what happens when Mars crosses his ‘visionary’ Sun-Jupiter-Neptune configuration.
Seeing it from both sides
As our Sanguine new normal high speed data download continues, the work of Mars in Gemini native, Edward Snowden, becomes increasingly important. The unseen quality of data breaches and data mining is something corporations and Governments are taking advantage of.
Twins with a message
Mars ruling accidents, action, activity therefore also rules activists. Extinction Rebellion activists have been staging actions far longer than Mars has been in Gemini, yet it is in this transit that we’re being made aware of the symbolism of twins with a message. Having a 2 year average rotation, Mars governs what is known as the Terrible Two’s in children, but also has the effect of promoting tantrums in adults when it comes around.
Red Cup Rebellion
At the time of the Noon Siesta New Moon Mars initiation, Striketober took off. Workers from Starbucks, Amazon, John Deere, Kellogg‘s (to name only a few) took to the picket line. In true Rx style, the narrative has come back around and Starbucks Workers United are harnessing Mars’ red quality for their Red Cup Rebellion, seeking various fair working conditions and the right to Unionise and strike.
Kathy Hilton, born with Mars in Gemini, is having her anger issues aired publicly for the first time. It seems she’s done a pretty good job in the past of controlling the narrative about her, but a couple of rich lady meltdowns on a trip to Aspen is now on the public record. This has activated the underlying sibling story within Gemini, and caused a divide between her and her sister, Kyle Richards.
Boris the Boomerang
Boris Johnson, born with Mars in Gemini, seems to have slinked out of public view for the time being, but like a boomerang, this man will likely be back in one way or another in 2023.
For suggestions on how to protect yourself online, as well as understanding the differences between a VPN, Proxy server and Tor browser, “Nothing wrong with natural intelligence” has you covered!
References & Sources
Biruni, Al. The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology. 2006. The Astrology centre of America
Ebertein-Hoffman. Fixed Stars and their interpretation. 1971. AFA
George, Demetra. Ancient Astrology, in theory and practice. 2019. Rubedo Press
Houlding, Deborah. The houses. Temples of the Sky. 2006. The Wessex Astrologer Ltd
Lilly, William. Christian Astrology. 1647 / 2004. Astrology Classics
Rudhyar, Dane. Astrological Mandala. 1974.
Brady, Bernadette. Planet and Star Combinations. 2008. The Wessex Astrologer Ltd
Ma’Shar, Abu & al-Qabisi. Introduction to Traditional Astrology – Translated by Benjamin Dykes. 2010. The Cazimi Press
Vetius Valens – Anthology. Translation by Mark Riley
How old is the Tropical Zodiac – Seven Stars Astrology
Fixed Star Alcyone – Astrology King
Star-lore of the Constellations – Gemini the Twins – Skyscript
Gemini – The Twins – Skyscript