Aspects of Life
This issue will begin the discussion of specific aspects. I am not going to distinguish between natal to natal; natal to progressed (or vice versa); progressed to progressed; transiting to natal, etc. In my opinion, ALL aspects symbolize inner psychological states. These states CAN lead to events (but do not necessarily). The more we are in inner harmony, the more harmonious our outer lives and events will be.
In tune with the alphabet approach, I will discuss Letter One (Mars) first, rather than the Sun as most aspect texts begin. Mars (and all other forms of Letter One, e.g. the ruler of the rising sign; planets in the first house, etc.) are keys to one’s basic identity, natural, spontaneous, what we do instinctively, early on, from the very beginning of life. Letter One is a key to our basic physical energy and vitality as well as self-confidence and assertion—the ability to put ourselves first and say, “I want this,” and go for it!
MARS IN ASPECT TO MARS (OR OTHER FORMS OF LETTER ONE)
Mars/Mars contact can only occur by transit or progressions, but Mars can aspect other forms of Letter One in the chart. E.g., Since I have Uranus in the First and Cancer rising, both Uranus and the Moon are part of my Letter One expression. Aspects of Mars to the Moon or Uranus in my chart carry One/One meanings. Such contacts put a focus on the personal identity, energy, confidence, and action. Mars CONJUNCT Mars (or other planetary forms of Letter One) is the strongest statement. During such periods, it is important to have an outlet for our self-will. The more fire involved, the more important that some of our expression be in physical action. Sitting on or blocking fire can lead to unpleasantness (e.g. headaches, colds, minor cuts, burns, accidents, and so on.) We need to be spontaneous, allowing our natural instincts expression in positive ways. What is natural for one person will be different than what comes easily to another, depending on house and sign position and other aspects. With Mars in the Fourth House, we may express lots of nurturing energy or be active in the home, while people with Mars in the Ninth are more likely to find active expression through sports and games.
There is often a strong ME focus during such periods, which is understandable and appropriate, if not overdone. We need to be who we are without trying to measure up to the expectations of others. In its positive form, this is the child-like spontaneity that may sometimes surprise, but usually appeals to others. Of course, any aspect is modified by house and sign position plus other aspects. Strong water or earth will tone down the spontaneity and expressiveness of fire, including Mars.
There may be strong self-confidence and assertion during Mars/Mars (or Letter One) aspects. A potential danger (depending on the context) is over-reaching with our personal will, attempting to have everything our way. This is an appropriate time to be more physical, e.g., start an exercise program—but something that YOU will like. Exercise for mere discipline will not appeal to our Martian side.
Anger is often an issue with Mars, but more often blocked anger is what creates difficulties. If one is natural, and expresses the anger immediately when experienced, it can usually be worked out. When we hold in anger (for fear, politeness, misplaced kindness, etc.), it tends to build up and get displaced to inappropriate times and targets, where it causes more damage. Do not be surprised if your temper seems a bit quicker during Martian periods. Just be willing to let it go and work it through. An immediate, natural response of “I don’t like what you did!” is more likely to initiate communication and the possibility of reaching a comfortable resolution than holding back, and blowing up later over a trifling matter. If we block our anger and assertion too thoroughly, we turn ourselves into doormats, inviting the world to walk on us. People who hold themselves in too thoroughly may unconsciously attract violence from others. (Others intuitively recognize the “patsy” who is less likely to defend him or herself.)
A sense of space and freedom is important with Mars in high focus. Do not let yourself get too hemmed in (whether by others, your own work, your own expectations, or whatever). This is a time to open your life up, if only in little ways. Small warning signals such as colds, headaches, and minor accidents are clues that tell us our Martian needs for independence, freedom and self-expression are being stifled. So, find ways to break loose and break free that are not destructive. It is important to remember, in all cases, that the circumstances of our lives do no matter near as much as our ATTITUDE toward those circumstances. E.g., we may lead relatively closed, hemmed in lives, but if we FEEL a sense of free self-expression, that is all that is needed. The smallest step can help to give that needed sense of liberation: a ten-minute break from a boring task; a quick walk around the block; pounding a pillow; a set of tennis; a half hour to sketch or read or daydream, or do something that is for us alone. And so on.
