Mars in Aries, the knight in shiny armour, from April 2 to May 11 2011

Troubadour (Minstrel) by Giorgio de Chirico  Click to enlarge

Entering Aries at this particular time Mars was sure to make an impression on the collective psyche and world events. This transit will be active between April 2 and May 11.

In traditional Astrology the planet Mars and the Sign of Aries are linked together, because Mars is said to ‘rule’ this Fire Cardinal Sign, the one that more than any other provides Mars with the type of energy he needs to accomplish his conquering tasks unheeded.

The boldness and courage of Aries will receive a boost from Mars too, affording everyone an opportunity to tackle life issues with confidence, in particular Aries individuals and the other Fire Signs, Leo and Sagittarius. It could also be a stimulating transit for Libra, Cancer and Capricorn, the other Cardinal Signs, not without some difficulties and confrontations though. Also for anyone with Moon, Ascendant, Mid-Heaven, Descendant, Lower Heaven, and/or planets in the above Signs.

Because of the association between Mars and Aries, all the other celestial bodies, at present transiting through this Sign (the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, and, from April 21, also Venus) have to pay alliance to Mars, give him his due.

It is easy to see then how important Mars can be in these circumstances. Even the New Moon, on April 4, fell in Aries, so the starting point of the present lunar cycle (the one that has just culminated in the Libra Full Moon on April 18) was also closely allied with Mars.

Both Mars and Aries tend to accelerate the pace of life and events. More happens during a Martial period, and more often. There is a general tendency to get the job done, irrespective of possible consequences and present obstacles.

We want to burn down the obstacles life is placing in front of us; we wish they weren’t there. We may not see much usefulness in biting our time or in being overly patient. We want things done yesterday, a sense of urgency presses us ahead. We are very driven and focused. But we may also overstretch our mark, displaying excessive confidence and not enough planning.

In haste we are more likely to make mistakes and have to retrace our steps. This period could be particularly so due to the retro motion of Mercury in Aries too. Things may not proceed as quickly and smoothly as you have envisioned and felt pretty sure about. Frustration is a real possibility if you are not prepared to slow down your pace, accepting necessary setbacks and even tolerating many irritating difficulties and delays, especially in the area of communication and travel, especially before April 23.

Because Aries is one of the Cardinal Signs we need to remember that no aspect formed by Mars during this transit can be isolated from the context within which it takes place, the other mutual aspects happening at the same time and the overall planetary scene. In a general sense the transits of Mars always help to activate the other major planetary alignments, bringing them to our attention in a vivid way. This time is no exception; it is in fact a strong example of this, considering the number and gravity of open conflicts exploding all over the world.  We cannot just blame Mars for them, but rather the difficult configurations this planet has been forming with big trouble-makers like Uranus (conjunct Mars at the April 4, Aries New Moon day), Pluto, that Mars squared on April 12, and Saturn that Mars opposed on April 19. To make the Mars effect more obvious retro Mercury is also conjunct Mars on April 19 and Mars will reach the conjunction to Jupiter on April 30. Perhaps a bit too much excitement for one month.

Aries New Moon, and Aries Mercury, Mars, Uranus, Jupiter. A call to arms?

I was preparing for an intense day on this New Moon, and for good astrological reasons. The conjunction Mars-Uranus has become exact today, so giving a certain character and tone to the whole new cycle the New Moon is opening. Bloody conflicts are all over the news, with not imminent solutions in view.

The whole month will keep this momentum going, the drive for change and progress at all cost (Uranus) married to the need for action without delay and an aggressive general attitude (Mars). This trend will be obvious on the evening news as well as in our own private lives, where conflicts could flare up at the least provocation, causing often a sense of alienation and separateness amongst people. No great strides toward peaceful solutions seem to be on the cards for now.

Furthermore the Sun and Moon were also in conjunction to Jupiter in Aries today and therefore in opposition to Saturn in Libra, thus becoming active participants in the cosmic patterns that are shaping the  present historical events. In fact Jupiter is only now just separating from the opposition to Saturn that became exact, for the third and last time, last Tuesday, March 29.

If interested in the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition, please look up the astrological highlights of the week March 28 to April 3 HERE, and, for a more in depth analysis, to my older post on the historical significance of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition HERE.

The Sun and Moon with Jupiter will attract big events, and perhaps also an inflated expectation of big events. We may risk collectively to escalate differences, rather than contain them.

