Want a Break, Mars? Meet Uranus


I now return our attention to Mars in Virgo. He's got more to say to us.

Mars spent much of last month within range of conjoining Saturn, an ideal circumstance for taking carefully controlled, ultra-super-precise actions. Where we've consistently focused our energies, trimmed the fat and tightened up, great progress has been made.

Over these weeks, alas, we've also been thrown our fair share of small tests… to determine how good we are at restraining our impulses, to ensure we aren't needlessly reckless or heavy-handed. Operating as a unit, Mars and Saturn will not hesitate to dole out consequences when we don't play by the rulebook. They insist we adhere to a measured approach, creating habits for ourselves that will support our sleeker-and-solider future efforts. Under their reign, there is no room for excesses.

Now, within the past week or so, Mars has moved into another major aspect—an opposition to Uranus (exact on Wed Aug 6)—with the potential to further test how diligently and devotedly we've been doing our duties. How? By disrupting the orderly routine we established. By messing up the neatness we worked to attain. By throwing us some sort of major curveball from way out in left field, to see if we can still stay the course given a wild new variable.

Without mincing words, a Mars-Uranus opposition is one of the most potentially unruly aspects there is. It usually functions by confronting us with dramatic breaks from the expected state of affairs, sudden surprises, accidents and explosions (literal and figurative), as well anything that abruptly forces us to consider elements we previously wouldn't have thought of. Indeed, the last time Mars opposed Uranus in 2006, I labeled this aspect an 'equal-opportunity shit disturber'. Check out what I wrote back then—it very much applies in this case, too, so no need to bother repeating myself.

What separates this Mars-Uranus opposition from the one in '06, of course, is that it occurs right as Mars pulls away from its conjunction to Saturn. In other words, Mars (the planet that governs how we move through the world, assert our desires and attack any obstacles to getting what we want) is caught between (1) proceeding with concentration and caution, so that all the most delicate touches are handled responsibly, and (2) contending with the rising chaos that, despite our diligent caution and concentration, we were unable to anticipate because it snuck in, unannounced, through the bathroom window. Not an easy predicament, to be sure.

Caught between Saturn and Uranus, Mars has little choice but to take on that challenge most widely popularized by The Serenity Prayer—to attain the wisdom necessary to distinguish between those things one can actually work towards changing (Saturn) and those that are totally beyond our control, requiring us to 'roll with the punches' (Uranus).

We cannot magically heal our sprained ankle, but we can opt to stay off it as much as possible, in order to support its healing. We can't catapult ourselves straight into the big job of our dreams, but we can do our best work in the role we currently hold or search for an entry-level position better suited to our goals. If we don't like our housemate's living habits (and are unlikely to eventually learn to accept 'em), all we can do is express our concerns—and if they aren't addressed to our liking, we should probably start planning a move.

Above all else, we mustn't bank on being able to convince other people to behave strictly (or even moderately) according to our specifications. They can (and often do) act out in ways that totally make no sense… at least to us. There's only one person any of us has any reliable sway over. You know who that is, don't you? (If you guessed your own self, you're catching on nicely.)

There's no question that, throughout this upcoming week, it will be difficult to discern between instances when it's smarter to clench that much more tightly… and when the best thing to do is just release the grip. Given several moments to weigh the options, we'd surely find it easier to decide. But with Mars involved, such calls often need be made in a split-second. Stay, or go. Conserve, or disperse. Recommit to the habit, or try something radically different.

And the challenges in distinguishing (1) those useful Saturnine structures we want to keep intact from (2) those that have worn out their welcome and need Uranus to knock 'em down will continue, beyond the passing shocks and surprises that show up in the short-term. This dialogue will surely remain topical through at least 2010, as long as Saturn and Uranus remain in opposition. For the time being, the week's event provides a brief introductory course in the decisions we'll be facing in the years ahead.