Mars is one of our keys to health, as its rulership includes the physical body. Part of our ability to do as we please, be as we wish in the world includes the good health to express as we desire. Blocking our natural energy has physical as well as emotional consequences. As mentioned, typical problems associated with blocked Mars are headaches, colds, accidents, especially cuts and burns, and even major surgery and violence from others in extreme cases.
Harmony aspects to Mars (trine, sextile, and semi-sextile in order of descending strength) emphasize the potential energy, confidence, drive and will in this combination. Mars trine Mars (or Letter One in other forms) tends to indicate a period of great confidence, enthusiasm, and energy to pursue what we want in the world. We tend to feel a sense of “rightness” to who we are and what we want. The main danger is over-doing this, to the detriment of others (and even ourselves) through over-confidence and rashness or self-centeredness.
This often feels like “All systems are GO!” Tremendous energy is available. Our main challenge is to be sure it is channeled in an appropriate, fulfilling direction. Impulsivity and trying too much too fast are possible risks. (Again, the more fire involved by house and sign as well, the more danger of this. With more earth and water, the individual may just be totally into working or feeling or expressing their energy in less spontaneous, active ways.)
For people with heavy water or earth, expressing themselves freely may be difficult. Spontaneity may be limited. Expressiveness may be held in. For such individuals, it is extremely important to USE their Mars/Mars (of other forms of Letter One) periods to raise self-confidence, initiate more activity, allow more self-expression, be more of who they are. Dealing with anger is often a difficult issue. Anger, assertion, and self-expression are particular challenges for women in our society, because the “feminine” sex role discourages the natural self-expression of Martian energies. It is much more common for women in our society to be out of touch with Mars or Letter One in their charts, than men. (It is more common for men to be out of touch with the Moon and Letter Four.) Strong Martian aspects indicate times when the woman is more psychologically ready to assert herself, be self-centered in positive ways, look after her own needs. (Of course, we must always be aware of the danger of swinging from one extreme to the other.)
The Mars sextile Mars is less strong. We are still likely to feel fairly confident and assertive, but less prone to over-reach ourselves. We may just enjoy a little extra energy, be more spontaneous than usual, focus more on the self. Positive expression includes finding ways to be ourselves, especially through physical activity, which will not hurt others. Look to what you would normally do, if you did not have to consider anyone else, and then find ways to express those drives and desires which will not hurt others.
The Mars semi-sextile Mars is generally harmonious, but may be felt as a conflict, because we are blending two different parts of life. We need to find ways in which the adjacent signs (and usually houses) involved in the aspect build on the foundations of one another. We are expressing an identity that is composed of two different sides. We are looking for freedom in two different areas. It is usually not too difficult to do. E.g., with a Mars semi-sextile Mars from the Second to the Third Houses, we might find mental forms of expression which give us pleasure—whether writing, speaking, visiting relatives, etc. Or we might energetically communicate in ways which will augment our resources, bring in money, etc.
The Mars/Mars (or Mars in conflict to other forms of Letter One) aspects present more of a challenge, but the basic themes remain. We are looking for harmonious ways to express ourselves, to feel free, to be who we are (without blocking ourselves nor squelching others unduly), to be confident, active, and assured. In its severest forms the danger of Mars (or any form of Letter One) in conflict with another form of Letter One is suicide. This is a classic self-against self act. We turn our own power and energy against ourselves. Obviously, people have lots of occurrences of Letter One in conflict with Letter One and do NOT commit suicide, but we do look for it when suicide has been the case, or when it appears to be a danger. (Note: Letter One in conflict with itself includes Mars in conflict aspect to the Ascendant, or any planet in the first house, or the East Point or Antivertex, or any ruler of the first. It also includes any of the latter in conflict with each other. As an example, someone with Taurus rising and Uranus in Gemini in the First House has the Venus quincunx the Ascendant and Mercury opposite Uranus. This is two forms of Letter One in conflict with Letter One—for that individual.)
