Aspects of Life
This issue we continue with the aspects to Mars (and other forms of Letter One of our astrological alphabet). Please remember that I will be discussing the basic psychological themes of these aspects; specific details can and will vary infinitely. I may mention some details as examples, but in no way can any complete and comprehensive list be given.
MARS IN ASPECT TO PALLAS OR JUNO
When Mars (or other forms of Letter One, e.g. the East Point, Antivertex, and so on) conjuncts Pallas or Juno, the basic identity is tied to partnership and peer relationships. This can manifest in many ways. Some people will marry early, and always be involved in a committed relationship. (The more emphasis on closeness—Letters 4, 5, 7, and 8—in the chart, the more likely this is.) Some people will be highly competitive—still a peer relationship, whether socially, in professions such as the law, sports, etc. The rest of the chart will give clues as to possible directions. Some people will play doormat, and sacrifice everything “for the relationship.” Some will demand that partners and partnership be “on my terms.”
One must remember that using the alphabet system of astrology does NOT assume that planets, houses and signs are the same. They are not. They simply key into the same twelve themes, or archetypes, or ways of being in the world. As an example, Mars conjunct Pallas or Juno is a strong statement of a one-seven mixture. Mars in the seventh house is another variation. Juno or Pallas in the first house is another variation. Any ruler of the first in the seventh or in Libra or conjunct Venus, Pallas or Juno is another variation, as is any ruler of the seventh or Venus, Pallas or Juno in the first, or conjunct a ruler of the first. Etc. However, Mars in the seventh is a bit more likely, at least initially, to say “Other people have the power.” Juno or Pallas in the first is a bit more likely to say, at least initially, “I want relationships on MY terms, MY way.”
The one-seven combination simply mirrors a natural opposition: the attempt to balance self-will, personal action and identity with the need for another person, to meet in an open, equalitarian relationship (cooperative and/or competitive). In the conjunction, the native still needs to balance the oppositional nature of the planet and asteroid involved. Otherwise, people may swing from over-emphasizing their own personal needs, wants and desires, to over-appeasing and giving in too much to the other person. They may cooperate where it would be more comfortable to compete, and compete where it would be more comfortable to cooperate. They may be excessively vulnerable to the opinions of others and how thing look (the appearance). Relationships are important, because a part of one’s own nature is being discovered and recognized through peer interactions. But how we handle those interactions is up to the individual.
There may be a strong personal feeling for beauty and the aesthetic, especially the visual arts: architecture, photography, graphic design, painting, interior decorating, etc. There may be an active pursuit of beauty through dancing, skating, gymnastics, sports, etc. Some people are excessively concerned with personal beauty and take great pains over their physical appearance. Tact and diplomacy may be issues. There is often a strong sense of justice and fair play, and may be a willingness to fight for causes. Political action and involvement is possible. (The latter is a bit more likely with Pallas. Juno is slightly more likely to concentrate on marriage, or a committed emotional relationship. But much depends on sign and house placement and the rest of the chart.)
People who integrate this conjunction are often very social and skilled in interacting with people. They may be quite graceful physically and socially—ready with the right words at the right time, able to put other people at ease, charming, sweet. One variation is the cliché of the iron fist in the velvet glove where the self-will of Mars is cloaked in soft, gentle words with Juno or Pallas.
With conflict aspects between Mars (or Letter One) and Juno or Pallas (or other forms of Letter Seven), the suggestion is that the native has to pay attention, to put some effort into solving the inner conflict and ambivalence. The basic solutions to all conflict aspects (square, octile, tri-octile, quincunx and opposition) are: moderation and diversification. That is, we can do the different (and conflicting) parts of our natures in different times and places. Or, we can not go to any extreme, but stay in the middle ground with a bit of each.
