In recent weeks, I’ve had several people reach out to me for advice about the upcoming squares between Mars and Saturn that permeate our skies for the rest of 2020.
I have a lot of thoughts about this, so I thought the best way to get them out to help as many people as possible is to write a blog post about it… so here it is!
From a purely technical standpoint, a square between Mars and Saturn is the most difficult configuration. The two malefic planets forming the most friction inducing aspect isn’t territory that results in happiness or joy. Apologies for sounding like the bearer of bad news, but that is the reality of the situation. I think many people regardless of their level of astrology knowledge can feel a sense of, dare I say it…. Impending doom, hence the influx questions about the rest of the year.
It will be reminiscent of February through to May, when both Mars and Saturn shared an extended and unusual 12-week co-presence. Mars entered Capricorn on February 17 and shared space with its ruler Saturn in Capricorn until March 31. It was that time when what was then known as a novel coronavirus become a reality in our daily lives.
Mars is exalted in Capricorn and has a great deal of strength in that sign. During that time Mars was bound within the limits of Saturn. Not only was Mars occupying Saturn’s home, it was doing so with Saturn there. It was those months especially where the collective fear (Saturn) kept reign over the impulsive desires of Mars and most of us did what we had to do.
By March’s end, both Mars and Saturn then shared space in Aquarius until mid-May. The term ‘social-distancing’ and navigating Zoom became the new normal. Being able to buy toilet paper felt like a lottery win. While Saturn retains dignity in Aquarius through rulership, Mars has none. The impulse to take action, to move or to do what one wants was greatly limited by Saturn’s rings. Agitation, stress, anxiety and other mental health issues compounded as a result of social distancing, isolation as well as other factors relating to the pandemic.
At least from the perspective here in the Antipodes, the COVID-19 curve had all but been flattened. For sure, it left financial carnage, mental health stress, and some lost their lives, while for others, it also revealed new opportunities to thrive. It felt just as soon as we closed down, we re-opened again, albeit combined with a feeling of relief, yet knowing it was too soon. Before we knew it, life began to return to some kind of new normal. That thing called social distancing seemed to be a thing of the past, if the crowds at Kmart or Bunnings was any indication.
Mars in Aries
Late June saw Mars enter its home sign of Aries. A once-in-every-two-year-tour that usually lasts 6 weeks is an almost 7-month stint in 2020, thanks to a retrograde period in September, October and November.
Mars retrograde cycles happen every two years and are always hallmarked by themes of frustration and tension. The vermillion planets’ heat and intensity becomes erratic as the night sky is dominated by its foreboding presence as its closest and brightest to Earth while appearing in reverse.
Along with tension and frustration, Mars retrograde periods can bring you closer to the frayed ends of sanity. While retrograde in impulsive Aries, the capacity to regulate anger can become increasingly challenging. When used constructively, Mars retrograde can be a useful cycle for reassessing what you’re prepared to fight for and what you’re not.
July 26 saw Mars enter the pre-retrograde shadow, providing the ideal celestial landscape to begin to decide what is important to you and where you’re willing to invest a nose to the grindstone type approach. Mars in Aries isn’t shy to run head first into battle, but while retrograde, the wise words of Mr Miagi from the Karate Kid movie sums it up best,
“The best way to win a fight is to not be in one.”
Mars retrograde periods often see people oscillate between great bursts of energy and lethargy. Deciding now where you want to hone in the fire of Mars can help prevent you from becoming burnt out by the proverbial brick wall of Saturn.
As with all retrogrades, when a planet stations, it becomes the most intense, unpredictable and problematic. As Mars begins to reduce speed, it will do so within orb of squaring Saturn. While the exact squares between Mars and Saturn perfect on August 24 and September 30, the period between approximately August 11 – October 17 see these two planets within a tight 5-degree range of each other. As this orb separates, Mars and Saturn will remain in a whole sign square until December 18 once Saturn re-enters Aquarius.
Astrologically speaking, we’re now different, yet familiar territory that we were in earlier this year. It’s the same war (Saturn in Capricorn) but a new battle (Mars in Aries).
