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J A N U A R Y    2 0 0 5   F E A T U R E   A R T I C L E

Mars Retrograde and the U.S.

by Maya del Mar

[Note: this is the first part of a two-part article. This article will also appear, in its entirety, in the April-May issue of The Mountain Astrologer.]

"MILITARY DEBATES HOW TO WIN WAR OF WORDS," says a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle, quoting an article from the New York Times. (1)

This one sentence describes the U.S. Mars. Mars is the warrior. In the U.S. chart (7-4-1776), Mars is in Gemini, the sign of words, ideas, and communication. Thus we have wars of words. Donald Rumsfeld’s Mars is also in Gemini. He manifests the nation’s style of assertion.

Mars is featured now in the U.S. in many ways.

Mars in the heavens is prominent.

We can start with the Vernal Equinox chart set for Washington DC. Mars in Capricorn sits at the top of the chart, the featured planet. This is the place in the chart where we meet the world, and the world meets us. We are extra-feisty this year. This matches GW Bush’s chart, with Mars’ sign of Aries, the Challenger, on his midheaven.

This Mars in the midheaven also suits the U.S. chart because it conjoins the U.S. Pluto, thus stimulating Pluto’s power. Pluto with Mars shows an enormous drive and push to accomplish. War of some kind can be the outcome when those two fighters join forces.

The U.S. has neither enough money nor enough resources for another military war (which, however, may not stop it), but it will surely wage a war of words, of propaganda, a U.S. specialty. And it will most likely be involved in an economic war, for since November 2, the world has been sending signals that it is getting ready to wage an economic war on the U.S. (2)

The cycle of the Spring Equinox chart is one year, and more intensely, one season.

Bush and Cheney’s Mars are highlighted now.

Further, Bush’s 2004-2005 birthday Mars is in the very strong sign of Leo, smack on that most personal place in the chart, the Ascendant, and conjoined his natal Ascendant-Pluto in Leo. This is a very pushy year for him, as we have been seeing.

Dick Cheney’s natal and progressed Mars, as well as Bush’s natal and progressed Mars, are also very activated during the entire year. This Administration is ready to fight.

Its instrument of battle is this nation, the United States. So what about the U.S. Mars?

The U.S. natal Mars is in a stressed condition.

The U.S. Mars is at 22 Gemini, in the seventh house of friends and enemies. Mars in Gemini is a trader, a salesperson, a magician with words. It uses words and ideas to catalyze action, and also to abuse and attack. With Donald Rumsfeld’s Mars in the air sign of Gemini, we see that ideas and propaganda re war are obviously more important than actual conditions on the ground. Also, Gemini is an amoral sign, and thus anything is permitted in warfare, including brutality and torture. Law is irrelevant. This also includes economic warfare, such as callous corporate aggrandizement.

Mars in Gemini also describes the U.S. tendency to commercialize everything, including relationships here and abroad, and such things as education, health, and nature itself.

In the U.S. natal chart, Mars is in a stressful square relation with Neptune at 23 Virgo. This means that Mars always must interact with Neptune, and that the connection is not an easy one. Neptune is the cosmic channel, and thus it is a very big subject. (See several past articles in The Mountain Astrologer for discussions of Neptune in the U.S. chart.) Aspects of Neptune are confusion, idealism, fantasy, propaganda, images, oil, and drugs. We certainly see all of these qualities "embedded" in our Iraq quagmire.

Mars in the U.S. chart rules the fourth house, which is the foundation, the basis of our security. The stressed Mars helps produce the underlying insecurity of the U.S., such that its biggest issue has been "defense." And further, Mars itself, in the shape of the military, becomes the protector.

Transiting Pluto puts enormous stress on Mars at this time, and also enormous power at its disposal.

Transiting Pluto, at 22-24 Sagittarius, is currently opposing the feisty U.S. Mars and squaring cloudy Neptune. Pluto refers to sudden eruptions of powerful currents of energy which transform conditions. Pluto with Mars can be violent, abusive, and dictatorial. Pluto with Neptune can attain success through lies and fraud, or can suffer unexpected disadvantages and huge losses. Again, the U.S. situation in Iraq exemplifies this transit.

During this Pluto transit, we are also seeing force and repression in regard to information, not only in the war theater, but domestically as well. We have now an extraordinarily secret government, and a Congress which goes along with it. For instance, during the second week of December, as Pluto opposed the U.S. Mars—and Jupiter conjoined the U.S. Saturn—the U.S. Congress passed a massive Intelligence Reform Bill, with draconian surveillance provisions.

The surveillance state proceeds apace. Information is Gemini’s specialty. Dossiers are piling up.

This Pluto catalyst began in January 2004, and will last through 2006.

This is a transit which occurs only every 250 years. It has not occurred previously in U.S. history, and it brings difficult, new conditions into the forefront. Deep and lasting changes in how the nation applies its energy are the outcome.

All of these Mars catalyzers are important, particularly as they come together at this time. But what I want to focus on in this article is a Mars shift much larger, deeper, and more significant than any or all of these. It concerns the U.S. progressed Mars.

To be continued next month...

Notes, Part I

(1) San Francisco Chronicle, December 13, 2004. page 1.