By Mary Plumb | April 7, 2014
I’m sitting in longed-for sunshine on Sunday afternoon. I know the weather has been rough and it has been a long, long winter in many parts of the country; I hope that many of you are beginning to feel a kinder spring.
Using that word “kinder” is probably an antidote to my current thoughts, which have been moving today towards Mars as a key point for this week’s blog.
The Mars-Sun opposition, the midway point in its synodic cycle, is on Tuesday with the Sun at 18°56’ Aries and Mars retrograde at 18°56’ Libra. The synodic cycle of Mars and the Sun is the period between two consecutive conjunctions of these planets. (1) The cycle begins at the superior conjunction when Mars is in direct motion and conjunct the Sun. The cycle reaches the halfway point at the opposition between the Sun and retrograde Mars. The current cycle began on April 17, 2013 at 28°08’ Aries. (2)
Mars is tangling mightily with the other planets in the cardinal cross and is now is carrying his spurs and sharp knife point right out into the open, visible to all, just as his opposition to the Sun is his greatest visibility in the sky. (3)
It is easy to see the mess out there, not to mention how badly everyone is behaving, but what about the mess in here?
This is a perfect and precise moment to have a face-to-face encounter with whatever is bothering or irritating us, (or more strongly, with whatever feels threatening, frightening or challenging).
Sometimes just noticing what is irritating us can bring a slight adjustment and Mars’s potential for trouble or rage is diffused before we become frantic (Uranus), or caught in a cycle of obsession (Pluto) or grandiosity (Jupiter) in these next weeks as the infamous cardinal cross lights up our world.
At the opposition, maybe we can turn towards what is difficult or painful and carry on with a revelation that will assist as we go forward. We can take this as a shock point in self-awareness — and invite whatever is obstructing our well being to come into view.
Meditators, energy workers, martial artists and yogis have a direct channel for using this currently deeply impassioned Mars constructively. Uranus at best gives a breath of view, someone mentioned to me today that they try to “rise above” the current difficulties, which may be Uranus speaking. That strategy may work for some and at some moments, but in the circles I travel in the notion of “dropping down” or “waking down” into difficulties has taken hold. This is more the realm of the messy, lower chakra, Pluto stuff, wherein we stumble in an eternal moment of obsession or we are coerced by the grip of a demon from the deepest dark.
Mars is fierce, but in Libra can also be more subtle, skillful and nuanced than usual.
Some days it seems we need all the skills and tools and remedies we know of to manage the intensity of the energy that is building, and releasing and building again. The cardinal emphasis brings ongoing choice points to step into the current moment. No time to look back, what is important is what we do now.
(1) The synodic cycle with Mars is not totally consistent, but somewhere around 25-26 months. The actual length will be between 762 – 819 days, with an average length of 779 days. (As noted in Astrology, A Language of Life, Vol. V: Holographic Transits, by Robert P. Blaschke, Earthwalk School of Astrology, 2006.)
(2) I wrote several blogs about that conjunction: Meeting Mars: Inside and Out and Sun-Mars, Part Two.
From the April 22, 2013 blog: “The marathon bombing was on Monday the 15th and, like some of us, I was riveted to the news.
Although that horror dominated the headlines, on April 16, the Constitution Project, a nonpartisan legal research and advocacy group, issued a report that concluded: “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” in the years after 9/11.
On Wednesday the 17th, the explosion at the fertilizer plant, in West, Texas, killed at least 14 people.”
(3) Bonus feature: the skies were clear and I got up early (5 a.m. PT) this morning to see Mars in his glory. Spica was there too, to the left and below Mars, both in the constellation of Virgo as she lays close to the horizon in the west. A few moments later, Venus appeared between the rooftops as she rose in the east. Now, that’s a nice way to start the day — I hope you get a chance to see the planets in the morning sky too.