There’s a qualitative difference to this particular Mars/Saturn combination and that is Mars in Aries has complete autonomy, it answers to no one. Like an unstoppable warrior, Mars is gonna Mars, in any way, shape or form it sees fit. That being said, Saturn is in the superior position, so even the greatest warrior fights within the laws of the land.
On a personal level, Mars in Aries offers you the ability to ‘decide and do,’ to take action that is right for you. It can lend you courage and the desire to do what may otherwise be risky or reckless. This might mean ruffling the feathers, feelings opinions of others. You might opt to take the path that angels fear to tread, despite the obstacles or challenges that lie upon your path.
Due to the fact that this is the third iteration of Mars and Saturn this year, it’s likely you’ll be in a position to adopt a new approach to the challenges that Saturn serves up. Come what may, but this isn’t new energy, and you’ll be better prepared this time.
A Few Tips for Mars square Saturn
Get Your Mind Right
Acknowledge that there will be external elements beyond your control, especially in the form of Saturn-style restrictions and limitations. Be prepared that your personal goals or direction may become thwarted. Focus on the things that you can control and to take action toward what matters to you.
Build your own mental ‘shield wall’ and continue to advance with your sword straight ahead.
Drop the YOLO (you only live once) Approach
One of the pitfalls about Mars / Saturn energy is stopping short of the goal. We’ve all been there and got fired up about a new diet and exercise regimen, for example. We go all hardcore and head to the gym everyday and exercise like mad, while cutting out all the foods we actually enjoy. Energy levels become depleted and the mood becomes miserable. At the first sight of a donut, we become all YOLO about it. One donut then becomes an all-weekend binge.
Whether your goal for the rest of 2020 is to lose your COVID kilos or pandemic pounds for my American readers, if you give up at the first perceived failure, you’ll begin 2021 exactly where you are now, or worse.
Of course, this example could pertain to any goals you had set yourself at the start of this year, be it financial, professional or personal.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Sometimes the Saturn voice inside us says no, even if the will, desire or audacity of our inner Mars wants to have it. It’s inevitable that from time to time we’ll all stop short of what we want.
The challenge with Mars / Saturn is to combine action with strategy to design a winning formula that works for you.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I’ll spend four sharpening my axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Embrace the Suck
A slang term used in the military, ‘embrace the suck’ can actually help you surrender to what is, as opposed to being stuck in a false reality.
Embracing the totality of the lived experience, even the most unpleasant parts of it, can help you get through it quicker. By denying what’s real, we only prolong suffering. For sure, there are times where ignorance can be bliss, but this is unlikely to be that time.
It may be helpful to come to terms that what lies ahead is likely to be uncomfortable in small or large ways, or both. If you’re stuck in a rut of procrastination, avoidance, disconnection or distraction, it may be time for you to embrace the suck and find comfort in discomfort.
This may mean learning to break old habits and patterns of sacrificing your long-term goals for your short-term goals. By identifying what it is you really want, you can begin to awaken to the daily habits that are either taking you towards or from your desires. Is reaching for your phone out of subconscious habit getting you closer to where you want to be? How about that endless scrolling on social media instead of finishing that book that’s collecting dust on your shelf? What about that job that no longer inspires you, or that relationship you remain in because, ya know, better the devil you know?
There is the suck we’ll continue to collectively embrace and we’ll all each have our personal areas of life. Looking to the Aries / Capricorn houses in your birth chart will shed insight.
The positive part of embracing the suck is that it’s character building. Through facing reality head on, tackling challenges and overcoming obstacles, you give yourself the opportunity to show yourself what you’re made of. Rather than rinsing and repeating the same old habits and patterns, the tension and frustration can produce a breaking point, where new goals are achieved and new limits created. Oila transformation!
“If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want will be the sacrifice.”
– Dr Layne Norton
Mars square SaturnAugust 24– 26 Aries / Capricorn
September 30 (Mars Rx) 25 Aries / Capricorn
Mars retrograde 28 – 15 Aries – September 11 – November 13