by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mars Enters Libra: Setting Our Worldly Course

  Clytie by Frederic Leighton (1895–1896)

But wait…(you’re saying)…didn’t she just blog about Mars?

Yes I did - just a couple of days ago. At that point we were talking about the Mars/Libra ingress and how it related to other astrological elements which occur over the next several weeks. And now this  post is about Mars in a greater scope - that of sign theory. It's about how the zodiac works over long (longer) periods of time.

I think that's worth a chat. Maybe even two chats (you never know).

So to start, let's review the most basic of basics: Mars entering Libra is Mars leaving the more private and not-always-visible signs.

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo and Virgo – however they manifest, are signs which have to do with internal experience. They’re about learning.

The first three (Aries, Taurus, Gemini) are about personal learning – associate them with the baby and child who learns that they exist (Aries) tries grab hold of and taste everything (Taurus) and who experiments with the operands of operating in our native life environment (Gemini). The second three are about responding to things we are presented with ‘locally,’ first within the bounds of our family (and later, our culture or national bounds) (Cancer), then the people ‘in our neighborhood’ (or school) and activities we can choose to be in (or not) because we like them (or they like or agree with us) (Leo), then those things and people we have to deal with in our environment because we need to not because we want to, but because it’s the responsible thing to do (Virgo).

The zodiac as pictured in a mosaic pavement from a 6th century
synagogue at Beit Alpha (Jezreel Valley, Israel)

Once you move out of that first zodiacal six-pack, you’re in the realm of the public. The visible-to-others. Every one of the second set of six zodiac signs is worldly. They have to do with ‘doing’ in this world and a world in which as much as we would like to, we don’t control everything. In the realm of the second six signs (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) we only have half a choice about how things turn out. From Libra to Pisces, what we have is an arc. It starts with presenting yourself to others in this world and finding out what they think about you and how they react to you. That’s the Libra part.

Through emotionally fraught trial-and-error, we learn (or don’t learn all that well) what to risk and how to risk it. This is the realm of Scorpio. Except for one thing: though the ‘it’ may be our time, money, involvement, whatever…what’s really at stake is our self-worth, the respect we have for our Self. Scorpio situations mete out some painful pointings-out that we’ve chosen badly, but the point isn’t about ‘them’ – no, not even if we’d like it to be! Whether the matter at hand is about a choice of who to have sex with, who to partner with in a business venture or what financial institution to invest in, the real issue with Scorpio is trust. And not of them of ourselves. Can we survive whatever errors we may commit?

Beyond Scorpio lies the ‘broadening our scope’ land of Sagittarius. Sagittarius is about spreading our wings and learning more about more things – or about teaching others what we know. In Sagittarius we find the errors in our calculations and encounter those who are the flies in our ointment. Can we learn from them? Better yet – will we learn from them?

These three signs…Libra-Scorpio-Sagittarius…represent the building of a life beyond the Self. They represent everything from finding the right person to marry (Libra), marrying them and finding out whether you chose well (Scorpio) and…well, the good and bad of going from there (Sagittarius). They represent the building of a business – and learning enough about the world or any given profession that you would be qualified to go into that business.

Interestingly, all the institutions which collectively represent these ‘3rd quarter/quadrant’ signs are 4th quadrant (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) as collectives. Marriage as an institution is Capricorn, folding in the fact we see so much about social and societal status as connected to marriage. Commerce is Capricorn and the social system and marketplace (including the income we get from it) is Aquarian.

 The zodiac's third quadrant is here pictured in orange.
The wheel of the horoscope moves clockwise; the planets
and objects of our solar system move through the wheel
in a counter-clockwise motion. Together this represents the
spin/counter-spin structure which particle physics lays out
as the essence of all Existence.

All this eventually leads to Pisces – the emotional realm of peace or failure, the financial realm of pensions and all forms of passive income, which would include ‘old age income.’ A body of knowledge is Sagittarian. Tempering that with an emotional understanding of human life produces Pisces-type wisdom. Under Sagittarian conditions we may find the right way. Under Piscean conditions we understand why we would ultimately care.

And let’s face it…some don’t!

The important thing to remember here is that this second six signs is a very specific subset of life: it’s our public and worldly life. So for Mars to be entering Libra tells us that the energy of ‘doing,’ the focus, our ambitions, the drive of life (Mars) is now moving from the private-and-personal realm of the first six signs into the a more active and worldly phase.

Are you someone who doesn’t have much of a ‘go out and conquer the world’ sort of life? For you, Mars in Libra – or any of the second six signs – means that some of your ‘stealth factor’ is gone. And it’s a curious thing, that. During the almost-year that Mars spends traversing Aries-through-Virgo we all get a little accustomed to flying under the radar. Sure, we get annoyed when we don’t get paid attention to…(demanding critters, humans…)…but we also feel like we aren’t all naked to the world. And most of us like that. Anonymity has a definite ‘up’ side!

