On August 24, 2020, the exact 90-degree square tension/stress aspect first occurred between planetary enemies Saturn and Mars. This is one of the key aspects that defines the last quarter of 2020 and beginning month of 2021. It is not technically a traditional planetary or rashi aspect used in Parashari Jyotish, where it is known as a 4/10 alignment; but is also a Tajaka/western style aspect, which is very important in my opinion. The square has been within a close effective orb since August 15, and will continue within a close orb until October 9, with another exact hit on September 29 at the Saturn direct station, and then again it will occur within orb from January 4 until January 21, with another exact hit on January 13. (I am using a 3-degree effective applying and separating orb, and as always, I use the sidereal zodiac, not the tropical system in use by most western astrology systems).
A square aspect between Saturn and Mars is not that uncommon, with most recent occurrences from December 2010 to January 2011; August 2011; January 2013; September 2013; January 2015; September 2015; January 2017; October 2017; January 2019; and October 2019. What is uncommon is that Mars and Saturn are both very strong in their own signs during this instance (Mars in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn). This happens every approximately 30 years, last time being July 8,1992.
What is even more rare (extremely rare) about this square aspect is that Mars will be retrograde for much of the time that it is squaring Saturn, from September 9 to November 13. (The last times we had this particular Mars retrograde Aries squaring Saturn in Capricorn alignment was in 1815, and before that, 1610.) The retrograde position of Mars not only extends the alignment much longer than usual, but also adds to its intensity.
We may feel this tension aspect “in the air” as we collectively and individually continue to wrestle with all the current polarizing and vexing issues in the world. Mars represents anger, rebellion, violence, chaos, and the individual push for autonomy and liberty; whereas Saturn represents defined structures, law and order, and the responsibilities and restrictions placed on us by society and our governing bodies. These are the forces that may continue to battle it out on and off at least through the third week of January 2021.
On the down side, the Mars-Aries square Saturn-Capricorn dynamic can be rash, irritable, restless, and frustrated, and can reflect power struggles, physical and emotional health issues, and a feeling of confinement. The late astrologer Isabel Hickey describes it as, “The engine and brakes need equalizing. Mars says ‘go,’ and Saturn says ‘wait.’ Impatience and resentment must be overcome. Apt to make enemies because of a lack of kindness and gentleness. Tendency to criticism and passing judgment must be changed to lovingness and compassion.”
It can be explosive but also can be very constructive depending on whether it’s manifesting through its higher or lower expression. In regard to this idea of being “constructive,” this is both literal and metaphoric. In the former instance, the U.S. took over construction of the Panama Canal on May 4, 1904 when previously, Mars in Aries squared Saturn in Capricorn. This reflects the fact that Saturn in its most evolved state represents discipline, pragmatism, and hard work, and Mars in its most evolved state signifies goal-directed energy, courage, and vivacity.
In other words, the square aspect is usually considered to be stressful one, but can also provide a potent impetus of concerted energy to help us achieve our goals and meet and surmount major obstacles that suppress our growth processes. This really tests us in ways that require us to focus and align more than ever with our highest principles and practices. And, we may have to deal with feeling unmotivated or exhausted at times, and need to make sure to recharge and rebalance ourselves during this transit, as Saturn square Mars can constrain our life force.
May Mars and Saturn befriend each other and work together in harmony for the good of all beings, as each of us finds the sweet spot and learns to sail more gently and gracefully through the wild and often stormy seas of life.
Love and light, and thanks, from Juliana