Mars in Aries

The Astrology of the S-town podcast

S town astrologyThis post will be most interesting to those of you who have listened to this podcast.  If you haven’t yet heard it you might want to take a listen before reading the post, it will be much more revealing. 

S-Town is a serial podcast from the folks that bring you This American Life.  It begins as a story about a murder, and ends up as something else entirely.  Along the way, the darkness of a human soul is revealed. It’s a fascinating psychological study of a man imprisoned by his own rage and self-loathing and the layers of mysteries that lie within the people surrounding him.

I recently took a long flight and listened to most of the seven episode podcast on the way home and over the following couple of days.  At the very end of the series the birth date of the main character, John B. McLemore, was revealed:  March 15, 1968.  I wanted to learn more about this guy and delved into his chart.

I’ve tried not to reveal any podcast spoilers for those of you who intend to listen.

John B. McLemore was a southern gentleman who lived in Woodstock Alabama, which he calls S-town (using the full expletive rather than the polite version).  The story is full of twists and turns like the maze which John grew on the farm on which he lives.  Over the course of the podcast we learn that he is brilliant, but desperately unhappy and lonely – that he hates his life but feels trapped within it.

This is a theme that many of my clients struggle with – they want to change but they feel they lack the courage or the will to take the necessary steps to get there.  I usually see this as a fire problem – a weakness in the fire element or in Mars that keeps them from being able to take action.

McLemore’s chart (click to enlarge) is fascinating.  Born with the Sun in watery Pisces, his natural tendency is to go with the flow.  He is sensitive and finds boundaries difficult – Pisces is the sign of the ocean and boundaries simply stop the flow and prevent its easy trajectory.  Chiron (wounding and healing) conjoins his Sun, indicating a deep and painful soul wound that requires conscious growth in order to heal.  Uranus (electromagnetic energy, radical behavior) is opposite Chiron and the Sun, revealing a rebellious character (Uranus opposite Sun) who is also extremely sensitive energetically (Chiron opposite Uranus), and to top it all off Pluto (obsession and transformation) gets involved, opposite the Sun and widely interacting with Chiron and Uranus.

Already we see that this is not an individual who can fit easily into the mold enforced by small town life in the deep south.  Then we see that his Moon is in Libra, creating a longing (Moon) for connection (Libra) – but his Moon is opposed by stern Saturn which creates in him a predisposition to feeling lonely and isolated despite his desire for love.

Mars is in Aries, its own sign, which is the strongest place for Mars.  Mars is the planet of action and shows how we assert our personal Will: what we want and how we go about getting it.  An individual with Mars in Aries has strong desires and a strong Will; however, McLemore’s Saturn is also in Aries which creates insecurity around taking the steps to manifest that Will and attain his desires.

A chart like this does not make life easy.  I have counseled many individuals with similar charts, and often their fear keeps them stuck in places or relationships or jobs or other situations which are ok enough, but not really satisfying.  Often these people want to know when their chart says they will be able to make a change.  Or they want to know where they should move so that their live can be easier.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  Astrology can’t fix our lives – we have to make the difficult choices and take the hard steps to make the necessary changes that will bring us the satisfaction and joy that we crave.

What astrology CAN and DOES do, however, it to reveal the internal workings of the chart so that we can better understand the inner motivations that create our problems, making it easier to repair and transform them.

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By | 2017-05-20T09:04:43+00:00 May 20th, 2017|Astrology, People, Psychology|1 Comment

The Mars effect, February 2017: Stocks, politics and personal power

Mars went into Aries on January 28th and will remain in that fiery sign of will and adventure through March 9th.  While in Aries, Mars is at its most potent and the aggressive force is permitted full expression, unhampered by the niceties of signs like Libra or Pisces, by practical considerations such as Capricorn and Taurus would exercise, or by reason and intellectual processing such as Gemini and Aquarius would instigate.  It is pure, unadulterated need and drive.

Mars is also bold and especially in Aries, does not hesitate to venture into unknown territory and take untold risks.  We are seeing this in the stock market, which continues to break records as it soars into the stratosphere because of unbridled optimism and the sheer force of momentum.  Currently Jupiter, the planet of expansion and luck, is forming a challenging opposition to Uranus, planet of radical action.  This planetary combination is ready to break through all kinds of barriers – whether physical, emotional, or ideological.  When we add Pluto’s destructive and transformational force into the mix, we get a powerhouse of movement and upheaval.  Jupiter here is reconnecting Uranus and Pluto for one final dance after nearly eight years of the Uranus/Pluto square.  Although Uranus and Pluto are not in exact alignment to one another, Jupiter “translates” the dynamic by acting as an intermediary over the next few months.  You can see how the current political climate fits perfectly into this drama of radical behavior and action that seems to have no basis in fact.