But once Mars enters Libra, all that ‘in private’ doing, that ‘in private’ debacle-ing, that ‘in private’ working on things – that becomes ‘visible.’ So people take note. They suddenly perk up and start asking questions. Mars in ‘upper hemisphere’ signs is a signal that our very reactions to things will be more visible to people than when Mars is in ‘lower hemisphere’ signs. (And let’s remember – this is just about position, not quality of signs here!)

The quality you bring to your acts and interactions counts now. Mars in Libra is not Mars in its most assertive mode – that would be Aries. Mars in Libra is not even Mars at it’s most persuasive – that would be Mars in Scorpio. No, Mars in Libra is just about standing for what you stand for. It’s about the honest truth, whether that’s good or bad.

To those who like to ‘sell,’ this is not a favored moment. Under Mars in Libra the ‘hard sell’ can seem rather offensive. Libra is the sign where ‘for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction’ has very real meaning, so the hard sell and the hard stance is likely to be met with equal resistance or rejection – even animosity of “equal value.” This comes from the idea that Libra is the ‘prime connective.’ And let’s face it, not all connections are pleasant! So there’s a reason why Libra has come to be known as the sign of ‘open enemies’ as well as the sign of negotiations, agreements and partnerships.

In Libra, the better thing to do is always offer. If you offer, someone may accept. But if you beat someone over the head demanding that they love you, the response is likely to be less than enthusiastic.

Mars in Libra is considered a good time to put yourself out there providing what you have to offer is quality. But here’s the pinch: you’re going to be known for the quality of what you offer now. Or the qualities of what you offer now. And there are variations to sort through here, particularly with ourselves and how we approach and interact with others.

I’ll use myself as an example. You may have noticed that I just put out an eBook. (If not, look in the sidebar for “Travel Gossip” or for the same in the “Full Length Article” list.) ‘Travel Gossip’ is about metaphysics. It’s about people. It’s about the Maya. It’s about my trying to get a grasp on the fact my father was about to pass away.

But more importantly, it’s a book. My intent is to be an author. I would like in fact, to have my own publishing company. So from that vantage point, ‘Travel Gossip’ is just a first offering OF whatever company I come to found and build.

Remember…Libra is about balance, and Mars is a ‘putting it out there’ or ‘putting it into motion’ signature. So as I am putting this first book out (and yes, doing my happy-dance that I finally have a book out there on the market – hooray!) I am having to mindfully balance the “total” focus on the book with the idea that this is just one of the things I’ve written and my thoughts about founding a company.

 Mars, colorized in halves by yours truly.
original (black and white) photo credit: NASA-JPL

Do I have to tell anybody this? No. But as I think about both things in tandem, I find my perspective becomes less ‘look what I did!’ oriented and more ‘I’m really pleased I did this – it’s the first step of a process for me!’

The first step of a process - you know…like that Libra-through-Pisces process?

Mars orbits the Sun in 1.88 years. And what’s interesting is that this portion of the process is going to last from now (July 3, 2012) until March 11, 2013.

For those of you who are quick on the math, that will pretty much translate to hey…this ‘half’ of the orbit isn’t as long as the other!

And you would be right. However, that changes. Remember Mars retrograde? We went through that starting back in the latter part of January 2012 and it represented the wrenches in life’s works which didn’t get spit out until mid-April, 2012.

Back then I told you that Mars goes retrograde in successive signs. And this ‘going retrograde’ thing that Mars does? Give or take the idea that our “month-driven” calendar doesn’t quite sync with the solar system, this Mars retrograde thing happens pretty much every-other-year.

This year Mars went retrograde in Virgo.

That means next time Mars goes retrograde, it’ll go retrograde in Libra.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where we get the anomaly which gives us the ‘weighted’ Mars half cycle dynamic – the ‘why’ of Mars’ transit from Aries through Virgo (April 2, 2011 through July 2, 2012) will have taken longer than Mars’ passage through the second six signs (between July 3, 2012 and March 11, 2013).

What this means is that for the past twelve years, Mars has been doing its retrograde in the first six signs of the zodiac. This is, by broad-based definition, a period of 
personal development.

However! As of Mars’ next cycle through the zodiac (which starts on March 12, 2013), Mars’ retrogrades will happen in the second six signs of the zodiac. And that means our entire personal and societal focus is about to shift.

The next Mars retrograde will occur in Libra in early 2014. And because of that – and because the Mars retrogrades which follow will be in Scorpio then Sagittarius and so on, that will effectively lengthen the amount of time (and therefore, the influences we can expect to experience) we spend in a more public, less ‘me and mine’/more worldly and interactive mode.

