Mercury conjunct Mars and my fight at the gym

Mercury and Mars came together yesterday for the second time since June. I had a fight with a guy in the gym. 

I finally had reached my annoyance threshold with this guy making loud noises while he punches and runs on the treadmill. When I asked him to stop making loud noises, he jumped off his machine, ran at me, and screamed in my face, “This is not a mother__ church! This is a GYM!” We all have different expectations of gyms, perhaps. His might be one that lets him get out all of his aggression however he wants to. Mine is a safe space for me to get fit; I deliberately chose a gym with a tagline of “No lunkheads.” Our ideas were in conflict with each other and sparked a confrontation. The management decided that his behavior crossed the line and asked him to leave. Fellow gymgoers thanked me and co-signed the incident report. I was nervous and shaky all night. 

I imagine most of us don’t find confrontations fun. Confrontations basically suck. We avoid them, unless maybe we’re in our cars or online. But what happens to unexpressed anger? What happens to stifled passion? 

Mercury and Mars will meet again in the earth sign Virgo on September 3rd, on the same degree as the sun. One interpretation is the combining of our voice and action in practical, useful ways that express the essence of who we are. That’s some assignment. The closest we’ve come recently was July 2000, when the Mercury/Mars conjunction was just a degree away from the sun. In Cancer, that correlated with building a safe, healthy, and loving emotional core, home, and family. What have been the fruits of your learning and efforts in those areas for the past 19 years? How have you come to embody and express home, healing, kindness, and family? When have you had to protect or defend the vulnerable? 

Mercury in retrograde now returning to the sign of Cancer gives us a chance to reflect on those principles and readjust if we need to.  If we’re exhausted from some effort or fight, what nourishment can we reach toward? How can we mentally recuperate? This Mercury retrograde (July 7-July 31 EDT) can be challenging because we’re compelled to move ahead in sustained action while our processing and communication functions seem slower. But how could it help our actions to process information at a more deliberate pace and weigh our words more carefully? 

We can probably all benefit from reexamining our usual approach to confrontation. I might have been brave at the gym, but I also might have put myself in unnecessary danger -- a Mars pattern of mine that stresses the heck out of everyone around me. How can I have smarter confrontations? I was annoyed by that guy, but I was probably also triggered by years of unexpressed resentment over aggressive male behavior that built up over time: From manspreading to catcalling, I’d had enough.

If you’ve had a recent conflict -- inner or outer -- have you started to process the lesson?

This Mercury retrograde and the period leading up to September 3rd I’ll be mulling this over: In the joining of the sun, Mars, and Mercury, do all three planets usually have equal say or does one tend to dominate? How can they learn to cooperate? 

We’re never stuck in one expression. If you find yourself frustrated while Mercury is in retrograde, consider it a challenge you’re up for.

But maybe be a little more thoughtful and careful than I was at the gym. Come September, you’ve got an important job to do.


When the view isn't perfect: Waning Pisces moon

The last two mornings I’ve only been able to see the moon through the branches of my neighbor’s tree. It looks so promising and bright, and I crane my neck this way or that way to get a good look from different parts of my house. I write about the moon, and I read about the moon in posts from astrologer friends all over the world. And so when I can’t see the moon full-on it feels like a secret I can only hear parts of; two right numbers in a lottery ticket I was pretty sure would win.  

This morning I put on shoes with my pajamas and go outside to get a straight look at the moon. I have to walk three houses down – past the tree and several rows of wires – before I can finally just see the moon. Not the moon over the Eiffel Tower or the moon over a vast safari, but the moon over my neighbor’s house in Queens. Me in mismatched pajamas, with wild hair and morning breath.

In the sky there’s a feeling of not-quite-right – a feeling we’re not where or what we could be.

As the moon enters the sign of Aries today at 12:35 p.m., some small movement compels us a bit closer to a goal. Tomorrow when Mercury reaches the degree of the last new moon, we’ll be able to see something more clearly. On October 8th when Mars finally passes the degree it turned retrograde in June, we’ll be able to move more decisively. But today at some point and in some small way, we just need to leave our own house.

 

The moon in Capricorn: Lucy on Responsibility

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“Responsibility is the ability to respond.”
Lucille Ball

Wedged between Saturn and Pluto, the Capricorn moon today might feel heavy. We could be more aware of limitations and loss, age and death, sadness and shadow.

Capricorn, Saturn, and Pluto all bring up issues of control.

And who knows what we can control, really? I can control what I do – to some extent, based on the options I have as someone who is fillintheblank. I can control what I say always, whether or not I actually do. But I can’t control the effects of my actions. I can’t control how people will hear or take my words. To some extent, that’s pretty depressing. It can make me want to give up.

So today Lucy’s words help me. Just respond. Maybe breathe before you do, maybe pray before you do, but show up somehow today and respond. Not the way you always have, not based on anyone’s expectations, but from the steady rhythm and knowing wisdom of your heart.

Something to think about: Mercury conjunct Mars

Today Mercury and Mars join for the third time in four months and the last time until June 2019.

The final Mercury/Mars conjunction in July 2015 was in the sign of Cancer. Protective, security-minded Cancer fueled our mindset and actions for the last two years. The winning side of the US election understood that: Build the wall. Make America Great Again. A focus on country and safety resonated. Donald Trump’s natal Mercury is in Cancer. He was naturally suited to speak directly to these themes. He noticed them. He communicated them. Hillary Clinton’s “Better together” just didn’t connect to voters’ hearts as a motivator. It wasn’t emotional enough. Even if we voted for her, her speeches and slogans didn’t touch many of us enough to care beyond our own situations and loved ones. With her natal Mercury in Scorpio, she needed to go more deeply to actually move us with her words. She finally did in her concession speech, hours too late.

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