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Facing a Daunting Pair of Planets

Venus’s ingress into Aries woke me up very early on Sunday morning with an idea for this blog.

I’ve been thinking about Saturn square Pluto (who hasn’t?), which, along with Saturn opposition Uranus, are forming the underlying archetypal motifs as we move along towards the continuing excitement promised this summer and beyond.

The second of three exact squares of Saturn and Pluto was on January 31; the last will be on August 21, 2010.

Saturn got to 4°39’ Libra on January 13, where it stationed retrograde. Pluto makes it to 5°25’ on April 6, where it stations retrograde.

This month Venus, then Mercury, and then Sun in Aries will form an opposition to Saturn in Libra, followed by a square to Pluto in Capricorn. Venus will be making the exact aspects from March 9th to 11th; Mercury enters Aries on March 17th and makes the t-square between the 18th and 20th; and the Sun’s ingress is on the 20th. The Sun’s opposition to Saturn will perfect on the 21st, and the square to Pluto on March 25th.

So I’m looking at the Aries planets this month as a chance to propitiate the pair and make peace with Saturn and Pluto while I can.

I was with someone a few days ago who usually is of very good cheer and high spirits. She said she was noticing a slight feeling of “dread.” I generally can think and talk and write somewhat abstractly about the meaning of the planets and aspects. But this quiet mention of a feeling of dread caught my attention, and it wasn’t long (the next day, in fact) before I noticed a vague, ill-defined sense of dread myself, somewhere in my body, maybe in my heart.

It has become obvious to me that many are struggling with a pervasive and nearly constant feeling of anxiety or dread these days. It may be only a fleeting moment or quickly passing mood for some, but if it is there, it is hard to deny.

I remembered the feeling in the air around 911, when Saturn and Pluto were most recently in hard aspect to each other. There is a similar emotional resonance now, regardless of our eloquent expectations of transformation and the restructuring of all levels of reality.

Now, my latest thought is to take note of that feeling of dread when it arises and sit with it, facing it directly, with the knowledge that the sense of anxiety looming large in the collective (the planets of death and finality, after all) is also happening inside of me (along, of course, with a very gracious Jupiter, a playful Mercury, etc.).

This month, I’m going to try to be steady and watch for Saturn’s honest feedback on how I’m doing in Venusian, Mercurial, and Solar matters, and not avoid or deny what I see. And, to attempt to relax into Pluto’s relentless press toward annihilating all that is not truly true in my relationships and with money (Venus), in my thinking and perceptions (Mercury), and in whatever aspirations are drawing me forward (the Sun).

My friend, Robert Blaschke, just reminded me that the whole time the Sun is in Aries (March 20th through April 20th), it will be in mutual reception with a newly direct Mars in Leo, so our masculine courage will be strong. Thank you, Robert. Sounds good, and right when we need it!


  1. Well, that explains a lot. Thank you, Mary, for your always helpful insights.

  2. Hi Mary–

    I have been feeling that hushed undercurrent of anxiety in a pronounced way the last five days and seeing it thematically in clients I work with as well. As within, so without. Good time to keep grounded on the Soul’s center of gravity. Thanks for your article and see you in week, at Astrology in Ashland.

    xx, Julie

    P.S. Loved what you said about “truly” true, for relationships 🙂

  3. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for reading..sounds like you can relate? 😉

  4. Julie,

    Nicely put,”that hushed undercurrent of anxiety”…

    Indeed, on to the Soul’s center of gravity…



  5. Mary,

    Great observations. I vacillate between worry/dread and hopefulness for the new age that will surely be upon us once we ‘break on through to the other side’. I remember the sturm und drang about “the harmonic convergence” and in the mainstream about Y2K and the feeling that revolution was imminent back in my hippie youth in the 70s. And I think – is this just more of the same hysteria? Or is this the real deal? And if so, what do I do about it? I blogged about this very topic on my Facebook ‘notes’ – my substitute for a blog til i get organized and get a ‘real one’ – i called the article “Before the Deluge” after the Jackson Browne song of the same name.

