Olympus Mons is the tallest mountain on Mars known to date. Photographed
here on October 19, 1998 by the Mars Global Surveyor, the mountain you're
looking at is three times higher than Everest and bigger than
the mountains of the Hawaii chain.
(photo credit: NASA, JPL)
All the symbolism about Mars concerns assertion. Mars refers to the energy of motivation and that urge which gets us doing – which is why it’s the ruler of Mars and ‘initiating’ co-ruler of Scorpio, the sign of where we take that ‘I want to be’ Mars-in-Aries idea out into the world and meet up with all the support and rejection and negotiating with life’s gatekeepers, whoever they may be.
And since Taurus is all about satisfaction and being satisfied, obviously there’s a bit of what one might call a “mismatch of modalities.” Mars being about the ‘doing’ and Taurus being more about a state of being and the essence of understanding what matters to us, Mars in Taurus is about pushing to have what we want.
That’s a state we call “dissatisfaction.” And yes, Mars in Taurus does tend to manifest as yearnings and frustrations because something isn’t going our way and a general state of ‘not good enough’-ness.
(No, that’s not a word, but we’ll go with it anyway!)
So as Mars shows up to the Taurus party on April 20th at 11:49 in the morning (UT/+0) time, we know we’re in for a period of time when good isn’t likely to feel good enough. And life being what life is, even if you go into this period feeling just ducky about things, something will come along to un-duck your duckiness.
(No, that’s not a word either. But we’re still going with it!)
Mars in Taurus, similar to Mars in the 2nd house of the horoscope (the 2nd being Taurus’ “native” house) motivates us to want more. What we will want more of generally depends on the sign on the cusp of your natal 2nd house (and the sign and placement of the planet ruling that cusp) --- or where Venus is, as Venus rules Taurus.
This ‘what rules what sign’ thing is actually how charts are tied together. Without creating these ‘daisy chains’ of rulerships, horoscopes are just a blood pressure over here and a temperature reading over there and a headache in a box on the table. (Not literally, but…)
In other words, jigsaw puzzles are great, and their individual pieces may be entertaining and yes, you can separate all the edge pieces out until the cows come home. (Or ask you to moooo-ve over.) But it’s the synthesis which counts. That magical thing that really good doctors, musicians, astrologers and others do which takes the ‘raw data’ or ability and turns it into something which illuminates life – that’s the synthesis that machines can’t do.
And under Mars in Taurus, it’s likely we’re going to feel a bit ‘machine-ish’ about something.
(No, that’s not a word either.)
Of course there are a couple of other ways Mars in Taurus tends to manifest. Since Mars is the ‘pedal to the metal’ symbol and Taurus is the ‘make me feel secure and satisfied’ there is a level at which Mars in Taurus becomes the drive to have what you want, when you want, as you like it.
Call it greed, call it selfishness, call it a case of the ‘gimme’s…that can indeed be Mars in Taurus. (Or yes, Mars in the natal 2nd.)
With Mars in Taurus, we will tend to see things from our own point of view. Taurus being a fixed (as in ‘anchored in concrete’) sort of sign, we will generally not be all hinky-dinky about changing our opinion, perspective, methodology or goal under this influence.
Furthermore, if you remember, our last little bloggery chat was about the Sun entering Taurus. So it’s pretty darn sure that the Sun and Mars are running in Taurean tandem.
Let’s see…that would be adding self-determination to desire…
You get the picture.
And about that Venus thing…Venus is also in Taurus. So we’re about as full up on Taurus as we can get, give or take the Moon and Mercury. (And lest you think Mercury would miss out on a good Taurus party, you’re wrong! Mercury will enter Taurus on May 1st.)
Mars has an orbital cycle of 1.88 years. Do the math and stick in a slush fund for one-retrograde-per-orbital-cycle and you’ll come up with the fact that Mars tends to spend about six weeks in a sign – which is the case here, as Mars will be in Taurus until May 31st.
I bet you know what comes next. That’s right: the word ECLIPSE.
This is multo importante, this solar eclipse thing, since not only will Mars be in the sign of the solar eclipse when it happens, but it will be conjunct the eclipse itself.
Yes, ‘ouch,’ I reply.