The basic message of any conflict aspects between Mars and itself or other Letter One forms, is that one part of who we are and what we want is in conflict with another part. The challenge is to find some ways to satisfy BOTH sides, appropriately, in moderation. The major dangers are repression (denying one side until forced to face it through physical illness); projection (attracting someone else to express that side of our nature who ends up OVER-doing what we are not allowing in ourselves) and displacement (expressing both sides, but in inappropriate times or places). Conflict aspects include the square, octile, tri-octile, quincunx, and opposition.
With the square, octile, and tri-octile, the major challenge is to find appropriate times and places for each side of our nature, each part of our identity. Part of this process includes accepting that people are inherently ambivalent and contradictory. A strong Mars does not like ambivalence; there is an all-out tendency. We have to be willing to be some of this, and some of that. Too often, people will reject one side or another of their own nature, seeing it as negative. Invariably, we bring that drive back into our lives through projection.
Projection is easiest with the opposition. This is a natural “relationship” aspect, and we tend to identify with one end and attract significant others in our lives to live out the opposite end. Or, we may simply live life out on a see-saw: first over-doing one side of the opposition, then over-doing the other side. With any opposition, we need to find the middle ground: where each end contributes to and supports the other. Polarities are complementary: each has something the other needs. An example would be Mars in Taurus opposite Mars (or a ruler of the Ascendant or planet in the First House, etc.) in Scorpio. Here, the push-pull is often between self-indulgence versus self-control over the physical world (eating, drinking, smoking, money, and sexuality). We may swing between over-eating and fasting or dieting severely; drinking and going on the wagon; sex versus celibacy; extravagance versus penny-pinching and so on. Or, if we do not do it internally, we may attract a partner to play the game out with us. So, we spend money freely, and have a partner who is a miser. Or vice versa. The lesson is clear. The middle ground is to enjoy the physical world without being ruled by it. We need some self-control in order to enjoy our indulgent periods. But an ascetic life of pure control is sterile and lacks pleasure. The whole person is capable of handling the material world with pleasure, but without extreme excesses.
Projection is also possible with the quincunx. This, however, tends to be the most potentially disruptive of the aspects. People are most likely to take off and leave (a job, relationship, situation, etc.) with quincunxes. There is often a feeling of “I CANNOT get these two parts of life together!” with the quincunx. They feel so different! As with any challenge aspect, it takes work. The two major dangers of the quincunx are leaving prematurely (in which case we merely meet the challenge in another guise later on) or clinging with determination to one part of our nature, long after it has served its purpose.
Zip Dobyns calls this the “closet cleaning” aspect. The goal is to analyze and discriminate what is useful in our lives (physical, mental, emotional) and know what to keep and what to throw away—like a Virgo-Scorpio blend. The two avoidances people tend to use are: “Let’s move, so we do not have to clean the closet.” or “I cannot bear to throw anything out of my closet.” The first set of people split from situations, only to find the same issues in their new situation. (They just get another closet to clean.) The second set creates imbalances in the life by clinging too long to one part of their nature, one side of who they are.
Consider, as an example, a quincunx between Mars in the Fourth and Mars in the Ninth. Mars in the Fourth says, among other things, my identity is tied to my home and family, to my nest, to being a motherer, a nurturer, a caretaker. I am dependent or nurturing. My energy is directed into the home environment. My self-expression is emotional, in supportive roles. Mars in the Ninth says, “My identity is tied to the search for the truth. I am idealistic, a seeker and a searcher. I will travel to the ends of the earth to find the meaning of the universe. My energy is directed to the mind, to the pursuit of knowledge, to philosophy, religion, and ultimate values. My expression is direct, forthright, quick, and perfectionistic.”
A reasonable compromise involves some of both. The individual might have a solid home base, but do some traveling. S/he might be an idealistic parent, bring lots of books and stimulating people into the home. S/he might take the home into the world and nurture others at large, or live in a trailer! S/he might study or go to college in domestic science, or real estate, food preparation, etc. There are numerous options.
