Mars dominates the astral waves of change this week, and although there are other influential celestial currents, Mars owns the field. While it isn’t the most profound planetary influence on the collective consciousness, Mars does drive the regular routines of daily life, so when it assumes a prominent position, we pay attention. Its presence, along with the other inner planets—Mercury, Venus, and of course, although not planets, the Sun and Moon—determine the day-to-day goings-on of life. And because these days are nothing other than uncertain, we need to stay present to the micro as well as the macro realities.
On Saturday, June 27, Mars entered Aries, its Home Sign, where it’s strongest and where it stays until January 2021, an unusually long period of time for Mars to transit a Sign. Mars usually moves through a Sign in 6 to 7 weeks, except when it retrogrades back into that Sign, which it does during this transit of Aries, from September 9 through November 13.
Mars signifies the principal of self-assertion, although it is best known as the warrior archetype and is also often referred to as the god of war. At its core, Mars represents the process of individuation and the idea that we have a separate self, distinct from others. Many astrologers think of Mars as the arms and legs of the ego, symbolizing physical muscle as well as psychological, emotional, and spiritual muscle. It is, literally, how we move in the world.
The placement of Mars in a birth chart—the Sign and House it occupies and, most importantly, how it connects with other planets—indicates how we take a stand in our individual life as well as in the world. From the first Mars Return, when Mars returns to the position it occupied at our birth, (when we’re about two years old), it supports the need to say “no” when “no” is the best way to establish, experience, and preserve individuality.
All the symbols in astrology play out along a spectrum from negative to positive. On the negative end of the Mars spectrum is unspecified or global rage—anger for anger’s sake—and at the positive end is self-actualization—acknowledging and harnessing our gifts and talents to fulfill their potential. Along the way to that fulfillment (and perhaps through many lifetimes), we cobble together a deep understanding of what it means to be a self, separate and distinct from others, but comfortable enough with who we are to join in with others without fear of losing our unique expression.
For the next six months-plus, we are all participating in a collective, prolonged Mars intensive—there are so many issues, individual and collective, that need positive warrior energy. So pick your personal and collective causes carefully, and as you do, remember that as Uranus transits Taurus we are all identifying what matters most, and as personal values shift, so does the zeitgeist.
But be aware that for many fellow travelers this Martian journey is going to be a rough ride—lots of people are going to be prickly and ready to fight about any and every little thing. If you are having difficulty channeling your anger into a positive spiritual warrior stance, just do your best not to add to the already hot air that could become the atmosphere of daily life, especially toward the end of August as Mars gets ready to retrograde. Yes, Mars fuels demonstrations and protests, but it also fuels resistance to those protests. As we struggle toward concretizing social justice as a way of life, keep an eye on what it will take to transform the hatred and greed that have given rise to so many societal problems. Mars may be in Aries for six months, but the change we are trying to effect is for the long haul and as many are realizing, it’s going to take a lot of energy and effort to build a brave new world where everyone is, actually, equal. I know it sounds idealistic, but that’s one of the most important qualities of being a spiritual warrior—hope in the possibility of transformation.
The second Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was exact yesterday and it is unrelenting in its emphasis on the transmission and contagion of COVID-19. The first of three Jupiter/Pluto conjunctions was on April 4; yesterday’s conjunction was at the same degree as the last one—both 24° Capricorn. The third conjunction on November 12, 2020, occurs at the same degree as the Saturn/Pluto conjunction of January 12. It seems we just can’t get away from the great reckoning of Saturn/Pluto—a reckoning that facilitated the great unraveling of government structures—and in some cases, the very foundations—of American democracy. Over these next weeks and months leading up to the third conjunction, masks, contact tracing, and social distancing are going to be essential in saving lives.
Unfortunately, this conjunction also feeds the need for power at any cost, and as Mr. Trump experiences his own personal Pluto transits, he is likely to stay on the same track, oblivious to or uncaring of the pain he is causing by his reckless attitudes and actions. What remains stunning is just how many people continue to be fooled by him—fooled and gullible enough to put their lives at risk, as well as the lives of others.
