So far this summer is all about the red planet run riot, Mars and more Mars. An angry immigrant uses a rented truck as a weapon in a grisly massacre that forever changes a moment of national celebration. Restaurant tablecloths become blood-stained shrouds, covering the corpses of children, wives, husbands, lovers. Grief. Horror. Just a week before, in Dallas, a disgruntled veteran felled police, destabilizing the just reclamations of the African American community, and dangerously heating passions throughout the US. More policemen were targeted and killed this weekend. In Turkey, a military faction launched an attempted coup, leaving many dead. In Orlando in June, a homophobic Muslim American rained death on a gay nightclub. Bombs exploded at Istanbul airport, in central Baghdad, and a favorite cafe in Dacca became a scene of gruesome terror.
We all have Mars somewhere in our charts, with its red-hot urgency, its reactivity. Mars gives us vitality and passion, it enhances raw energy, hones the will. It is only when it functions outside the civilized self, when it overwhelms consciousness and replaces it with hatred or revenge, that Mars unleashes War. Then it leads to destruction, death and loss. The Mars energies in many parts of the world have been unleashed. When this happens, it is very difficult to pull them back – Mars is the fire that keeps burning, the blood that keeps pumping, the bullets flying.
Why is Mars so potent now? Mars has been in a long retrograde passage, coming to a virtual standstill in the sky in late June, and only beginning to move quickly now, well into July 2016. At these moments, the energy of Mars, a traditionally destructive planet, concentrates and intensifies anger, rage, and desire. In the tropical zodiac, Mars is in Scorpio – one of its most powerful signs. While many will use this transit for good, its warlike energy in the collective has been all too evident. Mars was exactly conjunct the Moon at the Bastille day celebrations, and was extremely potent in the birth chart of the Orlando killer. Current day France has it’s origins during the French Revolution, and Mars wakes up a radical grand cross in the 1792 chart.
But there’s more, much more. Uranus, the planet of revolution and radical change, is in Aries, a Mars ruled sign. It arrived in 2010, bringing its electrical awakening to everything connected to Mars. Slowly, it brought the sleeping Barbarian back to life. As it continues its seven-year sweep through the signs, we are all losing our heads. The British have Brexited, Isis decapitates. Citizens declare war on police. In London, pets disappear and when the kitty corpses are found they are missing their heads. Our way of thinking the world has reached an end point – it’s finished. Kaput – as in caput: Head, Chef, Chief. Goodbye Cameron, the British head of state. The spontaneous, irrational, truthful, tell it like it is, wild-man discourse has the crowds roaring approval. Shall we burn the House down? Drive a truck through the crowd? Uranus has just reached the same place in the sky as newly-discovered Eris. Eris was the Greek goddess of Strife, of Discord.
Moments like these when the world has stopped making sense, it can be tempting to join the dance to impending chaos. When Mars rules, our anger overrides anything else we might feel. Those who are seized by Mars “see red.” The rage feels good until it feels very, very bad. Some, with weak psychological boundaries, act out the destructive impulses in the collective unconscious. Remember how much you care about this world. Remember to be kind. Choose wisely.
In the words of Montrell Jackson the African-American police officer shot to death on July 17 in Baton Rouge, “Don’t let hate infect your heart.”
Mars re-enters Sagittarius August 2nd, when it becomes urgent to align with our beliefs, to remember who we wish to be as individuals, and as a nation, a civilization. In late August when Mars meets Saturn, the die is cast.
Photo: War: or The Ride of Discord by Henri Rousseau, 1894.