Getting Even More Used to Mars in Libra


The title of my latest writing is a riff on the last piece I wrote you, about Venus's extra-lengthy four-month visit to Capricorn. (Currently, she's almost a month into it.)

The reason? As of this coming weekend, we'll be experiencing a similarly prolonged transit by another typically-fast-moving planet, Mars… who will be in Libra for an even longer duration, seven-and-a-half months!

I repeat: Beginning this Saturday, Mars will be in Libra until the second half of July 2014. Considering Mars's usual trip through a sign takes about six-to-seven weeks, this is obviously another astro-happening worth paying some attention to, am I right?

Just as with Venus, a key part of Mars's drawn-out residence in Libra is his upcoming retrograde (March 1- May 19 2014)… which, due to still being three months away, we'll address here in greater detail at a future point. For now, let's just try to acclimate ourselves to the general attitude of Mars in Libra.

According to astrological tradition, Mars is not especially comfortable or high-functioning when he's in Libra, a sign of his detriment (i.e., opposite a sign he rules), leaving him to operate with a 'stranger-in-a-strange-land' vibe, his archetypal aims not easily expressed. Mars seeks to project his individuating desires outward, in direct acts of willful assertion, so he can successfully triumph in nabbing just what he wants—and when he's somehow thwarted during his assertive maneuvers, Mars will fight the necessary conflict, intending to eventually emerge victorious. Under a Libran influence, however, Mars must deal with a few challenges in his efforts to do his thing:

(1) Mars in Libra isn't always so good at identifying his own desires, but rather gets caught weighing options and/or considering what he wants in relation to what he imagines others want from him, sometimes leading to incapacitating indecision.

(2) When it does identify a desire, Mars in Libra typically isn't so direct in his assertive expression, instead drawing upon social calculations and charms to play to the other person… contriving interactions which, when all goes well, ultimately result in the other person essentially handing over the desired prize (because the case has been sufficiently made: it benefits them, too).

(3) And should a strained divergence-of-interests arise, Mars in Libra prefers to believe it's 'above' a full-on, heavy-artillery-style, face-to-face conflict… though, to be honest, we must stop short of claiming Mars in Libra actually seeks to avoid conflict. Despite the Libran reputation as a peacemaker, Mars remains Mars: Mars in Libra will still fight, but often fronts as if it's the other person who's fighting (while he is merely 'responding'), setting traps for them to fall into and/or playing the 'calm and evolved one', obviously superior to such brute shows of force.

As you can see, Mars is still charged with fulfilling his archetypal job while in Libra; he just uses tactics which aren't quite as efficient at achieving his end-game.

Yet, as with any astrological position, Mars in Libra is hardly all bad. From another perspective, for instance, 'incapacitating indecision' can simply mean that hasty decisions are wisely avoided by first properly assessing the pros and cons of various choices. Likewise, forgoing the sole pursuit of one's purely self-focused desires, so as to look out for everybody's interests and hopefully attain 'win-win' solutions, sounds as much like a pretty considerate approach as it does an unflattering example of anemic 'assertiveness'. While Mars in Libra may fall short in directness and immediacy, he compensates for it with a diplomatic fair-mindedness when he's at his best… thinking before he rashly acts, arguing on behalf of 'what's right' (rather than crude self-concern), and treating all parties as if their stakes in the matter are as important as anyone else's.

First and foremost, then, getting used to these many months ahead of Mars in Libra will require conscious awareness that our personal desires can be fulfilled by more than one scenario, any of which might be just as satisfying as any other (albeit, each with its own distinct flavor)… and, as such, we therefore might also reflect on how each respective option would impact any key relationship(s) relevant to the situation. After all, there's an inextricably relational element to Libra: If given reasonable choice, why wouldn't we pick the one that both suits us and happily supports our most important interpersonal bonds? What's not a win about 'win-win'?

Of course, to pull off such a well-considered, mutually beneficial Mars-in-Libra success, we must sign up to reduce our pace of progress. It takes longer to go forward with a decision when we first deliberate on our various possibilities and/or negotiate with other parties about how to integrate our desires with theirs. Plus, when we add the 2-month Mars-retrograde factor—a rogue period during which we discover, often to our astonishment, that our energies are instinctively propelling us somewhere other than we'd originally believed was our desired goal—it's wise to prepare ourselves for delays or detours between now and mid-next-year, as we learn more about what we really want.

With this news about Mars staying in Libra for what'll seem like forever coming right on the heels of a similar headline about Venus in Capricorn, it's also worth noting: Throughout this period, Venus and Mars will be at odds with one another, both in cardinal signs which form a square to each other. (The exact squares between Venus and Mars occur in mid-January and early March, following the prior square they formed back in September while both were still in fixed signs.) Further impacting Mars-in-Libra's capacity to satisfy his own desires while simultaneously keeping the proverbial other-party happy, Venus not only squares but also disposits Mars (i.e., oversees Mars's expression, as the natural ruler of Libra) from Capricorn, the long-range-strategist sign.

Whereas Mars in Libra is prone to being easily influenced, on the spot, by the urge to please the other person (and is, in fact, known to altogether shift its game due to the reactions he perceives he's getting from them), Venus in Capricorn tries not to veer far from her end-game relational goals… though, always staying a few chess-moves ahead, this Venus might appear to surrender a point or two, if only to cunningly hold the relationship together long enough to meet her longer-term needs. Together (and especially in light of their back-to-back retrogrades), this pair creates quite a convoluted interpersonal condition: To work with it, we'll want to simultaneously affirm that we're only participating in relationships that sincerely harmonize with our farther-reaching life-goals and yet remain flexible enough with our goals so we're responsive to the needs of those we're in relationship with. Got that? Huh?

And for a final astrological flourish, no analysis of Mars's mega-stay in Libra would be complete without remarking on his edgy relation to the yes-still-squaring duo of Uranus and Pluto… linking whatever personal expressions we experience with Mars in Libra with the wider tone of ongoing collective revolution and transformation which, thanks to the Uranus-Pluto square, characterizes this entire decade. Even as we may seek to coolly consider our different ways-forward, Mars-in-Libra-style, our deciding hands could still be forced by faster-moving currents beyond our control, courtesy of Uranus and Pluto, thrusting us into radically-altered circumstances which we then must try to, Mars-in-Libra-again, balance back into our desires. (Once again: Convoluted enough for you?)

As much as Mars in Libra might hate the sudden or shocking or sharp, the triple oppositions he makes to troublemaker Uranus can't help but leave the wild-card sitting defiantly on the table, face-down, unsettling in its glaring unpredictability. Yes, Mars in Libra will tangle with Uranus and Pluto three times between now and the middle of 2014—at the very end of this year, and again in April and June. You better believe I'll have more to say about all that soon enough…