More haste, less speed
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Most of us don’t consider ourselves particularly violent. But few have never squashed a bug, eaten meat, or delighted in the misfortune of a rival, and that’s the violence of Mars at work. If we are threatened, pestered, or prevented from getting something we want, Mars springs into action.
Mars has been in Pisces since November 15, and its bloodlust is usually greatly tempered in this gentle, sympathetic sign. But on the last day of this long, benighted year, Mars enters Aries (Dec. 31, 6:20 pm). And in its own sign, Mars moves with speed, certainty, and occasional ruthlessness.
Perhaps it’s fortunate, if frustrating, that from the moment Mars enters Aries it approaches a square to Saturn in Capricorn—also in its own sign, and the immovable object to Mars in Aries’ irresistible force. The tension between high-energy Mars and restrained Saturn won’t fully resolve until after their exact aspect on January 21, coloring the next three weeks with frustration. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; after all, an out-of-control toddler who is hyped up on sugar is frustrated when her mother calls a time-out, but the rest of the world breathes a sigh of relief. Saturn represents the civilizing force that funnels wild energy into productive channels.
Saturn comes in handy when egos need checking, as well, and as the New Year dawns the Sun conjoins Saturn (Jan. 1, 2019, 9:49 pm). It’s a quick transit, but its timing is important, coming at the time when we plot strategies for the year ahead. Jupiter transiting Sagittarius encourages us to reach for the stars this year, but Saturn urges us to temper ambition with pragmatism. In a year that will be dominated by the approaching conjunction of Saturn with Pluto, we will have to squeeze our own agendas into the huge, collective shift that hits its peak in early 2020. Keep all this in mind as Mars and Jupiter invite you to hurtle off into some thrilling wild blue yonder.
The Sun as it transits through Capricorn (and conjoins Saturn) could symbolize dour, humorless paternalism and situations that don’t naturally lend themselves to fun. But the Sun’s sextile to Neptune (Jan. 4, 2019, 11:58 am), on the Sabian symbol 15 Capricorn, Many toys in the children’s ward of a hospital, suggests the dissolution of Capricorn’s formality and aloofness when we reach out to those who are suffering or secluded. When my mother was a little girl, she contracted polio. She spent a year, much of it in an iron lung, in a hospital established by the Shriners fraternal organization. To the end of her days, she had nothing but warm words for the Shriners, saying no one had ever been kinder to her. When we extend ourselves and guide the use of society’s resources in the compassionate service of others, we embody the noblest expression of Capricorn.
“I believe empathy is the most essential
quality of civilization.” ―
Mercury in Sagittarius has a reputation for foot-in-mouth disease, and as it trines Uranus in Aries (Jan. 3, 2019, 9:13 pm) there is almost nothing to stem the flow of its candid and shocking (if amusing) commentary. Nothing, that is, until Mercury enters Capricorn the next day (Jan. 4, 2019, 7:40 pm), which halts the music as abruptly as a needle scratching across an LP.
I spent some formative years in Catholic school, where the nuns were pretty serious about penmanship. That was a long time ago; but take a look at the Christmas cards you received from anyone who learned handwriting in a Catholic school and you may see vestiges of carefully cultivated Palmer cursive. In its recognizability we find both the virtue and the shadow of Mercury in Capricorn, which favors clear, well-ordered, and tidy communication—but can also mire thinking in rigid conformity. Use Mercury’s time in Capricorn (through Jan. 23) productively by taming the unruly stacks of paper in your office, crossing long-neglected tasks off your to-do list, and catching up on your thank-you notes. And if you’re trying to accomplish something in your creative work, start by stripping down the work to its bare bones, then rebuild it to greater clarity and integrity.
“We seldom realize that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” ―
Forward down a stumbling path
AAs the week comes to a close, Uranus stations direct (Jan. 6, 2019, 12:26 pm) after its long, annual retrograde. As always, we tend to notice the stations of the outer planets much more than their actual retrograde periods. And this station signals the final chapter in the long saga of rebellious Uranus in impulsive, warlike Aries. It also marks the beginning of almost two full months (through March 4) when NO planets will be retrograde.
The urge will be strong, especially while Mars is in Aries (until Valentine’s Day), to propel ourselves forward with haste and enthusiasm. But ultimately, it’s Saturn and Pluto who are calling the tune—and they will throw obstacles in the road to slow our pace, retrogrades or no retrogrades.
“More haste, less speed.” – Proverb
© 2018 April Elliott Kent
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