A Whole New Mars


It's only because Mars has been dilly-dallying around the same two damn zodiac-signs all year so far that its long-awaited move into a whole new sign is such gripping news.

Refresher course: Due to its retrograde a few months ago, Mars has spent essentially all of 2016 in either Scorpio or Sagittarius. Mars first entered Scorpio on January 3 and stayed there for two months. Then, Mars advanced into Sagittarius, remaining for nearly three months before retreating back into Scorpio for another two-plus months… and finally returned to Sagittarius for one additional two-month occupation.

To give you some perspective on all that, Mars typically travels through a sign in about six-to-seven weeks. This year, Mars will have spent almost nine months in just these two zodiac-sectors.

Ready for something else? Mars enters Capricorn on Tuesday (Sep 27), for a six-week visit to the deliberate, determined, disciplined earth-sign of its exaltation (i.e., the honored zodiac-position where a planet performs most nobly). Though it officially left its post-retrograde shadow more than a month ago, Mars was still in the by-now-too-familiar sign of Sagittarius… and, as such, retained that bold, fiery flavor it's provocatively brandished through much of the year. Mars's arrival into Capricorn, at long last, brings a much different feel.

Mars is so strong in Capricorn because it doesn't discharge its willful self-assertions casually, randomly, or with too much haste. Mars-in-Capricorn's approach to securing aims and fulfilling desires is by design, with a calculating focus that always keeps the ultimate goal in its crosshairs, hindering the potential to become distracted from its endgame by a heated moment's response. While other strong Mars placements attain their triumphs through commanding shows of force or passion, Mars in Capricorn carefully metes out its power-plays, one controlled step after another… at the same time watchfully taking stock of any changes-in-circumstances, and adjusting its strategies accordingly, always a few steps ahead of the immediate action.

Taking a long-view approach to its aspirations, like a chess master, Mars in Capricorn often cleverly makes room for other players to set themselves up for eventual defeat… sometimes even allowing them to cinch an apparent victory (albeit a limited and/or short-term one), exhausting their energies and/or fueling a self-satisfied complacency. Mars in Capricorn may let an opponent win an early lap or two, knowing that winning the whole race is what qualifies as the real victory. This Mars wins marathons, not sprints.

These next six weeks of Mars in Capricorn, then, present us a fitting and timely chance to reaffirm our overriding objectives… to remind ourselves of the main aims which underwrite all the various efforts we expend from moment to moment, and, consequently, to reconfigure our imminent intentions and plans so they'll logically build upon each other in direct support of those aims.

All those recent months with Mars in Sagittarius did deliver us some unmistakable movement, but its influence could hardly be described as precise, constructive, or controlled. Sagittarian energy is brash, adventurous, even wild… goading us to risk familiarity for enlivening experience, to cut through the little shit in favor of big ideas. Yet, Sagittarius lacks nuance, patience, and much practical concern for sustainability. Though Mars's transit through Sagittarius may have helped propel us off our asses (whether by proactive vision or in reactionary response), it also left a fair amount of lackadaisically-handled details, dangling loose-ends, and collateral disarray in its path.

Mars in Capricorn provides us the perfect countervailing steam to aid us in reorienting our attention to the most-critical earthly considerations, adjusting to changes wrought by these past months' developments, integrating the shifts back into our longer-term agenda, and committing these reinforced efforts to the continued pursuit of our highest personal aspirations.

This is something of a 'get real' moment, in terms of discerning, for instance, whether a recent advance was 'the start of something big' or merely a case of 'fun while it lasted'... whether our latest struggle was a passing obstacle meant to strengthen our resolve or an unconquerable challenge that signals ongoing trouble ahead… and/or whether we successfully nabbed that win or should start formulating a hardier attack-scheme for really securing it later.

Of course, like any single planet in an astrological outlook, Mars does not operate in a vacuum. While in Capricorn, Mars will conjoin Pluto (exact on Oct 19)… which also means it will square Uranus in Aries around the same time (Oct 28), triggering one more palpable release of Uranus-square-Pluto volatility. Now that Jupiter is in Libra (as I described in my last article), this Uranus-Pluto square's radical destabilizing energy is re-declaring its force, final-throes-style, a reminder that these 2010s have been anything but a business-as-usual decade—and the revolution that's been kicked off (whether we're talking personal or political) is still upturning our status-quo expectations, slaying its sacred cows, and indelicately recreating our world. (Mars will square Jupiter in Libra on Oct 5.)

This conjunction between Mars and Pluto in Capricorn, which we'll build toward over the coming weeks, is a super-potent consolidation of assertive, power-wielding fortitude. Mars-Pluto energy separates the tenacious from the weak-willed, the victors from the victims, those who'll go all the way to serve their motives from those who fearfully buckle under duress. At its most extreme, it crowns conquerors and punishes the meek. With the stoic Capricorn self-discipline to further draw upon, those of us who can withstand the temptation to react in impulsive passion or offense—who never lose sight of the goalposts, continually reappraising the distance and terrain between there and here—are likeliest to come out on top. And this would be a major victory.

Mars will be in Capricorn until November 8.