Problems ensue when the person leaves the scene rather than clean the closet, or when we cling too closely to one end of the spectrum. E.g., “I cannot be the perfect mother, so I’m going to India to be the perfect seeker. Good-bye.” Or, “I cannot be the perfect student, so I’ll immolate myself on the altar of parenthood and do EVERYTHING for the children.” Or, “I cannot be a good businessman and be ethical and honest, so I’ll sacrifice the honesty to get the security I want.” Or, “It’s uncomfortable to both think and feel, so I’ll try to rationalize all my emotions away.”
A very simple form of this aspect would be the inner conflict between doing one’s very best in sports and other forms of competition versus taking care of the other person. Do we go all out to win? Do we lose for the sake of the other person’s feelings? Do we play reasonably well, but not use that “killer instinct” in our games? Do we avoid games and sports for fear of hurting someone, or being too hurt at losing ourselves? Etc. The aspect poses the dilemma. The solution is up to the individual. Many such issues are faced over and over again in our lives. We never “solve” the dilemma; we merely confront the differing needs repeatedly in our lives and make the best choice possible at that time.
The inherent issue in all aspects is that human beings are naturally in conflict. Being multifaceted creatures, we have needs and desires that are not always in harmony. Strife is a part of life. The challenge is to find ways in which to express the often contradictory sides of our nature that are as comfortable (for us and those around us) as possible. No one is perfect. We all blow it on a regular basis. But life is so interesting, we generally keep on trying to improve our act!
MARS IN ASPECT TO VENUS
A Venus-Mars conjunction ties our identity to pleasure. We may express that through indulgence of the appetites (food, drink, sexuality, money, possessions) or in the pursuit of beauty. There is often a strong sensual streak in the nature. People with this aspect tend to be quite interested in the opposite sex, and are often naturally attractive to the opposite sex as well. (People instinctively respond to the animal magnetism.)
Obviously, this indicates lots of potential talents: artistic, charming, magnetic, naturally sensual. Dangers include over-indulgence, indolence (expecting life to always be easy and pleasurable), too much of a focus on material goods, over-emphasis on beauty and/or appearance (in self, others, or life), or a self-centered approach to love and affection.
Harmony aspects between Mars and Venus suggest the likelihood of being able to be ourselves and still enjoy the physical world. Our pleasures are in line with our natural self-expression. Our desire to act in the world blends easily with what we enjoy. Who we are does not conflict with our capacity to earn a living and handle the material world.
Conflict aspects between Mars and Venus suggest problems in self-expression versus pleasure from the physical world. In some way, our identity is at odds with our capacity for pleasure and beauty. Perhaps we identify with work, and deny pleasure (e.g. one form of Mars in Capricorn square Venus in Aries). Perhaps we feel our need to earn money does not allow for personal self-expression. We squelch our nature in the jobs we pursue. Perhaps we have difficulty fitting beauty into our own identity or what we do in the world. We may simply be torn between being and doing. Mars tends to call for ACTION whereas Venus can be content to sit and smell the flowers.
Another form of the Mars/Venus conflict involves Venus as ruler of Libra rather than Taurus. Here we see self-expression and self-will in conflict with the rights and needs of other people. We may over-do our own desires, and take unfair advantage of others. (Eventually our actions reap consequences, e.g., no friends.) We may over-do our concern for the feelings of others and submerge our own needs and desires for the sake of a (one-sided) “relationship.” We may swing between the two extremes. We may feel a pull between being a loner and being half of a partnership. We may project our needs for freedom, or our needs for closeness (or repress them).
As mentioned earlier, with the Venus/Mars opposition, we are most likely to get a see-saw effect: whether between action and relaxation; action versus reaction; freedom versus closeness; ruthless self-will and playing doormat; impulsivity and diplomacy, etc. Projection is also likely: where we attract partners and significant others to play out one end of the polarity.
The quincunx warns of the potential of periodically leaving the scene. Splits in relationships are especially likely as Venus rules Libra, but periodic changes in how one earns money are also likely, and periodic shifts in one’s sense of identity. Making room for both sides is always the challenge!
