Today is a Tuesday, the Mars day of the week known as Mangalavaar in Vedic astrology. Mars is planet of fire, energy, logic, and will power. He has finally moved out of Scorpio where he was severely afflicted since February due to his conjunction with enemy Saturn. Now he transits in sidereal Sagittarius from September 17 to October 31, 2016, which has its own new set of challenges.
Mars travels all the way around the zodiac every ~2 years, and usually stays in one sign for about 45 days. However, Mars was in Scorpio for almost seven months (from February 20 until September 17, 2016) due to his retrograde cycle. When he is in one sign for that long, the effects are so much more penetrating and extreme, and in Scorpio with Saturn often felt quite toxic and frustrating.
In the natal horoscope, Mars in Sagittarius in its more favorable manifestation relates to courageous action, wealth, and the ability to set goals and fulfill them with enthusiasm, joy, and purpose. When afflicted, this combination can be too bold, boisterous, or outspoken. It can go over the top and lead to unsafe behavior, self-indulgence, overspending and debt.
Some astrologers have conjectured that this current Mars transit will be a violent period because on 9/11 Mars was in Sagittarius/Mula nakshatra which spans from 0 to 13 degrees 20 minutes of Sagittarius. It is true that Mars in Sagittarius (when afflicted) does have the potential to reflect ideological extremism. But that was also a very different set-up on 9/11, as Mars was conjoined violent Ketu and opposed Jupiter-Rahu, a combination for terrorist events motivated by fundamentalist extremism as with Islamism.
Though this current Mars transit has its own set of potential disturbances, it is not impacted by an aspect of Ketu as in 9/11, though it is aspected by Rahu which also has a potentially perverted and violent energy. Further, Ketu does have an impact in that Mula nakshatra is ruled by Ketu, which is the jiva or overlord of Mars during the Mula transit, which can point to extreme karmic events. Mars traveling in this section of Sagittarius especially can evoke intolerance and aggression.
During this Mars in Sagittarius transit, the sign dispositor Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, is square Mars, which is a ~90-degree aspect of friction. As soon as this square aspect begins to separate, Mars will exactly conjoin Pluto. The square between Jupiter and Mars is a rashi drishti in Vedic astrology which ties the planets and signs together.
In its lower expression, this can be an aspect of extravagance, dangerous risk-taking, hubris, self-indulgent behavior, and restlessness. Depending on the houses that Mars and Jupiter rule in one’s natal chart, the houses where they fall in transit, and their natal relationship and dignity, this Mars-Jupiter square can represent unrealistic expectations which end in disappointment or frustration.
When Jupiter squares Mars, there is a tendency for heated philosophical disputes, so it is best to avoid arguing about anything controversial during this transit. In polite society, it is considered uncouth to argue about religion, finances and politics at any time, but during this transit, such quarrels will have no good outcome. There will be a lot of scapegoating and angry, delusional accusations made in this period by those stuck in a lower consciousness.
Alternately, with the higher more “conscious” expression of the Mars-Jupiter square, some may feel energized with purpose and a sense of expansiveness and adventure. We can make the most of it if we use the tension between these two planets of energy and optimism to stretch beyond our usual capacity, in a balanced way of course as we find the middle ground of harmony between these two forces.
Mars will conjoin Pluto from ~October 10-27 using an orb of five degrees applying and separating, and the exact conjunction occurs October 19. This is a combination for tremendous energy and power, which can be used for “good or bad” depending on one’s motivation. Pluto transits in Sagittarius from 2005-2020, so every two years Mars joins up with Pluto in this period.
This Mars-Pluto conjunction is nothing new…we have been here several times before. In the mundane sphere, in the past eight years during this periodic conjunction, there have been significant natural and man-made disasters, including terror attacks, violent public disturbances, explosions, tragic weather events, transportation catastrophes, seismic eruptions, and disease outbreaks.
With our thoughts we make the world, and it is important to envision the divine manifestation of the grahas all the time, including that of Mars which has many positive expressions, such as the following:
May Paravara, the form of Mars as supreme goodness, show us the way.
May Mars as Lord Skanda, the vanquisher of mighty foes, help us take responsibility to overcome the weakness and darkness within ourselves.
May Parvatipriyananda, the beloved son of Shakti and Shiva, teach us unconditional love and compassion.
Om Mangalaya Namah! I bow before the Mighty Mars and ask for his peaceful blessings for all beings. May peace rain down on us…Peace of Body. Peace of Mind. Peace of Spirit. Peace…Peace…Peace, Eternal Peace.
The above image is a Mars Yantra sculpture created by Mick McDonough. Original sculpture is 36″ x 36″ — acrylic on wood and Swarovski crystals. Digital background, Pamela McDonough. Learn more about yantras at www.yantramandala.com.