Mars and Neptune in their Ongoing Dance

Mars always gets attention — now, with its station direct and slow, slow forward motion. He turned direct at 3º40’ Virgo on April 13, and doesn’t enter a new degree until April 21.

The direct station was a bit more than one degree from an opposition to Neptune at 2º26’ Pisces.

The beginning of the current synodic cycle between Mars and Neptune was the conjunction on February 20, 2011 at 28º31’ Aquarius. Neptune dipped into Pisces and then went retrograde in June 2011, backing up to 28º Aquarius again, where Mars at 28º Leo opposed it on November 7.

Mars turned retrograde in January 2012, and now has turned direct, just short of exact opposition to Neptune.

This is their first aspect (although not partile) since Neptune ingressed into Pisces in February 2012, where it will stay until 2025. Mars is fully attending to Neptune in Pisces now. Mars’ actions and desires can reflect Neptune in all its complexity, foibles, and wiles.

A new synodic cycle between these two planets will begin on February 4, 2013 when Mars will conjoin Neptune, back at 2º12 Pisces.

The degrees of the conjunctions (28º Aquarius and 2-3º Pisces) are keys to the unfolding meanings of this combination of planets. You can look at your horoscope for the houses that hold these signs to begin to trace what circumstances and conditions in your life are open to this intricate weaving between Mars and Neptune. Together, they have many layers of symbolism and possible expression.

Something I have noticed in these past few days are various situations that I can describe as bringing us the opportunity to face (Mars opposite) something that we would prefer to avoid (Neptune).

I am thinking about Neptune’s association with veils, deceits, and what is nebulous or obscured. But here is Mars, straight from his long, internal dialogue and ready to take a stand for some new, deeply felt, broad or encompassing action or idea.

Neptune can also suggest what we can’t see in ourselves — perhaps a complex hidden in some infantile, undifferentiated place in the psyche, or caught in an addictive pattern that keeps us deluded, but perhaps feeling secure.

We may now find ourselves facing an addiction (quiet or blatant) or a part of our inner lives that is burning to be recognized and transmuted into fuel for a greater good. (Yea! Neptune in Pisces.)

I am, for the moment, going to assume that Neptune in Pisces will bring us all easy access to its best qualities — this is an oversimplification for sure, but that’s Mars in Virgo, asking for simplicity.

My recent experiences have been subtle, mostly in conversations that were about sensitive matters. Mars-Neptune can be gentle and skillful in using just the right amount of carefully calibrated energy in delicate situations.

And bringing an uncomfortable or delicate situation into an open dialogue can bring good results. Mars in Virgo likes results. This is a quality that will remain accessible to us for a while, due to the slow staying power of the Mars station.

In some circumstances, it may be wise to wait a bit before going full speed ahead; some things being presented to us now may be representing someone else’s desire, and not be really what we want.

Mars moves through mutable Virgo until July 3 when it crosses the cardinal point at 0º Libra. Mutable signs relate to our thinking, perceptions, and states of mind. There is flexibility, adaptability, perhaps even hesitation in knowing what we want to do next. With individuating Mars carrying Neptune’s penchant for the unseen worlds, it may take some of us a while to feel what decisive move is next.

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