MARS IN ASPECT TO MERCURY
ANY Mercury-Mars contact adds to the likelihood of a good, quick mind, and a quick tongue. The conflict aspects merely take a bit more care in handling.
With Mercury/Mars aspects, we expect a good, fast mind—people who can think on their feet. As Zip Dobyns put it: the mind of the debater and the tongue like a sword. Naturally, the sword is more likely to be hurtful if there are conflict aspects, but may be used even when the aspects are harmonious. As always, we need to consider the context. The more fire and air, the more expressive and spontaneous the individual is likely to be. The more earth and water, the more s/he may hold back or hold in the sharp word, the quick retort, the easy repartee—even though the mind is quick enough to conceptualize it.
With Mars conjunct Mercury, people are identified with their minds. Part of who they are is what they think, and how they communicate. Speech tends to be rapid, and may be impulsive. Bluntness is often a characteristic. Sharp words may be an outlet for a quick temper. Similarly, the competitive spirit may be put into mental games and honing communication skills. Such people tend to quite articulate, and able to cover a wide variety of topics. They often have masses of trivia or gossip at their fingertips and tongue-tips. Hand-eye coordination is often good, and there may be mechanical skills.
There is sometimes a very important sibling or other collateral relative who acts as a role-model: positive or negative. We may want to be just like or just the opposite of that sibling or relative. S/he is the measure against whom we compare ourselves. Very often there is some rivalry in the relationship. If we disown and block our own Mars, this relative is likely to be over-doing it: selfish and self-centered; or aggressive; or violent; argumentative; picking fights; extremely active and energetic; vital, lively, etc. The relative role-models (positively or negatively) Martian energy.
Harmony aspects between Mercury and Mars suggest it is more likely such people will be free with their mental and verbal skills. Communication is likely to flow quickly and easily. Thinking tends to be quick and incisive. Such people seem at ease in their immediate environment. They can often lead the people around them. They are almost never at a loss for words or ideas (which may be a problem).
Conflict aspects suggest the talents are still there, but perhaps the individual has more difficulty expressing them. Perhaps the sharp tongue is the issue. Perhaps there is too much verbal fencing and rivalry (beginning often with a sibling which is also symbolized by Mercury). Perhaps there is impatience, when others do not think or speak as quickly. (I’m sure everyone has met people who habitually finish your sentences for you, or insert words if you pause for breath or to think.) Or, the person may be impatient with his or her own mental alertness and speed. The mind may be quick, but miss step occasionally, which can cause later problems. Etc.
MARS IN ASPECT TO THE MOON
Moon/Mars contacts, regardless of the aspect, form a natural square. Thus, even with harmony aspects, there is an inherent conflict to be resolved. The harmony aspects make it more likely that the Moon/Mars ambivalence can be blended, but we still need to do the work. Similarly, conflict aspects re-emphasize the need to integrate, but if we do, there is no problem.
The basic Moon/Mars conflict is between free self-expression, concern only for one’s self and dependency or nurturance which automatically involves others. Mars desires to be a loner, free, untied, doing exactly as that person pleases. The Moon desires an emotional commitment: to be a nurturer and caretaker, or to be taken care of and nurtured by another, to be attached. This is one corner of the classic “Freedom/ Closeness Dilemma” described by Zip Dobyns.
In a sense, a Mars/Moon conjunction forces the integration, because we cannot have one without the other. But care is still needed. One integration is to say, “My identity is to be a nurturer, a caretaker, an emotionally supportive person. My natural self-expression is to look after others.” This is fine, IF we do not sacrifice too many of our own personal needs in the process!! Another integration is to provide a lot of self-mothering—emotionally supporting ourselves, looking after ourselves, reassuring ourselves. Again, fine if done in moderation. Self-mothering can be another form of shutting people out if we cannot share it, or allow others to mother us as well.