The opposition is among the easiest of conflict aspects to integrate, because of its natural polarity, the complementarity of opposites. Any conflict aspects between Mars and Pallas or Juno would repeat the message of needing to balance self-will with other people and their needs. The houses and signs involved will give additional clues as to what needs to be balanced. There are three major negative ways of reacting to one-seven blends in a chart, and three major positive routes. The negative paths correspond to Karen Horney’s neurotic ways of interacting: going towards, going against and going away from people. The first is playing doormat and giving in totally in one’s relationships. The second is playing Hitler (in its most extreme form) and trying to “get” the other person before s/he has a chance to get you. The third is playing Nixon and running away from the world, withdrawing from relationships, lest we get hurt. The three positive integrations include simple cooperation—meeting in the middle, compromising, negotiating; competition—in appropriate arenas such as sports, games and business with regulations so no one gets hurt; and helping people where we protect our own vulnerability by working with people who are also vulnerable, and less threatening. The more times a one-seven message is repeated in a chart, the more vital that the native be able to manifest all three of the integrated approaches to life.
Indications of non-integration include such outward manifestations as lots of lawsuits (fighting it out in the courtroom), constant strife in relationships, constant pulling apart of self and other people, fighting where one could cooperate, giving in where one needs to defend one’s own rights, running away from people for fear of being hurt, rejected, put down, controlled, etc. The challenge is to be able to be ourselves and also maintain satisfying interpersonal relationships and sharing. This necessitates some balance, some compromise, some meeting in the middle, but neither party should be sacrificing too much in the interaction.
Harmony aspects (sextile, trine and usually semi-sextile) indicate self-support. Different sides of our nature agree with one another as to how to be in our relationships. This could still be a challenge, if we over-do what we agree on. And, we must still integrate the natural opposition of the planet and asteroid, even if the aspect is harmonious. The harmony aspect simply suggests it is easier for us to combine these parts of life. It is relatively easy to be who we are, act in the world, put out our own needs, and also share with others, cooperate, compete, maintain close, equalitarian relationships. Such aspects will often indicate harmony in close relationships—between self and others, between us and partners.
The one-seven polarity is, of course, one of many variations on the endemic freedom-closeness dilemma. When integrated, we can be ourselves and also maintain close, emotional ties to others. When not integrated, we may swing between extremes of freedom and extremes of closeness, or we may repress one end and get ill (headaches, colds, cuts, burns, accidents, surgery, chronic fatigue with Mars; kidney problems, problems with the skin or handling sugar in the body with Libran issues), or we may project one end and attract other people who over-do that side of life. Integration is achieved by moderation and/or by expressing our needs for freedom and closeness in different areas or at different times in life.
MARS IN ASPECT TO PLUTO
Mars conjunct Pluto ties the identity again to sharing, but also to depth exploration and investigation. This fire-water blend tends to be extremely emotionally intense. There is often a push-pull inner tension between the fire drive to express outwardly and water’s urge to hold in. The individual must balance both needs and have appropriate times and places to express each side. There can be mood swings: up with fire; down with water. Because control is a major issue, the native will often over-do self-control. This can lead to illness, if carried to extremes of repression. Typical physical problems related to hanging on too much emotionally (not letting go) include constipation, hemorrhoids, bowel problems, some cysts and collections of pus, and surgery.
People handling this combination (a natural quincunx, and thus inherently a challenge) are often intensely introspective. They spend much time analyzing themselves, probing the depths of their own psyches. They may be involved in psychotherapy—as counselors or clients or both. There is an intense probing side to their identity. They will often look beneath the surface in their life and work (e.g. archaeology, detectives, surgery, etc.) They tend to question the superficial appearance of things, the surface announcements of other people. They search for the root cause. Of course, all of the above can be carried to an uncomfortable extreme.
