Mars remains the important story this week, and while there are many stories to be told, none of those stories are more important than the bristling atmosphere generated by the Martian instinct to do battle. Lots of fellow travelers are suffering from dimension-its, a new psychic disorder that makes it difficult to focus on the here-and-now. We’re simply too busy jumping from the past to future, a restlessness that’s caused by an underlying discomfort with the present because the current moments are asking us to think about so many things we would rather avoid. Anger is one way of dispelling the frustration of not having the answer or having lots of answers but no way of implementing them. It’s difficult being alive on Planet Earth these days and the Martian need to fight isn’t making it any easier. That being said, if you have the will to move out of petty squabbles or the need to be right at any cost, Mars’ fighting spirit has the potential to sort through the bullshit and clear a path to what’s essential.
To recap from last week: Mars, currently in Cancer, opposes the ongoing Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. Mars symbolizes self-assertion, from the lowest forms of global rage to the highest manifestation of self-actualization. Pluto symbolizes change at the core and Saturn represents structure. Saturn/Pluto conjunctions signify the destruction of systems that no longer serve, although one of the tenacious roots of Saturn/Pluto is the tendency to hold on far too long to structures that have outlived their usefulness. Oppositions signal tension, and the entire Mars/Saturn/Pluto bundle plays out as individuals rage against a machine that has rendered them feeling invisible and powerless and thus without value. This is a pernicious interaction that tends to manifest as the cruel punishment of others less capable of defending themselves—think children stuck in cages, immigrants without a voice, and all those who are being disenfranchised through bigotry and ignorance.
Mars wears many masks; one of which is the Warrior—Mars represents that aspect of the self that is able to take a stand. One example of the transformation of Mars’ might can be seen through the story of the Strider/Aragorn/Elessar character in the Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Those of you familiar with the story know of his transformation from the wandering ranger protecting the north but all the while wondering what his destiny will be and if he will ever find his true power. Once he joins with others through the fellowship, he becomes a loyal warrior in service of a greater good but he is still driven by the need to prove himself. Ultimately, he has to journey to the realms of the dead and help them to cleanse their broken promises, a descent that clears a path to his self-actualization as a magnanimous and benevolent king. In many ways, the story of this transformation is aligned with the myth of the hero that Joseph Campbell describes in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Each of us has Mars somewhere in our birth chart; gender-specifics of Aragon’s example aside, to get through this next phase of the Saturn/Pluto opposition each of us is called upon to manifest the transformational potency of this Mars.
The ongoing Saturn/Pluto conjunction is restrictive: it wants to impose boundaries, limits, rules, regulations—controls on anything and everything anywhere it can. From a transformational perspective, the journey of Mars is best served in opposition to those restrictions and in service to a greater purpose, a transcendent purpose that includes individual accomplishment but doesn’t end there. Unfortunately, since might isn’t always aligned with right, this Mars opposition can also serve the restrictive force of Saturn/Pluto, which is where the tensions produced by this opposition could devolve into a cruelty that uses sheer brute force to enforce its contractive agenda.
How each of us applies the power of Mars is determined by where we stand in our understanding of karma: that every act has a consequence and sets others acts in motion. Setting violence in motion doesn’t change anything—something many of us know but our collective awareness hasn’t yet gathered enough strength to put a stop to the cruelty we are currently experiencing. The first place to start is at home: Are you disproportionately angry at your spouse, children, or other family members? At the cat or the dog? At your neighbors or boss? Start there. This is not about ignoring the egregious behavior of Mr. Trump; it’s about taking a moment to figure out how you can transform your righteous anger so that it doesn’t just lash out, but rather finds purpose in its mission. Remember, you are transforming your Martian warrior through an alignment with a greater good.
The Moon ups the ante on this process, adding an undeniable emotional component, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a while to find the right tone. Today, the Moon in Libra is at the midpoint of this opposition, which could lead to an increased disequilibrium, both personal and collective. Protests of all kinds could become violent. By this time next week, we will be in the throes of yet another cycle of lunar intensification of Saturn/Pluto as the Moon moves into that conjunction and opposes Mars. For better or for worse, the Moon illuminates this conjunction for the next many months, and as disturbing as this emotional component may be, the Moon is guiding many of our decisions, so listen closely to your intuition during these phases and you’ll discover wisdom you weren’t aware of.
One more bit: Fellow travelers born in 1947-1948 and 1982-1983 have a Saturn/Pluto conjunction as part of their natal charts. In 1947-48, the conjunction happened in Leo; in 1982-83, it took place in Libra and then when Saturn entered Scorpio, it straddled both Signs. For the Pluto-in-Leo generation, the negative, contractive force of this conjunction turned into a pernicious narcissism that easily ossified into self-righteousness. But the positive, transformative force of Saturn/Pluto can readily be identified through the enduring application of creativity to any and all situations—that creative response has never been more needed; you may be in your ‘70s, but you’re still being asked to participate.
For the Pluto-in-Libra Millennials, the subject of so much criticism as well as so much hope, the test is how you will apply this potent force, which is fundamentally about the power of relationships—your relationship to yourself and your relationship to the world around you. Everything is relational, and as you move through the next several years of your midlife crisis, the goal is to grow out of selfishness and into selflessness. As you do, the essential interconnectedness of all things, which includes our relationship to all life-forms, will grow increasingly apparent. Your mission is to transform old patterns of duality and separation that no longer serve into new structures that acknowledge the relational nature of existence. It’s a big mission, yes, but it is also a necessary one.
Both generations with Saturn/Pluto conjunctions in their natal charts are certain to feel the effect of the current conjunction keenly, maybe even slightly more so than the rest of us. But that doesn’t mean that we all aren’t feeling the weight of this current conjunction, which we all have occurring somewhere in our personal charts. So try to isolate where the tension in your life is brewing and then do your best to find peaceful solutions for releasing that stress. Remember, we are all in this together and the more we acknowledge our shared experiences, the easier it will be to transform our responses and transform our Inner Aragorn.