Just to finish with the Venus thing before I move to the show-and-tell part of this chat…Venus will only be in Taurus until May 9th (UT/+0 time). And seeing that the Taurus Solar Eclipse is on May 10th, that means that the eclipse actually happens with Venus having bailed on the Taurus emphasis on tangible results in favor of the idea which will allow me to choose a produtive path.
And that's a distinct shift of gears, one which tells us that these weeks ahead which lead into the Taurus eclipse are sort of 'setting us up' for what we will learn and realize through whatever process the eclipse embodies.
You know - what part of our life is "being eclipsed."
Seeing as Mars will still be in Taurus through that time and indeed through the end of May, this means that we can expect a lot of 'input' and 'new perspectives' on what works, what doesn't work and what we need to do in order to become more effective.
Mars by Johann Baptist Straub (1772)
(photo credit: Rufus46, September 2008)
Six to eight weeks prior to any Solar Eclipse, there starts to be a ‘shake up’ in areas pertaining to the Solar Eclipse. Call it a rustle of breeze in the trees prior to the hurricane showing up, call it a small rattle of your window as a foreshock rolls through prior to a giant earthquake…that’s what we expect to experience, and to hear about in daily doings.
As an astrologer, this is one of the big reasons why I pay particular attention to ‘themes’ which start popping up on the news during the month or two prior to an eclipse.
This year, what did we hear? Well, we heard about a lot of saber-rattling from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Listening to it all with the dispassionate (Athena-like) perspective it takes to think in ‘research astrology terms,’ I though it was particularly interesting that the specifics here were war, dealing out death and nuclear power – all of which are distinctly Scorpio terms and thus in opposition to the incoming eclipse.
This is the sound of an ego in search of validation. We often talk about Taurus as ‘worth versus self-worth’ and the fears we face and the risks we will or won’t take under Taurus’ polarity sign Scorpio because of our comfort with our own (Taurean) satisfaction – with self, that is.
I have no political solutions. But what this talks about is how damaging it is for anyone to feel so isolated and so impoverished, marginalized or undervalued by everyone else (or “the world”) that they need to make such grand gestures. History is full of periods when the rich ignore the poor and the powerful oppress or ignore those they think of as ‘less than’ until those supposedly ‘less than’ souls rise up and clobber the rich and allegedly powerful.
Pride goeth before the fall, as they say. (Yes, that's part of the Eclipse too, for reasons related to fixed star Menkar, which I'm warming up to discuss next week.) And we are sailing into waters in this moment where a lot of this is going to come out. We’ve seen one version of this – the rather astonishing and thoroughly heart-warming vision of a Pope (Francis) who apparently cares more about people than scripture. Who would’a thunk? Gosh…a man of the cloth who cares more about the lives of those he’s supposed to serve than life in a gilded papal apartment?
Pope Francis started his work and started showing us who he is in mid-March….about eight weeks prior to May’s solar eclipse.
But will he change the Vatican? And will Kim Jong Un realize that investing himself in being his nation's leader and that building a country which can earn respect in the world will earn him respect and 'worthy standing' without having to resort to threats?
That, we don't know. But both of these questions are very Taurus (and therefore both Mars in Taurus and Taurus Solar Eclipse) subjects.
Maybe that helps in the Understanding Department.
Barely had April begun than we also got a slew of arrests and news notices about corruption of various forms. Not meaning to slight your homeland if you live somewhere other than the U.S., but it’s all I can do to keep up with news here.
And for good and not-so-good, it’s just like news everywhere.
Anyway…barely had April rung in its fools than there was a story splashed about arrests in New York with regards to political bribery. At the same time, we heard that the woman who had been overseeing the banking and investment sector at the federal level was leaving her job to…not shockingly…take a comfy and lucrative job in the banking and investment sector where she can now use all her contacts and understandings to help banks and investment firms evade the rules she was supposed to have stood for.
Oh yes – this would also be the woman who didn’t help put a bunch of Wall Street tycoons in jail for raping the world’s economy, but hey…small peanuts, right?
Then there was a story about an outgoing Governor of an eastern state allowing political PACs and campaign supporters to pay for his daughter’s lavish wedding. (Daughter dear evidently complied happily, but standing up for dad in the press.)
And there was that bucket of teachers and school administrators in…I think that’s Georgia (maybe the Carolinas) who were caught cheating and falsifying tests so they would look good and get bonuses.
