The month gives us a chance to recover and direct the power of sacred masculine that is described in the Greek concept of thumos, a force invoked by warriors in battle to increase their courage, passion and determination.
What planet does this symbolism remind you of? Thumos survives in the archetype of Mars, the planet of war and action that, in July, makes a series of intense aspects that will help us look at and take hold of the warrior within.
Like many masculine symbols, Mars has a bad rap. Even in their androcentric phase, the ancient Greeks were aware that masculine strength had a dark side, which undirected could lead to wasteful partying and senseless, unbridled violence.
As a culture, we knock Mars’ shadow, but do we apply its strengths? Fed on a diet of processed, transgenic food, chemtrails, TV and internet, what remains of our drive is reduced to watching sports events at the bar or, at best, using machines in fluorescent-lit gyms. We have relinquished the positive impulse of exploration and self-assertion. Just as the sacred feminine has become repressed and subverted to a life on automatic pilot, so has the sacred masculine.
Plato compared the soul to a charioteer who is being pulled along by two horses, one kind and uplifting, and the other perverse. As astrologer Bill Herbst points out, we can’t kill the black horse: we need to harness its force.
Instead of cowering before Mars’ shadow or getting stuck in projection onto certain groups and figures who seem to typify the dark horse, by reflecting on our potential for confidence and assertion and their necessity in our lives, we can gain a new, empowering perspective that can impel us into effective action. And with Pluto involved with the red planet’s first major July transit, empowerment is part of its mission.
On July 2, Mars opposes this mob boss of the solar system. Mars is in Cancer, sign of feelings, intuition and all things maternal. This somewhat uncomfortable placement can take things too personally. Yet as someone once said, sometime we need to take things personally; it means that they matter to us. The risk is reacting before researching. The crab can snap its claws precipitously, making enemies of neutral or even friendly contacts, hurting in anticipation of being hurt.
Yet someone needs to protect what matters most: Mother, the homeland, the oceans, emotional processes and the priorities of our soul. Oppositions give perspective. As Mars, the fighter, opposes Pluto, the planet of power, it makes us look at the need to take an active stand for these concerns, like fighting to protect natural reserves from corporate incursion and protecting women and children’s health needs, including Planned Parenthood, from the GOP’s sabotage.
As above, so below. The collective need to act against the repressive, authoritarian drive of Pluto in Capricorn, plays out in our personal sphere and psyche, too. Mars rules anger, and according to Buddhism, this emotion is the enemy of the “Mirror-path of clarity and non-dualism”.
When we fail to look at ourselves, recognizing and acting on our positive thumos, we end up feeling frustrated and often lose clarity, projecting our frustration onto others, and, in the case of Pluto in Capricorn, onto figures of authoritarian power.
What if we actually use our own power? This implies change, which Pluto is unleashing anyway in some area of everybody’s chart.
Mars’ opposition can help us recover our roles as active agents of change, and as we do, recover the power over our lives.
Besides the areas mentioned above, the pushy planet’s transit through Cancer gives us a chance to act on, even fight for, the area of our lives where we happen to give –and receive!—nurturance.
As we’ll see sign-by-sign a bit further on, this is one of the gifts of the July 8 Full Moon in Capricorn, which will be conjunct Pluto, and continue to trigger this opposition at least through July 11.
Nor will the warrior’s July path end there. The Sun, with a combination of determination and confidence…. Get the rest of the signs and the whole story now! Become a Premium Subscriber! Or, if you are already a Premium Subscriber, log in here.