Nature will always take what is too high and bring it down to earth—Toko-pa Turner.
As swallows swoop low over the meadows salt licked by an Atlantic breeze, the long languorous days of summer melt into copper sunsets. Across the dry earth, a hairline crack gains momentum as tenacious Mars muscles into earthy Taurus this week. This ancient deity of battle, who unlike the invisible sky gods, was embodied and fought on the earth plane, carries our personal and collective fighting instinct, and in Taurus Mars takes on a certain fixity and dogged determination. We all have Mars (in different signs, fighting different battles) in our birth chart, an energy that expresses itself as assertion or desire, or becomes pathologized as depression. In our culture, Mars is expressed in the competition of sport, the violence of computer gaming, the carnage and cruelty of war, the impotence of mass shootings. As Mars tipped from Aries into Taurus on the 4th of July, a gunman opened fire in Chicago. Mass shootings account for just a fraction of the daily toll of firearm deaths in the US, where about 124 people die every day in other acts of gun violence, according to research by the Marshall Project.
This week, in Copenhagen, a gunman killed three people in a shopping centre. Something much deeper is at work as the unresolved collective issue with Mars affects us all.
This month, Mars joins forces with erratic Uranus edging ever nearer to a close encounter with the North Node (18° Taurus) between July 31st and August 1st as tipping points topple in our own lives and collectively. A belligerent Mars continues to pick a fight between July 22nd and August 15th while Uranus remains within only a few degrees of the North Node until February 2023. The North Node in Taurus reflects our collective yearning for stability and calm, our ancient rootedness in the earth (Taurus) while the South Node in Scorpio tugs us back regressively to the messy intensity of unresolved karma which, in Scorpio’s deep waters, will never be light or superficial.
We’re being asked to excavate those parts of ourselves that may feel like unwelcome guests – those uncomfortable feelings that still fester, those tender places in our heart that are so easily bruised, those regrettable things we have said and done that have tarnished trust, upended relationships, harpooned the heart that loved us.
The root word, Mar or mas carries the energy of a generative force and now it reverberates through the theatre of politics, unearthing Boris Johnson as the winds of change howl through Westminster. As Mars trines his South Node on July 7th Boris Johnson, the man who would be King of the World, reluctantly announces his resignation.
As tragedy turns to farce, Uranus and the North Node are currently activating Boris Johnson’s Ascendant and transiting Pluto is moving over his Midheaven making a painful square to his Moon. Karma ripens.
This is a fragile, vulnerable time for our leaders, for our home planet, for all humanity. The calm simplicity of Taurus calls us to get back into nature, to live more sustainably, to tenderly care for our earth and all living things. The fetid tail of the Scorpio South Node lures us backwards into drama and chaos, draws up those shadowy things that haunt our dream time and play out in unspeakable acts of cruelty and rage.
Between July 1st and February 2023, Uranus travels in tandem with the North Node in Taurus, suggesting that collectively we are in for a bumpy ride. Mars joins the fray on August 1st, amplifying dogged determination, perhaps the final push by the Russians in Ukraine and the fateful necessity for the West to take action. Mars is associated with desire, with bloodlust, and Mars makes a frustrating square to intractable Saturn on August 7-10th August amplifying the uneasy Saturn/Uranus square which has been in force all this uneasy, unpredictable year.
Collectively this may feel like the painful bursting of a swollen abscess, and if this alignment moves over any angle or planets in our own birth chart, we will feel this energy perhaps as an intense release, the resolution of something that has been building for some time now. On August 10th, the transiting Moon and Pluto oppose Venus, drawing us back to what comes to light on the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13th. “You can’t change a regime on the basis of compassion. There’s got to be something harder,” observes Nadine Gordimer.
Astrologer Liz Greene writes, “If we accept the principle of astrological ages, the collective psyche has been aligned with the Piscean/Neptunian values for the last two thousand years. Mars is the natural enemy of Neptune. Where Neptune’s longing for fusion dominates, Mars is castrated. If we create and live within a world-view which regards Neptunian values as the highest good, Mars will inevitably become the “bad guy”. We may be reminded that in myth, Mars is a self-serving tribal creature who revelled in the heat and blood of battle. No matter how spiritually attuned or selflessly loving we are, our instinctual agression is still represented by Mars in our birth chart. We can choose to project it outwards, or internalise it as an illness or as depression, but if we meet this virile, vital force within, we may have the courage to rise up rooted, claim our own potency and flourish and thrive during these challenging times.
If we surrendered to Earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. Instead we entangle ourselves in knots of our own making—Rilke.
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