And A Whole New Mars


Hold onto your hats, devoted astro-followers, for you might need to read this news twice before it sinks in: Mars is no longer in Leo. Mars entered Virgo early on Monday (Jun 7).

This wouldn't normally be such an extraordinary sign-shift, as Mars usually spends only about a month and a half in a sign… except, thanks to his recent retrograde (Dec 20 09-Mar 10 10), he loitered in Leo for an insane 7-months!

I wrote pretty extensively (e.g., here and here) about Mars's marathon visit to Leo, so no need to dwell on re-describing that. (And hasn't he already drawn enough attention to himself, Leo-style?) Perhaps what's most important to grasp about this news is that it's yet another astrological turning-of-the-tides… another planetary breakthrough into fresh terrain, with its corresponding invitation to try different tactics for different results.

Just in the past few weeks alone, in this quickly-escalating transition phase I dubbed 'the turning', we've seen both Jupiter and Uranus move into Aries, to form their first of three exact conjunctions early this morning (Tue Jun 8), while Jupiter also formed its first of three oppositions to Saturn (on Sun May 23). All this, please remember, against the backdrop of Uranus also opposing Saturn along with Jupiter… and all three of 'em squaring off against shadow-dweller Pluto. I cannot repeat too many times how much big astro-stuff is happening all at once.

See, even in a simple article about Mars entering Virgo, we cannot escape the broader interpenetrations of the planets' contrasting—and conflicting—effects upon each other. As the ruler of Aries, newly residence to both Jupiter and Uranus, Mars plays an important role as dispositor of their present conjunction. That is, Mars serves to mediate how this Jupiter/Uranus energy ends up outwardly expressed, at least as long as they are both in Aries. Therefore, the transition from a fiery Mars (Leo) to an earthier one (Virgo) takes on even greater significance than it otherwise would.

Okay, so… Mars in Virgo. Mars regulates our physical energies and assertive drives, how we go about grabbing for what we want and how we battle against whatever's blocking us from it. In Virgo, Mars is intensely deliberate. He proceeds in small, exacting moves. He carefully measures the logistical playing-field, analyzes and organizes the options based on what's likeliest to yield tangible results, and advances by design. He tries to head off the glitches before they happen… sometimes excessively so, sacrificing immediacy for attempts at perfectionism. When in conflict, Mars in Virgo fights with restraint, calmly using cold rational facts (or pragmatic nagging) as weapons against overemotionalism.

In other words, Mars is now in an altogether grounding, methodical sign—a sign/planet influence in total contrast to so much else going on astrologically right now. Hmmm…

We get a sense of this uncomfortable rub by looking at how Mars is now inconjunct (or at a 150-degree angle to) both Jupiter and Aries… an angular relationship that adds further strangeness to the dispositorship situation I explained earlier. The inconjunct is considered an aspect of under-the-surface disharmony, as signs in an inconjunct relationship to one another share neither the same element (e.g., fire, earth) nor the same quality (e.g., cardinal, mutable), such that it's like they speak two totally foreign languages. We surely observe this incompatibility between Mars in Virgo (as described above) and Jupiter/Uranus in Aries, which is all about an ultra-direct lack of restraint, plenty of fast-paced (and therefore unstudied) progress, and the unstoppable urge to wage balls-out war in order to free ourselves of anything that smacks of stifling our selfhood.

Yet, somehow Mars is also 'in charge' of helping Jupiter and Uranus express their individualizing, revolutionary nature… through precise, practically-minded Virgoan efforts that may not, on the surface, appear as revolutionary as they are. Or something like that. The complexities are almost too mind-bending to clearly outline.

Suffice it to say, with Mars having shifted from Leo to Virgo, we will hopefully be less concerned with asserting our point by proudly declaring it so, having maybe even grandstanded or hyperbolized already—and more interested in making it so, through the seemingly modest steps of building or breaking habits, manifesting 'reinvention' one email, brushstroke, meal or visit at a time. Still, though we may rationally understand that the path to bliss only emerges step by step, the Jupiter/Uranus surge of impatience certainly tempts us to skip steps and run ahead.

Regardless of what sign Mars may be visiting, however, many of us won't resist this temptation to run hurriedly toward the future. In fact, the higher 'evolutionary' pressure (if you're willing to think of it that way) is ultimately pushing us toward such dramatic discontinuity, sooner rather than later. Mars in Virgo, then, might be best understood as our energetic encouragement not to wholly dispense with rhyme and reason… to at least take careful heed of some of the logistical details in the process of growing and changing, to save ourselves any avoidable headaches (since so many of them aren't) by not being unnecessarily rash.

Mars remains in Virgo through the end of July, and this tension with Jupiter and Uranus hits its apex during the tail-end of that visit, as Mars approaches a conjunction to Saturn (exact on Jul 31 in the first degree of Libra) and intensifies all the 'cardinal climax' astrology of mid-2010. Mars's next seven weeks in Virgo carry us right to the heart of the hot hot heat. Any preparations he can help us make are better than no preparation at all.