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After the Full Moon

As astrologers we know that when Saturn is in Libra the heavenly guides are offering the optimal time to pay attention to how we relate to one another.

Relationships are the vehicle through which we can reveal ourselves and learn more about ourselves; it takes the reflection of the “other” to find aspects of ourselves. Relationships can become the ground for the inner work of reclaiming parts of ourselves. Saturn in Libra is directly open to reflection from others. (1)

Libra is the archetype for all relationships, not just the romantic ones. Although this comes as a continual surprise to some of us with Neptune in Libra (2), there are other ways to relate. All teamwork, cooperative efforts, and gestures to include the larger social contract are on the front burner. There is much more that we can and need to accomplish together.

We are now in a highly charged planetary geometry whereby the domain labeled “necessary work with others” (Saturn in Libra) is being defined by wild and striking moments of self-expression and realization (Uranus in Aries), as well as a call for a vital new meaning or purpose (Jupiter in Aries) that is in service to the ongoing profound and hidden deconstruction of our collective experience of reality (Pluto in Capricorn). (3)

That’s a big (!) enough job and yet, on July 29, Mars joins Saturn in Libra, bringing a sharp edge to these established players on the stage. Mars and Saturn can be a wicked combo, but let’s tease it apart and look for the high road here.

Saturn offers internal stability and groundedness; this archetype, remember, relates to the skin and the skeletal system in the physical body. We need a strong and flexible sense of self and the ability to hold steady inside ourselves to embrace and work with all that is coming our way at this time.

Instead of embittered, hardened, and thwarted (Saturn) drives and desires (Mars), perhaps we can stand poised and serene within our own selves (Saturn) and take actions (Mars) that will ultimately bring benefit for the larger social sphere (Libra).

If we hold steady inside ourselves, what we receive from others and what we can create together will be maximized, including shocking and delightful new possibilities, as well as the triggering of our own unconscious mental and emotional patterns that are ready to be released.

With Mars and Saturn in Libra, perhaps our defenses and resistances can be refined so precisely that we become more efficient and skillful from here on in. A finely wrought balance between inside and out is a current theme, especially these next few weeks. Mars and Saturn means we are simultaneously fired up and restrained, and that takes skill to pull off.

In Gary Caton’s wonderful Lunar Eclipse blog from a few weeks ago, he suggested a simple exercise for improving communications. In that same spirit, on the Full Moon yesterday, I twice was reminded of Marshall Rosenberg’s work on Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Christiane Northrup suggested him as a resource in her blog on Huffington Post. She writes:

“I recommend that you go to Marshall Rosenberg’s Web site for the Center for Nonviolent Communication and check out the emotions and needs lists. Ask yourself what need is behind what you are feeling. Once you can identify the unmet need, know that, as an adult, you have the power to get that need met directly. Children don’t have this capacity, which is why most difficult emotions spring from unmet childhood needs that must now be addressed. When you can state a need directly to yourself, you are well on your way to health.”  (4)

Norma Nakai Burton, the Unity minister here in Ashland, also spoke about Rosenberg’s work in some of the most painful and divisive locations in the world right now. Last night I was part of a circle where Norma applied this approach in a beautifully productive way.

On a lighter (and back to the romantic) note, the late astrologer Richard Idemon makes a funny point in his book Through the Looking Glass (a transcription from a 1982 seminar). I can’t find the exact quote but he says that “relationships” are almost  like some sort of an “object” or construction, and that those who are in one can’t wait to get out, and those who aren’t in one can’t wait to get in. Some of us (maybe especially those with planets in early degrees of the cardinal signs?) are jumping in and out again and again and on lots of different levels, i.e., by actually making physical separations, distinctions and boundaries, or, in more subtle ways, by acutely learning from our emotional and mental responses to others.

As homage to Saturn, may we all know the deep satisfaction in facing the bare bones of our reality and experiencing the naked truth of our own existence. From that point of strength and self-sufficiency, may we welcome and recognize each other deeply and carry on together with the great transformational work at our doorstep!


(1) Saturn is in Libra until October 2012.

(2) Those born between 1942–1956 have natal Neptune in Libra. For a quick synopsis: those born between 1968–1975 have Uranus in Libra and are drawn to brilliant instability in relationships, while the generation of Pluto in Libra (1971–1984) are compelled to face the very edge of life and death in the relationship arena. (Is everyone having fun by now?)

(3) Pluto is in Capricorn from late 2009 through early 2024.

(4) Huffington Post


  1. I believe that quote was from Michel de Montagne, and goes something like this. Marriage is like a bird-cage: those on the outside are dying to get in; those on the inside are dying to get out.

  2. Great Blog Mary! Yes, Saturn is exalted in Libra, suggesting that emotional maturity is a key to successful relating. And as you say, consciously identifying unmet needs and addressing them directly is a hallmark of emotional maturity. Thanks again.

  3. Hi Margaret,

    Yes, that sounds like the origins of Richard’s thinking..

    Here’s what I found;

    “Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out. – Michel de Montaigne”

  4. Hi Gary,

    Yes, emotional maturity!! I think it’s a lifelong process for this Cancer Moon..


  5. How very inspiring, Mary, thank you! With 4 natal planets ruled by Saturn, it’s wonderful to read the old fellow getting good press! Jude

  6. Thank you for this insightful update…so true about ‘marriage’! LOL! with my venus 7th hse libra I do expect a serious couple of years of hard work ahead. Thank you Mary!

  7. I loved this article! Knowing that Saturn is in Libra for 2 more years…and Pluto in Capricorn for 15 truly explains this is a journey of change and not a phase! I have to ask…Is there a natal planet in Libra for those born between 1956-1968?
    From one Cancer moon rising to another…Tina

  8. Dear Mary, THANK YOU! I now understand why I have begun to write again. Transiting Saturn is in Libra in my third house approaching Jupiter.

  9. Mary, I like your phrase “finely wrought balance” for this Mars transit to T Saturn et al at AP. Sounds like wise advice to keep in mind (especially for those of us with individual contacts) should these “highly charged” energies tempt the overwrought. I am watching President Obama’s chart, for example. He has N Venus at Cancer AP, his only cardinal placement.

    Reaching for some old Saturn favorites to materialize Saturn in our Libra consideration, boundaries in our social interaction and thinking may be a timely and instructive theme.

  10. Thank you mary for your insights. I forgot that Saturn and Mars are together today. I set to work on editing my deposition, correcting what I said. Having to read what I said is painful. I also have procrastinated doing it. Mars and Saturn help the process- finally taking action on laborious work that I have to do.
    thanks again

  11. Hi everyone,

    Thank you all for your feedback and comments..Mars has entered Libra and opposed Uranus already today..the Moon enters Aries at 1:40 pm PT, so all of these planets will be moving along..

    Stay cool in hot times! (I’m spending as much time in the lake, in the sun, on the rocks, as I can..)

    Best to one and all,


    PS Kate – good for you, pushing through that task..I hope we can talk soon while so much is going on..

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