All of this is very Taurus. It exhibits the Taurean drive to want to get where you want go get while showing us how blind one can become to standards of propriety, morality, ethics, decency – call it what you want – when Taurean (or Taurus/Scorpio) drives get really strong.
The atmosphere of Mars is seen here in this low orbit photograph
taken by the Viking Orbiter
(photo credit: NASA-JPL, 1976)
More importantly…that these people were ‘outed,’ (so to speak)(and yes, that is an accepted word) under the influence of the ‘lead-in’ or ‘breakdown’ period preceding the Taurus Solar Eclipse.
And now, with Mars entering Taurus, that energetic – the process of ‘bringing to the surface’ and reversing the ‘seen’ and ‘not seen’ which is so typical of Solar Eclipses, is going to be getting ramped up.
Knowing that Taurus is running in tandem with the Sun tells us that what we are aiming at…whether that’s peace with our Beloved, some financial goal, getting the kids to pick up their socks, getting five minutes to yourself…all those ‘aims’ are now going to become more intense – and more under scrutiny.
That’s just the nature of the time.
And no, we aren’t likely to want to budge. Or be moved by someone else’s rationale. Even very good rationales are likely to get shunted aside.
But then comes the judgment of Karma. Scorpio being the sign of Karma and Saturn being currently in retrograde in Scorpio gives is a clear indication that where others don’t ‘out’ us, we’re likely to ‘out’ ourselves. And that means that a lot of things which have been ‘brewing’ which have to do with what we’ve been doing because gee, golly-wiz, we just WANT to do them – those very issues are the ones most likely to blow up in our face.
The old psychological slogan fits here fine: when we choose the action, we choose the consequence. We live in consequential times, have you noticed?
At some level, a lot of us are undergoing some very tough lessons in reorienting our priorities. That’s the underlying concept here, and one which Mars in Taurus supports, horn, hoof and tail, providing we’re being constructive in a manner which is authentic not to some image of who we ‘think’ we are, but who we can be. So instead of going ‘for’ the ‘thing,’ Mars in Taurus really asks us to see what we lack and to go for whatever it is which will earn us that ‘thing.’ It’s about being the person who would earn the respect. Or be supported. Or be rich. Or be first in line for that promotion.
Mars in Taurus asks us to work (assertive action) ON ourselves – not in our own regard. Mars in Taurus is about building your life so that it attracts the results you want from life, from the world, from others.
I have a friend who lives over in the Middle East. We correspond here and there, and one of our central conversations – for some time now (when we’re not discussing ancient constellations…and no, he’s not an astrologer!) …we always come back to the idea of giving someone fish as opposed to teaching them how to be a fisherman.
Sometimes we need fish. If we’re starving, absolutely – being given what we need right in the moment to survive is an imperative. And for some, just understanding that difference between want and need is a huge, giant step. Anything which is about our ego is a want. Anything which is about basic survival is a need.
But once we’re past that crisis, then learning how to fish for ourselves should become our goal. This is the discussion of our times. It’s what you hear all the time in politics – the giving people what they need and where does need become want. Those on the ‘have’ side can afford to be philosophic. They can afford to dally and object.
Yes, we need to all learn now to fish. And part of Mars in Taurus is about motivating us to not want to have fish handed to us. It’s about wanting to have fish when you want it, yes – but knowing that fish goes bad when it just sits around.
My favorite line from the film ‘Hello, Dolly’ is this one: ‘Money is like manure…you need to sprinkle it around encouraging young things to grow.’ Enthusiastically exuded by Barbara Streisand with her long, lovely fingers all a-twiddle, she was the poor girl whose manipulations of the rich man wouldn’t have gotten her where she wanted to go if she wasn’t such a catch, such a dish, such a fabulous woman.
Walter Matthau and Barbara Streisand from the trailer for the 1969 film "Hello Dolly"
In the end, it’s who we are that counts. Mars in Taurus is all about the quality of our being-ness.
(Not a word, we’ll use it anyway!)
These next six weeks are going to be intense. But they’re also an incredible opportunity for those willing to take on the beast – their own inner, personal beast. We all have one of some kind, and they can all be directed for the betterment of who we are…and thus the flowering of who we are regarded as in this life, in this world, and in this universe.
And thus we arrive at satisfaction.