What the Heart Sings For


They say the heart always knows.

Only problem is, despite the deep wisdom our hearts have to offer us, our nosy know-it-all minds can easily find a couple dozen avenues for convincingly luring us away from that knowledge.

Yet Mars's relentless retrograde through Leo (Dec 20 09-Mar 10 10), a lengthy prolonging of the self-assertion planet's stay in the sign of our heart's purest self-expression, has forced us to hear this heart shouting from within. With Mars 'stuck' in Leo since mid-October, we've had no choice but to confront whichever personal desires that enable our unique light to shine have recently gone unattended to. Though we may've had—or still have—perfectly good reasons to forestall our acting in the best interests of these desires (or 'acting out', as others might judge it), at the very least we have become more unmistakably aware of what they are.

More acute awareness, however, heats the issue up. We grow increasingly impatient or frustrated. We draw closer to the decisive moment when we cannot help but act, no matter the fallout. Or to 'act out' in half-conscious anger, stirring some kind of development… whether or not it's what we would have calmly chosen, had we acted instead of 'acting out'.

As an end result of Mars's nearly 3-month retrograde (which is now in its final two weeks), we'll find it much more challenging, on the personal-integrity level, to settle for the compromises (or 'sellouts'?) our voice-of-'reason' scripts are trying to convince us of.

And as we move into a decidedly more action-oriented middle of '10 (i.e., Jupiter and Uranus moving into a conjunction), something really will have to give.

What happens after that? Anybody's guess. Let's be frank, though. Our 'reasonable' minds won't be so comfortable with the disarray. But from chaos comes creation. What's now beginning to boil up—and isn't likely to cool down—is the primordial broth from which new life emerges. (That doesn't necessarily mean the kitchen smells good, alas.)

I don't want to give our rational, intelligence-making brains a totally bad name. Calm forethought, strategic planning, weighing pros versus cons and ideals against functional reality… these are skills that separate us brilliant humans from the animals, right? That's how we cultivate crops, erect monuments, author constitutions and mission-statements, and produce structures which persist over time and address dilemmas beyond the immediate. Without our analytic sides, we'd probably still be wandering from cave to cave, wearing stinky animal skins and barking 'ooga booga!' at each other.

Still, another side-effect of this 'separation from the animals' (though, yes, we are indeed animals) is this conscious consideration of self that Leo fosters. Unlike pugs or parakeets, we ask ourselves, 'Who am I? Is this what I truly and deeply want?' This human conception of 'want' transcends the impulsive animalistic version, in which the aroma of prey is enough to kick in a pursuit. While it may be a noble spiritual goal to seek detachment from human wants (or maybe not), we must first identify our individual relation to wanting in order to know who we really are. Sure, we can choose not to pursue satisfying these wants. Yet, to entirely disown their existence is essentially to pretend to be someone else.

Over these past few months, Mars in Leo has poked at parts of our outwardly expressed lives from the inside… provoking us to reconsider, not through obviously intelligible mind-observations but by conjuring an instigating (or irritating) 'rise' in us, whether what the world sees is in fact our real self.

During his initial direct-motion pass through this territory (which varies in personal significance, based upon where in one's natal chart he's been stationed) in October and November, Mars stirred engagement and excitement. He ignited a fire or fanned an already-burning flame, clueing us into or hitting us hard with a heart's truth that was finally ready for fuller acknowledgment.

Then, starting in mid-December, Mars stood still and flipped around, revisiting the same ground… only from a different perspective, having just recently been here before. Perhaps he found the sparks hadn't quite caught. 'Was this the right fire to light?' we mused, pulling out our matches (and a jug of lighter fluid for good measure). Maybe the flames rode the winds in an unforeseen direction, showing us the real hot-button was somewhere other than where we'd originally lain the pit. 'Is it okay to divert my fire?' we wondered. Or is it possible this was the right fire at the right time, and it merely required us to keep constant attention over its fledgling smoldering embers? 'When will this ever take off?' we puffed, aghast at the delay in full ignition. These stops-and-starts, redirections, holding-patterns and irksome irritants have rubbed against us throughout January and February.

March (the 10th, to be exact) brings Mars's return to direct motion—and soon thereafter, he will once again retrace his same steps for a third and final time. During April and May, then, we can expect some degree of resolution to those questions about our self and the personal desires that, in certain ways, define it. Hopefully, we will know better than before what our heart sings for. Please note, though, 'resolution' doesn't equal having our desires satisfied. It's an inner resolution we should expect, an unambiguous recognition that 'we know the score'. Attaining the actual external results is something else altogether.

For some of us, sure, that outer attainment will unfold simultaneously or follow shortly thereafter. We've got hold of the fire within us, and know how to proceed on our own terms—without clashing against broader macro-level trends that possess a momentum greater than any individual. Others of us… well, we'll have to come to grips with forces beyond our control, acknowledging our awareness of our desires and their virtual impossibility at this time under these conditions.

See, I probably don't need to tell you (but I will anyway) there's a lot more going on in the world than just our personal-development journeys. To take advantage of the recent Venus-Jupiter blessings in Pisces, for instance, we had to realize our ability to presently reap rewards is tied to aligning with a mystical 'oneness' vibe, requiring us to understand how what we want must be connected to a larger good. This is an energy quite distinct from the Mars-in-Leo lesson. And thus it makes sense that Mars formed an awkward inconjunct to the Venus-Jupiter conjunction: What I as an individual want may not be in alignment with what the universe needs of me right now. Which pull to follow is, of course, a personal choice.

And likewise, Mars also inconjuncts Pluto in Capricorn… reminding us that, with authority structures in deep (and, at times, ugly) transition, we may presently lack the individual power to make things happen or the knowledge of how to 'work the system' when it doesn't work the same way anymore. Due to the current timing, we may be caught up in waves that immobilize us, even as they carry us to a new locale where the rules may ultimately prove quite different.

As long as we conceive of this latest Mars transit in terms of its lessons regarding selfhood, we can harvest that fruit of self-knowledge—and reserve it in storage, a precious dream upon which we may nibble to sustain ourselves, until a later time when our time is right and/or we rebuild the system to better serve us.