Pilot Mountain in Alberta, Canada's Banff National Park
photo credit: Chuck Szmurlo (2007)
Capricorn being a sign of worldly achievement, there are some symbols which fit the earthy Capricorn determination than others. One of the most fitting is Mars: planet of assertion, determination, courage and self-owning willingness to do what it takes to get a job done.
So...interesting news: Mars will be entering Capricorn on December 7th at 11:50 in the evening (UT/+0).
But this isn't just any Mars into Capricorn ingress! For one, it's happening as Mercury is about to go retrograde, which heightens the feeling of urgency (and frustration?) we normally feel in the week prior to Mercury's station/retrograde.
More to the point, with Mercury taking that station on Friday (the 10th) at about noon (UT/+0), that opens the two-day 'station window' on the 8th. Which would be...oh, about twelve hours after the Mars/Capricorn ingress.
Close enough, eh?
That the Mars ingress comes first suggests that for those whose charts are closely aspected by Mercury's station, something 'assertive' or 'initiates' events connected with that station.
Mercury being about the workings and applications of our 'thinking apparatus' (including the means and methods by which we transmit our thoughts and choices), this is a pretty feisty combination. And it can work either way - meaning it could be something you do, it could be something done to you. It could be something which starts now, or it could be something which is now revealed. Or something which 'takes a turn' in changing - that 'taking a turn' symbolism very much in keeping with any station.
But as I said - not everyone is going to be personally affected by Mercury's station...and thus for many, this Mars-entering-Capricorn is going to go by with nary a glitch. For you, life just seems to fall a bit more into order - you still may have a lot to do, but at least you have a more collected perspective on the list of what needs doing!
Considering Capricorn's reputation for a reserved, cool sort of focus, Mars in Capricorn is also well regarded as a time to get to big goals. Capricorn being all about achievement, this combination signals some six weeks of recognizing what needs to be done in order to accomplish your aims and having the focus and internal fortitude to deal with what will allow you to claim your personal prize.
HOWEVER...A lot of that effort is going to be done on the inside. That we know because Mercury is going retrograde. At some level we are all going to be grappling with 'who we are' on the inside. And that how/who we are helps or hinders us in our drive to get to personal goals.
So...that said, let's get to the Mercury part of this conversation.
Mercury is going retrograde at 5 Capricorn, a particularly interesting zodiac degree. For one, it's Capricorn and earthy - it's about things we know, can touch, comprehend tangibly. It also carries that well-known Capricorn 'steeliness.'
Being a first decanate ('deca' meaning 'ten') degree, 5 Capricorn is also like any first decanate degree in that it's about something that we do or are being. It's personal in nature, but it's a personal degree of a worldly sign. So it's really about what we 'do' and are in the world!
The lore concerning 5 Capricorn speaks of 'wealth of generosity' and the tendency to be sympathetic, supportive and trusting. And yet there's an implied weakness here too - a specific lack of focus (reality recognition) which says there 'inside' part of you can be so focused on critique of self that said hospitality and extended trust eventually costs or 'undoes' you.
Like I say, an interesting degree.
As Mars enters Capricorn, it's also adding to an early Capricorn lineup composed of (in order) Mars, North Node, Pluto, then Mercury - all in the first five degrees of Capricorn. THAT's intense!
Capricorn being about business, government, commerce and 'societal workings' on every level, that means we now have activity being focused in these areas (Mars) with a need to focus on the functional workings of society and at the social level (North Node). But things are changing (Pluto). We know they're changing, we can feel them changing and we all have to adjust our thinking and expectations (Pluto).
For many of us, this will just be a 'so what?' sort of image of the busy holiday season...dealing with obligations, putting up with occasions you love to hate and hate loving...all the usual stuff.
But there is a level at which Mars/North Node/Pluto is a societal/social (relational) powder keg. And Pluto/Mercury is more than a little obsessive! So don't be shocked at news - that on the television, things which come streaming in through the computer and what you get told on the phone or face to face.
Plus there is that little Mercury station deal.
This Pluto/Mercury could be your wanting to (deciding?) to just give something up. Or avoid, some big deal. Avoidance and denial are just as apt to surface in this next short run as explosions are.
So who is this going to affect the most? The more pointed signal here being Mercury's turn to retrograde at 5 Capricorn, here's the list:
For anyone with natal planets, important asteroids, dwarf planets, axis points or nodes positioned between...