    Some astrologers I’ve read are so negative I just about can’t read them. I’ve been enjoying Robert Wilkinson ( ) as a sane middle ground.

    Your piece reminded me of me – I want to be positive, but as Paul Simon says “I know what I know, I see what I see…”

    Thanks for this – keep it coming,


  6. A wonderful book to help at this time is comfortable with uncertainty by pema chodron

  7. Hi Mary – Thanks so much for a beautiful article. I can certainly attest to a personal feeling of dread or anxiety – Saturn has been conjuncting my natal Mars Rx and Pluto has been squaring it, as well. With Mars finally going direct, it’s time for me to resume those things that have been on hold since last October. I will definitely be listening for Saturn and Pluto feedback during the coming month.

  8. Thanks again.

  9. I realize now that I’ve been losing myself in too many projects to avoid that sense of doom I’ve been feeling for quite some time now. It has manifested so personally…I look to my birthday on March 20 with some trepidation and ready to just hang on for the ride!

  10. I “truly” enjoyed your article! For me I’m realizing over and over again we are all trimming the fat from our existence. Paring down and finding the “truly” holistic parts to our spirit-self. It is so vital now, as we enter this new decade of tumult in progress & catalyst reform. Perhaps the goal will be to awaken to a new and profound existence of peace, love,truth and joy. The new age of earthlings becoming galactic beings!

  11. Liked what you said about our relationship to money, since Venus is now involved. I’m really experiencing this badly at the mo’. Luckily I am in psychosynthesis counseling 🙂

  12. “So I’m looking at the Aries planets this month as a chance to propitiate the pair and make peace with Saturn and Pluto while I can.”

    Nice one, Mary. I agree whole heartedly. I posted the following on my Goddess Astrology page today:

    Venus opposite Saturn = tough love. No, not that bullshit about shaming someone in the name of love. That is far too easy for some. No, I mean the really tough love. Unconditional love. Show loving kindness toward someone who you really dislike, who really pushes your buttons. Love them in spite of all your differences…. Acceptance means letting go of trying to control who they are. That is tough love.

  13. Hi Mary, thank you for this column. You’re validating exactly what I’ve been feeling. The Saturn-Pluto square carries a feeling of “impending doom,” although outer events may not manifest like that at all. I these harsh energies (including Uranus’s move into the mix) writ large in world affairs.

    On a personal note, I’ve been working daily with an affirmation I found from Ekhart Tolle’s work:

    CAN I BE THE SPACE FOR THIS NOW? This sentence can be said aloud with many different inflections, but the main point is that all there is is NOW and my job is to work at being the space to contain this “now.” It has helped enormously.

    My sleep has been disrupted over the last 3 nights. I attribute that to my sensing Mars’s shift to direction motion.

    Love, Claudia

  14. I was so glad to read this today as I couldn’t put my finger on my anxiety. Turning toward instead of pushing against or denying is always the key. Thank you.

  15. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the nice comments..

    We really are all in it together!



  16. I also remember the harmonic convergence, Y2K and many other times of fear. It is helpful to remember that all is impermanent, Buddhist first noble truth but not subscribe to anxiety because of transits! How did anyone get through WWII, etc when the world did truly seem to be ending and many worlds did. I go to India where it is accepted that life has problems and people do not expect that all will always be wonderful that way the “new age” teaches. That said I also have similar problems especially with Mars at 1 Cap and I feel I am going to turn into a t-square this summer with many other planets squaring. What is astrology ultimately for, to listen to a deeper beat that others do not hear or”believe in”. Blessings for all to tune into the help and guidance that the planets (through dieties in Vedic?) can offer us, surely we are not just victims. kind regards, Eileen

  17. Let’s please not forget the ongoing conjunction of Neptune/Chiron at 27 Aquarius nor the fact that Pluto and Saturn are retro. We have a great opportunity for some real healing of old wounds here. Most all of us are suffering from Post Traumatic Shock and it would not hurt at all to consult with a professional for assistance. Most of us just went back to our lives without ever going through the most important steps to wellness. God Bless each and everyone of you!

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