Relationships are also important with this combination, especially sharing the physical, sensual, sexual and material world. There is often a strong, passionate nature. Part of the identity and sense of self is discovered and uncovered through sharing physical, sensual pleasures with another person. The six avenues to relationships discussed for one-seven blends also apply to one-eight blends: give in; fight; run (negative) versus cooperate; compete; help and heal (positive). Here too, we balance our own personal wants, needs and desires, with the need to share the physical, sensual world with another human being. Hopefully, we learn self-mastery and self-control through the relationship. We control and master ourselves out of the respect for the rights and desires of a partner.
If not handled, we can have all the negative manifestations in relationships mentioned for one-seven blends. However, power struggles are particularly likely. A major danger is that one person in the relationship may attempt to control the other for his/her personal gratification and pleasure. Money, sex, and shared physical resources and pleasures are the battlegrounds. Emotional manipulation (tears, guilt, threats, intimidation, etc.) are dangers: from us and/or from partners. Money and sex may be used as weapons, means to take power and control of the relationship. Physical violence is possible in extreme cases. (The more we deny our own rights and power to act in the world, the more likely we will meet someone who will act against us; use the assertion we deny in the extreme form of physical aggression.)
Projection is a major issue with Pluto: learning through the mirror of relationships. We constantly meet parts of ourselves through the people close to us and around us. The challenge is to recognize, own and utilize positively those parts of our own nature which other people live out (often in exaggerated form) for us. Learning to recognize what is our own “stuff” and do it positively is a major focus in these relationships.
Finishing up, which includes death on all levels (physical, psychological, and so on) is an issue. Excessive focus on Pluto can lead to holding on to something too long—a person, a relationship, an emotion, a job, etc. We need to learn to let go. If we do not learn voluntarily, we may suffer the loss of that part of life: forced to let go of it through death of other removal from us. Or, we may suffer physical consequences (illness) from our compulsive holding on past the point of health. A living system is constantly in flux, flow and movement. The constant is change. When we try to hang on to something, keep it static, we are supporting death. Death is the absence of movement and change.
People who over-do the Mars may need to learn to hold on a little, to have some stability. Excessive activity is also a problem. Diarrhea is one opposite form of constipation. Hyperactivity is one potential of strong fire-water mixtures: the water holds in until the fire comes out in explosive, disruptive bursts. The problem with hyperactivity is often not so much the level of activity as how and where and when it is being expressed.
People expressing Mars/Pluto on a higher level often have incredibly transformative relationships. They commit very deeply. They delve to the bottom, questioning and examining. They grow tremendously. They express the therapeutic potential of Pluto: regenerating themselves through relationships, analysis, introspection and self-control.
Stress aspects between Mars and Pluto simply reiterate the challenge of the basic quincunx. Again we have a freedom-closeness conflict. We must learn to assert ourselves and our own needs, while also maintaining a passionate, intense, emotional involvement with another person with whom we share, fairly and equally for MUTUAL pleasure the physical world of money, pleasures, possessions, sensuality and sexuality. Simultaneously, we are probing and exploring our own depths, positively manifesting our need for mastery and self-control. Lack of integration can include any of the negative consequences: manipulation and domination of others or by others; excessive self-control or lack of control; extreme mood swings; self-blocking on the emotional level which can lead to physical consequences; power struggles in relationships, or total withdrawal and retreat.
Harmony aspects suggest an easier integration of the basic quincunx. The signs involved will support our balancing these very different sides of life. (The houses may also be supportive of each other.) This shows a potential of harmony between us (our own actions) and partners in terms of shared pleasures and resources. There is the potential for intense passion and growth and transcendence through our relationships. We deepen our experience of ourselves and another person through shared sensuality, sexuality and money. We master ourselves for the sake of a partner with whom we make an intimate commitment.
MARS IN ASPECT TO JUPITER
Mars conjunct Jupiter is double fire and often very exciting. Physical vitality is often high. There tends to be a natural optimism, outgoingness, and sense of confidence. In extreme forms, we see the over-reaching guru who truly believes s/he is God. The identification with the urge for truth, meaning, the ultimate in life can lead to people who play God, believe they are more perfect and infinite than is the case, overreach in their roles in life. Or, it can manifest as someone who feels s/he SHOULD BE perfect, and is very judgmental of his or her shortcomings. By itself, the double fire is much more likely to over-extend—believe that anything is possible.
