August-September 2022 astrological musings

Ares
A shorter version of this article was published in issue 125 of the 'Uki Village News'

Mars in Gemini

Mars take usually two months to transit a Sign. This time though, due to Retrogradation, it will remain for a whole six months in Gemini, from August 20 2022 to March 25 2023, operating as a slower moving planet and therefore exerting greater and longer lasting influence.  

This period may activate, energize, instil courage, enthusiasm and initiative in many people’s lives and/or generate antagonism, strife, restlessness, frustration, open conflicts, especially verbal conflicts. Directly affected by this transit will be those whose Birth Charts feature Sun, Moon, any planet or Angle (Ascendant-Descendant-Mid-Heaven-Lower-Heaven) in Gemini or, to a lesser degree, in one of the other Mutable Signs (Sagittarius-Virgo-Pisces), especially if placed between degrees 8 and 26 of these Signs.

Starting in September a difficult angle from Mars to Pluto in Capricorn (135°) could prove volatile, bringing to light in a forceful way many unpalatable truths, with the need to face issues with honesty and courage, but shunning thoughts of revenge. Personal and social conflicts could be exacerbated by this transit, if misused. The exact dates are September 10, December 19, 2022, and February 15, 2023; keeping in mind that the effect may become apparent at least a week before and linger for a week after the actual given dates.  

Mercury’s Retrogradation: 08° Libra to 24° Virgo, September 10 to October 2

During this period we will be asked to move from an idealistic frame of mind (Libra) to a more realistic, down to earth one (Virgo). We will have to work a bit harder at making our communication as rational and our living and working spaces as clear of clutter as possible. Activities may slow down for a time, while we take care of unfinished business to begin on a new footing once the Retrogradation is over, from October 2, and especially from October 11 when Mercury will return to Libra, a more social and enterprising Sign.  

Aquarius Saturn square Taurus Uranus

This difficult recurring Saturn-Uranus’aspect will be the most powerful in the months ahead, remaining active until December this year. It will begin gathering strength in August, then return to full force from mid-September. The square will reach maximum intensity during the last week of November, when Saturn will be stationary for a while. Its influence could last to the end of the year.

The very same transit was the toughest planetary configuration in 2021, the cosmic signature of a year that saw ideological, cultural, generational and political conflicts becoming more intense and relevant for a large number of people.

It is important to remember that this transit represents one of the four major phases of a 45 year dance these planets perform with each other, cyclically.  

Since 1988 (first conjunction in Sagittarius), every 11 years or so, Saturn reached a critical distance from Uranus: a 90°angle (1999 square), a 180°angle (2009 opposition), and, at present, the last square (2021/22) before the next conjunction in Gemini (2032).  The effect of each of these transits lasts from a few months to a year. During these crucial times these two planetary drives are compelled to work together, each tending to pose great obstacle in the path of the other. At these rimes reconciling their differences is the task of society as a whole and also of individuals.   

We could look at these planetary energies as two very distinct ways of approaching life. Saturn, often depicted as an older man bent under the weight of age and worries, but also rich with the wisdom of experience, is the one who embodies a conservative world view, based on practical considerations, tending always toward caution, not inclined to take risks.  

The main negative aspect of the saturnine drive is its rigidity, a conformist frame of mind, afraid to move out of the established confines of conventional thinking. Conformist Saturn looks back to the past, to the ones who came before and left a secure legacy, like a map we can follow. But this tendency of looking back could actually stifle the desire to try new ideas, to think out of the box, to aspire to more evolutionary ideals, as a society and individuals.  Inertia, fear and greed often resulting from the mishandling of Saturn’s power.

In order to preserve the status quo Saturn can and does often slips into authoritarian mode, putting up walls and restrictions that are unfair and unhelpful, especially to individually minded temperaments. Fear of change the dominating reason behind Saturn’s approach.

During the Saturn-Uranus’ crucial phases the saturnine abuse of authority is met, head on, by Uranus’ drive toward radical changes. Uranus manifests as a youthful, arrogant spirit of independence and rebellion, fiercely defending itself against any limitation to its freedom and self-determination. Due to its radical tendencies and despite its democratic leanings, Uranus too can become a dangerous autocrat, especially at the ideological level. We have recently seen these tendencies enacted in the cyber and personal clashes between conflicting belief systems and even alternative versions of reality, the eccentric side of Uranus introducing a rather irrational element to the mix.

Very relevant at present is the all-out war between conservative and progressive world view on the crucial issues of climate change, social justice, gender and cultural/religious equality. The Uranus side is obviously getting more impatient for changes that should have been implemented long ago and are still being denied, as the conservative side, represented by Saturn, slowly responds with insufficient measures while throwing more spokes in the wheel of progress.  We may witness more of the same in the months ahead.

Hopefully, as we edge closer to the end of this transit we should be better equipped to reconcile its opposing forces.

Saturn, in its benign form, plays in fact a positive moderating role, its function to guarantee the success of every enterprise via practical, realistic means. Uranus, in its best form, represents the collective and individual drives toward an ideal, fairer and more inclusive experience. By keeping alive from our cultural past what is still highly valuable (Saturn), while opening our minds to more adventurous and original views (Uranus) we could step into our evolutionary future from the springboard of stored knowledge and the wisdom of the ages that preceded ours. We will be then at less risk of ‘throwing away the baby with the bath water’, often the effect of too radical and hasty revolutions.

Are we ready for the middle path? If not, conflicts will always be the result of such transits.

This year we celebrate the Libra Spring Equinox on September 23, 11.03 am, local time. 

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