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.


Fight, freedom, and helping: Mars square Uranus under a Virgo sun

“Black Bird” by Benny Andrews

“Black Bird” by Benny Andrews

Today Mars in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus. This is a closing square that relates to their conjunction or joining in Aries in late February 2017.

Mars square Uranus is a stressful energy. I’m gonna be real with you. This one stumped me, because I always read the sky as a message from a God who loves us. Why would we ever need more stress???

Virgo season is about doing the best we can in the human condition. Discriminating how we can do better and be useful to each other here on earth. Today’s moon/Pluto conjunction symbolizes that it’s time for some deeper reflection.

Think about your effort and progress over the last year and a half. Is there any resource or relationship you have now that you didn’t have or realize then? Think about all the scary things you’ve faced and survived. How has a group joined or supported you?

Today try to feel any love that has helped settle you and notice any progress in your personal fight. Unfortunately, it’s not over. But in some ways that’s actually a good thing, because what we’ve learned can now help others.

In the end, the fight was never really about just us.

Mars and Neptune

Mars stations direct at 10:04 a.m. EDT after two months in retrograde. This morning the Pisces moon joined Neptune.

Neptune is the part of us that follows inspiration and goes with the flow. Neptune doesn’t make plans: It would rather have a drink or a nap or five minutes in a spacey zone. But Neptune is also the part of us that takes on other people’s stuff. Neptune has no boundaries. It lets in everything, and everything becomes us.

While I was writing this morning, I heard Langston typing loudly in the same room and I lost my train of thought. I snapped at him. He snapped back and went upstairs, and I regretted it. That’s Neptune and Mars showing up in our home. I’m trying to enter a spiritual space, but first let me yell at my husband. 

Lang and I apologized to each other, imperfectly, and hours later I'm finishing this piece. Because God has a sense of humor, where I am now is even noisier: Excited chatter fills the hallway; three feet next to me, workers hammer in a new floor. 

It's that kind of day, at least for me, but it's important to me to finish. And so I will -- albeit imperfectly, too.

 

1988 and today's grand trine: Saturn and Uranus as friends

Me, second from right, in 1988, with a favorite teacher, Mrs. Stein, and two best friends who went on to different middle schools.

Me, second from right, in 1988, with a favorite teacher, Mrs. Stein, and two best friends who went on to different middle schools.

Today there’s a grand trine in the sky between the sun in Virgo, Saturn in Capricorn, and Uranus in Taurus. A grand trine is a supportive, harmonious aspect. In a chart it looks like a triangle. Because the trine is in earth, we can also look at it as especially stabilizing or enduring.  

Saturn and Uranus joined together three times in 1988, and that can be considered the beginning of a Saturn/Uranus cycle: The relationship between our productive, mature, and disciplined self and our innovative, rebellious, and free self. Think of the most buttoned-up person you know and the most zany, and imagine inviting them to dinner – just the three of you. In 1988 instead of for dinner, symbolically those two energies came together inside us, like siblings forced to sit together after an argument. Whether we were born with stronger Saturn energies in our chart or stronger Uranian, that year they became equals and had to learn to work together.

So how’s that been going for you?

It’s easier for me to make friends with Saturn. I have long-lasting relationships. I tend to show up when I’m needed. I can finish what I start. Uranus is harder for me. I do it, but bracingly. Every time I write about astrology – which is Uranian – I’m afraid of being shunned. I start to imagine someone rolling her eyes or unfriending me. I don’t want to be too weird or too forceful.

1988 for me was the end of grammar school and the beginning of middle school: The excitement of moving forward, the fear of not fitting in. Missing close friends who wouldn’t be joining me. It all felt very dramatic. We’d write each other over-the-top letters proclaiming our devotion and sadness. But it was also fun: My middle school could be out of control. I remember kids standing on tables, dancing. It reminded me of scenes from Fame. More unsettling were the epic fights after school. I was a bus kid, so I never stayed to see them, but I saw and heard the lead-ups and recaps: Time-tested rituals of taking off earrings or pulling back hair; the next-day black eye or fat lip. The adults, for the most part, were ineffectual. I couldn’t believe this was possible for a school. Saturn, meet Uranus.