Sports are often an outlet for the energy and drive of this double fire blend. Physical activity is often needed to channel some of the energy. There may be a keen sense of humor and enjoyment of life. Zest, enthusiasm, faith in one’s self, and optimism tend to be high. There is a personal identification with the quest for the truth. People may seek that through religion, spiritual studies, education, travel, science, etc. There is often an orientation towards life-long searching for meaning. A danger is that once such individuals find the meaning, they may define it as: “My truth is THE truth, and the ONLY truth.” One-nine combinations can be the missionary type, e.g. Madelyn O’Hair (fought prayer in schools up to the Supreme Court) and Anita Bryant (fought homosexuality to “save” her children until she recanted).
Impatience is often an issue: the person may demand perfection RIGHT NOW, and thus be chronically dissatisfied. Learning to enjoy the journey TOWARDS the great ideal is often an issue. Personal idealism is usually strong. In some way, a basic part of the nature is the quest for something higher, more meaningful, more significant or important. But, of course, different people will define what is ultimately meaningful in different ways.
The individual may be very identified with moral or religious or spiritual principles. If over-done, they may fight for their moral principles, trying to impose them on others (another missionary variation). The TRUTH is often central in these people’s lives. However, for one that may mean never telling a lie (which can be cruelty when bluntness and candor is over-done); for another it may mean playing con artist to live the ideal life that s/he feels s/he deserves. For another, it may mean always going to church or temple, etc. For another, it means fighting in a court of law for what s/he believes is just. Other variations abound.
If not handled, this combination is capable of incredible ruthlessness. The exaggerative quality of Jupiter is related to its archetype of the infinite. If we define a certain part of life (or ourselves) as ultimately good, as ultimately meaningful, as a perfect part of life, how can we ever have enough? If this is infinite, there is no limit! This is precisely why Jupiter is often connected to excesses and overreaching. With Mars, the excesses are connected to our own action and identity. Some people will simply believe: I have the right and power to take whatever I want and need in life! So we can get the interesting extremes of totally moral people judging all their actions by a perfectionistic code versus totally self-oriented people who ruthlessly pursue whatever they desire in life.
Harmony aspects between Mars and Jupiter suggest internal agreement. If handled, this will add to the idealism, quest for knowledge and truth, optimism, faith, sense of confidence in self and life. If the harmony aspects just feed the excessiveness of this double fire, we can have even more over-doing and extremism. Zip Dobyns has found strong fire trines, including Mars and Jupiter, often involved with would-be gurus. Positive integration of the two suggests our own action and personal self expression are in harmony with our moral principles and what we think is ultimately important in life.
Conflict aspects between Mars and Jupiter suggest some inner ambivalence between who we are and/or what we do versus our moral principles, higher values and long range goals. This can include the possibility of sometimes acting rashly—against our better judgment; against our moral principles and values. It can include conflicts in faith—not sure what we trust, value, believe in, or having different faiths, or lacking faith in ourselves. It could include simply not planning carefully—because we are impatient, restless, over-confident, or self-willed. It would include over-doing our perfectionism and stopping ourselves from acting when it is really okay because we are afraid it will not be ideal or perfect enough. In some way we need to integrate our sense of self and personal action with our ideals, values and faith.