The ambivalence about being close versus being free generally starts young. A Mars/Moon conjunction indicates the individual’s own mother had a freedom-closeness dilemma. She may have given ambivalent messages to the child about emotional sharing versus playing the loner. Or, she may have repressed one side, and encouraged the child to over-do the other. Or, she may have integrated the two and presented a positive role-model for someone who could be her own person and still be warm and loving.
Sometimes people play it out physically, with homes they periodically leave—voluntarily or involuntarily (usually when young). Families which move a lot show this ambivalence between freedom and space versus a nest and roots. Many things which appear “involuntary” are a result of our own choice, such as committing to jobs and/or people which require a lot of moving.
Harmony aspects between Mars and the Moon suggest the likelihood of the person learning to balance a warm, emotional, domestic part of life with some personal freedom and independence. This also indicates the likelihood of harmony between that individual’s own actions, sense of self and his or her mother (or mother figure).
So too do conflict aspects between Mars and Moon show the potential danger of strife between the native’s free action and the mother or mother figure. But it is our own ambivalence first between rootedness and pioneering; freedom and closeness. Mother is just a handy person with whom we can work some of it out. Again, we can project, repress or displace. The opposition is prone to see-saws: extreme freedom and then extreme closeness, or we may project one end. The quincunx is prone to periodically just splitting—leaving the scene or clinging to something long past its prime. When the conflict is unresolved, change or loss may be produced by circumstances outside the individual’s control. (We must remember, however, we set things up initially by who we choose share our lives.)
People who repress their Martian needs tend to end up with colds, headaches, minor cuts, burns, accidents, and eventually surgery. People who repress their Moon needs tend to end up with stomach problems and/or a situation where a dependency or nurturance role is “forced” upon them by the world. E.g., getting sick forces dependency. An aged parent coming to live with us “forces” us to take care of him or her. Etc.
People who project their freedom needs in relationships consistently attract “free souls” who do not want to settle down; or fall in love at a distance (thus avoiding close, intimate relationships); or fall for married men or women (again avoiding truly committed relationships), etc. People who project their closeness needs attract clinging vines who try to possess them and tie them down, helpless “babies” who need to be taken care of, and so on.
The basic rule is, whatever we deny in ourselves, refusing to acknowledge and manifest, we will attract from the world and other people—usually in exaggerated form. So, we need to look at those people around us, figure out the energy they are mirroring for us, and use it in MODERATE and POSITIVE ways.
MARS IN ASPECT TO THE SUN
Any Mars/Sun aspect adds to the fire in the chart: spontaneous, impulsive, outwards, energetic, expressive. An excess of fire can indicate rashness, over-reaching, impatience, and an addiction to excitement.
A conjunction between the Sun and Mars suggests great vitality, energy, confidence, ambition and drive. The identity is tied to the need to be a star. There is often charisma and magnetism. The individual may instinctively play King or Queen and—if over-done—the royal manner may annoy others. Sun/Mars people tend to have grand schemes—believing they are destined for greatness. But without supporting factors (e.g. earth for hard word and endurance), they may simply be ambitious but never focused. They may yearn for the excitement of doing something big, but avoid the groundwork.
Personal creativity is strong. This may express in the arts, particularly the performing arts. Teaching, sales and promotion are also possibilities. There may be strong feelings for children, an ability to easily remember the feeling of being a child. Part of the natural charm of magnetism of this combination is the ease in being childlike in joy, enthusiasm, spontaneity and a certain self-centeredness: “Look at me!”
There is often great warmth and generosity. The tendency is toward extravagance—feeling one can always get more (money or whatever is freely tossed out into the world). There is an instinctive optimism and self-confidence, often. There is also a tremendous need for applause and approval and attention from others, which can be a problem if over-developed.
The harmony aspects suggest people are more likely to meet their ambitions. Their energy is likely to be directed positively into activities that will make them the center of attention, that will reap the applause, love, and admiration. Their natural impulsive action is supportive of their drive to do something more, better, bigger in life. Self-expansion is likely to flow easily. The danger is excesses—especially with trines. Several of the would-be gurus Zip Dobyns has collected have grand fire trines, including involving fire planets: the danger of too much faith in one’s own ambitions and actions, believing whatever one wants is OK and expecting to get it, often with little effort.
