Making Nice


How was this last week for you?

If you're like me and the folks I know, you experienced the Mars-Pluto opposition and its power-struggle stirrings in full effect. (Even my dog found himself in a scuffle with his dog-walk pack… and has a few stitches to show for it.)

This coming week should move things along nicely, leaving the skirmishes and showdowns behind us… for now. And in their place? The ability to exchange the perfunctory pleasantries necessary to mend the fractures—at least superficially, enough so we may continue along, our essential allegiances intact. The turbulence gone, but definitely not forgotten.

We have diplomatic Mercury in Libra to thank for softening up the first part of the week, politely aspecting both Mars and Pluto for a smidgeon of assistance in saying the right things to smooth over any remaining rough edges. This Libran Mercury shouldn't be underestimated in its clever charismatic manner, nor misunderstood in its conciliatory tendencies. It is, above all else, self-serving, well aware that we sometimes must appear to be catering to others' needs, in order to be quietly meeting our own.

In other words, we aren't necessarily throwing in the towel or surrendering our authority, just because we utter a few statements intended to soothe someone else's residual tender spots. We're actually doing ourselves a favor. (No need to point that out, of course.) Not one of us is an island, after all—and the key to our ongoing happiness is keeping the folks around us happy, too.

Now, in the process of making nice, we must be careful not to make pledges we cannot (or don't intend) to keep… and we shouldn't reek too odiferously of saccharine-sweet insincerity, Mercury-in-Libra's lowest expression. Why? Because this week, Mercury also enters the shadow of its upcoming retrograde… which means we may well be forced to revisit these communications, dare they prove to require correction or amendment. (I know, I know—every damn thing seems to involve a retrograde these days. This is an exceptionally retrograde-happy period, indeed.)

On Thursday (Sep 27), Mercury enters Scorpio, a zone where he's likelier to keep his lips tighter, his eyes wider open, and his mind obsessively occupied with deciphering what's lying at the deep core of matters. Mercury in Scorpio is an investigator, one who holds his own cards close to the chest while trying to determine what's in the other person's hands. By Oct 12, he flips to retrograde, from which point he'll retrace his tracks back into Libra through Nov 1. Thus, for the next few weeks, we'd be wise to practice caution in how we set forth our opinions… all the while taking the information we receive with a private grain of salt, recognizing that the whole truth may rest further beneath the surface case being presented.

Mars also changes signs this week, departing frenetic Gemini for the wetter wetlands of Cancer, upping the water factor even more. This combo of Mercury-in-Scorpio and Mars-in-Cancer will yield a lot more feeling our way around… as opposed to talking it out, planning it through, or soldiering on toward a single point.

Mars isn't his typical balls-out self when riding the waves of Cancer, where his ability to pursue a desire unwaveringly gets complicated by tides, currents, undertows, and the ever-changing moods that go with 'em. Those who'll do best under his influence will be ready to shift tacks at every turn of the tummy-vibes, though it may mean taking a longer time and following a less direct route. In this phase, emotions matter as much as efficiency.

You'll hear plenty more about Mars's voyage across Cancer, as he'll be spending an extraordinary five-plus months wading through the waters—more than three times his average transit through a sign. And you know why, don't you? Yes, it's that word retrograde again. Mars will be retrograde for 2 months, starting in mid-November… wrapping the rest of our year in a confusing version of 'progress' that seems like anything but progress, though it actually is. (To get a preliminary taste, read this article I wrote during the last Mars-retrograde in Sep 05.)

Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, though. For this week, isn't there some nice to make? Some perfunctory pleasantries to exchange? Some reparative diplomacy to practice?