MARS IN ASPECT TO SATURN
The Mars/Saturn conjunction is among the most dreaded in ancient and traditionally minded astrology books. And yet, the one-ten theme in other forms (e.g. Mars in Capricorn) is often treated favorably. All one-ten combinations have the potential of the self in harmony with reality, being practical, achieving, being competent and rising to a position of power and authority in a reasonable, measured way in the world. All one-ten combinations also carry the potential of two extremes: over-drive and self-blocking. The differences depend on which blends involve which planets and where. The Mars/Saturn conjunction is the strongest form—and thus the most intense. But that does NOT necessarily mean bad. If we integrate it, the Mars/Saturn conjunction is the potential for tremendous success and power in the world. Other combinations must be judged in terms of what is involved, and in the context of the whole chart. E.g., Mars in the Tenth or Mars in Capricorn is slightly more likely to go into over-drive (depending on the chart) while Saturn in the First or Saturn in Aries is slightly more likely to go into self-blocking. (Remember, planets are the STRONGEST form of the alphabet. Then house. Signs are weakest.)
The basic principle of Saturn is dealing with material reality: this includes awareness of what we can do, cannot do and must do in order to live in a physical universe. It includes consequences: as ye sow, so shall ye reap. When we integrate Mars (personal identity and action) with Saturn, we simply are in tune with reality and the limits of the world. There is often strong personal identification with a career or work in the world. Part of who we are is what we do. One danger then, is people feeling like “nothing” when they are not working—feeling guilty and worthless if not having concrete accomplishments.
The blend of Mars and Saturn means we are realistic and practical. We do what we can in the world. We do not attempt what is impossible. Neither do we back away from the possible because we fear failure. If we do all that we can, realistically and practically, paying attention to and learning from feedback and consequences, we will consistently reap excellent results. In terms of the Dobyns metaphor: Saturn times will bring us A’s on our report cards!
If we do not handle the blend, one extreme is over-drive. This is really just emphasizing Mars over Saturn. We try to do more than is possible. We over-reach. We attempt things that are really beyond our limits. We may be brought down (the traditional fall) if we have attempted to gain more power than is our right. We may be forced to recognize the limits of time and physical energy in the material universe. One way we are forced to recognize the limits is through physical illness. If we are into over-drive and use and abuse our bodies, eventually they break down. We get sick in order to take a vacation. If that is the only way to force us to stay within the limits, the body will use it. Criminals attempt over-drive by ignoring the limits of the law, and reap consequences in prison and other forms of societal ostracism. Many of our limits have to do with the physical universe in terms of time, gravity, and the needs of our bodies. When we ignore the basic structure, we get messages (illness, pain, reactions of other people, time constraints) which show us the consequences of our over-drive.
The other extreme of Mars/Saturn combinations is self-blocking. This occurs when we over-do the Saturn side of the aspect. We are too aware of the limits of the world and authority figures, and we stop ourselves before we even start. “I won’t try, because they would just sit on me; I won’t try because I’d just fail or fall short; I won’t try because it wouldn’t work.” Etc. The excuses are legion. The basic emotional feeling is that it is hopeless; we are unable to act and pursue our personal desires because of outside limitations and restrictions or our own feelings of inadequacy. So, we limit and restrict ourselves. Generally, the internal restrictions are immensely harsher and more confining than any external ones.
Part of the challenge of Mars/Saturn contacts is to learn what we have a right to do, where we have a right to act, and what is an over-reach. But we also need to learn what we must do; our productive role in society. It is just as unrealistic to say: “I can do NOTHING.” as to say: “I can do ANYTHING.” We are learning to act within a structure. Once we have incorporated that structure internally (as a conscience), we do not need any external limitations to keep us in line. In that sense, Saturn symbolizes societal conditioning restraints which teach us to behave in certain ways in order to “fit into” a society, to be able to interact with large numbers of other people. Obviously, these constraints can be over-done as well. Currently in history, we are seeing the over-throw and alteration of many old roles regarding gender, race, sexual preference, etc. People are finding that many former limitations are not really necessary. We can have cooperation and fair play and a pluralistic society without an excessive number of rules, roles and proscribed ways of behaving.