Stress aspects suggest conflict between one’s natural, spontaneous, instinctive actions and one’s desire to shine in the world, to do more than has been done before. Depending on sign, house placements and other aspects, that could range from something as simple as: “Do I spend money only on myself, or on my children?” The person may be torn between the loner role and the ruler role. Mars wants to be totally free, while the Sun needs an entourage or courtiers or family to love, admire, and appreciate.
Since these planets are naturally trine one another, the conflict aspects are easier to harmonize. Activity is important with fire, usually at least some of it physical. Zest, enthusiasm are usually high. Both Mars and the Sun seek excitement. Integration requires satisfying the Martian need for freedom and spontaneity along with the Solar need for applause, love, and attention from others. Very often physical courage and risk-taking are high with such combinations. Of course, care must be taken the individual does not overdo here. Fire needs stimulation, but people addicted to excitement may end up taking incredibly foolish risks.
The opposition suggests a pull between freedom versus closeness needs. Or, a struggle between being one’s own person and being someone whom other people applaud and approve of. Or, a see-saw between doing one’s own thing, versus telling other what to do. Or, tension between one’s own personal needs and desires and the needs and desires of a lover and/or children. As always, we need to look for the middle ground and be wary of the danger of projection.
The quincunx poses similar dilemmas: competing desires from different parts of life. So, we seek ways to satisfy those different sides of our nature without over-doing one or the other, and without giving up on any. Because fire is naturally impatient, the danger of simply splitting from situations, relationships, etc. is fairly high.
MARS IN ASPECT TO VESTA OR CERES
Putting Mars in contact with either Virgonian asteroid links the identity with work and productivity. Mars conjunct Ceres or Vesta says: “I am what I do.” A basic part of the identity is the work in the world. Working is essential to the nature. There is often some tendency towards self-criticism. (Virgo looks for the flaws to fix things and make them better. With Mars involved, the flaw-seeking is directed toward the self.) Especially when not working, these people tend to feel guilty, and may even get ill. This is probably stronger with Vesta than with Ceres.
With Ceres, there is the additional key of mother as role model: positive or negative. If we liked her, the tendency is to want to be similar to the mother (or mother figure). If we did not, we may seek to be the opposite of what she was. But mother is the measure: the standard of comparison for our behavior. This is also an earth mother tendency on the part of the individual: likely to take care of things, be responsible, look after others, especially in physical, material, realistic ways.
There is often a desire for active work—work which will express one’s self. Often the person is in a pioneering field. They tend to prefer working on their own, not closely involved with others. Work with metal tools or weapons is always possible. Work with anger (certain therapists) or sports or in the exercise fields is quite possible, as is any vocation involving activity and a sense of self-expression.
The harmony aspects suggest the likelihood of the individual easily applying his/her energy to working and being productive. Such people tend to feel that their work and their personal desires mesh comfortably. There is often a lot of enthusiasm for working, and a high level of efficiency on the job. The work is not likely to interfere with personal freedom or self-expression, but complement it.
Conflict aspects suggest the individual’s freedom needs are at odds with his/her needs to be practical, realistic and productive. This may be as simple as the desire to do it once and move on (Mars) versus the desire to keep on doing it until it is right (Ceres and Vesta). It may be the pull between exciting actions and dull details. It may be tension between going one’s own way and cooperating with colleagues and co-workers, or fitting into a vocational niche.
Oppositions and quincunxes suggest the likelihood of see-saws in the life—between the dull, humdrum, workaday world and the desire for excitement and self-centeredness. People may swing between a real dedication to being a good craftsperson on the job and just taking off at odd moments to go hang-gliding (or whatever). They may alternate between pleasing only themselves and humble service to others. They may project one end. Especially with the quincunx, there is the potential of the person periodically splitting from the work. Generally, they will take the action themselves with Mars (from boredom, feeling hemmed in, an excess of authority, etc.) But sometimes, they will set themselves up to be fired or “forced” to leave: e.g. consistently coming late and/or leaving early because the job is “stifling.”