During the last week of February, Mars steps into the fray like a match thrown into a smoldering fire.  Until February 28th Mars will be poking the bear of the Uranus/Pluto square, creating extreme excitement and fueling us with a tremendous amount of energy, but also triggering anger and rage that may be suppressed or otherwise managed but not resolved.  As with any intense Mars time, using our conscious mind to focus this energy on a goal or aspiration can be very helpful in utilizing the power of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.  Physical activity can help us to channel the intensity and feel more comfortable in our bodies.

This will become more confusing around February 25-28 when a solar eclipse in mystical Pisces, with the Sun and  Moon conjunct Neptune, dumps a bucket of water and a wet blanket on all this fire.  I suspect that this is when the stock market will begin to retreat in response to this confusion.  On a personal level, this is an optimum time for a personal retreat and reset, especially since Venus will turn retrograde on March 4th.  I’ll be writing more about that as we get closer to the time, but Venus retrograde periods tend to cause a pullback in the financial markets and are good times for a personal review.

We live in exciting times.  Thank the gods we have astrology to help us to make sense of them!

SIgn up for my free monthly Planetary Illuminations report!

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By | 2017-02-21T11:59:56+00:00 February 21st, 2017|Featured posts, Planetary cycles|11 Comments

Mars transiting through Aries – Harness the power of the “Id”

Mars is the planet of desire and need – it is the planet associated with the “Id” in psychological theory – “the part of the mind in which innate instinctive impulses and primary processes are manifest.”  The Id makes no value judgments – it is pure desire and instinct, and so is Mars.  Freud didn’t care much for the Id – he saw it as a “cauldron of passions” that needed to be tempered by the moderating forces of the Ego and Superego.

The instinct for self-preservation is a critical one for the survival of a human individual, and just like the Id, Mars acts solely to preserve the Self and to gratify desire.  Mars is particularly strong when in the sign of Aries, and Mars just entered Aries today (January 28, 2017).  While in Aries, Mars is at its most potent and the aggressive force is permitted full expression, unhampered by the niceties of signs like Libra or Pisces, by practical considerations such as Capricorn and Taurus would exercise, or by reason and intellectual processing such as Gemini and Aquarius would instigate.  It is pure, unadulterated need and drive.

When this basic force of need is thwarted, frustration is the result.  A certain amount of frustration leads to anger, and chronic anger leads to chronic rage and health problems.  A healthy Mars is, in my view, very important for the human ecosystem to function properly and nowhere is it as healthy as it is in its own sign of Aries.

Mars will remain in Aries through March 9, 2017.  If you have had trouble motivating yourself recently, this infusion of pure raw energy can help you.  There will be more action and less talk – and the talk that does occur will be more frank and more blunt.  Under Mars in Aries there is less care to avoid hurting feelings and more of an urgency to get on with things.

During this time of Mars in Aries, Mars will enlist some powerful friends to help fire things up.  Beginning around the 19th Mars will begin to face off against Pluto (planet of power and transformation) , intensifying the energies and potentially setting off power imbalances and struggles.   At the same time Mars snuggles up to Uranus, planet of radical rebellion and sudden change.  Suddenly the intense drama of the past eight years (with Uranus square Pluto in the sky) will re-emerge as a force to be reckoned with.  The foundation will once again shift and new patterns will emerge.

This intense period will last all the way to the end of February so mark your calendars!  As with any powerful Mars transit, this energy is best channeled through vigorous physical activity, defending yourself in situations where you may be under attack, develop a greater sense of personal empowerment, look closely at the things you want and need in your life and in your relationships and decide to go after them.

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By | 2017-01-28T19:40:04+00:00 January 28th, 2017|Planetary cycles|12 Comments

Libra Full Moon, March 27 2013: Finding balance in chaos

Full Moons are all about balancing polar opposites since during the Full Moon the Sun is in the sign opposing the sign the Moon is in.  The polarities of the zodiac are oppositional in nature but some of the polarities are more oppositional than others.  Taurus and Scorpio both are sensual and stubborn.  Gemini and Sagittarius both hunger for knowledge.