Another side of the Mars/Saturn contact is the relationship with father (or father figure). Father acts as the early symbol of rules, regulations, and learning to play a realistic role in society. Mars/Saturn conjunctions indicate an identification with father. Father is a role model—positive or negative. We measure our sense of self against our perception of Dad. We may want to be like him—or the opposite, but he is the standard of comparison. Father is teaching us about who we are and being able to express ourselves in the world. We may get a good example (what to do) or a bad example (what not to do), but either way, we have information from which to learn. Father himself may be into over-drive, self-blocking or a middle ground integration of practical, realistic action within the limits of the physical world. We can learn from his example.
There is a tendency (which can be belied by the rest of the chart) for Mars/Saturn contacts to operate initially as a feeling of being blocked or sat on by the world, often including father and authority figures. Part of the learning is to internalize the power of Saturn so that we realize it is the archetype of OUR ability to delay gratification, to accept limits, be practical and realistic in order to accomplish in the world. When we remove our inner limits, we find many of the outer ones were just not really there!
Any Mars/Saturn contact is a natural square. We must resolve the cardinal challenge of personal will and action versus the limits of personal will, the needs of society and a wider universe. People who do blend the two comfortably are highly effective, powerful and productive. They do all that they can do in the world! They carry out their responsibilities, but also know when to let other people shoulder the load. They live realistically in the physical universe, getting ample rest, nutrition, exercise, etc. The more they do, the more they become capable of doing.
People into self-blocking will often have illnesses of all kinds. Any physical problem can serve as an excuse for not working, a reason not to feel guilty for our lack of productivity. Excessive Saturnian emphasis in the life (doing too much, being too responsible, workaholic tendencies) will often show up as problems with the bones, teeth, and/or hearing. Excessive psychological rigidity may be reflected with arthritis, gout, rheumatism, etc.
Harmony aspects between Mars and Saturn show parts of our nature which find it easy to blend self will with a sense of reality and limits. We still have to deal with the natural square of the planets, of course. But, the harmony aspects suggest a potential for integration—for realistic action, sensible productivity and accomplishment. This is also the potential for harmony between us (our own actions and sense of self) and father(s) and other authority figures. This includes the potential of harmony between who we are and the career role, status that we pursue in society.
Challenge aspects emphasize the need to deal with the basic conflict between Mars and Saturn. We need to steer clear of both extremes: over-drive and self-blocking. House and sign placements and the rest of the chart will give clues as to which extreme might be more likely and in which areas of the life it might manifest. We need to find things that we CAN do which we also WANT to do. Find areas within the limits (not ignoring them, neither seeing limits where they really do not exist) where we can put our full power and energy out into the world. Harnessing Saturn and Mars together is fire-earth, and the steamroller potential here is of tremendous success, endurance, accomplishment and power.
MARS IN ASPECT TO URANUS
Mars conjunct Uranus is a strong call for freedom, independence, going one’s own way. Individualism is likely to be strong. Rebelliousness may be an issue. The person often needs a lot of space. The tendency is to fight against any constraints or limitations. This is a highly restless combination, disinclined to settle into any stable pattern. The person is likely to be on the move a lot—either literally, or just with a restless mind, always questioning, pushing for something new and different. Variety is truly the spice of life. If not expressed, a lot of nervous energy and tension can build up, resulting in tics, twitches, and generally not being able to sit still.
It is usually quite important for the individual to believe s/he is unique. There is an identification with not being like anyone else. Sometimes, natives exhibit quite outrageous behavior, to “prove” their unconventionality or unwillingness to abide by societal constraints. At times, rash and impulsive actions are possible. Such people are not particularly noted for looking before they leap. Hence, the traditional association with accidents. Accidents may be a result of simply going too fast (the air feeding fire’s natural impatience). They may be the result of taking stupid risks from a desire to be different, or to break the rules, or to shock people, or to prove there are really no limits that can stop us. They may be a result of built-up tension or feelings of frustration from being hemmed in. If we are hurt, it is an indication that we have not been utilizing our Martian needs for assertion, expression and action positively. Thus, the energy is turned against the self.