0 and 10 Cancer: Expect to have to confront yourself or to be confronted by others (or situations) about the nature of your choices and your methods of going about implementing your choices. This doesn't mean you're right or wrong, but you could be. At the very least it may pay big dividends to try and understand the emotions behind why others are bringing such things up.
0 and 10 Aries (or) Libra: Challenges to your ability to achieve (Aries) or internal rationales (Libra) are asking you to finish old business before you start on new projects (Aries) or to 'update' your thinking and basis for decision making (Libra). Acting on (Libra) habits/instincts or with (Aries) haste trips you up. But IF you are willing to 'connect the mental dots' and recognize why you do what you tend to do, not only will others help you, you will relieve a great deal of stress and strain on/within your Self.
0 and 10 Taurus (or) Virgo: With either sign placement, the question is whether you have overextended yourself. If you have, events, situations and people will now let you know that you need to rein it in and reconsider your pace or needs. Quantity is the Taurus side question, quality the Virgo issue. You can make the adjustments - the question is whether you're willing to.
2 and 8 Pisces (or) Scorpio: You have an opportunity to be more effective. For you, the question really is whether the opportunities coming to you now fit with your greater priorities. Recognizing your limits as you consider whether you do/don't want to make a move is the real question and where you are overburdened you will need to make (at least temporary) changes in the weeks ahead.
3 and 7 Gemini (or) Leo: On the Leo side, recognizing the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of how you are going about your business divides pluses and minuses. Questions of integrity arising now are reminders of the difference between the ability to do something and whether you should or shouldn't do it! On the Gemini side, understanding why people - including you! - choose and react as they do lies behind current dynamics, challenges and objectives. Though looking for the 'all encompassing' choice is tedious-hard, in the end that's the easiest way to go.
3 and 7 Sagittarius (or) Aquarius: Ouch! This is a trying moment all about whether you get the bigger picture (Aquarius) and/or whether your self worth and values are out of place, given the needs of the moment. Though you may do well to think things over, this is not necessarily the time to cut and run. Considered reactions are called for...and if you can, admitting the merit of another point of view is a big plus. This doesn't mean you have to agree, but allowing for differences is a plus!
0 and 10 Capricorn: This is the moment when you are on a hot seat with yourself. Why you are who you are and the pluses and minuses of that determine whether you gain or divest, are rewarded or penalized, move ahead or are held back now. Though it's easy to think everything is about 'them' it isn't - and recognizing that may be the hardest if most important thing of all.
With all this said, there are two more very important things to understand here.
One is that in the moment Mars is entering Capricorn, the Moon is at 13 degrees of that same sign. And that...13 Capricorn? That's the degree of the incoming January Solar Eclipse. This Mars-entering-Capricorn marker thus 'officially' opens the shift ("breakdown") period which precedes any solar eclipse.
And not to be too coy here, Mars will reach 13 Capricorn on December 24/25, depending on where you are.
This ties back to the other astrological note to be contemplated here...namely that the degree of this Mercury station (5 Capricorn) is the degree Pluto went station/retrograde at back on April 4th.
And that draws a giant 'dotted line' between this moment and last April. So...back then, did you go into some sort of denial - or were you dealing with reality?
Many if not most of us were in a phase of 'personal destruction/reconstruction' during that time. Now we get to find out if we overstepped our own bounds. Or whether we built on solid ground. Or whether we were actually living in the real world as opposed to one all about that 'inner intensity of focus' which might have led us to be too trusting (leading to bad decisions and choices) indicated by the lore of 5 Capricorn.
Whatever happened then, whatever happens now, this is not an 'end' to all things - its a step in a process. Some of us will now solidify gains as others of us throw off old shackles and still others of us admit the defeat of self-delusion. No matter which category (categories?) you fall into here (and yes, they can be mixed) the thing to do is to move forward with yourself.
That's ultimately what Mercury retrograde is about: learning about who we are, replete with strengths and weaknesses. Through our worldly life, now things 'take a turn' whether on the big scale or small scale, putting a lot of who we are (and think we are) in a different light.
The real object is to 'lighten' our load through inner 'enlightenment' as to who we are and why we are who we are. How that happens...?
That's up to you.