In the Libra Full Moon the Sun is in Aries, and this time around the Sun has a lot of company in a tight Aries stellium which includes Venus, Sun, Uranus and Mars.  Aries is ruled by Mars, so the fact that Mars is in Aries is itself a “double whammy” which exponentially increases the aggressive fire and force of the Aries influence.  Mars and Aries are self-initiatory – at their best they inspire, motivate and create a force that is unstoppable.  If thwarted, diminished or blocked they evoke rage and a rebellious fervor that is particularly strong now since Mars itself is conjunct Uranus, the very planet of revolution.

And yet the Full Moon is in Libra and our hearts are longing for peace and harmonious connection with others.  The Libra Moon, which is much more polite and tends to withdraw from conflict. Libra is the sign of balance in any case – striving for balance in a polarized world. In this lunation, where the force of Libra’s opposite polarity, Aries, is so powerful, that balance will be much harder to achieve. But achieve balance we must – that is the lesson of the Libra Full Moon.

At its core, the Aries/Libra polarity teaches us to integrate our need for individuality (Aries) with our need for beautiful connections that inspire noble truths (Libra).  This polarity is made even more difficult by the fact that Libra’s ruler Venus is in its opposite sign of Aries – yet another symbol of the need to balance the personal (Mars/Aries) with the social (Venus/Libra), the self (Mars/Aries) with the couple or friendship (Venus/Libra).  Yin and Yang – darkness and light.  Each can’t exist in the presence of the other – yet they must.

Mars and Aries work with the personal Will, and at this Full Moon we have even greater potential to create magic through focusing the Will and desires. This means that it is incredibly important to use conscious awareness of what you desire at this time, because it is likely to be fulfilled.

Mars is exactly square Pluto at the Full Moon, challenging the personal Will against the Will of the higher self and beginning to tighten the Uranus/Pluto square with its powerful revolutionary force. There is an awkward aspect (quincunx) between Saturn and Mars that suggests some frustration during this time but the harmonious sextile from Saturn to Pluto helps to provide some grounding into the realm of the practical.

Surprises are likely with the strong presence of Uranus linking the Sun to Mars.  Uranus brings about new ideas and a fresh approach to moving through life that shatters old paradigms.  But this Full Moon also includes a Yod (Finger of Fate) aspect with Saturn at its apex, and with Saturn (the taskmaster which offers rewards for hard work and discipline) attention will be required in order to make the giant leap that is possible now.

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By | 2013-03-27T08:53:32+00:00 March 27th, 2013|Moon|0 Comments

Aries New Moon April 3, 2011

Aries New MoonMuch of this article is taken from the Planetary Illuminations for April. Aries is self-directed, with a purity and innocence that can elevate us out of the realm of ego and into an experience of pure Self. What is it you need for yourself now? This is the question asked of the Aries New Moon, especially since it is tightly aligned with Jupiter, the planet of our opportunities.

The New Moon on April 3 is at 13 Aries and contains some powerful planetary alignments. New Moons mark the beginning of a new lunar cycle, and the Aries New Moon is a time to reach deep into the heart of your desires and see what is most important in order for your own direction to unfold.

There are six planets in Aries right now, so the aggressive and instinctual force is particularly powerful and will overcome the more gentle Piscean influence of the other planets. In addition, Mars (Aries’ ruler) is exactly conjunct Uranus at the New Moon, accelerating the urgency to break free of any restrictions that bind us.

It appears that this will not be all that easy a process though, because the New Moon and Jupiter are opposited by Saturn, the lord of limitations and constriction. Saturn is the balancing force here, keeping our feet on the grounds and ensuring that we honor our responsibilities. This could feel more like repression and confinement, and perhaps the frustration of delays and disappointments in accomplishing our desires. Saturn’s goal is not to make us miserable, but instead to ensure that we have undergone adequate preparation so that our ventures will be a success.

This is a bit of a “two steps forward, one step back” time, with the Aries New Moon and Mars/Uranus generating so much energy for action and the combination of the Saturn influence and retrograde Mercury holding us back and keeping us looking to the past. Understanding the planetary dynamics at work will hopefully keep us from sinking into frustration and despair at any temporary setbacks that occur!

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By | 2011-04-03T06:49:15+00:00 April 3rd, 2011|Moon|1 Comment
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