There can be tremendous willingness to take risks, to take chances, but foolhardiness is the dangerous extreme. The drive is to go beyond the limits—whether physically, mentally or emotionally. The feeling-tone is much like the old Star Trek patter: “To boldly go where no (hu)man has gone before.”
These people are often very personally involved with groups, organizations, social causes, humanitarian ideas, and friends. They may play a pioneering role in such areas. Mars likes to be first. Then, however, the tendency is to move on to another area in which to be first.
There is a tremendous resistance to being tied down by relationships. If Mars/Uranus people feel a leash is in the offing, they will usually just leave. After all, they are not fond of staying in one place anyway. The pressure on relationships is also aided by the tendency to prefer casual, light relationships to more committed ones. Such people often relate to groups or humanity at large very easily, but have more difficulty in close, one-to-one interactions. This combination is not, by itself, noted for its capacity for intimacy.
The natural relationship of the two planets is a sextile showing inherent harmony: the air supports the fire. Harmony aspects would tend to back this up. Our freedom needs would be in support of one another. Our needs to keep on moving on (physically, mentally, emotionally) would be in agreement. Our own action and identity are easily blended with our needs for uniqueness, originality, and to go beyond the limits.
Challenge aspects would indicate the need for some integration, although the natural sextile of Mars and Uranus helps. One potential issue is the physical, active nature of Mars versus the intellectual, passive nature of Uranus. We may be torn between thinking versus action; doing versus observing. There could also be a conflict between the personal nature of Mars (focused on personal wants, needs and desires) versus the transpersonal nature of Uranus (focused on larger issues, societal relationships).
People not handling their Mars/Uranus conflicts may be accident prone (for reasons noted above). They may be at times rash and impulsive. They may be chronic rebels, as locked into a role as any “establishment” figure they mock. They may fight ferociously for their ideas of progress, tolerance, humanity. You can see interesting extremes in terms of tolerance. One person will identify strongly with being tolerant and open—totally “live and let live” in his/her life and behavior. Another individual will be extremely intolerant because s/he is fighting so fiercely for some cause in which s/he believes. The current Iranian situation is perhaps one of the most extreme examples of a negative Mars/Uranus archetype—willing to fight for one’s humanitarian principles; very identified with the rebel role. On a psychological level, this can be the Outlaw syndrome—the person who insists on operating on the fringes of society, going against whatever other people judge as “normal” and “correct.”
Every society needs some Outlaws. Their actions and questioning of “normal” assumptions provide the necessary leavening to what would otherwise be a heavy, Saturnian society. The positive forms of Mars/Uranus contacts symbolize what Thomas Kuhn calls scientific revolutions—which open literally infinite vistas to our experience. After such a revolution (which can be spiritual, psychological, etc. besides scientific), our view of the world is immensely different. Our perspectives are broadened, changed, enlarged. Originality and inventiveness require a willingness to go outside of the given structure, to go beyond. The willingness to take risks is a quality of all pioneers and explorers in any realm—physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
MARS IN ASPECT TO NEPTUNE
Mars conjunctions to Neptune blend the search for cosmic consciousness with the basic identity and personal action. Several options are available. People may identify with any (or all) of the Neptunian roles: artist, savior and victim. The savior role takes on the task of transforming the world into a more perfect, more ideal state, closer to one’s personal vision of nirvana. The victim role runs away (to sleep, drugs, fantasy, psychosis, etc.) from the fact that the world is not as beautiful or perfect as we would like it to be. The artist strives to create beauty in the world, to bring his/her perception and experience of the infinite into form on the physical plane.