A good example of this is the fierce conflict raging at present in Australia about the so called Carbon Tax, between opposite factions, one absolutely against it and the other absolutely in favor.

The opposition of Sun and Moon to Saturn, at New Moon, will have also a powerful effect, on this particular issue and others, now and in the next few weeks. Finding a middle ground between Jupiter and Saturn’s tendencies would be indeed very difficult. Perhaps this necessary reform will have to be imposed forcibly on a lot of people who don’t want any of it.

Or another possibility is that Saturn could create the type of stalemate we have seen gripping other crisis, all over the world, from Japan’s atomic crisis, to the bloody civil conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

Mercury now moving slowly in retro motion in Aries could also have the effect of making us revisit the past, going through similar experiences and tests we have had recently. It is difficult to find permanent solutions to personal or collective problems while Little Brother is making his cosmic loop, because we need now to re-think everything, to go over again what we thought we had outgrown and overcome. Mercury turning direct again, on April 23, will offer more opportunities for a meaningful change of direction. For more information on April’s retrogradation of Mercury visit last week highlights post HERE.

Astrological predictions cannot be rosy under these circumstances, also considering the imminent retrograde station of Pluto (beginning on April 9) that could also mark a more intense and transformative time of the year for all of us.

One of the positive roles of Astrology is to make us more aware of the dangers inherent in a period of social and personal revolutions like the present, hopefully helping to find ways of toning down our passions, thus achieving a measure of cooperation with those who held opposing views.

A different facet of this New Moon story is represented by Neptune entering Pisces tomorrow, April 5. This historical transit seems to indicate that whatever is happening now in the world and within us will have far reaching consequences in shaping our beliefs, because we are in the grip of something much bigger than our own individual ambitions, dreams or wants, something we can hardly fight against because it seems and is unavoidable.

Amongst all other transits active at present the passage of Neptune in Pisces could redeem us by fostering compassion and tolerance, in a period of increased turbulence and unrest. Via Neptune’s unifying lenses we may be made to perceive that the aspirations of all human beings on the planet are indeed the same, because our source of being is the same.

For more about the transition of Neptune into Pisces visit my Escape to Neptune post HERE and More about the effect of Neptune in Pisces HERE.

My own Aries’ transits

I have been living through an experience lately, confirming to me the power of planetary configurations on our daily life. This story can also be read as an apology for posting this New Moon article late and also for non having published yet the Mars in Aries’ article I was preparing last week.

A sudden and very acute attack of sciatica prevented me from working. Only tonight I am finally able to sit for any length of time to type.

Well, my sciatica is part of the Aries story really. Mars, entering Aries on Friday, April 2, has formed a perfect right angle (square) with my very early Cancer Sun and my Birth Chiron, on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn. And, of course, Uranus was already forming exactly the same aspects since it too entered Aries on March 12. Uranus was obviously just waiting for Mars passing over the same degree to unleash its sudden fury over my poor sciatic nerve.

Today, New Moon day, Mars is conjunct Uranus; this particular transit has therefore reached its climax. My condition has improved slightly; I feel I am on the road to recovery.

The New Moon always brings some difference, offering an opportunity to look at our predicament in a new light, with hope rather than gloom. I feel that the waxing energy of the New Moon helps the body to fight back or give enough incentive to tackle ongoing problems with a fresh and positive attitude.

I didn’t expect my sciatica to get as bad as it did, so Uranus provided the aspect of unexpectedness, as it is supposed to do.  Mars, on the other hand, brought on the acute stage of the condition, flaring it up. And Chiron the soreness, one to which I am already accustomed, having had it times before. With Chiron is always something from the past that hit us, something ingrained and chronic that causes the physical or psychological unease, fostering at the same time a desire to understand the root cause of a condition, thus also promoting healing.

Of course the very same transits wouldn’t have had the same results if my Natal Gemini Mars did not promise trouble in the first place, opposing Natal Chiron in the Sign of Sagittarius (ruling over the sciatic nerve), conjunct Natal Mercury (planet of mobility), and at right angle to Natal Saturn in Virgo Third House, often stressing life’s limitations in a very physical way. The Saturn in Virgo connection shows me also the obvious consequences of the unhealthy choice of sitting for hours at the computer, forgetting to keep my body in a good posture, foregoing in fact all good advice in this respect.

In good Saturnine fashion I conclude that the sciatica is not just a case of bad luck, but very much of bad choices too.

Mea culpa.