So as Mars enters Libra, it’s giving us all a real taste of what’s to come. This July-through-March (2013) period will reveal what needs working on and everybody’s quirks. It is to be expected that a lot of things which have been swept under the carpet and ‘just put up with’ will become sufficiently unpleasant (or unworkable) that some structures, some relationships, some partnerships may – perhaps “unexpectedly” – fail. Fall apart. Come to the end of their usefulness.

And remembering how astrology works – that it is either what we do or what we fail to do and thus what is provoked, evoked or otherwise prompted (and sometimes both!), that makes Mars entering Libra an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to try new things. It’s an opportunity to learn new things. It’s an opportunity to admit our flaws or failings – most of all to ourselves. In fact, taking a good hard look at our Self in the mirror (physical or mental) is one of the best things we can do during this passage. Making changes under Mars in Libra is not only somehow easier than it is at other times, it gets the best results. This is a good time to knock on new doors and for building bridges. It’s a good time for learning something new or renewing your sharing of your Self.

When I think of 'building bridges,' this is the sort of image
which comes to mind. Maybe that means I'm ambitious.
Maybe it means that I like building beautiful relationships
(I'll admit to that, readily!) I don't generally think of myself
as orange and I'm not all that good with heights.
But I am rust-proof!

photo credit: Golden Gate Bridge by Saperaud (Sept 2005)

That Libra is the opposition sign to Aries means the typically gung-ho, slay that dragon sort of Mars-in-Aries energetic which causes us to leap tall buildings and hurl ourselves into our tasks – that is a bit dampened now. But with that dampening also is lost the need to be the hero. Mars in Libra can be the sign of the proverbial person-as-doormat, but then again, it’s often expressed as that totally endearing hapless vulnerable ‘I screwed up!’ or ‘I don’t know how!’ admission which opens the door to learning better, to getting help, to repairing broken dreams, bruised relationships and personal gaffs of the particularly ‘what was I thinking?’ kind.

So as Mars enters Libra at 12:33 p.m. (UT/+0 time) on Tuesday, July 3, 2012…take a moment. Size things up. Think about where you want to go and who you want to be in this world and to others. This stretch of time from July 2012 into March 2013 is something of a warm-up for all which comes after.

As Mars (or any other object) enters Libra, that supermassive Black Hole M87 sits right inside the Libra doorway. Black Holes are nature’s way of timing our ability to see things from a different perspective. So as Mars moves through M87’s orb of influence, don’t be surprised if you come to  understand why so-and-so reacts the way they do. Don’t be surprised if something you’ve never thought you would do suddenly sounds so downright appealing.

Don’t be surprised…or disappointed…if in some moment you realize you’re on the wrong track with yourself – that your life isn’t turning out to be what you want.

That you’re in some way totally sacrificing yourself.
At some level, the warrior assertiveness of Mars ‘cuts through all the sugar-coating’ when it passes through Libra. That ‘unkindest cut of all’ so brilliantly referred to in Shakespeare (when Julius Caesar realizes his friend Brutus has just stabbed him)…don’t be surprised if you realize that you have been the very person who cut your Self short.

You may realize it yourself.

 The Murder of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini (1804-1805)

Then again, you may end up having this realization grow in your consciousness bit by bit throughout these next few months as Mars traverses the zodiac’s ‘visible’ hemisphere. Those most disinclined to see the truth about themselves are most likely to have it shown to them by others.

We’ve all had twelve full years to learn about ourselves. Life is readying us for the next twelve years to come – a decade plus of living not for our Selves, but for the world which fosters that Self-driven life.


  1. Thanks Boots so much interesting info to ponder...This explains why I am finally feeling like coming out of my shell a bit after a long period of solitude. I had an M87 moment yesterday
    and realized I've been cutting myself short. It was one of those moments that brought tears to my eyes....glad to be entering this new phase.
    Love Clytie that's how I'm approaching things these days. I'm reading your book, can't wait!!

  2. Thank you for purchasing my book! I hope you enjoy it muchly!

    As for Clytie, if you had told me that taking up blogging was going to be part fine-arts course, I would have laughed. But that - surely - is part of what I've learned! I'm glad you like the image...I thought it fit with all things Mars and cyclic, especially at this point in the wake of the Gemini eclipse and that long, long, LONG Venus retrograde! (Venus as migraine? A very bad thing!)

    This is a great time to be coming out of solitude - especially to pursue a specific purpose...or even so that you can find a purpose to pursue. 'Cutting ourselves short' is a great way of putting it, too. Huzzahs to you, Kate!