We can observe incredible extremes here. Victims are one form of self wipe-out. Such people feel: In the face of the immensity of the cosmos, I am nothing. I am lost in the greater whole. I am swallowed by the cosmos. One variation of the victim role is to decide on perfection or nothing. “If I cannot be perfect, I won’t play.” The savior role is often an attempt to be perfect, and—if over-done—can turn into a victim role. “I must take care of, look after, save everyone. I must make it all beautiful. If anyone is going to be hurt, let it be me.” That is when, as Zip Dobyns says, the saint may become a dead saint—a martyr. But positive saviors feel one with the Cosmos. They have a gut-level emotional sense of faith: we are all one. No matter what happens, they have faith in the meaning and interconnectedness of the universe, and trust that all will work out. Individuals who carry this to an extreme can live an overreach and lack of realism similar to that symbolized by Mars/Jupiter. They may expect infinite powers of themselves. They may identify with God and be prone to delusions of grandeur on a variety of levels. But for others, their faith is simply a shield, a psychological protection that enables them to cope more fully and effectively in the world. They trust themselves and the Universe, and that faith allows them to be highly successful.
There is often a strong feeling for beauty, and a desire to act in the world in a beautiful manner. This can include a graceful appearance and carriage. Sports and physical activity which involve a sense of beauty are also possible: dancing, gymnastics, diving, skating, etc. One variation of the victim theme is simply an over concern with beauty. That is, some people want SO MUCH for the world and themselves to be ideal, that they will adopt rose-colored glasses and pretend to themselves that perfection really is the case. People who trap themselves with such self-delusions usually end up being victims in some way.
The individual may tune into the Cosmos with Neptune. Psychic experiences are possible. With Mars involved, often the intuition goes straight into action, with no conscious thought. The individual may DO something, without knowing why, and only later does it turn out to be exactly the right thing to do at that time. Only later is the pattern apparent. With Mars/Neptune, often the pattern is acted on instinctively, before the person is actually aware of it. And, of course, the person who acts too much on intuition—which is sometimes just wishful thinking—can get into trouble and become a victim.
One of the potential blends of Mars and Neptune is to fight for a cause (particularly something spiritual and/or idealistic). That way, we satisfy both the Martian and the Neptunian archetypes. If we over-do Mars, we may fight too vigorously or ruthlessly. If we over-do Neptune, we may be unrealistic and starry-eyed about what we are supporting. When positively handled, this is an excellent way to blend the energy.
Mars/Neptune combinations are fire-water and carry the intensity of that emotional blend. Feelings are very strong. There is a push-pull between spontaneous expression and acting to meet one’s own needs versus going within, merging with the Universe, and being passive because: “Everything is just as it is supposed to be.” The psychic openness and sensitivity, if extreme, can include physical sensitivity—perhaps allergies, or being overly reactive to drugs and medications. Emotional sensitivity is generally very high. People’s feelings may be easily hurt.
Personal idealism is often quite high. The individual may identify with God: “I already am perfect.” or be striving to meet a tremendously high ideal: “I should be perfect—all-loving, all-giving, etc.” Self sacrifice is a danger with the latter form. Self-satisfaction and passivity or expecting the world to look after us is a danger with the former.
Conflict aspects reiterate the fire-water challenge of balancing activity in the world with activity within the soul. Emotional expression as well as holding in are necessary. People need to be able to actively pursue their personal needs within a framework of faith in the self and in the universe that believes in ultimate goodness, truth and beauty—without demanding more than is possible from the self, or expecting more than we have earned from the universe. TANSTAAFL—”There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” does work on the cosmic level. Sometimes Neptune expects a free lunch. Extremes to avoid include the self wipe-out danger and the expectation of a free lunch. Faith is often an issue. We need enough faith in the Universe and ourselves—but not too much.
Harmony aspects show the potential of easy integration of our own action with the transcendent urge of something higher. Positive blends may mark great healers, spiritual pioneers, artists, and helpers of all varieties. The integration gives a “room of our own” in a loving, beautiful universe with the faith to protect us as we risk and act to grow more towards our emotional ideal.