It’s hard to maintain a compassion practice in the face of so much callous self-interest and ignorance. The other day the news showed a scene of a bunch of people in a bar shoulder-to-shoulder, without masks, and my first reaction wasn’t very kind. I won’t repeat it here, but even as I thought it, I also thought, “Shit. I’ve just used up at least a decade of accumulated merit from my compassion practice.” It’s difficult to remain kind when so many people are being so reckless. I keep wondering how many people must get sick and die for all those skeptics to realize that COVID-19 isn’t a hoax. I also wonder how long it will take for so many to realize that science and religion aren’t antithetical pursuits.
Throughout this week and the many weeks to come, the contrast of what divides us is stark, and in the glare of that severity it’s quite easy to become increasingly depressed about the state of the world. Do your best not to succumb to that desolation or to a deepening sense of futility. We are in a process—a truly mind-bending process, but a process nonetheless. We will eventually learn what we need to learn, transform what we need to transform, and heal the hatred with love and with knowledge. It is simply going to take time, and during that time, kindness is key—and as I am learning, it must become a constant practice.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
AriesMarch 21-April 19
Perspective is everything, so make sure you know what’s truly important before you make molehills into mountains. Once you’ve identified what matters most, even if others don’t necessarily share your enthusiasm, devote yourself to your cause.
TaurusApril 20-May 20.
You have a lot on your mind and you are determined to speak your piece—great, but remember it’s also important to listen with equal intensity to what others have to say. You may not be interested in an exchange, but right at this moment, sharing ideas and opinions will be inspirational.
Gemini May 21-June 21
There’s an urgency to your need to feel financially independent, and while there is nothing wrong with that desire, you may not be able to manifest that freedom with the snap of your fingers. So take a deep breath, make a plan, and know that you are moving steadily toward your goal.
Cancer June 22-July 22
You need a plan—without one, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed by all there is to do. Prioritize your goals; tackle the easy ones first so you can gain confidence and then slowly make your way through the rest of the list. Once you gain momentum, you won’t feel as overwhelmed.
Leo July 23-August 22
No matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to stick to your carefully organized plan. So rather than push the river, give up the need to control the outcome. If you accept that things need to unfold in their own time, you’ll find it much easier to make the necessary adjustments.
VirgoAugust 23-September 22
The key to your success is the willingness to grow past previous assumptions about the way things should be. This process might be uncomfortable—you’re an organized person and you like things neat and tidy. But even if life gets a little messy, you’ll be pleased with your eventual progress.
LibraSeptember 23-October 22
Refuse to let relationship issues throw you into a tailspin. Yes, part of what’s happening is painful, but there’s no way to edit this process. If you stay committed to making wholesome choices that serve the greater good of everyone involved, you’ll be pleased with the outcome.
ScorpioOctober 23-November 21
You’re busier than you expected to be, which makes it important to pace yourself. The next many weeks are a marathon, and in some cases maybe even a relay race that requires you to make steady and consistent contact with your team. Stay focused and you’ll cross the finish line with ease.
SagittariusNovember 22-December 21
You might be surprised by the depth of your emotions, especially when it comes to perceived slights from others or feeling invisible to those you care about. Rather than engage in an argument, take the high road—there’s no need to add to the tension.
CapricornDecember 22-January 19
Discussions with significant others—lovers, spouses, friends, or family—have the potential to reveal important information that will help you refine your relationship and bump it up to a new consciousness. This is not an opportunity to criticize—this is a chance to make positive progress with those you love.
AquariusJanuary 20-February 18
You’re not backsliding, you’re just taking a break to reconnoiter and get a new perspective. I’m not suggesting that you have to change the way you see everything. I’m simply advising you to take the time to integrate and apply all that’s transpired over the last months so you can move forward with ease.
PiscesFebruary 19-March 20
You might want to consider giving yourself permission to hunker down at home and avoid most of the external brouhaha. There’s nothing to worry about, although one could argue that there’s plenty to fix. It’s simply a good time to take stock and allow the time to digest your situation.
Catalyst Magazine/Common Good Press
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