At each New Moon, we are invited, metaphorically speaking, to plant something—a plan, an idea, a new meditation practice , a diet, an actual seed outside in the yard. The sign of each New Moon gives us qualities to consider. With two consecutive New Moons in Cancer, the themes this summer are a double dose of loving home and family, nurturance of self and others. Cancer is the Moon’s home sign. It is sensitive, protective, crabby, inwardly drawn. That is an apt set of traits for a time when, in order to protect the health of ourselves and others, we are best to be like Cancerian hermit crabs and stay close to what is home, safe and familiar.
There are always many other things going on in the symphony of planetary line-ups in the sky.
This year one of the most prominent transits is the sojourn of the planet Mars through the sign of Aries. Mars is one of the faster moving planets, close to the Sun, and it normally spends about a month and a half in each of the twelve signs. This year, Mars will be in its fiery home sign of Aries from June 27th until January 6, 2021. That’s because it will have its retrograde period, slowing down and moving back and forth over some of the same degrees of Aries between September 9th and November 13th. A planet in its period of retrogradation is not weak; it is introspective.
Mars is associated with assertion, will power, taking initiative. It is also associated with war. Aries, named for Ares, the Greek god of war, is associated with courage—and also with fear, impatience, anger and brute force. Given that each of us, as individuals, and humanity, as a whole, will all be experiencing the transit of Mars through Aries at the same time, which will we choose? To be brave, assertive, direct and honest? Or to be violent jerks? We can count on there being plenty of the latter. Let us be the counterpoint.
While Mars is in Aries for six months, we may find ourselves confronted with things we’re afraid of, and we may muster the courage to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” We may finally sever unhealthy relationships or take a chance on a new project. The things that habitually irritate us may be on full display. A good slogan is: “don’t bite the bait.”
Aries, the fourth sign of the zodiac, is in a natural “square” aspect to Cancer, the sign of our July 20 New Moon. Squares in a natal chart or in transits in the sky are like two planes of reality coming together at a 90-degree angle. They bump into each other in dynamic tension. To resolve a square, over a lifetime or during a transit, requires adjustment. Squares are not bad. They are hard, and they force us to change. If you have a square between planets in your natal chart, there are struggles you live with and learn from.
While Mars is in Aries for the rest of the year and into January of 2021, it’s going to be making a series of square aspects to Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto, all in Capricorn. It has been the conjunctions of these slower moving planets in Capricorn all this year that have made for so much stress and tension as structures and systems are breaking down. Mars in Aries can be volatile on its own. When Mars squares Saturn, this summer and fall, there may be eruptions of outrage directed at authorities and the status quo. We can’t predict specific events. We forecast tendencies. It will not be easy.
What can we do on a personal level? Most of us are already stretched to the limit in coping with the stress of these times.
Mars is a planetary force of action. Certain deliberate actions, combined with some deliberate non-action, may be the best medicine.
Throughout this year, I have found that daily chanting of sacred phrases makes a big difference in reducing brooding and worry. I have returned to daily practice of mantras I received from spiritual teachers in my youth. The word “mantra” means mind protection. The more time I spend chanting, which I do on walks, while driving and doing household tasks, the less time my mind is spinning with repetitive stories about the past or future.
To work with the Mars in Aries it is imperative to act, take a leap and start in on something we’ve been meaning to do. Also, Mars, related to the term “martial arts,” loves exercise. Aries is fire, so get hot, and sweaty. Drive slowly, take care to avoid accidents, especially when Mars is in hard-charging Aries. Avoid arguments and argumentative people. Don’t answer emails in haste. Direct justifiable social anger into action that will help take down oppressive systems.
This New Moon in Cancer will make an exact opposition to Saturn, in Capricorn. That’s a pretty direct message from the Sky. We are facing difficulties, even hardships. We have a long way to go before the astrological intensities of 2020 will ease up.
New Moon blessings!
P.S. I’ll bet you know your Sun sign. Do you also know your Moon and Rising Sign? I’m offering simple, short readings on these Big Three in your chart, and how the Sun, Moon and your Rising Sign interact with each other.
Also, for your upcoming birthdays, I offer natal chart & transit readings.