Over the next several days, the planets Mars and Saturn will make a conjunction in the tropical zodiac sign of Sagittarius (exact on Aug. 24). You can see this in the sky after the Sun has descended. Looking westward after sunset, you will first notice Mars and the supergiant, binary star Antares (known as the heart of the Scorpion). Both objects have a distinctly reddish hue. In fact, the name Antares derives from a Greek title which meant “equal to Ares” or “equal to Mars”. While Antares rivals Mars in its brightness, you will glimpse its distinctive, effervescent twinkle; its light reaches us from a distance of 550 light years.
Mars, however, has a steady glow and will appear directly to the right of Antares. And just above and to the right of these two red, luminous objects, you will find Saturn, much fainter but just as steady in its brightness as Mars. Mars, Saturn, and Antares will be slowly descending behind the Sun as they come into alignment. And how might this event show up in your life? As with anything astrological, the possibilities are vast. But Mars, Saturn, and Sagittarius represent a specific archetypal field, one that will be quite distinctive.
Mars is the archetypal warrior--but deeper, it represents the archetypal field governing primal desire, getting what we want from life, fighting for our right to what we want and our right to life. Mars symbolizes the “fight or flight” response ubiquitous to any sentient being with the ability to run or defend itself. And also, Mars is the sex instinct. It’s deep, red color evokes passion and primal thirst--craving, wanting, desiring. It is an archetype that is reactive and impulsive; it doesn’t think things through.
Mars is also out of bounds (through the end of Oct.), beyond the Sun’s highest declination in the sky. While Mars is inherently autonomous from the ego (if you’ve acquainted yourself with your sexual instincts you know what I’m talking about), it is even more so when out of bounds. So, while you may notice your inner Mars on overdrive lately (creating a deeper awareness of addictive tendencies, violence, hostility, or rage), it presents a unique opportunity to rise above these destructive qualities. Why? Because Mars out of bounds is a time to detach our primal instincts from ego-driven motivations.
We might say, it’s an opportunity to channel our Mars-like passion toward something above and beyond what we’re used to. It gives us a chance to gain objective insight into these “lower” manifestations of Mars, allowing us to gain perspective about a deeper purpose they could be utilized to achieve. And along comes Saturn, the archetypal task-master. Saturn is the God of time, it represents the archetypal field dealing with discipline, focus, hard work, structure, and great works. Saturn is restrictive and presents us with obstacles, challenges, limitations, and the harsh lessons of reality.
If Mars is about impulsive action, Saturn is the braking mechanism. In the brain, Saturn has a resonance with the prefrontal cortex which deals with impulse control, and interestingly, this brain region isn’t fully matured until we’re in our late twenties, after a full cycle of Saturn around the horoscope (the infamous Saturn return). So, if you find yourself coming up against a wall, presented as a limitation, rethink your strategy or realize that you need one. If your impulsive behaviors have been on autopilot lately, it might be time to reel yourself in and channel your enthusiasm toward productive activities that require discipline, focus, and long-term planning. The combination of these two archetypes is difficult to integrate. Mars wants the freedom to explore all of the possibilities it desires, but Saturn says, “No! Make a choice and commit to something”.
Saturn can present Mars with some harsh realizations about reality, but can also assist this archetype in uncovering its ability to focus its passion toward more rewarding and long-lasting achievements. How will you focus your passion over the next several days? You may already be considering it. Conversely, Mars can temper Saturn’s overt, practical focus by adding some adventure and life force back into the current narrative. If you have been under the dark spell of Saturn, ready to give up, losing the will to move forward, depressed, over-burdened by some overwhelming limitations, Mars can help by rejuvenating your passion or willingness engage with life.
Both Mars and Saturn are square to Neptune, too. Those things that are failing or collapsing may be giving way to new visions and the awareness of deeper realities more aligned with your spiritual purpose. This brief window in time also offers a deeper glimpse into our delusions and self-deceptions. If you strive to remain realistic without losing the will to live, this configuration will give you access to a new way of relating with those things you never thought could work together. Take advantage of this launching pad; it will assist you in carrying out your ideals in the real world. Remember that a reservoir of strength and courage lies deep within you. It’s more available to you now than ever. How far will you take it?
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