Do you remember what was happening for you?

This year Lyndon starts middle school, and I’m hoping that in the spirit of today’s grand trine, Saturn and Uranus come together in a safer, more supportive, less shocking way for him. My middle school would have blown his mind. Thirty years later, it still blows mine.  

But did I really learn the lesson? In many ways I’m still the Saturn kid watching someone else dance or someone else fight.

How about you? Are you still sitting closer to Saturn or Uranus? What goes through your mind when they speak?

Today I’ll bring Uranus more into the balance: Taking an action for social change and one for personal freedom. In honor of my middle school friends, I’ll try to have a little more moxie, starting with yet another Astrology post.

You may feel the need to hear Saturn instead: To structure, plan or complete something.

Wherever you are I hope you can see both Saturn and Uranus as friends, with you and with each other.

Put your dukes up: Mercury and Venus enter Aries

Mercury entered the sign of Aries today, where it will be until May 13th. This evening Venus enters Aries, too, where it will be until March 31st.

The planets representing voice, learning and love and art are entering the sign of the Warrior. Anything in Aries is under some stress. The sign of cardinal fire, Aries starts. Sometimes we start because we want to and sometimes because we have to. But either way, it’s risky and scary. It’s uncharted. It can be explosive.

If you can intentionally notice excitement or fear in yourself and in those around you for that time period, it may help you understand, connect and avoid unnecessary conflicts. We might all come off a little too strongly. We could be a little too harsh or blunt. But we’re all facing a restart in the way we learn, process, and express ourselves and in who or what we hold dear.

Until March 17th, while the ruler of Aries, Mars, is in Sagittarius, let meaning power these beginnings. What’s the bigger picture? How would you like to expand, explore, risk or succeed? Why is it important to you? If you begin with hopeful inspiration and a bit of moxy, when Mars enters Capricorn, you can start to build in more concrete, lasting ways. But let faith and curiosity start the process rather than a sense of already knowing the outcome. Leave room for surprises and change. The positive expression of Aries is in encouraging yourself and others, protecting the vulnerable, forging a better way ahead.

The first sign, Aries gets us touch with what’s basic, raw, and sensitive within us. It’s up to us to decide if we defend or express it, how, when, and with whom.

(Mercury enters Aries 2:34 a.m. EST. Moon trine Neptune 10:22 a.m. Moon trine sun 2:27 p.m. Venus enters Aries 6:45 p.m. Moon sextile Pluto 11:12 p.m.)

An honest talk about the Libra New Moon

Yesterday there was a Libra New Moon. The New Moon is a beginning. It’s customary to set intentions for the next 28 days until the next New Moon, as we go forward in hope. Libra is the sign of balance and relationship. If we just looked at that, it would be tempting to shroud ourselves in empty positivity. But this time, I’ve found myself unable to wish anyone a Happy New Moon.

This New Moon is unsettling. The sun and moon in Libra oppose Uranus in Aries. In an opposition we meet our other half. Sometimes it feels more “other” than “half.” Sometimes it’s more opponent than partner. Uranus itself symbolically makes things very uncomfortable. Uranus wants freedom and individuality. Aries is primed for a fight. Many of us are up against a sense of chaos, separation, or trauma we just can’t get around. How do we do this?

This is the fourth Libra New Moon to carry this theme in the past six years. Every two years we’ve faced this opposition: September 2011, October 2013, October 2015 and now today. Can you find any common threads in those times?

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When your words surprise even you: Aquarius moon and yesterday's Mercury/Mars conjunction

Did anyone else feel mentally drained yesterday?

As Mercury and Mars joined in Leo I decided not to write. I was feeling a little overexposed and wanted some privacy. I thought, “Oh, OK. Mars wants me to have a boundary today with my words and point of view. I guess this is how it’s playing out.” These are the kind of thoughts I have throughout a day. But then the Aquarius moon opposed Venus and I got into a fight on Facebook. 

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