Here we are. One of the toughest configurations of this year. Mars/Mercury/North Node opposite Saturn/Pluto/South Node. We’re seeing red. We’ve hit a brick wall. Anger, frustration, disappointment, grievances must be vented. But what’s on the other side? An unwavering No. Tradition, authority, the law, long-upheld customs will not budge. So what can we do about it?
“Mars the Roman god, has a more civilised persona than Ares the Greek, who was seven hundred feet tall, and appeared only during times of war, strife, and riots. By the time the Romans absorbed Mars into their mythology, the fertility aspect of Mars was highlighted. We have already seen that Saturn, too, became a bucolic, agrarian god in the Roman theocracy.
Both the Greek Ares with his warlike, raw, and unbound rages, and the Roman agriculture god, Mars, have some Saturnian qualities. The more primitive qualities are arrogance, political ambition, impulsive and self-serving traits, destructiveness, and a dramatic history involving the destruction and creation of civilisations. The positive attributes of both Mars and Saturn are drive, assertion, direction, cultivation, achievement of goals, and leadership abilities.
A meeting of Saturn to Mars can produce many contrary feelings, but they focus on issues that pertain to certain psychological polarities such as passivity and aggression, impulse and apathy, love and hate, energy and sloth, anger and depression, starting something new or staying exactly the same. When Saturn contacts Mars, a conflict of needs arises, and Mars battles the walls of Saturn while Saturn resists the raw impulse from Mars. It is potential for burnout, but only if the aspect follows a long period of unsatisfying activity.
Burnout occurs when we have been suppressing spontaneity in favour of ambition. We might think we are being terribly responsible and effective, working night and day to achieve a goal, but not allowing the playful side of our nature to express. Stress and burnout can be a result of a fated situation, for instance, having to endure a long and stressful experience simply because it must be done. The result of suppressing and containing natural, impulsive behaviour is a low-grade rage. The form of anger of Mars-Saturn combinations can emerge in one of two ways – explosion or depression.
A sextile or trine to Mars brings maturity and stability to the hot energy that is so volatile. Saturn-Mars can create enduring situations. We can use the transit effectively by initiating projects that will abide. We can lay the groundwork for long range goals and find that it is not only possible, but enjoyable, to apply ourselves diligently. More often than not, Saturn contacts to Mars bring with it lowering of libido – the life force. Keeping that in mind, energy conservation is important. If feelings of helplessness, apathy, and depression arise, it is nature’s way of asking us to take some introspective time to reassess where our energy is directed. Mars is a natural and healthy planetary energy; if we had no Mars in the horoscope, we would not even be capable of getting out of bed in the morning!
If Mars has an arena in which to act out the natural dynamic aggression healthily, then it is an invaluable asset to creative living. A rampant Mars, projected outward, can actually attract aggression and violent experiences. If Mars is uncontained and unrealized – shadowed – then it projects itself out into the environment and we see it around us as angry people, accidents, rejection, and so on. We experience intense frustration when we attempt to push something further than it intends to go, and Saturn transiting Mars will highlight times when it is best to be cautious about expending more than our immediate energy allows.
Supportive aspects to Mars encourage one to get in touch with anger, to locate it and work it through. When transiting Saturn is trine or sextile Mars, we find ways to employ and exploit aggression, and focus it in on projects and to a healthy conclusion.
A frustrating situation in which we must learn control and how to contain impatience and anger. Part of Mars’ instinct is directed toward survival. The instinctive urge for survival arises when our integrity is threatened. When an affront to our work, whereas with the squares or oppositions, we are more likely to encounter a sense of proportion, dignity, or fairness occurs, naturally we are enraged to some degree. The origin of this type of rage is a primal fear of extinction.
Anger arises as a natural defence against death – psychological or coporeal. This aspect has its transcendant function in that it moves us beyond the event and into the cosmic realm of all injustice, all outrage. This kind of contact with rage has alll the catalytic powers of transformation. We are forced by the necessity of survival to transfer the locus of anger from the personal to the transpersonal. Thus it can be the force behind social change or revolution and the call to collective work which has the interests and needs of humanity at the centre.
Mars can be the vehicle that helps the Self express its purpose, it is the first planet beyond the orbit of Earth and, as such, is the leading force in extraverted expression of the inner planets – the identity trinity of Sun, Mercury, and Venus. Mars externalizes and expresses identity. Saturn contacts to Mars brings acute awareness of our range of influence and power in the world; with a supportive aspect there is sustained energy and applied force with which we might execute our will with greater tenacity. When hard aspects are made, we encounter all that needs work, and often must learn to create in the face of adversity. Working through a hard aspect from Saturn ultimately lends a greater sense of our innate power, which becomes more tangible and useful for the future.
An increased awareness of friction goes along with this transit. Frustrations that occur in the course of an ordinary day can be magnified because we are more aware of control and repression. It is clearly a time when we are meant to be more introspective and aware of the subtlety of action, to be more circumspect and internally focussed about our desires. Cooperation between Mars and Saturn is fitful and sporadic, but when they do connect, we collude with the forces that have the power to create new civilisations. Mars’ drive is tempered by Saturn in the trines and sextiles, allowing more productive and realistic avenues for expressing ambition and assertiveness. Though we still experience curtailed energy, it is with greater acceptance that we face the reality that omnipotence is not a mortal attribute.”